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For most of us the first thirty minutes of the morning usually consist of mashing the snooze button, turning the comforter into a human burrito shell and sleepily battling the urge to stay in bed. However, some mornings stand apart. Some glow with a special anticipation that lures us from our beds and warms away the familiar morning fog. If you have ever been that kid burning with exhilaration on Christmas morning or restlessly laying awake on the first day of school, you know how we felt watching the sun rise over Anaheim as we prepared for our exhibition at Expo West!

A short documentary about Love Grown’s inaugural trip to Expo West. Produced, Shot, and Edited by Dan Banta

The below is taken directly from Alysa’s blog INSPIRED RD:
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“Last week, the kids and I were invited to a blogger breakfast hosted by Love Grown Foods.  They had sent me some granola last month, so I was already a fan (it’s delicious!!).  Hanging out with Alex and Maddy, the creators of this health-food company gave me an even greater appreciation for what they are doing.  This young couple started Love Grown Foods because of their passion for health and wellness.  Not only do they make amazing granola, but they genuinely care about inspiring and educating people to live a healthy lifestyle.  One of the ways they do that is by visiting elementary schools to teach kids about the importance of eating wholesome foods and exercising.  A certified pilates instructor, Maddy realized that by starting a health-food company and traveling the country, she could impact infinitely more people on the road to health than she could by teaching pilates to just a few people in a studio.

If you have been around my blog for long, you know I don’t endorse many products.  I only talk about the things that I love and really inspire me.  I hope you will check out Love Grown Foods and see for yourself just how awesome they are.  You can find their products in most major stores.  I am excited to see where Alex and Maddy take this company next.  I know they have great things in store for all of us!
Please enjoy these photos of our breakfast:

 

Joe cool checking out the snack packs of granola.

 

Leila enjoying the comfy bus.

 

We had some yummy parfaits. Joe chose chocolate granola for his.

 

Maddy and Alex talking about the inspiration behind Love Grown Foods.

 

Scottsdale moms hanging out in the bus.

 

Alex spreading some love.

 

Joe and Alex chatting about trains.

 

Parfait ingredients.

 

The new driver of Elby the Love Bus.

 

Leila warmed up to Maddy very quickly.

 

Maddy taking Joe on a flight.

 

Playing peekaboo on the bus was one of the highlights for the kids.

 

We did not leave empty handed!

 

Love Grown Food products are:
-free of refined sugar
-free of high fructose corn syrup
-free of trans fats
-free of hydrogenated oils
-free of artificial flavors
-free of preservatives
-free of gluten
-free of genetically modified ingredients
Have you tried Love Grown Foods granola yet?”
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Read all of Alysa’s blog – she has fabulous recipes and amazing fitness tips (plus the most adorable kids) on her blog Inspired RD!

Adventures in Elby

There is one thing about driving a 35″ bus around…there is always an adventure to be had. We cut the Utah trip short and this meant I had to drive Elby back to Denver…alone. Totally confident (I mean, the drive is only 8hrs. 50min), I loaded ‘er up, strapped Pea the Prius onto the back and by 11am was on the road and headin’ east. I had my music, my snacks, and I was cruisin’. It was a BEAUTIFUL day to be driving through the mountains. The windy roads were dry and the sun was shining–at this rate I was thinking I would be home before everyone left the office (yes…we don’t leave until after 7pm…and that’s on a good day)!

As I started to make my way out of the mountains and into the plains, I crossed the boarder of Wyoming and had made it past the half-way mark on my trip. As I sung along to my tunes and gave big smiles to the truckers passing me by–a HUGE gust of wind whipped out of nowhere and a massive clamoring came from the right side of the bus! It was so loud and abrupt that it made my heart stop and I almost swerved off the road! I looked in my side mirror to see the awning unraveling while the plastic cover beat again the side of the bus. I turn on my hazard lights and make my way to the shoulder. I am barely off the highway (go figure the shoulder is just big enough to get Elby off the road) and the entire bus is shaking with the gusts of wind. Good ol’ Wyoming! I go to open the door to see what this mess is all about only to be FLUNG out of the bus as the door whips open against the wall. That’s when I lost it. Feeling helpless, scared, and frustrated, I climbed back into the bus and called Alex in tears… Alex (so calm and collected) orders me to get to a rest stop, off the road, and let the winds die down.

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So there I am. Just me and the truckers. Hangin’ out at the I-80 Travel Plaza & Restaurant. Convincing myself that I was NOT staying there alone for the night, I stepped out and fought the wind to get to the back of the bus. I start climbing my way up the ladder and–I kid you not–the bus is swaying like a strand of wheat in a windy field. For a moment I flash to a MISSION IMPOSSIBLE like scene: me scuffling across the top of the bus and miraculously fixing the awning to be on my way again and home in time for dinner. Then, reality hits, and I know there is no way I am going to even take one step higher.

