First of all.  Thank you all for your incredible outpouring of support re: my slightly dramatic post last night.  I can, and will do this.  I’ve been playing Dr. Google all day, and I feel kind of certain that what is wrong with my knees and lower legs can be solved by rest and ice.  I am super anxious to get to the podiatrist tomorrow.  For now, I am just planning on resting the shit out of my legs until the half, but we’ll see what he says tomorrow.

I started today out still in a funk.  There are assorted wedding stressors going on that I don’t want to talk too much about, but are, well, stressful. 

Lunch.  The aerial view.  Exactly the same as yesterday.

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Lately, for lunch, I’ve felt more like munching than solid meals.  I’ll eat the cantaloupe around 11:30, then the pretzel roll around noon, then the yogurt around 12:30.  Works well for me!

I ate a bigger snack around 4 o’clock—a PowerBar Harvest bar—because I knew I wouldn’t be home until later because my dress fitting was at 6 about 45 minutes from home.  These things are good—chocolatey and coconutty and very big and filling.  Good for a light meal replacement or large snack!

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Then…second dress fitting!

It was so liberating to finally try on my dress without a foot of extra material on the bottom.  I could finally walk around in it!  And sit!  Whee! 

Also, when the seamstress zipped me up, I got a “did you lose weight?” that totally made my day.

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And the bustle!0331 005 We’re still not done yet—we decided to take in the top a teeny tiny bit just so my boobs are firmly locked in place.  It’s a little loose up there right now and I don’t want to be hiking them up!  I’m picking the dress up April 28th.

I came home to find a bunch of RSVPs—7 nos, 2 yes—and two packages, topped with a cat.

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The creme de la creme of wedding presents!

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Again, with cat interference.

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Hello, lover.

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For now, she is in the wedding room, but I have grand plans (biscotti!  frosting!) for post-wedding.

We also got a super cute cupcake carrier to go with it.  Wedding presents are fun!

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Tim and Milhouse modeled the second package.

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My uncle loves to cook and when I saw him this weekend, he was shocked he’d never gotten me this cookbook before and had it Amazoned to me immediately..  It’s actually a super fancy cooking textbook!  I can’t wait to take a closer look. 

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All in all, today started out pretty bad, but got better.  If I have to sit on my ass for two weeks to run this damn half marathon, I will. 

Back tomorrow with a podiatrist report!  Cross your fingers!

Spring Forward

Whatever I did yesterday must have worked, because my hamstrings and glutes are killing me.   It is seriously painful to sit and stand.  Guess that’s what I get for not doing any strength training for, oh, a month.  Hmph.

Today was nice and chill.  The dog let me sleep in, which was nice,

Last night I made Susan’s protein bars.  

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They were super easy.  It was basically like making a big breakfast cookie!  (Click the link for the recipe.)  The hardest part was cutting them into 8 and wrapping them in foil.  I stuck them in the freezer to pull out one at a time.  I ate one today and wowza, are they good!

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The animals and I had a pretty lazy afternoon.  I did a bit of grocery shopping, but we mostly watched a True Life marathon on MTV.

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The birthday boy got home around 5:30 and requested Chipotle for his birthday dinner.  I gladly obliged!  We got his and hers burritos:

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Tim also brought me a gift back from Vegas—chocolate peanut butter eggs!

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(I’m sharing with him.)

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It sounds like he had a fun weekend of eating, drinking, and carousing with the boys.  Hopefully he’ll stick to his word and write a recap for the blog!

For later, we have Tim’s birthday cake!

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It’s called Gooey Butter Cake, and I swear this is the best thing (besides Tim) to come out of the state of Missouri.  Here’s the recipe I got from Tim’s mom:

Gooey Butter Cake

  • yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 t. vanilla

Mix together the cake mix, softened butter, and 1 egg until crumbly.  Pat in a 9 by 13 pan.   Blend the remaining 2 eggs, powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla with a mixer until fluffy and pour over the first layer.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Top with sifted powdered sugar.

This stuff is insanely good.  Not at all healthy, but a worthy treat.   I’d never heard of it until I started dating Tim, but man, I’m glad I know about it now.

What are your favorite regional foods?

Flying solo

First of all, thanks for all the sweet comments re: Ronda!  I am glad we are besties again.  It’s amazing what little changes can do, although I do need to get some new, slightly stronger Spanx to hopefully eliminate the hip wrinkling that’s going on now.  (The pair I wore yesterday were old and kind of stretched out.)

Anyway.  Day one of my bachelor party widowhood!

