It’s all about the food…

Lately I’ve seen an uptick in Instagram followers and I thought I’d take some time to introduce a little bit about myself.

First and foremost, I post in a series of 3. I’m not sure where this wild idea came from, but at the very least makes my instagram profile look interesting. Every 15 (or so) posts are dedicated to running and something running related. I follow this (typically) with 3 posts of meals from the week I just HAVE to share.

Instagram Feed

Instagram is a weird place, and trying to judge what people may or may not like will certainly drive you insane. My running posts get a pretty good response; my food posts not so much. However, fitness starts in the kitchen with Real, Unprocessed, and Whole Foods. And since I love food, I’m always going to post my favorite meals regardless of likes.

One thing I have noticed is that if you make things interactive, people will like and comment on your posts. Which brings me here today, enough rambling, here’s the food.

Buffalo Chicken Chili

This chili was outta this world amazing and sadly was devoured at dinner time, which means no leftovers for me.

Get the complete details HERE.

Avocado Chickpea Pizza

You’ll notice I (and Beyond24Days) post very heavy on the vegetarian/vegan recipes. We like to consider ourselves flexitarian if that’s a thing: most meals are plant-based (around 85-95%) with a peppering of foods that include animal proteins (around 5–15%).

With that in mind, we like the plant-based meals that are dense and packed full of flavor and deliciousness. That’s why this pizza only lasted a few minutes before everyone grabbed a slice (and more).

Get the complete recipe HERE.

That’s it, I know it’s a little light this week, but I’ve been running in the morning and in the evenings so food tends to disappear fast! If you’d like to keep up with all our food adventures, consider following Beyond24Days on Instagram and on our Blog!

Product Review: MetCon START Pre-Training

Disclaimer: I received MetCon Start to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

Some Perspective

I feel like I need to “set the stage” if you will to give you a glimpse of my current mindset and also how MetCon START has really helped me re-develop my running routine.

The pandemic has been weird. Like most people, I found myself unemployed and on a forced 50+ day vacation from employment. I’ll admit, while stressful, the time off was actually a bit of a blessing in disguise. I was given an opportunity to “reset” so to speak and get my head right.

Over the break I ran based on how and when I wanted. It was beautiful and intuitive, I ran without much thought or stress and it became a daily habit everyday around 8 or 9AM.

Fast forward to present-day; I’m back to being employed (and feeling so so grateful) and also oddly enough finding myself wondering when I’m going to find time to run.

Which brings me to the point of this review.

MetCon START, to Start the Day!

Now gainfully employed I have three options when it comes to running. One, run in the morning; Two, run at lunch; Three, run in the evening.

The most painful of these (because I enjoy sleep) is getting up early to run. So naturally I’m left to run over my lunch or in the evening.

It’s July and that means Pennsylvania is swelling with heat and humidity. So those lunch runs I love- well, not so much unless I want to shower three times in a single day. So that means evening runs will have to suffice, right? Wrong. The evening is when the day is at its peak heat, so if I thought running over lunch was too hot, I guess running in the evening is off the table too.

Morning runs it is! Insert groans here.

Actually, it’s not that bad and MetCon START has made the process a little more “user friendly”. Just one (1) scoop 15 mins before my run, and I’m good to go!

My Routine…

User preferences will vary, but on days where I run in the mornings I get up, get dressed and immediately consume around 12-16 oz of water mixed with one (1) scoop of MetCon START.

I typically chase START with a bottle of water to just prepare my body with fluids, since I’ll most likely sweat out most of it. And that’s it. Sounds too easy… right?

My Thoughts

I’ve been using MetCon START for two weeks now. One container has approximately 30 servings which means just enough for a month’s supply.

When I started using the pre-training mix I avoided consuming any other caffeinated drinks in the morning. MetCon states that START has the equivalent boost of two (2) servings of your typically coffee beverage. I’m not one to have any sensitivity toward caffeine, but to be safe I would try to limit my intake of any supplemental caffeine in the mornings.

4:30AM wake-up calls for a little boost!

