Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Year, New Life, New-ish Blog

Hello friends, family, and readers! It's been a while, right? I can't even count how many national holidays have already passed since you last heard from little ol' me. But, ya know the holidays... things get busy. Wanna know what else I've been up to since we last spoke my last entry?

First off... remember that job that I was sooooo hoping to get? Well, thanks for all of your prayer, thoughts, and crossed fingers.. BECAUSE I GOT IT!!!!! Words cannot express just how blessed I feel. I was actually sitting at my desk at my internship with Shelby County Schools' Coordinated School Health when I got the phone call. My reaction went a little something like this...

So yea! I'm West Tennessee Outreach Coordinator for a wonderful company, APS Healthcare.

For more than 15 years, APS Healthcare has been dedicated to the design and delivery of specialty health services that focus on health improvement as a means to lowering costs and improving quality of life. 

We began as a behavioral health company but saw the opportunity to do more for the members and customers we serve, the providers we work with and the broader community. As our focus evolved so did our mission. Today, as one of the nation’s leading specialty health services company, we leverage our core competency in behavior change to deliver total health management innovations that make a significant, positive impact on the healthcare system. 

Only APS brings together the experience, technological savvy and high-touch local operations vital to opening lines of communication and linking people to the services they need. It is through this process that positive behavior change happens and which, in turn, improves clinical outcomes and financial results.    

I'll be traveling to all of the counties in West Tennessee as part of the ParTNers for Health Wellness Program. More on that later...

A few days later after being offered my new job... my baby sister had her baby! I was in the library on campus working on my thesis at 2am when she called me freaking out because her water broke, and I thought that only happened in the movies. Surprise! Baby Gabe came made his appearance just a day earlier than planned. My sweet little nephew was born December 6, 2010. Oh yea, he's pretty much perfect.

I took this picture with my phone about 30 minutes after Gabe made his appearance!

Baby Gabe and his mummy! He came out sucking his thumb. So sweet!
Gabe at 3 days old, pretty sure I took this picture around 2am.

Me and my little nephy, just before I left for Nashville when he was 10 days old.

Mid-December I headed to the lovely city of Nashville for a week of training with my new job. I had a great time, learned a lot, made a lot of phone calls, sent a lot of emails, and ate some great food. If any of yall get the chance to go to Nashville, do yourself a favor... go to Eastland Cafe, and order the Pork Belly. It had a local sorghum and honey glaze, served with green chili mac-n-cheese and braised collard greens with roasted peanuts. I didn't memorize it, that's how it's listed on the website.

The roasted duck breast from Eastland Cafe... which I also sampled, and was also delicious!
I had heard about pork belly a lot lately. I feel like it's the next big thing in the foodie world. I'm seeing it all over the Cooking Channel and Food Network (btw - two totally separate channels, I prefer the CC) lately, and my interest had been peaked. Man, I kinda wish I had taken a picture. It was just... SO GOOD. What I loved about this restaurant is that it utilizes locally grown and produced foods.Call me a food nerd, but I totally did my research afterwards, and it turns out that perfect piece of pork hails from Niman Ranch. Before you get all freaked out about pork belly, riddle me this... do you eat bacon? Then order yourself a plate of pork belly. I know, I know... "But Laurie, you're a nutritionista... how are you telling me to order a slab of pork belly." Everything in moderation, my friend, everything in moderation.

If you're interested in the local food movement, check out this TIME magazine article from a few years ago, Eating Better Than Organic.. For my Memphis people, check out one of my favorite blogs Eat Local Memphis. 

Alright, I'm off my locavore soapbox... and back to what else has been going on. So yea... after a week in Nashville, I drove home to Memphis just in time to walk at my graduation! Hooray! I felt very thankful, and pretty proud of myself actually, that as I sat there with my fellow graduates during the commencement speech... I knew that I had a job waiting for me on the other side of this exciting event. I felt like all of the hard work and stressful schedules of balancing internships, academics and part time jobs in nutrition in health had really paid off because they led me to where I am now. Here's the thing... I wasn't a four year undergrad student. I wouldn't say that I "took my time," but I had a lot of bumps in the road. And to my sweet grandmother who is reading this, that isn't code for partying. I had some legitimate obstacles that kept slowing me down. But I made it, finally! Yea.. I may or may not have gotten emotional on graduation day. Whatevs.

