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Raw Revolution Bar Review

Hii babes!

A while ago I received a box full of goodies from Raw Revolution. I have been eyeing their Organic Live Food Bars at Whole Foods and was ecstatic to finally try them out!!

These bars are vegan, uncooked, peanut-free, dairy-free, made with organic & sprouted flax seeds, preservative-free, kosher, contain no refined sugars, non GMO, contain omega 3 & omega 6 fatty acids, low sodium, cholesterol-free, contain up to 6g of fiber and 8g of protein, contain no artificial ingredients and are made with organic sunflower seeds. The owner of Raw Revolution is also a registered nurse and a natural foods chef (ahhh I would love to have her life!). These are the definition of a clean, au naturale, healthy snack!

soooo many flavas – original size, green superfoods, and 100 calorie size

greens superfood bars (ranging from 150-170 calories each)

Tropical Banana – Very prominent banana taste, so if you don’t like bananas I wouldn’t recommend this one! I loved it though.

Lemon Dew – My favorite of these three! Light and refreshing taste (refreshing is a weird word to describe a bar but I don’t know how else to describe it!)

Apple Cinnamon – Reminded me of a healthy version of apple pie!

Lemon Dew!

These were my favorite! I liked that they weren’t as high in calories as the original, came in more fruity flavors (surprising because I usually like chocolate flavored bars!), and had added green goodness like spirulina, kale, broccoli & wheat grass powder.

original size bars (ranging between 210-240 calories each)

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle – Not very sweet, barely there raspberry and chocolate taste.

Coconut Delight – Very nutty and had a sweet coconut flavor.

Chocolate Crave – Not my favorite, it was too bitter and rich for my liking.

Spirulina Dream – Tasted just like Golden Cashew but it was green!

Golden Cashew – My favorite flavor! Chewy, and just sweet enough.

Chocolate Coconut Bliss – Very dense, could be a little sweeter (it had a bitter flavor from the cocoa powder i think), and a light coconut flavor.

Heavenly Hazelnut Chocolate – I could definitely taste the hazelnuts but it was a little to bitter.

They also have two new flavors that I’d be interested in trying: Cherry Chocolate Chunk and Almond Butter Cup!

Heavenly Hazelnut Chocolate. Look at all those chunks of nuts and seeds!

100 calorie minis!

Cashew & Agave Nectar – Just like Golden Cashew!

Spirulina & Cashew – Same as Spirulina Dream!

Chocolate & Cashew – Not a fave, just like Chocolate Crave.

Chocolate & Coconut – Pretty good, similar to Chocolate Coconut Bliss. I like the first two of these the best though.

Cashew & Agave. A quick snack before the gym!

Spirulina & Cashew.

Chocolate & Coconut close-up! You can see the almonds and sunflower seeds in there.

All in all, these bars do live up to their healthy name, although the flavors were not particularly amazing. At least not enough to get me to spend $2+ per bar at the grocery store. If they were more in the $1-2 price range then I think I would buy Spirulina Dream and any of the Greens Superfood bars on occasion.

Thanks to Raw Revolution for letting me sample their products!

Have you guys tried any of their bars? Let me know what you think/thought!

xoxox

Kara

WIAW #14

Hellooo! It’s What I Ate Wednesday! Let’s get to it 🙂 Also a big thanks to Jen for hosting the partayyy over at peasandcrayons.com every week!

breakfast: a tone it up protein pancake with blueberry green tea slim life yogi tea on the side

Recipe found here 😉

This recipe is from Toneitup.com, my most recent obsession. It is a fitness/food blog by two friends, Karena and Katrina, both certified Personal Trainers and have designed their own nutrition plan and workout videos (a lot are free on their youtube channel). I absolutely love them! I heard about them in a Self magazine a few months ago and just recently started checking out their blog. They are such an inspiration (check out Katrina’s body transformation), are so genuine and have really helped motivate me to work for that beach bod I’ve always wanted. You should check out their blog if you haven’t already! They post free workout videos, recipes, motivational quotes, weekly check-ins, etc. They also have a store where they sell cute tank tops, lunch boxes, stickers…andddd they just launched their line of Beach Babe bathing suits (SOO cute! Right now they don’t sell sizes separately, so when they do, I will be ordering one…or two!)

crazy cute

or this one! and they’re reversible!

lunch: a yummy salad from Pluto’s with spinach, garbonzos, kidney beans, cukes, broccoli, mango, strawberries and almonds. with whole wheat bread!

