Freekeh Foods review and giveaway

Food and I have a love-hate relationship.

I’m a picky eater, though far less picky than I was years ago. Ask my husband (and Mer). I often look at a multi-page menu and snap it shut without seeing one item I’m interested in eating. I won’t consume just for the calories. I want to really enjoy my meal.

I love veggies, wheat bread, seafood, creme brulee and coffee. Most other foods? We’re friends, but meh. I could take or leave most of them. Then there’s beef, potatoes, raspberries and coleslaw. Thanks, but no thanks.

Lately, I’ve been playing with my grains – Bismati rice, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, cous cous, quinoa.  I swap them out and combine them with random veggies a la my fridge. So I was thrilled when FitApproach and SweatPink offered the chance for me to try and review a new-to-me product, Freekeh Foods, a Minnesota-based company that launched in 2012.

wakeboarding NJ footgolf 111

Freekeh is an ancient grain that according to legend, was created by accident by accident young wheat fields in a Middle Eastern village were set ablaze. In  an attempt to salvage damaged crops, villagers rubbed away the burnt chaff and found that the roasted kernels inside were delicious.

Freekeh (pronounced Free-kuh) is an organic, wheat-based grain, so note that it is NOT gluten-free.

Here are some other takeaways:

  • Freekeh is simple to make – on your stovetop or in a rice cooker. Add water and let it simmer.
  • It’s flavorful, with a slightly nutty flavor and chewy texture.
  • It’s high in fiber and protein and has fewer calories than quinoa and white rice.
  • it’s versatile for use in a variety of recipes, as part of a main dish or side dish.
  • Each 8 ounce package costs $4 (and includes four servings.) A case of six packages retails around $14.50.

I whipped the flavored package as a side (and um, forgot to take a pic, sorry!)

But I got a bit more creative with seasonal veggies when I tested the original flavor of Freekeh.

The result? Delicious.

I mixed my package of original Freekeh Foods with onion, zuccini and 2 ears of sweet corn, ground turkey and butter beans, 2 Tbsp. of cumin and a bit of salt and pepper.

Treman, kayak, SUP 348In the works

 Treman, kayak, SUP 353The final product! YUM

Like what you see? You have the chance to win one package of Freekeh Foods (winner can pick between original, rosemary sage or tamari) AND a cookbook, which retails at $14.95. U.S. residents only please.

freekehbookClick here or the below graphic to enter the giveaway, which runs though Aug. 30. Good luck!


Freekeh Foods though FitApproach provided Freekeh for me to try. No compensation was given outside the samples for this post. All words, opinons and cooking skills are my own. Prizes will be sent directly from Freekeh Foods.

Scoot a Doot’s blogaversary!


Once upon a time, back in February of 2013, there was a lady in New Jersey (that would be me, for those who don’t follow my every move) who was probably going through a bit of the winter doldrums and seemingly needed a project. She emailed five of her friends from all over the country about starting a fitness blog…

and thus, Scoot a Doot was born!

Through our first year of blogging, we learned a lot. We ran (wrote about that), we got injuries (and we wrote about those), we cooked and ate (naturally blogging all the way with recipes); we shared personal stories and stories that touched our hearts.

Our second year has brought a few “changing of the guards” as we’ve welcomed Kyle and Jenn into the fold, as well as changed our server to allow us more control over the site and analytics. While our blog sometimes seems like a defiant toddler, we like to focus on the warm cuddly moments!

Giveaways will be coming throughout the month of February, so keep your eyes peeled for those. But in the meanwhile… It’s always interesting to look at the site stats and see what posts really pull readers in! Since switching servers it’s hard to get a true sense of numbers but here are a couple of reader faves.


Vic’s assessment of The Color Run vs. Color Vibe is a heavy hitter! Click to check out the winner.


Nut butter, mmmmm! Bec’s Buff Butter review ranks high in interest for our readers. Not hard to see why.


Mer (that’s me) started the year off with a 21 no junk food challenge. It kicked the year off right!

Of course, we also have our own personal favorites. What to hear them? Sure you do!

You’ll see a couple of repeats as we didn’t chat with each other on our picks, which was on purpose. Picking them from the heart was the goal!


