Healthy Chickpea Flour Banana Muffins

I have never shared a recipe from another blogger’s recipe on my own blog and I am not really sure why. There are recipes that I love from other RD’s and food bloggers that I share with clients so, why not spread the love here too?!

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The latest recipe I am obsessed with comes from Monique at Ambitious Kitchen. I am a huge huge fan of chickpea flour but until recently (as in this week) was limiting my use of the ingredient to thickening soups and making pizza crust or flatbread.

My 4th wedding anniversary was this week. Since year one, Tim and I have been following the traditional and/or modern gifts by year in our own creative ways and for year 4, the traditional gifts are fruit and flowers. The modern is appliances (I got Tim an ice cream maker; I can’t wait to use it and he can’t wait to eat what I make). I knew Tim wouldn’t appreciate any flowers so, I went with a few fruit ideas and corny but cute notes to go with them!

1) I made Chocolate Covered Katie’s blueberry baked donuts {with spelt flour} to go with his veggie omelet at breakfastand the note “I would be so blue without you”.
2) As a surprise in his lunch box I made Ambitious Kitchen’s banana bread with my go-to Pascha 85% dark choco chips and the note “I am bananas about our love”.
3) When he got home and I was leading my wellness group, left some chocolate covered strawberries with the note “I love you berry much”.

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The foodie and food-instagrammer I am didn’t even take pictures! But, Tim did in the morning so I can show off the cute baked donuts and homemade frosting mixed with reduced berries!

FullSizeRender(3)SO, my favorite of the above was instantly the banana bread! I have never been a donut person so I really could care less for those but, I had the banana bread for breakfast topped with PB as you may have seen over on Instagram. I thought it was so good, and knew the ingredients were so great, that I wanted to make it for my Commit to Get Fit wellness group over at the NAC. It was their last night of the 13 week program and after exercise, this chickpea snack would give them a bit of protein with only 2 g of added sugar! I also brought some pineapple and roasted chickpeas.

While I loved the loaf, it was a little dense {note, I left it in too long} and, I didn’t need to make another full batch. So, I decided to do muffins this time around and they were perfect!

You can just follow Ambitious Kitchen’s exact recipe and instructions but, grease/spray a 12-muffin tin, pour the batter in to 3/4 full, and bake for just 15 minutes rather than the 40-50 recommended for the loaf. Before adding to the tin I also stirred in 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries and after pouring into the muffin tin, topped each one with a little banana slice for cuteness and texture. My half batch made 9 muffins so, a full would make 18.

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Since I was working the night of our anniversary and we didn’t celebrate yet, we decided to head into NYC this weekend. We haven’t been at all in 2016, which to me is crazy, and my list of restaurants to hit is super long so I can’t wait. Follow along with our foodie adventures on Instagram (@eatreallivewell) and snapchat (kelrjones)! Have a great weekend:)

Chickpea Banana Bread Muffins via Ambitious Kitchen
(Serves 18)

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Ingredients
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 tablespoons honey {I used maple syrup}
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs or 2 flax eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpea flour (garbanzo bean flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional add ins:
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • Ideas via Kelly: Top w/ more sliced banana or hemp seeds
Instructions (modified to make muffins)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with olive oil cooking spray or grease lightly with coconut oil, grass-fed butter, or earth balance. Recipe makes 18 regular sized muffins.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine bananas, honey, vanilla extract, eggs, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar; mix until well combined and creamy. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in any of the optional add-ins: I recommend dark chocolate chips and blueberries.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Add one slice of banana to the top of each if you wish. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then carefully invert, remove and place back on wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Enjoy as a pre-workout snack or have a couple with nut butter and extra berries for breakfast!

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Nutrition Information {For 1 muffin without add-ins)
Calories: 88
Fat: 3 g
Carbohydrate: 13 g
Fiber: 2.2 g
Sugar: 6 g
Added Sugar: 2 g
Protein: 3 g

 

Harmony Hill Jamaican Farm Tour

Okay, so farm may sound like I’m exaggerating but, the 7 acre property we stayed in on this past week has way more fruits, starches and herbs growing than you’d ever imagine! On Wednesday morning we went on close to an hour long tour of the crops on the property.

