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I love Love Grown Foods. I love being a Love Bomb, but sometimes, just sometimes, I have to ask myself, “What on earth are my Love Bosses doing?”

I rarely swivel around in my swivel chair (usually because it makes me very very dizzy) but this time I swiveled to find my three Love Bosses staring in awe at the ping pong table (yes, it is very awesome and deserves a few good stares every now and again), but this time, I knew it must have been something even more awesome than the ping pong table.

Can you guess what it was????? Comment to see if you’re right!

Lots of Love,

Laura the Love Bomb

CHECK OUT THIS SWEET VIDEO OF OUR EPIC DAY IS WASH PARK WITH STROLLER STRIDES!


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Last week we welcomed in Spring and joined Allison and the moms of Stroller Strides CHERRY CREEK/WASH PARK for their morning workout! Allison ensures that you leave feeling exhausted and definitely hits target spots (glutes & abs)! She varies each exercise so you get a great balance of cardio followed by weight training followed again by cardio. These “sprint” workouts are great for increasing metabolism and burning fat.

Allison is great and it is obvious she has a true passion for what she is doing. No matter what degree of athlete attends her class, she provides 3 variations of each exercise (low-impact, mid-impact, high-impact) so that each mom gets the best workout for her body and is still pushed to feel the burn.

Wash Park is one of my most favorite parks in all of Denver. Having gone to school at DU (right across the street)–back in the day of college we spent hours running, riding, playing volley ball or studying in Wash Park.

Check out Allison’s Cherry Creek/Wash Park Classes or discover a Stroller Strides class near you!

The below was taken directly from the blog SNACK FACE:

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Hi, I love you. Thank you for reaching out and touching me. I mean supporting me. Yeah, that. Support.

The resounding summary of your comments is that you read a blog because of the person behind it and her voice. I need to remind myself of why I love having a blog in the first place. It’s my little space on the internet that is totally mine, unmistakably me. That’s all, and I am proud of that.

Instead of fleshing out the challenging aspects of blogging (which I completely needed to do to free my spirit from its negative grip), I am going to focus on the wonderful aspects of blogging.

Like receiving generous samples from a lovely company.

Love Grown Foods!

Laura at Love Grown Foods emailed me, offering samples of the delicious granolas. What was hilarious was that the day prior to her email I stood in front of the Love Grown granolas at Kroger and debated buying them. Something told me to hold off. Then, the next day, Laura’s email came my way!

Straight from Colorado, a box of gluten-free, lower sugar granolas arrived on my doorstep. Or my parents’ doorstep. But that is neither here nor there.

The nutritionals are awesome for a granola. Only 7g of sugar is baller in my book. Yes, that’s practically the only thing I look at on nutrition labels.

What’s most impressive is the clean, straightforward ingredients list.

I can get down with that.

But no matter how good something looks or may seem, the test of a good granola comes down to one thing: flavor… and texture. I guess that’s two things.

Just throw it in the bowl. To the tune of “Throw It in the Bag.” Clearly.

Take in the luscious raisins and whole, roasted almonds.

The oats are at the midway point between crunchy and chewy—a perfect balance. Slightly sweet with surprising clusters of teeny raisins, the flavor is mild and real. The treat within this granola is the whole, roasted almonds. The nuttiness takes over as soon as you crunch down on one. Love Grown Raisin Almond Crunch granola is just that– raisiny, almondy and crunchy. I believe I’ve just met my new number-one granola.

Aside from free perks, having a food blogs means I also make a lot of foodie purchases based on inspiration from others.

Take Monday’s lunch, for example. See that creamy topper?

Yes, that one.

It’s Trader Joe’s Tzatziki dip, and without sweet and gorgeous Katie‘s blog, I never would have searched for it or been curious to try TJ’s version.

I dolloped it atop a falafel salad and had a Mediterranean orgasm. Just being honest.

Salads offer a great bed atop which one can place what she really wants to eat, and they also offer the roughage that makes living comfortable. However, they just aren’t enough for me solo. That’s why I followed that ensalada with this:

Hello, drizzly peanut butter. I cannot live without you.

The moody version.

Before I made my lunch, I caught up on the admirable cutie, Carrie‘s, blog. Without her moves and her munchies, I would not have been inspired to have an old favorite.