Asking me to pick my favorite post is like asking me to pick my favorite child. Who came up with this idea?

Oh. Me. Right.

The posts that really resonate with me are ones where we do things together. I’m all for the Chick Chats which are the group posts where we all weigh in on a topic. But my very favorites were the Day in the Life series where we shared our daily routines.


Simply put, I’m nosy.

If Jess is freaking out about World Cup Soccer, even if I don’t watch or know anything about soccer, I want to know!

Bec’s doing laundry? Well, I probably already know about it because that makes up a great deal of our emails to each other. But I want to know what she’s eating for lunch. And dinner. Because that’s also what we talk about a lot (and ice cream).

If Vic is hitting the Wegman’s (color me jealous) and going for a run after work, I like to keep track so we can discuss later.

I start many days texting with Brooke because she and I are on the same coast and keep the same hours. I felt like I was right there along side of her during this post (and I wish I were because that would be rad).

Cam’s (thug) life always makes me smile – this girl is hardcore, with her parenting and with her two-a-day workouts!

You see, these are some of my favorite people in the world so basically anything that I get to read about and get a glimpse in their daily lives, I am all for! I vote that Kyle and Jenn do their Day in the Life posts soon.


My pick is The Lies They Tell Us by Jenn.

I identify with every line of this post. I struggle with my body image, weight, appearance, ALL of it, on a daily basis and I know a lot of it has to do with what the media tells women they need to look like. I see it for what a crock it is and I still feed into it. I loved the positive spin Jenn put on her post at the end – that we need to embrace ourselves just as we are, because that’s 100% enough.


The Lies They Tell Us – I absolutely loved this post. I’ve written more than a few posts where I talk about body image and perception, but I fear those come off as ‘fat girl whining’ sometimes. This post reminds people that body image and mainstream media’s depiction of what ‘fit women look like, is something that a lot of us struggle with, regardless of our weight. Awesome job, Jenn!

On the Boardwalk, Out in the Sun – This post is my happy place. This brings me right back to the AC Half weekend last year, which was epic in so many ways. Actually getting to meet Anne, Brooke, and Vic, getting to cuddle with Meri and Cam and Heather, a little quality time with Mer’s boys and PUPPY. Hanging out with Jess, figuratively if not literally, in a Starbucks. It was awesome. These girls are my people, and the reason I am part of Scoot.


Philadelphia Marathon’s biggest fan – I love this post for a lot of reasons, and not because it has to do with me. Not only does it capture one of the best days of my life – EVER – it demonstrates what kind of amazing people we have here at Scoot.

Meridith is a world champion cheerleader, teammate and friend. This post – all about her cheering me (and a bajillion other runners) at the 2013 Philly Marathon – is just one example of the contagiously enthusiastic and supportive human being that she is.

I will always remember that race because it was my first marathon, but I never would have done it (or had nearly as much fun) if Mer hadn’t been there to take care of me.

(She still does take care of me. And the rest of us. And we take care of her. And each other. Because teammates.)



Every post on Scoot a Doot is fabulous (I *might* be biased), but two in particular have really stuck with me.

Mer’s You Know Who Rocks? I Do, That’s Who and Cam’s Oh, Just Another Blog Post About Mental Illness helped me move past some stuff I was dealing with in my head and helped me forgive myself for the past. They helped me remember that everyone has struggles, no matter how much they appear to “have it together”. Everyone has insecurities. Sometimes, we feel like a failure. Sometimes, we need help. We are all human, and like Buddha says, all suffering.

In each of their posts, Mer and Cam reminded me that each of us possesses the inner strength to overcome adversity and achieve any goal we want. We only have to dig deep, and face our obstacles head on with honesty, grace, and humor.


Oh, Just Another Blog Post About Mental Illness – This post by Cam stuck with me in part because our Cam was so raw and honest about mental illness and it’s ripple effect. It wasn’t just another reaction post, but was one that stop and made me think. Yes, it stemmed from a tragedy. Yes, tragedy touches us all in one way or another. But it reminds me how important acceptance, understanding and inclusion are.

Goodbye Sweet Girl – It’s not a happy one, but our 13-year-old cat’s death was one of the defining moments of our year. This took a month for me put into words and I look back on it often. It’s hard to let go.


My very favorite post this year was the one where we announced the addition of our two lovely new chicks. But that’s not one of the posts I’m picking. Yes, I’m a cheater.

One of my favorites this year was Bec’s Demotivation post. It’s so good to know I’m not the only one who over-analyzes the literary aspects of things like memes and motivational posters. Also, I love cranky Bec. She makes me giggle.

My other, more recent favorite, was Jenn’s The Lies They Tell Us because she discusses something I’ve always had an issue with. And yes, Jenn, it’s the seamstress in you, because I feel the same way about clothing sizes. Since high school, I’ve been altering my clothes. I had a true hour glass figure pre-babies (now it’s more like a beaker). Finding jeans that fit my hips and didn’t gap at the waist was like finding the Holy Grail. Quite similar to finding a magazine that didn’t exploit all my teenage insecurities. Now, I just don’t read the damn things. Instead, I read blog about how they suck!


Thanks so much for another great year; we’ve had so much fun connecting with you all! Giveaways are coming all through the month of February, so be on the lookout.

Tell us about some of your favorite blog posts around the internet. We are always looking for new and fun things to read!

Giga-what? (and a giveaway!)


Okay, so what are some things you know about me? I get really bored, really fast with exercise and I live in the Arctic Tundra. If those two came to mind, you know me pretty well, and you know that only one of those things is an exaggeration. (Hint: I don’t actually live in the Arctic Tundra, but IT FEELS LIKE I DO).

Winter can be a tough time for working out. It’s cold outside, it gets dark early, there is often weather to contend with and the living room is pretty darn inviting.

But you could do the working out IN the living room! I’ll admit, when Fit Approach (#sweatpink) asked for people to review Gigabody, I was stoked. I have an abundance of workout videos, but I’m always looking for fresh blood…errr… sweat.

But, maybe you don’t have, or want, a bunch of workout DVDs hanging around. Maybe you’ve scoured your On Demand listings and found that there is only one yoga workout and it’s for 5 year olds. Maybe you’re just not sure what kind of indoor workout you want to do.

Gigabody, guys. It’s where it’s at.

A gigabody subscription is under $10 a month, and you get access to a ton of videos, with all different kinds of workouts.

You like Barre? Try the Ballet Body workouts.

Is Zumba your thing? Body Boom Club is a blast!

Looking for something totally new? Bombay JAM. (This is my new jam, pun totally intended. A Bollywood inspired, cardio dance party? Yes. Yes, please).

Where can you do the workouts? Anywhere you have internet access. I loaded them on my Kindle Fire and took to shaking it in my bedroom while the family was watching TV.

So, I give Gigabody a very enthusiastic, booty shaking, thumbs up. If you want to check it out for yourself, we’re giving away a free month membership!


*The Gigabody membership was provided in exchange for a honest review. The opinions are all mine.


Get moving! Sunday is Active Nation Day

I run. I row. I swim. I walk.

I exercise to stay fit. I exercise to relieve stress. It’s my therapy.

I never run to music. (I know, I know)  I always sing to myself when I swim and grunt to myself when I row. And yeah, I’ll admit it, sometimes I talk to myself when I walk.

I may be a lifelong athlete, but I’m far from a professional. Sure, I swam competitively for years and have run – and rowed – with some Olympic-level athletes. I’ve competed on the world stage in more than one sport. And I’ve tackled some of the hardest courses on water and on land.

row2Rowing with Genesee Waterways at worlds in 2010. I’m bow.

But I’ve never considered myself anything more than a recreational athlete.

And I am thrilled with that.

No matter the exercise, no matter my place, the result is the same – a happier and healthier me. I hopped on board when I learned about Active Nation Day, launched in 2012 by the Aussie-based fitness brand Lorna Jane to encourage women live an authentic and active life.

This year – the day is Sunday, Sept. 28 and marks the day’s global debut as Lorna Jane will be hosting events across the globe for y’all to learn and take part in a specially choreographed fitness routine.

