Sweat It Out With a Protein-Packed Snack Attack

There’s a 50/50 chance I might’ve *casually* mentioned once—maaaaybe twice—that I’m getting married in the near future. 160 days if you wanna get technical, but who’s counting?

Although I don’t buy into that stereotypical “wedding workout” mentality (fitness is a lifestyle, not some Must. Drop. Two. Dress. Sizes. For. The. Big. Day. thing), exercise does have a prominent place in my routine. That would still be true regardless of this whole bride-to-be caveat…but extra motivation a la Alfred Angelo never hurts either!

post pure barre

That time I dragged the (almost) hubs to Pure Barre…Couples who sweat together stay together, dontcha know!

Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not just about turning heads on your walk down the aisle or rocking that honeymoon bikini you’ve ogled for months. Exercise relieves stress (pre-wedding jitters, anyone?), boosts productivity (those guest lists aren’t gonna write themselves!), and influences even more healthy habits too.

Like eating. A.K.A. the other part of this wellness equation. In order to sustain physical activity, our bodies need fuel. Mainly protein-dense fuel which promotes muscular development, strength and endurance, so we can keep moving for longer periods of time. Fact: no snacking repertoire—for pre-workout energy or post-workout recovery—is complete without this nutritional powerhouse.

Think raw almonds, steamed edamame, roasted chickpeas, hard-boiled eggs, sunflower seeds, plain Greek yogurt and nut butters, for example. Or, need some further “nom”spiration? (Just invented a new word. No biggie.) Check out my Sweat Sesh Snack Attack go-tos for your protein loading pleasure!

protein post-workout snacks

Whether you’re #SweatingForTheWedding or craving a healthier alternative to Cool Ranch Doritos, these mindful munchies just reinvented snacktime. Yup…don’t underestimate the power of protein. This bride-to-be has spoken.

*For even more ideas, recipes and tidbits to pack your diet with protein,  Nuts.com  has you covered!


So, What’s the Deal With that “Buddha Bowl” Bandwagon?

Lately, my entire Pinterest feed has turned into one continuous love letter to the gloriousness that is a Buddha Bowl. I’ve been hearing this term used more and more in wellness circles, but it’s taken me awhile to join the “Buddha Bowl Bandwagon.” Well, until last weekend anyway.

On a random Saturday night, the fiancé and I were embroiled in our usual debate: should we make dinner reservations, grab some take-out, or just raid the fridge? Laziness won out (’cause my spirit animal is a 65-year-old in threadbare sweats who calls “lights out” before 10pm), so we settled on Option #3. Then, inspiration struck—Hey…I’ll make one of those Buddha Bowl things!

So, through trial-and-error, I debunked the basic formula and concocted my own variation. And now that I’ve graduated from Buddha Bowl virgin to Buddha Bowl addict, I’m passing this formula along to you.

(WARNING: contents might cause obsession!)

how to make a buddha bowl

1.   Building Blocks—What Components Will You Need?

  • The Base: choose a whole grain like quinoa, brown rice, bulgur, wheatberry or farro.
  • The Greens: choose leafy greens like spinach, kale, arugula, chard or watercress.
  • The Protein: choose a plant-based protein like chickpeas, almonds, beans, tempeh or tofu.
  • The Extras: choose veggies like sweet potato, broccoli, asparagus, carrots or avocado (okay…not a veggie, but still delish).
  • The Dressing: choose a sauce like the flavor bomb pictured above. Wanna make it? Then, stay tuned…

2.   Assembly Required—How Do You Put It All Together?

  • The First Layer: cook the whole grains according to their package instructions, then spread onto the bottom of your bowl.
  • The Second Layer: arrange a handful of leafy greens over the whole grain base.
  • The Third Layer: oven roast the protein source (or, leave raw if desired and safe to consume), then arrange over the leafy greens.
  • The Fourth Layer: steam the veggies until tender, then arrange over the leafy greens.
  • The Top Layer: drizzle the sauce to evenly coat the veggies. Oh, and here’s that recipe I hinted at earlier…blend together 1 red pepper,       1 garlic clove2 tbsp. lemon juice1 tbsp. olive oil1/2 tsp. paprika1/4 tsp. turmeric1/4 tsp. coriander and 1/4 tsp. cumin. Viola!
buddha bowl finished product

couldn’t resist posting ANOTHER shot of my finished product in all its glory

Alrighty. That’s the gameplan, people. So, welcome aboard that Buddha Bowl Bandwagon—where dinnertime dilemmas have met their match!

