How You Like Dem’ {Big Slice} Apples? ++ Giveaway

Do you like apples? I love apples.

Well. My tastebuds LOVE apples, my stomach and digestive tract, don’t. It stinks. It’s like loving that delicious man who always makes you cry. Why, why, why?

Since I was a child, I have luckily also loved applesauce. My best friend was Evan when I was growing up in Vermont, and his parents raised Evan and his sister Claire in a very healthy manner. It’s the lifestyle that I hope to one day adopt for my future family. Evan’s Mom knew healthy balance, and it was something that I came to know as well, as I enjoyed probably thousands of breakfasts, lunches and dinners at their house.

One of her sides, which I have never been able to get out of my mind, is her homemade applesauce. Oh it was just heavenly! Ever since tasting her homemade applesauce, I have had a love affair with applesauce, so when I was selected to be on Big Slice’s campaign for their on-the-go pouches of slowly cooked slices of apples,  I got way too excited.

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I love warmed-up apples and I love applesauce, so a combination of the two, in decadent and fun flavors, ahhh!!!

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16 flavors, 3 product lines. Big Slice are made of wholesome ingredients, made with USA apples ONLY, non-GMO product verified, are gluten-free, and include whole pieces of fruit.

7 different flavor pouches make up their Pure Line, in which each recipe is made with pure fruit and spices gently blended together.

{Orange Ginger, Apricot, Blueberry Pomegranate, Natural, Lemon Berry, Chai & Cherry Vanilla}.

Big-Slice-ApplesThe Cherry Vanilla was amazing, and little cherries were a welcomed surprise in the mix!

Big-Slice-Apples

Their Fit Line is comprised of four different varieties promoting energy, power, balance, and beauty. {Banana Mango & Hemp Seed, Peach Green Tea & Aloe, Pineapple Passion Fruit & Fiber, and Raspberry Hibiscus & Green Coffee Extract}.
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And lastly, their Luxe Line are made for indulging in those rich flavors that won’t leave you feeling guilty. {Peach Bellini, Cinnamon Candy, Boysenberry Chocolate, Caramel, and Cinnamon French Toast}.

Big-Slice-ApplesThese are great before a workout, as a mid-morning snack, after dinner when you just want a little bit of something to cure your sweet tooth, or really any dang time that you please!

Now here’s where Big Slice is sharing the love. One lucky Running on Peanut Butter reader will win a gift pack that includes 12 assorted Big Slice pouches as seen above, a tumbler, and a spork (for digging in with). Simply enter below through the Rafflecopter giveaway. The giveaway will run until Friday 12/18 11:59 pm, and I will announce the winner on Monday, 12/21!
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I Sweat More Than The Average Human & Dove/Degree Giveaway

During the summer months when I lived at home, I would spend my weekend mornings running in the neighborhood. Hot days meant that I would sweat X10 more than normal. I sweat 5x more than the normal human being (thanks Dad), so really, I would be sweating 15x more than normal during my summer runs.

When I would enter the house after my runs, my Dad would always remind me that I smell. That or I would enter the kitchen and if I walked by someone, I would tell them to hold their breath.

I sweat. I sweat a lot. And when I sweat, I smell. The only saving grace aside from a shower is deodorant. I used to buy Dove’s specialty deodorant because it was the only deodorant that could combat my stench. Now, I rotate between Degree for women and for men. So when I was asked to participate in Dove & Degree’s #TryDry campaign, I was all in, especially because they even offered TEN Running on Peanut Butter readers to win the same gift pack that I received! Ho ho ho!

Unilever sent me 5 dry spray antiperspirants, which are their new product that goes on instantly dry, provides 48-hour of odor and wetness protection and are each formulated with unique product benefits {see below}.

TryDry

Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant: Goes on instantly dry and provides 48 hour odor and wetness protection with all the care of Dove, leaving underarms soft, smooth and residue free.

Dove Men+Care Dry Spray: Has a non-irritant formula to be tough on sweat, not on skin. Provides 48 hour odor and wetness protection along with Dove Men+Care’s signature ¼ moisturizing cream.