We started the tour seeing the above which is a guava – I remember loving guava juice as a kid so it was cool having it on a fruit plate at breakfast each morning.

In the next picture you’ve just got a great shot of the banana trees that were everywhere!
The prickly plant above is a fruit called soursop. The center of the ripe fruit can make a white pulp used to add a milky texture to dishes and is high in vitamin C. Jamaicans tout that the leaves make a tea that benefits the nerves and recently has been thought to benefit blood sugar. There are conflicting research studies on the fruit’s potential anti-cancer properties. Unfortunately none were ripe so this is one local food we weren’t able to try!

The super cool starchy fruit above is called “bread fruit”. It’s used in several ways but Chef Lenox prepared it two separate ways for us. He roasted it and it tasted just like a hearty piece of fresh bread and he also fried it where it tasted sort of like really flavorful potato wedges. I wish we could more easily get this in the US! You can see it prepared in the picture below.


Next we saw some of the pineapple plants that our daily fresh pineapple grew on – I bet many of you have never seen a pineapple growing before! At home when I buy a pineapple and it’s white inside versus more yellowish, I don’t usually love them but here they were super flavorful.
Next we saw some lemongrass. This is something I often see in lotions or essential oils as well as in tea in the US. Health claims include improved digestion, improved joint health, and even keeping mosquitos away – can’t confirm the last one!


While it isn’t food, I had to share a picture of this gorgeous bird of paradise flower! I’ve done the yoga pose many a time but never knew what it was referencing!
The vines you see in the picture below are for beans!They even grow up the banana trees. We had beans with rice as a side dish a couple of nights.
Below are some plantains. We had them cooked as a side dish one night and with breakfast on our last morning – I’m a huge plantain lover with any preparation!
Next you are seeing sugarcane! Wait til you see it at the end of the post!img_4862
Next you are seeing pumpkin. I never would have thought pumpkin and squash grow here since we harvest them in the fall in the north east. Chef Lenox used pumpkins for a soup one night. img_4869
The tree below has sweet cassava roots. There are different varieties of cassava and we had some prepared with dinner crusted in cornmeal one night. It was deliciously sweet and savory. 
Below is the root and then Tim trying it. We recommend cooking before eating!!img_4872

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Below is a plant that is apparently great for colds. I wrote down “nashna tea” as I’m terrible at interpreting Jamaican accents. I googled to fact check the spelling and nothing came up. Help a girl out and comment if you know the name of this plant!


More beans! This time we saw what are known as “Christmas beans”. They are mixed with white rice that time of year and become scarce due to the high demand!img_4875

The tree below that looks dead is actually a type of black pepper!img_4877
Melon are below – we had several watermelon varieties grown on the property with our mango, guava and pineapple at breakfast. 
Chinese thyme below that smelled delicious and was used in some dishes at dinner. 

Passion fruit! I never knew what this looked like. Below the first picture is a very new piece of fruit and then you can see the mature form. They turn more yellow to show they are ripe.


Parsley below, also used in our meals.img_4888
Mint and a habanero like pepper rounded out the tour! Chef Lenox made an amaaaazing hot sauce that I hope to recreate out of these!img_4892
And here are Andy and another groundskeeper getting the sugarcane ready for us to try! It was a delicious pre-workout snack one day and yummy to drop in coffee as a sweetener. 

I must be honest. Jamaica was never a country I had on my must visit list but now I highly recommend coming to experience not just beaches but culture! I hope to have some breadfruit in the near future😉

30 Minute Travel Exercise Circuit

Being away from home and a normal routine shouldn’t mean your activity level suffers. This is especially the case if you’re traveling for leisure rather than work. For me, exercise is about a healthy mind, not just a healthy body. It balances my mood, keeps any anxiety down, and while traveling gives me peace in maintaining some type of routine. While I am on vacation right now, I wanted to share a circuit you can do while traveling for business (or other reasons) too, with hotel equipment. 

