Graze Box in July 2016

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lemon Drizzle Flapjack (rustic rolled oat flapjack with lemon curd and yogurt drizzle) Their flapjacks are generally pretty sweet. This style is quite zesty which I like.

Pizza Margherita (cheese flavored cashews, basil crunchini and mini tomato breadsticks) This snack is quite nice, not too salty or over-the-top in flavoring. Always love cashews!

Active Nutrient Blend (chopped dates, pumpkin seeds and walnuts) This is one of the snacks that I never get excited about, but when I eat it, I love it.  Dates are so sweet and delicious, I should just eat dates as a snack on their own!

Mango Coconut Protein Granola Topper (coconut flakes, almond slivers, oat and barley granola and soy protein crisps with mango and passion fruit sauce) One of my favorite snacks from Graze, by far.  Love the passion fruit/mango sauce!

White chocolate with Wild blueberry toasts (white chocolate dip with wild blueberry toasts) These are fun but I don’t use all the white chocolate usually and then feel bad throwing it away. :/

Tuscan Pesto Kern Pops (cheddar cheese popped corn kernels and mini basil bread sticks) Love the texture of kern pops!

Garden of England (soft apple pieces, mini strawberries and black currants) Quite tart apples and black currants. I always eat the strawberries first.

Vitamin E Defense (roasted hazelnuts, redskin peanuts, jumbo raisins and cranberries) A fun mix of nuts and dried fruits.  I added this to a plain Greek yogurt, and it really made it tasty! Crunchy nuts and bright sweet dried fruits really complemented the sour plain yogurt.

 

After being a Graze subscriber for quite some time, I’ve decided to stop getting their snacks for the time being. I fancy a break! But if you have any questions about their service, please let me know!

Advertisements

Would I survive the 21-day Fix?

I follow a few healthy eaters on Instagram, and enjoy seeing their beautifully plated food and feel inspired to eat whole, good foods myself.  Since I’m now over 6 weeks into the P90X workout cycle, I’ve felt the need to make sure I’m giving the right fuel to my body.

I heard about the 21-day fix program on Instagram, so I read up briefly on it and did the calculation for myself to figure out how many servings of each food group I should be aiming for each day.  The calculation takes your body weight in pounds and multiplies it by 11, adds 400 to get your caloric needs and then subtracts 750 to get your calorie target.  If you want to maintain your weight, then skip that last subtraction.  If you want to gain weight, then instead of adding 400, add 900 and also skip that last subtraction.  The numbers you’ll come up with will fall into 4 categories, from 1200-1499 calories, 1500-1799, 1800-2099, and 2100-2300 calories.  (Round up or down if your number falls outside these categories.)

I’m in the lowest category, so that means I want to eat the following each day:

  • Vegetables: 3 servings
  • Fruits: 2 servings
  • Proteins: 4 servings
  • Carbohydrates: 2 servings
  • Cheese/healthy fats: 1 serving
  • Seeds/dressing: 1 serving
  • Oils/nut butter: 2 tsp.

So I decided to track my food intake for a week to see if I should make any changes.

My takeaways from this exercise:

  1. I love cheese and carbs.  If I was just choosing things to eat without having the goal balance of food groups in mind, I would automatically gravitate toward bread, cereal or pasta.  And cheese!
  2. Protein is essential and I probably don’t get enough of it.  Well-timed protein in the morning and after a workout keep my energy levels even. Neglecting this made my moods very uneven.
  3. Fruit and veg should both be more integral to my meals.  A good friend has a garden and recently supplied me with a ton of kale, which was a great excuse to learn how to eat this vegetable.  Stay tuned for recipes for two ways to use kale!
  4. Making it easy: My boyfriend reminded me the other day of how important it is to make things easy if you want someone to do something.  Want employees to not leave sticky food residue on your work area?  Then make them a nice lunch table where they’d naturally want to eat instead.  Want to not end up snacking on donuts and cookies from the break room?  Then make sure you have healthy, tasty snacks at your desk! I’ve made a point of finding some healthy snacks like lightly salted almonds and sesame sticks, and reaching for those when the mood strikes, instead of feeling tempted by the refined sugar that’s also readily available.

