Healthy sELF challenge and Larabar Review

by Her Happy Balance on February 5, 2013

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a nice Monday and that it flew by. We’re one day closer to the weekend!

Yesterday was the first day of the Healthy sELF challenge! You may have noticed the Elf for Health badges that some bloggers were sporting for the holiday season. Well that challenge was such a hit that theΒ super creative Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean and the completely lovely Elle from Nutritionella came up with this year long challenge to keep the fun going. And this time I got in on the action! The purpose of the challenge is to help encourage everyone to be the best person that they can be by focusing on fitness, healthy eating, and just the right amount of me time πŸ™‚ The Healthy sELF challenge involve 3 challenges a week; one on Monday, one on Thursday, and another one over the weekend. I signed up and am officially doing the challenge, but it would be AWESOME if some of you would like to join me, even my readers out there without blogs. Here’s a calendar of the challenges if you want in!

beyourown1draft2

Monday’s challenge was Meatless Monday, which is something I’ve never done before! Here’s the scoop on my meals, I did it you guys!

Breakfast: Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats with craisins, flaxseed, cinnamon, and some walnut/granola mix!

oats and nuts

Lunch: Salad of mixed greens, craisins, pecans, croutons, flax seed, some salsa, and a drizzle of caesar dressing! I had a gala apple and a strawberry yogurt on the side.

salad

Dinner: A slice of Veggie Lover’s pizza, two stuffed mushrooms, and a side salad. Not the best meal ever, but they were Superbowl leftovers.

pizza and salad

Dessert:Β A homemade chocolate peanut butter (PB2) coconut cup

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Well day one of the challenge is in the books and that wasn’t too tough! It just required a little meal plan rearrangement.

I also want to share my experience with LARABARs with all of you. The wonderful people at Larabar were kind enough to let me try their product so I could report back to all of you πŸ™‚ I’m sure many of you have heard of Larabars before, but for those of you that haven’t, they are an awesome snack bar made from fruit (primarily dates), nuts, and spices. No added sweeteners here, and all of their bars are made up of 9 ingredients or less! You can’t beat that. Now, for my fellow Larabar gurus out there, I decided to try some of the less common flavors. I know people generally gravitate towards anything that boasts having a peanut butter flavor, but I wanted to bring to you my thoughts on some of the other bars.

I was given four different bars to sample: Ginger Snap, Coconut Cream Pie, Carrot Cake, and Pecan pie.

I love the colorful packaging!

I love the colorful packaging!

I can honestly say that I liked them all! I’ve been having them as my after dinner dessert and they are just the right amount of sweet. Here’s a break down of what each of the bars contained:

Pecan Pie had only 3 ingredients! They were dates, almonds, and of course pecans!

Ginger Snap was made up of dates, almonds, pecans, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.

Coconut Cream Pie was made from dates, almonds, cashews, unsweetened coconut, and extra virgin coconut oil. (my favorite one)

Carrot Cake contained dates, almonds, walnuts, raisins, pineapple, carrot, unsweetened coconut, and extra virgin coconut oil. (the sweetest of the four)

ginger snap larabar

I really liked that I could pronounce every ingredient in the bar, no funky chemical preservatives! And I think practically anyone can eat them as they’re gluten-free, dairy free, Kosher, vegan, non-GMO, and most are soy free. If you’re looking for more specific diet information you can find that here. They retail between $1-2 a bar depending on which store you purchase them from. The calorie range of the bars I tried was between 180-240 calories. I’d rather eat 200 calories of whole foods than 200 calories of processed, refined sugars. You get all the flavor of an indulgence like carrot cake without the guilt. The flavors are subtle, but you can actually taste every ingredient in the bar. My only complaint, if I was really being nit picky, is that the color of the actual bar isn’t the prettiest. It’s a brown color because of the base of dates. It doesn’t bother me though πŸ™‚

Thoughts??
Who wants to join in and do the healthy sELF challenges with me?
Ever try a Larabar? What’s your favorite flavors?

FTC:I was given the Larabars for free, all thoughts and opinions are my own

Comments on this entry are closed.

