Attune Foods Erewhon Cereal Product Review

A couple weeks ago, I got a DM on Twitter from Annelies at Attune Foods asking if I would be interested in sampling and reviewing one of their cereals.

The philosophy at Attune really struck me – it’s all about what’s on the inside.  See their philosophy from their website below.

What’s inside the box: Simple, pure ingredients that help you feel your best every day.

What’s inside you: Something different in each of us – something worth celebrating.

What’s inside our company:  A team dedicated to improving the way we eat at home, in our local community, in our nation and someday worldwide.

I have heard great things about Attune Foods around the blogesphere, so I was all for it. I asked Annelies if she would be able to send me one of their gluten free varieties and she sent me three! Erewhon makes six gluten free cereals:

  • Crispy Brown Rice- Gluten Free
  • Crispy Brown Rice- Mixed Berries
  • Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice
  • Rice Twice
  • Corn Flakes
  • Strawberry Crisp

For some reason I never really think about keeping cereal around or buying it at the store. But I really enjoy cereal in the summer. It makes a great, quick breakfast before hot summer runs, or a good afternoon snack. So the timing of this delivery was perfect. The temps are in the 90s already!

I was excited to first dive into the Strawberry Crisp.

I expected the flakes to be a bit plain and boring, but I was pleasantly surprised by the slightly sweet flavor of the flakes and very nice crunch that did not turn soggy upon the first sign of milk. I hate soggy cereal and these flakes held up very nicely to the milk.

I like the Rice Twice, too. I described it to Aaron as a combination of Rice Krispies and Pops. I see some Rice Twice rice krispy treats in my future. The Corn Flakes were great, too. A great canvas for sliced bananas and strawberries!

I am looking forward more bowls of Erewhon cereal this summer. You can find Erewhon and other Attune Foods at Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Safeway, and lots of other retailers as well as online. You can search for a location near you on their website.

 

*Disclaimer: Attune Foods sent me product samples in exchange for a review of their products, but no compensation was given for this review. All thoughts and opinions of the product are my own. I only accept products to review that align with the food philosophy of Modernation.

Half Marathon Training is Underway!

I started a week later than planned, but training for the July 15th Napa2Sonoma Half Marathon is officially underway. Trying to start training the week of the Girls on the Run 5K was not a good idea. Last week my workouts pretty much consisted of loading and unloading race equipment and running around the race site. I did sneak in a few shorter runs, but nothing groundbreaking.

So far this week I did a 3 mile easy run with Cash and then 3 miles of speedwork before tackling today’s 8 miler. I wasn’t sure how the run would go since I haven’t run further than 4 miles since my April 1st 10 miler. After that race I had big plans to stay in race shape and still do a weekly long-ish run until I jumped back into formal training. Fail!

I was looking forward to the run this morning because I really enjoy training. I like having a purpose to my workouts and a goal in mind. I am much more motivated when I have a structure and plan to follow rather than just the mentality of “I should do something”. While I was excited, I had no expectations for pace and even told myself that cutting back to 7 miles would be okay.

I woke up at 6, made my coffee, hopped on my 6:30 weekly conference call, ate my PB and banana toast and headed out the door at 7:30 – right on schedule.  The weather was perfect – sunny, still a little cool, light breeze. The first half mile was tough – everything felt heavy and slow and I wasn’t sure how 8 miles would go if that continued.

Luckily, I just had to get some cobwebs out, and by mile 1, I was feeling pretty good. I remained cautiously optimistic until the halfway point where I had a Hammer Gel and headed home. At that point, my pace was 9:43 which I was pleased with. I would have been happy with anything until 10 minutes at this point. Once I hit mile 5, I really fell into my groove and cruised home. The last 2 miles I kicked it into high gear and really wanted to finish strong.

I finished in 1:16:52 for a 9:36 pace. I was very happy with that! Decent pace, negative splits and felt good the whole time. Can’t ask for much more on the first long run of training after a month hiatus from long runs. A great start to training. 10 more weeks till race day!

Some other thoughts on half marathon training:

  • At the beginning of the year, I set out to PR at N2S.  That is still my goal, but I am going to have to really focus on my training. My schedule this summer is really filling up fast with Bachelorette parties, weddings, road trips, work trips and more. I have all of these worked into my schedule, I just need to really focus on it and stay committed and do all that I can while I have the time.
  • In order to get faster and break 1:57 (hopefully 1:55), I am going to really focus on speedwork, hills and increasing my total weekly miles. To get better I need to run more – doing the same thing won’t change anything.
  • Food is fuel, not just for fun. This will be hard with the weddings and traveling, but eating what my body needs to perform is what is most important.
  • Efficient cross training – I have one day of yoga and one day of cycling built into my training to keep me healthy, limber and keep my weight down (hopefully).

Here is what my typical training week looks like:

Monday: Speedwork or hills
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: Easy medium distance run
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Long Run
Saturday: Bike or Rest
Sunday: Easy 3-4 miles

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Ever since we moved out of an apartment, Aaron and I have talked about planting an edible garden. I definitely don’t have what you would call a green thumb. But today was the day we bit the bullet and gave it a shot. We figured we didn’t have anything to lose.

We headed over to the nursery this afternoon with a list of the supplies we would need and a rough idea of the veggies we wanted to give a try first.