Me and my roomie Gabbs!

Yea... I hugged the President of University of Memphis. I was THAT glad to be graduating! She was a little startled.

Baby Gabe and my sweet niece, Ruthie! She's actual 1 year old today!

The Holt siblings! Alex, me, Liza, and Andy.

Then I drove back to Nashville the next day to finish up some training. And then it was back to Memphis for Christmas! I love Christmas. I shamelessly play *NSYNC's Christmas album Home for Christmas every year, and have done so since I was 12 years old. I mean, c'mon... try listening to Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and NOT bust out into perfectly choreographed dance moves. I had a blast with my little nephew on Christmas. I realized that once there's a baby in the family, it's just fun to spoil them on Christmas. I probably spent more $$ on him then I did collectively on my immediate family, love you guys equally though :)

Santa Gabe-y... yep, this happened.

Christmas with Aunt Sissy (that's me!)

Then there was New Year's Eve. Long story short, I wore a sparkly dress, drank champagne, and played Rock Band. You know the typical New Year's Eve. I tend to wear the same kind of dress every year for NYE... it's the one time where I can feel justified wearing a dress which on any other day of the year would make me look like a Tina Turner impersonator. I changed it up this year by throwing on a fabulous black skirt with pockets over a former NYE dress = totally new outfit! Hooray for saving $$!

New Years 2010 vs. New Year's Eve 2008

So I headed back to Nashville for a week shortly after the new year for the big ParTNers for Health kick-off. How cute is the the capital TN in Partners, right? Genius marketing.

Then it was back to Memphis once again where I was greeted with this mad snow storm which has hit pretty much everyone, right? Mr. Teddy isn't a fan of snow, as evidenced in this picture. Doesn't he look so awkward? I guess he's just an indoor lap dog at heart... and a cute one at that.

He didn't know what to think.
It took about 5 minutes of coaxing him to come off the steps.
I think he would rather be cuddled up next to this little guy.

That brings us to today...
I'm currently in Martin, TN (near the northwestern part of this beautiful state.) I'm conducting site visits for all of the health screenings that we'll be hosting over the next few months on site at all of the state agencies, county schools, and local government offices. I'll head back to Memphis tomorrow.

Now, here's the thing friends. I'm about to be traveling... a lot. As in, I was putting together my travel schedule for the next few months and as it turns out between today and May 4th, I'll be sleeping in a hotel for a grand total of 40 nights! The other thing about traveling a lot is the whole eating-and-exercising-on-the-road dilemma. I mean, HELLO! I'm the kinda girl that enjoys a good meal, but eating on the run/road isn't exactly the way to stay healthy. AND I know that not all towns I'll be traveling too will have a Whole Foods for me to run by and grab lunch from their hot bar.

So... get ready folks. While I'll still be reviewing my favorite healthy foods, products, recipes, and fitness routines, my new job has led me to add a new element to my humble little blog. I'll be blogging about how to stay healthy while traveling and when you're not in the comfort of your own home. Essentially you'll be learning as I do.

You see, I live in the land of fried foods, but I still believe that I can stay healthy while doing so. So to get my started, I've come up with a list of my 10 Health Travel Commandments for which I shall try to abide by and blog about the trial and errors that I encounter. Here goes...

10 Health Travel Commandments
1. Avoid fast food at all costs. Let's face it, it's inevitable that I may have to stop at a fast food restaurant at some point. If I do, I've already decided... no french fries. You may think I sound like a french fry prude, but let's say for instance that I were to eat dinner at a fast food restaurant at least once a day while on the out of town on those 40 days. A regular waffle fries from Chick-Fil-A, the healthiest of the fast food options, packs 350 calories x 40 days = 14,000 calories. Wham bam, no thank you mam!

2. If I'm staying at a hotel for at least 2 nights... I WILL bring my workout clothes. All hotels have a gym for a reason, why is no one ever using them?

3. Travel with healthy travel snacks. Gas station convenience foods can leave a hungry traveler paying $1.25 for a Snickers bar and 271 calories. I prefer to bring along a box of these little guys instead... Annie's Bunny Graham Friends Preparation is the key. You know what they say, "fail to plan... plan to fail."

