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Leadville 100 Trail Run Recap

Welcome to Leadville, baby!

Well, let’s get it started, shall we?

Before the Race:

The Leadville 100 trail run started on Saturday August 17 at 4:00 am. I was pretty concerned I wouldn’t sleep at all the night before, but I somehow managed to sleep a little. I did take a couple melatonin gummies around 8:00pm, so I’m guessing that helped take a little edge off. I slept pretty soundly until 11 when I was awake for a little, but then did fall back asleep.

My alarm went off around 3:00 am and the rest of my team (Wes, Patrick, and Ryan) and crew were already up. I did have coffee before heading out the door. You might think that sounds nuts given that it a.) was 3am, and b.) coffee can have a laxative effect. I chose to go with some coffee because I am a full blown addict. So, my concern was the lack of caffeine giving me a headache later on. Also, coffee rules.

Along with some coffee, I had a bagel and cream cheese. That’s it. No need to stuff myself, but did want some food to help get me started.

Once we were done with food, it was time to head to the starting line. Luckily this race is much smaller therefore much easier to get to and line up. Some races in the past, I’ve had to be there at least an hour beforehand just because the cluster of people is insane. They are classic cases of “hurry up and wait.” In this case, we rolled up around 3:30-45 and were good to go.

Start to May Queen-13.5 miles

The team!

Shotgun went off at 4am. I had my pack with some food and drink, a light jacket on, and my headlamp. No poles yet. I started off running, but tried to keep a modest pace of around 10:30 min/mile. I’ve heard and read a lot of people encourage athletes to run at this point in the race, but not too fast. Runners can sometimes make the mistake of running too fast here because the terrain is relatively easy.

When I say easy, I mean you start out on a paved road, then dirt road, then end up on a relatively flat trail around Turquoise Lake. You run from the starting line up a slight hill, then turn and continue on a flat-ish road for a bit. You will encounter a few steep hills, but not too many. Those hills will give you a couple opportunities to stop and hike up. Lucky you.

The thing I did not realize (although I was told, so turns out I need to be a better listener), is once you start around Turquoise Lake, it’s a single track trail. Not only is it single track, but keep in mind it’s the beginning of the race so everyone is running together. It’s also still dark so you’re managing other runners, the dark, and roots and rocks. That trail gets incredibly backed up with runners and bottle necks. There was one point where we all had to stop, in a single file line, to step over a tree that had fallen.

I was hoping to keep a pace of 10:30, but I had to go to the bathroom along that single track trail. Once I did that, I was stuck back in an 11:30 min/mile pace. I did pass some people when I felt I could do so safely, but I never made that time up.

So, my piece of advice would be if you really want to stick to a certain pace at this point in the race, find that pace before the lake, and wait to use the potty at May Queen.

Falling a minute behind obviously didn’t ruin the race for me, so I tried not to worry about it too much. But it was a point of frustration for a bit. I was hoping to get into May Queen in 2 hours and 10 minutes (10:23 pace), but rolled in at 2:28 (11:48 pace).

May Queen to Outward Bound-10.9 miles

And now the hills begin. By this point, I felt pretty good. I took my jacket off (a super light, easily compact-able Patagonia jacket) and stuffed it in my pack. I lost the rest of my team too at this point so I was ridin’ solo.

One thing that helped me quite a bit during this portion of the race was chatting with other runners. I’m sure we all have our preferences on talking during races, but this race is so damn long how can you not talk to someone?

After May Queen, we started a climb on a dirt road. I would jog in spots that were flat, then hike up the steeper climbs. I found a couple of people who seemed to be in the same boat as me and they honestly helped alleviate the pain of the climbs. Once you’re out of May Queen, it’s a 5 mile journey (and 1200 foot climb) to the top of Sugarloaf Pass.

This is where we hit a part of the course called Powerline. Leadville is known for the grueling Hope Pass, but Powerline comes in at a close second. Powerline is tough on runners because it presents numerous false summits. At this point in the race though, when I was still fresh, it wasn’t too bad. It did bite me in the ass though come 3 in the morning. More on that later.

What I will say though is, I believe I came down the other side of Powerline (on the way to Outward Bound), too fast. My knees and quads were destroyed later on and I think blasting downhill during this part of the race may have been the culprit (although maybe it’s just running 50ish miles? Hard to say).

Eventually, we came out of the mountains and started running on road. I could see the Outward Bound aid station and was excited to see my crew and stop for a minute.

Outward Bound is 23.5 miles into the race. It took me 4 hours and 58 minutes. My initial goal was to get there at 4:26.

Best piece of advice for this segment would be to chat with some people, it makes the time/distance go faster. Another would be to watch your pace when coming downhill. You might pay for it later.

Outward Bound to Half Pipe-5.8 miles

Leadville 100 after Outward Bound

This segment starts out cutting through some grass, then onto paved road. It was getting warm by now and running on the road got old fast. I could feel the heat bouncing off the asphalt. Not my favorite. It was a straight shot too, so it felt like we were there forever.

The road ended eventually, and we turned onto a dirt road to head back into the mountains. I was starting to feel a blister forming on one of my right toes, so I actually stopped in the dirt, took off both shoes and socks, and rubbed my toes with Vaseline. Turns out I did have a blister that had already formed on the one toe, but I was hoping the Vaseline would save the others.

Once my feet were lubed up, I felt really good. I had energy and wanted to use it. The next few miles were a mix of gradual hills and flats mostly under the shade of trees. I took this as an opportunity to jog when I could. The ground was also decent in these parts. Not too hard.

Leadville 100

The Half Pipe aid station is smaller than the others and no crew is allowed. I was so excited to see my family at Twin Lakes (the next aid station), so I got in and got out of Half Pipe as quick as I could.

My goal was to get into Half Pipe at 5:53 and I got there in 6:15.

My biggest piece of advice for this section would be to jog/run where you can. The weather was nice, scenery was beautiful, and the ground was forgiving. It’s a good spot to get in some running.

Half Pipe to Twin Lakes-8.6 miles

To me, this section was sort of similar to the previous. The sun was peaking through more though. My body was still feeling good enough that I could jog in spots that were relatively flat, and I’d stop and climb the steeper spots. There were not too many overly demanding climbs here. I just wanted to get to Twin Lakes. I was ready.

Right before the Twin Lakes aid station there’s a downhill portion of the course. By this point, I was feeling a little pain in my knees but nothing debilitating. Finally, I could see the aid station.

