thinkThin® thinkWellness bar giveaway

Are you a bar person? I am! Smile

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While I almost always have a little baggie of almonds in my purse (and if I plan ahead maybe even some fruit), given the seemingly unlimited variety of bars available, I just love how exciting and convenient they make on the go snacking! In the mood for something hearty? Go for a protein packed bar. Cravings a candy bar but looking for a healthier alternative? They make those too… and they may even keep you full for a few hours.

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For a while I had boxes full of every kind of bar you can think of. And then one day I decided that I should just make my own to save on cost while having fun in the kitchen (I like the whole cooking thing in case you haven’t noticed). I did it once. They were gone in days. And then it’s taken me months to make any again. Other more urgent things seem to occupy my time.

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So when I was contacted about reviewing thinkThin bars, I decided to give ‘em ago. And once I got my little stash of 6, I quickly remembered what a TREAT having bars is. So many flavors. So much fun. And no work required. Sometimes the price of convenience is well worth it! The bar monster was reborn. Winking smile

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So let’s talk about thinThin bars. I’ve seen the high protein ones around for a few years now. These natural bars pack 20 grams of protein. They are coated in chocolate and the insides have a texture that reminds of the inside of the peanut butter cup. The cookies & creme (as per below) has chunks of cookies on the inside but the texture is always the same. They reminded me a lot of the Promax bars I used to eat like it was my job about 6 years ago. They have a slight protein powder taste which is impossible to describe – like something is slightly off when compared to a candy bar, but also incredibly addictive. I seriously love them and plan on buying them by the box to curb my sweet tooth in a healthier way. Also, going back to the “I should really make my own” argument, I wouldn’t even know where to start with these so they are definitely worth a purchase if you like them.

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I loved all 3 varieties sent to me but if I were to rank them – it’d be caramel fudge, creamy peanut butter, then the favorite – cookies & crème. Big fan of that one in particular! Smile

Now the crunchy bars are more standard granola bars – packed with nuts and dried fruit and sweetened with brown rice syrup (lower on the glycemic index). In general, these are soft and chewy with the “crunch” coming from soy crisps (think rice crispies!).

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I liked that these bars were not cloyingly sweet like some of their competitors, and that they contained about 8 grams of protein (not as high as the creamy bars but again – higher than most of the other similar bars on the market).

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This guy got a little smooshed in my purse but it was still delicious Smile

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Would you like a chance to win some thinkThin bars? 10 lucky Healthy and Sane readers (yes, TEN!) will win a Weight Wellness sampler consisting of 2 thinkThin® Protein Bars & 2 thinkThin® Crunch Bars. Pretty awesome if you ask me! Smile

Here are the rules!

Mandatory for entry:

1) Like Think Products on Facebook and follow @thinkproducts on twitter

2) Leave a comment on this post telling me you’ve done the above. Feel free to also tell me what your favorite on the go-snack is, and if it’s a bar, what your favorite bar is (purchased or made).

Additional optional entries (to increase your chances of winning!):

3) Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (a link to this post must be included to qualify)

4) Pin this post on Pinterest

5) Subscribe to Healthy and Sane by email

6) Like Healthy and Sane on Facebook.

7) Link to this post on your Facebook page.

8) Add Healthy and Sane to your blogroll.

9 ) Link to this post on your blog, if you have one. If you don’t, let someone else know about this giveaway and tell me so in the comments section after they’ve entered the giveaway.

Please leave a separate comment on this post for each qualifying entry. This giveaway is open to US residents only (sorry!) and ends at midnight on Wed, May 2. I will randomly choose 10 winners (woohoo!) using random.org and announce them in the following post. Good luck! :D

Indian food and DAHlicious lassis giveaway

Aren’t they pretty? This picture makes me want to start painting!! Until then, I’ll just keep drinking these yummy lassis. More on that in a minute…

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When I meet new people and they learn about my blog (or at least my love for cooking), the first question is always “What’s your favorite thing to cook?” The answer is – I like cooking everything! Of course the focus is mostly on healthy meals, but I don’t limit myself to any particular ethnic angle. I feel like if I did that, I’d be missing out on so much deliciousness that’s out there. Variety is the spice of life, as they say!

