Chobani

Time for a Chobani Giveaway

Finally Friday – woohoo! It’s funny because I woke up yesterday barely believing it was already Thursday, but then the week stopped in its tracks and I’ve been on the edge of my seat waiting for today… and here it is. And it’s going to be a nice one, too.

Somehow, tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of Beth’s Journey! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year, but at the same time I love the blog so much that I can’t really picture things without it in my life at this point. All the amazing people I have met, emailed with, opportunities that have come from it… it just blows my mind. It’s scary looking back to my blog one year ago and how far I’ve come with it in terms of my writing, photos, and posting style – I honestly can’t believe anyone used to read it back then!

So in honor of the one year anniversary, I thought it would be the perfect time to host the first giveaway I’ve done in a long time, and this one’s a good one! You guys must know how much I love Greek yogurt by now. I only discovered it in the last two years or so, and I’ll never go back to regular kind. The thick, creamy texture just can’t compare to regular yogurt, and the protein that it packs keeps me full for hours. I love using plain Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream or cream cheese in lots of recipes, and have Greek yogurt for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or in a sauce almost every single day. It’s one of the things I always have on hand and has been truly instrumental in my healthy lifestyle.

When Chobani reached out about sampling their new flavors, of course I jumped at the chance, especially when they told me what the flavors were.

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0% Black Cherry, 2% Mango, and 0% Lemon. Each of these flavors has 4 pts+ per container and packs between 13-15 grams of protein. Chobani is my favorite kind of flavored Greek yogurt, and these new flavors are amazing. My favorite of the three is the Lemon, which actually surprised me. There’s little bits of lemon zest in the yogurt and its literally like heaven in a cup. The Black Cherry and Mango are also so delicious, both with chunks of real fruit, and tie for second place. Smile

One lucky reader will win the same sampler pack that I received, pictured above.  There are three ways to enter:

  1. Like the Chobani Facebook page and leave a comment telling me you did.
  2. Visit the Chobani website and leave a comment telling me the flavor you’d most like to try.
  3. Leave a comment asking me anything you’d like to know about me, anything you’d like me you address on the blog, or something you’d like to see on Beth’s Journey in the future that I don’t do now.

Each person can enter up to three times. Giveaway runs through midnight EST on Tuesday, February 22nd, and I’ll announce the winner Wednesday morning. Good luck!

Surprises! (And a New Winner)

Happy Friday afternoon! Today has been an awesome day for a few reasons.

First, it’s amazing outside. Mid 80’s, sunny, and not at all humid. Awesome.

Second, I had a fabulous lunch but did a really bad job photographing it.

This mega salad had:

  • Tons of farmer’s market spinach
  • 1/2 cup wheat berries
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar

Look at all those toppings!

The fail part of this was that I had some Baked Tortilla Chips that I forgot to take a picture of (1 serving) and made an awesome dressing to go with the salad. I mixed together salsa + greek yogurt and drizzled it all over. It wasn’t very pretty (the color of the dressing), but it tasted great. This salad was awesome, huge, and so filling. I couldn’t even finish it all and that rarely, if ever, happens to me.

Third, my boyfriend surprised me at work with flowers!

And some veggies from a new Farmer’s Market that just opened in DC!

He know’s me pretty well, eh?

He brought microgreens, red and white radishes, black bok choy, and two bunches of kale!

Good job!! 🙂

And to follow up on the post from this morning, here are the answers to which wins for each, diet or exercise.

1.) Lose Weight – Diet – As research makes clear, trimming calories from your diet is the most direct route to a smaller size. It’s much easier to cut 500 calories from your diet every day than it is to go to the gym and burn 500 calories. Both diet and exercise are essential for keeping weight off, however.

2.) Boost Energy – Exercise – Exercise causes the brain to pour out invigorating neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. People who train consistently report surges in energy.

3.) Reduce Risk of Heart Disease – Diet – Omega-3 fatty acids from oily fish lower hear disease risk by up to 64 percent. Working out does strengthen your cardiovascular system, though.

4.) Prevent Diabetes – Exercise – Achieving a healthy weight through diet and exercise is the biggest defense against diabetes, but exercise has a slight edge. Active muscles gobble up glucose from the blood for fuel, which helps keep blood-sugar levels stable.

5.) Prevent Cancer – Both – Eating a mostly plant-based diet and exercising regularly remain the gold standard for warding off cancer. The more consistently you workout, the greater the protection.

