Product Review: Revol Snax Coconut Bites

If you haven’t already heard about @RevolSnax, be prepared for instant happiness: these things are AMAZING. Their super-impressive Kickstarter just ended (they reached their initial goal in 5 days) and their production just began (they legit posted to IG TODAY that they are now in production). Based in Washington, DC and having adopted a keto lifestyle years ago, the brains behind Revol Snax were frustrated with the lack of convenient low-carb snack options that never tasted as good as homemade recipes. From that frustration was born these beauties:

Revol Snax Keto Coconut Bites

Revol Snax graciously sent me a box with one pack of each flavors to try and review for you all and let me tell you, I feel SPOILED. These little gems are so delicious, so decadent, and SO satisfying. The flavor options are (I bit into them so you could see the filling and because uh, duh, I wanted to try them all as soon as I opened them LOL):

Dark Chocolate with Almond Butter
These were the first ones I tried out of the package. The notes I took on my phone say: holy crap. Great little almond crunch and amazing chocolate flavor.

Dark Chocolate with Almond Butter Revol Snax KetoDeb review of keto product
You can’t really see the almond butter in this bite, but trust me, it’s in there.

Snickerdoodle with Hazelnut Filling
My notes: oh, the cinnamon. I love cinnamon and wow, so very cinnamony and SMOOTH.

Snickerdoole with Hazelnut Filling Revol Snax KetoDeb review of keto product
Snickerdoodle. Freaking delicious cinnamon nuttiness. YUM.

Matcha Latte with Vanilla Cream Filling
My notes: Perfect sweet and salty combo (not like, salty salty, but not overly sweet). Great filling flavor and absolutely perfect consistency. I want to take two bites and that means cleaning coconut crumbles off my boobs, but who cares.

Matcha Latte with Vanilla Cream Filling Revol Snax KetoDeb review of keto product
Matcha matcha matcha… Mmm.

And my personal favorite… Double Dark Chocolate with Ganache Filling:
My notes: Holy balls (literally). These are actually filled with ganache. Dark chocolate creamy goodness – how is this real life? Mmph.

Double Dark Chocolate with Ganache Filling Revol Snax KetoDeb review of keto product
Decadent. That’s the only word I can come up with that is even CLOSE to describing how amazing these are.

What’s actually crazy about these delightful little gems is the nutrition info:

Nutrition information with calories fat protein and net carbs Revol Snax KetoDeb review of keto product
125 calories and 1 net carb for TWO of these. TWO OF THEM. The nutrition info is basically the same for all four flavors, but visit their Kickstarter or website for the full info.

What’s even better is that because there is so much flavor and fat packed into these, they’re SATISFYING and FILLING. I took two out of the refrigerator the other night (keep in mind, I have a tendency to eat an entire mug cake WITH keto PB frosting at night) and after letting them warm to room temp, nibbled them (again, crumbs on your boobs, totally worth it) and was perfectly content dessert/snack-wise.

I’m SO excited for these to hit stores (they’re already available at DC Whole Foods! Woop woop!) and to see the continued success that Dave and Nadine of Revol Snax are certain to have!

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Recipe Review: Low Carb Chili Dog Bake (LC, HF, GF)

If you’re following along with my weight loss journey on Instagram, you’re already aware that I’m a self-proclaimed casserole junkie. I love how simple they are and how easy it is to prep 10 lunches for the work week from one pan. One of my recent Pinterest finds is from Jamie Sanders (Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom) and it’s a biiiiig hit: Low Carb Chili Dog Bake. My one-liner about it is: you basically make chili, put it over hot dogs, top it with cheese, and bake it.

Okay, it’s a long one-line, but still. SO good. Here’s a snapshot of the ingredients directly from Jamie’s website:

I decided to make this a bit last minute on Tuesday (we needed lunches only for Weds/Thurs/Fri this week) so I made some edits based on what I had on-hand and I ended up liking it more than last time (and it’s lower carb!). The edits I made were:

  • double the recipe, with the exception of the tomato sauce and water
  • skip the bell pepper (bf hates peppers)
  • skip the celery salt (I didn’t have any)
  • skip the sugar substitute (I’m just meh about needing it in the recipe)
  • skip the tomato paste (I didn’t have any)
  • subbed the cheddar cheese for pepper jack cheese (it’s what we had in the fridge already)

Also, the first time I made this we were annoyed with cutting the hot dogs in a bowl (the recipe calls for cutting the hot dogs lengthwise) so this time around I just chopped them into bite-size pieces.