4. Easy on the room service. These menus are mostly packed with chicken tenders, BLTs, pizza, and chicken wings.

5. Just because the company is paying doesn't mean overindulge. One might think, "Hey they're paying. Well I did just have a tasty appetizer but sure! I'll follow my steak with a slice of double chocolate cake!" First of all... that's silly, I'm not a big fan of steak. You may not pay for the meal with you money, but you will with your waist line. Am I right or what?

6. Take advantage of that WiFi and my smart phone. The big world wide webs offers countless resources on finding health food, no matter where you are and the size of your budget. See Healthy Dining Finder for some helpful AND healthy guidance.

7. Bring along a workout DVD. Even if I don't have time to hit the gym, most hotels have DVD players in the room now. So next time you're at a hotel and you hear some loud hip hop/salsa music, I might just be down the hall from you breaking a sweat to my Zumba DVD.

8. Beware of the breakfast bar. The hotel I'm currently at has a complimentary breakfast in the morning. I'm sure to be greeted with Belgian waffles, cheese danishes, muffins, eggs, bacon and biscuits. While that may sound tempting, I'll be sticking to the yogurt, fruit, oatmeal or cereal selections.

9.  Take advantage of these comfy hotel beds and get a good night's sleep!!! Most of days will be starting at 6am!!!! Sleep is just as important to your health as a good diet and exercise routine. The lack of quality to sleep can lead to making the more unhealthier choices that you're faced with every day. Think about it, when you're tired and need some fast energy... you're much more likely to order that grande white chocolate peppermint mocha frappe with extra whipped cream. Not cute.

10. Enjoy in moderation. If you haven't figure out, I'm a southern girl... and though I strive to eat healthy food, I still indulge in some of the south's finest cuisine at times. Today, while in a tiny town in northwest Tennessee, I received a recommendation to go try this "tiny little restaurant with the best catfish!" Why not?!? The town I was in was very reminiscent of the movie Fried Green Tomatoes and I knew they would have some good ol' southern food. So I headed the advice of one of my clients. I walked into this little restaurant and ordered the catfish. It was really good catfish, but the amount of food that they brought for little ol' me could literally have fed another two people as well. I kid you not. There were 3 pieces of catfish, cole slaw, 3 hush puppies, green beans, french fries AND onion rings. I've never seen french fries and onion rings served together. I tried a little of each, but left the fries alone... eh? Wasn't feeling them, and know what french fries taste like. I didn't finish a single side item, and I only ate about half the catfish... and I still felt quite full when i left.

All that to say... as long as you're making healthy choice about 90% of the time, you can have a little fried catfish every once in a while... and some pork belly too!  :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Black Velvet Cake and Other Things

Yum, right? We'll come back to this beauty a little later ;)

First things first... I owe one lucky Cookies 'n Cardio reader a fabulous prize of TWO kinds of Better'n Peanut Butter. And I won't make you wait any longer! Which, FYI I did NOT intend to wait this long in announcing the winner. But life happens and things get crazy busy! So the randomly selected winner is.......... said...
oh, Mr. Teddy... so cute as a Hot Dog !! :D peanut butter cookies, peanut butter in smoothies, peanut butter on a SPOON... :D I like peanut butter !! 
Well get excited! Because you'll be looking for all sorts of new ways to enjoy PB with this stuff! Send me your name (or I could just address it to Spa Bettie, hehe) and mailing address and I'll ship it to ya ASAP! :)
Now that I've gotten that out of the way.... my oh my! To say that these last few weeks have been pretty hectic would be an intense understatement. I'm less than a month away from graduating... I can almost hear the hallelujah chorus pomp and circumstance. Let me bring you up to speed with a few things that have been going on since we last spoke:
  • I ran the Life Choices 5K (and somehow got 3rd place?) in honor of my sister and my soon-to-be-born-any-second-now nephew, Gabe!
Like my shirt? It's supposed to say "running FOR my nephew Gabe..." but I lost the "r" along the way. Ergo... running fo' my nephew Gabe! :)

My sister liked playing photographer... not sure why I look like an amazon though

And I ran into an old friend, Rusty, who was running his first 5K and dominated!
He liked my shirt, but how could you not, really? :)

  •  My roomie and I hosted a pumpkin carving just before Halloween... 
So fun! Pumpkin beer is a must!

I attempted a Pug-O-Lantern

Mr. Teddy didn't know what to make of his pumpkin counterpart.

