New Thrive Bars: A GoMacro Healthy Snacks Giveaway!

The holiday season is hard to survive, let alone thrive, with your long list of to dos.  Between shopping and family parties, it can be hard to eat healthy and take time for yourself.  A grab ‘n’ go snack could be just the thing to make your holidays sing…or at least make them a little more pleasant!

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GoMacro brand, Thrive Bars, are ancient superfood bars with unique twists of flavor and chewy granola bar texture we know and love (without the hydrogenated oils and processed goop).  GoMacro company started on a farm in quintessential midwestern Wisconsin.  This independently run business started and is still run by a mother-daughter team set out to promote health, nourishment and healing foods.

GoMacro’s Thrive Bars continue the vision with organic ingredients like puffed quinoa and hemp hearts to keep you running.  Plant-based protein, essential fatty acids and prebiotic fiber keep your tummy happy while you focus on your loved ones instead of a grumbling belly.  Wipe that grinchy frown off your face with tasty treats like:

  • Ginger Lemon – Bright citrus and tangy ginger make this bar one of our top purse packed choices.
  • Blueberry Lavender – Fancy some tea?  Pair it with these floral bars with a touch of berry for ultra-yums.

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  • Almond Apricot – Sunny stone fruit flavor with bits of roasted almond picks up a dreary afternoon.
  • Caramel Coconut – Sweet tooth be gone with this island coconut flavor drizzled in caramel.
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip – The traditional granola bar flavor but packed with 8 grams of protein in a snack sized bite.

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  • Chocolate, Nuts and Sea Salt – Simplicity = satisfaction with the savory and sweet combo of sea salt and cocoa.

Yes, they are delicioso but they are allergy and environmentally friendly too!  Thrive Bars are USDA-Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher, Gluten-Free certified, 100% Vegan, and soy-free (whew, how’d they do all that in one bar?)

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Shopping sadness can now be remedied by snack gladness.  One lucky reader will WIN a box of mixed Thrive Bars.  All you gotta do is show some holiday spirit for GoMarco Thrive Bars on social media by entering our giveaway here: a Rafflecopter Giveaway!

What if you don’t win?  You can still believe in miracles!  Thrive is offered now at Whole Foods Market or Use the codeThrive30 to get 30% off an online purchase!

Wanna learn more about other GoMacro products?  Check out our previous review here.

*We were offered 1 box of GoMacro Thrive Bars in exchange for an honest review…and we can’t wait to eat more!*

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Indie Films Foster Female Power at Luna Fest!

Stop scrolling on Facebook and put the power of positive back in your life!  Come join us at LUNAFEST next Wednesday for a laugh, a cry and an inspiring night supporting women artists and storytelling.  LUNAFEST is a national traveling festival of short films that connects women, their stories and their causes through 90 minutes of short films.

We attended LUNAFEST 2 years ago and didn’t have to ask where the love was because the room was filled with it. Break the normal happy hour routine for more meaningful happiness.  Your $20=bonding time with your pals, 9 short films, light bites and drink.  Bonus! All your cash actually goes to Chicago nonprofits so bring extra friends!

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Charities you’ll be helping:

Recovery on Water (ROW), Brave Initiatives, and Mission Propelle will snag 100 percent of all net proceeds are donated to charity. LUNAFEST stats are amazing too :). Since 2000, 136 filmmakers have been featured and nearly $3.6 million dollars have been raised.

 

LUNAFEST

  • When: Wednesday November 30th, 6-10 p.m., Film screenings at 7 p.m.

  • Where: Chopin Theater, 1543 W Division
    Chicago, IL 60642

  • Tickets: Event prices: $15- Student, $20-General Admission, $50- Philanthropist

 

 

Posted in Fun

Cook like a Pro with these Secret Holiday Tips

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Maybe you think you need an arsenal of spices, organic produce, and expensive ingredients to wow your friends and family this holiday season.  Not so, we say.  We’ll dish out the grainy details that others won’t tell you.  Top chefs know that a dash of the right kind of salt can turn your ho hum holiday grub into a restaurant quality meal.  The secret is in the flake!

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We were treated to a fabulous dinner at Morton Salt’s Next Door Chef: Chicago where we got to smell, touch, taste and see the difference that Morton Salt can make.  At this exclusive event, amateur kitchen dweller, Cara, was paired with an experienced chef, Jason Vincent of Chicago’s hot restaurant Giant, to show us how salt can change the blah to viola in your own kitchen.  Cara’s Wicker Park condo was transformed into an intimate pop up restaurant, simply named Cara’s.  There, we learned to ditch the table salt and shake up our salt types to alter a typical dish into a prized plate.

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Next Door Chef Cara, in her home. Copyright Photo Provided by Morton Salt.

Here are three Morton salts to master your meal:

  • Morton Kosher Salt – Chefs swear by kosher salt for it’s ability to dissolve quickly and its adaptability to any recipe.  Kosher salt is also easier to control than table salt, thus avoiding overly salty sadness.  The name comes from the fact that its crystals are good at drawing out moisture from meat, making it ideal for the koshering process.
  • Morton Coarse Sea Salt – Larger salt crystals make this salt the bomb for finishing dishes by added flavor and texture.  Get your chef on with this extra flare in your meals.
  • Morton Fine Sea Salt – The fine salt crystals melt away, making this salt the go-to for stocks, broths and sauces.

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Now let’s see how these salts stand up in the dinner service!  Recipes are linked throughout to get your holiday guide going.

For Craft Cocktail Aficionados:

Get this!  You can feel like a mixologist by crafting a simple cocktail and making it pop with saline solution.  A sweet and salty sip will bring tears of joy to your guests.

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Try the Salty Rita with gin, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, Combier and 2 drops of saline solution (boiled water with dissolved Morton Fine Sea Salt).  Garnish the rim with Morton Kosher Salt for a pre-sip crunch for your punch.