Degree Women Dry Spray Antiperspirant: Includes MOTIONSENSE® Technology which responds directly to your body movement to release extra protection the more you move.

Degree Men Dry Spray Antiperspirant: Includes MOTIONSENSE® Technology which responds directly to your body movement to release extra protection the more you move.

AXE Dry Spray Antiperspirant: Designed to help guys feel confidently fresh by offering a high voltage blend of premium fragrance notes.

TryDryDoveDegree

I carried around the Degree Women spray in my purse constantly. I would give myself a spray before the gym, after my shower, and sometimes before bed, but I usually still smelled approachable, so it wasn’t necessary.

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I love men’s deodorant, or more so how good men smell, so from time to time I do buy men’s deodorant. I gave these deodorants to my brother, except for the Dove spray because the smell was just so fresh and lovely that I wanted it for myself! Is that greedy?

Deodorant is so important to me because I never know just when I will bump into my future husband. Will it be at the gym? At Target? At the library? I have no idea where or when, so I always need to smell good so that I don’t scare him away.

As I mentioned above, 10 lucky readers will win the above pack, all you have to do to enter is leave a comment below telling anything about your sweat situation. Do you sweat a lot? Do you barely sweat? What scent do you like the best? Men or women’s deodorant? You have until Sunday 11:59 pm EST to enter, and I will announce the winners next week!

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My Thoughts on the Combat Crunch Birthday Cake Protein Bar

If you’re like me, you love finding the perfect protein bar for afternoon snacks or when you’re on the road all day. I’ve recently become a huge fan of Muscle Pharm Combat Crunch bars, so when I heard that they recently released a Birthday Cake flavor, I was all over it. While I was out running errands one Saturday, I was running low on energy, so I popped into the GNC in the mall and grabbed the new flavor. All opinions of this flavor are my own, and in now way were they sponsored by Muscle Pharm.

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I will say that all of the Combat Crunch flavors are good, but there are a few that are mind-blowing amazing. I’m obsessed with birthday cake flavored anything, so I had extremely high hopes for this bar. I was extremely excited when I saw the sprinkles that coated the top of the bar.

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Combat bars have a good chew to them, which is a quality that I love. It always takes me awhile to eat a chewy bar, and for me that’s key!Combat-Crunch-Birthday-Cake

The width of the bar did not disappoint, and I loved that the sprinkles even were on the sides of the bar!
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The taste was good. It wasn’t overly sweet which is a good quality, but if I was blindfolded and someone asked me what flavor it was, I would probably just say vanilla… but I guess that’s just a fancy term for birthday cake, right?

Combat-Crunch-Birthday-Cake

It’s quite possible that I have unreal expectations on what a birthday cake protein bar should taste like, but I was a little bit disappointed with this one. I also just really love peanut butter or cookie favored protein bars. Don’t get me wrong, the bar wasn’t bad at all, just probably not one that I would need to buy. I would give their Cinnamon Twist bar a 10/10, and when compared to that flavor, this is probably a 8/10.

Give this bar a shot if you like vanilla or birthday cake type of bars because there is a great chance that you would love this! Even though the flavor did not wow me, I still loved every bite of it!

Have you tried this protein bar yet?

What is your favorite flavor Combat Crunch bar?

All opinions are my own, and this post is not sponsored by Muscle Pharm, but out of my sheer curiosity. 

I Found THE PERFECT Protein Cookie {MyProtein}

While I was in Dallas in July for work, MyProtein reached out to me asking if I would be interested in their products. I love when new-to-me companies email me because it allows me to learn about a new brand, maybe fall in love with their products, and broaden my options. What immediately blew me away, was that MyProtein offers a full range of products, including instant oats, peanut butter (smooth & chunky), liquid flavorings, protein powder, creatine, protein cookies, protein bars, casein, amino acids, and more.

Their prices are extremely low, and the taste is phenomenal!

MyProtein sent me a big box of goodies, including smooth peanut butter, instant oats, banana flavoring, White Chocolate Almond protein cookies, cookies & cream protein powder, and a shaker bottle.

The protein was surprisingly good! Most brands that I go into not knowing much about, I always get worried that their protein will be awful, but the cookies & cream tasted how it was supposed to and didn’t leave any nasty after taste. Fabulous!