While breakfasts and lunches are up to me, and therefore often are influenced by blogs, there is one meal I don’t have to make that often: dinner. MamaJ may not have a blog (yet), but I like to believe my food curiosity has rubbed off on her. Oh, who am I kidding? She’s da boss. She is the best cook in the world.

I ate the veggies first so I could focus on the risotto and beans. You know, the foods that matter.

She’s rad.

Another bountiful benefit of the blog world is its allowing me to indulge all my foodie curiosities and share them. It’s the place where it’s OK to do that. Not everyone at the office is as curious. (But I share anyway.) Anything new on shelves piques my interest and I simply have to try it. Unless it’s stupidly overpriced.

Organic and lactose free pulled me in.

Ingredients and nutritionals, in case you’re interested!

The yogurt was as thick as possible without being a Greek yogurt. It was perhaps a bit too heavy in the vanilla department, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle.

It’s so fast and easy, I can’t resist! Yogurt. Banana. Granola. Done and happy for hours.

The best part was that it didn’t upset my stomach. Greek yogurts rarely upset the tum, but regular yogurts do. I have no idea how or why this is.

Speaking of upset tummies, I have been having one hell of a time getting myself to eat vegetables. Aside from the small bed of lettuce in my salad on Monday, I can’t stomach the leafy stuff! Thankfully, I am a full supporter of two-a-day breakfasts. I know this is something the blog world embraces, too.

Breakfast all day, errday.

A microwaved egg topped with Frank’s and peppa!

Microwaved eggs are simple, quick and easy. All you do is spray a microwave-safe bowl with non-stick (or butter), crack an egg in there and microwave for one minute. That’s it! I think I first saw this trick on Gina‘s blog. ;)

Both sides of the whole wheat cinna-raisin English muffin topped with Earth Balance, and one with strawberry jam, too!

Don’t be fooled. This wasn’t all I ate. There was also an orange and a large cracker coated in White Chocolate Wonderful on the side. And would I have tried White Chocolate Wonderful without the blog world? Probably not.

Maybe I dissect blog trends I don’t agree with, and maybe the blogosphere occasionally brings me down. But overall, it’s done nothing but beautiful things and led me down a path of ultimate deliciousness. So thank you all. Even if I rarely comment, chances are I’m reading. ;)

Ciao for now,

Kailey

Questions: What ways have blogs impacted your personal eats in a good way? + Which blogger would you want to have cook for you? I would like Jenna to cook and bake for me. That woman is real and beautiful and she could cook anyone under the table! I just know it.

P.S. I just noticed I switched verb tenses halfway through the post. Sorry, kittens! It’s 11 p.m. and I don’t have the energy to change the last half. I hope you don’t mind!

The below is taken directly from GLUTEN FREE REVIEWER:

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Gluten Free Granola: Love Grown Foods Apple Walnut Delight Oat Clusters & Love – Product Review #104

Gluten Free Granola: Love Grown Foods Apple Walnut Delight
PRODUCT NAME: Apple Walnut Delight
Oat Clusters & Love
BRAND: Love Grown Foods
COST: $4.99
SIZE: 12oz
COST PER OZ: $0.42
CERTIFIED GLUTEN FREE: YES
CERTIFICATION AGENCY: GFCO
ORGANIC: NO
CERTIFICATION AGENCY: NA
VEGAN: YES
GLUTEN FREE FACILITY: YES
LOCATION OF FACILITY: Colorado
SHELF LIFE: 6 Months
*These statements are based on the information printed on the product packaging.  We cannot verify the accuracy of this information.  For verification of the statements above, please contact the manufacturer.

REVIEW:
Love Grown Foods out of Colorado takes pride in their products.  Their line of Oat Clusters & Love is made with high quality wholesome ingredients to promote a healthy lifestyle.  A few weeks back, Love Grown Foods sent us their entire line to try.  The other day, we tried their Apple Walnut Delight variety and were impressed.

Granola can sometimes be a tricky thing to master.  You usually want to add some kind of flavoring to them to liven them up a little.  This is where it gets tricky.  If you don’t add enough, it ends up being bland, but if you add too much it becomes overly sweet and just ends up tasting artificial.  Love Grown Foods has come up with the perfect combination of flavors for their Apple Walnut Delight Oat Clusters & Love.  They do it right too; free of refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  So what is their secret to sweetening up these Oat Clusters & Love?  The answer is apples, coconut and organic agave syrup.