My biggest advice: Run in spots that are runable. I think I started to take it easy and therefore I lost a little time. Looking back, I could have pushed harder.

I got to Twin Lakes at 8 hours and 28 minutes and wanted to get there at 7:30.

Twin Lakes to Hope Pass-5.6 miles

Let’s talk about the Twin Lakes aid station. That place is like a town! It was such a relief when I started to see tents and hear people. I was finally going to see my husband and kids!

Leadville 100 Twin Lakes Aid Station
Seeing my son at Twin Lakes

I rolled into Twin Lakes and somehow my husband found me right away. I walked through the food/drink stations and onto our CAF tent where the rest of the crew was parked.

I’m telling you, this place was bigger than the expo the day before. There were tons of people. It was amazing.

My daughter cheering us on.

I walked up and immediately saw my 2 year old son and started to cry. I’m not sure why or how to explain the overwhelm of emotion. It must be a mix of exhaustion and love? I was just so damn happy to see them.

Once I got to the tent, my crew sat me down (there goes my goal of no sitting at aid stations), because I had a toe to deal with. They helped me take my shoes off and my husband wrapped my blistered toe with tape. It was basically on the verge of popping but never did. Guess the hubs knew what he was doing.

Dealing with my toes at Twin Lakes.

Twin Lakes is right before Hope Pass, so this is the time to get ready for the biggest and hardest climb of the day. My crew covered me in sunscreen and bug spray and I had some snacks while parked there too. Once I refueled and grabbed my poles, I was on my way.

Getting sunscreen and bug spray at Twin Lakes.

So, I chose to grab my poles at Twin Lakes and just keep them with me the rest of the race. My teammates grabbed theirs earlier on in the race. I think it’s just personal preference on whether or not you love running with your poles.

When you leave Twin Lakes, you start out running through some grassy spots into more of a marsh area. Now it’s time to get wet.

The days before the race, my team and I headed out here to check out the water situation. Honestly, it made me nervous. I was afraid my feet would get wet and my shoes would rub on them creating hot spots and blisters. My initial thinking was, maybe I could take my shoes off and walk through the water, then put my dry shoes back on. Well, that would have been a complete waste of time. Once we saw the water, we knew that was out of the question.

We crossed 6 or 7 (or maybe more?) marshes. The water was warm in some spots, then freezing in others. Once we got through those spots, we crossed running water: Lake Creek. There is a cable running through the water so runners can hold onto that while crossing. It really isn’t too far and it wasn’t terribly deep. The water went up to my knees and I’m 5’5″. However, the water was freezing. My feet were radiating pain coming out of that water just because of the temperature. But the discomfort didn’t last. Before I knew it, I forgot my feet were even wet. It was never a problem.

After the creek crossing is when the climbing starts. I have to say, my experience on this side of Hope was pretty good. I started chatting with another runner and managed to find a pace that worked for me. I felt like I fell into a nice rhythm with my pace and my breath. One thing that worked for me was breathing through my nose. Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t quietly, delicately breathing through my nose like I was sleeping. It was a working breath, but I never pushed hard enough to where I had to breath through my mouth.

I really feel like that breathing helped me. I constantly hydrated (it was warm and sunny), and kept up on my snacks too.

What can I say about this climb? You will literally be climbing for 3400 feet until you hit the mini Hope Pass aid station which is about a 1/2 mile from the top.

At this aid station, I got my phone out for the first time, snapped pictures of the llamas, grabbed some food, and kept climbing.

I got to the Hope Pass aid station at 11:07, but wanted to get there at 10:14.

My biggest piece of advice for this section of the race is find a rhythm! Find a nice rhythm between your breath and your pace and just keep at it. Do not forget to stay hydrated and eat some food. This section is very difficult and you cannot do it without proper nutrition.

Hope Pass to Winfield-6.5 miles

To the top of Hope!! Praise the Lord I was there. I got my phone back out, took a selfie, checked out the view of Twin Lakes, and started down.

This top portion going down to Winfield was really tough for me. It’s basically a single track trail of steep switch backs. My knees at this point were feeling wrecked. Putting one foot down, then another, was taking me so much time I didn’t know if I’d make it all the way down. I was hoping it would be an opportunity to make up some time since it was all downhill, but my knees were not having it.

I did end up taking a couple Tylenol and suppose that’s what helped me. Or maybe it was my bestie David Goggins. I saw him as he was coming back up to Hope. That was definitely an awesome moment. Eventually, I got to a point where I felt like I could go a little faster.

The knee pain was sort of interesting from there on out because it would almost come and go. For periods of time it was unbearable, then it would (almost) subside. I’m not sure why or how that happened, but I’m thankful it did.

This side of Hope is all down hill until the last few miles. Once you hit a flatter spot and you’re almost to Winfield, there’s a stretch of dirt trail that feels like it goes on forever. I’ve actually done it before, so I knew when it ended, yet it still felt like it would never end. The trail eventually puts you on a dirt road that winds around and drops you into Winfield. Winfield is the 50 miles mark and where you can pickup your first pacer. Man I was glad to see her.

I got to Winfield at 13 hours and 8 minutes and wanted to get there at 12:08. Exactly one hour off. That was a little after 5 o’clock and the cutoff time was 6pm.

My biggest piece of advice for this portion of the race is if you’re feeling good, by all means, run where you can. If you’re like me and your knees feel like they’re broken, go slow and use your poles to catch your body weight coming down. Try to remind yourself that pain is temporary. Because it is (usually). In this case, the pain will come back, but you’ll probably have moments when it isn’t so bad and you can pickup the pace again.

Winfield to Hope Pass Inbound- 6.5 miles

Holy shit I ran 50 miles! Okay, that alone was incredible. But now, we gotta head home.

I picked up my pacer, Becca, at Winfield and it was just so great having someone with me. I also snagged some broth and potato chips at the aid station so once we left, we walked for a bit so I could eat. Then it was time to climb!

Chowin’ in Windfield
Leaving Windfield with Becca, my pacer.

This side of Hope starts with a pretty steep stretch of climbing. I practiced this a couple times before the race, but obviously on race day it felt much harder and much longer. Once we got through the really steep stuff though, there were more stretches of climbing mixed with flat spots. The ground throughout this portion is also relatively soft. Until you get to the rocks.