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The peanut butter doesn’t taste any different from one of the better options at your grocery store, but one thing that I liked was just how big the jar is. Obviously I would notice and love that. 🙂myprotein-peanut-butter

I used the peanut butter to top my oatmeal with, and what I loved most was that it instantly made a soupy mess in my bowl, which to me, screams perfection!myprotein

I put these banana flavored drops in my oatmeal and it not only tasted like I was eating fresh banana oatmeal, but it thickened my oats up, which made it even better than normal!
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Solid macros! 20 carbs, 10 fat, 37 protein. High on the protein BUT I love the fat and carb content!
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The cookie has a decent size to it, and I immediately could tell that it was going to be great. I mean, just look at all of those chips!!myprotein-white-chocolate-almond-protein-cookie

The cookie is amazing. It’s chewy, thick, FULL of white chocolate chips, and tastes like a real cookie. I didn’t want this cookie to end, and I 100% felt like I was eating an unhealthy cookie. Winner!myprotein-white-chocolate-almond-protein-cookie

In the 3 years that I have been blogging, I have to say that this is one of my favorite shipments that I’ve received to share with you guys on my blog. I was left happy by all of the products I received, and would recommend this company to you in a heartbeat. The cookies and liquid flavoring absolutely stand out from the rest, and while the peanut butter is phenomenal, these are 2 products that are not only hard to find at a good price, but that are also hard to make taste good. MyProtein does just that.

Once I get back from the Bahamas I fully plan on ordering more cookies, as I brought my last 4 on vacation with me. I plan on trying all of the flavors, but the White Chocolate Almond…. to die for!

What is one protein product/treat that you wish companies could nail on the head and make it taste like the unhealthy version?

CAKE. COOKIES. Any treat!

What flavoring if any, would you want to add to your oatmeal?

*MyProtein sent me the above products for free in exchange for a product review. All opinions are 100% my own.

My Thoughts on the FitCrunch Cookies & Cream Protein Bar

Baked soft cookie center. 6 layer cookie protein bar. Those are some of the first words that you see on the label of the FitCrunch Cookies & Cream Protein Bar. Last week I highlighted the Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie, and this week it’s the FitCrunch protein bar. This post was sponsored out of my own curiosity of this increasingly popular protein bar hitting Instagram. I bought this bar with my own money, and was originally going to save it for a company outing since it’s a good meal replacement bar sitting in at 380 calories, but when I couldn’t go, I decided to still enjoy it for my afternoon snack. So no, FitCrunch did not sponsor this post, butttttt I mean, if they were to send me different flavors to review, I totally would. 😛Fit-Crunch-Protein-BarMacros:

  • 27 grams of carbs
  • 16 grams of fat
  • 30 grams of protein

Fit-Crunch-Protein-BarOne of the first things that I noticed was that this bar is thick. I cannot stand thin protein bars. Give me volume, crunch, quantity… I want it all. So this was the 1st positive of this bar.

Fit-Crunch-Protein-BarWhen you bite into it, you immediately taste a creamy type of Oreo filling almost. Then you hit the bottom, which is a crispy cookie.

Fit-Crunch-Protein-BarAs you chew, the sensations flip flop between creamy and crunchy.

Fit-Crunch-Protein-BarHere’s a view of it from a different angle, and you can really see how the white is creamy and the bottom is a crunchy cookie. There’s also a different filling above the main creamy layer.

Fit-Crunch-Protein-BarThat thick creamy center was my absolute favorite part of it all, and with the bar being ginormous, in both length and width, this was like the best party of the year that never ended!

Fit-Crunch-Protein-BarSome bites even have mini chocolate chips in them as well, which makes for an even better bite.

Fit-Crunch-Protein-BarSo yes, I would absolutely recommend this protein bar to you guys! I feel confident saying that this was actually the best bar that I have ever tried. 100% the truth right there. I wish that the fat was so high, but if you’re not worried about fat or have a lot of fat in your macros, go for it!

Have you tried the FitCrunch bars before?

What’s your favorite protein bar and flavor?

