Tag Archives: granola

SBS: Breakfast Goodies!


Subscription Box Saturday – Goodies Edition

Goodies Box - March 2013 (arrive in April)

Goodies Box March 2013 

Good Morning! Rise & Shine. It’s time for breakfast! I absolutely adore breakfast, so when I received this box from Goodies, I was ecstatic.

March 2013 Rise & Shine Goodies Box

March 2013 Rise & Shine Goodies Box Contents

Goodies subscribers earn points when they review products, which can be used to unlock rewards. The product can be rated on a 5 scale rating. Then you answer the following question:

In a perfect world*, would you eat this?

* like if calories didn’t matter
Always? Sometimes? Never again?

This month, along with my reviews. I decided to show you the back labels of most products, because you can’t always find the back labels, nutrition facts or ingredients of products online without doing some digging.

Jovan’s All Natural Instant Breakfast – Vanilla – 2/5 ~ Never again.

I love the fact that this is a healthier version than some of the other instant breakfast drinks out there. (Not that I even drink them.) However, the vanilla flavor was a little weak. I mostly tasted milk. And guess what? I don’t like the taste of milk. Seriously. Maybe another flavor would be better?

Instant Breakfast

Jovan’s All Natural Instant Breakfast – Vanilla (back of package)

Newtons – Triple Berry – 4/5 ~ Sometimes

I don’t expect Newtons to be healthy, but the berry ones did taste good! I gave one to Rob and he said, “Hey, these don’t suck!” Lol. I think I like the berry flavor more than the fig flavor. Note: If you look closely below, this product contains both sugar AND high fructose corn syrup as the second and third ingredients. Is that really necessary.


Newtons – Triple Berry (nutrition facts & ingredients)

BelVita – Cinnamon Brown Sugar – 2/5 ~ Never again

BelVita markets their product as a healthy one – “nutritious sustained energy.” I think Snack Girl did a great review on the true nutrition of this product. The flavor is only okay, a little bland actually.

BelVita - Cinnamon Brown Sugar

BelVita – Cinnamon Brown Sugar (nutrition facts & ingredients)

Rickland Orchards Greek Yogurt Coated Granola Bar – Blueberry Acai – 4/5 ~ Sometimes

I loved the thought of this! Greek Yogurt is all the rage and these tasted pretty good. I apologize for the blurry photo, but I still felt the need to post these nutrition facts and ingredients because I was curious about this one the most!

Greek bar

Rickland Orchards Greek Yogurt Covered Granola Bar – Blueberry Acai (nutrition facts & ingredients)

Bonne Maman – Strawberry Preserves – 5/5 ~ All the time

I love Bonne Maman! The first time I discovered the brand was in France, but I am so glad it’s available in the States. And the little sample jars are the perfect size to reuse to bring salad dressing to work! (Sorry, no back of label on this one.)

Erin Baker’s – Double Chocolate Breakfast Cookies – 2/5 ~ Never again

Double Chocolate! With my love of chocolate, it sounded so good… But it just wasn’t all that great. Maybe just a little too natural-tasting for me.


Erin Bakers – Double Chocolate Breakfast Cookie (back of package)

Ola! Granola – No Nut Vanilla – 4/5 ~ All the time

I’ve had this before and still love it! While I’d love to try the almond variety, a no-nut blend is great for those who may be allergic. (No back label photo on this one, sorry!)

Rip van Wafels – 5/5 ~ All the time

I’ve saved the best for last! I was so excited to get something unique and from another culture in this month’s box! I couldn’t wait to taste the melty caramel after I put the Rip Van Wafel over my coffee. I set the mug aside and went to work on my computer. Then I forgot about it. It fell into my mug! I laughed. It was soggy, but still tasted good. But now I have to get more. 😉

What is your favorite breakfast-to-go?