There is a spot on this side of Hope that is literally covered in boulders. It’s pretty short, but you just need to be careful where you step and where you place your poles.

After the rocks, we were back at the switchbacks on our way to the top of Hope. Since people picked up pacers in Winfield, there were a couple of times the trail bottle-necked with people. My pacer did a great job being vocal about us passing other runners. I had some stretches in there when my energy was high and I was fully capable of going faster and passing, so I’m glad my pacer helped move me along.

The switch backs on the way to the top of Hope Pass.
The line going up to Hope Pass.

Passing other runners is funny because back at the start of the race, I was more uncomfortable passing. But now on Hope Pass, we were passing people left and right. The bottom line is: no one cares if you want to pass them. Pass away. I passed runners and plenty passed me too.

At the top of Hope, the wind had picked up so I put my jacket back on for the first time. I had my jacket with me the entire race and I’m glad I did.

Top of Hope Pass
Hope Pass!

We made it back to the Hope Pass aid station at 15 hours and 33 minutes. My goal was to be there at 15 hours and 15 minutes so we made up a lot of time.

My biggest piece of advice for this portion is to communicate with your pacer. Tell them what you need, tell them what you want to eat, have them carry your pack, tell them to remind you to drink water every 15 minutes, whatever it is. That’s what they’re there for. This was my first race using pacers, so it was a learning experience for me too. They are definitely crucial to finishing.

Hope Pass to Twin Lakes-5.6 miles

Now we are starting to get into night time. Coming off of Hope Pass, the weather stayed nice but started to get a little chilly. My knees started bothering me again too.

The downhill on this side of Hope, in my opinion, is not as bad as the Winfield side. The real issue we ran into was the fact that I did not have a headlamp with me. Looking back, I have no idea what I was thinking (I clearly wasn’t). I bought an emergency headlamp but put it in my drop bag to be picked up at the next aid station (Twin Lakes) along with my other headlamp. So 2 headlamps, 1 aid station. Obviously the e-lamp would have made a lot more sense in my pack. Ya know, in case of emergencies.

Luckily my pacer had a headlamp so we weren’t completely in the dark. She wore it for a while, then I wore it. It just got so dark that even 1 headlamp felt a little unsafe in spots.

Rolling back into Twin Lakes.

We made it back to the water and it felt even colder than before (probably because it was). And finally, rolled back into Twin Lakes.

My goal time to be back at Twin Lakes was 17 hours and 6 minutes. I’m actually unsure what time I got there because this Twin Lakes check in was never posted.

My biggest piece of advice for this part would be to have a headlamp with you!

Twin Lakes to Half Pipe Inbound- 8.6 miles

We rolled into Twin Lakes and I was back in the chair. This time, I changed my shoes and socks (they were wet), and put on all my colder weather gear. I had some broth (broth and potato chips were my jam), grabbed my husband, and headed out with about 15 minutes to spare before cutoff.

We left Twin Lakes and started uphill on a dirt trail. I feel like I could have done a better job during this part of the race. I stopped multiple times for a slew of reasons ranging from being hot, to being cold, to having to pee, etc. Just too many stops. Not being efficient with my time.

My energy level and mindset were still doing pretty good. I hadn’t really entered a dark place yet. I still had some serious pain on and off, but overall, I felt pretty darn good.

My piece of advice for this part would be to get going. This race is about to get much harder. This is a good place to get in some time if you’re feeling decent.

My goal was to be at Half Pipe at 19 hours 9 minutes and I got there at 20 hours and 44 minutes. That’s 12:44 am and the cutoff time was 1:15.

Half Pipe to Outward Bound– 5.8 miles

Things started to get a little dark during this portion of the run and they were only going to get darker. As I got closer to Outward Bound, I started feeling more and more defeated.

My first issue was I got incredibly cold. I have to shout out to my husband and all the gear he had with him. If it wasn’t for him and his (literally) 6 jackets that I wore, I’m not sure I would have made it.

Once we made it out of the mountains and were back on that road towards Outward Bound, I started to freeze. I was wearing my shirt, a long sleeved base layer, a heavier Patagonia jacket, my husband’s puffy jacket, a Salomon softshell jacket, a Heli Hanson jacket, pants, gloves, and a headband. Honestly, how the hell I was cold I have no idea. I’m just thankful I have a husband who was willing to give me all his clothes.

Once we started through the grass before the aid station, I was at my lowest mentally. I felt a little lost (the path was lit by some small glow sticks), tired, and just over it. My husband pushed me through though and we finally made it to Outward Bound to pickup my next pacer.

We got to Outward Bound at 22 hours and 39 minutes and my goal time was 21 hours and 3 minutes. That’s about 2:40 in the morning and the cutoff time was 3am.

My biggest piece of advice for this section is bring a lot of warm clothes! Have your pacer bring clothes too. My husband initially thought he had way too much stuff, but I used all of it.

Outward Bound to May Queen- 10.9 miles

Outward Bound aid station

Oh man you guys. This section was one of the worst. Remember back when I mentioned Powerline? Well, turns out when you go down one side, then turn around, you have to go up. Keep in mind this was about 2-3 in the morning too.

I picked up my pacer, Matt, and we started up the street back towards the mountains. I felt a little rejuvenated picking up a fresh face for some reason. One thing I will say about this part was it was NOT well lit or well marked. We did not see any other headlamps for a decent amount of time and we were actually a little concerned that we were going the wrong way. At one point, I started walking into the woods-completely wrong direction (that may have been a mix of exhaustion and trail uncertainty). The trail was marked by small glow sticks, but they were so small and spread apart. Eventually, we did catch some other headlamps though so we knew we were on the right path.

Then the climbs began. What people say about the “false summits” is absolutely true. I swear it felt like there were a minimum of 7 false summits, before we actually hit the summit. The false summits coupled with zero sleep and 70 whatever miles behind me were grueling. I think I can speak for both of us when I say we were pretty damn happy when it started to move downhill. At least for a brief moment.

My body was really starting to kill me at this point, especially my left leg. It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact location of pain because the whole leg was in pain. Downhill was nice for about 2 minutes, then it became excruciating. Matt did a great job keeping me on a pace that would get me to May Queen before the cut off, but it was not easy.

The pace he had me at would get me there before cutoff, but super close to the cutoff time. Scary close. It scared me enough that I forced myself to go into a run. My legs hurt so bad that my run turned into more of a skip to try and keep off my left knee.

