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The below was taken directly from the blog MEET VIRGINIA:
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I have this weird thing with eating.

I find something that I like to eat, and I eat it over and over again.  For days and days.  And weeks and weeks.  And months and months.  And maybe even years and years.

I mainly do this with breakfast.

There was a time when I ate Special K cereal with skim milk and half a banana every morning for breakfast for 2 years straight.  It was strange.  Later I ate an egg and cheese sandwich on a Sandwich Thin with grapes and Baked Cheetos for lunch every day for at least a year.  (Note: I really thought that those Cheetos were healthy because they were baked.  Oh and by “cheese” I mean Kraft Singles.  Sigh.)

I would like to think that I have changed my ways a bit since learning more about nutrition and the importance of whole, unprocessed foods – but I still tend to fall into eating patterns.

For the majority of 2010, I ate greek yogurt for breakfast every morning.

While I applauded the protein content of my daily breakfast choice, I had a few issues with it.  For one – I couldn’t seem to get down with plain greek yogurt.  It’s similarities in taste in texture to sour cream didn’t jive with me.  Because of that, I tended to lean towards the selections of greek yogurt that had a nice little section of “fruit” to be spooned on top.  Of course we all know that this “fruit” is mostly sugar.  In my quest to eat more whole, unprocessed foods, I was in search of an alternative.

My second issue with my greek yogurt breakfast routine was that it left me wanting.  Sometimes you just need to chew something for a meal to feel complete, you know what I mean?  Yogurt alone just wasn’t enough.

I feel like I’m rambling… let me get to the point.

I have a new and improved breakfast obsession which puts my old greek yogurt objections to rest.  Yogurt bowls.

Start with a plain base of greek yogurt.  I love Trader Joe’s Vanilla flavor.  Slightly sweet, but not laden with sugar or artificial flavors.

Add on your fruit of choice.

I am loooooving fresh peaches this summer.

Then add some crunch!

My crunch of choice?  Love Grown Foods granola.

I must tell you, I was not a granola fan until Love Grown Foods kindly sent me a box of their products to try and review on the ol’ blog.

After adding some of the “Simply Oats” flavor to the top of a peach yogurt bowl, I was an official granola convert.  It was slightly nutty, not overly sweet, and just the crunch I needed to make my breakfast perfect.

I was further impressed as I tried the Sweet Cranberry Pecan, Apple Walnut Delight, and Raisin Almond Crunch flavors.

Word on the street is that they also have a Cocoa Goodness flavor. 8O

But do you know what is even better than the delicious taste and rockin’ nutritional stats of Love Grown Foods granola?  Their mission to bring health and wellness all around the country.  Now that is a breakfast habit that I can get on board with!

So, what do you think?  Would you like to try some of Love Grown Food’s granola for yourself?  Well then today is your lucky day!  Love Grown Foods has generously offered to send one Meet Virginia reader 3 bags of their delicious products!

To enter, simply fill in the blank:

“I would like to help spread the love by using Love Grown Food’s granola _______________________ .”

For example: “on top of a yogurt bowl,” “for a tasty snack,” “in oatmeal cookies,” etc…

Giveaway will be open until Thursday, July 8th, at 10:00 pm.  The winner will announced in Friday’s post!  Happy entering!

What Runs Lori Review

The below post was taken directly from the blog WHAT RUNS LORI:

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Sometimes I can just feel the LOVE from others. I can feel their caring nature. I can sense their passion for goodness. I can smell their dedication. And I can hear the LOVE they are surrounded by.

When you’re filled with LOVE, you’re provided with an aura that reflects how you feel. Maybe like when I eat my LOVE Grown Foods Granola… I’m filled with LOVE (literally). I reflect granola. I mean LOVE. I reflect LOVE. And cinnamon raisin almond crunch…

Now, I don’t eat much granola, partly due to my uncontrollable love for all things granola and trail mix. If it’s there, it’s mine… and it’s usually eaten quickly. But aside from this fact, if I’m able to get a box of LOVE Grown Foods incredible granola, well, sign me up!