Overall, I think it’s a good idea to learn more about what the body really needs and try to balance everything so it’s getting that.  It’ll help you feel more energetic and in balance.  To answer my own question, yes I think I would survive if I committed to the 21-day fix, and believe that eating better will help me not just survive, but thrive!

Graze Box Review #10

Aw! I’m always sad when they don’t deliver my graze box to my mailbox and I have to pick it up from the post office, since that’s usually when the box gets mangled and the snacks show up half-crunched. 😦

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Zesty lime & red pepper salsa with wholemeal pita chips: TRASH I have been all about Mexican food lately but this salsa isn’t too exciting.  The chips are a bit blah as well.

Sweet Memphis BBQ: LOVE So good! I love the salsa peanuts, wild rice sticks and barbecue peas. Very nice, subtle flavors that play well together!

Peach Cobbler: LOVE I wasn’t excited about this snack but once I tried it, I was a huge fan! Huge! The slivered almonds are amazing by themselves, and the harmony between the amaretti drops, peach fruit drops, and the yogurt seeds is so pleasing.  Next time I get this snack I want to have a vanilla rooibus tea latte along with it for an afternoon tea break.

Sweet Rhubarb Jam: LIKE I always feel a little ‘meh’ when I see dried fruit in a snack, but this one is quite well balanced.  The rhubarb pieces are chewy like fruit snacks, the apples aren’t too tart, and the cranberries really sweeten the medley up nicely.

Strawberries and Cream Protein Granola Topper: LIKE I enjoy all of their granola toppers on plain yogurt as a mid-morning snack.

New York Everything Bagel: LIKE We’re planning a trip to Europe this autumn, and we’ll stop by New York both on the way out and on the way home.  I’m excited to try an authentic New York bagel!

Roasted Chili Honey Peanuts and Almonds: LIKE They’ve got a nice spicy kick to them but I really like how the sweetness of the honey mellows out the spice.  Nuts are a great healthy snack so having exciting ones like these make it interesting.

Forest Super Fruits: LIKE Again a purely fruit-based snack.  I usually prefer when the fruit comes with something else, like nuts or cookies or something.  If I hiked more I think I’d enjoy these dried fruits while I was outside.

Interested in trying out healthy Graze snacks yourself?  You can get your first and fifth boxes free by using my coupon code:REBECK4ZB. Click here graze.com to check out their snack descriptions, box options and other info. Let me know if you have any questions!

Graze Box Review #9

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Snickerdoodle dip with cinnamon pretzel sticks: LOVE (snickerdoodle dip with cinnamon pretzel sticks) We’ve got this snack before a few times.  I am not ashamed to admit that I’d eat an entire bucket of this dip if I had the chance.

Creamy ranch kern pops: LIKE (ranch popped corn kernels)  I like how these aren’t too salty or strongly powdered. Half-popped popcorn has such a great texture, more substantial and satisfying than regular popcorn. I’m a fan!

Sesame garlic crunch: LIKE (garlic sesame sticks, oat bran sesame sticks and multigrain soy rice crackers) Pretty good snack; not exceptionally delicious.

Energizing almond, carrot and apple: LIKE (carrot and orange chews, raw almonds and soft apple pieces) The carrot and orange chews are like fruit snacks.

Cherries and berries: LIKE (cherries, lingon berries, cranberries and jumbo raisins) I basically inhaled these on a car ride so didn’t really notice the different types of cherries and berries included.  I could taste the lingon berry tang though!  Very refreshing mix.

Graze’s Grilled Cheese: LIKE (hickory smoked cashews, cheddar cheese bruschetta and mustard breadsticks) So good! It really does taste like a grilled cheese sandwich.

Peanut butter and jelly: LOVE (baked salted peanuts, raspberry fruit strings and vanilla fudge) I’d probably eat this every day if I could. But I guess that’s nothing new since I eat a real pbj basically every day…

Lemon almond cookies with Special blend black tea: LOVE (lemon almond spelt cookies with our special blend black tea) What a fun idea!  I think this combination is relatively new for Graze, and I just love it!  Their special black tea is very nice, and just perfect for my early afternoon tea time at work.  The cookies were tasty and just a little dry which was fine since I had the tea right there.  A+!

 

Interested in trying out healthy Graze snacks yourself?  You can get your first and fifth boxes free by using my coupon code: REBECK4ZB. Click here graze.com to check out their snack descriptions, box options and other info. Let me know if you have any questions!