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So the second question is 9/10 is this (seriously, almost every time!): “Do you know how to cook Indian food? And this is where I must confess my limitations. I love love love Indian food, especially the non-traditional dishes the likes of chicken tikka masala (I’m sorry, I know people in India don’t eat it but it still tastes like Indian food to me and that creamy/nutty tomato sauce it comes with just can’t be beat. It’s the best!!). But I haven’t been able to replicate the stuff to save my life. I follow recipes, often highly rated recipes claiming to have restaurant-quality taste, and they still fall flat every.single.time.

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The other day, I was browsing through my blog archives and found this old post on pork vindaloo that got rave reviews from me and Adam. I thought, hey – maybe I can cook Indian food after all! This also happened to be a super quick dish so I was excited to give it a go again and hopefully also make it a little more appetizing to look at. The end result was this:

1. It was very easy to make.

2. This dish is hard to photograph but the pictures are definitely an improvement over my previous set.

3. It tasted just ok. I guess my standards have gotten higher. I will not be making this dish again. Sad smile The search for a great Indian recipe continues!!

The bright spot of dinner were these DAHlicious Lassis sent to me by the company for review. Just in case you are unfamiliar with lassis – they are Indian yogurt based drinks. They are creamy and sweet – sort of like smoothies you enjoy with your dinner. Since a lot of Indian food is quite spicy, they add a nice cooling effect too. I enjoy them on occasion when out (although to be honest, they are typically quite indulgent and sweet and I usually don’t like to drink my calories).

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DAHlicious Lassis are made with low fat Indian yogurt, made with milk from grass-fed cows (LOVE), are 100% natural and only lightly sweetened. When reading the labels, I also noticed that the banana flavor doesn’t even have any added sugar. Way to take advantage of banana’s natural sweetness. Very cool!

Here is what these pretties look like in a glass:

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Again, love the color! The flavors offered are mango, vanilla, blueberry, strawberry and banana. Adam and I had a little taste test with dinner and honestly enjoyed every one. The creamy, slightly tangy taste of yogurt really comes through in every flavor. My favorites were vanilla (most yogurt-centric in flavor), banana – which had the perfect balance of yogurt and banana flavor (my favorite of the bunch, I think!! Also, this one gets bonus points for not having any added sugar), and blueberry – which has a much more berry forward flavor (most smoothie-like and Adam’s favorite too). The strawberry seemed to be just too mild at first but upon a second taste (since it was one of Adam’s favorites), I sort of enjoyed its subtlety. The mango seemed to the exact opposite – completely overpowering, ranking the least favorite of all.

So there you have it! I think these babies would make for a great on-the-go “snack” too, and they sure are tasty.

Would you like a chance to win some? One lucky Healthy and Sane reader will win 5 coupons for free DAHlicious lassis – so you can taste each flavor too and pick your own favorite (they are sold at Whole Foods and various independent retailers across the country)!

Here are the rules: there are plenty of ways to enter.

1) Leave a comment on this post – Tell me anything Indian related. And I will love you forever if you direct me to a great Indian recipe!

2) Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (a link to this post must be included to qualify)

3) Pin this post on Pinterest

4) Subscribe to Healthy and Sane by email

5) Like Healthy and Sane on Facebook.

6) Link to this post on your Facebook page.

7) Add Healthy and Sane to your blogroll.

8 ) Link to this post on your blog, if you have one. If you don’t, let someone else know about this giveaway and tell me so in the comments section after they’ve entered the giveaway.

Please leave a separate comment on this post for each qualifying entry. This giveaway is open to US residents only (sorry!) and ends at midnight on Wed, February 8. I will randomly choose 1 winner using random.org and announce him/her the following day. Good luck! :D

Summer fruit cobbler + giveaway

Are you one of those people that’s talking and eating fall foods already? STOP IT. It’s still summer. I can’t bear it. You’re making me sad, and that’s just not nice.

I am, however, very much aware of the fact that summer is going to end very soon (partially because I keep seeing everything-fall). I wish it was summer all year long (clearly I should have thought of that before buying a condo in New England!)… but since it won’t be the case, I’m savoring every last moment of it. I try to spend as much time as possible outside when things like rain and/or hurricane don’t get in the way. And I’m eating fresh summer produce like it’s going out of style… err season.

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I save hundreds of new recipes every week and it’s always so exciting when I finally make one of them (instead of finding a brand new one right before grocery shopping… I know, that’s just silly yet I do it far too often). This recipe from the July 2009 issue of Cooking Light for berry-peach cobbler with sugared almonds I’ve had saved since… well, July 2009. I’m sorry I’ve waited this long because I’m honestly obsessed. It’s the best summer dessert a girl could ask for. And it’s easy. And light. I don’t even want chocolate after eating it. Surprised smile Yes, that good!