Made a fresh green monster at lunch.  Cherries, chocolate whey, milk, and spinach. 

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For my afternoon snack I sampled a new flavor of Luna Bar I saw at the grocery store the other day.

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I’m not really a big blueberry fan, but I’m a sucker for a label that says “NEW!”  I was pleasantly surprised with this!  It had kind of a blueberry jam-like topping that I really enjoyed.  It’s a hair too sweet, but most Luna Bars are, so nothing new.

Anyway, the afternoon dragged on…and on…and on.  But finally it was time to go home.  This has been a crazy week!  To put things in perspective, I leave for work at 7:15 am.  On Wednesday I got home at 7:30 pm, on Thursday I got home at 7:45 pm, and today, I got home at 5:30…to pick up the dog and walk right out the door again.

Milhouse needed to be groomed; namely, his anal glands needed to be expressed.  (The joys of dog ownership!)  So I picked him up, and dropped him off at the groomer’s.  While he was being groomed I had dinner at Panera, and did a little shopping!0312 004

Paul Mitchell Quick Slip.  Apparently this stuff cuts your blow-drying time in half, which is what my ridiculous moptop needs right now.  (Tim complained about my lengthy blow-drying this week.  I can’t wait to get my wife chop.)

Milhouse was happy to be done at the groomer’s.  He’s exhausted, poor thing, and so am I!

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I’m finishing up a little B&J FroYo, catching up on Real Housewives, and hopefully hitting the sack nice and early.  (If the dog and cats don’t decide to chase each other around like madmen/women at bedtime again, that is.)0312 006

As for running, I’ve done all my mileage this week except the 3 miles and cross day.  I am going to play it by ear tomorrow—I will either take Milhouse out for a nice, easy wog (walk-jog) or skip it.   It’s cold and rainy and I just have not seen the inside of my house enough this week.  I’ve scheduled a sports massage for myself for 11:15…I still have that knot in my calf from trying out those stupid arch supports.  I’m also going to attempt to find ANOTHER shower dress (I’d puke, but I think I have a good action plan for tomorrow).

What do you do when you have time to yourself?

Trying MORE New Things

Yesterday I tried new things.  Today I tried more of them!  This is what happens when I go to a different grocery store.  Hey, that just inspired a thoughtful healthy living tip…

TIP:  If you’re in a healthy eating rut, try a new grocery store.  They will have fun new products to try that get you all excited about healthy eats once again!

Anyway, today I tried a new flavor of yogurt.  Yes, I know that this is full of artificial sweeteners and has less protein than Greek, but sometimes, frankly, I like fun flavored yogurt.  And do you want to know how much this cost?  NINETEEN CENTS.  When you stack that against my $1.29/cup Greek yogurt, it looks even more appetizing.

I’m a sucker for all things coconut, but this was kinda fakey.  Not bad, but not great.  Meh.

Also I had an Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin with peanut butter.  These aren’t new to me, but since they don’t carry them at my regular grocery store I kind of forgot about them.  These are good and made with the healthiest of whole grains, so they are really filling!

Unpictured: I ate another delicious giant orange and relished the smell of orange peel in my garbage can all day.  Seriously.  Love it.  Oh, and a dark chocolate square, and some strawberries and granola.  Wait!  I DID take a picture of the granola.

This is Feed’s Cranberry Coconut Crunch granola.  Again with the coconut love.  Frankly, though, this stuff is terrible and I’m eating it just because it was expensive and I can mask the flavor with strawberries.  It’s very spicy, but not a good cinnamon spice, more…nutmeggy?  I don’t know.  I don’t taste cranberry or coconut in it at all.  Bleh.

I had a new Luna Protein Bar for my pre-workout fuel.  Also, not great.  Super duper sweet (which I usually don’t mind) and had a weird texture.

But then I tried something new I REALLY liked!  I will do a full review of the two items they sent me later, after I’ve had the chance to wear them both a bit, but this is the Propel Track Jacket by lucy activewear (bottom layer only).  I love this thing so much.  It’s cozy, but sleek and cute and fitnessy with really thoughtful details.  Pink puffy heart for this one.

I decided to give running a try again today.  My shins felt fine all day.  I iced diligently last night, took ibuprofen, and foam rolled.   At first they felt great.  About .75 miles in, it went downhill, fast, and I was in pain like I was in yesterday–it FEELS like inflammation, and not a stress fracture, because the pain changes when I point my toes or curl them back while running, and stretching/foam rolling seems to help.  It hurts when I press on the sides of my shin bone/calves, but not on the bone itself.  It’s fine all day except when I run.