Right now we are vacationing in Jamaica for my in-laws 50th Wedding Anniversary! Kind of a big deal. We are here with my brother and sisters-in-law, their spouses and our nieces and it’s the first time we’ve all been together since Tim and I got married about 4 years ago! With everyone living in different areas on the east coast with busy schedules, it’s hard to get together so it’s quite a big event right now! There’s plenty of flexibility going on – we are getting plenty of fresh and healthy food prepared for each meal but I’m choosing to be flexible with some margaritas made freshly w/ mangos on the property and local lines and oranges. I don’t mind skipping dessert so I’m choosing my splurges wisely! 

On Sunday, our first full day, Tim and I did a short ocean swim in his gorgeousness past the buoys:

We’re lucky enough at Harmony Hill to have a very adequate gym with lots of brand new equipment. You can find similar equipment in many hotels and resorts now though – this year on trips to Austin and Portland, they even had TRX in the hotel gyms! After our swim warm up I did a modified “six zone” training. Six zone is the 35 minute circuit training offered at the Newtown Athletic Club. You spend 5 minutes at 6 different stations with a minute in between to recover. Everytime you come there are different exercises at each station (usually rowing, agility, bosu/kettle bells, something with box jumps or dumb bells, and trx). Based on the equipment in our gym, here’s the six zone circuit I did on day 1. The extreme humidity kept my intensity a little lower than normal but it was still a great way to move in the middle of a relaxing day! At each zone, you repeat the exercises until the 5 min are up. 


Zone 1: 
300 m row, 20 alternating knees to elbow in plank position

Zone 2: 1 arm dumb bell bent over row X 15, 20 squat jumps, 1 arm up right row to overhead press

Zone 3: 15 Bosu squats squats, 10 Bosu push-ups, 20 Bosu rotating obliques, 10 Bosu side plank dips each side

Zone 4: 12 “box jumps” on bench, 15 Kettlebell swings, Explosive alternating step ups, 15 KB Up right row 

Zone 5: 20 v ups with weight, 30 Bicycles, 10 long Jumps

Zone 6: 15 cable biceps, 15 cable flys, 20 supermans


No matter the exercise, you get what you give but I always say, 5 minutes is better than zero so do what you can and enjoy the benefits! If the above is too much, check out the short “morning yoga circuit” in this post! 

In case you missed my last post, tomorrow, July 7 is the last day to enter the Ultima Replenisher giveaway over on Instagram. Happy wellness Wednesday:)

Philly Tri Rock Recap and Ultima Giveaway

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Ultima. This is a sponsored post. I received product samples from the company to share with clients. All opinions stated are my own.

Happy fitness Friday everyone! Happy 4th of July weekend, too:)

Last weekend I finally competed in a sprint triathlon after a couple of year hiatus due and I had a blast. This past year I acted as the sports nutrition advisor for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Fit to Lead group. They have a few fabulous and fit leaders itself who put together a program each year to show women how being active can improve not only their health but also their careers. The Philly Tri Rock sprint is the goal for the group but, they aren’t only given a training plan, they are also coached on leadership, sports psychology, and nutrition. Since I was doing their sports nutrition webinars and providing tips, I thought I might as well make my triathlon comeback with them, too!

The Race

If you didn’t already know, I was a competitive swimmer and swam for the University of Connecticut’s DI team so, while everyone else dreads the swim, that is the easiest part for me! In 2015, the swim was cancelled due to weather/river conditions. Not only did that make me nervous for this year (what swimmer wants to have to run twice instead?!) but, it also made me nervous about how clean that river would be! This girl grew up in clear pools seeing everything below her. Lucky for me, we had a gorgeous day! This is unlike the cloudy, rainy, cold weather for the Newport 10 Miler I completed with friends 3 weeks earlier! It was still the most beautiful course I have ever raced, I have to add. Anyway, for the tri, it was sunny and low 60’s at the start of the race, the river water was 80 degrees and according to what they told us, as clean as can be. While it wasn’t moving much to push us downstream and make the swim easier, I was totally OK with it feeling like a pool! I wound up being the 14th overall female finisher for the swim (out of over 800) which was exciting since I only hopped in the pool 3 times to train all year before this!