At one point before the aid station we could hear the people. We were almost there! But, we weren’t yet. Somehow we could hear the people, but couldn’t see them yet. This sort of a tease was like torture for me. That last leg before we saw them felt like it lasted forever. It was downhill and rocky, not a good combination for someone whose legs feel shattered.

Finally, we got onto a dirt road and continued our run/skip until we got to the aid station. We had 5 minutes to spare before the cutoff. It was the first time in this race where I was actually unsure if I’d finish. How devastating would that be? Get to 87 miles and get cut off. But we made it. I cannot begin to explain the feelings I felt before getting to May Queen. It was incredibly overwhelming emotionally and physically.

We got to May Queen at 26 hours and 25 minutes. My goal was to be there at 24 hours 36 minutes. Got there at 6:25 and the cutoff was 6:30. It was incredible.

My biggest piece of advice for this portion is you’re going to encounter false summits. It’s brutal in the middle of the night, but just know that going in. Also, if you can run at all, run. I lost time earlier on when I should have ran but I didn’t, so we cut it close.

The sun beginning to rise!

May Queen to Finish- 13.5 miles

I ran into May Queen and started crying when I saw my pacer, Kim. The emotional and physical overwhelm was catching up to me. I was so close to being cut off, but now it was time to finish.

The cut off times at aid stations mean you have to be there and then gone before that given cut off time. So, I didn’t have any time to spare at May Queen. We grabbed some broth and gels, and hit the road. I had to pee but there was just no time.

Kim and I headed back into the woods on that single track trail I ran on the day before at sunlight. She was the perfect pacer for this part of my race. I was in a bad place. I couldn’t think straight and was exhausted. Kim did all the thinking for me. She knew exactly what pace I needed to get there before cut off. She would basically set mini goals for me. We would run for a certain amount of time, then stop and walk for a certain amount. She also kept tabs on my eating and drinking and kept handing me Gu gels, cookies, and cheese bunnies about every 15 minutes.

This stretch to the finish line felt like it would never end (which seems to be an ongoing theme in this race). We ran around the lake and eventually got to a dirt road. I was getting pretty hot by then so I shed some layers.

We kept up the same strategy of running/walking basically all the way to the finish. Eventually on this dirt road, I ran into my husband which was so awesome for me. Seeing him gave me a little burst of energy. Cliff and Kim gave me the support I needed during these last few miles.

Even though the race was almost over, there were some decent hills in this section. We were facing the sun so the heat made the climbs that much harder. I was told at one point we were about to hit a downhill, but nope, just more uphill.

I kept wondering when the dirt road would turn into the paved road. Felt like forever, but eventually it did. Seeing that paved road meant the race was almost over. I was so ready to get there. My body was broken but I managed to pickup my pace because, let’s be honest, I wanted this shit to be over.

Pain train.
The final downhill before the finish line.

Eventually, we turned on the paved road and the finally saw the finish line. It was over and I could not believe it. I ran. I ran my ass to the finish line. Honestly, probably the fastest pace I ran during the entire race. I finished with 8 minutes until the cutoff.

Pushing it to the finish.

The race ended at 10am, and I came through the finish line at 9:52. My average pace overall was 17:51.

Hallelujah!

My biggest piece of advice for this section is to keep moving!! Tell your pacer to do the thinking for you. Ask them to keep you on pace, keep tabs on food, carry your pack. Anything and everything to get you over the finish line.

Afterthoughts:

I’ll start out by saying this was an incredible experience. On the one hand, I always felt fairly confident that I could finish, but on the other hand, I’ve never even come close to this distance…so what did I know? The longest I’ve ever ran was 30 miles, so all the unknowns about this distance, terrain, and elevation made me nervous.

I’m not a super athlete or anyone particularly special. I say that because this experience is an example of pushing yourself and your limits to see just how far you can go. Turns out, I can go farther than I ever thought possible. And if I can do it, you can too. It doesn’t have to be 100 miles, it could be whatever you think is “impossible” for yourself. It’s sort of cliche, but it’s true. If you never try, you never know. We tell that to our children all the time because we know it’s true, yet we don’t apply it to our own lives.

As Ken Chlouber, the founder of the Leadville race says, “You’re better than you think you are. You can do more than you think you can.” I couldn’t agree more.

Leadville 100 finish
Leadville 100 finish
With the best pacers around.
Time for all the coffee!

Review: Eating Evolved Coconut Butter Cups

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts/every post every, I love me a little treat. Each and everyday, please.

I heard about these coconut butter cups from Julie at Paleomg.com. I think from her podcast? If you’re a podcast listener, by the way, check her’s out because it’s hilarious. It’s full of fun content (if you’re into Paleo eating/beauty/other random things) but she just cracks me up.

At the time I was satisfying my sweet tooth (sometimes) with Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups, which are amazing. I sort of have to watch myself with those things because I will pound a whole bag of ’em. Like, they’re so good they put other regular pb cups to shame. You will never go back.

I loved the idea though of these coconut butter cups because they’re paleo friendly, relatively low in sugar, and chocolate.

Eating Evolved Coconut Butter Cups

eating evolved coconut butter cups

There are a few different flavors of these cups: original, caramel and sea salt, banana cream, mint cream, and strawberries and cream.

I’ve actually tried all of them except strawberries and cream. I have to say, the banana cream cups surprised me the most; I really liked them!

I’ve liked all the flavors I’ve tried and usually buy a couple of each. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:

Ingredients:

eating evolved coconut butter cups

Very simple and straightforward: organic coconut, organic cacao, organic coconut sugar, organic cacao butter, himalayan sea salt, and organic vanilla extract. That’s it!

Obviously if you hate coconut, you probably won’t be a fan. But, if you like coconut, love chocolate, and want to eat clean/paleo, you might just be a fan.

 

Nutrition Facts:

In 1 cup (there are two in a package):

calories: 131

fat: 11g

carbs: 6g

fiber: 3g

sugar: 4g

protein: 1g

The fat content is on the higher side because coconut has quite a bit of fat in it. I’m personally not concerned with the grams of fat when they’re coming from a natural food source, but if you are, that’s something to keep in mind.

eating evolved coconut butter cups

 

Taste and Texture:

eating evolved coconut butter cups

I like these!