I didn’t bother adding this all to CarbManager until today (merp, hindsight) so six servings is a RIDIC amount of calories/serving, but as ten servings it’s stellar:

DEM MACROS, THO, OMG

This is a great meal from a macro perspective, especially if you’re IF’ing and you have no issues with a 541 calorie mid-day meal. Also, it’s SO freaking good. It’s a freaking CHILI CHEESE DOG in a BOWL! Love love love. I’ll for sure keep this in our keto lunch rotation.

Have any favorite recipes to share? Anything I should try and then review? Drop a line in the comments below!

Recipe Review: Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole (LC, HF, GF)

I was scanning Pinterest a few weeks ago for “easy keto meals” and came across this pretty photo:

Pin

The tagline cracked me up, but DAMN that looks delicious! I pinned it and then decided to make it for lunches the following week.

Here’s a snapshot of the ingredients and instructions:

ingredients

directions

And here’s what I changed:

  1. I used a little over 2 lbs of chicken breasts because I use the Costco six-packs, so I used two of those.
  2. I sprayed the casserole dish with cooking spray because eew.
  3. I didn’t have time to let the cream cheese soften, so I softened in the microwave. It only takes about 15 seconds to do so!
  4. There is no way I only used 4 oz of cheese. More like 8. Ya know, the entire bag. And from the image shown, I can’t believe that’s only 4 oz of cheese, either, lol.
  5. I used turkey bacon instead of regular bacon.
  6. I didn’t serve it with a side, but instead just split it into several Pyrex containers (Amazon affiliate link, just FYI!) for the week.

This meal is BANGIN’. It smells and tastes super-good, and is really filling. It did get hotter as the week went on and the peppers had time to settle in the meal, just FYI. I didn’t leave in any seeds and almost no pilf, so if you do, be prepared for more heat by Friday.

I managed to make us 8 lunches out of this, so it’d be great if you’re also cooking for two or you could make slightly bigger servings and have it for your whole week. 10/10; this meal will definitely be in the rotation!

Original recipe: https://easyfamilyrecipes.com/jalapeno-popper-chicken-casserole/

 

Weight Loss Pro Tip: Use a Big F*cking Cup

In case you missed my IG post earlier this week, I had a miserable minute or twelve when I weighed myself and had gained a substantial amount of weight (substantial is in the eye of the substantiater – YMMV). House-buying, work-changing (eventually? Shoutout to my job for keeping me around <3), living-in-two-places, moving, (temporarily) losing our Maine Coon cat… the excuses are limitless. I was eating like shit and telling myself all the physical labor from moving would keep the balance.

WRONG. 

I weighed in at 230.2.

230.2. 

Fucking. Hell. Man.

I haven’t weighed 230 since after I put weight back on post car-accident. Granted, the lowest I’ve gotten since my car accident is 202. And my current weight pre-moving was 217.8. But, still. That number hit me like a ton of takeout containers. Normally I’d wallow in self-pity and give myself another five days of eating bullshit to get my ass in gear, but nope – straight on the calorie-counting train of goodness.

A big part of successful weight loss for me is drinking water – I know, I know. That’s a big part of successful weight loss for everyone. But listen – for me, it’s one of those things that if I don’t constantly have water near me, I’ll forget about it until I’m so dehydrated I can barely function. Enter my Weight Loss Pro Tip: A Big Fucking Cup (I edited in the title because not everyone knows me and my foul mouth :D).

Bird got me this for Christmas last year:

IMG_20170901_151621

It’s 24-oz and, most importantly, it has a STRAW. I drink out of it ALL THE TIME. Having it near me and it being so accessible – I just do. I’m on my fourth one today and it’s only 6PM. That means I’ve already had 9 cups of water. It also means I’ve peed about 10 times, but I digress. Bonus: it saves you some small change when you get it refilled at Starbucks – just tell them you have a “personal cup” and make sure to take the lid off/straw out for them.

PS – I have been faithfully planning/tracking my food for five days now (today included) and am already down 3.8 lbs. So, wahoo to me and eff you to my recent poor decisions. Time to kill it.

Keto Meal Planning – It’s Simple, I Promise!

Hi friends! So this is a super-long blog with a LOT of words, but bear with me, that doesn’t mean it’s complicated, I promise! I did feel, though, that I was writing sort of haphazardly, so I apologize in advance if I’m a little all over the place.

I get a lot of IG questions about meal planning–how do you plan ahead for the entire week? How do you economically grocery shop for everything you want to make? How do you stick to it and not get off track?

I meal plan in one of two ways: 1) I’m not bored, so let’s keep it simple, or 2) I hate everything and I need new meals in my life.