START has a nice subtitle boost of energy that I have found was sufficient to sustain my needs for my morning 3 mile run. Unlike other brands I have tried, START has a gradual release of energy, versus an all-at-once hit. I prefer the gradual release and absorption, again it’s not a huge pump like other brands.

The taste is fairly mild, and has a citrus finish. It’s not harsh on the tongue or back of the throat, START mixes easily and goes down without fuss. I have hastily consumed START on occasion (waking up late but still wanting to get in the miles) and can happily report no stomach issues or cramps.

Overall Opinion

At $49.99 and roughly 30 servings, I feel the price isn’t horrible. Along those lines, I feel like when it comes to energy mixes, you get what you pay for, and MetCon is at the higher end of quality and performance.

** Speaking of price, you can Save 20% off your purchase by using discount code BIBRAVE at checkout! **

The mixture blends well and goes down easily, no clumps or gross flavor profiles. I’ve consumed this on the go with no GI issues and enjoy the gradual release of energy.

I have found on longer runs (in the heat and humidity of Pennsylvania) around 5 miles I start to see my energy fade and need an additional boost.

On the weekends, I’m typically up a little later in the day (around 7:30AM) and consume additional caffeine (coffee) in the mornings before mixes up START and heading out. I have found consuming coffee in addition to START has not had any negative affects, but it’s not something I would do daily.

For what it’s worth, I’ve used and enjoyed START and will continue to kick off my days with a little scoop to help give me that “boost” I need!

Pete’s Scratch Pancakes: A Love Story

The best pancakes you’ll ever eat.

Pancakes. A history.

I’m not sure what time of the year it is, but I recall the warmth of the morning sun beaming into our small kitchen. The room just felt inviting, cozy, and safe. I don’t recall what is being said or if there is music playing, it’s all background noise anyway. All I know is there is an aroma in the air of something sweet.

To my delight, a plate of pancakes awaits me, covered in rich syrup. Although, the pancakes are delicious enough without it, the cake is light and fluffy. There is a sweet yet slightly salty taste to the pancake, as it melts into mouth. I’m in love.

Pancakes have always been a part of my life. I recall fond childhood memories of Mom grilling up little “baby” pancakes for me, barely the size of a quarter dollar (feel like I’m showing my age). When’s the last time you’ve seen a quarter dollar?!

Anyway, the long and short of it is, I freakin’ love pancakes. The emotional, sentimental, and family connection is unbreakable: the very definition of comfort food. When I eat pancakes, an imaginary blanket is wrapped around me and my memory is flooded with Saturday morning cartoons, blanket forts, and a happy and carefree youth.

For years the box mixes haven’t been cutting it, the pancakes are too thin, the batter doesn’t taste like my childhood. So I ventured off to find the best homemade recipe I could find to mimic that classic comfort food I adore.

Enter Pete‘s Scratch Pancakes

An internet search for “the best homemade pancakes” yielded many results. All failures. I must have went through several batches before the angels in heaven brought forth: Pete’s Scratch Pancakes.

This recipe is simple, easy to make, easy to tweak, and downright delicious. I’ve committed the ingredients to memory, and have included some of my own that have turned these already awesome flapjacks into something legendary.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs (beaten separately)
  • 1/4 cup of butter (melted)
  • 1 3/4 milk (we use almond milk)
  • 1 orange (for as much zest as one can yield)

Mix your dry ingredients, then add your wet ingredients, saving the orange zest for last. The zest is my specially added ingredient that takes these pancakes to the next level! The orange zest gives it a little zing and is like a secret treat for your taste buds.

*For an additional sweet treat, include semi-sweet chocolate chips!*

Serve with a syrup of your choosing (ours is all natural Maple Syrup). You’ll devour as many pancakes as you can, they are that good.

Sorry Puppers, no leftovers this time.

Video Collaboration!

It’s been a fun quarantine, and being ordered to stay at home with my besties is even better. This lockdown has brought our family closer and has provided us all an opportunity to “stop and smell the roses” if you will.

In our downtime, me and the lovely Mrs have joined creative forces and have produced this short video. No talking, just sounds of my beautiful wife in our country kitchen making a delicious meal for our family.