When I first tried them I think my taste buds were a little shocked by the lack of sweetness because, let’s be honest, other foods shaped like that are extremely sweet. These are made with a dark chocolate though, so they’re a bit more bitter than their milk chocolate/pb distant cousin (or friend…or someone they really don’t know at all).

I love dark chocolate, so I am definitely on board with the dark, slightly bitter taste. I also like coconut. Again, if you hate coconut, you may not love these.

Another thing I actually liked about them is that little taste of salt. They do sell a flavor that’s caramel sea salt and that’s much saltier than the original (also good though), but I like just a tiny hint of salt.

 

Cost:

These little cups of yumminess are not cheap. But, if they were, they’d probably be those other cups sold at gas stations…

They are obviously made with higher quality ingredients: organic, quality dark chocolate, etc. So, those higher quality ingredients are reflected in the price. Just is what it is.

I usually pick up a few from Natural Grocer’s and they’re about $2.70(ish)-$2.99.

You can buy them directly from their website and they sell individual bags at $2.99. If you buy a pack of 9 it drops the cost to $2.79 and if you buy an 18 pack, the cost is $2.49.

 

Where to Buy:

So, I can find a few flavors near me at Natural Grocer’s (they usually sell the original and caramel and sea salt).

They are also sold at Whole Foods, via their website, and possibly Thrive Market online?

You might want to check their website too because they do sell at some smaller natural grocery stores.

 

Will I Buy Again?

Given the fact that I’ve been buying them somewhat regularly now for about a month…yes, yes I will.

I actually just ordered some from their website because I think that’s a better deal in the end. They are expensive, so I try to pace them out by eating one a day (ha) or even half of one, but I do really like them.

I’d like to try and recreate them at home. That might be a fun recipe to try! I’ll keep you posted.

 

Have you tried Eating Evolved’s Coconut Butter Cups? What’s your favorite treat?

Gluten-Free Chocolate Mug Cake *Recipe*

This will be a quick post, but I just had to share a mug cake recipe I made the other day. I was really happy with the way it turned out and so were my two kids :).

I haven’t made a mug cake in forever, but they’re a great way to have a little dessert when you’re craving one. It’s kinda nice to make a single serving treat and not have a million cupcakes or a huge cake teasing you constantly.

chocolate mug cake

This cake is gluten free, but you can make it with all-purpose flour too if that’s all you have. I picked up a gluten free Bob’s Red Mill flour and it worked out well in this recipe. It does contain xantham gum though, which is a thickener, so if you have a gluten free flour, make sure there’s xantham gum. If there’s not, you probably need to add some.

Another thing worth mentioning is the mug I used is enormous, so this makes a pretty large mug cake. If you don’t have freaky huge mugs like me, you can always use a ramekin or small bowl.

Here’s the recipe:

gluten free mug cake

Gluten-Free Chocolate Mug Cake

  • 1/4 c. gluten free flour (or all purpose)
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1.5-2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda

I mixed everything in my mug and microwaved for about 1:30. That’s it! I added some chocolate chips on top too once it was nice and warm because..why not? The more chocolate the better.

chocolate mug cake

I will definitely make this again. I’m actually going to try and make one that’s Paleo too. If I can make it work, I’ll share the recipe! Using flours that are Paleo are always a little finicky so we’ll see. Definitely more trial and error involved.

 

Do you make mug cakes? What’s your go-to dessert? By the way, I made this at like 3pm. It don’t matter what time it is. Any time is a good time for dessert :).

Review: Siete Foods Almond Flour Grain Free Tortillas

Hey guys! How’s it going? We are doing really well over here. I’m about 27 weeks pregnant right now-almost in the third trimester! How did that happen? That’s crazy and SCARY.

We’ve been braving Colorado winter and we’re almost through it. I can officially see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am so ready for warmer weather too..anyone else?

The upside to glorious winter is I find myself trying/eating lots of new foods and snacks. I mean, I do that during the summer too, but let’s pretend it happens more during winter.

I’ve seen Siete Foods products all over social media so there’s no doubt these are kind of a new, sexy product. Obviously I had to try them. They have several different products including grain free tortillas (one using almond flour, one using coconut/cassava, one coconut/chia) and tortilla chips. I’ll have to review their chips because I’ve tried their sea salt tortilla chips and they’re awesome.

Today I’m reviewing their grain-free almond flour tortillas. Here’s a little more information about the tortillas and my thoughts:

Siete Foods Almond Flour Grain Free Tortillas

Siete Foods Almond Flour Tortillas

Ingredients:

Pretty clean. These tortillas are only made with almond flour, tapioca flour, water, sea salt, and xantham gum (usually used as a thickening agent. I use it sometimes in smoothies).  So, no ingredients that I don’t recognize and all the things..meaning these are Paleo, non-gmo, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and vegan. All the things. 

siete foods almond flour tortillas

Nutrition Facts:

Not too shabby. Here’s the nutrient breakdown for 2 tortillas:

Calories: 190

Fat: 12 grams

Saturated Fat: 1g

Carbs: 17g

Fiber: 3g

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 5g

Considering it’s made of almond flour, the calorie and fat content is really not that bad.

Siete Foods Almond Flour Tortillas

Taste and Texture:

Very good!

Honestly, I’m always skeptical of “health food” sort of “trends” because a.) they’re always expensive, and b.) sometimes they don’t taste very good.

I expected these to be super nutty (ya know, because of the almond flour) but they’re actually not. They have a good taste, basically that of a tortilla, and a great texture. Sometimes these sort of things fall apart easy too but these held together nicely when stuffed with tuna salad.

I tried some Paleo wraps a few weeks ago that were made of coconut (like, basically only coconut meat) and (surprise surprise) they tasted a lot like coconut. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I prefer these almond flour wraps since there isn’t an overwhelming taste or flavor.

Siete Foods Almond Flour Tortillas

Cost:

Here’s the sad part: they’re expensive. I mean, sort of expected, right?

I bought them at Natural Grocer’s for around $8 something for 8 tortillas.

If you buy them from Siete’s site, they are $55 for a pack of 6, so about 9 bucks a pack.

I checked Amazon too and they’re over the top expensive. About $12 for a pack plus like, $8 in shipping.

They might sell them on Thrive Market too so that might be worth checking out. I’m sure they’re at Whole Foods too. I’m sure we can all assume they aren’t a bargain there.