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Transition went well and I hopped on the bike. I felt like I was really moving. Key word felt! I hadn’t biked outside all year other than a total 20 mile casual bike in Nantucket that Tim and I did to Siasconset and the Cisco brewery. I won’t make this mistake again!! Looking at the results, this was the weakest part for me and I know training outside would have made a big difference.

The transition from bike to run was speedy. The run felt as expected – harder in the beginning and easier as it went on as my legs were accustomed to not being on the bike anymore. I have to say though, when I saw the 1 mile marker I was thinking “how the &%^&* did I only run one mile?!”. As I said, it got better after that.

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I had an amazing time doing this. I really enjoy the tri’s much more than long running races and will be competing in an Olympic distance in early September. I know I can’t slack on training like I did for this one so, once I return from our family vacation after next week, I am going to have to stick to my plan.

The Fuel

Yes, it is only a sprint but for me that “sprint” took an hour an 45 minutes – for most people in the Fit to Lead group, much longer! So, thinking about fuel is important. You may have followed along on instagram but, I did a one meal carbo-load with some delicious Zavino whole wheat pizza on Friday after the race expo and packet pick up. I had some brussel sprouts on the side too with Tim – gotta get those veggies!

For race morning, I had to get up at 4:45, be out of transition set up by 6:45, and my wave wouldn’t start until almost 8:15. Friday night I threw together some overnight oats in a pyrex container (1/2 C quick oats, 1 tsp chia seeds, cinnamon, maca, vanilla extract, 1 tbsp almond butter and 6 ounces of almond milk). In the morning it was ready to grab from the fridge and I ate it once I got to Philly with a banana around 6:00. This left me plenty of time to digest, get energy into my blood stream, but keep me from getting hungry while racing. [Sorry, no picture!]

At the first transition, I had Energy Bits with water and hopped on the bike. I had 2 water bottles on the bike – one was mixed with 2 packets of lemon Ultima, my go-to electrolyte drink for intense exercise ever since Expo East last fall (see below to get some for free). FullSizeRender (23)

By the end of the bike I needed a boost for the run and the salted dates I’d packed were perfect. I couldn’t eat too much so I just grabbed one, swigged some water back with it and off I went!

Fueling went perfectly for me and I felt energized the entire race without ever feeling hungry or having an upset stomach or cramps. I have a sensitive GI tract and can feel bloated really easily so, I practice what I preach, and never have anything new within 48 hours of a race.

Now the post-race food was for sure something to write about. I have never completed a race and seen food like this. Typically you’re looking at bagels and unripe fruit or worse, just donuts and bars. Winnie’s LeBus killed it. In addition to the amazingly fluffy yet hearty whole grain roll, quinoa/arugula salad, and hard boiled eggs you see on the plate, I also got a cup of delicious berries with a touch of granola – and a banana that I couldn’t finish (eyes bigger than my stomach). They also had a veggie-full pasta salad, marinara foccacia, and yogurt available. It was so perfect we didn’t even think about going to brunch after. The chocolate chip blondie was amazing too!

The Ultima Review and Giveaway

I had spent several years trying to convince teenage and college athletes that they would love coconut water (with a dash of salt) for their practices and competitions but some of them will just never like the flavor. Thankfully, I saw that Ultima provides a natural alternative to sports drinks, with a great blend of 6 electrolytes, that wasn’t adding tons of added sugar. It also is gluten-free (if you need it) and vegan, which is fabulous!As I mentioned above, I found Ultima for the first time at Natural Products Expo East and right away had an interest. I am still surprised it took me that long to find them since the product has been around since the 90’s and aligns with my values!

