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Picky Bars Review and Giveaway!

What is Picky Bars?

The stars (yes, they are all actually stars) behind Picky Bars are Stephanie Rothstein, Lauren Fleshman and Jesse Thomas. It all started with Lauren wanting to find the perfect bar to fuel her husband Jesse. They were looking for a good and smart balanced gluten and dairy free bar. There were many to choose from on the market, but none of the existing ones hit the spot for the two athletes. So Lauren who knew exactly what she wanted set out to create her own bar for her husband in training.

“I wanted a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, slow releasing carbs for level blood sugar, minimal soy content, and healthy fats making up  25% of the calories.  Oh yeah, and it needed to taste amazing.  No big deal, right?” – Lauren Fleshman

It just so happened that Lauren and Stephanie, Laurens training buddy, were both injured and had time to kill (and knowing how being injured felt for me, I kind of get a feeling it was a good way to stay sane – a project to keep them occupied!) so they spent countless hours experimenting until they had a perfect balanced AND perfectly tasty bar in front of them. This was the start Picky Bars, and since then they’ve released three other bars and they are also just now in the end of July releasing a fifth flavor!

PickyBars and Evelin

The day I got the sample pack of Picky Bars I immediately wanted to go for a run, so that I could justify having one of the bars. Yes, that’s how excited I was about getting to try these bars out! You probably already know that I like snacks that are as clean and natural as possible, and Picky Bars definitely hit the spot for me!

I received a sample pack to try out. This included one of each of the flavors:

  • Smooth Caffeinator – Hazelnut Mocha Madness
  • All-In Almond – Agave Sweetened Awesomesauce
  • The Need for Seed – Sunflower Butter Sensation
  • Lauren’s Mega Nuts – Peanut Butter Booyah

picky

I loved every single bite I took from these bars (and wish I would’ve been able to make them last longer). I used them as fuel before a run, as a recovery snack post-run and as a snack while being out hiking and.. Yes I admit, one of them might have just served as an awesome treat, just like that, with a cup of iced coffee. The bars all filled me up just enough, to that point where you get some energy without the “food coma” part. I have to admit I always get pretty nervous when trying something new before a run or a hike, but just as great as the bars tasted as great did I feel being fueled by them out running and hiking!

PickyBars served as a totally awesome snack while out hiking on the lava!

PickyBars served as a totally awesome snack while out hiking on the lava!

Even though I’m a serious coffee drinker I usually stay away from caffeinated bars, gels etc. before heading out for my runs. No matter how used to caffein my body is I just can’t get away from the fact that my belly tend to get sensitive while running. BUT, the Smooth Caffeinator was actually the bar I tried before heading out for a run and I had no problems at all! In fact, I went for my longest run post-injury being fueled by that Picky Bars! (I’ve smashed that distance by now though!). My favorite..  Do I have to pick one, really? I don’t think so – they all are great! But I guess I’d go for the Smooth Caffeinator. Or All-In Almond (if you are following me on Twitter you might have noticed my obsession with almonds – I eat them daily AND always use almond oil instead of body lotion)..

Let’s have a look at the ingredients in one of the bars? Let’s do the Smooth Caffeinator, just because.. I like coffee?

  • 100% Vegan
  • Gluten & Dairy Free
  • 100% Non-GMO
  • 61% Organic
  • 25mg caffein (1/3 cup of coffee)
  • 200 Calories (8g Fat, 28g Carbohydrates, 7g Protein)
  • Ingredients: Organic Dates, Hazelnut Butter, Organic Agave Nectar, Rice Protein (Protein from Whole Grain Sprouted Brown Rice), Organic Crispy Brown Rice Cereal, Hazelnuts, Organic Chocolate Chips (Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Soy Lecithin (non-GMO), Organic Vanilla Extract), Cranberries (Cranberries, Sugar, Sunflower Oil), Organic Apricots (Organic Apricots, Organic Rice Flour), Fair Trade Organic Coffee, Sea Salt, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Safflower Oil, Natural Vitamin E (to preserve freshness).

Looks great to me! And it sure tastes great too!

picky4

Looks pretty darn tasty to me!

I don’t just like the taste and how well the bars treated me, I also like the visual concept and the playful wording Picky Bars use – love the look of the packaging, the names etc. I agree, it IS freaking science dude! And wait, there’s more! There’s a Picky Club, where you can sign up to get a Picky t-shirt, the chance to try new flavors, a discount etc and best of all: you get sent 18 delicious bars monthly! All that for $37/month! Oh and there is a new bar coming out soon, one that would LOVE to get my hands on ASAP! Runners High – Blueberry Vanilla Hemp Hustlin’, how wonderful doesn’t that one sound?! Gotta love the runners high, and I’m pretty sure as a runner you are really hustlin’!

If you are excited about trying the Picky Bars, head on over to their website and order yourself some goodness. They are also sold in several locations, where of REI is one of the places. If you want to see where you can get Picky Bars in your town there’s a store locator on Picky Bars website.

PICKY BARS GIVEAWAY!

As excited I was to try out the Picky Bars as excited (or even more) am I to give you, my friends, the chance to try them too. Picky Bars are giving one of you the chance to win a sample pack of bars PLUS Picky SWAG! How great is that?! Yup, pretty darn great if you ask me!

Head on over to Rafflecopter now and enter for your chance to win, I promise you it’s worth it!

Picky Giveaway

The giveaway is open July 14th 12am(HST) to July 22nd 12am(HST). I will randomly pick a winner and let you know who the lucky one is in a blogpost.