I’m loving that an Australian-based company is taking the fitness world by storm and has inspired the #LJMove movement. And why? In part, it’s because I’ve been Down Under more than once. Why’s that you ask? Well, my sister lives there!

sissiesAt a beach in Cairns while visiting in 2007

And while I’m there, I typically run, swim, walk and hike. In fact, on my last trip I was training for the LA Marathon and ran daily, and that included early-morning training runs and laps around Sydney Harbour.

sydney runSince #LJMove is a Aussie-inspired movement, meet my favorite place to run when I go to Sydney. Yep, the path near Royal Botanic Gardens and opera house.

bridgeWhen in Sydney, I run laps across the Harbour Bridge, pictured here. I did a 10-miler here once. LOTS of laps on the bridge.

To take part in the #LJMove competition and potentially win a $1,000 gift card for Lorna Jane clothes and accessories, post a video of you – or a friend, or several friends – doing the dance move on Instagram.

Wanna win those bucks? Of course you do. So here’s what you need to do to make that happen.

Check out the website to see where you can learn – and perform – the group dance en masse. Locations vary from Bondi Beach in Sydney to Santa Monica, Calif.

Download the Lorna Jane App. from iTunes nor check it out on Google Play.

Now dance and have fun! You may be a winner!


What’s your go-to activity? What inspires you to get moving each day? Tell me in the comments.

Road Tested: Manitoba Harvest’s Hemp Pro 70

Back in February, we adopted our dog, Gemma. She came from the streets of Philadelphia and I swore that she was going to have the best life in our home. We feed her food that we get at a specialty natural pet food store, give her only the best treats, and occasionally she gets free range, organic eggs. Um, I’m pretty sure she eats better than I do!

Now, I’m not a vegan but I do try to be cognizant of what I put in my body. Therefore when I heard from Fit Approach that Manitoba Harvest was looking for some folks to try out their hemp protein powder, I jumped at the opportunity.

Oh, do go on!

Oh, do go on!

I’m a morning gym goer, so my need/want for protein powder is usually in the form of smoothies. Prior to this, I solely went on taste. I tried a few protein powders that were… well, in a word, TERRIBLE. Chalky, powdery, strong-flavored (and NOT in a good way).

I finally found a protein powder that was right up my alley and it’s worked well for me but I’m always interested in trying new things, especially when they are better for me! Plant based protein with four ingredients? I’m down!

Since I was trying new things, I decided to try a couple of new smoothie recipes from the Manitoba Harvest website. I was sent two packets of Hemp Pro 70: chocolate and vanilla.

Now, before I continue, let me say that I’m definitely more of a vanilla fan than a chocolate when it comes to protein powder. That being said, I figured that I would start with the chocolate to give it a fair shot and not let any previous biases cloud my judgement.

The recipes on the website call for one serving of the protein powder but since I was given a half serving in the sample, the recipes below are adjusted accordingly. If you click through to their site, you can see the recipes.

Okay, chocolate, get your game face on!

Okay, chocolate, get your game face on!

Berry-Choco Smoothie

  • 3/4 cup organic blueberries
  • .5 Manitoba Harvest organic hemp protein powder chocolate
  • 1/2 chocolate almond milk (I used original unsweetened almond milk, as I didn’t have chocolate almond milk. I also upped it to a cup because it was too thick to drink.)

Combine in a blender and serve!


My thoughts? Well, sadly, I am still not a huge chocolate protein powder fan. I’m not sure if it’s the recipe (although I do love blueberries) or what I didn’t exactly adore about this smoothie, but I wasn’t crazy about it. The Manitoba Harvest folks suggest that their hemp products have a nutty taste but I felt like it was more earth-y.

Gemma was definitely begging for some but no can do, pup; no chocolate for dogs!

However, with the knowledge that I usually favor the flavor of vanilla protein powder, I was looking forward to powering on the following day.

Into the blender you go!

Into the blender you go!

Vanilla Berry Banana Shake

  • 1/2 cup organic strawberries
  • 1/2 organic banana
  • .5 serving of Manitoba Harvest organic hemp protein vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of organic vanilla almond milk (Again, I used original unsweetened almond milk. And again, I upped the amount to a cup.)
  • 1/4 cup of ice (which basically equals a cube)

Combine and blend ingredients in blender. Serve. Enjoy!