A day full of shopping ensued…

kristin and i decided to go out on a limb and try on lipstick at the MAC counter (i never wear lipstick!). i am wearing their matte lipstick called “ruby woo” and she is wearing “creme de nude.” i ended up buying the red!! i can see a makeup tutorial in the near future..

After shopping (I bought the red lipstick and some cute jean shorts from Urban Outfitters), Kristin and I rushed home because we wanted to make it to a workout class at our gym called Chizzled. I snacked on a few grapes before dashing out the door.

Chizzled was a great workout! We did lots of squats and pushups. I’m feelin in already and I love it! We both ran 1 mile on the treadmill afterwards but were too tired to do any more :p.

dinner: ezekiel wrap with hummus, half a homemade black bean burger (recipe being perfected!), cukes, home grown sprouts, red bell peps, avocado, spinach, and baby kale. with a pink lady apple on the side and lots of H2O!!

After din, I hung out with two friends from high school, Alexis and Sheeva but we were too busy catching up on each other’s lives that we didn’t end up following through with our plans of watching Project X and eating popcorn with chocolate chips (our faveee). Oh well! Missin the rest of the fab five though, Hannah and Jordan who need to come home!!!

Questions of the day:

What’s your favorite red lipstick? Or nude? I would love to try out some cheap drugstore brands too!

What was the best thing you ate today?

xoxo,

Kara

p.s. I also noticed that I ate vegan today completely unintentionally! Maybe I am a true vegan at heart…

WIAW #12

Hi loves!

Happy hump day! It’s almost Friday! This week just flew by dontcha think?!

I haven’t done this in a while but today is WIAW, and I am taking part in the delicious food-fest over at Jenn’s adorable blog, Pea’s and Crayons! Thanks for hosting Jenn :)!

<center><a href=”http://www.peasandcrayons.com/&#8221; target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qddsgy21QHs/T3ZiNc9sjwI/AAAAAAAAFwk/AhxNjWpB4Y0/s1600/wiaw+serve+up+an+extra+cup+button.jpg&#8221; /></a></center>

For breakfast I felt like trying something new so I made (never home) maker’s hearty pecan chip micro muffin! But instead of pecans I used dried cranberries and instead of whole wheat flour I made it gluten free and used brown rice flour and gluten free oats (I’m not gluten free but my roommate/bff is and I wanted her to be able to try it out too!).

my very first micro muffin!

It was delicious, but I made the mistake of adding too much stevia to the peanut sauce so it was like sweetness overload and for some reason I just can’t handle overly sweet things in the morning. I think next time I’ll make the muffin with pecans and dried cranberries or add less chocolate chips!

In between classes, I snacked on a pink lady apple but forgot to take a picture. You guys are really missing out..what an interesting picture that would have been 😉 but it was crunchy and delish!

After a cardio chisel and spin class today I was starvinnn! Don’t get in between me and the refrigerator…you’ll get hurt hehe.

wrap time!

I sauteed some mushrooms in coconut oil, added 3 scrambled egg whites and some herbs de provence! I laid that mixture on a bed of spinach on top of a La Tortilla Factory Smart and Delicious tortilla and chopped up red bell pepper, a low sodium slice of turkey from TJ’s and feta. Loooooved it.

new favorite bars!!!

Snack time. These are literally too good to be true. I am obsessed. I want to try out every flavor! Or find out a way to make my own because there’s no way I can afford having one a day haha! #poorcollegehealthnutproblems

vegetarian lettuce wraps!

My roommate, Elana’s mom signed us up to get a box of all organic veggies from local farms delivered to our doorstep. The goods showed up this week! But unfortunately I was too excited I forgot to snap a picture! A big thank you to Nina for getting this for us!!!! 🙂 The lettuce, onion and red bell pepper in the lettuce wraps were from the box. If you’re interested in participating in this and supporting your local farmers visit the website itsorganicdelivery.com for more info!! A couple strange looking radish/parsnip looking things were in the box as well as a vegetable called Kohlrabi. We’re not sure what to do with that yet!