 

Where to Buy:

Natural Grocer’s, off The Siete Foods website, Amazon, Whole Foods, and maybe Thrive Market? They seem to be sprinkled throughout some health food stores in Colorado, so I’m sure it’s like that in other states too. You can always check on their website for store locations.

Siete Foods Almond Flour Tortillas

Will I Buy Again?

I probably will.

I say “probably” because we don’t eat 100% grain free everyday. I probably eat an 80/20 paleo diet, so definitely not strict. I’m also not someone who misses tortillas when I don’t have them around. Since the cost is a bit high, I’m sure they won’t be a “staple” in our refrigerator, but I would like to have them around because I genuinely like them. So my answer is yes, I would buy them again but sparingly (mostly due to cost).

 

They have 2 other tortillas if almond flour isn’t for you. One made from cassava and coconut flour and the other cassava and chia.  I’ll pick them up at Natural Grocer’s next time I’m there and write a review on those!

 

Have you tried Siete’s products? Thoughts? Any other grain-free wrap recommendations?

**This review is strictly my opinion. I was not sent this product to review nor was I compensated in any way**

Benefits of Turmeric

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(photo credit)

First and foremost, I am not huge into supplements. I’m typically pretty skeptical because the bottom line is: they are not regulated. There are soooo many different brands and types of supplements that it’s hard to really know what you’re consuming. Something worth a shit or just $20 dollars worth of filler?

I only take a couple of supplements: fermented cod liver oil, a probiotic, and now, turmeric. I don’t take a multivitamin because I don’t really see a reason to. I think your best bet is to try and get your multivitamins from food. Anyway, back to turmeric.

I’ve seen turmeric used as a supplement kind of floating around the internet for some time now. Then I had a friend tell me about how she’s been taking it for joint pain.

I picked it up and decided to give it a try since I’ve been having shoulder pain, (basically) chronic hip pain, and off and on neck pain. The neck and hip come and go and have now for years. I’m blaming hip from long distance running and neck from sleep and possible workout injury. I realize a smart person would say, “go to the doctor.” But I’m either stupid or an egomaniac and think I know all the answers…or assume the answers would be “rest.” Am I right? (Yes. I am right).  I feel like I have rested too. I’ve given my hip tons of rest, but the pain still comes.

Anyway, these “injuries” haven’t been debilitating, just inconvenient. Since the shoulder pain was somewhat new (been about 4 months), a few weeks back, I took a solid week off of exercise to let it rest. The pain continued after that week. So, that’s when I bought some turmeric and have been using it since then.

This might just be coincidence, but I think I’m a believer? My shoulder hasn’t been bothering me at all. My hip and neck haven’t been acting up either. I’ve probably been taking the turmeric twice a day now for about 3 weeks (maybe 4). I haven’t done anything else differently so I’m gonna go out on a limb and say the turmeric has helped?

I’ll get back to why I started taking the turmeric in the first place.

(Potential) Benefits of taking Turmeric:

Anti-Inflammatory Properties: 

Turmeric has a compound in it called Curcumin. Turns out curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. The effects of curcumin have actually been compared to anti-inflammatory drugs. This is great news! You get the effects of a painkiller without the potential side effects (source).

Because of its’ ability to fight inflammation, consuming turmeric could also help fight heartburn or acid reflux.

It may protect the brain…

There is another (less studied) compound in turmeric that may promote repair of stem cells in the brain. This compound is called Aromatic turmerone. The study that claims these potential effects studied rats with the same stem cell that humans have. The incredible thing about this (potential) find is that these stem cells help with recovery from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers or stroke.  So maybe this compound could be used in the future for treatment? Let’s hope! (source).

It may help to prevent heart attacks:

There was a study involving bypass patients and what the study found was that patients given curcumin three days prior to surgery and 5 days post surgery had less heart attacks than the patients given a placebo. 30% of the placebo group experienced a heart attack post surgery compared with 13% of the curcumin group. This could be (again) because of curcumin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Interesting stuff!  (source).

There are more potential benefits out there too like cancer prevention, delaying diabetes, and anti-depressant effects.

Consuming Turmeric as a Supplement:

One thing about it is, the turmeric spice (what’s in your kitchen cabinet) contains a very small amount of the curcumin. In order to get an effective dose, you need a more concentrated version. That’s where the supplements come in.

Another thing that’s very important to remember with turmeric is the curcumin is poorly absorbed in the blood stream. Taking the turmeric supplement with black pepper (or piperine), however, helps aid in the absorption. So, make sure your supplement has that added to it or you consume black pepper with it (some people eat a few peppercorns).

This is the turmeric supplement I bought off Amazon. Like I said, I think it’s working? This is the first time I’ve noticed a “difference” when taking a supplement. There might be something to it…

I’ve also noticed there are “health drinks” coming out that contain turmeric. I can’t speak to any of those, but I do know people make what is called “Golden Milk,” a turmeric concoction.  I haven’t tried this yet, but there are tons of recipes online. One I found sort of intriguing was posted by Epicurious.

golden-milk

(Photo from Epicurious)

The primary ingredients are turmeric, coconut milk, coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger, honey, and some peppercorns. Sounds interesting and looks delicious, right? I’ll have to try it and report back.

My Takeaway

So far I have to admit, I’m a believe in turmeric as a supplement. Like I said, I’ve never really seen results from a supplement and have always been skeptical since they could be made of horse shit for all we know. I think the “health community” may be on to something though with this turmeric..

Do you use turmeric as a supplement? Thoughts?

**One thing to keep in mind is turmeric as a supplement is NOT regulated by the FDA. It is NOT medication. Before you take any supplements, talk to your doc. Do your research.**

A New Workout, Vanilla Latte Protein Shake, and a Giveaway!

Hey ya’ll! What’s goin on? First of all, I know the pictures in my previous post are all out of whack.  That always happens when I post from my Ipad (ugh) I will fix them, I swear.

Anyway, we are still enjoying bomb weather here in ski country. Speaking of skiing, the resorts open in like, two weeks and it hasn’t snowed at all. Should be interesting! I love it though. Can it stay this warm all winter long? Moving right along…

I have been loving exercise bands lately. They are cheap, easy to pack (I take one with me to the gym because they don’t have any), and will definitely make your workouts harder. Such a simple tool but it does so much! You can find them on Amazon for around 10 bucks.