I’m also a “keep the staples in the house” kinda gal, so I’ve almost always got chicken, ground beef, and salmon in the freezer, and bacon, butter, cheese, cream cheese, and heavy cream in the refrigerator. I never run out of coffee/tea, and I think I keep the egg farmer in business with how many eggs I buy. I also buy fresh veggies (and frozen, depends on my schedule/mood) every week, and anything else is based off of option 1 or 2 above. One of the MOST important parts of meal-planning for me is finances. I am extremely budget-conscious, and that plays very heavily into my meal-planning/grocery shopping.

Let’s take meal-planning meal-by-meal to make it as simple as possible.

Breakfast meal-planning:

  1. I hate getting out of bed in the morning. I don’t want to get up earlier than I have to to get to work by 8:30, so I’m not going to make myself eggs and cheese for breakfast on work-days. Instead, I’m a HUGE fan of Bulletproof Coffee, and I have a nice routine down where I boil my water after my shower, mid-makeup I come out and grind the coffee beans and then French press my coffee. Before I head out the door, I blend in butter and MCT/Coconut oil with an aerolatte and drink half on the way to work and half when I get here (not intentionally, it just always happens that way).

Mid-morning snack meal-planning:

  1. I’m pretty much always hungry around 10, whether I BPC or eat a full meal at 6:30 AM, so I always comes to work prepared. Sometimes I nuke a quest bar for 15 seconds and eat that, but the more cost-conscious option is to bring two hard-boiled eggs. I hard-boil eggs on Sunday night and eat them through the week (I leave the shell on, though I’m not entirely sure why). This is a simple and super-cheap way to get a good snack in mid-morning.

Lunch meal-planning:

  1. Always, always, always make your lunch the night before. It saves so much early morning stress to already have it packed!
  2. I’m a salad-for-lunch kinda gal. Sometimes I switch over to everything I’d put in my salad being in a wrap, but not often. On Sundays, I buy a 3-pack of Romaine and chop/spin 1 head, fill my salad container for Monday, then chop/spin another head to get me through til Wednesday. I have this super amazing salad bento-box looking thing from Rubbermaid that I love. I put walnuts, crumbled gorgonzola, and protein in the top part (often times my protein is lunch meat that I chop, but this week it’s bacon I chopped/cooked last night) and bring a little refillable container of ranch dressing with me. I never ever get bored of this meal, so I have it just about all the time, lol. You can of course buy bagged, chopped lettuce, but it’s much cheaper to get the heads and DIY.

Afternoon snack meal-planning:

  1. CUCUMBERS. I’m telling you. This is the only answer for me. They’re crisp and cool and a great pick-me-up if you get sleepy in the afternoon. Sometimes I put my leftover ranch on them, but most of the time I just eat them. I slice them every night when I make my lunch so they don’t get yucky, and keep the remaining cuke in a ziploc in the vegetable drawer until it’s gone (I get the seedless hothouse cucumbers, and two of those gets me through the week of snacks).
  2. I also almost always have a Tervis Tumbler full of tea in the afternoon. The caffeine boost is nice, and I freaking love tea.

If I’m not bored, dinner meal-planning is super simple for me. I’m going to have a protein, I’m going to slather it in fat, and I’m going to have a veggie, and I’m going to slather that in fat, too. If I am suffering from boredom, I start with Pinterest. I have a fantastic love affair with Pinterest, and I’ll often come away from my boredom feeling excited about new dishes to make, new recipes to alter (I really love to cook, so changing things up is a past-time of mine), etc. Either way:

Dinner meal-planning:

  1. Start with what you have. Most of the time when people say they “have no food in their house”, they don’t mean it. I know that right now, I have three packs left of a multi-pack of boneless skinless chicken breast from Costco in the freezer. And two salmon filets. And two packages of ground beef. Even if I’m suffering from boredom, I can find something new and exciting to make with what I already have (that budget rules the roost, I tell ya).
  2. Work around your own schedule. I know that on Tuesday nights, I have about 20 minutes between getting home and needing to change/leave for club volleyball. So I need something that a) isn’t going to take forever or can be made the night before and b) won’t make me puke on the court. This is almost always cheeseburgers, which I make on Monday night when I make Monday night’s dinner, and then heat up when I get home on Tuesday. If you’re into leftovers (I’m not NOT into leftovers, I’m just a salad-for-lunch kinda gal) then you can make up a few extra cheesburgers, and take them for lunch on another day of the week. For me, and probably for most folks, making my life simpler is the best way for me to stick to something like planning ahead for five days/grocery shopping ahead/eating well/not being an asshole to myself.
  3. If you buy fresh or frozen veggies regularly, it’s totes okay to have “grilled chicken/frozen veggies” as your dinner meal-plan. Then you can have whatever seasonings/veggies you want, add in some butter or fat of some kind, and you’ve not only stuck to your plan, but you’re not grid-locking yourself into broccoli on Thursday and Brussels sprouts on Friday, no matter what.