To make the lettuce wraps we sauteed half a white onion with two cloves of garlic in about one tablespoon sesame oil. Then we added in chopped bell pepper (about a half of one), one grated carrot, celery, and one package & a half of TJ’s baked tofu. Bragg’s liquid aminos was used to give it some more flava! I whipped up some dipping sauce with one heaping tablespoon of raw almond butter, about 2 tablespoons liquid aminos, the juice of half a lime, one tablespoon agave, and a little bit of ground chia seeds to thicken it out.

topped with some peanuts for crunch and a squeeze of lime!

This dinner was sooo easy and delicious. Plus it’s pretty low calorie, gluten free and is filling! Elana and I were proud of ourselves and we even made enough for leftovers :).

I needed a little something sweet to end the day off right so I made some hot chocolate!

would you like some almond milk with that cocoa powder?!

Although, I accidentally dumped too much cocoa powder into my mug so it was more like clumps of cocoa powder floating in almond milk. Yuck. I had to doctor it up a bit, add some water to thin it out and stir it a ton for it to finally be drinkable! I didn’t take a picture of the final product though…ugh! I added a few drops of liquid stevia and cinnamon and it was delicious end to my night of studying!

Hope you guys had a fabulous day! I hope it’s sunny tomorrow here so I can go for a nice run outside!!

missin this face.

I get to see Lily again this weekend! Soo excited.

xoxo,

Kara

WIAW #11

Hiii loves!

Okay so I’ve literally been the worst blogger ever. I’ve missed you guys! How are ya?!

I am proud to announce, I survived the two weeks of being vegan! Sorry for the lack of posts of what I ate, I have one coming up! Since then, I’ve been still eating vegan at home, although I went out to eat a couple days ago and I ordered chicken. I also made catfish for the boyf the other night (it was delish, recipe to come). The hardest thing to live without has definitely been cheese, and vegan cheese really doesn’t compare unfortunately.

After being vegan for 2+ weeks, I didn’t feel much different (I think it’s because I didn’t eat that much meat and dairy to begin with) and I’ve maintained the same weight. As of right now, I’ve decided that I will eat mostly vegan, but occasionally have some cheese, chicken or fish if I want when I eat out or am really craving it.

Today, I ate vegan!

Let’s see what it was….

pre-cooked quinoa (instead of oats! highly recommend!!) with half a banana, vanilla almond milk, cinnamon and topped with banana walnut brulee (recipe to follow).

Banana Walnut Brulee

serves 2

Ingredients:

1/2 c walnuts

1 T agave (can also use honey or maple syrup)

1/4 t cinnamon

tiny dash vanilla extract

1/2 banana, chopped

dash of cayenne

cooking spray

Directions:

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and set it to medium-high heat. In a separate bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Add to skillet and let it saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat, and add to whatever you like!

On Wednesday’s I have five classes, including a 3 hour biology lab, so I don’t have much time to eat! I practically swallowed a whole smoothie in one gulp as I ran after the bus on the way to my next class…..

green smoothie with spinach, spirulina powder, half a frozen banana, frozen mango topped with homemade granola. sorry for the awful photo, again, i was in a rush!

I came home ravishing (remind me to pack a snack next Wednesday gahhhhhh!) and fixed that with this:

mary's crackers, tj's hummus and bolani pesto while making dinner

some nasty looking black bean soup (my recipe with added carrots and onions) and angela @ ohsheglows dinosaur dill crunch salad (made with curly kale instead of dinosaur kale) - pretty good! i think i needed to let the kale marinate in the dressing a little longer, it was a hard to chew and i'm not used to eating it raw.

And of course……

best. dessert. ever. almond breeze vanilla ice cream with blueberries and homemade chocolate sauce (cocoa powder, agave, and a little splash of almond milk!). sweet tooth satisfied.

Yum!!!!

Okay off to do some Stats homework and read pages and pages in my Biology book! Soooo freakin excited.

LOVEEEEEESYAA

Kara

vegan eats

Hi babydolls!

Sorry I’ve been MIA for quite a while…the quarter just started Monday so I’ve been figuring out my classes and catching up with friends I haven’t seen in a whole month!