Shave Ice :D

20151129_155824 (1)

The best way to beat the heat in Hawaii, besides going for a dip in the ocean, is to enjoy shave ice. This sweet treat comes in all sizes and flavors, from a tiny child – sized cup to one that looks as if 3 adults could happily share it. You can choose to have your shave ice with vanilla ice cream in the center, with azuki (red) beans, or with a snow cap of condensed milk on top. It’s amazing.

If you don’t need an icy treat where you live, maybe you need a reminder of the hot summer to come. Or a reminder for you to ‘keep cool’ like shave ice when things get heated.

In either case, check out my shave ice earrings on Etsy. These earrings will brighten any outfit, with their blue cup and rainbow colored tops. Standard sterling silver wire and chain. ^_^

Graze Box Review #8

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I broke it off with Graze only to be brought back into the fold with the lure of some discounted boxes. Their customer service is quite good, actually– they are responsive to concerns and apologize if they make a mistake (I once got a snack that I specifically ‘trashed’ so that I wouldn’t get it).  I mostly like their snacks and enjoy the variety.  So we’ll stay with them a while longer and see how it goes!

  • The cheeseboard: LIKE (cheese flavored cashews, cheddar cheese bruschetta and baked herb bites)  This snack is pretty good, not overly salty which I appreciate.  I like how they included the herb flavored crackers to make it as though you’ve got some amazing charcuterie platter.
  • Cranberry and hazelnut toasts with a rich cocoa dip: LIKE (dark chocolate with cranberry hazelnut toasts)  Very good little crispy toasts, but when I get a dipper I always have dip left over which is sad.
  • Vanilla almond protein granola topper: LIKE (oat and barley granola, almond slivers, vanilla pumpkin seeds and soy protein crispies) I like all their granola toppers, and always add them to some yogurt for breakfast.
  • Bountiful berries: LOVE (goldenberries, cranberries, green raisins and blueberries) So good!  I’d never even heard of goldenberries (is this a European thing?  Or do I just live under a rock? Comment below and tell me more about these!)  but enjoyed this mix a lot. So sweet and refreshing!
  • Cocoa and vanilla protein flapjack: LIKE (rustic rolled oat cocoa flapjack with mixed seeds) I’m kind of on the fence about their flapjacks. I’ve tried a few flavors and always struggle to finish a whole serving (which is only 3…) of these.
  • Kettlecorn kern pops: TRASH (sweet & salty popped corn kernels) I’m not a big sweet popcorn person, so it’s not surprising I’m not a fan of these.
  • Stars and stripes: LOVE (mini blackcurrant stars, raspberry strings and blueberry flavored cranberries)  Like fruit snacks.  Delish!
  • Deconstructed carrot cake: LOVE (carrot chews, cinnamon flavored raisins, walnuts and ginger fudge) I’m a fan of the carrot chews, and appreciate the generous, mostly half walnuts included in here. It really does taste just like carrot cake if you get all the elements in one bite.

Interested in trying out healthy Graze snacks yourself?  You can get your first and fifth boxes free by using my coupon code: REBECK4ZB. Click here graze.com to check out their snack descriptions, box options and other info. Let me know if you have any questions!

Volcano Steam and Black Sand

A (Super) Quick Guide to some of my favorites on Hawaii: the Big Island

Hilo: For accommodation, I highly recommend Pakalana Inn, which is a family run little Bnb near the farmers market. You’ll need to book a table at Paul’s if you’ll want breakfast. Bayfront Coffee, Kava and Tea hosts jam sessions.

Volcano: I’ve enjoyed the Thai restaurant in Volcano, as well as darling little Cafe Ono that’s close to the entrance road to the National Park. Cafe Ono can satisfy your tchotchke craving, if you have one. The little town of Pahoa lies south of Hilo sort of on your way to Volcano. Charming but threatened by lava flow.

Kona: Island Lava Java has a great breakfast and coffee selection. Kenichi’s Pacific sushi bar is very fresh but a little bit of a drive. UCC is a lovely coffee roasting outfit where you can roast your own beans! And try different types of coffee before you buy.

Check out my vlog of a recent trip to the Big Island: