Blog Archives

Chobani {Review & Giveaway}

I’ll admit it, I typically devour oatmeal for breakfast. At my office I would grab a cup on the way to my desk and consume it while checking my e-mail. But when I heard the buzz about Chobani, I had to try it. When I was living in London I chowed down on plain Greek yogurt frequently, but over a dozen flavor options? That was too much to pass up.

There were flavors I had never imagined; lemon and pomegranate in a yogurt? I’ll try anything once. So I piled all twelve containers in my fridge and began to taste test them one by one. First I brought the raspberry to work for breakfast. I should note I’m not a fan of raspberries or have not been in the past. Well this yogurt changed that, once I realized that the fruit was on the bottom (I’m a bit of a dunce), I began to really enjoy it. A refreshing change from my oatmeal past.

With several of the other flavors I chose to add granola or broken up graham crackers for a bit of a crunch. I’ve also seen other crunchy concoctions; supposedly peanut butter Captain Crunch tastes fantastic mixed in.  After eating it I found that I was satiated for several hours; I could go from breakfast to lunch without craving a snack.

It also makes for a perfect afternoon snack.  Around four when I was hankering for the good stuff less healthy snack options, I grabbed a yogurt and enjoyed the protein packed treat. Most flavors have 28% of your daily need of protein if not more (plain has 36%). And throw in some additional fruit for extra deliciousness.

The Verdict: Chobani makes a fantastic breakfast, snack, or ingredient. Really, you can consume it anytime of day. Spice it up by adding crunchy pieces or additional fruit. Use it to substitute sour cream or other ingredients in recipes. You can’t go wrong. I should admit, there were some flavors that I was less keen on, but that is to be expected with such a wide variety.

And now for the giveaway:
Chobani is an absolutely fabulous company and they want to offer one lucky reader a case of their own. You can receive a variety pack or get your favorite flavor.

Now here is how the giveaway works:
Check out the different flavors that Chobani has to offer and tell me what you’re most interested in trying. Or check out the recipes on their site and tell me how you’d use your yogurt.

Want an extra entry into the giveaway? Well here are a few options:
1. Follow Chobani on Twitter
2. Follow Me on Twitter
3. Like Chobani on Facebook (You can participate in their Groupie Game for the chance to win a weekend getaway)
4. Post a tweet about this giveaway, please include @RunningJewess @Chobani and a link to this post

Leave an additional comment for each extra entry.

The giveaway will be closing at noon EST on Tuesday, August 16th, 2011.

Note: Open to US entries only. The giveaway I received and the items I am distributing have been provided by Chobani. The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own.

SPIbelt {Review & Giveaway}

What should I carry while out for a run? That is a pretty tough question. In the past I’ve had serious difficulty carrying gels, keys, ID, or anything else I’d like while running. My tights and shorts only have space for my keys, but on my longer runs I’ve had to be more creative with my fuel and other equipment.

When I ran one of my half marathons I put my food into a plastic bag and stuffed it down my pants. Not pretty. Let’s not talk about how it slid down in the middle of the race and I had to fish it out… For my marathon I went with a different method, I pinned my GUs to the waist band of my tights. Not only was it tough to remove the gel and open it with ease, but it was schmeared all over the side of my tights. Sticky mess.

I’d seen people running with a SPIbelt, but never took the time to investigate. I figured my carrying methods were good enough, so what if I couldn’t bring important items with me? And then I realized my foolishness, I don’t want to puncture holes in my fancy new running shorts and no more baggies getting intimate with me.

Since I’ll be running longer distances and will need at least four gels, I opted for the Energy Belt. You can carry up to six gels in the elastic bands on the belt and the pouch will easily carry a cell phone, keys, ID, cash and other small items.

For my first expedition with the SPIbelt, I carried my keys, ID, and cell phone. Strapping the SPIbelt on my hips, I started off for my run. A mile in I became nervous that my items had fallen off, I couldn’t feel anything! Of course it was still strapped safely to my body, but it was so secure I didn’t know it was there.

My second run with my belt I comfortably slid a GU into the side band and carried my ID, credit card, and keys. Best part about the belt? It doesn’t slide. Once that thing was strapped to my body, it didn’t ride up to my waist or fall down my thighs.