I quit at 1.25 miles in.  I knew in my head that running on shin splints is only going to make the situation worse, but I still felt crappy about it.  I tried doing some stationary biking, but my head wasn’t in it because I was so angry and I left after 10 minutes.

One of the things Tim has helped me figure out about myself is that I have a tendency to let a minor problem/irritation spiral into a huge vent about completely unrelated things.  I’m working on it.  I am upset that my body is broken right now.  My first thoughts were, “It’s probably because you’re so heavy, you’ll never be a good runner, you’re such a terrible fraud on the blog.  And whythefuck did you register for a marathon you’re not going to be able to finish.”   Obviously, this is ridiculous.  But I’m struggling with staying in a good headspace while I’m injured.  I know I need to take a few days off the gym and heal, but I can’t seem to quiet the voices telling me that I’m just being lazy and weak.

So, I’m icing, going to foam roll again, and I’m going to put myself on the DL until Friday, when I will try to run again as much as my body will allow.  My hypothesis is that I ran way too much last week (five days in a row, to be exact), didn’t stretch enough, didn’t foam roll, and possibly that this is related to my new shoes.

In other news, yesterday my boss asked me if I was okay.  When I said yes, she said I didn’t look well, and was I tired?  And a few hours later, she popped in my office to remind me that I’ve been building up a lot of “comp time” lately, which is basically overtime time-and-a-half, paid in vacation rather than cash, and a day off might be nice considering how much I’ve been working lately.

So I decided to take her up on it.  I’ve had a few stress-related breakdowns lately, and my body hasn’t been doing so great either.  On Monday, I’m taking a mental health day off work!  Tim has the day off work because of President’s Day, so I figure what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a Monday off together?  I’m so excited and really feel like I need a long weekend.  I’m hoping to get my life back in order–clean the house, do some wedding-related shopping and finish up some DIY, and most importantly, sit on the couch in my pajamas watching the Olympics.  I cannot wait.

Do you take mental health days?  What’s your personal injury policy?

Superbowl Sunday

Hi guys.  Sorry for no post yesterday–it was exhausting!  I got up at 5 for work, worked until 2, came home, napped, showered, and my future brother-in-law came in for a meeting so we all went out for a late dinner at my favorite French bistro.  It was a lovely dinner–I especially love their generous pours of their delicious house red.

Also, random sidenote: I don’t talk about alcohol too much on the blog simply because it’s not a big deal for me.  I drink maybe 1-2 glasses of red wine a week, with the occasional beer thrown in, but not much more than that.  I don’t really like the way booze makes me feel in excess, and I’d usually rather eat my calories.

So, anyway.  We woke up today around 8:30 and tried out the pancake mix Leah sent!

I have never had anything marionberry before, but it was delicious!  It tasted like a cross between a blackberry and raspberry.   It was very strong, so I only used about a tablespoon for dipping.  We each had two pancakes.

Then I went grocery shopping, and came back, happily, to find John (future brother-in-law) hanging out at our house.  He lives on the east coast and his flight home was canceled, so we hung out all day.  We had Chipotle for lunch, watched Inglorious Basterds (which I really liked), and made frozen pizza and beer for dinner while watching the Superbowl.

I bought the fixings to restock my snack drawer at work:

I also bought a few different kinds of goo to experiment with while running.  I’m now putting myself on a strict “fuel during runs 5+ miles” plan in hopes I will avoid nausea.  And also some intense hand lotion, because winter is making them chapped and gross.

I went to a different grocery store today, and got some fun new products I’m looking forward to trying–the new Yoplait Greek yogurt, some new Dannon flavors, healthy wheat bagels, and some other stuff.  I’ll post about them as I eat them!

Anyway, go Colts! I’m not a big pro football fan generally, but if I had to pick, I’m a Bears fan and a Colts fan because of my family.  (Yes, I realize this is kind of impossible, but whatever.)  I like pageantry and good commercials and fun parties, and the Superbowl fits the bill.  I have to say, I’m pretty excited about the Olympics coming up too!

What’s your favorite sports event? I’m a big Olympics enthusiast!

A Case of the Sleepies

First order of business–thanks to all the de-lurkers!  It’s nice to hear a little bit about all of you.  For the record, I’m Brie, I live in Kansas City (Missouri, not Kansas), and I very much like pizza, though without veggies, because I feel pizza veggies are always kind of limp and gross.  But anyway.

