Sunday, October 28, 2012

October Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

The Lean Green Bean

It's reveal day today :) This was my fourth month taking part and another great month with lots of yummy goodies. This month I mailed my package to Tara in Illinois and I received my package from Bridgette in New York, she blogs over at

So I know you all want to see what goodies I received, so here goes.

The first thing I ate was the sweet potato chips, they were so good, then I ate the feta herb hummus chips, I had eaten some a few weeks back and knew how good they were. The pure maple sugar candy is something I have never seen before and was something from Bridgette's local area, I shared these with my husband and we both loved them. I must confess I haven't actually got round to trying any of the other items yet as we have had family staying and we have been eating out a lot, but I am looking forward to trying everything especially the popcorn, as I have never seen popcorn like that before.  I am excited that they are all items that are from places local to Bridgette and that I haven't tried before. I also received some honey sticks, which will come in very handy when I drink my tea.
Thank you so much for my lovely box Bridgette, I hope you enjoy your box as much as I am enjoying mine.

And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of
goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about
the goodies you received from your penpal

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items
or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also
include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining
what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your
items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget
about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is
open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you
get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to
post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired
together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 

-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please
note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We've
determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to
send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice

If you’re interested in participating for November, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
You must submit your information by November 4th as pairings will be emailed on October 5th!
*If you're from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to
participate, send me an email and I'll see if we get enough interest
this month!

Run the Hood virtual 5k

Today we participated in the Zombie Dash 'Run the Hood' virtual 5k  We walked around Lake Temescal (3 times). It took us 1hr 25mins, but we did have two dogs with us stopping to sniff and 4 yr old Ebbie who did really well and walked the whole distance. It was a gorgeous morning and a lovely walk around the lake.

I now have another medal on my medal rack :)

Dirty Girl Mud Run

Yesterday Lisa and I took part in the Dirty Gun mud run at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. It was a 5k  mud run and obstacle course, we had to climb over bales of hay, climb over a huge cargo net, climb over an inflatable hill, crawl through mud pits, climb over walls, the list goes on it was lots and lots of fun and we got really dirty. As you can see from the photos.

Monday, October 22, 2012

EatPastry Cookie dough review and giveaway

It's giveaway time again :)

I recently decided to completely cut dairy out of my diet as my allergies were gradually getting worse. I was in Whole Foods looking for something exciting to buy that was dairy free when I found EatPastry cookie dough :) We are now best friends for life!!

About the cookies:
We use high quality, all natural ingredients from the finest suppliers out there. It has been our priority to make sure all ingredients are 100% Vegan, not having come in contact with any animal ingredients. Our cookie dough contains Organic and Fair Trade Sugar (Evaporated Cane Juice), Select Organic Ingredients *see in ingredient lists below (on website), and Peanut Butter made right here in EatPastry's kitchen. No eggs, no dairy, no preservatives, no processing, no fillers, NO GMOs, no funny business. All flavors created with various moods in mind.

They also do gluten free cookie dough. They have a total of seven flavors:
Chocolate Chip
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip
Chocoholic Chip
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip
Gluten Free Snickerdoodle
Gluten Free Sugar Momma

I have purchased their cookie dough three times now, each time buying the chocolate chip flavor, as you can see from the photos I was very good and even properly measured out the correct amount of cookie dough (for the photos anyway!).

Now I do have a confession to make! Out of all three tubs I have purchased I have probably eaten more raw cookie dough than I have baked cookies! They only take 12-15 mins to bake and are super yummy when done (especially when they are still warm), but the temptation to have a spoonful (or 3) when you open the fridge is just too hard to resist.

I have only purchased their cookie dough in Whole Foods so far but if you check out their site it is available in a few other stores nationwide too.

So now it is your chance to try this amazing cookie dough. Using the rafflecopter button below you can enter to win a free tub of cookie dough (this will consist of one $5 Whole Foods gift card and some $1 off coupons).