What bar should I taste test next?

My Thoughts on the Lenny & Larry’s Complete Chocolate Chip Cookie

So I did it. I finally tried the Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie. I have been day dreaming about these cookies for months now, from seeing them in GNC or Vitamin Shoppe, to seeing them being shared on blogs and Instagram accounts. I bought the cookie with my own money and this is not sponsored at all.

Macros:

  • 54 grams of carbs
  • 12 grams of fat
  • 16 grams of protein

There are two servings in one cookie, but the macros above are for the entire cookie. There is no way someone could only eat half. If you have that kind of willpower, please teach me your ways.

LennyLarrys-Complete-CookieI kept wanting to buy one and kept holding off. Well, last weekend I finally had enough carbs on a regular day (not high carb day) to have the cookie. I purchased the Chocolate Chip Complete Cookie because chocolate chip cookies are my absolute favorite, along with sugar cookies.

The cookie is a really good size… note the comparison of it in my palm. I heard people say it was huge and I was honestly hoping that once I took it out of the package it would triple in size like those sponge animals that become ginormous once put in water haha. So the fact that it didn’t immediately enlarge like magic was my first disappointment.

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I really liked the texture of it. It wasn’t hard like cardboard and didn’t taste like it was a “protein cookie.” Not enough chocolate chips though, and for the ones that were in it, they all seemed to be clumped together, so I got about 3 chips in one bite, and none in a handful of other bites. Disappointment #2.

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My honest opinion. Not worth the hype. Not at all. I probably will not buy this flavor again, but I’m intrigued by the other ones. Not super intrigued where I need to try them now. Maybe months from now I’ll pick up a different one, but truthfully, I can think of so many better ways to enjoy 54 grams of carbs, 12 grams of fat and 16 grams of protein. LIKE A BOWL OF FROYO <3 Or, how about real cookies from a bakery.
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No joke, I ate a bag of mini Chips Ahoy cookies right after this because I was let down, and those Chips Ahoy cookies were worth the carbs and blowing through my macros for that day.

And there you have it. For those that loved this cookie, I am jealous of you guys, but also, maybe I’m not because I have one less food that I’m addicted to? Ha!

What are your thoughts on the Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie?

What’s your favorite flavor cookie of Lenny & Larry’s?

Again, this post is not sponsored, and Lenny & Larry’s is probably happy that they didn’t send me this cookie for a review!

Running Safety with Illumiseen

I loved my run several Sundays ago so much that I wanted to dedicate a post to pictures from that run and tie it into running safety!

Head’s Pond is the cutest little hidden gem in my town. It takes me about 15-20 minutes to get there, depending on the time of day and traffic. It’s off of a main road so cars are constantly flying by, but below the road, is a beautiful path that people run or walk their dogs on.

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Most of the trail is gravel, and in the middle of the course you get views of Head’s Pond, which can sometimes be occupied by fishers or someone in a kayak or a canoe.

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As you get a mile or so in, the pond disappears from view and you are on a more deserted path. If it were early in the morning or late in the evening, I would not want to be on this path alone, but during a weekend day where it’s more populated, there’s definitely a safe and peaceful feeling to it.

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About 1.4 miles in, you literally hit a dead-end, unless you can run on water, which I can’t, so I stop here.
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To take in this view.

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On my run back towards the entrance, there are little side trails that can only fit one person and is overgrown with trees and bushes. Again, this isn’t a safe option when you’re alone, butttt sometimes I take it every now and then when I’m alone.

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There are little inlets several yards down the trail which are open and more safe for breaks and photo-ops, but honestly, this is definitely a trail to be with someone on a walk or a run during the evening hours.Heads-Pond-running-selfie

Choosing the right area or trail for your run is the first step to running safety. Once you decide where you are going to run, then you need to determine what to carry with you, which can vary based on the time of day. It’s always important to carry ID of some kind on you. Whether you stuff your license in your running belt, slip it between your phone and case, or wear an ID bracelet, you need to do something to let someone know who you are in case of an emergency!

