Tag Archives: health

DNA Life Bars

I love when you find a hidden treasure out of the blue. I discovered DNA Life Bars from a 3-second snapchat (this is when I become thankful for social media!). My favorite pick out of the bunch is the Chocolate with Roasted Quinoa. It is the bar I have been searching for for years: no refined sugar + full of chocolate pure enough for a cleanse while providing a substantial amount of protein. These bars are my go-to breakfast, snack, after work out bite + perfect sweet tooth filler in the evening. I have to limit my daily intake, but I guess it’s okay if I have too many. #soyummy #guyslovethem #healthybuttastesgood #pureingredients #glutenfree #dairyfree

Scroll down to read this entirely inspiring story of owner Brian Layne discussing how this business began, why the bars are top-notch in the health department, and why they differ from current snacks on the market.

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1) What led you to create DNA Life Bars?

In 2010 My wife Elizabeth was diagnosed with MS.  It completely took us by surprise, she had been healthy and active her whole life.  After much research she decided to heal herself holistically with diet, supplements and exercise, and not take prescribed medications.  After 6 months of a very strict routine that has become her life style,  I was blown away by the dramatic difference in the quality of her life.  One thing we could not find was a yummy protein bar she could eat on the go or after a workout.  I decided to make them for her only at first.  She liked them so much, and then friends and family started eating them and were asking for more…this is when I realized we had something special.   With her encouragement, I decided to start a business making the bars for the public.  It has been two years and a wild ride so far.  I have always been into exercise and nutrition, but seeing her stay strong and healthy inspired me to jump in and create a protein bar that was nutritionally AND delicious for people who appreciate the importance of gut health!

2) How does it feel to know that something you started to help your wife is now being enjoyed by so many people? How did people start finding out about the bars?

It is really awesome to have people enjoy something you have created.  Every time someone buys our bars online or sends us a comment I feel truly blessed to be doing this.  We started like a lot of artisan food makers do- at the farmers markets.  After about 6 months, we had a couple of local health food stores approach us and we decided to take the plunge to go retail.   Since then we have moved more into a online direct to consumer company because the cost of making the bars is still  a little high for distribution through retail.

3) How did you decide on the ingredients to use?

I really just looked at my wife  Seeing Elizabeth’s food restrictions helped me start seeing what I could put together that would provide her a good source of energy, protein and be primarily non-inflammatory ingredients.  The problem with most nutrition bars on the market are they are high in sugar.  And even if it is derived from fruit sugar is a major inflammatory ingredient.

4) What are the health benefits of this bar?

A lot of what makes DNA Life Bars so good is what they do not have in them..  No Gluten, no dairy, no soy, no corn, all non GMO ingredients and of course no refined sugars.  The combination of these  ingredients are great because it provides a lot of healthy fats from organic coconut and almonds.  Fats play a critical role in many functions in out bodies and can be used as a fuel for both exercise and food for the brain.  Americans tend to be scared of fats but the reality of it is that healthy fats do not cause the weight gain and chronic health issues.  Refined sugar is really what people should be avoiding.

5) Is this a full time job for you or a side project?

This is definitely a full time endeavor for me.  Between making the bars, marketing and running the business this is all there is time for.  We are hoping to find a trusted co-packer (a company that makes the bars) this year and have them take over production for us.  We will not do that until we find a team that takes creating the DNA Life Bars as seriously as we do.

6) Tell us how we can incorporate these into our lives.

Really everyone is different. What I hear a lot of people doing in the endurance sports world (runners, cyclists, triathletes, etc.) who use our products is they will eat a bar 30 minutes before an event and then half of one in the middle.  Other people enjoy  them after they hit the gym, yoga or Pilates.  The combination of protein and complex carbs from organic sweet potatoes and pumpkin really help refuel the body.  And of course on a day to day bases they are a great snack for anyone who wants to avoid sugar and wants a healthy dose of protein.  Moms like them for kids and my wife likes them as a substitute for dessert.

shakeology: healthy, yummy, easy

Okay, let me start this post off by saying: I am not a health nut. I don’t spend tons of money on supplements and expensive vitamins and things of that nature. I’ve definitely tried some of that stuff out but more often than not, found it to not be worth the money. Until I tried out Shakeology.