 All entries must be submitted using rafflecopter, and this giveaway is open to US resident only. Winner will be announced on November 2 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday weigh in

First of all I wanted to say thanks to everyone who messaged/commented and texted me after my last post, it's great to know I have you all supporting me on my journey.

So as I mentioned before, this past week I have not done any tracking and just focused on eating clean and smaller portions, and also not weighing daily. I did plan to workout this week, but never actually did :( So was very pleased when I got on the scales to see a small loss of 0.4lbs, it's not much but it's a loss and that's what counts. I'm going to adopt the same strategy this week and hope for a loss next Monday. I have my two 5ks this weekend so that is two definite workouts planned :)

I also have a giveaway planned for you all, which I will be posting about later on today, so watch out for another blog post from me.

Have a great week everyone xxx

Friday, October 19, 2012

16 years and 100lbs

Today I was going through some paperwork and I found my weight watchers meeting card dated back to October 1996, my lowest recorded weight on that card was 14 stone 10lbs (206lbs).

This basically equates to me having gained 100lbs in 16 years!! I was shocked and disgusted when I worked out the numbers and of course I thought about 'what if?' what if I had stuck to the plan back then, where would I be now.... I always watch weight loss shows and think 'how did you get that big and not notice it happening?' That is exactly what happened to me, I knew it was happening, but never really faced up to it, it was a few lbs here a few lbs there - until now. I will no longer think that when I watch those shows.

I know I have another weight watchers meeting card but I can't find it at the moment, but know that I wasn't as light as this card.

I did weigh in this Monday and had a gain :( After my big loss last week I decided to give myself a little treat, but in the process got carried away! As a result I gained 3.4lbs taking me back up to 269.4lbs. This week I have been trying to eat as clean as possible, but haven't really been tracking as such, I started to find that even though I was tracking, I wasn't being 100% honest with myself and an odd bit of food here and there wouldn't get tracked. So I decided this week I would see if I could do it on my own and focusing on portion control instead.. I've also stopped weighing daily, as I found that if I saw a loss I would let myself have a treat and also if I saw a gain I would say 'what the heck' and eat everything and anything. I do plan to still weigh in once a week and that will still be on a Monday.

I have updated my weight loss goals/rewards page, I don't have a printout with the 305lbs on as I recorded it myself on a spreadsheet, the closest record I have is my weight watchers card from last year, showing my starting weight of 300.6lbs on Jul 6 2011. 


I was doing weekly updates based on my weight when I joined ww online in January 2012, but have decided to document my losses from my highest weight, as this is more accurate then having two running totals. So my next goal is to lose a total of 40lbs which will be a weigh in of 265lbs. I am hoping to try and reach that very soon, I have family coming to visit and a trip to Disneyland planned, but I don't plan to use it as an excuse to eat all the time, but I do plan to allow myself a few treats and there will be lots and lots of walking at Disney. Plus I have two 5ks planned for next week!

In other news I have now gone 81 days without drinking any soda :) It has been easier than I thought too. I am thinking that when I reach 100 days, I may try cutting something else out of my diet - just not sure what yet. Soda was an obvious choice and something I wont miss and don't need, at the moment I can't think of anything else - any suggestions please let me know.

Yesterday my medal and bib display boards arrived from Running On The Wall and they are now proudly displayed in my office/gym, I have the bib from The Color Run I did this year and the Dani Ryan Holmes-Kirk virtual 5K, and the medal is from the 5k. I look forward to adding many more medals and bibs in the next few years.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Peanut Butter & Co. Winners

Thank you to everyone who entered my first ever giveaway. I wasn't sure how many people would enter, but was very pleased with the total entries of 134.

So you all came here to find out who the two lucky winners are:

They are:
Jordan V and Brittany B

Congratulations to both of you and you should have an email on its way to you now. I hope you enjoy the peanut butter as much as I did.

Thanks again to everyone who entered, and keep checking out my blog as I have another giveaway (involving cookies) planned for the next few days.