I have a bracelet ID that I will wear and I also typically carry my phone with me. Most of my outdoor runs are in my neighborhood, so carrying my phone is convenient in case I need to call family or a neighbor for assistance. Knock on wood that I don’t need to do this! I’ve only done it once because I had a pair of shoes that were causing me to bleed.

And one of THE most important safety tips for runner’s is to run when it’s light out, and when it’s not, to always make sure to run with a head lamp, a sensor light clip for your pants or shoes, reflective clothing, or an LED reflective belt, like the one that Illumiseen sent me. I love being the center of attention, and this belt makes that happen!

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I’m not quite sure how I would feel about running with a light on my head, so clipping this around my waist is ideal for me, especially since I am used to that with my fuel belt.

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Even from a distance and jumping around, you are still extremely visible!

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Remember whether you carry ID, wear a reflective light or bring your phone with you, make sure to always tell someone where you’ll be running, how long they might expect you to be gone for, and any additional information you find fitting!

What’s your #1 running safety tip?

 

*Illumiseen provided me with an LED Reflective belt free of charge. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

How Tracking My Runs Is Helping Me Improve + Giveaway

Hey guys & happy Tuesday! Hopefully you are all slowly easing out of the candy coma and feeling back to normal and crushing your workouts!

Today I have one of my favorite giveaways, and it’s not even food or clothing related! This is for any athlete, and yes, if you workout you are an athlete. If you lift weights, do CrossFit, or run, then this workout is for you!

I introduce to you Journal Menu! When I used to CrossFit regularly, I had a log book that I used to track all of me workouts, lifts, and progress. I loved it, and now that I’m focusing more on running and lifting at a regular gym, I haven’t been tracking any of my workouts. So when Erica of Journal Menu reached out and asked if I would review the book geared towards runners, I was all in. Seriously, so excited for this. Even cooler, you get to customize the front and back cover!

Erica gave me cover ideas to use, but said if I found an image of my own that I wanted to use, I could. I wanted one that would motivate me, so I chose an image of a running path that I took when I was spending time in southern California years ago, and found a quote that would motivate me to get out the door.

JournalMenu

Journaling improves your memory, your consistency and your outlook on life, because you can go back and review why it’s all going so great, or figure out what’s been going wrong.

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The journal starts with pages for you to write your goals, how you will achieve them, body measurements, and mobility exercises to strengthen your body. It then gets into race planning and tracking your races. What a great idea!

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And then what I’m most interested in, the different training programs for races. 5k, 1/2 marathon and full marathon training programs are all in here.

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The program provides you with the proper workouts/runs, along with a page right next to it to track your training! I am so using this once my 1/2 marathon training begins!

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After the goal pages, measurement pages, and training programs, you get into the meat of the training book. Here is where you get to track all of your runs, or WODs if you choose a journal geared towards CrossFit!

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Since starting using my Journal Menu to track my runs, I’ve noticed that I’ve actually improved my runs. From being able to hold a longer tempo run, to increasing my overall speed on miles, this run tracker has only brought me positive workouts.

And now one lucky reader can win a customized training book of their own, whether it’s a running journal or a CrossFit journal, it’s your choice! The giveaway will end Thursday night, and I will announce the winner Friday morning!
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My Secret Weapon for Running & Compression Sock Giveaway! {SLS3}

With the weather getting nice (sort of), it’s time for me to start narrowing in on races that I want to run this spring, summer and fall. I have my first race of the year this Sunday, and with that means more grueling training runs, smarter eating, and getting quality sleep so I can continually improve.

During the winter months I was focused on weight lifting with easy 2 mile runs, but within the past month, I have focused in on making my runs quality. Instead of always doing easy runs, I’m challenging myself with tempo runs, HIIT, and building up my “long run,” while still lifting 3 days a week.

While things such as nutrition, sleep and mobility are major factors in recovery and progress, my secret weapon are compression socks. I’ve only worn the full marathon compression socks, so when SL3S reached out to me asking if I would review their compression butterfly sleeve, I couldn’t say no!

I had never heard of SLS3, so when a lesser-known to me company reaches out, I always find joy in learning about a new company and informing others of them as well. It’s even better when the company asks if they can give a pair of compression socks or sleeves to one lucky Running on Peanut Butter fan!