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At almost every sports nutrition talk I give to a team, an athlete will raise their hand before I mention hydration and ask “Do I have to drink Gatorade? It hurts my stomach!”. Nothing you eat or drink should bother your stomach or, any other part of you for that matter! Having concentrated sources of added sugar can cause GI discomfort in some people as the sugar is being absorbed. The lower level of carbohydrate in a serving of Ultima, only 4 grams, is just enough to keep your blood sugar normal without giving your intestines that stress. Of course, if you are training for two hours or more, you will absolutely need more carbohydrate than that. Most athletes are eating something in between events or at half time and often runners prefer gel products to get their carbs in during long races. Cyclists often just eat actual food! So, Ultima is a great compliment to that intake of dietary carbs as it provides not only electrolytes but a {natural} flavor to enhance thirst and ensure adequate fluid intake.

While I still do like coconut water, sometimes I really don’t need the amount of carbohydrate in it and Ultima has done a great job keeping me from feeling sluggish at the end of a workout. I also never finish a whole container of coconut water and then it spoils. Ultima, is a shelf stable powder that I really like in the sticks versus the tub because I can take it anywhere. It also gives me just enough carbs to prevent me from feeling overly hungry when I am done exercising! I started to use Ultima during intense workouts that were over an hour. I first used it for a race when I did the Newport 10 Miler that I mentioned above. For that race, I drank some before and a little after because I couldn’t add the packet to anything on the race course. I also gave a packet to each of my friends that was racing and got their stamp of approval. The Tri-Rock was the first race that I had the Ultima during and it worked out great just like it had in training.

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My favorite flavors are the lemonade and tart cherry but, when I brought samples to an event in Atlantic City with some NFL players on Monday, raspberry seemed to be the preferred flavor! They are still getting their “rest” in before training camp and in this case I told them to try it on the spot since i found out they were out a little late the night before and could use some extra hydration!

So, if you’re an athlete or active individual who wants to maintain hydration and energy during workouts and races, and who wants to prevent excessive thirst and hunger after a workout, Ultima is sponsoring a giveaway! Between the flavors I mentioned plus the grape and orange, there is something for everyone.

Head to my Instagram or Twitter pages for details on how to enter to win a free tub of Ultima in your flavor of choice to fuel your training or active lifestyle this summer! The last day to enter is Thursday, July 7 and a winner will be announced next Friday, July 8!

Even if you don’t end up being the winner, you can sign up for their newsletter and receive 15% off your first order at ultimareplenisher.com.

What’s your favorite way to fuel your exercise, whether it be pre-workout or during?

Summer Food Prep – On the Grill!

Now that it’s summer (well not technically by the calendar but by the weather), you probably want more outdoor meals just like me. If you’re even more like me, you prefer to cook outside too! I don’t have an outdoor kitchen (it’s in the long term plans!) but the grill is just enough to take care of a majority of our food prep for the week! My appetite often increases in the summer due to race training and today was no different after I biked, ran and swam in preparation for the Tri Rock Philly in a few weeks. It helps when you can just take what would usually have been roasted or baked in the oven, and throw it on the grill!

I had lots of fresh veggies from the farmers market this past week (plus some just from good old whole foods).


The garlic scapes realllly wanted to become pesto so I whipped one up in the food processor with 2/3 C cashews, lots of fresh basil, crushed black pepper, Himalayan salt, 1/2 tbsp oil, 1/4 C water and a squeeze of lemon.


I knew I’d grill potatoes and the turnips from the market and use the pesto there and would also spiralize some zucchini to use up some more.


I didn’t want all of our food to taste like his pesto all week so I also made a quick jalapeno pesto out of one jalapeno, 2 cloves garlic, a handful of kale, cumin, pepper, salt, and 1/2 tbsp each of avocado oil & water.

This was used on tofu and some sliced seitan. The latter on the grill was a total gamble. I still had the sliced seitan Sweet Earth had sent me and was never a big cold cut person even when I ate poultry so thought grilling it lightly would be good-it totally worked!


In our first batch on the grill I also cooked our farmers market snap peas, the ends of the zucchini that didn’t make it through the spiralizer, roasted two red peppers, and sliced and grilled one of the kohlrabi id gotten at the farmers market. The grilled kohlrabi I do not recommend – maybe I did something wrong but, like the recipe I found called for, I threw a little oil & low sodium soy sauce on it with s+p and let sit for a few hours. It is edible but I want to make the most of this seasonal veggie and am happy I saved two others and will probably make some fries out of them later in the week!