Thanks also to Peanut Butter & Co. for supplying the prizes and for making such awesome peanut butter.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Updated photos

I finally got round to taking some new photos today to help document my weight loss. I no longer have a full length mirror so had to get Dave to take them, but tried to stay in the same pose as the others, and wearing the same tshirt.

I am 39lbs lighter in these photos than the ones I took in 2011 which can be found on my weight loss photos page.
I think it's good to document your progress with photos as well as numbers as sometimes the scales don't budge and everything else does :)

Just a reminder if you haven't entered my Peanut Butter & Co. giveaway you have 6 more days to enter.

Have a great weekend everyone xxx

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Peanut Butter & Co Review and Giveway

I'm excited to be hosting my first ever giveaway, and one of my favorite products - peanut butter.

I've recently noticed a lot of people on Twitter talking about peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co. and when I found out they did a white chocolate version I HAD to try it.

For those of you concerned about the recent peanut butter recalls, Peanut Butter & Co. products are not affected by the recall :)

All of their products are kosher, gluten free and vegan (except The Bees Knees which is vegetarian), they do a range of peanut butter related products. Their peanut butter comes in 10 varieties:
Smooth Operator (which as the name suggests is a smooth version), Crunch Time (contains big pieces of peanuts), Cinnamon Raisin Swirl (contains cinnamon and raisins), The Heat is On (spicy PB), White Chocolate Wonderful (contains white chocolate), Dark Chocolate Dreams (contains dark chocolate), The Bees Knees (contains honey), Mighty Maple (contains maple syrup), and Old Fashioned Smooth and Old Fashioned Crunchy. So something for everyone's tastes, and who doesn't like peanut butter?!

When I went to my store they had Dark Chocolate Dreams and White Chocolate Wonderful, so I was super happy to try the White Chocolate one.

We all know the best part about having peanut butter is when you are the first person to open the jar, the seal just waiting to be broken into, and of course the untouched peanut butter. It's like seeing freshly fallen snow and wanting to go run in it!!

I'm sure there is a law somewhere and if not there should be that says you MUST eat the first spoonful straight from the jar. It just tastes so good, and I was not disappointed with White Chocolate Wonderful. I was worried it might be too sweet with the white chocolate, but it was just right, in fact so good I ate three spoonfuls straight from the jar!! Another plus side about this flavor is although it contains white chocolate it is actually dairy free (so ideal for people like me with a dairy allergy). It also contains no cholesterol, no trans fats, no hydrogenated oils, and no high-fructose corn syrup.

I then had to try it my second favorite way - which was on warm toast - and again it didn't disappoint. I think I could quite happily live on peanut butter and toast for the rest of my life :)

OK, now on to the fun part that you all came here for. Peanut Butter & Co. have supplied my with coupons so two of my lucky readers get to try a jar of their peanut butter free of charge. The lucky winners will be announced on Thursday October 18th.
This competition is only open to US residents, all entries must be submitted via Rafflecopter  (app below)

Good Luck

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I received a free sample of ENERGYbits last month and then completely forgot about them!! Then yesterday I remembered them and decided it was time to try them out for myself, as I had heard so many good things about them.

I took 30 of them about 15 mins prior to my workout, yes 30 sounds a lot and it is, but they say you can adjust how many you take at a time, but they do recommend at least 30. You can chew or swallow them, I chose to swallow them around 5 a time, as they are pretty small. They are made of 100% algae so imagine they wouldn't taste that great if you did chew them!

My planned workout was 8 miles on my exercise bike followed by some weights, normally I stop a few times whilst doing 8 miles, but not this time, I actually completed the 8 miles quicker than normal, and ha plenty of energy left to do my weights without taking a rest in between. I was worried they might make me super thirsty or have an aftertaste, but there was none of that. Also there was no noticeable crash after taking them, I completed my workout and went on to enjoy the rest of my day. I have some more left over and plan to take them again before I take part in my Dirty Girl mud run in as few weeks. I'm definitely going to need some more energy that day!!