6.) Improve Mood – Exercise A 20-minute session can perk up your mood for up to 12 hours! It may also be as effective as mediacation for treating depression in some people. And exercise can lead to changes in the brain that strengthen your resolve against stress.

What do you guys think? To me it seems like each thing has an element of both exercise and diet, but its good to know that making healthy lifestyle choices can make a huge difference in your overall health. I found this information pretty interesting!

And the NEW KIND BAR Giveaway Winner is… #18, April, who said:

“I’m already a subscriber and have never tried KIND before! The Almond and Coconut sounds delish!”

Congrats April!! Please send me your shipping info to bethklein at gmail dot com and I’ll have the KIND Bar people get you out those bars to try.

Whew this post ended up being longer than expected, hope your Friday is going great too!!

Goji Berries

Good morning! Today’s breakfast was something new for me and I always get a little excited when I try new things. At my trip to the Asian Grocery store on Monday, I walked away with a lot of random stuff, but one of the purchases I was especially happy about were Goji Berries, labeled as Wolf Berries. I got a pretty good sized bag for $3.99 which is SO cheap compared to the other prices I’ve seen at Whole Foods, online, and other health food stores.

I had heard Goji Berries were a superfood, but didn’t know too much about their nutritional benefits, so I did a little research and thought I’d share. Some benefits of goji berries are :

  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Protect the liver
  • Boost immune function
  • improve circulation
  • promote longevity
  • help eyesight and prevent macular degeneration
  • strengthen the legs
  • improve fertility and sexual funtion

More detailed information can be found here. Most goji berries come in a dried form, similar to raisins, but a little drier in my opinion. There are many ways to use/consume goji berries, from eating them raw like raisins, to steeping them in water for tea, in trail mix, in energy bars, in smoothies, or pretty much anywhere you could use raisins or other dried fruit.

Today, I soaked 2 tbsp of goji berries in water for 10 minutes to plump them up a bit, and then added them to my breakfast bowl.

This bowl had:

  • 1/2 cup wheat berries
  • 1 container Chobani 0%
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp goji berries

Verdict? So good! This was my first time ever having wheat berries as a breakfast, and I just love their texture. They are chewy and kind of nutty in flavor, and are a nice change from my regular oats. I got some from the bulk bins at Whole Foods and cooked them over the weekend. Now I have a tub of chilled wheat berries to throw in salads, wraps, or for breakfast! I also loved the goji berries. I had only tasted them once before and I didn’t care for them too much. I think I wasn’t really sure what to expect and just ate a few of them plain. Soaking them in water for just a few minutes really plumps them up and gives them a good texture.

Back to work! Don’t forget to check last night’s post for the winner of the KIND Bar Giveaway!

Easy Creamy Tomato Soup

Hey! How has your Wednesday been? Mine has actually been really good! The weather held up for most of the day, so I got to run the errands I put off yesterday and now have another pair of work pants that fit! Woohoo. I had an awesome snack in the afternoon around 4:30.

A plain Chobani with a packet of Truvia, a crushed Weetabix biscuit, and 1 tbsp coconut flakes. Delicious. As soon as 5pm rolled around, it started sprinkling outside, but it was still pretty warm, so I came home and decided to go for a run. It actually felt GREAT. There were parts of the run that were tough (miles 1-2, and 4.5-5.5) but overall it was much better than Saturday, and the light rain actually kept me cool. I also remember my ipod shuffle this time, which was a lifesaver. 🙂

Stats:

Distance: 6.00 miles

Duration: 58:35

Avg Pace: 9:46 min/mile

Avg Speed: 6.1 mph

Calories Burned: 701

I’m glad to be back to running where it actually feels good! 🙂

After my run, I made an easy, delicious Creamy Tomato Soup that you have to try! This recipe is courtesy of my sister Wendy, with a few tweaks by me. This is all you need for the soup:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp oil of choice (I used olive)
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I used organic fire roasted)
  • 1 container plain Chobani (You can substitute half and half)

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pot over medium heat
  2. Add chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes until onion is soft, not browned
  3. Add can of tomatoes, juice and all, and stir in with onion
  4. Continue to cook for 5 minutes
  5. Mix with a hand blender, or a regular blender (but be careful not to close the lid fully since the soup will be hot!) to desired consistency. I left mine a little chunky because I like the soup that way.
  6. Mix in Chobani or desired amount of 1/2 and 1/2 and keep over the flame until heated through
  7. Garnish soup however you like. I used shredded cheddar.