This workout is focused on your lower body and will definitely make that booty sore. Don’t you love that feeling though? I mean, to a point. I don’t want to take a tumble down my stairs…

I recommend going through each set in this workout four times. I just want to make sure that your legs are pure jello at the end. If you notice though that it’s too much, stop at 3 sets. That’s great too! Here’s a breakdown:

lower-body-burn

Band Side Walks- You can place the band around your feet or around your thighs. You could actually double up with a band around thighs and feet if you’re feeling extra saucy. Once the bands are in place, sink down into a squat (go low, baby!), and take 15 steps to the right, then 15 back to the left.

Bridge with Abduction using the Band-  Lay down on the ground with knees bent. Place the band around your thighs. Lift your hips and bottom off the ground (squeeze that bum), then push your knees outward, bring them back, and lower back to the ground.

In/Out Jumps- Place the band around your ankles. Sink down low into a squat and jump out, then jump back in staying down in a squat the whole time.

Donkey Kicks- Place the band around your feet and get on all fours. Bend your right leg and push your foot up towards the ceiling. So your leg is bent the whole time and your squeezing your right butt cheek as you raise your leg. Do 15 reps then switch legs.

Standing Abduction- In a standing position, place the band around your ankles. Standing on your left leg, lift your right leg to the side keeping it straight. Slowly lower back down for 15 reps. Switch sides.

Star Jumps with Weights and Band- Grab a light pair of dumbbells and place the exercise band around your ankles. Bring the dumbbells to shoulder height. Squat down low (with legs together), then jump up and out bringing legs out wide and simultaneously pressing weights overhead. Land back into squat.

Step Ups with Weights- You can do these with weights or without. If using the dumbbells, keep them at your sides. Step up with right leg onto a bench while bringing your left knee up towards your chest. Then lower the left leg down onto the ground and repeat 15 reps. Switch sides.

Lunge Walks- You can use weights with these or not.  Step forward with your right leg into a lunge. Then straighten out that right leg and bring left leg forward into a lunge. Repeat for 15 reps on both sides.

Jump Lunges- Start with your right leg forward and drop down into a lunge. Jump up and switch legs bringing your left leg forward into a lunge.

Yesssss. So much burn. You’re gonna love it.

 

Vanilla Latte Smoothie and Giveaway!

I love the flavor of the coffee. Yes, the caffeine is obviously an added benefit, but I also really enjoy the flavor. Coffee, coffee ice cream, coffee yogurt-you name it, I’m on board.

What I usually do with my protein shakes is add whey protein, leftover coffee from the morning (so it’s not hot), frozen banana, ice, almond milk, and sometimes cocoa or PB2. All those flavors just mesh so well together.

When I had the opportunity to work with Click, a protein powder mixed with gourmet espresso coffee and flavors like vanilla latte, I jumped all over that. What a great (and obvious) idea! I already love this combo, so they’re saving me step. 🙂

Here’s the smoothie I whipped up after my leg workout:

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Vanilla Latte Protein Shake (featuring Click protein powder and espresso):

  • 2 scoops Click Vanilla Latte protein powder
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 scoops PB2
  • almond milk
  • crushed ice

That’s it! It tastes amazing, trust me. If you like the flavor of coffee, you’ll love it.

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I used the powder in a protein shake, but you can actually just add it to water and drink it hot like a cup of coffee. You can also enjoy it cold too during those summer months (iced coffee, anyone?).

CLICK Nutrition:

One thing I always check when it comes to protein powders is labels. This one especially you may wonder..does it have a lot of sugar? It’s not bad actually.

2 scoops of vanilla latte:

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbs: 11g
  • Protein: 16g
  • Sugar: 5g

So, the amount of sugar is not too bad but it is more than other “regular” protein powders. There is also less protein. But, this is a great substitute for your morning coffee with definitely more protein than a normal cup and possibly less sugar too.

Giveaway Time! 

The best part! 🙂

One reader will receive a full canister of CLICK in whatever flavor they choose: vanilla latte, mocha, or caramel and a CLICK shaker bottle.  

click

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To enter: leave me a comment below telling me what flavor you’d like to try: vanilla latte, caramel, or mocha. That’s it! Easy peasy.

 

For more recipes featuring CLICK products, you can visit their website at www.drinkclick.com.  They have some yummy ones including a pumpkin spice latte (’tis the season) and no-bake CLICK mocha protein bars.  Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Giveaway ends Monday November 14. Good luck!

*edited: I decided to extend the giveaway!*

 

Toddler Friendly Pumpkin Spice Balls

I’ll just start by saying these are both toddler friendly AND adult friendly. Also, hi!

It’s been a while, right? Sorry about that. I swear I get busy, time flies, and suddenly it’s fall (dangerously close to winter here in Colorado). Is anyone else experiencing that? Or is it only us crazies living at 8,000 feet? It actually snowed in September. What the hell is that about?! But, today, it’s lovely so no complaints.

Snow in September

I guess it’s time to put away those deck toys. Ugh. I am NOT ready for winter. I don’t think I ever will be though #summerforlife.

We’ve been having fun though! Going on hikes, celebrating birthdays (hello 33), hittin’ up pumpkin patches, and visiting with family.

(Snapchat is officially my favorite by the way.)

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33rd birthday

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Can we talk about the attitude on this girl? She don’t take no shit from no one. ?

This chilly fall weather just screams “bake!” To me…anyone else? I made two banana breads on Sunday actually. Two delicious, not remotely healthy, banana breads. Sometimes ya gotta stick to what works. My husband always rolls his eyes at me when I take a recipe and try to make it healthy. I have to admit, a lot of times, it just doesn’t work.

I’m talking all about baking but these balls are no-bake..even better, right? Don’t we all appreciate recipes that are a little less work?

These little balls are not only toddler friendly (as in they will actually eat them), but they can also help you in the kitchen. There’s nothing dangerous involved, just potential stickiness ?. My four year old actually rolled them into “snakes” initially. Then her unfun mom went back and rolled them into balls. Here’s the recipe:

Pumpkin spice balls

Super easy! You could substitute regular oats if you don’t have GF (or you love gluten), use peanut butter instead of almond, honey instead of maple syrup, and of course, leave out the chocolate chips if you want less sugar. I love snack balls because you can really customize them however you want. To make them more “adult friendly” you could add some protein powder too.

Let me know if you try them!

How’s your weather? Does it feel like fall where you are?

 

Recipe: Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Roastedcherrytomatoes

I’m sort of embarrassed to say that I’ve never cooked cherry tomatoes…or even regular old tomatoes?

