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Recipe Review Thursday

(Hopefully) new feature alert! One of my ongoing goals is to try new recipes and in doing so, I’d like to share them with you all.

Nothing is worse than trying a recipe that looks or sounds great, easy, etc. only to find that it, well, isn’t.

This weeks recipe? S’mores Bars!

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Oh boy were these good.

I pinned this recipe ages ago and figured I’d probably never actually make it. But it sure looked nice among my other pins – cupcakes, cookies, etc.

Then it was time for a July 3rd BBQ (one of Matt’s coworkers throws the party every year). And it was hot out. Like, 100+ degrees hot, which meant that whatever I made had to withstand being outside for hours.

This recipe was originally pinned from the blog Wit & Whistle. Visit her site for the full recipe.

Breakdown

Time: from start to finish, probably about an hour. Most of that, though, is baking time. And then I had to be patient while my kitchen filled with the smell of these bars.

Ingredients: you’ll probably have the basics in the kitchen, but may need to get the s’mores parts – graham crackers, chocolate bars, and marshmallow fluff (in place of marshmallows)

Difficulty: pretty easy. the hardest part was spreading the super-sticky fluff and the graham cracker crust over it.

Changes: I doubled this recipe, since I was going to a large BBQ. If I made it for home I wouldn’t, only because I’d want to eat them all!

If I did it again I’d: use more fluff. I had 2 jars, but could’ve used 3 for a thicker marshmallow layer. I think I’d also put this in a large pan instead of 2 8×8 dishes. It was kind of hard to divide up the crust evenly.

Taste: Awesome! All I brought home from the party was the empty container. That’s always a good sign to me!

This is definitely a keeper in the recipe box!

Week in Review, 4/30-5/6

 

I posted this setup last week, for the week of April

Workouts:
Monday – bodypump check!
Tuesday – cardio/plank a day check!
Wednesday – spin class, plank a day check!
Thursday – bodypump, cxworx check! loved getting this done early in the morning!
Friday – spin class, plank a day 3 curcuits from Banish Fat Boost Metabolism DVD, 10 minutes abs
Saturday – treadmill run, plank a day elliptical, 30 min (hotel treadmill was broken Sad smile)

Sunday – rest

Made all my workout goals this week. Let me tell you, getting in some super sweaty elliptical intervals Saturday morning at the hotel felt awesome.

I’ve been feeling pretty on the ball with my workouts lately, but my nutrition is all over the place. I tend to do really well until I get home from work (or at work, if the teacher has candy around.) I seem to turn into a snacking machine, which leaves me feeling super crappy and like a failure. If anyone has a cure for this, I’d love to know it!

Dinner plans:
Monday – chicken stir-fry check!
Tuesday – pork chops, asparagus, potato check! I roasted the asparagus til the ends were crispy and nearly inhaled them
Wednesday – spaghetti w/meat sauce check!
Thursday – leftovers check! the best dinner is the one that’s already cooked
Friday – rehearsal dinner – got salmon, baked potato, and asparagus. also ended up eating 3 rolls while waiting since I was so hungry. grrr.
Saturday – friends wedding – they had pasta, salad, garlic breadsticks. it was a semi-outdoor wedding, and a hot day, so I only had (I think) 1/2 glass of wine with dinner, and a beer after.

Sunday – didn’t plan this one, since I wasn’t sure when we’d get home. we ended up eating leftovers with some friends and the newlyweds for lunch before leaving for home. I ate about 6 breadsticks while waiting for pasta to heat. I did also have 2 heaping plates of salad, so I guess that’s balance? I still feel super bloated from all the carbs, though.

It’s a new week, with a new chance to step over the obstacles that get in my way. Hope you had a great week, too!

Pure Hydration

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Caitlin Smith, representing Crystal Light. She asked if I would be interested in trying out one of their new products, Crystal Light Pure. Of course I would!

As I’ve mentioned before, I am not a pop drinker at all. I drink mostly water, with some coffee and tea once or twice a day thrown in for good measure. Plain water is delicious and great for my body, but every once in a while I need a change and Crystal Light (or it’s generic counterpart) is usually my go-to.

She included some great hydration tips from Crystal Light Pure Spokesperson Molly Kimball, RD.

1. Keep a Tally

We can’t actually tell how well we’re hydrated by how thirsty we feel. For many of us, by the time we start to feel thirsty, we’re already dehydrated, but just how much water is enough when it comes to staying hydrated? Keep a running tally of how much fluid you’re getting and aim for half of your body weight in ounces of fluid per day, plus an extra 16 ounces for every pound of sweat lost during exercise or work in the heat.

2. Flavor Up to Drink Up

Want to drink water to stay hydrated, but hate the boring taste? Add the flavor you want and none of what you don’t by sipping on naturally sweetened Crystal Light Pure. It’s got no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives and is sweetened with sugar and Truvia, a natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant. It’ll give your water light, refreshing flavor with just 15 calories and 4 grams of sugar per serving. And the Grape and Strawberry Kiwi flavors have the added bonus of electrolytes!

3. Don’t Forget about Food

Staying well-hydrated is essential for maintaining optimal energy levels, preventing muscle cramping and headaches, and more serious issues like heatstroke. But that doesn’t mean you have to force down gallons of water or bottles of sugary sports drinks. Any type of alcohol-free beverage can count toward your fluid intake – and even some foods! Some of the top electrolyte-rich, hydrating foods include all types of fresh fruit, soups like gazpacho and Greek yogurt.

4. Watch the Caffeine

For years, the widely-held belief was that caffeinated beverages were dehydrating. An abundance of research has proven otherwise, however. The amount of caffeine typically found in standard servings of tea, coffee, and soft drinks appears to have no diuretic effect, meaning that these beverages don’t cause us to lose more fluid than they provide. But remember that you don’t want the majority of your fluids to come from caffeinated drinks since most health organizations recommend we limit our caffeine intake. Instead, try to vary what you’re drinking.

Some more cool facts about Crystal Light Pure:

  • – it contains no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives, instead is sweetened with Truvia and colored with natural ingredients
  • – women who drink Crystal Light drink 20% more water
  • – Crystal Light Pure is available in 5 different flavors: Grape, Strawberry Kiwi, Mixed Berry, Tropical Blend, and Lemonade.
  • – Crystal Light contains only 4 grams of sugar per serving and is both caffeine and gluten free
  • – 1 packet makes 2 servings, which is a 16.9 oz. bottle or 2 cups of water

As soon as I opened this package I knew I had to try it. I was sent the Mixed Berry, Strawberry Kiwi, and Grape flavors. Grape isn’t really my thing, so I must admit that I haven’t tried it yet. However, I can say that the other flavors are delicious. I think it took me about 30 seconds to guzzle down the first glass, it was so refreshing.

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Disclosure: Kraft Foods sent me a sample of Crystal Light Pure for this review.

So, how will you will hydrating today?