Natural Balance Foods: The most Amazing Raw Bars Ever!

Hi There! Sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve written, this post was originally planned for last Wednesday, but there’s a major story behind that, which you’ll hear more about later this week.
While I did receive free product, I did not receive monetary compensation of any kind for this review.

A month ago, I was contacted by Natural Balance Foods, and they asked if I would be interested in sampling a box of their raw Nak’d Bars….I said, “of course”. You see, we like to eat at our house, but don’t like foods with lots of added sugar. In a couple of weeks, I received my sampler box, show here:

As you can see, even the box was complimentary…(I’m so punny.) At first, I was skeptical, so I gathered 2 co-workers, and my husband, to try the bars. And they all loved them! The Rhubarb Custard was amazing, it actually tasted like dessert, but was still a true raw bar! My husband gave it a “10” out of 10 because it was sweet enough, but not too sweet. My other favorite flavors were the chocolate crunch, strawberry crunch, apple crunch, and banana crunch. The Cocoa Crunch tasted like a much healthier version of a kit kat bar…with all the nutrition and a great flavor and low sugar. The apple crunch tasted like a great autumn dessert too! I wasn’t as impressed with the berry delight. But none of the other bars let me down. They held up well during shipping, and the sampler contains 13 bars, which is a great deal at $9.99. Cheaper than Lara Bars, but with all the quality. I was very impressed that they kept the ingredients list at 5 or below, and U.S. delivery is free. I will most definitely be ordering these for my husband as part of his Christmas gift, and had great dealings with this company. They were great with follow up, and very personal. Please check out their website here :Nak’d Bar Sampler I would love for you to try their product!

Happy Snacking!

WOW Wednesday: Giveaway and Beach Trip Recap

Hi It’s Wednesday! Woohoo! I had a great trip to the beach with Micah, and the weather was perfect! I even did some PiYo on the beach! I love bodyweight workouts because they can be done anywhere.  The beach was cool and perfect, and I did walking lunges and pushups…more like active rest days. This pic was taken before a storm blew in Saturday evening. I brought back lots of seashells to get my diy on. 🙂 This is a really advanced PiYo flip, which took some practice…hint, I started with side plank. The ocean breeze felt great by the way. We had blissfully perfect 80 degree weather, and it was partly overcast. Lots of fun body surfing and taking long walks. I love the sunrise at Holden Beach. Our tradition is to get up, as early as possible, and go beachcombing…crazy, right…We also lost our car keys…in the ocean…needed a little excitement…Haha. But it was great to be on our own time, and enjoy taking a break from our routine, even pertaining eating and exercising…you can’t go mental all the time, or you’ll burn out. But we did have fun times racing each other down the beach and competing when it came to push-ups….LOL.

Speaking of workouts, I had lots of fun this week partnering with the fabulous, Lisa, from Today, we’re doing an e-book giveaway of my new recipe collection, which is great recipes for warmer weather and a shopping lists, which are also great for tight budgets, and an on-the-go, abs, buns, and cardio workout. I’d really love for you to show her site some love! 🙂 She has awesome travel workouts, recipes, and reviews!Her blog is one of my new favorite health/fitness blogs! Lisa is down-to-earth and balanced in her approach to health and fitness.

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The giveaway is open until the end of this week!  

Recipe and Workout Giveaway

Hi everyone! I have some fun news today! There’s a giveaway going on at the The Skinny on Health and you’re invited. I’ll be giving away a sneak peek at my new recipe collection and a fun and fast 15 minute workout that you can take anywhere with you! Lisa has a a great website, and some great reviews, so stop by show her some love and enter the giveaway!

