• New Product: Sol Sunflower Beverage

    March 8, 2012

    I tried a fun new product in my iced coffee this morning: SōL, a sunflower beverage.

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    Sunflower? Yep! SōL is made from sunflower kernels. Cool, right? I thought so, which is why I wanted to try it out. The folks at SōL offered to send me a free sample, and I happily accepted.

    As you know, I drink soy milk in my iced coffee every morning. I’ve tried all sorts of “milk alternatives” over the years, but most of them just don’t provide enough creaminess for my liking, so I’m always looking for something new and different to try, and I was excited to see how SōL measured up.

    Nutritionally, my soy milk and the SōL were fairly similar. The soy milk had more calories (90 verses 70) per serving, but quite a bit more protein (7g versus 1). The SōL had more potassium per serving as well as 50% RDA of Vitamin E, but the soy milk provided 50% RDA of Vitamin B12. Everything else was pretty similar.

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    I did a taste-test with Mal’s iced coffee, which had soy milk added to it, and I have to admit that the SōL surprised me. For some reason, I thought it’d be kind of watery, but it was creamier than I thought it would be, and similar to the consistency of soy milk. The flavor was also really great—sunflowery, but not overpowering and a little sweet too. I’m a big fan.

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    This morning’s breakfast was a pancake topped with a thick layer of Teddie Peanut Butter and banana slices.

    In the mix:

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    I love how perfectly round this pancake came out!

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    Three Questions Thursday

    It’s Thursday again! Here’s the next edition of Three Questions Thursday!

    I’m kind of confused about how to adjust the treadmill workouts to my pace since I know I’m slower than you. I recently ran a 5K at 9 min/mile pace. If I do your 35 min treadmill run, which you do at 7.5, 8, and 8.5, is level 8 what you could maintain the whole 3 miles?

    An interval workout is different than going out for a steady pace 3-mile run, so it’s not meant for you to maintain a fast pace for the entire time. With interval training, you spend a certain amount of time running fast (whatever fast is for you), and then recover for a certain amount of time at a slower pace. For the 35-Minute Treadmill Workout, I only run at 7.5, 8.0, and 8.5 for those short intervals, so I don’t think I’d be able to maintain 8.0 for the entire 3 miles.

    The great thing about my treadmill workouts is that they’re customizable to your personal abilities! If the speeds are too fast, you can subtract 1.0, 1.5, or 2.0 from each interval, so 8.5 would become 7.5, 7.0, or 6.5, for example. You could also add 1.0 or 2.0 to each interval to increase the speeds.

    What is the point of putting your oatmeal in the jar? Is it to use up those last dregs of nut butter left at the bottom, or just for the fun container? I got my first one all ready this morning and then realized my Teddie jar was in fact not glass.

    Both reasons! To use up the last bit of nut butter in the jar and to eat it out of a fun container.

    I get a TON of questions about Oats In A Jar, so here’s a tutorial that I created awhile back as well as some Q & A’s about it. Hope this helps clear up the confusion!

    I’m running a marathon on May 6th, and started CrossFit about a month ago. I’m doing CrossFit twice a week, and running 3 times a week and I’m spent. My legs barely make it through the runs. I thought maybe after a month it would feel better but not having much luck. So not a good time to be testing new waters in the middle of marathon training! I’ve asked my CrossFit coaches advice as well as my running coach and get two different perspectives. But it would be nice to hear it from someone who’s doing it now, ya know?

    I experienced the same thing trying to combine long distance running with CrossFit. It’s not an easy balance to achieve, which is why I created an 8-week half marathon training plan, inspired by the workouts from CrossFit Endurance. Initially, I thought this plan was exactly what I needed to combine the two, but as the weeks progressed, I found that I couldn’t manage 3 days of running with 3-5 days of CrossFit. I was just way too much exercise, so I cut back quite a bit. Things were going pretty well, but then I experienced a colitis flare last week and didn’t do any running at all, which means I have no idea how things will go next weekend at the Rock ‘N’ Roll USA Half Marathon. I’m feeling very unprepared, but I’ll be sure to give everyone an update with how everything goes.

    I don’t think I really answered the question, but it seems like this kind of endurance training is gaining momentum, so, hopefully, there’s more info out about it soon, and I’ll probably have more answers from a personal perspective once I run the half marathon next weekend. I also might try a similar training plan for a second half marathon later this year—and, hopefully, I won’t get sick this time, so I’ll have better results.

    Eversave Giveaway

    Thanks to everyone who entered yesterday’s Eversave giveaway. Here’s your winner:


    I want to win this because my wife and I are both golfers, we live close to the Wayland Country Club, and we have a wardrobe FULL of Loudmouth Golf http://us.loudmouthgolf.com clothes to look AWESOME in out on the course! We play golf almost every weekend from in the spring, summer and fall.

    Congrats, Scott! Please email me at tina@carrotsncake.com to claim your prize!

    Question of the Day

    What new product have you tried lately and loved? Or tried and hated?