Today I was tired.  I am lucky enough that I don’t really struggle with tiredness much.  I am usually asleep by 10 or 10:30 and  I get up at 6 or 6:30, so I get a good 7-8 hours.  But for some reason, last night, I slept horribly and I woke up tired and I haven’t been able to shake it.  (Some reason=snoring dog, then whimpering bad dream dog, then “have to poop at 3 am” dog, then “I love you so much I’m going to claw you to death” cat.  Props to Tim for handling the 3 am pooper.)

I had a weird lunch again today thanks to work commitments, BUT since I was out and about KC I did a little shopping for a KC foodie care package for one of my favorite bloggers (and readers).  It was totally pretty out today!

Aside from the really strong wind.

And I’m not telling what it is.  But she will, hopefully, when she gets it.  (I may or may not have also bought some stuff for us.  Whoops.)  It is definitely yummy!

Also, apparently, my boss has confused “half marathon” with “marathon” and is telling all my co-workers that I’m running a marathon.  Which, happily enough, resulted in one of my co-workers busting happily into my office to chat about running!  It was pretty cool.  She’s run tons of marathons and is a triathlete and is in her 50s (I’d guess).  Apparently several other people I work with are active on the KC running circuit as well, including one of my co-workers that did an IRONMAN in 10 hours (and change).  Isn’t that nuts?

It was cute.  We talked shoes, and when I mentioned that I’d been having foot problems with arch blisters she immediately said, “Oh, you should get some New Balances, they have the widest toe boxes!”  And then I promptly whipped my new NBs out from under my desk and she gave them the appreciative runner’s once-over.  She also suggested putting Vaseline on the inside of my shoe if Body Glide doesn’t work!  Weird, but good to know.  She’s also run the race I’m running this weekend before and she says it’s lots and lots of turns so don’t expect a great time.  I officially want to be her best friend.   I like having co-workers I can geek out with about running stuff!

Anyway, thankfully today’s training plan was an “easy” day–two miles and cross training.  I was dragging by the time gym time came around.  I fueled up with a Key Lime Pie Larabar.

I am undecided on this flavor.  I think I liked it, but I couldn’t eat it every day.  It’s a good “once in a great while” bar, I think.

Then I went and ran two miles. I ran fast today and it felt good!  (Fast for me, anyway.)  Two miles in 19:05.  I got my favorite treadmill and just went for it.

My cross training was the walk back to my car.  Forgive me, Hal Higdon, for I have sinned.  I swear I will take Milhouse for an extra-long walk tonight.

Anyway, I’m planning on an early bedtime tonight and hopefully I’ll be a little perkier tomorrow!

How do you snap out of a tired funk?

Office Space

I felt like I was in some sort of bad office comedy today.

I woke up, got ready, and went to make coffee…and our Keurig’s broken.  It brews about an ounce of coffee then dies.  Suggestions?  I’m only a one-cup-a-day girl, but that one cup is crucial.

Then I got to work and figured out that one department’s been giving out my office’s phone number as a fax number on a form that HAS to be faxed in and was distributed to hundreds of people.  All morning, I kept answering my phone and getting fax machine noises.   At LEAST twenty times.  Frustrating.

And then it was lunchtime and I made some soup.  I think it was some kind of  Zesty Tomato I’d gotten before I got all the Progresso goodies?  It was nasty, emphasis on the ass.  Two small bites and I dumped it.  So, half my lunch literally went down the drain.

Thankfully, my snack stash came to the rescue.  Susan had mentioned these PowerBar Harvest bars to me awhile ago, and I’d bought one but hadn’t eaten it yet because it seemed too meal-like and calorie dense for me.  Which, thankfully is what I needed today.

It was good!  Very chewy and substantial.  I think I’d stash these in the meal-replacement/half-meal replacement bar category, but they’d be great for a breakfast on the road.

Then it was time to give the new shoes a spin.  I’m not going to lie, I was nervous.  It felt like a first date!  What if they were awkward and stiff and hurt my feet?  That’s $100 down the toilet right there.

Random: New Balance laces are SO LONG.  Also, I used Body Glide in both my arches.

But…my 3.5 miles went well!  At least shoe-wise.  My asthma was being crappy towards the end.  But 3.5 miles in 34:45!

Here are my random foot thoughts during the run:

  • Mile 0-1: This is comfortable!  Yeah!
  • Mile 1.5:  Hmm.  My shin is a little hurty.  (Flexes foot)  Better!
  • Mile 2:  Right foot is a little numb.  Hmm.  (Wiggles toes) Better!
  • Mile 3: My lungs suck.  But man, my feet feel great!