SBS: New Twists on Classic Favorites


Subscription Box Saturday is back! While I couldn’t wait to tell you about my Birchbox – it went up on the blog yesterday – I had to give it at least a few days to dig into my Love with Food box!

What's in it.

From Top Left, Clockwise: Kids 50 Fruit & Veggie Juice – Break It Down Berry, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Wacky Apple Flat Fruit – Wild Berry, Chocwasabi Chocolate Covered Wasabi Peas, Ola! Foods Granola – No Nut Vanilla, Cosmos Creations Salted Caramel Puffed Corn, Revolution Tea – Acai Green Tea, Emily’s Chocolates Dark Chocolate Orange Good Fortune Cookie

Upon opening the box, Rob and I tore into the Salted Caramel Baked Corn from Cosmos Creations. Salted caramel is one of our favorite flavors of pretty much anything. After we both tried a few bites, the rest of the 100-calorie bag was stolen away from me! Rob said we could buy more of it anytime. And you’ll find no kernels in this puffed corn!

Then I tried the Wild Berry Flat Fruit from Wacky Apple. It tasted like most fruit leather tastes, but this one is made of organic ingredients. The ingredients look pretty natural and unprocessed, too. However, can someone tell me what Organic flavoring is?

LWF-Fruit Ing

I thought I should stop there and save the rest of the snacks and samples for the rest of the week. But I figured that a chocolate-flavored fortune cookie wouldn’t set me back too far in terms of calories. Only, it wasn’t chocolate-flavored:

It was chocolate-covered!

It was chocolate-covered!

A Dark Chocolate Covered Foturne Cookine? STOP RIGHT THERE! This is genius. I opened my fortune…


…and bit into it. Oh boy. I have decided that these should always be served in Chinese restaurants over regular fortune cookies from this day forward. In fact, I will gladly pay a $1 surcharge for one of these every time. Should I send samples to Nha Sang? 😉

It wasn’t until I started writing this post that I learned that this is actually a Dark Chocolate Orange Fortune Cookie.

For moms curious about the Kids 50 Fruit and Veggie Juice, it tasted just like any juice box drink. Here are the nutrition facts and ingredients in case you want to compare to whatever else is on the market. Not having kids myself, I’m oblivious.

Kids 50 Fruit & Veggie Juice Nutrition Facts & Ingredients

Kids 50 Fruit & Veggie Juice Nutrition Facts & Ingredients

I added the Ola! Granola to the last of my berries and yogurt mixture for breakfast on Thursday morning. The crunch was a nice change to what I had been eating. I really enjoyed it. This particular granola was nut-free and vanilla-flavored. The ingredients look pretty pure, too.

LWF-Granola Ing

Ola! Granola – No Nut Vanilla

After that breakfast, I made myself a cup of the T-Box Revolution Açaí Green Tea. It does come in a cute little box:

Revolution Tea: "Each box is a unique gift."

The aroma was inviting; however, I needed to add a little honey for my liking. While the box is cute, I can’t imagine them being better than a teabag in a packet. the little boxes would take up more space in your cupboard. However, as suggested, I think they would make great gifts. They could easily be added to a basket of goodies or given as favors at a celebratory event.

Back of Revolution Tea box

Back of Revolution Tea box

I enjoyed the Chocolate Covered Wasabi Peas in place of my regular daily piece of dark chocolate. The calories for a small package were much higher than my usual 35-calorie Dove Promise:

LWF-Choc Wasabi Peas NF

But the 5 grams of protein in this package surprised me! They were good. The wasabi wasn’t too overpowering and the chocolate-wasabi pairing worked. However, this would never take the place of the satisfaction I get from a piece of dark chocolate.

The Mary’s Gone Crackers were packaged in a bag like one would enjoy chips, but they tasted much more like crackers. I liked the taste with all the grain and seed flavors. Check out the ingredients:


But I only needed a few. After a while, they were a little overwhelming. Also, they made me crave cheese, so I had to break some out to enjoy with them!