This is one granola (or even product) that I love eating, love sharing, and love spreading! It’s good stuff. Made with just a few ingredients, no preservatives, additives, nasty gross stuff that most products are made with nowadays, you can feel good, or LOVEd, about eating from this brand.

Have I mentioned Love Grown Granola is trying to get the products carried into Sprouts stores? You could Facebook Sprouts Farmers Market them to carry the LOVE…

Who am I to argue with delicious? Especially when it’s coming from such a LOVEing place. I encourage you to get your hands on some granola. Handfuls straight from the cute little bag is acceptable (promise) but so is pepping up your recovery smoothie. I don’t know about you, but I love a little crunch to my frosty, creamy, blended drink.

Speaking of recovery, and randomness, yesterday I went to one of the newest CrossFit gyms around. I’m at my parents’ house for the week (near Sacramento, CA… in the TINIEST town ever) and I was craving some CrossFit. CrossFit Feather River opened a few months ago and I knew my mission was to get in for a class. Verdict: Excellent! Facility, very nice. I even DRAGGED my sister out of bed to come asked my sister to come with me- she even had a blast! Have you tried CrossFit yet???

Anyway, back to the smoothie… one staple in my life is a green smoothie. Most days, it’s every day. And I know some people are thinking, “Lori, Dear Lori, that is disgusting.”

Let me assure you, it’s not. And after trying one, I’ll make a convert out of you, just like the hundreds of people I have already converted. (Lie: I’ve only converted a few people, but I haven’t touched hundreds yet!)

Here is the basic green smoothie. Below will be listed the overall ingredients you could use, then the specifics on some I love… enjoy!

My Inner Shakti Review

The below post was taken directly from the blog MY INNER SHAKTI:

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…to taste the LOVE!  Love Grown Granola that is!  Y’all have no idea how excited I was when Laura from Love Grown Foods contacted me about trying their granola.  I think I screamed YES at my computer as soon as I finished reading her email.  I really was that excited!

I raced home after work today to pick up my box of goodness from the front office.  The doors were locked, but I saw someone walking around so I knocked and knocked and knocked until she came and opened the door for me.  Obnoxious?  Maybe.  But in my defense, I’ve been waiting months to try this stuff.  Smile

And the wait was sure worth it.  Laura was kind enough to send me not just one but three whole bags of granola plus some little sample bags.  Granola heaven here I come!

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First off, let me just say that I LOVE what this company stands for – the balance between “living a healthy life while still enjoying great tasting foods.”  And to top it off, the granola is free of added chemicals, free of gluten, free of trans fats, and free of a lot of other nasty things.  In other words, it’s simple, wholesome, and delicious!

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The three varieties I was sent included Raisin Almond Crunch, Sweet Cranberry Pecan, and Cocoa Goodness.

First up was the Raisin Almond Crunch…

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It really was the perfect mix of sweet and crunchy.  I’m not a huge fan of raisins, but there was a really good balance of all the ingredients.  I can see myself eating this with some thick Greek yogurt for breakfast or as a snack.

Next up was the Sweet Cranberry Pecan…

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I don’t even know what to say about this one.  It wasn’t too sweet, the flavors of all the ingredients shined through, and I can definitely see myself gobbling this up in less than 48 hours.  Oh boy…

And finally, the granola that stole my taste buds away…Cocoa Goodness…

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It’s not a huge surprise that this one ended up being my favorite.  I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic after all.  What I loved the most about it was the natural, subtle chocolate taste.  Oh, and the little pieces of dark chocolate helped too… Smile YUM!  This one will definitely be eaten straight out of the bag.  Fun times ahead!

If you ever get the chance to try this stuff, go for it…no disappointments here!

Well, off I go to wash some dishes, clean up a little bit, and chow down snack on some granola.

Disclaimer: Love Grown Granola was kind enough to send me these complimentary samples.  I was not compensated for my review of their products.  All opinions stated are my own.

Are you a granola lover?  If you could try any one of the Love Grown Granolas, which one would it be?

P.S. Stay tuned for a fun giveaway on here tomorrow…it’s a very special day for myinnershakti!!!