Our second batch on the grill had lots of onions, sliced oriental yams, cod and bicolor corn. We ate the cod last night w/ some pesto turnips, corn (I saved 1/2 the ear) and some of the snap peas & onions.


For breakfast we had also prepped some buckwheat pancakes and a spinach frittata in the morning. Those will carry us through for breakfast, pairing the pancakes with nut butters and the frittata w/ oriental yams, a slice of Ezekiel w/ avocado or a banana.

What to do this week with the rest? We each have a piece of tofu, some potatoes and a salad packed for lunch today and I’m going to shell some edamame later to have with zucchini noodles, roasted red peppers and kale for dinner.


Half of the seitan was seasoned with the jalapeno pesto and half with the garlic scape basil pesto. We can have that torn into salads or on Ezekiel bread with hummus, avocado and tomato and a side salad.

The other pieces of tofu can pair with a stir fry one night. I’ve got carrots, purple abate and bok choy to sautee quickly and that can last another meal with edamame.

The veggies and potatoes are great sides for other proteins we will pull out like black beans and lentils, or can be mixed in with the latter and more lettuces.

All it takes is 60-90 minutes of chopping and grilling to get your week off to a perfect start!

What are everyone’s favorite summer foods? Is there an in season veggie you just don’t know how to use?

Eat Real Nantucket: Restaurant Reviews

Nantucket, where even the water meters are cute! There are plenty of places to eat and countless ACKtivities but here I am highlighting where you can eat healthfully, locally, and deliciously in fabulous environments.

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If you follow me on Instagram you likely saw a LOT of posts from my trip to Nantucket with my husband a few weekends ago. My grandmother had a cottage every summer on the island growing up so Nantucket is a place with lots of warm and fuzzy memories for me. While I don’t actually remember it’s, I took my first steps as a baby there! Tim knew how special it was to me and after us visiting once together, proposed to me on a trip there 5 years ago. From what I remember he was going to wait to propose but could t hold it in and happened to ask me to marry him on Friday the 13th. Well, this year May 13th was a Friday again so 5 years later we just had to return!

As a child I of course was obsessed with the ice cream and fudge on the island but now, as an adult who happens to be obsessed with health, I’m so thrilled that there are so many local and farm to table options. Something that makes Nantucket unique (among many other things) is the lack of chain establishments. Stop & shop and Vineyard Vines are literally the only ones as far as I know! The vibe on the island is all about supporting local. So much of the produce at restaurants is from Bartlett farms and there are always options from the local brewery, winery and distillery anywhere you go.

We stayed at my parents in CT the night before we headed to the ferry. Yes, flying is easier (so much so that I likely will fly next time) but the ferry is an experience and reminds me of when I was a kid!

While there are many great things about the island, including the gorgeous window boxes I already posted about, I am going to keep this post focused on the food for any travelers!

As you can see with below, our first meal was at “The Green“.

We had gotten up realllly early to make that ferry so, despite RxBars, apples and roasted edamame holding us over, by the time we got there, we needed food. Luckily we were staying .3 miles from the dock at the Robert’s Collection with Young’s bike shop on the way. We checked in early and biked a quick mile over to the green. We ate amazing burritos at the green after the Nantucket triathlon a few years ago and couldn’t wait to have them again. They use grass fed beef, organic chicken and all other ingredients are fresh, organic, and local when possible. I got one called “the big green” that came with beef so I swapped in some black beans instead and got guac instead of cheese. Oh yeah and that iced coffee hit the spot too. It was gorgeous out so we got to enjoy this amazing lunch outside. Highly recommend!

We biked around a bit more, past the cottage I stayed at as a child and then dropped the bikes to walk around historic downtown by the docks. We stopped by the park we got engaged at and were appalled at the fact that other people were there. How dare they sit at OUR park on this beautiful day?

Before heading out for dinner we hung out in the adorable courtyard at the Roberts Collection for a champagne toast. They had a bottle of sparkling rose chilled and in an ice bucket for us when we checked in. So sweet! 

