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Category: Product Review

Friday Five 2.0-Luvo Frozen Meals Product Review

Disclaimer:  I received Luvo Frozen Meals to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

I love to eat but don’t like to cook.  My mother makes the best Mexican food and I look forward to it everytime I see her.  

I have a hard time deciding what to take to school for lunch.  I only have 30 minutes to eat and in that time I also have to finish up some work for the next two hours of class and use the bathroom.  Enter Luvo Frozen Meals.  The past few weeks I had the opportunity to try their products for a quick, easy, and healthy meal.

Luvo Frozen Meals 1

Luvo Frozen Meals 10

Luvo’s philosophies for their meals consist of :

  • The right balance of protein, whole grains, and veggies
  • Not too much sodium or added sugar
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners

There are so many meals to choose from – either in a pouch or a bowl.  Below are the ones I was able to sample.

Kale Ricotta Ravioli – This one had a great smell!  Teachers asked me what I was eating because it smelled so good.  This bowl is nut free and vegetarian with 12 grams of protein, 14 grams of whole grains, and 1/2 cup of vegetables

Hawaiian Un-Fried Rice-I didn’t think I would like this but it is actually very tasty.  This bowl is vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy free with 10 grams of plant protein, 42 grams of whole grains, and 1 cup of fruit and vegetables. 

Luvo Frozen Meals 4

Quinoa & Veggie Enchilada Verde-My sister and I both enjoyed this bowl.  I love green enchiladas as well as quinoa.  The salsa verde was tasty and definitely not spicy at all. This bowl is gluten-free, nut free, vegetarian with 10 grams of protein, 37 grams of whole grains, and 1/2 cup of vegetables.

Great Karma Coconut Curry-This is another bowl I did not think I would like.  I like coconut but not a fan of curry.  This bowl is vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy free with 10 grams of plant protein, 16 grams of whole grains, and 1 cup of vegetables.

Luvo Frozen Meals 9

So Cal Kale & Bean-I know Kale is good for you (don’t eat it as much as I would like to) so I looked forward to this meal.  It was sweet which I liked.  This bowl is vegan, gluten-free, nut free, vegetarian, dairy free with 10 grams of plant protein, 23 grams of whole grains, and 1 cup of fruit and vegetables.

Luvo Frozen Meals 5

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese-I loved the brown rice noodles and the panko style topping on top made it crunchy!  This bowl is gluten-free, nut free, vegetarian with 11 grams of protein, 55 grams of whole grains, and 1/2 cup of vegetables.

Luvo Frozen Meals 6

I know frozen meals are never a substitute for real food.  However, with so many choices of frozen meals out there, I didn’t feel guilty having one of these for lunch.  Here are a few reasons:

  • A few have a high number of whole grains and/or protein.  I was able to stay full till dinner time.
  • Most frozen meals have a high number of sodium.  However, the meals I tried had sodium in the 300s.  The Great Karma Coconut Curry has the highest number with 390 milligrams.
  • A variety to choose from whether you are looking for a vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, nut free, or dairy free meal.
  • Great taste!  Seriously, I was surprised at how good they were.  I tried 6 different meals and I liked all of them.
  • They’re inexpensive!  I went to my local Jewel-Osco and they were on sale for $3.00 (regular price was $4.99) each which is affordable.  Click HERE to find out if they’re available at your local grocery store.

Have you tried Luvo Frozen Meals?  Which one did you like the most?

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 2.0.

Hoping everyone had a good week!

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Brilliant Reflective, my latest favorite running song, and I am still running.

Disclaimer:  I received Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips to try and review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

I rarely run when it is dark.  During the summer it is bright as early as 5am and doesn’t get dark till about 8:30pm.  The few times I run while it is dark, I wear a reflective vest and a headlamp.  I was more than happy to test and review Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips.  The company sent me both Iron-On and Stick-On strips.

Brilliant Reflective 1

So what exactly are these strips?  They’re pieces of tape that you can stick on to your gear so that when light hits you, you are seen.  They’re easy to peel and can be placed on pretty much all of your running gear such as shoes, shirts, hats.  They’re available in black, red, blue, and purple so they either blend in or stand out.

My niece liked them on her shoes.

I used them in my shirt, shoes, and running hat.

Brilliant Reflective 4

Brilliant Reflective 5

Brilliant Reflective 6

I will admit that I removed them from my shoes to put on another pair and somehow one of the strips fell off during my race.  However, they stayed on the shirts even after washing them.

Brilliant Reflective 7

I haven’t used the Iron-On strips but am excited to use them on my Oiselle Power Stretch Beanie and Softshell Gloves.  <<Definitely not ready for cold weather as I am enjoying the cool and fall like weather we are having in Chicago.

Join us on Tuesday, September 12th as BibRave and Brilliant Reflective will be hosting a #BibChat at 8pm CST.  Come by and chat with us about this great product and you’ll have a chance to win some of your own.