Running Out of Gas

Ever since we rolled into Denver last Thursday, I feel as though I have hit the ground running. It is amazing to think I was away for 5 months—THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO WHEN I AM HOME! With all the craziness of running around, I truly have had my head spinning. It apparently was spinning so much that I neglected to see that Sweet Pea the Prius was low on gas when I left for meetings and to run some errands yesterday afternoon. As I headed home eager to pick up some Little Ollie’s for Alex and me so we could catch an early movie and have a “night off”—it was too late to realize that I was too low on gas to make it to the next exit. Luckily rush hour had already begun, so I was able to slowly weave Sweet Pea off the side of I-25 in the nick of time—right before she completely died.

 

The upside: Rush hour traffic + having a branded vehicle…it is as if we purchased a temporary billboard.

 

The downside: No A/C, and just enough power to crack the windows…until it started to pour + a dying cell phone that can’t charge without the car on.

 

…Just when I thought my adventures on the road were over for a bit I realize that my adventures simply never end.

My favorite highlights of the 2 hour. wait to be rescued: 1) Having Mile High Courtesy Patrol come “help” only to tell me they already gave away their free gallon of gas. 2) Getting awkward looks from the stopped traffic next to me. 3) Overheating and thinking I was teleported back to the humidity of the Southeast.

Alex came just as the torrential downpour began. As he stood on the side of the highway getting drenched, it was lucky he wasn’t struck by lightening. That’s some TRUE LOVE.

The below post was taken directly from the blog STYLISH, STEALTHY & HEALTHY:

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I’ve mentioned before that I’m not above saying I love free stuff.  And if you say you don’t, well then you are a liar! Ok, ok, maybe you actually don’t like free stuff, and if that’s the case, so be it.  (Just so we’re clear I still think you might be a liar…)  But that’s neither here nor there.

So I got a package in the mail last week.  Just for me.  And you know what it was filled with?

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FREE STUFF!  And not just any free stuff you guys, free breakfast-foody stuff.

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This lovely package was no accident, however.  *The super sweet Laura from Love Grown Foods reached out to me last week and asked if she could send me some samples.  Guess what I said.

You bet your sweet granola I said yes.  Not only do I love granola, but I love trying new foods and especially foods that are simple and clean.  I did a little research on the company before I decided whether or not I’d review the products on my blog, as company values are and ethics are extremely important to me.  (Seriously.  I know it’s kind of OCD, but I’ve had some bad experience with companies on a few different levels and vowed that I’d never give any business to someone who was morally corrupt.  More on that some day…maybe.) After reading the Love Grown story, I was really looking forward to trying their products and sharing my thoughts.  Plus I love stories about young entrepreneurs, and if you’re interested, you can learn more about them here.

So where were we?  Oh right.  The free food. (I received Cocoa Goodness, Sweet Cranberry Pecan and Raisin Almond Crunch).

So while I’m not a huge fan of granola (mostly due to the high calorie/fat/sugar content most of them boast), this was actually relatively low in all those departments.  A serving of each (serving size = 1/4 cup) were right around 130 calories.  I tried them with almond milk, straight up and in Greek yogurt with a little honey.  The last way was hands-down my favorite.  Throw in some fresh blueberries or strawberries and you actually end up eating less than a full serving and it really balances out the tartness of the yogurt, especially with a  teaspoon of honey.

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The Raisin Almond Crunch was easily my favorite, and I’m going to have to be careful I don’t end up just eating it by the handful in the next 24 hours.

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The unfortunate thing is they are based out of Colorado and I haven’t seen it carried at any of my local grocery stores, but then again I wasn’t necessarily looking for it before now.  Hopefully I’ll find it somewhere around since I actually really did like it.  So thanks, Laura, for contacting me and spreading the love!

And now that my free-food-cherry’s been popped, I shall stare patiently out the window awaiting the arrival of my next gift.  I’m just positive someone’s sending something.  Anyone? …Beuller? Hmm.

*I received these products for free from Love Grown Foods, but the opinions expressed are purely my own.

Have you ever received a free product to try or review?  If not, would be comfortable doing so?