A little bit about ENERGYbits
Made from 100% organicallly grown spirulina algae and loaded with 40 nutrients, ENERGYbits® algae tabs have the highest concentration of protein in the world (64%) all for just one calorie per tab. Endorsed by the United Nations as the most nutritious food on earth, spirulina algae has been a favorite of Olympic gold medalists for decades and is a super food in every sense of the word, delivering instant and enduring energy to your brain and body.

The same company does a few related products depending on your personal needs
Want an easy, fast way to help prevent a cold, recover from a stressful day or recoup from an illness or long trip? Or maybe you’d like to detox, prevent a hangover, enhance your health and ensure longevity? RECOVERYbits® algae tabs are your answer. Made from 100% chlorella algae, over 60% protein, grown organically, with over 40 nutrients and just one calorie per tab, they're your life line to great health.

Want an easy, natural way to maintain your health and longevity, prevent colds while getting a healthy, high protein, low calorie snack all at the same time? Then, VITALITYbits® are for you. Made from 50% chlorella algae and 50% spirulina algae, both grown organically our VITALITYbits® are your energy-health dream come true. Unmatched in its nutrient profile, if you are looking for one thing to add to your diet that does a little bit of everything, has over 60% protein and 40 nutrients, all for just one calorie per tab this is the one for you.

Want to lose weight easily, without hunger or fatigue? Or maybe you'd like a natural way to reduce your appetite or fight your chocolate cravings? Heck, maybe you just don't have time to cook and need more protein or greens in your diet? Either way, if you want a healthy, low calorie snack to grab ‘n go that gives you all the energy and nutrition you need, but without any chemicals, caffeine, sugar, gluten or soy, SKINNYbits® algae tabs are for you. Want to fit back into your skinny jeans? SKINNYbits® algae tabs can help with that too. Made from 100% organically grown spirulina algae,  64% protein, 40 nutrients and just ONE SKINNY CALORIE per tab. 

Check out their website for more information
You can also find them on facebook
and twitter

Based on my one use I would certainly recommend the ENERGYbits for taking prior to a workout, as they seemed to make a difference for me :)


Monday, October 8, 2012

Week 39

Woo Hoo - my week back on track was awesome and the scales were super awesome I lost 6.8lbs this week, that's the most I've ever lost in one week!! This takes my total loss to 26.2lbs (must remember to transfer some pebbles in my jars!) and I am now 3lbs away from reaching my first major goal which is losing 10% of my starting body weight.

I wish I was still attending meetings as I would have got some weight watchers bling I believe for reaching 25lbs lost.

The little stars certainly bring a smile to my face :)

So what did I do different this week? Well first of all I have had gains the last two weeks, so that makes up for part of the big loss this week. I promised to work out 4 days this week and I did that plus went for some long walks. I used my exercise bike twice and I also did boot camp one day, and also did my first ever kettle bell workout which I loved (even though I think I lost about 5 gallons of sweat whilst doing it!), and the day after and for the following few days I ached so bad in places I never knew I had muscles!! I plan to try and do it twice this week and hope to ache a lot less.

I am still tracking using my fitness pal, and I tracked 100% this week, and only went over my calories one day this week, which was due to a pumpkin cupcake (which was very disappointing indeed as it didn't taste that nice). I think I ate around 70% clean this week and even tried a new food. I ate tofu for the first time, I coated it in honey and breadcrumbs and baked it and it was really good. Actually I tried another new food this week Trader Joes harvest grains blend which I got in my foodie penpals box and they were so so good. I've decided to finally cut cow's milk out of my diet, I've had an allergic reaction to it for many years, but still keep having it, this week I worked on cutting it out and other than a small amount in some foods (where it is listed at the end of the ingredients) I have done pretty well, and my eczema is definitely a lot better for it - and my stomach too, so that may also have helped with the weight loss. I thought I would miss cheese, but I bought a vegetarian substitute which is great on pizza, and also some goats cheese which I don't appear to react to.

Here are my 'my fitness pal' stats for last week.


I'm hoping to have another great week this week, but know that I can't expect big numbers two weeks in a row, but am aiming for a loss.

Have a great week everyone
Sarah x