My latest running song is “Mi Gente”.  Have you heard it?  Not a big fan of the video but I do like the beat and it makes me want to dance too.  🙂

I had some great runs this week.  Monday and Tuesday was 5.02 miles.  Fall weather is here and that makes the runs much more enjoyable.  I was pleased and surprised with my negative splits!

On Saturday I ran the Run Mag Mile 10K.  It was so much fun!  The weather was perfect and it was fun running down Michigan Avenue (it reminded me of RnR Las Vegas when the strip was closed for the race).  I didn’t get a PR (old one is from 2010) but I ran faster than I thought I could and also had a blast.  I think that definitely counts more than a PR, right?  🙂

So what did you think of the song “Mi Gente”?  What is your favorite running song now?

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.  This week’s host is Sara @ Sara Runs This Town.  Please stop by her blog and show her some love!

Hoping everyone had a good week!

WWGuest

Under Armour Horizon RTT shoes, back to work, and a giveaway!

Disclaimer:  I received a pair of Under Armour Horizon RTT Trail Running Shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

I don’t normally run on the trail.  However, when I was training for the Lake Michigan Marathon, I would do my long runs on the trail.  I wanted a different place than running along the lakefront.  Also,  I realized that I would recover much faster when running on the trail.  Plus, there is a certain smell (dirt) that comes with it.  It may sound weird but it is true and I actually enjoyed it.  

Last month I received a pair of Under Armour Horizon RTT trail running shoes.  Under Armour reminds me of Michael Phelps (and his cool video) and running clothes. Definitely not running shoes nor trail shoes.  I was still very interested to check them out.

The Horizon RTT comes in 5 colors.  I picked marlin blue/neptune and I love the color .

UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoes 1

Product DNA (from the UA website)

  • Durable PU & textile upper for breathability & reliable protection
  • Reinforced welded synthetic material in critical areas for increased durability
  • Mesh heel with dual protective welds
  • Molded collar foam package for added comfort
  • Charged Cushioning® foam puck placed under the heel for responsive comfort
  • Lightweight, full-length EVA midsole for optimal cushioning
  • High traction rubber lug outsole for dependable traction on a variety of conditions
  • Offset: 7mm
  • Weight: 9.2 oz.
  • Imported

While they weren’t heavy, they felt more stiff than my regular running shoes.  My first run in them hurt my right foot.

UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoes 2

A few more runs in them and the shoes feel a little bit more comfortable.

UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoes 7

While they’re primarily trail shoes, they also did well on the road.

UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoes 3

I also wore them to work (in my skirt).  🙂  I like that they’re wide enough for my feet.

UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoes 6.jpg

Check out these lugs!  I have a feeling these will be great to run in the snow.

Overall, I am pleased with my shoes.  My only regret is not sizing up.  I wear a 9.5 and remember reading some people suggesting to size up.  I don’t know why I didn’t.  I have been wearing thin socks and no longer run more than 5 miles in them.

Monday was my first day back at work.  In the morning I worked in my room and then parents dropped off school supplies from 9-10 am.  Then meetings, lunch, and another meeting in another building.  Long day.  Thankfully we had a break to see the eclipse.  It was cloudy but did manage to see a bit of it.

Eclipse glasses

Tuesday was more meetings.  It went by fast.  I couldn’t stay late because I had a doctor appointment for my yearly checkup.  I had to step on the scale and was very surprised at the number.  No, it didn’t go down but instead went down.  I was tired so I didn’t really care.  But now I do.

My first day with the kids was Wednesday.  Some of the teachers used chalk to write messages for them.  Pretty cool!

I have 24 students in my room.  Wow!  At the end of the day I wanted to cry.  I was exhausted.  My back, feet, and legs hurt.  I have a rough group of kids.  I remember my first year and it wasn’t that bad.  These kids talk a lot and don’t know when to stop talking. They’re also distracted and looking elsewhere but me.   

Tired cat

The next two days were rough too.  Something new this year is that the kids eat breakfast in the lunchroom.  They come in at 8:30am, grab breakfast (if they want), and go to the classroom.  They have 15 minutes to put stuff in their locker and eat.  It isn’t enough time because they like to talk which in the morning is fine but they also need to eat.  In the meantime I take attendance and track who ate breakfast and who brought a lunch.  The kids need to stop eating at 8:45, throw away the garbage, and clean up because at 8:50 they have a special (gym, media, art, gym, or computers).

I know the first couple of days/weeks are rough.  I am ready for that.  I need to remember those moments that make teaching so worth it.

Teacher Inspiration

Now time for a giveaway!  The winner will receive a Momentum Jewelry inspire-ring.  I have one and love it.  

Momentum Inspire-Ring

Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter.  This giveaway will run until September 2 at 11:59 pm.  The giveaway is open to US residents only.  The winner will be contacted via the email address associated with their Rafflecopter account and will have 24 hours to claim their prize.   All entries are verified, so please be sure to complete them or a new, random winner will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you prefer road or trail running?  Or both?