New Year. New You. New Fuel! {Product Review}

So…you might’ve noticed something different about the calendar by now. Hint: the date no longer reads “2015.” (Of course, I can never get my years straight, so if you cashed a check from me recently, just scribble out that “15” part. Sorry, Mom.)

But enough about my haphazard record keeping skills. 2016 has officially taken up residence for the next 52 weeks, which — for most people — signals that dreaded New Year’s Resolution season.

Based on The Journal of Clinical Psychology, about 66% of resolution makers center their goals around fitness and nutrition. However, 73% will soon fall victim to burnout.

The take-away? Don’t become another statistic.

Whether you’re planning a dietary overhaul or just curbing a junk food fetish, Manitoba Harvest has the ideal snack time solution. Your 2016 self-improvement list never tasted more delectable.

Introducing (drumroll, please)…

manitoba harvest fueled by hemp

image courtesy of Manitoba Harvest

Fuel this year with the natural protein power of hemp, and healthy eating will become a no-brainer!

These conveniently portioned nibbles support your active lifestyle with nutritious fuel anytime of day. From a portable office snack to a workout energy boost to an after-dinner treat, hemp heart bars offer on-the-go versatility to balance out that busy schedule.

Behold, the health benefits of each 45-gram serving…

The Breakdown:

10 grams Plant-Based Protein

10 grams Omega Fatty Acids

> 10 grams Sugar

Vegan & Non-GMO

The Flavor Profile:

chocolate hemp bar flavor


240 Calories Per Bar — I’m generally not a proponent of calorie counting, but in case you wanna know, there’s your answer.

Natural Ingredients — hemp hearts, organic brown rice syrup, organic coconut palm sugar, organic cocoa mass, organic dutch-process cocoa, organic chocolate flavor, pectin, organic sunflower oil, rosemary extract

My Verdict — All the buttery richness I expect from a chocolate cravings crusher. No complaints from this choco-holic!

apple cinnamon hemp bar flavor


230 Calories Per Bar — Blah, blah, blah. You’ve heard my calorie counting spiel, so I’ll leave this here for curiosity’s sake.

Natural Ingredients —  hemp hearts, organic coconut palm sugar, dried apple, cinnamon, organic apple flavor, organic brown rice syrup, pectin, organic sunflower oil, organic caramel flavor, rosemary extract

My Verdict — I’m just not ready to kiss fall flavors goodbye, and this delivers all the spicy seasonal warmth  of a classic apple pie. Seconds, please!

vanilla hemp bar flavor


240 Calories Per Bar — Yeah…I’ll get off my soapbox now. It’s packed with nutrients, that’s all you gotta know.

Natural Ingredients — hemp hearts, organic coconut palm sugar, organic brown rice syrup, organic vanilla flavor, sea salt, pectin, organic sunflower oil, rosemary extract

My Verdict — Distinctly floral and aromatic with a hint of earthiness. The consummate sweet tooth satisfier, in my taste bud’s opinion!


Wanna try this deliciousness for free? Then, enter the “Fueled By Hemp” social media photo contest! Tag #sweatpink #hempheartbar #fueledbyhemp @manitobaharvest @fitapproach for a chance to win your favorite flavor. The posts don’t need to include Manitoba Harvest products, but of course, it’s fabulous if they do!

Check out the full contest details here. Open to U.S. and Canada residents. Or, if you need instant hemp gratification (which…understandable!), order online using the discount code hhbarlaunch1016 for 15% off your purchase (Expires 3/31/2016).

manitoba harvest hemp heart bars

image courtesy of Manitoba Harvest


Why Your Body Could Use a Healthy Protein Boost {Infographic}

If you’ve ever researched the health and fitness industry, you probably know how much conflicting data exists in that minefield of information.

On every website, self-appointed nutrition gurus peddle superfood products, fitspiration tips and wellness insight. But with all these contradictory “expert” opinions, it’s tough determining right versus wrong.

Today’s hot debate revolves around high protein diets, and whether they are beneficial or detrimental to your health.

First, it’s worth noting that this term often refers to a bodybuilder’s average protein intake, which can exceed 400 grams per day. Bodybuilding supplements help achieve this objective, but that amount is unnecessary for people working toward routine fitness goals.

Therefore, the data referenced in this infographic explores numerous health benefits from eating 1–1.5 protein grams per pound of body weight. Consuming this target amount, while maintaining a balanced and nutrient-dense diet, will help yield the results shown below.

health benefits of a high protein diet

Note: The majority of your protein should come from various whole food sources, rather than relying solely on supplements.

Special thanks to Bodybuilding Warehouse for providing the research, content and infographic for this post.