  • Then at the beginning of November, my sister-in-law, Jordan, and I threw a baby shower to end all baby showers for my sweet sister Liza. A lot of planning went into this shindig...
My fabulous sis-in law Jordan, the future mama/sister/bff Liza, and me! :) I got reeeeal crafty one afternoon and made the banner hanging up behind us. It's now hanging over Little Gabe's crib. I love Hobby Lobby.
Lots of yummy food! Jordan & I created the diaper cake to go along with the elephant theme. Aside from nutrition, event/party planning is my other favorite thing! Maybe someday...
What baby shower brunch is complete without mimosas? ;) Our very talented mom made this beautiful cake (she's been a decorator for nearly 30 years!) We also had matching elephant cookies! Oh my!

 Plus, there have been a whole host of things keeping me busy during this last month that I didn't photograph:
  • Studying, studying, and studying! I'm only THREE WEEKS away from graduation! I'm so ready! A&P II, my senior project/paper, and Health/Fitness Instruction (the class name does not do justice to what the class actually entails and the countless hours of studying that goes into it) are the only thing I've got to conquer to get there!
  • I painted my bedroom a lovely shade of green.... green chai latte to be exact! And I love it! So serene and peaceful, it was time for a fresh look in my bedroom. It's amazing what a new coat of paint will do for your mood!
  • I've been helping my sister "nest," and get ready for her little boy's arrival! Only 9 days away from his arrival! I can't believe it!
  • Teaching nutrition! I told yall in my last post that I started teaching nutrition, well I am LOVING it! I'm currently teaching the 6th grade girls at a wonderful charter school in Memphis. Next semester I'll be teaching the 6th grade boys. I really wish I had had this kind of class back when I was in middle school.
  • I've interviewed with a fabulous company (that will go unnamed, just in case I don't land the job) THREE times in the last 10 days! So exciting! I would be the Health Outreach Coordinator for the Memphis area. I reeeeeally want this job! So if everyone could cross their fingers, wish upon a falling star, say a prayer... seriously whatever you gotta do, I would seriously appreciate it! All I want for Christmas is to get this job! :)
  • And yall I've cooked/baked so much fabulous food it's ridiculous! So without further ado, I'm gonna jump right into a delicious recipe for a vegan (that's right, VEGAN!) chocolate cake!
Ya know my roomie Gabby… the one that is intolerant of all things lactose-related? Because she is. A couple of months ago, while searching for a dairy free cake (don't judge just yet) I found THE best chocolate cake recipe… which just so happens to be dairy free.

Me and my roomie Gabby! I guess you could say she's my muse for dairy-free baking! Ha! A girl's gotta have someone to help her eat all the baked goods, right?
You see, I grew up with a cake decorator/baker for a mother (see the lovely baby shower cake above.) So this meant that we always had plates of "cake scraps" decorating the kitchen counter. Because of this, I wasn't the biggest fan of cake. All that ended a few years ago when my mum's cake wasn't so accessible, I actually craaaaave cake now… usually in the little sister version that is the always adorable and chic cupcake form. 

My mum made this for the wedding of one of my good friends a few years ago. It's simple, yet elegant. 
So while I do looove cake, I'm pretty partial to all non-chocolate flavors. There's just something kinda boring about straight up chocolate cake... just doesn't do it for me. But, ohmahgoodness all that changed when I found this recipe. Don't be scared off by the introduction of a very unique and unusal ingredient… it can easily be omitted all together. All I'm saying friends… is that you should TRY THIS RECIPE…. RIGHT NOW! It's awesome-town! Seriously, I would say this recipe is easily THE best chocolate cake I've ever tried! 

So back to my sweet little roomie. A few weeks ago, she was having the student teacher's week from hell. This girl was student teaching all day Monday - Friday (under the supervision of the most unpleasant teacher "mentor" ever,) finishing up her own pre-graduation classes this semester, and then waiting tables like 4 nights a week till midnight. I don't know how she was functioning. She was always exhausted and stressed. And you know what they say... stressed spelled backwards is DESSERTS! :)
I decided to bake up a sweet treat using this super fun cake pan that she got a few months ago from William Sonoma! Cute right? It turned out pretty adorbs!

Black Velvet Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2  cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup + 2 Tb. unsweetened apple sauce
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tb. apple cider vinegar (you can use regular white vinegar, but the apple cider is sweeter, and ideal for cakes)
2 cup cold water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, and cocoa powder, sift and set aside. (ALWAYS sift when making a cake from scratch!)

Those little balls of cocoa... not cute when baking a cake... ALWAYS SIFT!

3. Place the baking soda into a small dish, add the vinegar and stir, set aside.

Get ready for science class...
Bubbles! This is what happens when you mix the two, and THIS is what gives your cake that VELVET texture.

4.  Add the powdered egg substitute to the water, and whisk until dissolved. 

Ok if you're scared if this (and you shouldn't be, it make the cake SO moist and fudgey) then just omit the powder, and add the plain water.

The egg replacement powder resembles baking powder. Here's what it looks like after being whisked into the water.

5. Add the applesauce, water mixture, and vanilla. Mix on medium until thoroughly incorporated.

6. Add the vinegar/baking soda mixture. Stir until batter is smooth.

7. Divide evenly between cake pans.

Too cute or what?

 8. Bake for 25-28 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Into the oven they go!

7. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before inverting onto a plate, and allow to cool completely before frosting. ENJOY! 

Yields approximately 2 (9 in) round cakes or 24 cupcakes

Two "cookies!"

I used Breyer's Lactose-free ice cream (yes, it exists and it's pretty good) for the ultimate cream filling!

Too cute!

My only complaint with the lactose-free ice cream is that melts faster than you can say Oreo! Yikes! Into the freezer it goes!
**EnerG Powdered egg replacement sounds like some crazy ingredient that doesn't belong in a cake... especially when you notice the Asian symbols on the box. Do not be scared! My roomie introduced this to me, apparently it's all the rage with the vegans. After trying it out, I understand why... it gives you a moist, fudgey texture (some vegan cupcakes/cakes that I've tried from local bakeries are not only sub-par, but also dry and crumbly. Ick) I was able to find this stuff in the natural food section at Kroger, it's less than $4.00 a box, and I'm pretty sure it'll last forever, since I only use a few tablespoons at a time. Try it, and let me know what ya think!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Me, StrongME, and Better'n PB Giveaway!

Hello readers! I have not abandoned you, but somehow I managed to go 5 whole days without blogging. It's not because I've been without fabulous recipes and nutrition info to share... I've just been so busy sharing  with some other fabulous people. Those people would be my 6th grade students at a local charter school in Memphis, TN!
Recently, I was given the opportunity to fill in as a nutrition counselor at a wonderful 12-week family weight management program based here in Memphis. I met with children and their families to go over their food logs and share some healthy cooking and baking techniques. I was also able to discuss and answer questions they had about how to plan healthy meals when you're on the go so often. This amazing program was started by Dr. Janice Pride-Boone, a fabulous Harvard trained pediatrician, who saw the need for an intervention program for childhood obesity... one that involved the whole family. She decided to do something about it and started StrongME! Please check out their website, especially if you're a local Memphian and know someone who could benefit from participating in such a program.

Parents & children participate in a group fitness class (such as Zumba) at the begining of each session - this photo is courtesy of StrongME!

 Nutrition discussion during a StrongME session -  this photo is courtesy of StrongME!
All that to say, after my one night "gig" as a nutrition counselor, I was offered the opportunity to help StrongME crossover into the school setting. Last week I began going to one of the Memphis middle schools to talk to the 6th graders about nutrition and healthy living. I'll be doing this about twice a week for the duration of the fall semester and spring semester as well. I couldn't be more thrilled! During the first week, I introduced the idea of nutrition and healthy living. Dr. Pride-Boone was also on hand to tell them about pediatric obesity and the consequences of it. What I found to be shocking was that she actually had a patient who ended up having their gallbladder removed due to complications with obesity! That's the type of surgery that obese adults are having!) 12% of adults that is, and after having a solid a 50 years WITH their gallbladder! If you're interested in reading more about obesity and gallbladder disease, check out this article over at Obesity Action Coalition.