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Here’s 3 reasons why I’m loving Shakeology and think it’s a great use of your money:

  1. First and foremost – it’s super healthy. Each shake is packed with superfood ingredients. As much as I try to get in superfoods each day (kale, avocado, things of that nature…), it’s not always easy if you’re in a hurry. Every shakeology shake has protein & fibers, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, probiotics, and so much  more. All of those things your body needs to keep you feeling full, reduce sugar cravings, support your immune system and lots of other good things!
  2. It’s delicious. My favorite flavor is chocolate. I’m a HUGE sweets lover, in case you hadn’t noticed, and the chocolate shake totally satisfies my sweet tooth! Honestly I would drink it for dessert if I could! If I’m having it for a meal, I’ll add half a banana and almond butter to the blender and it is so yummy!
  3. It’s easy. As much as I’d love to have time every morning to make scrambled egg whites and turkey bacon with avocado and a whole wheat english muffin with fresh fruit…that’s just not realistic most days. After I’m done with a workout I usually shower, get ready and am running out the door. Shakeology is so perfect to just put in the blender and you have your breakfast on the go!

If you’re interested in buying shakeology, just go to this website and you’ll find everything you need!

greek-style meatballs

As most of you know, Michael and I just bought our first house back in March and have been working hard to fix it up and make it feel like home. One of our favorite things about owning a house now has been inviting people over for dinner or get togethers. We both love having people into our home, the conversations shared in these walls, and the laughter that fills the rooms.

One thing that still gives me slight anxiety though is the dinner part. I will be the first to admit that I’m not the greatest cook. I so enjoy it, but I’m not awesome at it. Last night we had my brother & sister-in-law over for dinner and I made these Greek-style meatballs I’m sharing with ya’ll today. They are so unique and yummy, and on top of that, super healthy and easy to make! It’s become my go-to when we’re having people over for dinner and I want to get a little fancier than chicken, but not spend a ton of time on the meal. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Greek meatballs

Greek-style meatballs

  1. In large bowl, mix 1 lb ground beef, 3/4 c. crumbled feta cheese (I used reduced fat!), 1/2 small red onion, grated, 1/3 c. Italian-style bread crumbs; 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley, 1 lg egg, lightly beaten; 2 tsp dried oregano; and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper
  2. Form into 12 balls and thread onto skewers
  3. On cookie sheet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray, roast meatballs at 425 degrees, 15 to 20 mins, or until cooked through.
  4. Serve with lemon slices and 1/2 c. prepared tzatziki (I just bought mine premade from Trader Joe’s!)

For the side dishes, I just did roasted red potatoes and a kale salad. But you could really do anything you want with it! Enjoy! xx

dinner made easy (and healthy!)

In case you don’t know this about me already, I am a major foodie. I love good food, I love great restaurants, and I love desserts. I’ll be the first to admit though, I’m not the greatest cook in the world. Baking – I love. Cooking – not my strong suit. I’m trying to get better though & find more recipes that are healthy and easy!

I recently found this turkey burger recipe (from The Pioneer Woman) and thought it looked simple and delicious. I tried it last night and both my husband and I loved it! The goat cheese/pesto spread was amazing, and the entire meal took less than 30 mins to make. (The Pioneer Woman recipe has the turkey burger on a toasted everything bagel. My husband had his on a toasted bun, and I did mine just on a bed of spinach! She also put more butter in her’s than I used. So, the recipe below is my version of her original) Enjoy!

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Ingredients (This is for 8 servings – if you have a big family or just want lots of leftovers!)

  • 8 whole Everything Bagels (Again, I used a bun for my husband, just spinach for me!)
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 ounces, weight Goat Cheese (chevre)
  • 2 Tablespoons Pesto
  • 2 pounds Ground Turkey
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (more To Taste)
  • Plenty Of Black Pepper
  • 8 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 whole Egg Yolk (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Sliced
  • 3 whole Avocados, Sliced
  • 16 whole Large Basil Leaves

Preparation Instructions

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and grill the cut side of the bagels until golden brown and slightly crisp. Set aside.

Stir together the goat cheese (or cream cheese) and the pesto until smooth. Add more pesto if you’d like!

Combine turkey, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and egg yolk (if using) in a large bowl. Stir or knead together with your hands, then form into patties.

Heat canola oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties on both sides until totally done, with no sign of pink in the middle, at least 4-5 minutes per side.

To serve, spread a good amount of the pesto spread on each bagel half. Place the burgers on the bottom half, then top with tomato slices and basil leaves. Lay avocado slices on the top half, using the spread to make them stay put. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the avocados, then place the top half on the bottom half, smush it together…and dig in!

Running Mojo

I have a theory that every runner has their “mojo”. Certain things they must (or must not do) before a run, in order to ensure a successful run. ie: “don’t eat this, must eat this, must sleep __hrs the night before, have to listen to ___ playlist “, etc.

I have a  few random “mojo” items like this. For instance, I have to be chewing gum when I run. I don’t know why, but otherwise I think my run will be a complete fail. I also always have to be using Apple headphones. Only Apple. I realize there are better headphones out there…but this is my mojo.