Before dinner we went right next door to Proprieter’s bar and table since we hadn’t been and wanted to check it out. We split an amazing farro dish and I had this cool little serrano tequila cocktail. I wish I had a better picture of this place because it is decorated amazingly!

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Dinner pics aren’t he best of quality because once we got to Fifty Six Union the storm clouds rolled in and messed with my lighting. The weather isn’t always considerate of my food pics. I love love loved my salmon dish with black rice and veggies. Tim had a spicy stir fry with chicken and shrimp. I obviously stole a shrimp and can vouch for its deliciousness too. Just because I was on vaca didn’t mean there was too much over-indulging though. The extra salmon was a perfect protein with fruit at breakfast the next morning.

I’d been itching to hit Handlebar Coffee after seeing them on IG and wasn’t disappointed. It was a warm morning but I enjoyed my Amercano walking around after sitting for a few in the adorable cafe. Tim, who despises coffee, had a hot chocolate with latte art. Super cute!

I hadn’t been to Siasconset in years and thought biking there for lunch was a great idea. it was an awful idea! This quaint part of the island is beautiful but no one was opened for lunch until June! Even the little market! Here’s a picture of hangry Tim by the beach there.

After biking about 20 miles that morning, this salmon sandwich with avocado and sriracha on whole grain bread at Yummy seemed like the most delicious meal I had ever had in my life. We were en route to Cisco brewery and considered eating at Bartlett Farms but needed food stat and this hit the spot. Another great meal!


As mentioned above we were making our way over to Cisco. If you’ve never been to Nantucket, you have to visit! They do brewery tours which are fun but the atmosphere outside on a nice day is even better with a community feel, live music and local food trucks. What’s best is that if you don’t like beer, they have a distillery and a winery using local ingredients for their fermentation. For example, my blueberry vodka was colored from real blueberries not some artificial color! Side bar: and it was delicious with club soda, ginger and lemon. We were lacking in pictures this afternoon but there’s Tim outside of the brewery, distillery and winery below.

Barltlett Farms is a wonderful farm with a market that also hosts local foodie farm to table dinners. I haven’t been on the island for a dinner yet but drool over them on instagram!

After trecking back on bike and getting ready we headed out without much of a plan so we could hop around. New restaurant alert: Station 21! We loooooved the vibe with the high ceilings, exposed brick, awesome chandelier and other decor. We wanted to hit other restaurants so we just had a snack and their white bean and garlic dip was amazing!

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We tried to be sly and capture decor without making a scene but didn’t do the best job…

We probably should have stayed there because by the time we left, most restaurants were packed or were close to stopping their dinner service due to the time of year. We wound up at NIXS brewpub. Awesome awesome live music and this delicious veggie burger that there was no way I was finishing. The top half of the bun came off. Would have loved to split with Tim but apparently nachos were calling him. Those are polenta fries too! Really good but very heavy so I recommend sharing with someone else!

In the morning our last meal was at Black Eyed Susan’s. If you have an ACK trip, get there early cause there will be a wait but it is well worth it! We had very unique scrambles and I chose black eyed peas as a side over home fries. The scrambles are also available vegan with tofu! Bread was nothing to write home about so it was easy to not over-eat.

I can’t wait for our next trip back so we can hit some restaurants we didn’t make it to like Dune, CRU and Ventuno! You can browse some of our other pics below if you care about the scenes and not just the food!

Who has been to Nantucket? What is your favorite place to eat or your favorite ACKtivity?

Also, don’t forget about the sweet earth giveaway going on until Friday!

At Brant Point Light House

Brant Point Lighthouse

Scenes at Children’s Beach

The Old Mill

Sweet Earth Natural Foods Review & Giveaway!

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Sweet Earth. This is a sponsored post. I was compensated for my time by receiving Sweet Earth meals and product coupons. All opinions stated are my own.