For a Tempting Turkey:

Tired of dried up turkey?  Tease out tenderness with a tantalizing turkey brined in Morton Kosher Salt.  Soaking your turkey in a dissolved Morton Kosher Salt and water solution (brining) will lock in moisture, kicking dehydrated meat to the curb.

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After brining, continue the turkey party with a Morton’s Kosher Salt rub enhanced with fragrant cardamom, cumin and dill to slap on before roasting.

No need to waste the turkey bones after the feast!  Make your own turkey stock with the remaining bones, carrots, onions, cloves and Morton Fine Sea Salt.

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For Veg Heads (who love all the sides!):

Here’s our top secret from Chef Jason Vincent.  Shh…you can impress your guests with this one.  Remember those nightmares of mushy boiled veggies from your childhood?  No more!!
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Chef Jason Vincent of Giant restaurant. Copyright Photo Provided by Morton Salt.

Soak vegetables high in H2O content in a salt water mix for couple hours before cooking to stave off limp and lame veggies.  Salting can also reduce bitterness in veggies like eggplant.  Monica voraciously ate a hearty veggie plate with crisp zucchini and a pop of Morton Coarse Sea Salt, invented especially for her by Chef Vincent.
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One of the most delectable parts of the dinner was the roasted then mashed sweet potatoes with Morton Kosher Salt.  The mix of salty and sweet truly pleased the palate.
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Chef Jason and Cara also served up a veggie dream of crispy brussel sprouts with Bosc pears, golden raisins, toasted walnuts, toasted almonds and pecorino cheese!  Sprinkle a touch of Morton Coarse Sea Salt to create a meatier texture, drool worthy to veg and non veg peeps alike.
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Just Desserts:

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Can you believe salt can create the ultimate chocolate chip cookie?  We finished our fantastic dinner at Cara’s by munching on chewy cookies with Morton Coarse Sea Salt that added a final satisfying crunch to close the meal in style.  No need for fancy pie when you can savor the warmth of a fresh baked classic.
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It’s Your Turn to be a Next Door Chef!

We hope we gave your some confidence in your kitchen!  Now you don’t have to feel salty this holiday season because you’ll be a seasoned pro with Morton Salt.

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Next Door Chef, Cara, and her kitchen team! Copyright Photo Provided by Morton Salt.

Go to MortonSalt.com/NextDoorChef to download your own hosting kit complete with recipes and directions to dominate dinner time.

If you host your own fancy version of “Next Door Chef” for Friendsgiving or wanna develop a recipe using Morton Kosher or Sea Salt, share the love (we need a lot of love right now) and post your photos using #NextDoorChef.

Oh and invite us too because we wanna continue our path to future chef-dom like Cara!  And last bite of news is do not forget to learn more about our dining experience on The Food Network commercial airing soon!

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*This is a sponsored post for Morton Salt.  We were financially compensated for eating yummy food and reviewing Morton Salt products.*

Max your fitness training and prevent injury with Nike Master Trainer, Jason Raynor

Have you ever been in a fitness class and felt a twinge in your knee during a lunge? Or how about that back pinch just from your regular morning stretch?  You may feel as fit as a fiddle until one of those strings snaps, reflecting an imbalance in your body.

Full disclosure: both of us discovered the sucky-ness of injury this summer with pinched nerves and bulging discs.  Stress+work/blog computer scrunching+cell phone snapping=a toll on your bod!

Trainer Raynor Time

We were curious and a bit nervous when we got an invite to try a functional movement assessment with Jason Raynor, Master Nike Trainer.  Raynor has a flex worthy list of fitness certifications and experience including a stint as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Washington Redskins.

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Traynor Raynor demoing a walking side squat

We met up with him at one of his current sweat spots, the JW Marriot in downtown Chicago, to get the rehab and rebound experience of functional movement assessments.  Think of it as self-help for your fit life!

Now let’s get to the fitty gritty deets.

Functional Movement Assessment Basics

Functional movement assessments can help you identify those instabilities, not only to prevent injury but to amp your athletic performance.  Even amateur fit fiends like us could benefit by optimizing our every day movements.

Trainer Raynor guided us through the first 3 of the 7 movement patterns of the functional movement system.

  • Deep Squat
  • Hurdle Step
  • In Line Lunge
  • Shoulder Mobility
  • Active Straight Leg Raise
  • Trunk Stability Push Up
  • Rotary Stability
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Trainer Raynor evaluating Monica’s deep squat

But that was just the warm up!  After each movement, he asked follow-up questions, gave feedback, and took detailed notes.  Both of us had different areas of strengths and weaknesses.  Kate had mobility issues with her hurdle step (think slow mo-hurdle) while Monica held tightness in her hip flexors that showed up as knee pain during her split stance lunge.  (Check our short video post on Instagram)

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Trainer Raynor teaching the proper hand and feet placement for a deep squat

Raynor tackled our tensions with personalized stretches and taught us how to move to protect from injury.  Practiced consistently, these corrective exercises will wipe out your inconsistencies and put you in peak form!

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Monica practicing a corrective stretch for her hip flexors

A detailed report is sent to you after your sesh to ensure you can “work it out nowwww” more efficiently and effectively.  Trainor Raynor doesn’t just work on your fitness (although that’s Fergalicious enough).  He targets all areas of health transformation with:

  • Team or group athletic development and coaching
  • Nutrition Consulting
  • Individualized Personal Training

We are huge fit fans of the functional movement assessment and plan on going back to complete the screening.  Ready to be that agile athlete hiding inside you? Contact Trainor Raynor for appointments and rates!  Check out his profile on the following:

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*We received one shared functional movement session in exchange for an honest unbiased review*