 

Back in the safety of the swaying bus, I call Alex (once again hysterical), feeling vulnerable and freaked out. We called GOOD SAM for “emergency road side service” and after hours on the phone they finally get a mechanic to come out. (At that rate, I have no idea what they do when you actually have an emergency…)

A great mechanic comes and let’s just say: there’s nothing tape and zip-ties won’t fix. In less than 30 minutes he’s done. Finally, I am back on the road and ready to be home. This little wind-blown experience delayed me close to 4 hours, but I made it home by 11pm and cannot tell you how nice it was to not feel like I was on the ocean! What a ride!

The below is taken directly from Nicole’s Blog Nicole’s Special Diet Creations:

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“Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend a Blogger Breakfast here in Phoenix hosted by Love Grown Foods. If you’re not familiar with this young brand, they produce a line of delicious gluten-free naturally sweetened granolas called Oat Clusters & Love.

Aside from that, though, the founders, Maddy D’Amato and Alex Hasulak, are fantastic people who really care about promoting good health, especially when it comes to young children. On their travels in the famous Elby bus, they visit classrooms across the country to educate the younger generation about the importance of physical activity and a healthy, nutritious diet — including breakfast.

These two really change lives for the better and produce a quality product that just happens to be my favorite granola. Photos from this fun event are below. Thanks, Maddy and Alex, for being such great hosts and spreading the love here in Phoenix. Safe travels and come back soon!

Meet Elby

Love this photo of Maddy

…and this one of Alex

Oat Clusters & Love — very popular amongst the younger set!

…as was the fascinating Elby bus

I really enjoyed meeting all of the blogger moms…

So long, Elby. Come back soon!”

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Be sure to check out all of Nicole’s blog (and her fabulous recipes) and you can also find her in the Scottsdale Examiner!

 

The below is taken directly from EATING BIRD FOOD:

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“I’m glad to hear that most of you are goat cheese lovers too. As an update, I polished off the remaining bit at lunch today, which means I need to get more tomorrow…

In other, not so goaty, news my mid-afternoon snackage this week has been lovely and full of yogurt.

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Today’s strawberry chocolate yogurt bowl was quite be-u-tiful!

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I’d share the recipe, but in reality it’s more of a non-recipe.

Basically I spooned out 1/2 cup of plain Chobani Greek yogurt into a bowl and mixed it with 3-4 drops of stevia to take away the tartness (this is the only way I can handle plain yogurt), strategically placed sliced strawberries around the outer edge of the bowl and topped it all with Cocoa Goodness granola. Easy as (chocolate strawberry) pie!

The star of this snack was the granola.

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Sweet, crunchy and chocolately granola that is made with LOVE.

I was sent a few bags of Love Grown Foods granola to try out. Currently I have 3 bags open- the Cocoa Goodness, Apple Walnut Delight and the Sweet Cranberry Pecan. They’re all delicious but I’ve been going crazy about the Apple Walnut! I think the large oat clusters I found in this bag stole my heart. :) What I love the most about the Love Grown Foods granola, besides the large chunks of granola, is that the company strives to produce a product that is made with wholesome ingredients.

Their granola is delicious, healthy and lower in calories and sugar than many other granolas out therer. They’re also:

  • Free of Refined Sugar
  • Free of High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Free of Trans Fats
  • Free of Hydrogenated Oils
  • Free of Artificial Flavors
  • Free of Preservatives
  • Free of Gluten
  • Free of Genetically Modified Ingredients

And,  I already spotted Love Grown granola on the shelf at my local Kroger!! This is nice to see because often times natural food products are only sold at organic markets, which many people may not have access to. I grew up in a small town so I know what it’s like to feel left out of the loop when certain products aren’t sold at stores near you.

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I used the Sweet Cranberry Pecan to top a batch of pumpkin spice yogurt. Another non-recipe with 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, stevia, 2 T of pumpkin puree and a dash of pumpkin pie spice.

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I love dried fruit in granola and the cranberry coconut combo in this variety is phenom!

I finished off my large container of yogurt for the week already so now it’s time to get creative with the granola. Who knows what crazy combos I’ll come up with, but believe me you all will be the first to find out!

And be sure to look for all the Love Grown Foods varieties (in the organic section) at a grocer near you.”

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Check out the rest of this fabulous blog and be sure to try some of the DELICIOUS recipes on Eating Bird Food!