So that’s my wrap up on this month’s Love With Food Box. I pay only $10 per month plus $2 shipping to receive this package of sample-sized treats. I can earn points, too, for free purchases.

I think I will continue to take photos of the back side of my samples because so much of that information – nutrition facts and ingredients – is hard to find online when a new product is released. Consider it my research to offer you!

Would you pay a $1 surcharge to have one of those dark chocolate-covered fortune cookies over your traditional fortune cookie when you order Chinese?


SBS: New Year New You Goodies


This Subscription Box Saturday, let’s talk about the January 2013 Goodies I received. I love my Goodies box because I generally receive around five to eight new snacks to try for only $7 (shipping is free). It’s a steal. I’ve loved almost every box. This one was my least favorite and I’m sad that this was the first box a lot of people got as I recommended Christmas gifts. No worries, it wasn’t a bad box. Just not my favorite.

Goodies New Year

I did like the concept of the first Goodies box of the new year…

You might think that the reason why I wasn’t a fan of the box was that they focused on healthier treats or what they call “sensible foods” to help “fulfill those healthy lifestyle resolutions” in the New Year, but that really isn’t it. I feel like my Love with Food boxes do that every month and nearly always love the contents.


January 2013 Goodies Box Contents

Goodies encourages you to write reviews of the products on their website. You can rate the snack out of 5 scale rating. Then you answer the following question

In a perfect world*, would you eat this?

* like if calories didn’t matter
Always? Sometimes? Never again?

After trying these goodies, here are the reviews I posted on their website:

Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar – Stone Ground Whole Wheat Raspberry – 3/5 ~ Never again.

I didn’t hate it. I just wouldn’t make the effort to purchase these. And if I were in a pinch and saw it on a shelf with other similar options, I’d probably choose the other. Sure, this tasted like a fig bar made with whole wheat ingredients. I really couldn’t taste the raspberry, though. It was fine, but it just did not “wow” me. I only chose that I’d eat this “never again” because I wouldn’t seek it out. Not worth the 220 calories, in my opinion.

Wild Garden Traditional Hummus & Pita Chips – 2/5 – Never again

For only 200 calories, I was really looking forward to this afternoon snack at work! I did find it strange that the hummus “dip” need not be opened until after opening. I tried one of the pita chips and they were flavorless and very disappointing. I didn’t like the hummus dip either and I *love* hummus! This was the first subscription box snack ever that I couldn’t finish. I did throw this one away. Sorry! 😦

Skeeter Snacks Cookie – Chocolate 3 – 4/5 ~ Sometimes

I tried a Skeeter Chocolate Chunk cookie in my November Love with Food box and liked them a lot. I mean – Cookie? chocolate? And now – chocolate 3 times? Done. These aren’t soft cookies, but still quite yummy. Two come in a pack for 190 calories. I had them with coffee. 😉 This is the perfect cookie for those allergic to tree nuts. They never put nuts in their cookies and they don’t have any in their facility to come into contact with them either.

Go Nola Blueberry Wave Granola – 3/5 ~ Sometimes

I like my granola as cereal – with milk or maybe even yogurt. I emptied the packet into a bowl and there was barely any there! I looked at the package – it was only a quarter of a cup. I guess it maybe should have been opened as a snack only. However, the pieces were so small that I can’t imagine picking them up with my fingers. Good ingredients and the flavor was good overall. I just wanted more of it. But I guess a 1/2 cup of that would have meant a lot more calories, too.

Flamous Brand Organic Falafel Chips – Spicy – 3/5 ~ Sometimes

I love what this company stands for with ZERO gluten, wheat, dairy, lactose, trans fat, cholesterol, msg, gmo, hydrogenated oil, preservatives, nor artificial colors or flavors. The falafel flavor was good, but the flavor of the spice was more warming than spicy. Nice with 3 g of fiber and 3 g protein, which is pretty good for a chip.