Hello, my pretty!

Hello, my pretty!

Now THIS? This was total and complete love at first taste. And second. And third. Sometimes I save smoothies to share with my husband but not this time. (Too bad, so sad, Dude!) (Don’t fret – Gemma got the other half of the banana.)

Additionally, what’s pretty rad about this protein is that it’s water soluble. So you can throw it into water, almond milk, milk milk (if you’re an animal product type), coconut water and bam – it’s ready to go. Sign me up for a big canister of vanilla!

If you’d like to give the Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 products a whirl, here’s a coupon code! You can get 20% off the #pro70 vanilla and chocolate flavors with the code: sweatpinkpro70

Or, you can try your hand at winning a case of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 – share a picture on Instagram or Twitter showing your hemp love! Make sure you tag @manitobaharvest and hashtag #pro70 so that they see what’cha got! Contest ends 9/30.

Talk to me about smoothies, because I love them so. Any suggestions for chocolate protein powder recipes that I can try? (I really like the chocolate and peanut butter combo.) How about vanilla? Have you ever tried Hemp Pro 70?

Fit Approach and Manitoba Harvest provided the me with the opportunity to taste and review. All opinions are my own.

What Do You Put On Your Race-Day Face?

When I was a four years old, my aunt let me play with her make-up. Shimmery pink blush, purple eye shadow, frosted fuschia on the lips and voila- I was beautiful. My mom wasn’t happy about it, but after that, it became a ritual. Every time I visited my aunt, I headed straight for her vanity. My experimenting continued as I got older; in high school, my friends and I would drive to the best mall in our city and head straight for the make-up counter at Saks. In college, my friends would “schedule” appointments with me for make-up before sorority functions. I still love make-up. I love to wear it. I love to play with it. I have fun trying different products and colors (I wore a bright fuschia lip recently, much to my husband’s dismay. He prefers my “natural” look). I could spend an hour in Sephora and then head across the street to Ulta. (Sorry, husband.)

Fun make-up for a super cool concert we saw a few weeks ago. Alright, it was Kidz Bop. Le sigh.

Fun make-up for a super cool concert we saw a few weeks ago. Alright, it was Kidz Bop. Le sigh.

Earlier this month, I went for a run at 3pm. That morning, I applied some light make-up, and neglected to scrub it off before heading outside to exercise. Well, within five minutes, my tinted moisturizer and mascara were stinging my eyes! Ouch. I sweat a lot when I run, and get pretty flushed, so there’s really no need for make-up. If it didn’t melt off of my face (or into my eyes), one wouldn’t be able to see it post-race anyway. I wondered if my friends wore make-up during their races, especially my girly-gals, so I decided it was time for some chick chat.


I don’t think I ever realized that people wore makeup for races until I was getting ready for last year’s Color Me Rad with my friend Heather and she was doing her eyes. And honestly, I was shocked. It had never occurred to me to put makeup on for a race. Even once I knew that this was a thing people do, I didn’t. Most of the time, I’m all ‘I’m a girl! I like pink! I like sparkle! I like pretty!’. But on race day, in addition to being a nervous wreck, I’m all ‘I’m about to go get truly gross and stinky and sweaty. You can keep your eyeshadow, thanks.’ The most you’ll see me rocking on race day is tinted moisturizer. And I promise you, that’s pushing it.


I wear waterproof mascara occasionally. But usually I’m just al natural.


I rarely go out into the world without makeup. The first 8 weeks of Bug’s life were an exception, mainly because I barely knew my own name! I don’t always view makeup as a necessity, but I love how it makes me feel (yes, and look) and I really try to wear makeup with good-for-me ingredients so I’m not gunking up my skin. 

A small fraction of Jess's make-up stash.

A small fraction of Jess’s make-up stash.

At any rate, I do almost always wear makeup on race day. I have to be camera-ready, even if I end up sweating the majority of it off! Typically, I wear a lightweight powder foundation with SPF to get my sun protection on, a coat of waterproof mascara, and a little bit of blush or bronzer to keep me from looking too pale. Finally, I swipe on some lip balm and I’m good to go! 