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I want those black ones above. BADLY! ^

One of the things I loved instantly about SLS3 were the colors they offered their compression socks/sleeves in. Purple, pink, light blue, black, hello!!!! If we want to get more technical, Azure, Hibiscus, Violet, Black. Black, there’s just no pretty name for you!

I already have a pair of pink compression socks, so I chose violet, since that’s one of my favorite colors.

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I love these sleeves! I sleep in them, I wear them to work, and I lounge around in them, especially after a run or the night before a harder scheduled run. I also loved that my feet didn’t feel suffocated. If I sleep in full compression socks, I will wake up in the middle of the night and literally pull those things off as fast as I can because I feel claustrophobic.  <–anyone else.. am I the only weird one??

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These sleeves really are fabulous. They boost bloodflow by about 34%, and I love feeling my calves get all tingly from the blood flow. THAT’S how I know these work. It’s a calming sensation almost. I can knock out a tough run in the morning, and then go sit at work while wearing these under my jeans and know that the circulation improvements are helping my body eliminate lactic acid, and ultimately “leads to less soft tissue damage and less sore muscles.”

I will take it! And so will one of you! I’m keeping this giveaway open today, tomorrow and Thursday. The giveaway will close at midnight Thurs/Friday, and I will announce the winner Friday morning at 9 am! Good luck my running friends! 🙂

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What is your secret weapon to a good run? {Answering this question is an entry}

 

Let’s Celebrate Being a Larabar Ambassador with a Giveaway!

I am so excited for today for a handful of reasons. I have been keeping this little secret to myself for a bit now, and I can finally reveal it! At the end of 2014 I had applied to be an Ambassador for Larabar for their 2015 year. Well, about a month ago I received word that I was chosen to be one of their ambassadors for this new year, and not only does it benefit me, but it benefits you as well!

Part of the process for applying for and becoming a Larabar Ambassador was to complete an in-depth questionnaire talking about why we wanted to partner with Larabar and how we promote a healthy life. The second part asked how we would promote a healthy life to those around us.

Larabar recently sent me my first shipment of products to giveaway, and I am extremely happy that I get to give these out. In the package were 300 mini Larabars. 3-0-0!

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This batch will last the first half of the year, which means that I can give these out at events, have friends and family try them, and even better, hold random giveaways for you guys, as this wouldn’t even be possible if it weren’t for you guys. 🙂

My package consisted mostly of 4 flavors:

Cashew Cookie

Love this one! It tastes pretty similar to cashews, and it gives me my cashew fix without binging on and demolishing an entire can of cashews, which I have been known to do. This is a healthy alternative for when you’re craving cashews in the baddest way!

cashew-cookie-larabarPeanut Butter Chocolate Chip

MY FAVORITE! This one is so good and tastes exactly like a chocolate chip cookie. That’s all that needs to be said about this one! I loved the mini chocolate chips that are used in this bar. This again is perfect for when you really want a chocolate chip cookie but not necessary all of the nasty ingredients in a real cookie. Larabar makes it possible to treat yourself while still being healthy!

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Peanut Butter Cookie

This one is pretty good but I was actually let down that it wasn’t super peanut buttery. Still a solid bar though!

peanut-butter-cookie-larabarUber Roasted Nut Roll

LOVED this one. Super addicting, as in I didn’t want this bar to end. I’ve grown up on granola and trail mix bars, so I loved that it reminded me of a trail mix bar, and it made me feel a lot better knowing that it was a healthier option that one that you might find in the aisle at the grocery store. It was filling & simply delicious. I especially loved how filling this one is before a workout, whether it’s a run or strength workout.uber-roasted-nut-bar-larabar

And now it’s time to share the healthy love with you guys! I will be giving away 7 goodie bags to start with each of these flavors. All you have to do is enter in as many of entry ways as you’d like, and I will select a winner on Friday! If you aren’t selected, don’t worry, I will be giving away these Larabar goodie bags 1-2 times a month!

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This post is sponsored by Larabar. I received the samples as part of being a Larabar Ambassador. All opinions are my own, and all expenses for mailing the prizes are incurred by me.