Sunday, May 19, 2013

Packed Lunches and the New ALT Bar from LARABAR

I’ve been trying not to force myself to blog, but instead waiting for it to just come naturally. I’ve mentioned this before, but it kind of goes hand in hand with this weight loss/healthy living thing. When I’m doing good and staying on track, I’m more motivated to blog. Who wants to blog about how they’ve been sitting around on the couch eating ice cream? Not some of my finest moments, that’s for sure.

However, the past few days have actually been going pretty well for me and as a result, here I am – not surprisingly – sitting at my computer ready to give you all an update. I finally downloaded Lose It! on my new phone and have been tracking calories since last Thursday. Big step for me! I’ve also been making some changes with my diet. I’m trying not to take on too much at once – in other words, be “perfect” all the time – because that almost always leads to failure. Instead, I’m focusing on a couple things that desperately need improvement. Counting calories is the first change, and the second is that I’m trying to curb my sugar cravings. I have been eating WAY too much of it lately and it has got to stop. I reached a point where I was pretty much eating dessert/junk food every single day and it was having a serious impact on my mood and on the scale. The only way to get rid of the addiction is to stop feeding it, so with the exception of a few Sour Pouch Kids that were sitting on the counter at work on Friday, I haven’t had any.

With regards to my meals lately, breakfast has been a typical diet staple: egg whites and oatmeal. However, I’m not THAT good – I still fill my egg white omelette with goat cheese Winking smile. I’ve been switching things up for lunch though, so I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite packed lunches that have been in the rotation recently.

First up is my favorite: the smorgasbord!


I love packing a bunch of different things to eat. This is a very common combination for me: fruit, hummus and crackers (more specifically, Blue Diamond Nut Thins), string cheese, and a Chobani Flip. BTW, have you tried these? I am totally obsessed with them, especially the Almond Coco Loco and Key Lime Crumble flavors. My local grocery stores are always running out of them, so I stockpile them whenever they have some in!


Sometimes I’ll pack a protein bar instead of crackers and hummus, like these new ALT bars that LARABAR kindly sent me.


ALT bars are an alternative protein bar made with pea protein. Each bar is made with the same wholesome, gluten-free, vegan ingredients that you can expect from any LARABAR, but contain ten grams of protein instead of the typical four to five found in most Larabars. They are available in four flavors: Peanut Butter Cookie, Pumpkin Pie, Cinnamon Apple Crisp, and Lemon Pound Cake. So far, I’ve tried the Lemon Pound Cake and the Peanut Butter Cookie and I was definitely a fan. They do taste a little different than regular Larabars and they are not as moist, but that’s to be expected from any protein bar. I will definitely be buying these when I see them in stores!


When I’m in the mood for veggies, my lunches look more like this:


The above photo contains a spinach salad with strawberries, feta cheese, and cashews (so good!) and a pita filled with turkey, hummus, avocado, and cucumber. A couple clementines round out the meal – and let me just say that it is a good one. I always feel so healthy when I eat this lunch!

Watching my calories is hard enough, but it has also been a challenge for me to get back on the bandwagon with workouts. When I can get myself to the gym and do thirty minutes of cardio, that’s an accomplishment. I know with time my love for exercise will return, but until then I have to force myself to do it. On Thursday, I ran for the first time in months and it was pretty brutal. I ran for five minute intervals at a 5.0 for thirty five minutes and I was about dying. A year and a half ago, that was my “rest” pace when I was doing HIIT on the treadmill! It’s disappointing how far I’ve slid back, but I suppose the only direction to go from here is up.

On that note, it’s about time for me to get ready for bed. I have a feeling I’ll be regretting this in the morning, but I signed up for a 6 am spin class with a friend! Yikes.


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