After a long Memorial Day Weekend, I bet a lot of you didn’t food prep and are wondering what you’ll be eating tonight for dinner. I am in the same boat after another long weekend away from home! I have shared some of my favorite real food breakfast items and convenience snacks but sometimes lunch and dinner are a little more challenging. While Snap Kitchen and Hungry Root are great options, you can’t find them in the grocery store and keep them in the freezer as emergency meals which is why I am happy we found Sweet Earth!

I first discovered Sweet Earth last October at Natural Products Expo East. I thought I was walking by another “natural” frozen food brand that would have better Ingredients than Smart Ones or Jimmy Dean but still be packed with sodium and added sugars. Or it would be a meat replacement with hardly any protein and loads of fat (aka any veggie burger on the market or Jack fruit).

I am ecstatic to say that I was wrong! This brand has done a great job developing tasty plant-based emergency meals that also fit a healthy nutrient profile. They easily receive the Kelly Jones RD Approved stamp. While I still want everyone to learn to incorporate more fresh food into their diets and become more comfortable preparing meals, we all know life gets crazy and that isn’t possible for the average American’s 21 meals and 7+ snacks a week.

So, needless to say when they reached out to me to try a few of their products and host a giveaway, I was on board.

While there are still some foods in our freezer, here’s what myself and the hubs tried so far, and our honest thoughts!

Burritos:


My fave – “Get Cultured”

With tofu, spinach, cabbage, edamame fermented peppers and ginger and sesame, this is the big winner for me. Great texture between the crunch of edamame, and cooked veggies and the hearty whole wheat & seeded wrap.

Runner Up Burrito:

“Lighten Up Functional Breakfast Burrito”

Filled with a  tofu scramble that was sauteed in salsa verde with spinach, black eyed peas and red peppers. This had a really fresh flavor with that slight southwest/salsa-y vibe. At 190 Calories I recommend adding some fruit to make it more of a complete meal. I enjoyed it with some fresh mango:)

Veggie Burgers

The Za-atar and Santa Fe were my favorites as I am not a big teriyaki person but, these are a super easy protein add-on to any mealthat is filling and tastes good when you don’t have a lot of time!

Seiten



I honestly just don’t really love curry flavors. Also, I never liked meat! As a child I remember dreading steak when we had it for dinner and at that point it had nothing to do with animal welfare, health or the environment. Meat texture to me isn’t fab so I am not the best judge of these products. My husband, a much better judge, is more fond of the slices as a meat alternative than the other cuts and we both enjoyed the grounds!

As you can see above there are many seitan options with different flavors as well as “cuts”. I wound up liking the traditional seitan crumbles the most as a “meat sauce” on my carrot noodles below.

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Breakfast Sandwiches

I left this review to the hubs since most have cheese and the ones that don’t have “harmless ham” or veggie bacon and I just really don’t enjoy those flavors. He doesn’t love those flavors either but here is his take, with direct quotes:

“The ‘bacon’ isn’t too overwhelming taste-wise, so I like that. The cheese is a little too thick–can you believe I’m saying that? Basically, I microwaved it a bit longer than they told me to because it was still cold. Based on the extra microwaving, the cheese melted a ton so it was super sloppy to eat, which isn’t ideal at my desk. I was nervous that the bread might turn out to have a weird texture based on the microwave, but it didn’t. The eggs are good and fluffy. Overall, it was good and I would eat it again since it’s convenient, but I don’t know if it’s filling enough. While the ‘bacon’ wasn’t overpowering, I’d prefer just a regular egg and cheese variety.”

Then he tried the chickpea patty and “harmless ham” though – “I think I liked it better than the other bfast sandwich with actual egg.”

Add an apple and you’re good to go!

We just received some of these meals too and since they have dairy I haven’t eaten them but Tim thinks they’re a great meal at work after a long weekend away when we haven’t had time to food prep (this has been pretty much every weekend for a month – good timing to try out these products!).

So, who wants to win some free Sweet Earth food and swag?!

By meeting the entry requirements below, you’re in the running to get:

  • 3 Free product coupons
  • A Sweet Earth t-shirt and swag bag

To enter:

A winner will be chosen at random via rafflecopter on Friday June 3 – Good luck!

What is your favorite real food convenience meal or snack? Share below!