The flavor of this Apple Walnut Delight Oat Clusters & Love is perfect.  The flavor of the oats is the main attraction here.  You can taste the sweetness of the apples, coconut and organic agave syrup but it is a very light flavor that is just there to enhance to flavor of the oats.  These sweeteners also help with the overall texture of the oats.  The agave helps bind the oats together into clusters and the apples add a nice chewiness to the mix.  Love Grown Foods did a great job selecting the flavors and ingredients for this product.

One of Love Grown Foods missions is to promote a healthy lifestyle.  They believe in using wholesome ingredients that are good for you.  This means no added chemicals, refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, hydrogenated oils artificial flavors, preservatives and genetically modified ingredients.  Add to that the fact that it is certified gluten free and it is the perfect snack for even the most health conscious person.

Overall, we liked this product a lot.  It had great texture and a nice light flavor.  It can be eaten alone, but we think it would be even better with yogurt or a parfait.  At $4.99 a bag, the pricing is on par with similar products on the market.  For more information about Love Grown Foods and their products, visit their website at: www.lovegrownfoods.com.

Taste: This granola is great.  It has just a hint of sweetness from the dried apples, coconut and organic agave.  The crunch from the oats and chewiness from the dried apples are the perfect combination of textures.    Although it can be eaten alone, it would probably be even better with yogurt or a parfait.
Labeling:  The labeling is very simple.  I thought it was nice that they put their Facebook and Twitter addresses on the bag.  I also liked that they left a clear window in the labeling so you can see the product.
Packaging:  The package is resealable, which is very useful with a product like this.
Reader’s Reviews: Please share with us your review of this company’s other products + where you purchased the product + how long you have been using this product. Please no review from the family + friends of the company producing the product…
RATING:
Texture: 5
Taste: 4
Value: 3
OVERALL: 4

Reviewed 041111 by Calvin C.

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Discover more gluten-free foods and see consumer reviews on GLUTEN FREE REVIEWER!

The below is taken directly from Road Trips for Families:

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“Heading out for a road trip this summer, one way to cut down travel costs and keep your family on a healthy diet is to stock up on your favorite snacks. Road Trips for Families attended the 2011 Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California last month to find the Top 10 road-trip friendly snacks. Our criteria is this: healthy, fun, portable, packable, affordable, non-melt-able snacks your kids will actually eat on a road trip. Sampling our way through one million square feet encompassing 3000 booths and holding 56,000 people (record attendance, by the way), we’ve narrowed down the list to our Top 10.

Granola: LOVE Grown Granola
LOVE Grown Foods

A LOVE story as much as a LOVE for a healthy lifestyle, LOVE Grown Foods is churning out some of the best granola Colorado has to offer. Made from high-quality, all natural, and freely unprocessed ingredients, the granola comes in five flavors (influenced heavily by the chocolate chips, Cocoa Goodness won our informal family taste test). Each granola is made with high-quality, all natural, and freely unprocessed ingredients and each flavor is made with certified gluten-free oats, sweetened with natural honey and agave, toasted to perfection, and then packaged with LOVE in 12 oz re-sealable bags.

Crackers: Sticks & Twigs
Mary’s Gone Crackers

Now, I have to admit the stick-like shape first attracted me to Mary’s Gone Crackers. Snickering at the thought of tricking a squirrel, Sticks & Twigs have a surprisingly light and fluffy taste. Because they are made of whole grains (including brown rice, quinoa, red quinoa, amaranth, and millet) and seeds (including flax, sesame and chia), the organic crackers offer a kosher and gluten-free snack free from trans fats and dairy.

Bars: Clif Kid Zbar Crispy
Clif Bar

Without any high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, the CLIF Kid Zbar Crispy’s are surprisingly loaded with flavor. In three flavors for our family’s finicky eaters (peanut butter, chocolate, and chocolate chip), I have to confess eating all of the samples on the flight home. BUT, you can find these organic snacks at grocery stores and co-ops across the country. A close runner up are the CLIF Kid z-fruit ropes made with organic fruit puree (one serving of fruit per 20g rope).