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So those might be random, but today I want to share 5 things with you that I think are essential to every workout routine, that have truly transformed my workouts!

  1. Shoes. As a runner, if you don’t have the right shoes, you are greatly increasing your chance for injury. Shin splints, bad knees, sore feet, etc. Having the right shoe is an absolute must. I personally swear by Newton’s – they are lightweight, amazing quality, and teach you to run more on the front of your foot (your “toe box) than the back. (The ones I linked too are 25% off with free shipping!). Newtons aren’t for everyone though – if you are a pronator or supinator you will need something with more support. For a more stability type shoe, I would recommend Asics or Brooks
  2. Protein. When it comes to eating before a workout, I know everyone is different. I must have half a banana and 1 T of almond butter before every run though. The potassium in the banana and protein in the peanut butter is just the right amount of fuel to keep me going. I also always have either eggs or a protein shake within 30 mins after my run!
  3. Cuteness. There might not be science behind this, but I personally think you are way more motivated to workout if you have workout clothes you feel cute in! My current favorite brands for running or working out: Athleta (get 20% off today with code “DRESS20″!), Zella, Nike
  4. Fitness watch / steps tracker. I’ll be honest – I was hesitant to jump on this bandwagon. I kept thinking “why does it matter how many steps I get in a day??” I have learned to LOVE my Fitbit though. It totally motivates me to workout so I can make sure I get all my steps in! If you don’t have one already, I highly recommend it.
  5. Advocare. If there was one thing I absolutely could not live without on those long run days, or the days when working out is the last thing I want to do..it would be my Spark drink by Advocare. In case you’re not familiar with Advocare, it’s a company that provides innovative nutritional, weight-management, sports performance and skincare products. They have everything from meal replacement shakes, to multi-vitamins, to sports performance products.

When I look at websites like this, I get overwhelmed because there are so many options (based on what your needs are). I personally just take Advocare to improve my workouts, so for that, I would recommend:

1) Spark – it’s a sugar-free drink (powder that you put in water) with more than 20 vitamins, minerals and nutrients that work synergistically to provide a healthy, balanced and effective source of energy that won’t overburden or over stimulate your body. It serves as an all-in-one solution that gives you a quick boost of energy that lasts for hours. I can tell a HUGE difference in my run when I drink spark beforehand, vs the runs where I don’t!

2) Meal Replacement shake – okay, these are actually delicious (my favorite flavor is of course chocolate!). I almost always run in the mornings before starting the day and typically don’t have time to make a big breakfast after. So, on those days, these meal replacement shakes are my life saver. This yummy drink has 24 grams of protein and only 210 calories!

3) Rehydrate – also a drink (powder that you put in water) that helps you stay hydrated during physical activity. Unlike other sports drinks, Rehydrate includes antioxidants, carbohydrates, electrolytes, and other nutrients that effectively promote optimal hydration and recovery. Rehydrate Drink has a 1:1 ratio of sodium and potassium, two of the most vital electrolytes that are lost when we sweat.

Okay, lots of info. Do you feel inspired to go sweat now?! If you have any questions about workout tips or Advocare products, you can always email me!

Shop some cute workout stuff here:

5 FRIDAY FAVES – FITNESS EDITION

For our 5 Friday Faves this week, we’ve picked our top 5 fitness items! Working out and running is such a huge part of both mine and Lo’s lives, so we wanted to share the items with ya’ll that make working out so much more enjoyable for us!

1. Favorite sports bra:

This all depends on your activity. If it’s for a highly active/intense workout, I love to have a lot of support, which is why the Under Armor Eclipse sports bra is my fave. If its for light activity (walking, yoga, etc.) you can’t go wrong with a good Target sports bra. So comfortable and easy to wear all the time (but, try and resist!). I have this in probably 4 different colors…

2. Favorite running shoe:

For everyday running, the Nike LunarEclipse takes the cake. What I love about Nike is that they manage to make an amazing product, but keep style in mind at the same time! I love this turquoise LunarEclipse.

3. Favorite workout companion:

Fitbit flex. I had been wanting a steps tracking device for a while and did my research on the different brands. I was won over by the amazing reviews for the fitbit flex and all of it’s capabilities. And, let’s be honest, it was the cutest one. It tracks my steps throughout the day, mileage from my runs, and my sleep at night. My husband bought it for me a few months ago and it has not left my wrist since!

4. Favorite running sock:

Crazy to think that such a small item makes such a massive difference in running; but it does! I love these tab back socks because they keep your feet from blistering, the sock doesn’t slip down into your shoe, and provides the support your foot needs.

5. Favorite pre-work out snack: banana and almond butter – every time! My favorite almond butter is from Trader Joe’s.

Shop our favorite fitness products here!: