This post is sponsored by and includes my review of Manitoba Harvest’s Heart Hemp Bars. All opinions are honest and mine alone.
As you know, one of my goals for 2016 is better eating. The first thing I did to help me try to reach that goal was to create smaller steps, and the main one was meal prep . I also sat down and identified some of the obstacles and challenges keeping me from reaching that goal. One big one for my husband and myself is snacking, specifically unhealthy snacking. E’s prime snacking time is right before bed, and mine is usually right when I get off work and before dinner. I can’t seem to make it long enough to wait for a healthy dinner because I’m so ravaged when I get off work! The last thing we did was to set deadlines for when we wanted to meet certain aspects of this goal. As the end of January nears, it’s easy to start to lose sight of those goals and steam to get you through the day. To combat that, I decided to put together simple snack packs (or encouragement packs as I like to call them) that will help both of us stay on track with healthy eating.
Stay on Track With Healthy Eating With Encouragement Snack Packs
For the craft challenged like me, this is super simple and takes no time. Just how I like it:). If you look around your house I’m sure you already have things like construction or colored paper, markers, scissors etc. If you’re anything like me you also have half-finished scrapbook projects, or other miscellaneous crafty items out and about. I gathered up some of these things (like stamps) and assembled my packs. I also have this booklet of love notes that I got for a birthday from a friend, and they worked perfectly for this project!
Even though plastic bags aren’t the cutest things to wrap them in I like them because I can easily see the contents. You could definitely play with this, and I’m sure if given a brown paper bag and some washi tape, all you creatives could come up with something amazing!
Then you pick your favorite quotes or words of encouragement, make them look pretty, and place in the bag with your snack(s). Need inspiration? Check out these 100 Motivational Quotes That Will Inspire You To Succeed.Voila! The hardest part is deciding which snack to put in your encouragement pack.
Manitoba Hemp Heart Bars
If I’m to have a snack during my “slump” (2-4 pm), fast is key. I’m in between patients, and if I’m lucky enough to get some time it’s usually under five minutes. A lot of the healthy eating plans I like recommend snacks like yogurt, grapefruit etc. Anything that I need to eat with a spoon is not going to work! So many times I look for some type of bar that I can take anywhere and don’t have to worry about it bruising or busting in my purse.
Obviously, a candy bar is not going to help my husband or myself reach our health goals, and so I still want whatever bar I choose, first healthy, but then equally as important, good! I already loved hemp hearts before I tried these Manitoba Health Heart Bars because it’s a great way to get in plant-based protein. I’m not a vegetarian, but I easily could be because I’m not a meat lover. I worry about how the meat was raised, and just in general, I gravitate towards plant-based foods. Think of me as a Brachiosaurus who likes an occasional hamburger or piece of pepperoni :).
These Hemp Heart Bars give you 10 grams of protein along with 10 grams of Omega 3 & 6, so you can feel good about your snack choice. They also use coconut sugar and organic ingredients! If you’re anything like me, and don’t eat a lot of meat, hemp hearts are a great way to up your protein intake.
The 3 Flavors I tried were Apple Cinnamon, Vanilla, and Chocolate. If you’ve had hemp hearts before, then you know they are a little nutty (in flavor). That taste comes through pretty strongly in all these flavors. If you are already a hemp lover then you will go crazy for these! The texture is nice and soft, which I love. Some bars have healthy ingredients like almonds, but then I’m worried I’m going to break a filling or something. These are nice and soft so you can enjoy them at any age or dental situation ;-). Speaking of teeth, you might want to have some floss handy because with these bars I noticed little hemp pieces getting stuck between my teeth. Nothing wrong with extra flossing, right?! #HygienistWordsofWisdom
Apple Cinnamon Verdict:
As you would expect, it tastes like apple cinnamon, but I’d say a subtle apple cinnamon. Nothing overpowering. I actually could have used a little more flavor in this one, but it wasn’t bad at all, and would be great for a breakfast substitute if you’re on the go. It also kept me nice and full. 10 grams of sugar isn’t half bad either! A lot less than a tumbler of apple juice!
Whereas the Apple Cinnamon was on the subtle side, this bar is the exact opposite. For some reason my taste buds couldn’t process what I was tasting. It was almost like the nutty hemp flavor and the vanilla flavor were at odds. I was a little disappointed, because I had high hopes for this one. It’s still healthy, has great texture, and would satisfy a hunger craving. The taste is just not my favorite.
This was probably my favorite bar, with Apple Cinnamon a close second. It was like a nutty cocoa taste. Very mild on the chocolate taste, and heavier on the nutty, but it was good! Nice smooth texture, and pleasant taste. Without getting all the fat, sugar, and preservatives that you would get with a regular chocolate bar.
How To Put Your Snack Packs To Use
Now that we’ve talked about how to make them, and what to put inside them, let’s talk about ways you can use these little motivators!
My goal going forward is to assemble these encouragement snack packs at the same time that I do my meal prep. That way, I can make sure I have enough snacks to get both of us through our week. I will put one in E’s lunch bag, and if I think of it I like to stash one in his glove compartment as well. For myself, it’s crucial that I have one in my purse, and one in my car. That way I have no excuses for arriving home from work famished.
I also keep them in our pantry for when those hunger pains hit. Hopefully, the words they contain will prevent me from making other unhealthy choices while I’m on the prowl in the kitchen!
Of course, you can fill your snack packs with other healthy goodies like nuts and dried fruit too. This is just one way that I know my family will get the right nutrients in. Are you looking for ways to stay on track with healthy eating in this new year? You can make your own encouragement pack, or just try the Hemp Heart goodness all by itself!
Who wants a discount?!
For you, my lovely readers, use the code hhbarlaunch1015 to get 15% off Manitoba Harvest’s hemp heart bars (Manitobaharvest.com). This offer is good until 3/31/2016! If you want the product totally free, every month Manitoba has a photo contest. If you tag @ManitobaHarvest and @fitapproach, and use the hashtags #fulledbyhemp and #sweatpink you will be automatically entered to win your favorite product! It doesn’t have to have a hemp product in the picture, but it should be health and fitness related. The monthly draw is open to anyone over the age of 18, living in Canada or the US, and does not work for Manitoba Harvest. Good luck!
What do you do to keep yourself motivated to eat better? Are you a hemp lover or hater?