All Things Pure Maple and a New Healthy STUFT Cookie Dough Dip

 

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC.

I was in bed at 8:30 pm last night. Oh heck yes. It took me awhile to fall asleep, as I’ve been having that issue a lot lately, but man was it nice.

My run this morning was ten miles (average pace 7:53/mile) at 1.5 incline. I thought about doing some hills in there and playing with the incline a bit, but didn’t want to have to think too much. 

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My main motivation to get up and get my run done is always these guys. I want to be ready and ON once the day starts.

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Actually, it’s not like I have a choice, I NEED to be on and ready at all times.

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Yes, we decorated our new lunch bags. I drew the awesome bear face. Yes, it’s supposed to be a bear. He wanted a T-rex, but I really would’ve messed that one up. Ha. It was nice having a little extra time this morning since I didn’t have to make lunches.

Smile

So, let’s talk about one of my favorite natural sweeteners. It’s been over a year and a half since I did the whole STUFT Detox thing and got away from artificial sweeteners. These days I like to use pure, natural sweeteners instead. One of my favorites is pure maple syrup. I’ve been using it frequently in a lot of different ways and love that it is so versatile. Oh man, I cringe when I think of the days I would pour sugar free syrup on everything. What the heck was I thinking? These days I always pay the extra money for 100% pure maple syrup.

I was sent a bottle of Pure Canadian Maple syrup along with a carton of maple water through this campaign with FitFluential LLC.

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I had no idea that maple water was even a thing. Did you?

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I’ve been drinking the maple water just by itself over ice for the electrolytes, minerals and antioxidants and love that it is also naturally low in sugar. It’s perfect for hydration and is just a little sweet.

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This morning I added a splash of apple cider vinegar because I add that to pretty much all my drink. It gave it a little kick.

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Here are some FIT MAPLE facts to pass along and just a few of the reasons why I love using it as a sweetener in so many ways these day.

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- Canada produces 80 percent of the maple syrup sold in the world, the majority of which is produced in Quebec.
 – Maple syrup is 100 percent natural, and made directly from the sap of the sugar maple tree.

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I knew maple syrup was a good source of natural sweetener and figured it was always better to buy the better grade of maple syrup, but now I’m sure to double check that the label says 100% pure maple syrup.

As an athlete who needs energy pretty much on a consistent basis, using Canadian maple syrup is key.

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I received a really great FIT MAPLE brochure (you can see the digital version here) with some fun recipes to try. I haven’t made any yet, but these two in particular on on my list.

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So yes, even though I haven’t tried the above recipes just yet, I’ve been getting my daily dose of Canadian pure maple syrup.

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It’s really not hard to do. What is hard is not going over board with this stuff. Dang it’s delicious and I kind of feel like Elf because I want to add it to pretty much everything. Oh, which reminds me, I’m going to try it on sweet spaghetti squash next. Can’t wait.

The other day it went on sweetener free roasted kabocha (pumpkin pie spiced) along with some NuttZo and SunButter.

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Then it was time to bring back an oldie, but a goodie recipe and do it the right way with natural sweetener instead of the artificial stuff.

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If you’ve never made this before, you really need to. I like to make it for the boys and I. Sometimes it’s the regular version which I’m going to give you here and sometimes we make it green.

 

Here you go.

 

The other day I had it with the hugest Honeycrisp apple ever and some homemade cinnamon crisps.

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Oh, and I always top it with an extra spoonful (or two) of nut butter.

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It’s not necessary, but it makes it that much better. So does adding some chocolate chips or coconut flakes though too.

Smile

 

I’ve already had my Canadian maple syrup fix today along with my maple water so I’m good to go tackle the rest of the day. I may or may not have also used it to sweeten my mocha I just sipped down.

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It’s a fabulous sweetener for coffee and mochas.

 

Do you use 100% pure maple syrup?

If so, where do you buy it and how do you use it?

Progression Run, We Did it and a HALF TIME™ Lunch Kit GIVEAWAY

 

Well hello.

Last night I was thinking I needed to be in a rush to get this post and a giveaway up as early as possible, but then today I had a bit of a change of heart and decided to enjoy the moment and spend some quality time with the boys instead. It’s not everyday when I can do that and I’m very fortunate to be able to that some days. So today I did and it was glorious.