Stretch Island Fruit – Cherry Berry Fruit Chews – 3/5 ~ Never again

If you like fruit snacks, these’ll be for you. They just aren’t something I tend to buy. And these didn’t change my mind. The ingredients include: pple puree concentrate, cherry puree concentrate, orange juice concentrate (concentrated orange juice, orange pulp, orange oil), natural flavor. Maybe it’s a better alternative for your kids if they eat fruit snacks similar to this?

Cascal Soft Drink – Berry Cassis – 3/5 – Never again

I was excited to try this flavor! I need to read up on what “fermented soda” is. The insert card just says, “The benefits of a fermented drink have been known to include detoxification and boosting energy levels.” I do know that regular energy drinks are not healthy. However, I do enjoy an Archer Farms Sugar Free Raspberry or Cherry Citrus beverage from time to time. And to me, those flavors are much better than the berry cassis I tried here.

Oh well, it was only $7 to try something new. I’m sure next month will be better! I always love to see what themes they put together.

And in case you are curious, these are the Goodies I received in 2012:

December 2012 – Naughty or Nice!

November 2012 – Entertaining Made Simple

October 2012 – My First Box!

What is your favorite healthy, packaged goodie?


Foodie Penpals Encore {A Guest Post}


Yesterday, I posted on what I received from Terri in Georgia, the Foodie Penpal who was assigned to me. I enjoyed some great breakfast goodies! Today, you will hear from the gal I was assigned to shop for and ship to! Jillian doesn’t have a blog. And you don’t have to have one to participate in Foodie Penpals! However, I invited her to do a post, if she so desired. {Again, not a requirement, so don’t let that hold you back from becoming a Foodie Penpal yourself.}

Thank you, Jillian for writing this guest post!


Hi “Season It Already” readers!

Carrie has already filled you all in on the basics of Foodie Penpals –  this January was my first time participating.    I live in New England, I am a wife and a mom of 2 young boys, and I love all things related to health, fitness, cooking, and eating!

This past December I finally took the plunge and joined Twitter, mainly as an outlet for posting about the Tone It Up lifestyle (see below), and that is how I learned about The Lean Green Bean and Foodie Penpals.   Put together a small box of yummy goodies, send them to someone else, and get one in return?   Sign me up!

 Here is a photo of the items Carrie sent in my package (sorry for my horrible photography….):


She included Pampered Chef Rosemary Herb and Seasoning Mix, Wildtree European Dipping Oil, San Franola Granola, and a few dark chocolates and Werther’s Originals candies.   Most importantly, she included a little note explaining to me how she likes to use each item, and why she chose to include it in the package.

To be honest, it took me quite some time to get around to taking photos of all the items, and I didn’t dare use anything until after the official photo shoot!  Last night after I took the picture, I immediately tore into the dark chocolates. Loved every single one, especially the Sea Salt and Caramel.

This morning I was anxious to try the San Franola Granola. After trying a few delicious little granola nuggets right out of the package, I added the rest to a bowl of greek yogurt, and it was heaven.  The granola looks chocolatey, but it is actually a slightly crunchy version of a homemade oatmeal raisin cookie.


For lunch I had planned on making a tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad drizzled with the Wildtree dipping oil, but after starting to make the salad I realized that the mozzarella I had in the fridge was no longer good.   It became a romaine and tomato salad with walnuts and blue cheese, to which I added a small drizzle of the dipping oil.   A little bit definitely goes a long way, and it was delicious.   I can’t wait to try it on chicken, for dunking crusty bread from the bakery, and to eventually get some fresh mozzarella to try it on a Caprese salad.

The only item I have yet to try is the Pampered Chef Seasoning Mix, but I can guarantee that will not last long in our house.   We roast vegetables numerous times per week in our house, and the container also recommends using it as a rub for poultry.   Roasted chicken and veggies will definitely be in the menu one night this week.  Carrie also suggested tossing it with some popcorn along with a little parmesan cheese- sounds perfect, huh?