My vegan diet has been going well so far, I have completed a week plus two days now! Surprisingly finding things to eat has been easy, although I’ve had to get a little more creative and do some planning ahead of time.

When I was at home, my sister and mom had some delicious looking (and smelling!) cheesy pesto bread with their dinner and I would have loved a big bite of it, but I told myself that I couldn’t give in quite yet. I do reallllly really miss cheese and eggs, but I’ve had no cravings for meat so far!

As of now, my thoughts about this whole vegan ordeal is that I do not want to deprive my body of anything it craves. If after 2 weeks I’m craving cheese or eggs, I will allow my body some cheese and eggs! There’s no sense in torturing and depriving myself.

Now I’ll let ya guys in on what I’ve been eating lately ;).

sprouted whole wheat toast with ab & pb and fresh berries. my mouth is watering just looking at those berries right now! get in mah belly.

i tried an amy's indian spinach tofu wrap. it was perfect for a quick and delicious small meal!

portobello mushroom burger/sandwich with all the fixins and sauteed green beans with hazelnuts.

crocodile crunch from alicia silverstone's "the kind diet." 1 t spirulina, ~3/4 T almond milk, ~3/4 T orange juice, ~3/4 T maple syrup, 1 t almond butter. mix sauce and pour over fresh fruit and coconut. top with kamut puffs, granola or whatever cereal you like! beware: this looks gross (I mean it issss green) but it's actually DELICIOUS and may turn your teeth temporarily green hehe.

sauteed vegetables, tempeh, and lentil & bean mix.

butternut squash and vegetable curry over brown rice and topped with coconut and roasted almonds & cashews (in bragg liquid aminos)

the. best. pancakes. EVER. (recipe coming soon!)

quinoa bowl with veggies, salsa and cilantro jalapeno hummus (found at TJs).

kale, tempeh and wild rice!

green beans and asparagus over brown rice with Mama Pea's "mmm" sauce drizzled on top!

snacky dinner! butternut squash soup, veggies & crackers (Marys crackers and Flackers) to dip in hummus and salsa. and a sliced apple!

So there ya have it! Not exactly everything I’ve been eating lately, but a summary! Today, I had a delicious falafel pita sandwich with cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, hummus and tahini sauce from a Mediterranean cafe. I’m determined to recreate it. And tonight I think I’ll make some overnight oats for tomorrow’s breakfast! Mmmm.

Hope you all had a fabulous week!

xoxo,

Kara

WIAW #10 and day one of being a vegan!

“Let food be thy medicine.” – Hippocrates

After watching the nutrition documentary, Forks Over Knives last night, the above quote stuck with me. In the movie, (which you should watch if you haven’t!) two doctors show patients who are suffering from conditions like heart disease and diabetes how diet is the best medicine. These two admirable doctors both found that these types of diseases and some forms of cancer can be prevented, and sometimes reversed, by adopting a “whole-foods, plant-based diet.” What I found most astonishing was a study with rats. They fed the rats a diet of 20% casein (the main protein found in dairy products), then 5% casein, switching off between the two levels of protein for a period of time and observing the effects of this dietary change on the rat’s cancer cells. There was a dramatic drop in cancerous growths in the rats that were fed a diet of 5% casein rather than 20%.

I’ve always thought about going vegan but never actually went through with it. I was vegetarian for about a year, but then felt like I wasn’t getting enough protein in my diet and went back to eating meat. Forks Over Knives completely shocked me, I had no idea animal products can actually induce cancer cells! I still want to do some more research before fully committing to veganism, though. I realize that eventually I am going to die someday (sorry to be so blunt) whether that be old age, cancer, or disease…and in recent research it seems like everything causes cancer – parabens found in lotion, hair dyes, chemicals in makeup, sodium lauryl sulfate found in shampoos and toothpaste, aluminum based deodorants, non- organic fruits and vegetables, plastic water bottles, microwaves….I could go on and on. I think that if we live our lives fearing everything that causes cancer in the world, we will end up becoming complete crazies hiding from life.

Okay, but now I am going to contradict myself because even though I can’t prevent cancer entirely, it’s worth a shot. Plus, I’ve always been intrigued by the vegan diet so I figured why not try it if it won’t hurtcha?!