This recipe makes 2 good sized bowls of soup (with 2 WW points each if you use the same ingredients I did) and is creamy, chunky, and delicious!

I had the soup with a toasted everything bagel thin with an over easy egg and more cheddar.

Such an easy and delicious dinner! I looove cream of tomato soup and this version is delicious and healthy too!

Dessert was 1/2 a mango, chopped up.

Off to catch up on the Biggest Loser and take it easy! Goodnight!

Poached Eggs with Avocado? Yes, Please!

Hey! This week is seriously flying by.. I feel like I say that every week but this time I really mean it! I’m going to make this pretty quick because, and I know I say this every night lately, I am TIRED and want to really make an effort to get to bed early. Check up on me tomorrow to hold me to it. 🙂

I did Bikram after work today and it was HARD. There weren’t too many people there even though this class is usually busy, but I’m guessing that’s because they were out celebrating Cinco de Mayo. For some reason today, I felt like I could barely breath! After the first few standing postures I had to sit down for a little bit – it was strange because I took yesterday off and it wasn’t humid at all today. I am going to take tomorrow off too and go for a nice long bikeride because I still haven’t tried my new seat even though its installed. I’ll go back to Bikram on Friday, which concludes my week pass, then I’m going to take a bit of time off from it because its expensive and I’ve really been neglecting biking, running, and weight training. Also, it is such a huge time commitment with the workout itself plus getting there early and showering after, so I’m looking forward to having a little more free time most evenings.

After my lunch, I ran out and got some gummy bears because I wanted them. Good reason, right? 🙂

Afternoon snacks included an apple

And a Chobani 2% Strawberry Banana

I am loving the 2% flavors recently. I think they taste great, are a little thicker than the 0%, and really stick with me longer.

When I got home, I was REALLY hungry, so I wanted to make something fast. I quickly decided on eggs, my favorite quick meal.

This is two poached eggs, served over 1/2 a medium sized avocado, with two slices of toasted whole wheat potato bread. Poaching can seem intimidating – i know it did for me before I learned the right way, but its really so quick, easy, and its great that you don’t have to add any butter or oil to cook them in.  Jenna did a post on it here, but my method is a little less precise. I usually do it in a pan, as long as its deep enough for the water to cover the eggs, and the three secrets to poaching perfect eggs are:

1.) Add vinegar to the poaching water

2.) Bring the water to a boil and then down to a simmer before putting the eggs in

3.) Crack the eggs in a dish and then pour into the water, don’t crack them directly into the water

I leave it for about 3-4 minutes and don’t cover it, and then use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pan. They turned out exactly how I like them, with the yolk oozing all over once I broke it.

Mmmm. This was exactly what I wanted and was in my belly 15 minutes after I came up with the idea. 🙂

Night!

Community Book Room

Whew what a day! I am feeling so exhausted I can barely keep my eyes open – it’s going to be an early night! I don’t even know if I’ll make it through Nurse Jackie… one of my favorite shows right now, so that says something!

One of the reasons I’m so tired is because I stayed up too late last night because I’ve was reading this book. There is a community book room in my apartment complex and it is such an awesome thing to have. Basically, its a room on the lobby level full of books. You can go in there any time you’re looking for a new read and take it with you. I always put a lot of good books in there when I’m done reading, and sometimes find some really great books I never would have discovered otherwise. The book I’m currently reading was in there and it says on the front, “Highly recommended for fans of authors like Jodi Picoult and Jacequelyn Michard.” It had me right there – Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read almost all of her novels and loved each one. This book is a little sad but its the kind you read where you cannot put it down. I’ve been reading it on the metro to/from work and I’ve definitely missed my stop more than once! 🙂

My afternoon snack today was a Pineapple Chobani with the last of the Fiber One in my desk.

I had it around 4pm and it held me over really well. I never would have tried the 2% yogurt had Chobani not sent me the samples, and I’m so glad I did. It has the same number of WW Points as the nonfat kinds (3 pts) but keeps me full for a lot longer.

After work, I took the 6pm Bikram tonight. It was hard! It’s day 3 in a row for me and since it was so humid outside, the class itself was really hot and sweaty, even more than normal. Not to mention, 6pm is the time of choice for a lot of people who go after work, so it was packed. People were practically on top of each other, and when you’re that sweaty, the last thing you want is someone else who’s equally sweaty touching you! I can definitely tell that I’m getting better at the postures and really enjoy it, but tomorrow I’m going to take the day off from it.