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    { 49 comments… read them below or add one }

    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat March 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I made a peanut flour version of your breakfast this morning – with bananas baked in and on top – yum! 🙂


    Tina March 8, 2012 at 4:04 pm
    Kindal March 8, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I just got my first jar if sunflower butter… I gave peanut butter up for lent and then just took on a vegan challenge so I needed something!! The sunflower butter is amazing, I am in love with the taste though the coloring isn’t very pretty… in fact my husband refuses to try it even though he loves dried sunflowers (he is a weird-o). But I am close to addicted to it!


    faith @ For the Health of It March 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I’ve heard about the SOL, but I have no idea where to find it by me. Hooray for awesome new products though!


    Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries March 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    I’ve never heard of a sunflower drink before… sounds interesting! I just discovered CLICK espresso protein powder which I’m actually doing a giveaway for on my blog today. I love the product so far! A yummy coffee drink + protein? I’m in!


    Tina March 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    @Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries: Espresso protein?!? That sounds awesome!


    Kerry @ Totes My Oats March 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    That sunflower drink sounds awesome – I’d love to try. The pancake looks delicious!


    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I’m guessing you have tried it, but coconut milk is a pretty creamy alternative! I’ve tried flax milk and I really like it, mostly because it’s only 25 calories per cup! Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze is my favorite though!


    Megan @ Megan's Munchies March 8, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    It’s not very healthy, but I tried Birthday Cake Oreos and loved them!

    Wow, I had no idea sunflower beverages existed!


    Tina March 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    @Megan @ Megan’s Munchies: Birthday Cake Oreos!?! My goodness! I need to look for those the next time I’m at the grocery store!


    MigraineMe March 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    The sunflower drink sounds yummy! As for me, I just tried Musli, the wheat-free kind, with raspberries and almonds, for the first time, and I am a big fan! And, it keeps me full for most of the morning at work!


    deva at deva by definition March 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I haven’t really tried anything super new lately – just some Justin’s Maple Almond butter, which is amazing for before a long run – yum!


    Tina March 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    @deva at deva by definition: Mmm, I love that stuff!


    Corrie Anne March 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    My fave fun new products are the PB Cheerios and the Dulce de Leche Cheerios.

    Okay, and the birthday cake Oreos!


    Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Never heard of that drink before–but it sounds deeeeeelicious! Thanks for the quick review and the heads up on a new, tasty product 🙂


    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 8, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I drink soy milk in my coffee every morning and after years of searching, I found that Trader Joes brand is the perfect one for me. It doesn’t “curdle” in my coffee and it’s just sweet enough without being overly sweet. But then I got put on some crazy meds and needed to cut soy out of my diet (or at least cut WAY back) so I started the almond milk search. After trying it before and having the same “curdle” (really breaking apart) in my hot coffee, I tried Trader Joe’s brand and it’s DELICIOUS! Holds up in my coffee and tastes great!


    Hope @ With A Side Of Hope March 8, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    That sunflower drink sounds interesting. I’ve never heard of it before. That pancake looks yummy!


    Lindsay March 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Hi Tina,

    I read an interesting article this morning about stress and digestion. Who knows how much validity there is to this claim, but I know you’re open to info right now, given your struggles with colitis.

    Thought I’d share! http://experiencelife.com/contributors-corner/2012/03/08/the-real-culprit-behind-your-food-intolerance-or-allergy/


    Tina March 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    @Lindsay: Thank you!!


    Brittany March 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Your treadmill workouts look great. Do you think you could post an example of one that would target about a 6:45 5k target pace? Or a 7/ 7:30 tempo run? I would love to print some off and take them to the gym or give them to friends.


    Joss March 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Sooo many milk-like products out there. I have tried to get into them but i think I will just stick to regular milk!


    Grace @ Healthy Dreaming March 8, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    I’ve never heard of a sunflower drink. This looks so interesting. Thanks for sharing.


    katie @ KatieDid March 8, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Carob for the first time yesterday and like its odd flavor a lot!


    Ashley @ coffee cake and cardio March 8, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Sunflower is becoming all the rage 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it!


    RunEatRepeat March 8, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I do love sunflower seed butter – so I’m intrigued by this!


    Laura WL March 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    FWIW I’ve been training for a marathon on May 6 as follows: 3 training runs (FIRST marathon plan: 1 interval workout, 1 tempo run, 1 long run) + circuit training 2x a week + hiking/long walk 1x a week + 1 rest day and was ALSO starting to feel worn. I looked at my diet and upped my protein & iron, which has seemed to help. (More sleep & lots of water also helped). Another key for me is getting plenty of rest the day before and after the long run. This last week I did: Sunday-17 miles, Monday-rest, Tuesday-3 miles of intervals + 20 min cool down/warm up, Wednesday-45 minute circuit training, Thursday-8 miles tempo, Friday- 45 minutes circuit training, Saturday- 3 mile walk. I’ve been running for 7 yrs, but this is the first time I’ve trained like this and I have to say I feel stronger (and faster! just PRed a 10k!) than I ever have before.


    Whitney @ The Adventures of Now March 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I love sunflower butter & am always trying different milk products (usually stick with Soy) so will have to give it a SOL a try.