My goal is to try being vegan for 2 weeks and see if there are any changes in how I feel. In the movie, the real life patients boasted feeling more energetic and had no need for medications. (My dream!! A world of barely any prescription drugs..which only cure the symptoms not the actual disease or sickness itself, and more homeopathic remedies! But maybe I am crazy.) In the vegan cookbook called The Kind Diet, Alicia Silverstein (who’s prego if you didn’t know!!) also expressed feeling more energetic on the vegan diet as well as having her acne clear up. I wouldn’t mind feeling more energetic and having completely clear skin, but those are not my main reasons for trying veganism, I simply want to try it to see how it affects me. Who knows, in two weeks I may feel no different and be back to eating how I was, or I may continue down the road of being a vegan. Thanks to Forks Over Knives my life could be entirely changed after this.

I do have a few concerns:

1) The Forks Over Knives diet rules out most fats (even the healthy ones like avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds!). I CANNOT DO WITHOUT FAT. Soo I will be eating plenty of that in my new vegan diet.

2) I’ve gotten over the stage of caring what people think of me, but being the odd one out is never fun. Thank goodness my friend Cat (also a Nutrition Science major and the one who told me about this movie!!) agreed to try veganism with me. It is definitely going to be hard ordering at restaurants, eating with friends and attending family events. I’m sure we’ll get plenty of weird looks and questions like “so why exactly are you vegan?” or  “you’re one of those animal rights activists aren’t you?” or  “you don’t eat any cheese or meat?!” or “how do you live?!”

3) My last concern is gaining weight. I love peanut butter as you all know, nuts, seeds, avocado…which are all fat and high in calories. Good fat, but must be eaten in moderation. I’m worried that I might overdo it on those (I loooove trail mix and can eat a whole bag easily) out of boredom of the other foods I’m eating and end up actually gaining weight rather than losing pounds or maintaining my weight.

But I’m going to try not to worry about all that and enjoy my 2 (or more) weeks of being vegan!!

So here goes my first WIAW as a vegan.

Breakfast…

oatmeal made with oats, banana, cinnamon, and chia seeds topped with almond milk, strawberries and almonds

and a cup of the best tea ever.

Lunch…

black bean soup and sauteed green beans & spinach

Black Bean Soup

serves 3

Ingredients:

2 cans black beans, drained

1 c salsa

1 t cumin

1 1/2 c low sodium vegetable broth

Directions:

Put first three ingredients in food processor until you get your desired constituency (chunky or smooth). Then heat in a saucepan and mix in the vegetable broth. Top with green onion, avocado, salsa, etc!

yummmmy, quick and so easy!

cuddle time with my babyy

Snack…

apple cupcakes...sort of!

I used this recipe for high protein chocolate pudding on the left apple, but used cocoa powder instead of carob, and used cocoa liquid stevia instead of maple syrup.

high protein chocolate pudding on the left topped with dried cranberries and pepitas, the right topped with peanut butter and cacao nibs!

Dinner…

nutty israeli couscous!

Nutty Israeli Couscous with Arugula, Butternut Squash and Sage

serves 4

Ingredients:

1 1/3 c Israeli couscous (also called pearl couscous)

1 3/4 c water

1 T EVOO + more for sauteeing and drizzling

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

5-6 fresh sage leaves, chopped

1/2 a butternut squash

1/4 c pecans

2 handfuls of arugula (or any other leafy green you like)

Balsamic vinegar

s & p

Directions:

Pierce butternut squash with a fork or knife a couple times so that air can escape while in the microwave. Nuke for 10 minutes, cut in half and let cool. Meanwhile, in a 2 quart saucepan, saute 1 1/3 c couscous with 1 T EVOO over medium heat until the couscous is lightly browned. This takes about 5 minutes. Slowly add 1 3/4 c water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for about 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove the rind of the butternut squash (I found it easiest to cut off the rind with a knife, but maybe you could try using a peeler?) and cut it into cubes. In a large frying pan set to medium heat drizzle some EVOO and add the chopped shallot, minced garlic and chopped sage leaves. Saute until the shallot is almost transparent. Mix in the pecans and saute some more, but make sure to not burn the nuts. By now the couscous should be finishing up, so turn off the heat, add a generous drizzle of EVOO and s & p. Then, add the butternut squash to the frying pan and cover. After about 3 minutes the butternut squash should be tender and aromatic. Now add the 2 handfuls of arugula, mix until wilted. Turn off the heat. Fold the butternut squash mixture into the saucepan with the couscous. Drizzle some balsamic, taste it and adjust how much s & p you would like. Enjoy!

filling and delicious!