When I got home, I was starving and I opened my fridge and saw the leftover pizza from Saturday night. I heated it up for 45 seconds and devoured it.

Two sliced of wild mushroom pizza with 4 types of cheese… yum! It was delish. After my pizza, I was craving some fruit, so I had three mandarins.

And then as I sat down to write this I realized I wanted something else, so I had a huge banana.

I had to take a bite before I could snap a pic. 😉

I’m off to relax and hopefully get to bed early tonight.

Be back tomorrow!

Easy Homemade Granola

Morning! Today is chilly here in DC but sunny instead of raining like it has the last several days. I’m really looking forward to going on a bike ride or for a run tonight after work! My body is ready to move now that I’ve taken two days off in a row. 🙂

I love granola on my yogurt/oatmeal, but it’s usually really expensive in the store and has a lot more calories and fat than I like for a topping (besides nut butter of course). So, I decided to make my own last night, and it was SO easy and came out so delicious, even if I baked it for a little too long. The great thing about making it at home is you can control exactly what goes into it, and how much oil and/or honey you put into it, so you can control the nutritionals.

Into this bowl went:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey

That’s it! I mixed this all together, making sure to spread the honey and olive oil evenly throughout the dry ingredients, and then spread it out on top of wax paper in a 13×9 in pan.

Then, I put it in the oven at 350º for 25 minutes, mixing it around half way through.

If I could do it over again, I would have taken it out after 20 minutes instead of 25. It isn’t burnt by any means, just a little dark. Guess that’s the trouble with making up your own recipes! 🙂 Store it in an airtight container. I made it into 4 huge servings, but it could easily make 6 or 8.

But really, you can make this with anything you have around. The honey/oil clumps it together so it gets crunchy and delicious. You can add cinnamon, dried fruit, chocolate, sunflower or pumpkin seeds… you name it. Just remember that if you’re going to put any chocolate or dried fruit (raisins, cherries, etc), you want to add those things after its done baking, but while its still fresh out of the oven and warm.

Even though I sampled some last night after it was done, I couldn’t wait to try it out on my yogurt this morning.

I had a Chobani 0% plain yogurt with a big serving of the granola, a sliced banana, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. It was seriously SO good and so easy! Plus, this granola is sooo cheap compared to buying a $5+ box in the store.

Happy Tuesday!!

Back in the District

Hi! I just got back to DC and am happy to be home and relaxing for a few hours before going to sleep! I ended up sleeping in really late today (~10:30am) so had no time for the gym because we had to run to the grocery store and then over to my boyfriends mom house to whip up brunch. We ended up staying up later than planned last night, so I didn’t blame myself for sleeping in.. plus, its Sunday and I ran 10 miles yesterday sooo…

For brunch, we decided to make blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, grits, bacon & sausage (not for me), and some fruit. We picked up this awesome pancake and waffle mix

It made really fluffy pancakes, and all we had to do was add water or milk (we used 1/2 and 1/2 and it worked great). I want to try to find this mix at a grocery store around here. I hadn’t had pancakes in so long!

We also got Hodson Mill’s corn grits

Which was also super easy to put together. Just add water, a little butter, and some salt and they are ready in 5 minutes. Here was our spread:

Pancakes (some with fresh blueberries, some plain), cantaloupe and strawberries, bacon/sausage, scrambled eggs, and in the pot you can barely see:

The grits! Here was my plate:

One big blueberry pancake, some fruit, a little scrambled eggs, and a little grits. I also picked up a Chobani strawberry at the grocery store and put it on the pancake and ate the rest out of the cup… my first time trying the Strawberry and I really liked it. I went back for some more fruit an hour or two after but that plate really filled me up! We ended up staying for a few hours just chatting and laying low, and then before we knew it it was 5pm and time to get on the road. Visiting family for a weekend always goes by so fast, doesn’t it?

I had the rest of the dried fruit from yesterday, and some crunchy rice snacks we picked up from the grocery store in the car. We also got some drinks for the road (Sugar-Free Rockstar energy drink and a bottle of water for me) and made awesome time on the way home, even though we hit some traffic. The Droid has an awesome navigation feature where it tracks traffic and tells you how long it will take you to get to your destination factoring in traffic. It shows you where the traffic is and when it’ll be over, so being aware of the traffic pattern made it much more tolerable.

Now we’re home and just ordered some Chinese food… gonna lay low and watch some TV. I’ll check in later. Hope you had an awesome weekend and are recharged and ready for tomorrow!