Jerky: Tanka Bites
Native American Natural Foods

With no nitrates or MSG, Tanka Bites are low fat, gluten free and lactose free. Did we mention there’s a dude racing a buffalo on the bag? One glimpse at the packaging, and my boys will think they can take on the entire prairie. A fan of jerkey for any road trip, Tanka Bites offer protein in the form of 100% buffalo meat. Slow roasted with cranberries for a tart edge, Tanka Bites come in a 3 oz. resealable pouch. Campers, put the 100% natural buffalo hot dogs in your cooler before you pack your TP (er, tent).

Nuts: Hail Merry
Hail Merry

There’s nothing like a nut to curb the appetite of a tired, hungry, crabby kid. We like Hail Merry nuts because they are soaked prior to packaging (this activiates the living enzymes and help aid in proper digestion). Not to mention, they’re carefully dehydrated as low temperatures to protect said enzymes and the essential fatty acids. Available in a variety of sizes and assortments Hail Merry nuts are available in recipes appealing to all parts of your palate (from Lemon Thyme Pecans to Vanilla Maple Almonds to Chocolate Macaroons). While you’re there, take a gander at the Merry’s Miracle Tarts. Don’t worry, they won’t last long enough to melt on the dashboard.

Applesauce: GoGo squeeZ
Materne

GoGo squeeZ is applesauce  on the go. Not only are these convenient, re-sealable, portable pouches a no-brainer for a road trip, they’re made without artificial flavors or preservatives and refrigeration is not required. Available five kid-friendly flavors (Apple Apple, Apple Peach, Apple Banana, Apple Strawberry, and Apple Cinnamon), the pouches are available four to a box and in 3.2 oz. servings. For camping or day trips, I would gladly plan ahead and avoid high fructose corn syrup away from home. Approximately the equivalent price of individual fruit at the grocery store (99 cents/pouch is less than the cost of an apple and a banana at the airport, for example), we’re going to do a little squeezing of our own this summer.

Drinks: TummyTicklers and BellyWashers
In Zone Brands

Designed for kids, TummyTicklers and BellyWashers offer 100%  juice (no added sugars, flavors, colors, or preservatives) in 4, 6, and 8 oz. servings. A “special treat” for a road trip, I would gladly let my kids pick a bottle sporting their favorite carton character before heading on vacation. Because the bottles are washable, reusable, and BPA-free, you can keep them filled with water once the juice is gone. Especially on the road and in the summer, keeping your kids hydrated is no small feat. With spill-proof sippy lids, the TummyTicklersTots and TummyTicklers help in the fight against sticky car seats.

Marshmallows: Dandies Vegan Marshmallows
Chicago Soydairy

Calling all campers, this product is for you. Our friends at Chicago Soydairy are re-inventing the marshmallow. The only all-vegan, gelatin free, air-puffed marshmallow available, Dandies can be used in hot cocoa, krispy treats, and (of course!) s’mores. Now, I have to admit purposefully ignoring the list of ingredients on marshmallows in the past, but no more. We will be choosy campers from here on out! Dandies look, feel, and taste like a real marshmallow and my kids wolfed down half a pack for an afternoon snack.

Chips: Beanfields Crispy Licious
Beanfields

A healthier alternative to corn chips, tortilla chips, or potato chips, the clever folks at Beanfields introduce a brand new snack made from US grown black beans, navy beans, and long grain rice. Trust me, these thins are addictive in a good way. Because the chips combine beans and rice, each 1 oz. serving contains 4 grams of complete protein and 4 grams of fiber—your stomach will love the energy from half the amount of food (take that, tortilla chips!). Gluten free and containing no trans fat, the chips are also non-GMO verified and come in four awesome flavors: naturally unsalted, sea salt, salt & pepper, and pico de gallo. Some finger licking may be required!

Chewies: Ginger Chews
The Ginger People

America’s #1 selling ginger candy, Ginger Chews by The Ginger People are my pick for road trip chewies.  Ginger’s is know for its queasy-quelling properties, Ginger Chews are great to fight off nausea while flying, boating, or going on a bumpy road trip (pregnant moms love them too). In flavors like Original, Spicy Apple, Peanut Butter, Hot Coffee (hello!), the chews are available individually and in samplers and variety packs. To boost your pre-trip immune system, consider Ultra Strength GinGins too.”

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Check out ROAD TRIPS for FAMILIES and all the great information they have for you and your family to snack well and be happy while on the road!