So, I’m reserving a little judgment just to be on the safe side, but I feel pretty good about these.  Then again, I felt good about the Sauconys at first, too…ugh.  We’ll see.  I have my first 10K on Sunday–that will be a big test!

Thank you all for your comments on the To Weigh or Not To Weigh post this morning.  (Lurkers too!) I think I’m going to stick with a roughly biweekly weighing schedule.   I’ll try to weigh myself twice a month.  I think that’s reasonable enough to help me stay on track, but not so much that I get stressed over it.

To keep with today’s theme-Lurkers (and old friends)–tell me about yourself!  What’s your name?  Where are you from?  Do you like pizza?

Manic Monday

This day has been kind of…all over the place.  I guess I’ll go chronologically.

I woke up this morning and on a whim decided to weigh myself.  In theory, three weeks ago I promise you I’d weigh in every Friday on the blog, but last Friday we were out of town so I didn’t.  Anyway, the last two times I’ve weighed myself I was 164.8 pounds.  This morning (and go figure, the Monday after Thanksgiving), I was 161.2, meaning somewhere in the last week and a half, I’ve lost 3.6 pounds.  Now, I know the scale fluctuates…but that is a pretty significant difference, so I hope it means at least a little something good.  I have been focusing on saying “no” and eating mindfully lately, so maybe that’s it.  Or, maybe my body wants more food?  Oh, who knows.

Then I got in the car.  My commute to work in the morning is half an hour, so I usually leave around 7:20 and get in the office around 7:50.  Well, a truck full of hydrochloric acid overturned on the bridge that connects me to work and suffice it to say, I didn’t get to work until 9:40 or so.  Worst.  Commute. Ever.  I had a few brief panic attacks, called T 3 times, and cried once.  (I’m a crier.  It’s a stress reaction.)

I sampled the Oikos strawberry at lunch, though, and that made me extremely happy.  I cannot think of a sophisticated way to describe this yogurt other than that it tastes like red gummi bears.  It is delicious.

Before stirring:

After stirring:


(Psst.  Don’t forget to enter my Oikos giveaway below!)

I worked all afternoon with a slight headache.  Since I couldn’t find the different Oikos flavors at my usual Super Target, I went to Hy-Vee yesterday.  Well, they have a MUCH better bar selection than my usual grocery store does.  And I went a little nuts.

Whoops.  At least bars don’t expire.

For my afternoon snack I chose a bar that combines two of my favorite things: almonds and coconut.  I am generally suspicious of bars that do not contain chocolate, but I figured I should give this one a try.  And oh my GOD am I glad I did.  This may skyrocket to the top 5 of my “favorite bars ever” list, which is a BIG DEAL.  It’s substantial and chewy and sweet but not TOO sweet.  Behold:

The only drawback is that these are pretty expensive…BUT, I think they’re sold at Starbucks, and I travel a lot on an expense account, so I know what I’ll be snacking on on the road now!

After my traffic nightmare, I needed a good workout.  I just wanted to run hard intervals for some reason, so I did.  Here’s the rundown (0% incline.  I get enough hills at home.):

  • 0-1:00: 5.5 mph
  • 1:00-2:00 6.0 mph
  • 2:00-3:00 6.5 mph
  • 3:00-4:00 7.0 mph
  • 4:00-5:00 7.5 mph
  • (Repeat above pattern 2 more times)
  • 15:00-16:00 5.0 mph
  • 16:00-17:00 6.0 mph
  • 17:00-18:00 6.2 mph
  • 18:00-19:00 6.5 mph
  • (Repeat the 6.0-6.5 pattern 2 more times)
  • 25:00-26:00 6.0 mph
  • 26:00-28:00 6.2 mph
  • 28:00-30:00 6.5 mph
  • Cool down

I don’t know why I don’t do intervals more often.  They make the time fly and I think they really do help with my speed.  It’s nice to run at an 8:00 pace and think, “hey, this isn’t so bad!”  For some reason, though, my shins were hurting a bit, which is weird because they didn’t hurt running outside this weekend.  Maybe something about the treadmill?

Anyway, by the time my workout had ended the traffic issue seemed to be resolved, although I did have to take an alternate route.  I came home to a lovely plate of roast chicken leftovers, plus cranberry sauce!

Love these little Christmas tree dishes.

What’s been your worst driving experience?

Bar Review

This post will be more fun than actual bar review, which I suffered through last summer and sucks a lot. Yuck!