    I tried a thinkThin Peanut Butter bar … I’m a big snack/protein/meal bar fan especially a PB kind, but wasn’t won over by this one…maybe I need to try a different flavor?


    Lindsay @ Running the Windy City March 8, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Do you know where we can find SOL? I love trying different milk substitutes!


    Tina March 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    The Sol website has Where To Buy info! 🙂


    Karlee @ BringingBackBalance March 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I have been making my own sunflower seed milk for awhile, but I didn’t know they actually sold it in stores!! I can’t have soy, almonds or cow’s milk, and I get really bored of rice milk! I find that sunflower seed milk is the happy medium between almond milk and soy milk! I am going to check out Sol’s website and see if they ship to Canada 🙂


    Cheryl @ Happy is the new healthy March 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Ooooh B12! Now that I’m eating less meat, that’s a big one for me. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for that stuff.

    I like my oats in a jar because the lid screws on tightly and I don’t end up with a breakfast explosion in my backpack…not cool!

    I just tried tempeh for lunch–it was OK but I wasn’t sold on the smoky bacon flavour (but you can only get it in a bacon form at the grocery stores around here) — so I have to head to a health food store and do some searching, I think!


    Khushboo March 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    For my pb jars that arent glass, I use them as an overnight oat vehicle- works out well!


    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama March 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Wow! What will they come up with next? I love sunflower seeds/butter so I’m sure I would like the milk.

    I’ve been loving tempeh lately. Cook it in a little bit of soy sauce and it’s awesome in a salad. I’ve also found a cereal/granola called Yogi Cherry Almond Crunch. Holy yum! I eat is is a snack as is.


    Cathy @ Showing Up March 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    My new-to-me find is (are?) Kind bars. I am in love with the almond and coconut flavor!

    I made my Oats in a Jar in a plastic PB jar with no problem.


    Tina March 8, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    @Cathy @ Showing Up: I use plastic jars too– just gotta make sure the oats aren’t too hot when you dump them in!


    CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com March 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I Heart Thrives and Suncakes over the summer and really enjoyed them, but recently I ordered a few new flavor varieties since my friends and I did a joint purchase. I never thought I liked Lemon anything but oh my gosh Lemon Poppyseed Heart Thrives are fantastic; especially warmed up with a glass of unsweetened vanilla almond milk! Yum!


    Cait March 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    So Delicious Coconut Creamer (original – not flavored) is so deliciously amazing. Definitely worth trying!


    Tina March 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    @Cait: I want to check that out! Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂


    Lauren March 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I didn’t try these super recently, but my boyfriend and I switched from Ezekial bread (our standard breakfast) to Ezekial English muffins a few months ago, and we’re both hooked. They’re delicious plain, or smeared with a little almond butter (my personal favorite). 🙂


    Tina March 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    @Lauren: I love those too! I should buy them again soon! Thanks for the reminder! 🙂


    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try sunflower milk, but I can’t find it in stores here anywhere!

    The last new thing I tried was rutabaga. I roasted it in the form of fries and it was pretty good!


    Jen @ Such a Funny Fat March 8, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I needed new workout wear so I went to Kohl’s because they were having a sale. I picked up some Tekgear capri pants that I love and now wish I had bought more pairs. 🙂


    Lauren @ Vaguely Vegan March 8, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I tried the Sol stuff at a Whole Foods sample day…it was great. I really wasn’t sure what to expect but it was really good!


    Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie March 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    That sunflower milk sounds great! I love sunbutter, so I imagine I would like it 🙂 Rice milk, on the other hand, is way too water-y for me!


    Tag March 8, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    I am soooo in crazy love with Vermont peanut butter Co.’s Mad River Mojo pb!
    All organic…Dry roasted peanuts, dry roasted almonds,pumpkin seeds, flax seeds,cinnamon, vt maple syrupp and dried cranberries! Hell ya! I am sad I only bought one jar. Think I may try and make something similar w/a jar of natural PB.


    Sarah @ The Healthy Diva March 8, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Sunflower bev looks really good! I’ve been sticking to so delicious unsweetened coconut milk which i’m totally loving. The new product i recently tried was coconut sugar. it’s really low GI (35) and has a great molasses flavour. A little bit definitely goes a long way!


    Laura @ prettylittlewords March 9, 2012 at 12:50 am

    My thinking is that CF (at least for how frequently you want to be going, so 3+ x per week) and endurance running just aren’t compatible. It doesn’t allow the body ample time to rest and it throws a balanced workout out the window. I would say if you want to keep up with CF and train for long distance races, you should keep the CF to 2-3x per week max.


    Amber K March 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    I just tried cultured coconut milk and while I wouldn’t drink it by itself, it makes my smoothies a lot thicker and creamier. Plus I love how it’s helped my digestion.


    Jennifer January 15, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Hi! I recently reviewed the new SOL Sunflower beverage and my whole family loved it. I’m currently hosting a giveaway for one case of the milk in the flavor of your choice. And there will be 3 winners!


    Good luck!


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