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I made this last night, right before getting an email from my girl Kelsey at Stonyfield, reminding me to host a giveaway for you guys since summer is about to end (here we go again…). And what do you know, I just happened to be eating this cobbler with Stonyfield fat free frozen yogurt…

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It’s good stuff. Super creamy. Honestly I would have never guessed it was fat free (I actually hesitated before buying it because I saw that it was fat free, but decided to give it a god anyway because I love Stonyfield products). Of course I did have it with this sick cobbler… mmm.

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So quickly about this recipe. I used half the sugar the recipe called for and it was still very sweet (my fruit was incredibly sweet – so that was probably why)… I would even use less sugar next time if my fruit is at its prime again. I also used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose. I would do this again – the topping was buttery and flawless. Loved the candied almonds too. Seriously, I need to stop talking about this cobbler before I go back to the kitchen for more…

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Mmm, I love when the ice cream froyo gets all melty…

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I’m drooling over my own pictures right now. Hope you don’t mind Winking smile

Now on to the giveaway! Stonyfield recently launched their organic frozen yogurt bars – (vanilla or chocolate, covered in chocolate) – just in time for the summer. Unfortunately I was unable to find them near me (supposedly they should be available at Whole Foods now) but I still enjoyed the rest of the loot in my “summer in a box.”

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One lucky winner can have a box just like this!

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Here is what’s in it:

  • Two coupons for Stonyfield Frozen Yogurt Bars in two delicious flavors: Gotta Have Vanilla, and After Dark Chocolate.  These bars, made with organic milk, are dipped in rich dark chocolate, and contain four live and active cultures.
  • Badger After-Sun Balm: A certified organic treat for sun-parched skin. Made with moisturizing plant butters and infused with soothing Blue Tansy and Lavender to make your skin feel smooth and leave you feeling calm.
  • Dr. Hauschka Melissa Day Cream: This new 100% natural moisturizer is perfect for combination skin.  Formulated with extracts of melissa (lemon balm), it smells like fresh squeezed lemonade.  Additionally, extracts of anthyllis, carrot, witch hazel and English daisy soothe, soften and even the complexion so shine is controlled and skin is moisturized.
  • Tom’s of Maine: Simply White, the first and only clinically proven natural whitening toothpaste to earn an ADA seal, helps bring back the natural beauty of your smile.  The Daily Moisture Body Bar has an ultra-rich bar soap formula that contains premium moisturizing olive oil, natural vitamin E and leaves your skin clean and fresh. Beautiful Earth Deodorant works to inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria and its natural, refreshing fragrance helps mask odor
  • Uncle Matt’s Organic Lemonade and Juices: By buying Uncle Matt’s fresh fruit and juice you’re helping more than 20 small growers that make up their family of farms. That’s one of the reasons they’re proud to be family owned and organically grown. Use this free coupon to pick up your choice of organic juice or lemonade and quench your thirst for summer!

I was waiting to review the products until I found the froyo bars, but since summer is ending – I’m hosting this giveaway now. I’ve only tried the deodorant so far and I LOVE it. It smells incredible; it’s clear and natural. What more can you want? I will be buying it again and again after I run out of this one. Can’t wait to try the rest of the products and of course the froyo bars once I find them.

Ready to win? Here are the rules: there are 7 ways to enter.

1) Leave a comment on this post – I would love to hear about way you’re savoring summer or about natural/organic products or foods you’ve been enjoying lately.

2) Follow me on Twitter (please include your twitter handle in the comments section so that I can confirm your entry).

3) For an additional entry, you can also tweet about this giveaway (my twitter handle @elinaholbrook and a link to this post must be included to qualify)

4) Subscribe to Healthy and Sane by email

5) Like Healthy and Sane on Facebook.

6) Add Healthy and Sane to your blogroll.

7) Link to this post on your blog, if you have one. If you don’t, let someone else know about this giveaway and tell me so in the comments section after they’ve entered the giveaway.

Please leave a separate comment on this post for each entry. This giveaway ends at 8am EST on August 31 (just in a little over 24 hours!). I will randomly choose 1 winner using random.org and announce him/her that morning. Good luck! :D

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