Wait, I lied. The best thing about the belt is that it coordinates so well with my clothing. I didn’t plan this out, I swear! But who doesn’t love pink? And yes, the nails just happen to match as well… (Please disregard my shoddy photography, I have shakey-hand syndrome when it comes to taking photos.)

The Verdict: SPIbelt is the perfect choice to carry gear while running. Heck, I’m sure it would be great for walking, biking, hiking, or any other outdoor activity where you need to carry equipment. Now I won’t have to worry about cramming my keys and ID into a small pocket, everything will fit comfortably in my pink belt.

And now for the giveaway:
Because SPIbelt is such an awesome company they are giving one lucky reader a SPIbelt of their choice. Check out SPIbelt for the different options (the original comes in 34 different colors!).

Now here is how the giveaway works:
Think about what you currently carry and what you’d like to carry while running. Then post a comment letting me (and the world) know what items you’d carry in your SPIbelt. (Points for creativity)

Want an extra entry into the giveaway? Well here are a few options:
1. Follow SPIbelt on Twitter
2. Like SPIbelt on Facebook (Be the 5,000th fan and you’ll win a free SPIbelt!)
3. Post a tweet about this giveaway, please include @RunningJewess and @SPIBELT

Leave an additional comment for each extra entry.

The giveaway will be closing at noon EST on Monday, July 25th, 2011.

Note: Open to US and Canadian entries only. The giveaway I received and the items I am distributing have been provided by SPIbelt.  The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own.

Coach’s Oats {Review & Giveaway}

A few weeks ago I was the proud winner of a Coach’s Oats giveaway from Kerri O. I eat oatmeal six days a week, so this was perfect for me. I was super excited to receive my package and boy did it make my day. The folks over at Coach’s were too good to me! I was flabbergasted to see the cute little arrangement they had made. They even gave me a bowl, dried fruit, and cinnamon to use in my oatmeal preparations.

On Sunday, after a hectic Saturday of Warrior dash and bar going, I decided to take it easy. I forewent brunch (which is very odd for me) and opted for a hot bowl of oatmeal with strawberries. Because I’m a tad foolish, I prepared the oats with skim milk rather than water. I’m not the best at reading, for some reason I thought you were supposed to cook them with milk. Fortunately for me, the oatmeal tasted delicious. It has a different texture than my typical Quaker oats, it didn’t get mushy like I have become accustom to. I didn’t add any sugar or sweeteners, with the strawberries it was the perfect flavor.

This week I decided to try out the overnight oats prep method. I chopped up half a banana, added 1 cup of vanilla almond milk, and mixed with 1/2 cup of oats. Popped it in the fridge overnight and brought it to work with me. Having never tried cold oatmeal before I didn’t know what to expect, now this was a different taste that I’m not used to. Oddly, they reminded me of charoset (a passover dish prepared with apples, walnuts, wine, and cinnamon). Since I used sweetened almond milk, it was a tad too sweet. Next time I’d forgo the milk and try it with greek yogurt to get a thicker consistency. The great thing? I was satiated all morning and didn’t feel the desire to snack at all.

The Verdict: Coach’s Oats are absolutely delicious, it is much faster to prepare than steel cut oats, and provides a bigger kick than rolled oats. I’m looking forward to being more creative with my recipes, adding different fruits and maybe even trying the a peanut butter version. I’ve seen recipes for pancakes and cookies, those are definitely on the list of things to try next!

And now for the giveaway:
Because they are so wonderful, Coach’s has kindly donated 10 single serve packages to be given away at my discretion! What does that mean for you? Well two lucky individuals will be receiving 5 single serve packages. That is a week’s worth of deliciousness!

Now here is how the giveaway works, it is tough so pay attention:
1. Think about why you love oatmeal.
2. Post a comment letting me (and the world) know why you enjoy it so much.

Want an extra entry into the giveaway? Well here are a few options:
1. Follow me on twitter
2. Post a tweet about this giveaway, here is an example:
@mkosterich is giving away two delicious @coachsoats packages.  Whatever you do, don’t go to because I don’t want more competition!
3. Subscribe to my blog (if you already do, let me know)

Leave an additional comment for each extra entry.

The giveaway will be closing at noon EST on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011.

Note: Open to US entries only. The giveaway I received and the items I am distributing have been provided by Coach’s Oats.  The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own.

Attune Foods {Review}

This morning my mother went in to surgery to get her cochlear implant. It was nerve wracking, but I’m happy to say that the surgery was completed successfully. We won’t know how effective the device is for several weeks, but I’m glad that she was able to start her journey.

