Saturday, April 26, 2014

Weekday morning rituals.

As a SweatPink Ambassador, I was sent Vegabars for the purpose of reviewing. I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own.

When I started my current job almost two years ago, I was thrilled to have hours that allowed for a morning workout routine.  While I flip flop between hardcore 4-5 day/week or easy 1-2 day/week a.m. workouts, there's something that keeps me coming back.  That's my morning routine.   

The gym is the best in the morning.  It's not crowded.  I can easily get a spot in a class even if I arrive only five minute prior to the class starting.  There is a method to the a.m. workout.  I always prep my gym bag the night before, which is an art in and of itself.  I have to make sure I have everything necessary for getting ready for work (god forbid I forget a regular bra and have to wear my sweaty one to work).  Aside from my bag, one of the hardest parts of morning workouts is breakfast.  Since I can't fry up eggs in the gym locker room, I make smoothies the night before.  I used to eat a couple boiled eggs on the side for extra protein to keep me full (especially after a hard workout).  

I'm lucky enough to have a Whole Foods a mile from my job, so I make sure I plan extra time to stop in and pick up a hot tea or coffee to pair with my eggs.  I've been attempting to cut back on my egg intake, so I thought I would try pairing Vegabars with my a.m. beverage instead.

My favorite Vegabars are the Vega Sport bars.  There's a Sport Protein bar and a Sport Energy bar.  The Sport Energy chocolate coconut flavor was delicious (it would be a great pair with coffee), but I think the apple cherry would have paired better with my hot tea.  I appreciate that the Sport Energy bars are plant-based and gluten free.  My bar of choice is Larabars which have no additives I've never heard of. All of the Vegabar ingredients were plant-based but some seemed unnecessary.  The rice crisps got a bit soggy in the apple cherry bar and did not add to the flavor of the bar.  I wish there was no added sugar (organic coconut palm sugar).  Paired with my hot tea and smoothie, I did stay full for three hours (which I'm guessing I can contribute to the 27g of plant-based carbs)!

On mornings when I don't head to the gym, I relish my "me" time.  I used to get up with barely 45 minutes to spare before running out the door to get to work.  No more.  I like to get up with plenty of time to enjoy my breakfast, drink coffee, and read a few of my favorite blogs.

I believe that eating natural fruits and vegetables should be our main priority in our diets, but sometimes it's time consuming to prep smoothies or other fresh ingredients.  Fridays are usually my "freebie" days were I can take it easy and not worry about prepping a smoothie the night before.  This week I opted for a leftover half of a smoothie with chia seeds (still need those fruits+veggies!) and a Vega One bar.  I wouldn't promote eating this "meal bar" solo since fresh foods are always best, but on a lazy or rushed morning it was perfect.  The chocolate peanut butter was delicious (I mean I can't turn down that combo), but the ingredient list is quite extensive.  The bar is packed with 12g of protein and other plant-based ingredients.  I think it would be a perfect bar for D who is constantly on the road with few healthy meal options.  The bar+half smoothie kept me full for 3-4 hours which is nice because sometimes even my full smoothies don't do that!

What are your favorite weekday morning rituals?

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