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 There’s lots of fun stuff happening here this week, so keep checking back!
– Julie

Thoughtful Thursday: Pushups, Vision Boards, and Creating a Routine

Hi Everyone,
Today’s post was meant for Wednesday, but time definitely escaped me. LOL…AKA, I had to go to work. I’ve felt motivated and driven to get a lot done this week, like expanding my business, finish an e-cookbook, etc. Wait, finish an e-cookbook? Yes, I’ve been carrying this around in my brain for months, and am now finally getting around to implementing it; it’s actually a recipe collection. This is collection of clean recipes for non-chefs, aka, people who want to eat healthier, but don’t have time to cook lots of gourmet recipes that taste great. The recipes are simple, easy to follow, and pretty cheap for the most part. There’s a little of everything there. So, I accomplished one of my long term goals this week. It feels amazing!!! Speaking of goals, remember that post I did about one of my fitness goals for the new year was to gain more upper body strength and do different types of pushups….well, guess what…it happened. This goal is definitely a work in progress still, and will always be because fitness is a journey, not a destination. But here’s a progess report on video:

This is definitely not my strong suit, no pun intended. But in order to reach those goals, I had to come up wih a plan that pushed me outside my comfott zone. 
I know I publish a lot of individual workouts. Here’s what my workout schedule has been this week:

My last and final pic is something that is also a work in progress. I’ve been working on my vision board this week. I’m still adding pics to this it reflects goals from different areas of my life, spiritually, physically, financially, etc.

Sorry but it won’t let me flip the image. So, I know this seems like a random hodge podge of pics but a lot of these areas reflect areas that are a challenge for me. There’s one pic in particular that has lot of meaning to me. It’s the picture of the child. Yes, the child has a cleft palate. For the past 5 years, I’ve wanted to adopt….not just any baby, but a baby that maybe no one else wants because of a cleft palate. I want to pay for the surgeries, so that child will not have to deal with teasing, and malnutrition anymore, and adopt them. Bring that child home, and give them a family to belong to. I think it’s ridiculous that these kids get passed over because everyone else wants “normal” children. I want to write a book….more on that later…As for Isaiah 58:11, look it up. If you know how difficult our job situations have been for the past year, you’ll know why I’m holding on to this verse. What are your goals? Do you have a vision? I would like to challenge you to dream big. Stop letting everyone else’s opinions rule your life, so you can have the opportunity to bless others!

– Julie

Tough Love: Elimintaing Toxic Behaviors in Your Environment.

Hi Friends,
It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Monday post. Wednesday will resume our fitness theme, but today I  wanted to talk to you about a spiritual/motivational topic. That topic is tough love. I picked this topic because I had to learn to balance it a lot last week…and definitely some epic fails in the process. Ok, pretty much everyone I know knows what I believe. That we as Christians are to “turn the other cheek”. This being said, we’re expected to lie down and take it. Meek and mild…what people don’t know is that in the New Testament, the direct translation for meek is “power under control”. That means “balance”. We are called in Micah 6:8 to, “Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.” We are called to have an intense desire to seek justice for the downtrodden…not just for those on the other side of the world….but in our own communities. That being said, some think that it means to always defend others, not yourself. But how many times is it noted in the New Testament, Jesus speaks of shaking the dust off one’s feet and warns against, “casting pearls before swine”….Yeah, it takes discernment, but I would rather someone be reprimanded me, when I really care about their soul,  than by someone who would do them bodily harm down the road. Deal with yourself first, which is what I should’ve done this week. Then go to that person. Pause. Ponder. Pray.

When to put your foot down, about toxic behaviors:
1. When you see destructive behaviors, and you notice yourself startuing to pick up their toxic tendencies.
do not condone such behaviors…they are not ok. Have a spine and deal with it now, because later on down the road, it gets worse.
2. They start to constantly verbally attack/condescend others…including yourself. By letting them do that to you…you’re saying “It’s ok to do this to people in general.”
3. You notice others starting to pick up those behaviors.
4. You find yourself becoming more and more frustrated at home, work, school, or wherever the toxicity is occuring.
5. You start to see others running for cover from that particular person.

This is something that women in particular struggle with…It’s hard for us not to be backstabbers…Don’t deny it…Not perfect at this, but  a safe guard I try to use is “would I say that to that person’s face, if I were being honest with them?”, or “is that something I would want said about me if I weren’t around?” Better yet, silence is golden.

Be kind to each other, forgiving one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you. Eph. 4:32

Show love this week!