TorontoRunner February 5, 2013 at 7:38 am

oooh the Healthy sELF idea is great and positive!
Nice job getting monday done – I’m not a huge meat eater any more so I don’t think I had any yesterday (as far as I can remember!!)

I’ve never tried Larabars – would love to try the coconut cream pie one. glad you liked them!!

Her Happy Balance February 5, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Definitely give them a go sometime! The coconut one was especially good πŸ™‚ I’m not a huge red meat eater but I have chicken or turkey pretty much every day, it was tough!

Tiny n Fit February 5, 2013 at 8:36 am

Man I was never a fan of coconut until recently- and the Larabars Coconut one is divine! I joined the challenge too! Well, starting tomorrow- had turkey on my salad yesterday. Wegmans Organic oven roasted turkey is so good!

Her Happy Balance February 5, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Isn’t it funny how our tastes change over time? And awesome, we’ll be elves together πŸ™‚ Oh and anything Wegmans is to die for!

The Classy Bee February 5, 2013 at 8:46 am

ah I’m a carrot cake freak! I didn’t know lara had one! Yum!

Her Happy Balance February 5, 2013 at 8:25 pm

If only it had cream cheese icing slathered all over it…

carlyjg February 5, 2013 at 9:47 am

That salad looks so good! And Larabars are an absolute favorite of mine. They make the perfect dessert!

Her Happy Balance February 5, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Thank you! And yes I’ve been eating them as my late night snack πŸ™‚

quartercenturysouthernliving February 5, 2013 at 9:50 am

Oh my goodness, that breakfast looks great! I could definitely benefit from a challenge like this, it is so awesome that you have committed to it!

Her Happy Balance February 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Do it with me, girly! πŸ™‚ And yeah if I didn’t eat something hardy for breakfast I’d never make it to my lunch break!

Alex @ therunwithin February 5, 2013 at 10:04 am

mm I have never made stuffed mushrooms but they are my dad’s favorite. Those homemade pb cups look pretty tasty. what a great idea.

Her Happy Balance February 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm

The peanut butter cups were super easy! And your dad knows where it’s at, try one if you get a chance!

Flake And Cake February 5, 2013 at 10:16 am

I’m healthy taking part in the healthy sELF challenge too! Managed to go meatless yesterday too πŸ™‚ Your PB cups look great, such a good idea to make them yourself!

Her Happy Balance February 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Thank you, they’re super simple πŸ™‚ And that’s awesome, we can cheer each other on!

Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen February 5, 2013 at 10:43 am

I like Lara Bars but actually prefer just making my own since they are so easy to make. Easy in a sense that you only need a few ingredients, difficult if your food processor is weak! My favorites are the dessert ones like pecan pie. I actually think that the Lara Bar date/nut combo tastes like a healthier version of cookie dough. πŸ™‚ Also, did you make that salad for lunch? It looks so good!

Her Happy Balance February 5, 2013 at 8:29 pm

I’ve seen your Lara ball recipe and I”ll definitely have to try it! I don’t have a great processor but I like a little challenge. And yes I did, just threw whatever I had in the pantry on top of some greens πŸ™‚

Stephanie @ My Freckled Life February 5, 2013 at 10:57 am

I LOVE Lara bars!! They are probably my favorite kind of snack bar, despite the gross appearance. I really want to try making my own, because I’ve heard it’s actually pretty easy! Gotta love that ingredient list though!

Her Happy Balance February 5, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Right?! Even the bar with 3 ingredients tasted great! They’re a great guilt free treat.

Running In Heels February 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm

OMG all of these Larabars are right up my alley!! I absolutely love Larabars but NEED to try these flavors!

Her Happy Balance February 5, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Do it, you won’t regret it! πŸ™‚

Matt @ The Athlete's Plate February 5, 2013 at 7:52 pm

The peanut butter cookie larabar is my fav!

Her Happy Balance February 5, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Yum! I could go for one of those right about now…

jessiebearwhat February 6, 2013 at 12:46 am

mmmm coconut cups and larabars

balancingonhoney February 6, 2013 at 6:29 am

So, I had no idea LaraBars had so few ingredients. That is awesome!

jsresults February 6, 2013 at 7:22 am

Awesome meals! πŸ™‚ Those Larabars are so good!

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