I love bars.  I’ve always loved granola bars, but as I started looking more and more into nutrition I tried to figure out ways to make them work for me.  Here are some criteria I look for in a good bar:

  • Not just empty carbs.  A bar should have a fair amount of protein OR a fair amount of fat, both of which keep me fuller than carbs.
  • No high fructose corn syrup.
  • Pronounceable ingredients. (Sometimes I let this slide for the sake of a protein boost.)
  • Not sickly sweet, but still tasty
  • A few grams of fiber

Anyway, I consider myself a bar connoisseur.  Here’s a rundown of every bar I’ve ever eaten, the good, the bad, and the ugly!  (I have eaten a LOT of bars, so be warned!)

Clif Bar

Clif bars are a big, thick, hearty bar that are usually pretty calorie dense–240ish calories or so.  I generally eat them split in half for a snack or a whole one for a light breakfast on the go.  I find that they’re good pre-run fuel!  They are heavier on carbs and lower on protein, which is also good for that.  They also come in a handy mini size, which are great purse snacks.  Clif bars are practically indestructible–you can leave them in your purse for months and they’ll still be edible and mostly non-smashed.

Clif bar flavors I’ve tried:

  • Chocolate Chip (good! Like a chocolate chip cookie.)
  • White Chocolate Macadamia (so-so.  A little sickly sweet for me.)
  • Banana Nut (so-so.  Would be great warmed up with peanut butter!)
  • Crunchy Peanut Butter (good!  A basic, yummy peanut bar with chunks of peanuts.)
  • Chocolate Brownie (Second favorite!)
  • Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch (so-so.  A little too sweet.)
  • Chocolate Almond Fudge (LOVE.  This is my favorite flavor.  The almonds keep it from being too sweet.)

Luna Bars

When I was losing weight, I “treated” myself with a Luna Bar for dessert every night.  I loved them!  They are great refrigerated.  They’re a little less calorie dense than a Clif Bar and have more protein (about 180 calories/9 grams of protein per bar).  I burned out on them after about four months of eating one every single day and I’m just now getting to a point where I can eat them again.  Currently, I have the Luna minis in my desk (pictured below)–about 70 calories and perfect for a little bite when you need it.

Luna Bar flavors I’ve tried:

  • Nutz over Chocolate (so-so.  The “nutz” part doesn’t take particularly nutty to me.)
  • Caramel Nut Brownie (Second favorite!  Has a nice, thick layer of caramel on top.)
  • Chocolate Peppermint Stick (good!  Tastes like a Girl Scout Thin Mint.)
  • Lemon Zest (Barf.  This is one of few bars I’ve tried, taken a bite, and thrown away instantly.)
  • Dulce de Leche (so-so.  Very, very sweet.)
  • Peanut Butter Cookie (good! Has a very realistic peanut butter cookie flavor.)
  • Iced Oatmeal Cookie (good! If you like cinnamon and raisins, you’d love this.)
  • White Chocolate Macadamia (so-so.  Again, I’m just not a white chocolate fan.)
  • S’mores (so-so.  I burned out on it.)
  • Chocolate Raspberry (Favorite!  Typing this made me wish I had one.  I generally don’t like chocolate and raspberry together, either.)

Clif Builders Bars

These bars are high in calories and high in protein.  I ate them when I was doing lots of heavy weightlifting–3 or 4 days a week–and needed a huge protein boost.  They are very, very good as far as protein bars, but a bit pricey!

Clif Builder’s flavors I’ve tried:

  • Chocolate: Probably the best.  Basic, chocolate protein bar.  I like that all these bars have a little crunch to them!
  • Peanut butter: Also good.  Has a nice chocolate coating.  The PB flavor is a little fakey though.
  • Vanilla almond: Meh.  You’d like these if you liked white chocolate more than I do.

Clif Mojo Bars:

One of the pros of these bars is that they’re generally high in healthy fats from nuts, which I like.  When I track calories, I often find I don’t get enough fat and nuts are the way to go to balance that out.   They are around 200 calories and also have 9-10 grams of protein.  They are more of a trail mix type bar than a granola or protein bar, which is a nice change!

Clif Mojo bar flavors I’ve tried:

  • Mountain Mix: A basic trail mix bar with yummy chocolate chips.  This is awesome–pretzels, nuts, raisins and chocolate!
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly: This is a new flavor!  The bar is bright purple with a peanut butter coating on the bottom.  It’s really different, but I like it a lot.
  • Chocolate Peanut: Also good!