Before putting this foodie care package together, Carrie asked if I had any allergies, food restrictions, etc.   I am not allergic to a single thing, however I explained that I have been focusing on eating less processed foods and following the Tone It Up nutrition plan (oh, and I also mentioned that I don’t like mushrooms or olives, although I wasn’t expecting anyone to send those along!).   If you have never heard of Tone It Up or Katrina and Karena, please visit their blog, ToneItUp.com.  They offer an entire range of work out videos, recipes, nutrition information, and most importantly, a community of incredibly supportive and positive women who believe in challenging yourself while being kind to your body and fueling it with natural foods.  It has truly changed my life!

Thank you Carrie for allowing me to try my hand at blogging for a day – I have such respect for those of you who do this on a regular basis.   I really enjoyed participating in Foodie Penpals and I’m excited to keep cooking. J


I’m so glad you loved your goodies, Jillian!


November Foodie Pen Pals – Reveal Day!


This is the second time I’ve participated in the Foodie Pen Pals program!


Today is Reveal Day.

Q: What does this mean?

A: I reveal what was sent to me by my Foodie Pen Pal. In addition, the person I sent a box to reveals about what I sent.

This month, I sent a package to Chelsea over at Yasha’s Crazy Life. If you want to see what was in her package, be sure to check out her blog! {Teaser: The wasabi almonds were her favorite.}

I received my package from Antonia, who lives in a small town from Tennessee.

The first thing I discovered in my box:

Banana Moon Pies!

My husband said he hasn’t seen Moon Pies since he’s lived down south. Here’s the kicker: He’s allergic to bananas, so these were all mine! Muwhahahahahaha! In addition, these were actually mini Moon Pies, so they were only 110 calories per pie! {I say were because they are long gone.} Antonia says that Moon Pies are a Tennessee tradition. Gotta love that.

The entire contents of the box:

My November Foodie Pen Pal Box

In addition to the Moon Pies I found Peanut Brittle, Cascadian Farms Organic Cinnamon Raisin Granola, Old Timey Syrup with Antonia’s favorite buckwheat pancake recipe, Pocky Chocolate-covered Biscuit Sticks, Quaker Quakes Cheddar Cheese Rice Snacks, Nescafe Memento Mocha Coffee Mix.

Her hand written note described her favorite snacks:

All Foodie Pen Pal Boxes must contain something written – it’s what makes you a pen pal, after all!

I’ve tried everything except for the syrup and pancake recipe. My husband said the peanut brittle is the best he’s ever had! The granola makes a perfect breakfast cereal. I followed Antonia’s suggested and stirred the Pocky into my coffee. Those are long gone. The rice cake snacks were perfect for on-the-go. And the Nescafe Mocha was so easy: Just add hot water. I liked this so much that I’m going to use the coupon Antonia included to get me some more!

Thank you, Antonia, for such a lovely Foodie Package!


If you’d like to participate in the Foodie Pen Pals program, here’s the best part:

You don’t need to have a blog to participate!

Here’s how it works:

1. Sign up by the 4th of the month that you want to participate.

2. On the 5th of the month, you are assigned a Foodie Pen Pal.

3. You communicate with your pen pal about any food allergies or preferences, as well as where to ship the package.

4. By the 15th of the month, send $15 worth of food to your pen pal that may include homemade goodies, local treats or just some of your favorite discoveries that you want to share! The box must also contain something handwritten.