We left with

  • 3 types of tomatoes – Roma, Cherry, and Heirloom
  • Poblano peppers
  • Summer squash
  • Tomatillos
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
We also grabbed some tomato cages, planting mix, a rake, plant food and some spray to keep the critters away without poisoning ourselves.
When we got home, we got to work prepping the soil
Laying netting down that will help keep weeds away.
And then planting the herbs and veggies.
We watered everything well and now are just keeping our fingers crossed. I am so excited to see our tomato plants grow as tall as me and to eat veggies we grew ourselves. Each tomato plant we bought cost $2. It is crazy to imagine spending $2 on a plant that will yield more tomatoes than we can eat. We spend at least $3 a week on tomatoes now. Keep your fingers crossed. I will be sure to update the progress!

 

Ideal Post Race Workouts

I was focused for several weeks on the Sactown 10 Miler. It is all too easy to fall into a post-race slump after a big race. But that can lead to getting out of shape and off track and having to start all over. The big goal for this year is to PR in my July half-marathon. While the races leading up to are important, their main purpose is to keep me in shape and conditioned throughout the year. But I also don’t want t burn myself out before I toe the line in July.

There is a balance and fine line, both mentally and physically, to make sure you stay in shape and engaged in training. With the right post race plan, you can get a break and still preserve conditioning for the next big race.

Instinct tells you to do nothing the days after a race, but I have learned the hard way that doing nothing actually prolongs recovery and soreness. The best thing you can do for tight muscles is to use them – but be gentle. My favorite activities the day after race are walking, yoga and cycling.

It’s important to not stop running altogether. If you do, you might gain weight, you will definitely lose fitness and you’ll have to work even harder to get back into shape.

The post-race prep should start on race day – walking and stretching immediately after the race will help reduce soreness in the following weeks. In the days following the race, take it easy, but make sure to move. Don’t push yourself to do anything that hurts. Just keeping up the routine of going to the gym or hitting the road for a walk or light jog will make it easier to get back at it. And make sure to keep up the stretching and foam rolling.

Finally – set your sights on your next race. Having a race on the calendar is great motivation. Don’t shoot for a big race right away – maybe a fun 5K or 10K with friends. Have fun with your post race fitness to keep it fresh after months of focused training.

2012 SacTown 10 Miler Race Recap

This morning was the 2nd Annual SacTown 10 Miler. You can read my recap from last year’s race here. I don’t typically repeat many races, but I think this race is becoming a tradition. I really hope they keep this race on the smaller side. Last year there were only 530 participants and this morning there were 1300 anticipated. It is so nice to run smaller (relatively) races. 1300 people is so nice compared to 7500. The course was never crowded and it was easy to get around around before and after. I think there had to be close to 1 porta-potty per runner at the start. Okay..onto the recap.

After a solid 8 hours of sleep (I went to bed at 9:30), my alarm went off at 5:50. I like to give myself plenty of time in the morning to drink my coffee, eat my PB and banana toast, get dressed and do my business. Rushing around the morning of a race is not worth an extra 30 minutes of sleep. I stretched and foam rolled, covered most of my body in BodyGlide, and grabbed all my race essentials and headed out the door at 7:15 so Aaron could drop me off at the start.

I had plenty of time before the gun went off at 8, so I warmed up, peed, and found a spot in the sun to wait for the start. My goal for pacing was:

Mile 1-6: Strong and steady – try not to go out too fast
Mile 6-8: Start to pick up the pace a bit, but save some in the tank
Mile 8-10: Give it my all and push through

I notoriously go out too fast in races. This race was no exception. My mind tells me to hold back, but the race excitement makes me think I might be able to hold onto that pace. Two miles in my pace was around 8:57 and I was hopeful I could hold on for the next 8. But slowly between miles 2 and 5 my average slowly started to creep up.

I saw Aaron and Cash at mile 4.5 and ditched my arm warmers.

The weather was PERFECT this morning. It rained all day yesterday, so everything was clean and fresh and the sun was out and there was no breeze!

I had my Hammer Gel just after I saw the boys and got a burst of energy. I knew it would be tough, but I was determined to still try to hit my 1:30 goal. I was half way – I could do this!

As I got closer to the finish, I kept getting closer to a 9:00/mile average and I was more determined than ever to get there. I saw my mom around around mile 7 and friends just before mile 9. It is always fun to see familiar faces on the course – thanks everyone for cheering me on and for those who helped at the Girls on the Run water stop!

I have always been an endurance athlete. In Junior High I was the go-to miler on the track team (that’s long in track and field), on my competitive swim team I excelled at the 200 and 500 yard distances.  The last two miles of the 10 mile distance is where I strive – I am able to push through any pain and fatigue to get the job done. And that’s what I did!

I saw my average tick down in those last few miles to 9:03 and that’s where I finished. I forgot to stop my Garmin and the official results aren’t posted yet, but I am guessing I finished right around 1:30:40.  That is 3 minutes faster than the same race last year! I’ll take it!

Hanging out with Kellie at the Girls on the Run booth after the race.

Aaron and I immediately headed to Selland’s for Prosecco, coffee, eggs, fruit and potatoes for her and beer for him.

Very proud of my dedication to my training for this race and the race itself. Ready to keep the momentum going as I gear up for Napa2Sonoma this summer! The rest of the day includes beers, movies on the couch and Mexican food (a post-race tradition).

 

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