Clif Kids Z Bars

I prefer these bars to regular granola bars any day.  They are soft and chewy and taste incredibly decadent, and have 120-140 calories, a few grams of protein and a few grams of fiber.  They also rate high on the indestructibility scale–I can leave them in my purse, gym bag, or desk for months with minimal damage.

Z Bar Flavors I’ve tried:

  • Chocolate Brownie (LOVE!  My favorite.  Chewy and delicious with chocolate chunks)
  • Chocolate Chip (Also awesome.  Tastes like a chocolate chip cookie!)
  • Blueberry Muffin (Yet again, a winner.  Doesn’t quite taste like a blueberry muffin, but still yummy!)
  • Honey Graham (So-so–I like them, but they’re not my favorite.)
  • Peanut Butter (Pretty great.  I actually haven’t had a bad Z Bar yet!)

Zone Bars

Zone bars are based on the popular (and surprisingly, reasonable and healthy) Zone diet.  This means that they are 30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbs, which many people consider to be a perfect “macro split.”  They usually weigh in around 200 calories, and I like them for a pre-workout snack!  However, these are the most “artificial” tasting of any of the bars I’m reviewing, generally.  I like them, but they’re not my favorite.

Zone Bar flavors I’ve tried:

  • Chocolate Mint (yuck.  Not that great.)
  • Chocolate Coconut Crunch (Yum!  Probably my favorite.  I’m a sucker for chocolate and coconut together.)
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter (So-so.  Very sweet.)
  • Double Dark Chocolate (Yum!  Second favorite, probably?)
  • Dark Chocolate Almond (also good)
  • Chocolate Caramel Crunch (is still in my desk drawer!)

Balance Bars

First off–a bit of a warning.  Some Balance bars contain HFCS, so you have to read the ingredients on each flavor!  I’ve accidentally had a few with it in it, so be careful.  However, I do find these bars to be a really great protein bar with yummy flavors.  They are about 200 calories and have around 15 grams of protein.  They don’t particularly travel well because most of them have some kind of chocolate coating, which melts, and they are soft and smash easily.

Flavors of Balance Bars I’ve tried:

  • Almond Brownie (An acquired taste.  I do like them, though!  They are different from most bars and have a very chewy, almost fruit leathery texture.)
  • Mocha Chip (I hated this at first but after a few bites I was hooked.  It’s very dark and rich, so if you like that this is a good choice.)
  • Peanut Butter (Surprisingly, my favorite!  It’s a PB bar with PB coating and it tastes almost exactly like my aunt’s PB fudge.  If you like PB, this is the bar for you.)
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter (So-so.  A pretty basic protein bar.  Nothing special.)
  • Cookie Dough (I like these but don’t love them.  They’re really sweet, but do have a pretty good cookie dough flavor!)
  • Caramel Nut Blast (Love these.  They taste very, very similar to a Snickers bar!)
  • Bare Chocolate Cashew (These are a little different and basically Balance’s equivalent of a Larabar.  I love, love, love these too.  They have much more natural ingredients than most Balance bars and are still yummy and filling.  Thumbs up!)


Generally speaking, Larabars are a little low on the protein scale for me and high in carbs and sugar.  But, I like their flavors and I like that they’re totally natural.  They are hard to find in my area for some reason, unfortunately!

Larabar flavors I’ve tried:

  • Apple Pie (I don’t remember this one.  Sorry.  I know I’ve had it, though.  That should tell you something.)
  • Coconut Cream Pie (I love coconut so I had high hopes, but this was just way too sweet.)
  • Cashew Cookie (I like that it features cashews, but it’s pretty boring.)
  • Peanut Butter Cookie (So-so.  Pretty bland.)
  • Cherry Pie (mouth-puckeringly tart!  Way too much so.)
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly (Yum!  Second favorite.  The sweetness of the cherries nicely balances the less sweet flavor of the peanuts.)
  • Chocolate Coconut (Favorite!  Again, I’m a sucker for chocolate/coconut combo.)
  • Banana Bread (Not bad, would buy again.  Nice to have a banana bar that isn’t fakey tasting.)

Kashi Granola Bars

Kashi granola bars are kind of a lightweight.  They’re about 120-140 calories and usually have 4-6 grams of protein (which is pretty good).  They are not my favorite, BUT they do travel well and I pick them up when they’re on sale to have on hand.  Of note: these are the only bars I’ve found that go stale.  After opening the box, eat them within a month or so.  They get really dry and hard if you don’t!