Now you may think, "Woah! My kid doesn't even know what a gallbladder is! Heck, I don't even know what it does! Why on earth would it be necessary to talk to kids about this kind of thing." The honest answer in my opinion is this... ignorance is bliss. The very fact that we don't talk about the extreme and paniful consequences of such a disease is what leads us to think nothing of super sizing that #4 with extra cheese and bacon!!! In fact... my question is, why not talk to kids about this!?!? They're smart, and they should be more informed about the effects of their decisions, especially when it's related to their health and their body! The fact is, we don't give kids enough credit.
Most recent report of childhood obesity, "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2010."
This photo is courtesy of Trust for America's Health

If you know me, then you know that I have a passion for nutrition, especially in nutrition education for children. You would think that nutrition and health would be a mandatory class given the skyrocketing obesity rates that continue to grow at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, health and nutrition aren't on the report card that little Suzie takes home... therefore why would Suzie's teacher take time away from teaching science, math, social studies, etc to teach something that isn't covered on those very important tests which school's funding is based upon? I'm not blaming Suzie's teacher for this... but until legislation gets passed requiring a graded wellness course, that aspect of education gets set aside. If you agree with me... that health and nutrition education should be required, then make your voice heard in your state! Find out how over at the Health Education Advocate.

Ok! I'm off my nutrition education soapbox! I thought I'd share some of my favorite techniques for healthier cooking and baking. These are the exact same tips I shared with the parents at StrongME a few weeks ago!

'Cause I actually believe that you can have your cupcake and eat it too...
Just use applesauce instead of vegetable oil ;)
Enjoy and happy baking!

Healthier Cooking...
Make healthier mashed potatoes by adding Greek yogurt instead of fattening sour cream. You'll still get the creamy texture without all of the fat.                    
Holy Guacamole! Add ½ cup of plain 0% Greek yogurt for every whole mashed avocado that you use in your favorite guacamole recipe for some an added protein punch at your next fiesta.
*** Check out my Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes recipe made with Chobani 2% Plain Greek yogurt! ***
Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise into wedges, toss with cracked pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes (tossing occasionally) until tender and golden brown for a delicious side item of sweet potato "fries."
For the taste of fried foods without the calories, trying using Panko Japanese bread crumbs as a crispy, crunchy coating.
Healthier Baking...
Substitute unsweetened applesauce for oil in any baking recipe. This will dramatically cut the fat and calories, and will leave you with a moister brownie or cupcake than any amount of fat could try to accomplish.  
Don't feel that you should follow every recipe exactly! Feel free to decrease the amount of sugar in a recipe. Try substituting some of the amount with agave nectar, which is much lower on the glycemic index and twice as sweet as sugar… which means you can use less!
Bake without breaking… an egg! Use liquid egg whites (available in small cartons in the egg section at the grocery store) in place of whole eggs for zero fat and zero cholesterol. Added bonus… no worrying about egg shells getting in the batter!
***Check out my AWESOME recipe for Pumpkin & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies where I used the above three healthy baking techniques!***
By toasting nuts, you can bring out a stronger flavor…  therefore you only have to use half the amount and still get the nutty flavor that you desire.
Give it away, give it away, give it away, give it away now!
That Red Hot Chili Peppers song just popped in my head. Not sure why. ACTUALLY... it could be because I'm hosting my first blog giveaway! Wanna know what it is? Well, you know that peanut butter that I'm OBSESSED with? Ya know, the one I wrote about here and here... The kind folks over at Better'n Peanut Butter were so happy that I had been spreading the peanut butter (no pun intended) love around, that they wanted me to able to share it with my fabulous readers!
So when this box arrived the other day, I was so excited to see what was inside...
They put PB on a diet... and it's oh-so-good! 
There was 1 jar of Original Better'n Peanut Butter AND 1 jar of Chocolate Better'n Peanut Butter! Now I haven't been able to find the chocolate variety in my home town, so I was so tempted to keep this one for myself. But I love my readers too much :) So... the winner of this giveaway will receive BOTH jars of Better'n Peanut Butter!

This giveaway is Vegan and Anti-Gluten friendly... both products are dairy free and gluten free! Cheers!
To enter just leave a comment on this post and tell me... what is your favorite way to enjoy peanut butter? If you win, you'll be able to REALLY enjoy it, because Better'n Peanut Butter contains 85% LESS fat and almost HALF the calories of your normal jar of PB! Hello... I'm hungry. I'll pick a winner using a random number generator on Wednesday. Last chance to enter will be Wednesday, October 27th at 6pm (central time.) Good luck!

Also - since I don't leave you with an actual recipe today... I will leave you with this photo of Mr. Teddy:
1 Pug + 1 Hot Dog Halloween Costume = Recipe for Cuteness