Disclaimer: I was given a sample pack of Picky Bars for free to try and review on my blog, I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions in this blogpost are mine and mine alone and they have not been controlled or influenced by Picky Bars or anyone else. 


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Hüma Love

I’m spreading love all around me this week and I’m loving it.

You might have seen the review and giveaway I had featuring the natural energy gels Hüma? I’ve continued my love story with these gels and really think they’re worth looking up if you’re into fueling for or during your runs with something more natural and food like than the normal more or less artificial gels out there on the market. One of the many reasons I first fell in love with these gels was that I had zero problems with my stomach when using them. I usually have some kind of war going on in my belly when it comes to fueling for my runs, but none of that with the Hüma Gels. If you’re anything like me (having a crazy sensitive belly that is) maybe you’ll fall madly in love with the gels too after not having to deal with an upset belly during/post your run?

Huma AppCinn Pouch stick edit

I find the taste and texture of these gels really great. I feel like I’m eating something real that are good for me while they give me the energy I need to keep on going with my running. The ingredients are all pronounceable and appeal to me way more than most other gels which I can hardly pronounce half of the ingredients. How great is it to actually KNOW exactly what you’re putting in your body instead of just trusting the ingredients to be good, or at least not too bad for you?! I love it.

Huma Strawberries SmallThe flavors of Hüma Chia Energy Gel are Apples & Cinnamon and Strawberries. I really like them both but surprisingly enough, since I’m usually not a huge fan of apple/cinnamon, the Apples & Cinnamon might be my favorite of them both.

The great people over at Hüma were kind enough to let me share a great deal with my readers – you get 10% off  purchase made from their website with the promotion code EVELINRUNS2. They sell 5 pack Sample Packs (you can choose mixed or go for just one of the flavors) and Boxes of 24 gels containing either Strawberries or Apples & Cinnamon gels.

The code EVELINRUNS2 is good for one purchase per customer and is valid until April 16th. I’d say go for it – they’re definitely worth a try! Just watch out, you might just fall in love with them like I did..


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My Daily Supplements

There’s a whole lot of different things we need to think about when it comes to our health and what we eat. I find it hard to really get a hold on how well I am ACTUALLY eating.. Since I started running I’ve been forced to look over my habits as I lost a lot of weight (I know this is usually a good thing, but when I was down to 105lbs for my 5’5″ body it got to a point where I desperately needed to step my intake up) and could not seem to get a hold on how I should be eating to fuel my body. Since then I’ve found a diet and a way of fueling that works well for me. I’ve put on some weight again, but I’m still way beyond where I started when I started with the running in May 2012.

I had been taking a multivitamin pill for a while when I found ENERGYbits. These 100% spirulina algaes are FULL of the vitamins and minerals (in fact, if you’re using the bits every day the only thing you might want to think about is Vitamin D which the spirulina algae doesn’t have) our bodys need and I stopped taking my normal multivitamins. As I live in Hawaii and usually get a bit of sunshine everyday I don’t have a crazy need for the Vitamin D, but if you’re living in a place with little sunshine or if you’re spending a lot of time inside you might want to think about taking a Vitamin D supplement. As we just moved to a less sunny spot on the island I’m wondering if I should go back to taking a little bit of Vitamin D supplements too. Because of my history of depression I need to be very careful with these kind of things as a slight little imbalance in my body can affect me very bad..

 

Here’s my daily intake of other things than food:

sup

Spirulina in the shape of ENERGYbits (which I’m sure by now you already know I love..) or Spirulina Powder added to juice, yoghurt, smoothies or just on top of bananas.

A while ago I got in contact with Nutrex Hawaii as I was curious about their product BioAstin. I’ve seen it around a bunch lately and as I’ve had some problems with my skin and getting burned easily in the sun I figured it would be interesting to see if these pills could help me. BioAstin consists of the antioxidant Astaxanthin and is said to have many benefits for our body. As I’m right now taking these pills daily to be able to review the product I’ll be back in a later post telling you more about it.

Alpha Liphoic Acid (ALA) is the third and last supplement I take on a daily basis. This is an antioxidant that are found in low doses in some foods (spinach, broccoli, yams, potatoes, yeast, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, beets etc) and is also made naturally in our bodies. It is supposed to fight free radicals, help lower the blood sugar level and have benefits for skin and overall health. I actually got this to see if it would help me with what seems like never ending skin problems. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties it can help treat psoriasis and atopic and contact dermatitis.

banana with peanut butter and spirulina

Banana with peanut butter and spirulina. Tasty and filling!

So, with added Vitamin D and maybe some fish (krill?) oil I’m thinking I’ll be all set together with my normal mostly veggie diet.

But there are some things I’m still on the lookout for:

Looking to find a protein powder (preferably easy to shake up in a blender bottle) for fast on-the-go fuel, but this one seems to be way harder then I imagined as my stomach seem to hate everything I try. Bummer! Good thing the ENERGYbits are giving me tons of protein at least. I should also mention that my husband is doing his very best with providing great proteins (without necessarily being meat) for every meal – something I tend to be pretty bad at even after a thousand years as vegetarian/vegan/pescetarian..

Of course I’m also ALWAYS on the lookout for easy and tasty gels/chews/drinks to bring along on long runs.

Electrolyte tabs/powders tend to be really hard on my belly so I’m relaying on the ENERGYbits to take care of the electrolyte business for now.

I am far from an expert in these things and if you have any suggestions, please feel free to tell me whatever crosses your mind.

Q: Do you take supplements? If so, what are you taking?

Do you have any suggestions on natural (as natural as possible) and easy-on-the-stomach bring-along-fuel for running? Electrolytes?

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