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap. This week’s host is Teresa @ Finding Fabulous at Fifty .  Please stop by her blog and show her some love!

Hoping everyone had a good week!

WWGuest

Quest Nutrition Beyond Cereal Bar

I am pretty new to Quest Nutrition.  I had heard of them but thought that it was just another protein bar that everyone eats and raves about.  It wasn’t until I read Marcia’s post that I decided to try them out.  Delicious!

When Quest Nutrition asked me to try their Beyond Cereal Bars, I couldn’t say no.  I already like the protein bar so this one must be just as good or even better.  

One of the cool things about these bars is that you can get them at your nearby 7-Eleven.  This is perfect when going on a road trip or running errands and you are in need of a snack or a quick breakfast.

Quest Cereal Protein Bars 1

For me these are perfect as a pre-and-post workout snack.  They’re tasty and filling.

Quest Cereal Protein Bars 3

I am taking swimming classes in one gym and then go to another one to run.  These are great to eat in between workouts.

Quest Cereal Protein Bars 6

There are 3 flavors: Chocolate, Waffle, and Cinnamon Roll.  I love chocolate so naturally the one I liked the best is the chocolate flavor.

Quest Cereal Protein Bars 2

Each bar has 110 calories, 2 grams of carbs, 6-7 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein. Plus, they’re sweetened with allulose which is a sweetener that is found in small quantities in foods like figs and raisins.

Even my cat was curious about them!  <<She did not eat them but was very curious about it.

Remember, you can buy the Quest Nutrition Cereal Bars 24/7 at 7-Eleven.  

Have you tried these bars?  What did you think of them?

I am linking up with MarciaErika, and Patti for today’s Tuesdays on the Run.

TuesdaysOnTheRun

Friday Five 2.0-Thoughts on Blue Apron Meals (not sponsored)

Please note that these meals were provided for free by a Oiselle friend.  

I’ve always been curious about Blue Apron but did not want to pay for it.  So, when a friend offered to sign me up to get 3 free meals, I couldn’t say no.  

I received a box with ingredients for the following meals:

  • Seared Steak and Fingerling Potatoes
  • Shrimp and Fresh Fusilli Pasta
  • Cajun-Spiced Chicken

Everything came neatly packed in a refrigerated box.  

Any extra (small) ingredients was packed separately.

Blue Apron 5

I decided to first make the Shrimp and Fresh Fusilli Pasta.  Spoiler: It was delicious.

Blue Apron 12

I did not follow the steps exactly as was listed in the sheet (I cooked the squash in my toaster oven instead of the oven and I used minced garlic from a jar instead of the garlic that was sent to me).  I did not add the olives because I do not like olives at all.

I love shrimp!  I wished more was included in the box but I guess I could have added some that I had in my house.

It was a very simple and fast recipe.  I was worried about overcooking the shrimp as well as making sure they were properly cooked.  I like the taste of the tomato sauce and tomato paste.  <<So much tastier than spaghetti sauce.

The second meal I made was Seared Steak and Fingerling Potatoes.  It was another delicious meal.

I cooked the potatoes and onion in my toaster oven and I did not use all of the knick knacks for the salad.  The butter lettuce was crispy and tasty.  

Blue Apron 13

I’ve never heard of crème fraîche or verjus rouge.  I do not like mustard so I didn’t use it either.  Those ingredients were to be used for the dressing but instead I used my own.

Blue Apron 14

I am not a big fan of onion either but these were pretty good. 

Blue Apron 15

Finally the last meal was Cajun-Spiced Chicken.  

Blue Apron 16

This one took the longest to prepare.  The instructions indicated that it was 15 minutes of prep time.  Wrong.  I think it took me about 20 minutes just to chop the pepper, celery, onion, potatoes, and cabbage.  That was a bit frustrating.

I ended up cutting the chicken breast into pieces.  I think that they cook better and faster this way.  The cajun spice blend was not spicy at all but it was flavorful.

Blue Apron 19

The potatoes and salad were very good.  I went back for seconds and got these two items to eat.

Looks good, right?

Blue Apron 20

Thoughts:

  • I like how everything you need comes in a box.  No need to go to the grocery store for one pepper or 3 potatoes.  Plus, the ingredients are pre measured.
  • Instructions are easy to follow.  The pictures help in case you need to know if you’re doing it correctly.
  • The meals are yummy.  There are two meal plans to choose from: 2-person or family. Also, you can choose from meat, fish, or vegetarian meals.
  • The following week’s menu are posted on the website a week in advance.  This is good to know in case you want to skip a week or two.  You can also cancel at any time.
  • Not cheap.  It is $59.94 for 3 meals for 2 people, $71.92 for 2 meals for 4 people, or $$143.84 for 4 meals for 4 people.  <<Yes, per week. 

Have you tried Blue Apron?  Thoughts?

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 2.0.

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