Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kretschmer Wheat Germ Review and Giveaway

My favorite meal of the day, without a doubt, is breakfast. It’s one meal that I always enjoy, even when I am trying to watch my calories. I feel like I can always find satisfying things to eat without depriving myself, and it always tastes good! I typically eat the same types of things for breakfasts, and if I find a new one that I like I’ll eat it every day for weeks before switching to something different. One of my latest kicks has been this:


I found this pumpkin streusel bread at Target last week and I’ve been eating it almost every day. Surprisingly, I’ve been able to make it last a week already and I still have some left! That’s definitely an accomplishment.


I’ve been eating it with two scrambled eggs and a piece of fruit.


(so excited that pears are finally in season again – I’m obsessed!)

Another breakfast favorite of mine as of late is a new overnight oats recipe that I threw together one night and turned out to be the best batch of overnight oats I’ve ever made!


The oats were inspired by a couple of new products I was given the opportunity to review. A few weeks ago I received an email from Kelsey at 360 PR asking if I’d be interested in sampling some Kretschmer Wheat Germ.


In her email, Kelsey stated that wheat germ is a “versatile and often overlooked ingredient that gives recipes a nutritional boost.” I had never tried wheat germ before and didn’t know much about it, so I checked out the website for some more information. Here are some facts about this superfood:

  • Wheat germ is derived from the most nutrient-rich part of the wheat kernel and is loaded with B vitamins, vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc
  • Even though it’s the most nutritious part of the wheat kernel, it is left out when wheat is processed to white flour
  • The germ makes up only 2.5% of the wheat grain. It takes 50 pounds of wheat to produce one pound of wheat germ!
  • Wheat germ has a unique crunch and a slightly nutty flavor, and it makes a healthy addition to tons of recipes

Kelsey sent me a couple of coupons to sample the wheat germ for myself (although I couldn’t find the honey crunch flavor – bummer!), as well as some coupons for some Stonyfield Oikos Greek yogurt. I picked up a couple of traditional fruit flavors, but got excited when I saw this one:


Chocolate yogurt?! Sign me up!

The chocolate yogurt is what inspired me to whip together some chocolate peanut butter overnight oats.


I mixed 1/2 cup oats, the yogurt, a spoonful of peanut butter, and a splash of milk and let it sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, I topped it with two tablespoons of wheat germ and stirred it all up.


It was very good! I like a little crunch in my yogurt bowls and overnight oats, and the wheat germ added the perfect amount. The taste was mild, but slightly nutty, and blended well with the other flavors. Like I said, this has become one of my new favorite breakfasts!

I also tried the wheat germ while cooking dinner on Monday night. I prepared some Panko breaded chicken and added a few tablespoons of wheat germ to the bread crumb mixture.


I pan fried the chicken for a couple of minutes before baking it in the oven.


To be honest, I couldn’t really taste the wheat germ in this recipe but I liked that it added an extra nutritional boost. It really is quite versatile and I’ve found myself using it a lot more often than I thought I would. I still have one more coupon to use, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to find some of the honey crunch flavored wheat germ!

For those who are interested, here are the nutrition stats on the wheat germ:


Curious to try some for yourself? Well, you can! Kelsey offered to send a reader a coupon for a free jar of Kretschmer Wheat Germ, as well as a Stonyfield Oikos coupon as well. To enter, leave a comment telling me your favorite thing to eat for breakfast. For an extra entry, you can like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway! Be sure to leave an extra comment on this post letting me know that you did. I’ll pick a random winner on Monday, December 2nd. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Great Weekend (Plus a New Exercise Find)

Good morning!

Man, I did not want to go back to work yesterday. I had such a fantastic weekend and I didn’t want it to end! We really didn’t even do that much, but it was so great having Eric here for four days and I hated seeing him go on Sunday. Ah well, such is life. I keep telling myself that *hopefully* this long distance thing is only temporary, but we’ll just have to see how things play out. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration, and unfortunately nothing is going to change for a little while so I might as well make the best of it. Right? Right!