5. You’ll receive a package from another Foodie Pen Pal, who was assigned to you.

6. If you are like me, you squeal with delight when your package arrives.

7. You enjoy said goodies, which you may have never known about otherwise.

8. If you are a blogger, you post about the package you received on the last day of the month – Reveal Day! {If you are not a blogger, you do not need to do anything, but thank your Pen Pal, of course! However, if your Pen Pal does blog, you can choose to write a guest post, if you so wish.}

Now that you know all of this, please note that there has been a *change* for December:

For the month of December only, the Foodie Pen Pals program will be donating to charities set up for Hurricane Sandy victims. Instead of being assigned a Pen Pal and spending $15 on a box of food, participants are encouraged to donate that $15 to the FPP Charity for Hurricane Sandy program. There are currently over 1000 Foodie Pen Pals. Therefore, if we could raise $15,000. Won’t you join us?

As I understand it, the Foodie Pen Pal program will return to its original state in January.

If you’d like to see what I received in my last FPP box, click here.

Did you have a Pen Pal as a kid?


GoBites – Do I need an intervention?


Okay, I just might need a subscription box intervention!

After my sign ups with Love with Food, Birchbox and Barkbox, you would thought that would have been enough.

However, I recently received a Plum District {Groupon-like} offer to get half-off on a GoBites subscription. I really did think twice about signing up for another box. But when I went back to the offer, it was SOLD OUT! Of course, this made me want to try it even more. I went to the GoBites website and found that they had a free-sample offer. I could receive four GoBites for free and only pay $4 shipping. {Normal delivery includes 14 GoBites for $28, shipping included.}

What an excellent way to give me a taste! I couldn’t pass up a $4 sample. {Note: it seems as if the sample offer is no longer available.} All I had to do was answer a few questions about my likes, dislikes, diet and lifestyle. This helps them decide which GoBites are for you. The concept is to offer nutritious, natural, portion-controlled between-meal snacks.

My GoBites were delivered quickly:

I opened the box to find an introductory pamphlet as well as a list of which GoBites I received. When there is food around, Benny likes to sneak into photos just like he did in this post and in this one. This time was no different:

Opening my GoBites box…

Included in the box were nutrition facts for each one of my GoBites. LOVE THIS!

GoBites Nutrition Facts

Then, the GoBites themselves:

Nicely packaged GoBites with ingredients written on each one.

Although I only received four GoBites, it took me a while to finish the box. I needed to find place in my day when I could allot the calories. I always try to use up perishable snacks first, so I could keep these longer. The size of the packages are very convenient to take with you:

GoBites Convenient Package Sizes

After having tried all of the GoBites in this sample pack, here are my thoughts on each one:

  • Antioxidant Mix – This was the first one I tried. It was a little strange in texture and flavor. The pieces were a little chewy. The dried pineapple pieces were quite yummy and the best part; but there were just a few big chunks. I would have liked more of them or just in smaller pieces. I think if they were smaller, they would be distributed better throughout the rest of the mix and maybe make the overall flavor better.
  • Forbidden Rice Mix – I loved this one! It was spicy and just what I had been expecting! Probably my favorite of the four.
  • Tropical Gluten Free Granola – I haven’t loved a lot of gluten-free knock-offs, so I was surprised to find how much I liked this one. It was coconutty and bit chewy, very different from anything I’ve had before. But I really enjoyed it!
  • Pineapple Coconut Mix – Of course, the pineapple in this was just as good as the stuff in the Antioxidant Mix, except there was more of it. YAY! However, the pieces were big again, making it difficult to get the pineapple and coconut in one bite. Once the pineapple was gone, I was left with coconut shavings, which aren’t that exciting by themselves. Smaller bites of pineapple would allow me enjoy it like trail mix, in smaller handfuls.

Overall, all of the GoBites were satisfyingly filling snacks that kept me going without wanting more. The GoBites company recommends eating two of their GoBites each day as in-between meal snacks. I can’t see myself doing that. I could see myself eating these from time to time, but I don’t think enough that I’d like to activate an actual subscription.

While I may need a subscription box intervention, the truth is that I like that I can try out each one and decide which ones I want to keep. The fact that most of them offer introductory deals makes that easy. Now they just have to win me over… 😉

What is your favorite between-meal snack and why?