With all of this taken into consideration, the actual most important part for me is to WRITE THIS SHIT DOWN.

I use a Happy Planner, so I have the Meal Planner extension (from the home expansion) and I use that. It has a lovely schedule for the days, I fill in the meals, and there is a grocery list on the opposite page (that I use for the next week, rather than the week we’re in). Because I use my HP for EVERYTHING, it’s super-simple for me to keep track of what I’m making, what I need to take out of the freezer and when, etc.

TL;DR: Use what you have. Buy what you don’t have. Change it up if you’re bored. Make lunches the night before. Write everything down so you don’t forget to take out the frozen meat and you stick to your plan of eating well. Kick ass. Repeat.

Running Races…But Which Ones?!

Guys. I am having a REALLY HARD TIME picking my races for this year. I’m not in love with spontaneity. I like to know things ahead of time. Really far ahead of time. I set the goal to run more races, and here I am, only technically registered for one.

The one race I’ve registered for is an amazing OCR that I can’t wait to run in June with JAM. It’s called MuckFEST and it’s one of the big events that the National MS Society uses to raise money for their amazing cause. We’ll be running in the Philly event (not actually IN Philly, for the record) on Sunday, June 4th.

The other race I know I’ll be running is the third annual Chesco Half Marathon and Memorial 5k (5k for me, please and thanks… hills are for babies! ;)). The mission of the Chesco Half is to help spread awareness about, and prevent, domestic violence. I volunteer for this organization, headed up by the lovely Jess Rigo, and let me tell you–what an emotional event. I posted back in July of 2016 about my own experiences having been abused for a large part of my life, and being able to help the fight in preventing such circumstances is a big, big deal to me. I’m thankful every day that I’m able to pay forward some of the help and love that was given to me during my roughest times. As an added bonus, I’ve been running this race with my darling friend Sara G. every year, and I love getting to have that event to look forward to with her 🙂

After that, I’m unsure! I’m considering the Hershey 10K after a request from a friend to run it, although I know I can’t keep up with him, so really we’ll just be in the same race, not at the same pace! I’m open to pretty much anything, even if there is travel involved (hey hey, two goals with one stone). Let me know if you’re registered for (or considering registering for) any races in 2017… I’d love to to add them to my “possibility” list!

Recipe Review: I Breathe I’m Hungry’s General Tso’s Meatballs

One of my “To Do’s” in my planner yesterday was to pin new recipes, which I did during my lunch break at work (because at least then I’m not making myself ridiculously hungry by pinning delicious food!). One of the recipes I came upon was for I Breathe I’m Hungry’s General Tso’s Meatballs, which immediately intrigued me because I fucking LOVE Chinese Food. And it’s one of my go-to cheat meals, and since I’m trying to avoid cheat meals right meow, it seemed like a perfect substitute. I had other plans for dinner, but as I was still at the grocery store at 8 o’clock last night, these made a much more time-friendly (read: me not murdering someone out of hanger) option.

Let me just tell you–these meatballs are BANGIN’. 

They’re made with chicken and a lot other ingredients I had to purchase (rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, etc.), so I’ll definitely be making them again. Initially I was going to roast some broccoli to have with them, but then decided on cauli rice instead:

img_20170113_213305
IBIH’s General Tso’s Meatballs over Cauliflower Rice – YUM

I was a little hesitant from the get-go because when I mixed up the ground chicken, almond flour, ginger, egg, and scallions, it was, well…disgusting. Goopy chicken all over my hands, and I was just worried they weren’t going to hold consistency. But they did! I fried them in Filipio Berio Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil for about 8 minutes per side to make sure they got that crunch Melissa talks about in her recipe post.

For the sauce, I had to make two edits:

  1. Our grocery store (Redner’s) only had gigantic bags of dried chiles, which I just couldn’t reason buying because I knew I wouldn’t use them all. So I got a can of chipotle chiles in Adobo sauce from the “mexican foods” aisle. Then they were drained and seeded and replaced the dried ones in the recipe.
  2. Because of this^, the total of the xantham gum in the recipe was upped by 1/4 tablespoon to accommodate for the extra water from having those chiles instead of dried ones, which worked out perfectly in terms of the sauce and it’s marvelous consistency.

Guys–the sauce in this recipe is fantastic. It was aromatic, had a perfect flavor profile, and the perfect kick of that classic General Tso’s heat. I loved the sauce on these so much, I’m tempted to make a double batch of the sauce next time I make the meatballs, so I can have more of a coated cauli rice dish! As always, Melissa, I just adore everything you do!

Any other interesting meatball recipes out there I should try? Please do tell!