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My Oatmeal Review

Disclaimer:  I received this product via Fit Approach for my original thoughts and opinions on My Oatmeal.

I recently had the opportunity to review this super creative new company called My Oatmeal. How many of you enjoy those flavored packets of oatmeal by Quaker?  I was always a sucker for the Apple Cinnamon flavor.  However – these packets have so much sugar and other additives in them that it completely defeats the purpose of choosing oatmeal as a healthy breakfast option.  My Oatmeal allows you to create your own custom oatmeal flavors, and the best part is YOU choose every last ingredient that goes into your mix.

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When I first visited My Oatmeal’s website and attempted to make my mix, I honestly was a little overwhelmed by all of the options!  If you know me, I’m awful at making decisions…and the more choices I have, the more indecisive I am.

First, you pick how much oats you want and then you pick your base.  Choices range from quick rolled oats to gluten free oats to steel cut oats.  I chose the Organic Gluten-Free Thick Oats.

The next part was probably the hardest part for me. Here’s where you get to choose flavor(s).  That’s right, you can pick more than one and combine a few to resemble a particular flavor you love. For example, I love red velvet cake.  So for my flavors I chose Red Velvet Cake, Cake Batter, and Vanilla Frosting.  But I was definitely playing around with some chocolate-peanut butter and blueberry cheesecake flavors as well.  This step took me days.  I mean it – I’d sit there, create a flavor combo, and then see another flavor I liked and a new idea popped into my head, and I’d get overwhelmed and have to come back to it another day!  Talk about real world problems, people.

Next you can pick any number of dried fruits to add to your oatmeal.  They have apples, banana chips, strawberries, cherries, etc.  I chose to skip this option, as I’m not a huge dried fruit fan.

Then you get to amp up the texture a bit with some nuts and seeds (Chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa flakes, hemp seeds, etc.)  I chose chia seeds to add into my mixture.  I always add chia seeds in my oats, so I figured this would save me a step in my morning oatmeal preparation!

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Last step – choose a sweetener (if any)!  For those of you who are super health conscious, the nice part is you can skip this option and know your mix has 0 added sugars!  For those of you who prefer a little sweetness, you can still go with a healthier option.  They can use brown sugar, cane sugar, splenda or monk fruit.  This was the first time I had ever heard of monk fruit as a sweetener…apparently it’s a plant and calorie free.  Usually I would skip over the sweetener completely, but they suggest if you added flavor to your mix to add a sweetener so that the flavors come out tasting right.  I added the monk fruit in mine. After trying the oatmeal though, it was almost too sweet for me.  Then again I don’t eat sugar often, so I’m more sensitive to sweet things.  I probably would’ve been alright skipping out on the sweetener and adding a little bit of my own honey after cooking them.

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This is such a great idea for a company.  I’m honestly a little jealous I didn’t think of it! Definitely head over to their site and check them out, even if its just to play around and create fun flavors!  It’s a blast creating your own combinations!

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Countdown Bootcamp Workout

I know, I know.  I’ve been a bit MIA lately again.  But I return with exciting news to share – and a new workout!

I have been super busy lately with school and a new job.  The exciting news is the new job.  One of my favorite instructors at my gym branched off and opened his own fitness business with a whole new concept, called CSS Group Fitness!  CSS stands for Conditioning, Strength, and Stretch. It is a combination workout of 30 minutes indoor cycling, 20 minutes bootcamp and a 10 minute cool down.  Classes run continuously, so someone can come at anytime and jump into a cycling class, and stay there for as long as they like.  Every half hour the instructor switches though, and takes whoever wants to come over to a half hour of bootcamp and stretching. It’s hard to fully explain through writing, but it is a pretty neat concept.  And if that isn’t enough – there is no solid location for this business.  The bikes and bootcamp equipment are kept on a truck so that we can take a workout to any business, any school, any location that hires us, and we can deliver our program!  So obviously, I became indoor cycling certified as well within the past few weeks!  Another certification under my belt :) They are kind of addicting in a way.

I have a workout to share with you all that I made up for yesterday’s bootcamp class!

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Here are videos of some of the exercises that you may not be as familiar with:

Finally, pictures of some of my recent eats!

 

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Eggs, onions, tomato and avocado scrambleimage_5

Chicken Stir-Fry over quinoa

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Steel Cut oats topped with banana and walnuts and drizzled with honeyimage_2

Salad with chicken and other fresh veggiesimage_1Grass-fed sirloin, half of a sweet potato and brussels roasted with coarse mustard

You think after being gone for a month, I’d come back with more than five pictures!  I’ve fallen out of my habits!

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Twisted Olive Review

Last week was Restaurant Week in Bethlehem, PA!  To celebrate, we went to Twisted Olive and I was asked to write a review on our experience there.

Prior to my visit, I read online that Twisted Olive is owned by a couple, Steve and Sherri. Steve is the chef, himself.  Chef Steve understands the importance of using all fresh and natural ingredients in his dishes.  Perhaps the most unique thing about Twisted Olive is the use of ingredients from Chef Steve’s own home garden!

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We entered into a restaurant that felt like it was underground.  The room was flooded with a warm and cozy ambiance.  Upon arrival, we were immediately welcomed by a very sweet hostess.  While waiting for our table, we were entertained by live acoustic music in the bar area.

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We started dinner off with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, recommended by our server, David. This was spot on with our preference in dryer wines. photo-51

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Speaking of David – he was FABULOUS!  All of his recommendations were on point.  He had no problem jumping right in on the fun at our table.  He totally got our sense of humor and sarcasm and made our experience all the more enjoyable.

For Restaurant Week, Twisted Olive offered a four course meal for $35.  The four course meal made for a very leisurely and fine dining experience!

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The first course was an appetizer and I went with the grilled artichoke with a smoked tomato vinaigrette over spinach.  The vinaigrette was super flavorful. I could smell the smokiness before I even tasted it.

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For my second course, I chose the Baby Spinach salad.  The dressing was light and just enough to lightly coat the salad!  The bits of roasted prosciutto added the perfect extra flavor and crunch.

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My main course was Ahi Tuna with a side of mashed potatoes and asparagus.  The portion size was just enough, especially having had two courses prior.  The presentation was beautiful as well!

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Several other people in my party ordered the “Steak on a Stone,” and this is too awesome not to mention.  They bring a raw filet on top of a stone that is heated to 600 degrees, and you get to cook your steak right at your table!  This seemed to be a really popular choice throughout the restaurant, and made the dining room smell amazing!

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I decided to treat myself to dessert!  I was torn between the house-made gelato and the toasted coconut amaretto cream pie.  I ultimately decided on the pie (thanks again to David’s recommendation) and complimented it with a cappuccino.

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Again, the presentation was nothing less than perfect.  There wasn’t a drizzle of chocolate out of place!  This pie = heaven in my mouth.  So worth the calories.

If you live anywhere near the Lehigh Valley area, you definitely want to check this place out.  They offer a great experience and quality cuisine! I foresee another trip back there in the near future!

Disclosure: As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own, and I was in no way compensated for the post.

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