In other news, I recently received two wonderful surprise packages. I only mentioned one, but the next day I arrived home to yet another lovely package on my stoop. It made my day and I was very excited to try what was inside…

Annelies from Attune Foods sent me graham crackers and mint chocolate probiotic bars! I really wanted to dive in to both, but I knew I would be going out soon so I needed to hold back. My first taste? I decided to sample the grahams with some organic peanut butter and chocolate. Not the greatest photo, but it was fantastic. You have to understand, I have an odd addiction to graham crackers. In college my roommate and I would make smores over our gas stove (I was the chocolater because she didn’t trust me with fire…) and that set off a graham eating habit that I just can’t quit.

After that first taste I’ve consumed quite a few of the grahams at random intervals. Hungry for a quick snack? I’ll nibble on a square. Need something to tide me over until I go out to dinner? Well, let’s try another square. Hmm, somehow I’ve consumed a third of the box. Wonder how that happened! I’m not sure I’ll be making smores with them, but I see a peanut butter-banana-chocolate treat in my future.

Then today I brought the mint chocolate probiotic bar with me to work. I decided to hold off on it until the afternoon. There were several times I had to remind my body that I wasn’t actually hungry, I was just eager to try the bar. And then I did. And it was glorious. I love mint, I love chocolate, I love this bar. It is as if an Andes chocolate and thin mint cookie got together and made babies. Healthy, good for you babies. I had to slow myself down and try not to consume it all so quickly. I felt almost guilty eating it, but supposedly it only contains 90 calories so it should be a healthy snack choice.

The Verdict: Attune products are absolutely scrumptious. I will definitely be loading up on more, next I want to try their maple granola and maybe another flavor of the probiotic bar. I definitely recommend that you go out to your local store and grab some for yourself!

Tell me: Have you tried Attune’s products? I know their Uncle Sam cereal was popular with the Fitbloggin group. I’d love to hear what you have to say about their other options.

Note: I received the Attune products to review at no cost to myself. The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own.

Thirsty Thursday

No, not the alcoholic type. I’m going to be chugging water for the next few days. Yesterday, after a hard speed training workout, I was horribly dehydrated. I managed to contract a miserable headache and I swore I’d drink more today. Well, after a long day of usability testing, I didn’t manage to consume nearly enough. See, when I’m testing, I drink less so I don’t ever have to use the bathroom during a session. Please, do me a favor, learn from my mistakes and make sure to hydrate in this summer heat. It is necessary!

After I completed my last usability test for my current job (at least I hope it was my last), I actually made it to Turtle Thursday. I haven’t been in weeks due to marathon training and the odd bit of socializing. Was great to get out with the ladies again. The whole purpose of Turtle Thursday is to take it slow and steady, well that wasn’t in the cards for tonight. Daisy, the bluetick coonhound (seen in her laziest photo ever), decided that tonight I’d be running fast. She set a difficult pace and our second mile was quick! I couldn’t keep up on the third, I slowed down and tried to set a more comfortable pace. As I finished the third mile it took a serious mental push to keep me going…

I’ve read recently about a lot of newer runners who have been struggling on their runs and I was considering that while having my own issues. When you are having a tough time, remember how awesome you are for getting out in the first place. You’re doing it! I kept reminding myself that I’ve run four miles too many times to count. Four miles I can do, just keep pushing. I may have slowed down for a quarter mile, but I didn’t stop. My average pace at the finish was exactly where I had hoped it’d be and I felt fantastic. Another very important note, smile. At everyone. Regardless of how you feel or how they look, give them a smile or a wave, you never know how you might improve their run day. And it is a bit selfish, all that smiling will undoubtedly make you feel better about your own run.

My wonderful run was complimented with the most delicious black bean and rice burger. I scarfed the entire thing down. It is healthy, right? Then I came home to a very exciting surprise…

At first I was confused why my mat had been moved, but then I realized why. The UPS driver likes to hide things under it so my neighbors don’t try to steal my packages. So exciting! I opened it up and boy was I surprised, such an amazing gift. I’ll keep the contents hidden for a few days, keep the suspense up and all (and I need time to actually try the contents).

I wanna know: How do you motivate yourself to push through when you are struggling? And what exciting surprises have you gotten lately?