Aug 172015


I was approached by Extend Nutrition to try some of their protein bars and write a review. I was intrigued because they were gluten free and they claimed to control blood sugar for up to 9 hours. “Regular snacks” metabolize over a 1-2 hour period, causing a rapid spike in blood sugar, but Extend Nutrition digests very slowly over a period of 6 to 9 hours.


Since I was having an issue with proper fueling on exercise days (especially days I biked to work), I wanted to give it a try and see if these bars took the edge off.



The first snack I tried was the Caramel Drizzle rice cakes. I’d brought a nectarine to work for a snack but when I went to eat it I realized it wasn’t ripe yet. Fail. Thank goodness I’d packed some of these snacks in my bag. I gave the rice cakes a try and really liked them! They weren’t overly sweet but tasted great and I did feel satisfied until lunch time. I don’t know that I’d necessarily agree with the 9 hours, but it took the edge off for a few hours until I could eat my lunch. I was a fan of these cakes!


I gave my dog walker, Amy, a bar to try and asked her to give me her honest opinion. She’s always out on the go all day long visiting animals she takes care of and can’t always plan meals accordingly. She’s asked me in the past for ideas on high protein, filling, low calorie snacks that she can easily eat on the road. I gave her the Mixed Berry Flavor. Her opinion: she liked it and it curbed her appetite for about 2.5 hours (which is pretty good for a protein bar, if you ask me). She liked the texture but the one complaint was that the bar had a slight chemical taste to it. I hear her on this one–most protein bars tend to have that flavor to them. I’m not sure how they can get around that.

I also tried one of the cookies and creme bars and I enjoyed the flavor, texture and it definitely took care of my hunger for a few hours. I didn’t think there was a strong “chemical” taste to it (no more than any other protein bars I’ve tried). I really liked it!

I’m fascinated and wish I understood the science behind how it helps with hunger because no protein bar I’ve ever had before has ever taken care of it like Extend Bars. Also, loved the low calories in them!


Where to buy Extend Bars: Walgreens, CVS, Publix, Kroger, Winn Dixie, Ralphs, Wegmans, Fry’s. If you want more information, check out their Twitter and Facebook pages!


I’m going to give one reader a $25 gift card to check out the Extend Bars of your choices. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post which bar flavor you’d like to try. I will pick one winner and announce it this Thursday! So leave your comment here! :)

Jul 132015


I’m trying to remember last summer…it was honestly a blur of chaos and wedding planning and details. I remember my brain feeling “full” all the time. Full of details, worries, excitement, planning…I was also going to the Warrior Room a lot. And cycling kind of took a back seat to everything else. My knees just weren’t ready for long rides and I don’t think I ever biked the entire commute. I *think* I stuck with the park and ride and biked from there. Honestly I didn’t mind. Like I said, my life was full and I just couldn’t add anything else. This summer? My hope was that I could go back to biking from home and doing it more than once a week.

I wasn’t sure if my healing back injury would let me but like I said in last week’s post, my body was feeling pretty good and I was feeling like biking from the park and ride wasn’t challenging enough. Due to a scheduling conflict with Michael (he needed the car on the day I wanted to ride) I decided to move up my timeline and bike from home a week earlier than I’d planned.

It was a little cool but the afternoon was supposed to be 90 degrees so I didn’t want to put on tights and a jacket. I wore my arm warmers and decided to wear my compression socks because they go to my knees. It was a better option than wearing heaving pants/jacket but it looked rather silly. Oh well.

It was a bit hard to bike from home but I was feeling okay. Fatigued, but okay. The minor hills got my heart racing and I was a little slower than I was in the past, but it was my first time.

I saw a deer on the Springwater trail! Unfortunately I was going too fast to stop in time and take a picture. Next time.


This time I biked on the new path (it was closed last summer) that went by the Opera House. The path is really nice!


I also got a close-up view of the new bridge. It it supposed to be open this Fall for walkers, bikers and the new Max line. I crossed the Hawthorne Bridge and made it to work.

Morning Stats:
Time: 52 minutes
Distance: 11.56
Calories Burned: 515

I like that burn! During my lunch break I went for a short walk (just under 2 miles). It was so nice outside but starting to get a little warm. Okay, now the food.

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, a slice of Walnut Sourdough bread toasted with butter and apple cactus jam, unsweetened iced tea and coffee with creamer when I got to work. Calories: 394

Snack: My new favorite snack. Cottage cheese and blueberries. Calories: 118

Lunch: Lean Cuisine (chicken with rice, veggies and almonds) and some yogurt covered pretzels. Calories: 385

Snack: Baby carrots and sugar snap peas with Laughing Cow cheese and a 90 calorie fruit bar from Trader Joe’s. Calories: 172


Afternoon Ride

Michael gave me the option to ride part way and hitch a ride home with him if I didn’t feel up to biking home the whole way. I was slightly tempted, but I really wanted to try biking the whole way home.

It went really well and wasn’t too uncomfortably hot. I was pretty close to home when I got stopped by this:


Yep, train. And it was about a 5 minute wait for it to go by. At least it was in the shade. I should have taken the shortcut that goes around the train intersection…next time.


Despite the train, it didn’t take me that long to get home, even though I felt like I was really slow and I took a lot of water breaks.


Afternoon Stats:
Time: 51 minutes
Distance: 11.18
Total Distance: 22.74 
Calories Burned: 509

I was STARVING when I got home. I had some tortilla chips while I made dinner (seriously wanted to eat everything in sight). Dinner was a big salad with green leaf lettuce, spinach, avocado, orange and yellow peppers, carrots, sunflower seeds, feta cheese, blueberries, 4 ounces baked chicken and vinaigrette dressing. Calories: 671

It was a really filling dinner and good for a hot day. Dessert was some vanilla ice cream topped with fresh blackberries picked from my yard.