Smile

I randomly woke up at 4:55 am this morning. The alarm was set for 5:00 am, so I just got up and went for it.

I thought I would be more tired than I was for the run this morning. I set a goal to do 10 miles at an 8:00/mile pace.

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I felt pretty good though once I started and decided to try a little progression run since quite a few of you said you liked to do them with our little run chat the other day.

I think the only time I actually used to do them was when I was really pressed for time and needed to be off the treadmill at a certain time at the gym. Ha.

I started at a 8:00/min mile pace (7.5 MPH) for the first few miles and then added 0.1 MPH every mile for the last 7 miles.

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The last mile was at 7:19/mile pace and I was all smiles when I was done with that business before 7:00 am.

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I taught a spin class this morning too, which flew by for some reason. Maybe it was because I had some Kenny Loggins on my playlist. Ha ha.

 

So yeah, last night we did it. After asking to borrow a roll of paper towels from Mom (who does that?), I decided it was time for a Costco overhaul.

We took a couple of much needed deep breaths before going.

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Yes, I took reinforcements with me.

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Since it was a group effort, I only took one picture of a fun find there.

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I can’t wait to try this Apothic Dark out though. We love Apothic Red and I bet this is even better.

We made it out alive with not just one cart, but two.

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We were exhausted. Seriously, Costco just makes me so darn tired. It’s a workout in itself. Hopefully we won’t have to go back for awhile.

 

Today after we made a fashion statement at the gym

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and Joaquin decided to detail the back of my car seat a bit,

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we got some bike riding in.

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Actually, I walked, they biked.

They are opposites on the bike. Joaquin takes off and rides so darn fast while Judah is very cautious and rides at a very steady, slow speed. I think he gets that from me, I’m so careful and cautious all the time.

Random question for you parents out there:

When do we take training wheels off? Do we just lift them up a little bit first? How do you know when they’re ready for that?

Oops. I guess that’s three questions.

Smile

 

We got home from all our activities and were ready for lunch. Luckily we got these really cool HALF TIME™ pre-packed lunch kits from Applegate.

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We received these kits to help with the whole lunch-packing dread parents have for school lunches. I don’t mind packing lunches, but having healthy convenient, pre-packed lunches is definitely a treat.

Since we were sent three lunches in our kit and the boys were overly excited about them (as you can see above), we got into one of them today.

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Yes, they were super excited to pick out their lunch for today and I’m really excited to be able to use one of the other ones for their lunches tomorrow for school.

Win win.

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I’ve always avoided pre-packed lunches because of all the artificial ingredients used. I feel good about these though. It’s nice to know that there are some healthy options out there now.

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Applegate has teamed up with Stonyfield and Annie’s to create the first pre-packed lunch kit with natural and organic ingredients. HALF TIME™ includes Applegate natural meats and cheeses (which have no artificial ingredients or preservatives, and are antibiotic- and hormone-free), Annie’s Homegrown crackers and snacks, and Stonyfield Organic YoKids Squeezers.

I’m pretty impressed with the lunch kits.

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Not to mention it made the whole lunch prep thing today a breeze.

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And what can I say, they’ve got some skill.

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Ha ha.

We are all really digging this whole HALF TIME™ thing. The boys are already excited to be able to take their special lunches to school tomorrow to show their friends and I’m especially excited for a few extra minutes in the morning (every minute counts).

Smile

What we’re really excited about though is to be able to give away a fun HALF TIME™ to one of you!

Oh heck yes.

 

One reader will win a HALF TIME™ kit that includes:

- All three varieties of HALF TIME: Turkey & Cheese, Ham & Cheese, and Bologna & Cheese

- A draw-your-own lunch bag

- A set of permanent markers

- Coupons

- Activity book

HALF TIME Kit 1

 

All you have to do is leave me a comment here on the blog.

Giveaway will be open until Friday, October 24th at 11:59pm PST. Winner will be randomly chosen from comments below and announced Saturday. Open to US residents only.

How do you feel about packing lunches? Love it or hate it?

Did you ever used to have pre-packaged lunches as a kid?

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