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.

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.

Back to reality after #birdcamp

You may already know I spent last week on the west coast – first in California visiting a few wonderful friends – then in Oregon for Oiselle team camp.

I had planned to create a big, long post for today sharing photos of my adventures, but I ran out of time — so instead you’ll get a few fun pics and a teaser. You’ll get the full post next week – or you can check out my work blog post.

ccBeachcombing at crystal cove in the OC

cc2Celebrating life with two of my loves – Linz and Kelly

camp18at Mt. Hood with Kelly!

camps6One of my fave pics from #birdcamp, hiking with the pros (Lauren and Kate)

camp4LOTS of birds before a 5k race

Catching up:

You may recall that last week Bec asked me to take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Welp – I did it Monday with a few colleagues. Click HERE to watch the video:

iceFrom left, Neeti, Sarah and I get doused

And speaking of work:

In January – just before my last trip west – I was interviewed on a local murder case for the true crime show Snapped, which airs weekly on the Oxygen channel.

You may recall Rose Chase, an Ontario County woman convicted of killing her husband in 2012, hiding, then dismembering and burning his body and lying about his whereabouts for six months.

rose chase 2Rose Chase at her sentencing in January; Photo by Tina MacIntyre-Yee of the Democrat and Chronicle

Long story short – her story will be on Snapped Sunday night. And I’ll be on it. Check out the promo video HERE:

Tell me about your fave spot on the west coast. Have you done the Ice Bucket Challenge? Do you watch true crime shows like Snapped?