Kashi bar flavors I’ve tried:

  • Peanut Peanut Butter (Like this.  It’s a very light peanut flavor.)
  • Chocolate Raspberry (Yum!  Not a big fan of chocolate/raspberry but this is a pretty good combo.)
  • Chocolate Coconut (These two are always a winner in my book.)
  • Cherry Dark Chocolate (My complaint about this bar is that if there’s no cherry chunk or dark chocolate in your bite, it tastes like nothing.  Otherwise it’s good.)
  • Trail Mix  (Blech.  These were totally flavorless.  I threw the box away.)
  • Mocha Almond (VERY strong coffee flavor, so if you’re not a coffee lover throw these away!  I liked them but I’m not sure if I’d buy them again.)
  • Honey Almond Flax (Good, but these taste quite different from the cereal.)

Okay, I think I’ll go nuts if I review another bar.  I’ve also tried several varieties of the Atkins bars, Pure Protein bars, a Bumble Bar, and a Bear Naked granola bar.  If anyone is dying for a review of any of these bars, let me know and I’ll do a bar review addendum!

One day left to enter my Thankful Tee Giveaway!

What’s your favorite bar?  Anything I should try that I’m missing out on? After reading Susan’s blog the last week, I’m going to pick up a Kind bar next time I see them in stores!

Fit bride fail?

Some days I do not feel like a fit bride.  Today is one of those days.

As you know, I’m in Chicago for a work related thingamajig.  Said thingamajig presented some interesting challenges.

Breakfast was a whole wheat bagel (okay) with a little bit of cream cheese (no big deal) on half with a bunch of fruit salad (great).

Lunch was my nightmare and I think part of the reason I sometimes panic-eat.  We were presented with an array of sandwiches, potato salad, fruit, and cookies.

The problem with this was me.  I am picky.  I have condiment issues.  MAJOR condiment issues.  (Tangent alert.)  When I was in grade school, I simply did not like ketchup because I thought it was gross looking (and still do).  It is red and gelatinous and icky.  Well, my classmates found out and thought it was HILARIOUS that I was so WEIRD.  And their response?  Open up ketchup packets at lunchtime and squirt the ketchup at me.  It would land on me, and my food, and I would freak out.  It was awful. Anyway, to this day I cannot eat condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, BBQ sauce) and I have an actual visceral fear of ketchup.  When someone is using a ketchup packet near me I want to vomit and run away and I sweat and my heart beats fast.  It is awful.

But anyway, let me backtrack.  Lunch.  These sandwiches?  Positively dripping with mayonnaise and various liquidy sauces.  Gross.  Potato salad?  Coated with mayo.  So, my lunch was a big plate of fruit, a Zone bar (eaten while hiding in the bathroom so I wouldn’t have to explain my condiment issues to people), and a cookie.

(P.S.: This bar kinda sucked.  I like the Zone dark chocolate ones much better.  This was super artificial.  Ick.)

Then we were stuck in Chicago traffic for two hours and now my flight is delayed so I won’t get home to Kansas City until 9 pm-ish, meaning that this will be, oh, a 13 hour work day.  I was planning on a healthy dinner and run or a workout DVD when I got home (which would have normally been at 6:30).

Instead I ate dinner at the airport with my co-workers.  I had a ginormous slice of cheese pizza because the healthy options looked like shite.  (Honestly, I swear, I was dying for a good salad—romaine, spinach, goat cheese, grilled chicken, dried cherries, and carrots with balsamic sounds heavenly to me right now).  I did at least manage to add a fruit cup to the side.  (Today’s theme is fruit salad, apparently.)  I did buy a food-related book to read, though!

Then, when I FINALLY got into KC,  I forgot where I parked my car and ended up crying on the phone to T, eventually finding my car, coming home and eating some leftover mac and cheese, wine, and ice cream.

Anyway, I’m feeling a bit down about it all.  I hate complaining and blaming things on my busy schedule, but…it’s been a hell of a day.

I think what makes me not a total fit bride fraud is that I felt bad about this all.  I WANTED to work out.  When I was sitting in the airport, I wanted nothing more than to be home with the dog running down my blog with a healthy dinner waiting at home.  Obviously, I have to work on my travel strategies…but, I know I can do this.  I know I can.  Tomorrow is a new day, and my lunch bag is packed with that awesome spinach/carrot/dried cherry/goat cheese/balsamic salad I’ve been craving, Greek yogurt and berries, and a slice of my souvenir bread.  Huzzah!

Anyway, I’m exhausted and cranky.  Good night!

What are your favorite foods to travel with?