Truth be told, my husband doesn’t like tomatoes, so I don’t use them often. My kids, on the other hand, love cherry tomatoes. They pop those suckers in their mouth like they’re candy (which, I obviously love!).

I’ve seen some beautiful pictures floating around of roasted cherry tomatoes and decided to mix things up one night and roast some of my own. Maybe the kiddos would love them like this too?

I wish I was growing tomatoes in our (sad) little garden, but sort of forgot about them since the hubs isn’t a fan. He does like marinara and salsa though so I could have made different sauces, etc. Oh well, maybe next season!

Anyway, I picked up a few little containers of cherry tomatoes-red and yellow-from the grocery store and roasted them up. This was actually super easy AND quick.

roastedtomatoes

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

  • 1 container of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

I try NOT to use the oven much in the summer, but made an exception for these little beauties. The good news was: they only took about 20 minutes to cook so the house wasn’t on fire.

All I did was coat my tomatoes in oil, shake on some garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and cook in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes. I added a little parmesan cheese once the tomatoes were done.

roastedtomatoes1

So, I really liked these! I thought they turned out delicious. I definitely recommend eating them right away; they taste great when they’re hot.

roastedtomatoes3

My kids, sadly, were not huge fans. I guess they prefer the simplicity of raw cherry tomatoes. Hey, I get it..those are great too.

Will I make these again? Probably not often since I’m the only one that liked them. That being said, if you love tomatoes, give them a try! It’s a great way to add some variety!

 

Do you cook tomatoes? What are your favorite ways to use them?

Grocery Budget Challenge: Week 2

Hey friends! I officially survived my first week of a grocery budget. Like, literally, I survived. I didn’t starve. Shocking, I know.

grocerybudgetchallenge

I did do better this week. I had my goal in mind ($200 for the week) and stuck to it. I was still a little disappointed with my first grocery run of the week because I spent $129 dollars, only leaving $70 for the rest of the week. In hindsight, that shouldn’t be a problem, but I was hoping to spend less because my husband was out of town this week, therefore I was only feeding 3 mouths. Eh, it’s okay. Still met the goal, right?

Since I did spend slightly more than I was hoping, I saved my receipts to see where I could cut down on spending next week. Here’s what I found:

groceryreceipt

  • Egg Whites– $4.99 These are store brand, but still a little pricey. I eat egg whites almost everyday, so I’ll probably keep these on the list. I hate to buy or use regular eggs just for the egg white. It seems wasteful to me.
  • Magazine– $3.99  Oops. My grocery temptation: the magazine. I notice I’m especially prone to buying magazines when my hubs is gone because I flip through them at night. It’s not the worst thing (or most expensive thing) in the world, but they add up. They just do. Most of the time too, I don’t find anything useful in them so I’ll try to watch that habit of mine.
  • Spaghetti Sauce–  $4.19 Little pricey for spaghetti sauce, but here’s my reason for buying this brand: no sugar added. I swear I looked at a million different labels and almost all of them had added sugar. I like that about this brand so I’ll probably keep buying it.
  • Apples– $4.60 Hmmm…apples. They’re not in season, so maybe they’re a little more pricey than they are in the fall. Honestly, I don’t really know. Maybe I could buy another fruit that’s in season and a little cheaper, like peaches? It might be worth looking into. I like having apples around though because they’re a.) healthy, b.) easy to transport, c.) yummy.
  • Peanut Butter and Co. Peanut Butter– $4.19 Sort of an impulse buy…oops. I just love having some sort of flavored peanut butter or almond butter around. I guess it satisfies a sweet tooth. Hey, at least I didn’t buy Justin’s or something? Could have been like, 6-9 bucks instead of the 4. So, I kind of cut down on costs… :).

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My second trip to the store during this week was pretty good too, only spent $20.34 (but again, just three mouths this week).

My expensive items during this trip were a head of cauliflower ($5.37) and green grapes ($4.52).

These were the highest priced items on my receipt, but both of these provide enough food for at least 2 meals/snacks so I think they’re worth the price.

I actually looked up what the price of these items are on average and found that cauliflower usually runs about $4 for a head, (so I paid more), and grapes are around $2.87 a pound. I paid less for the grapes at $1.99 a pound #winning.

Total For the Week

My total grocery spending for this week was $149.83. I came out under my $200 AND under $150, which is awesome!

Overall, I did a pretty good job sticking to my lists. I see a few spots I could work on (impulse peanut butter), but I’m satisfied with week #1.

 

Next on the agenda I’ll be tackling Amazon orders, whether coupons are worth it, Costco, and Farmer’s Markets.

What are your best strategies for cutting costs at the grocery store? Do you use coupons? Hit up Farmer’s Markets? Buy in bulk? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Review: Kirkland Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bar

kirklandproteinbarreview

Does everything Kirkland/Costco do hit it out of the park? Pretty much, yeah. (No, this post is NOT sponsored… I just like finding yummy new treats and I’m betting you do too).

I saw these bars all over Instagram and they looked amazing; I had to pick them up. I’ve been trying to stay away from Costco lately because…well, see the budget post :). I have a tendency to impulse buy there and that is NOT a place you want to impulse buy. This time, I went in with a purpose: protein bars.

The box comes with 20 bars in 2 flavors: chocolate chip cookie dough and a brownie bar (ten each). The price of the entire box was about $18 dollars making each bar about .90 cents. Not too shabby.

kirklandbars

My immediate reaction to the cookie dough flavor was that it looks just like the chocolate chip cookie dough Quest bars. Quest fans, am I right?? Do they taste as good? YES they do.

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The flavors are different, but in my opinion, both bars are delicious. This Kirkland bar had some major chocolate chunkage which I am all about. They actually tasted a bit fresher to me too…which I don’t even know how to describe to you, but it was a good thing.

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The nutrition facts are very similar to Quest bars too:

  • calories: 190
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Carbs: 22 grams
  • Fiber: 15 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram

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So, these Kirkland bars (at least this flavor), are a win. They are significantly cheaper than other bar (for example, Quest bars are about $2.40 a bar depending on where you buy them), taste great, and have good nutrition stats.

Will I buy again? YES!

I haven’t tried the brownie flavor yet, but once I do, I will post a review on that one too!

 

Have you tried these bars? What did you think? What’s your go-to protein bar?