Wahoo I survived my first day as a vegan! And it wasn’t as hard as I thought :)!

xoxo

Kara

it’s been a while…hello WIAW! and thanksgiving recap.

Hi lovelies! Hope everyone had a delicious and memorable Thanksgiving. I know I sure did! It was full of nomzzz and my favorite people. Here’s a quick photo recap before I get into what I ate today…ahem…yesterday….

from left to right: turkey, stuffing for the vegs, stuffing for the carnivores, mashed sweet potatoes

roasted potatoes, green beans with slivered almonds, steamed brussel sprouts, carrots, and two weirdos...

the table all set up and plates of my grandma's deeelicious salad

my plate! mmmm drooling

time to eat!

hey grandpa, smile!

Unfortunately I couldn’t wait to dig into the dessert that I didn’t take a picture, but I had a huge slice of apple AND pumpkin pecan pie. And an even bigger scoop of vanilla ice cream, obviously. Oh baybayyyyy.

lil miss cooksters aka the vacuum cleaner hiding under the table

modeling, the ushe.

i got it from my momma.

And that ends the Thanksgiving recap! I wish I had taken more pictures. The yummy cheeses for our cheese + cracker appetizer were placed on colorful fall leaves from the backyard, Kristin and I made the flower centerpieces, and the gravy transformed from a lumpy mess to pure deliciousness! (Secret ingredient(s): everything in the kitchen. Cornstarch? Check. Whiskey? Check. Beer? Check.) Shhh I didn’t tell you that. Anywhoo, I sucked at taking pictures on Thanksgiving. End of story.

Onwards!

Breakfast on this gloomy/foggy/horror-movie-esque day was:

smoothie in a bowl topped with oats, walnuts, raw almonds and cacao nibs!

Late lunch was:

tj's collard greens mix sauteed in EVOO and sliced garlic + tj's chile lime chicken burger + H2O on a cute urban outfitters coaster (gotta stay hydrated!)

Snack was: My favorite kind of apple. A Pink Lady! Mmmm sweet and tart!

Din din was:

tempeh veggie brown fried rice. i used tj's stir fry veggies, tj's 3-grain tempeh, handful of collard greens, an egg, sesame oil and braggs liquid aminos! topped with sesame seeds and grated ginger.

No workout today. Instead I studied and consumed large quantities of these:

can't. stop. eating. them. hoomygod.

Later….after hours of studying (finals week coming up!) slash online shopping slash blog stalking…the roomies and I came up with a brilliant idea.

to mix the best two things on earth: chocolate and peanut butter.

Anyone confused by Skippy’s “Natural” label? I would think natural would mean peanuts and maybe  salt, but the ingredients also include palm oil and sugar. What’s different about this and regular Skippy?!

anyone down for a late-night chocolate fondue party?!

We made chocolate fondue by microwaving chocolate chips for 1 minute, and made pb chocolate fondue (lighter one on the left) by mixing a huge scoop of pb into another bowl of microwaved choco chips. The featured dippers: frozen strawberries (ehh, not as good as they sounded), bananas, almonds, brown rice cakes, and sliced apples!

the ugly frozen strawberries were not popular.

Sugar highhhhhh + studying = success?!

On another note, I painted my nails today! Aka procrastination at it’s finest. You can’t do anything but sit there and wait for them to dry :).

still goin strong with the ring-finger-a-different-color trend!

Ring finger color: Urban Outfitters Chrome Pewter 1. Other fingers: OPI Russian Navy.

I hear navy nail polish is the new black ;). What do you think? My roommate says it reminds her of a robot. Haha. I think it also looks wintery..?!

Off to bed! I have a midterm tomorrow morning.

YAY.

xoxoxxoxo,

Kara