On Saturday, we started the day off with a workout at my apartment gym. It’s been a few months since I’ve made a visit there since I have a gym membership at another full sized gym, but I was super impressed with what I saw when I walked in. Not only did they replace all of the treadmills with more modern treadmills with cable television, but they got two new stationary/spin bikes that are awesome.


The bikes are Expresso Interactive Upright Exercise Bikes and they are so cool. They have an interactive touch screen that lets you choose specific bike courses, and as you ride they difficulty level changes with elevation. There are gears on the handlebars, and you also turn the handlebars as you ride. I also noticed that the pedals have clips on the bottom for clipless bike shoes. I am definitely going to try these out!

While riding, the monitor displays your current and average pace, heart rate, RPMs, distance, and the location of your pacer.


You can also create a User ID to keep track of all of your rides. Apparently you can also link them up with My Fitness Pal, too! That would be a great way to keep track of your daily workouts and calorie burns.


I loved riding this bike and I got such a good workout in. The course I selected was a challenging one and had tons of hills. The entire course was either up or down – there was never any flat parts! I have a feeling this is going to be my new go-to cardio machine. I love it!

After our workout Eric and I met my parents for lunch before hitting the local shops downtown to do some Christmas shopping and support Small Business Saturday. We also caught an afternoon movie (we saw Life of Pi – what an intense movie!), and then ordered some Chinese food to enjoy at home for dinner.


We had quite the spread! I got a couple of sushi rolls for me, and Eric ordered General Tso’s chicken.


Plus crab rangoons and pot stickers to share.


Everything was delicious and we scarfed it down. Such a fun day!

On Sunday we went to church and then met up with a friend for lunch before Eric got on the road to head back to Lansing. I spent the rest of the day doing some Christmas decorating


(A kitten-proof tree is one that’s outside Winking smile)

plus grocery shopping and meal planning for the week. I tell you what, I am feeling super motivated this week on the whole weight-loss front. I’m becoming pretty disgusted with the way I look in my pictures, and I am tired of my clothes not fitting. My weight gain is getting out of hand and it’s time to do something about it. This week, my goals are to get all my workouts in, cut down on the carbs at dinner, and quit eating so many after dinner snacks. Check out this plate of healthyness:


That was my dinner on Sunday night, minus three clementines that I had for dessert. Shrimp seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder; plus green beans on the side.


The shrimp was tasty, but next time remind me to stick to fresh green beans. Frozen, microwaveable ones = not so good…


Let’s hope I can keep this momentum going!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Traverse City Turkey Trot and Thanksgiving 2012


Ah, I missed you guys. I’m not really sure how that unintended two week break from blogging happened, but it wasn’t planned! I think I just got really busy (Wednesday was my 7th day in a row working, and last weekend was the weekend from H-E-L-L at the pharmacy), plus I wasn’t feeling very creative and didn’t have much to post about. I did, however, have a fantastic Thanksgiving and I hope all of you did too!

The day started at Thirlby Field for the annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot! This was my third year in a row doing this race, and I was pumped that Eric was joining my sister and I this year.




The weather was fantastic! It was sunny and fifty degrees. I wore a sweat wicking tank top, a long sleeved wicking shirt, and last year’s long sleeved Turkey Trot t-shirt and I was super hot by the end of the race. It was a nice change though; the past two years have been rainy, cloudy and cold and I was grateful for the sunshine.


I had picked up our race packets the night before, so we arrived just in time to line up at the start. There were so many people that it took a minute or two to actually cross the starting line, but we eventually started running.


I lost Eric in about 3 seconds, but I stuck with Courtney for about half of a mile before she decided to take a walking break and I carried on.


I love the course of this race. It’s mostly flat and winds around through downtown and then back to Thirlby Field. Lots of pretty views.


My favorite part was when we ended up on part of the TART Trail and ran along the Boardman Lake.