Nope. None, except for Chapstick. I used to skip it occasionally until my lip started to crack and bleed during the AC April Fool’s Half Marathon. Otherwise, au naturale for this gal. Though I will do my hair sometimes, only to have it immediately frizz up once I start running. Good times, good times.

Fresh-faced Brooke and Meri before the Rothman Institute 8k.

Fresh-faced Brooke and Meri before the Rothman Institute 8k.


If I remember to apply eyeliner before I grab my homebrewed coffee and leave for work, I consider my morning routine a success. I am a eyeliner and chapstick girl. I wear little and figure that my glasses hide most of what I don’t want people to see. (Please don’t tell me if I am wrong here, I really don’t want to know if the glasses are actually high-lighting wrinkles and dark circles.)

I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear I run without any makeup on. And races? Forgetaboutit. I’m lucky if I can get out the door with everything I need. I have a few friends who style their hair and apply makeup before sporting competitions. Hair? Hell yes, I am guilty as I love sporting pigtails.

A few years back, when I rowed in an 8-woman boat at the Head of the Charles regatta in Boston, I came across some other masters’ women wearing makeup. The killer? The group applied next to the portajohns, which no longer housed any toilet paper. (Free tip for HOTC-goers – bring LOTS tissue packs. It will save you.)

But those ladies? They were far more concerned about looking great and putting their faces on pre-race and taking some pictures. Me – I’ll stretch, check my footstretchers and use those tissues for a last-minute toilet stop.

Do you wear make-up for a race? Let us know in the comments! 

Pink Sweat

I am such a girly girl. I love sparkle and shoes and bags and makeup. And I love PINK. Anything Pink. The first time I saw the #sweatpink hashtag over on Twitter, I thought ‘well, that sounds AMAZING.’

So now, I am delighted to tell you that the Scoot A Doot Chicks have been asked to be Sweat Pink Ambassadors. How cool is that?

Does this mean when we go bust our tails running or working out, our sweat is actually pink?

Sadly, no.

What it does mean is that the fine folks over at Fit Approach think we are a great representation of what it means to ‘sweat pink.’

On their Become a Sweat Pink Ambassador page, they ask the following questions:

Do you have a passion for inspiring others on their journeys to health? Do you believe that strong is the new skinny, pink is the new black, and that a positive attitude and whole foods are a healthier route to happiness than self-loathing and 100-calorie snack packs?

Yes. Yes! And YES!!

And this is their mission.

We believe that kicking ass is best done in pretty shoes. We’ve learned that real women sweat, and sweat hard. We know that assertiveness, strength, and ambition are the ultimate feminine qualities. We concede that sometimes it takes hours to get ready, but we’re also no strangers to just rolling out of bed and going. We’re convinced that we run faster in pink shoelaces. We believe in pushing ourselves, and we believe in giving ourselves a break, too. We’re all about the rush of endorphins and the thrill of the challenge. We’re all for looking great and feeling even better. We’re committed to finding our best fit, and making it stick.

Totally rockin’.

I think it's clear which color station Bec liked best at last year's Color Me Rad.

I think it’s clear which color station Bec liked best at last year’s Color Me Rad.

And we’re tickled pink (insert cymbal crash) that they asked us to be part of their Ambassador crew, because all those things? That is what we’re about. Our resounding YES was a total no brainer.

This isn’t about being the strongest athlete in the world. It’s about being the kind of athlete each of us is, and pushing ourselves to be better.

This isn’t about being in the best shape. It’s about the journey we’re all taking to be in the best shape we can be.

This isn’t about being perfect when it comes to diet and exercise. It’s about being tireless in the pursuit of our own personal health and fitness goals.

And now, it’s about kicking butt in shoes laces up with pink shoelaces. (And for me, it’s about adding being able to fit into a Sweat Pink tank to my fitness bucket list… SO CUTE).

Sweaty in Pink!

Bec, sweaty in Pink!

So, our sincerest thanks to Fit Approach for selecting us to be ambassadors for your awesome mission. We think your fab, and we give you our biggest, sweatiest, PINKEST hugs of gratitude.