I ended up finishing in a little over 38 minutes, which I wasn’t super excited about but it was a minute faster than last year so I’ll take it. I could tell that I pushed it because my legs were cramping up by the end, and today they are really sore!

After the race I ran into blog reader Marina, who killed the race and finished in 27:10.


I can only dream that I’ll be able to run that fast some day!

After the race we came home and got cleaned up before I got to work in the kitchen preparing my two dishes I was planning on bringing to my mom’s house. I made these brussels sprouts and this sweet potato casserole and they both turned out amazing. I actually despise brussels sprouts, but these were the first ones I’ve ever tried that didn’t make me want to gag. Success!

When we arrived at my parents’ house, my mom already had the table and breakfast bar nicely set, plus a lovely selection of wine that I quickly helped myself to.




Before we knew it, the rest of family arrived (grandparents, aunt, uncle, and my uncle’s sister), and it was time to dig in to the feast!



Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cheesy potato casserole, sweet potato casserole, brussels sprouts, green bean casserole, spinach and feta wraps, cranberry sauce, homemade apple sauce, and rolls. WOW!


Everything was so good, even the mashed potatoes; and I don’t even like mashed potatoes! My mom did something along the lines of mixing them with cream cheese, sour cream, and loads of butter and suddenly they tasted good Winking smile.

Pumpkin pie and pecan pie for dessert:


I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie, but I did some damage to my mom’s homemade pecan pie (topped with homemade maple whiskey sauce). Oh my word, it was good.


It was such a fun day, and my first Thanksgiving that I got to spend with this guy.


I can only hope the same thing happens next year <3.

When we were done eating, Eric and I collapsed onto the couch in food comas until 11:30 when we dragged ourselves out of the apartment to hit the midnight door buster sales at the mall.


I got a couple of things at Maurice’s, but otherwise left the mall empty handed. Just wasn’t feeling the shopping thing this year.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Grocery Shopping and Meal Prepping for the Week

I’ll be honest: I get a little bummed out on Sunday nights. I always look forward to the weekends since that’s usually when I get to see Eric, but they always go by so fast and before I know it it’s Sunday night again and I’m thinking about everything I have to get done in the upcoming week. I try not to dwell on it too much because it’s not going to fix anything, but it still gets me kind of down. Usually by the time Tuesday rolls around, I feel a lot better because I’m so wrapped up with work and blogging -  but in the mean time it’s important to keep myself busy and my mind occupied. One of the things that helps me do that is spending my Sunday evenings grocery shopping and prepping food for the week.

Of course, a little visit to the ‘rents for dinner always helps too!


Last night my mom made a wonderful spread of chicken parmesan


plus mashed butternut squash, salad, rolls, and banana bread for dessert.



I filled my plate with some of everything and was quite full when I was done.


I love going to my parents’ for dinner, especially on Sundays. It’s a nice time to catch up and tell them about my weekend; plus it’s a free meal that’s ready for me when I walk in the door Winking smile. Win win!

Before going to their place, I ventured out to two different grocery stores to get everything on my very, very long list for the week.


It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve gone grocery shopping, so my kitchen was pretty empty. I tell ya what though, there’s nothing I love more than a fully stocked fridge!


(and yes, beer is necessary to be considered “fully stocked” Winking smile)

Cooking is so much easier when you actually have food in the house!


For meals this week, I made a batch of baked oatmeal for breakfasts


and wild rice salad with cashews to pack up for lunches at work.


I’m also trying out a new recipe for dinner tonight – I hope it turns out well!

Here are my temporary fitness plans for the week:

  • Monday: 2.5 mile run + legs
  • Tuesday: cardio day
  • Wednesday: 2.5 mile run + upper body
  • Thursday: cardio day
  • Friday: 2.5 mile run + abs

I still need to get that run in today, but frankly I am really just not feeling up to it. I didn’t get much sleep last night and I’ve been up since 5 am for work (plus I can kind of feel the onset of a cold coming on), so we’ll see what happens.

Hope you all are having a wonderful day and I’ll catch ya tomorrow!


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