 

Quaratine Life: Food Edition

There’s a lot going on in our house since the beginning of the stay at home orders issued for the State of Pennsylvania. Although, my lack of posts may convince you otherwise.

I guess you could say the quarantine life has taken some time getting used to, and if you’re like me (always on the “go”) it can be hard to develop a rhythm from scratch. When your normal routine is no longer “normal”, you gain a new perspective on life. I have exhausted my thoughts about the new normal in my life and going forward how I’m seeing things from an all new perspective.

All this new quality time has reinvigorated our love for food. That’s why I’m super stoked to share some awesome meals from the past week!

Grass-fed Beef Samosas

We’ve dabbled in the fine arts of Samosa-making in the past, so when we found an old recipe for beef samosas, we jumped at the chance to make them again.

Korean Turkey Bowls

Since most of the takeout and delivery places are out of our area, and we’re trying to reduce our exposure, we’ve been finding new inspiration to make takeout meals at home! Introducing this amazing recipe we found for Korean Turkey Bowls!

Butter Lentils and Potatoes

Craving some serious Indian food lately, and since we have a ton of homemade chapati dough ready to go, we thought this recipe for Butter Lentil and Potatoes was a fitting match!

Now, I know what you’re thinking and the answer is: No, I’m not a culinary genius. I leave the cooking and recipe sourcing to my amazing wife and she does a great job keeping our family fed! Be sure to follow along our food jounrey on Pinterest and our Website!

Product Review: Built Bar!

Disclaimer: I received Built Bars to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

My General Experience with Protein Bars

When it comes to protein bars I’d like to think I’ve had them all, and my general opinion is that they are all horrible. Most of the protein bars on the market have a sharp chemical flavor and often leave a weird waxy film in your mouth. So when BibRave announced they were partnering with the best tasting protein bars on the market, I knew I had to give them a chance.

Catch my unboxing video here!

Built Bar, unlike any other

Built Bars are unlike any protein bar I’ve ever had, and hands down will be by “go-to” from now on. So, why the hype? Let’s break it down into two delicious pieces why Built Bar are my preferred snack.

First. Built Bars come in a variety of flavors, and as we all know, variety is the spice of life! When it comes to flavor pairings, Built Bar has it nailed down. I was floored by the richness of flavor in each bite, and best of all, no harsh chemical taste!

**PRO TIP: Toss a few Built Bars into the fridge, for a perfectly cool treat!**

Second. Built Bars are a convenient way to intake protein after a workout, or the perfect snack to hold you over between meals. I love slipping a protein bar into my lunch for a nice and delicious afternoon snack! Or on evenings when I have to get my son to Scouts, or have an engagement or meeting to attend, you can bet I have a Built Bar stashed in my bag to get me through. Most protein bars leave a funky taste in your mouth, or have some weird waxy finish, not Built Bars! The texture of a Built Bar is similar to a thick marshmallow coated in chocolate… I’m telling you, these are different than any other bar I’ve tasted and super awesome!

BibRave Fans

Okay, you’ve heard me gush, now’s your turn! Want to save 20% off your Built Bar order? Use discount code BUILTNOW to save big!

Product Review: FBOMB Macadamia Nut Butters

Disclaimer: I received FBOMB Macadamia Nut Butters to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

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When snack time comes around, I can think of no better quick bite than ripping open a pack of FBOMB nut butter and enjoying the amazing powerful taste of NATURAL ENERGY!

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Product Giveaway! Science in Sport Gels

Disclaimer: I received SiS isotonic gels to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

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When it comes to fueling while on the run there are many available options, there are Gels, Chews, Jelly Beans, Drinks, Gum, the list goes on. How do you know which ones to consume? Will they help or hurt your performance?

Stick with me through this article and you’ll have a chance to win some Science in Sport Isotonic Gels!

Choosing the right fuel to suit your needs can be a gamble, and that’s why many suggest not to try anything new the day of a race. I’ve heard horror stories from friends who took Gels or Chews for the first time during a race and rather than getting the boost they needed, ended up with stomach pains and cramps so bad they had to *gasp* walk!

Where to begin?

With the many available options out there, you’re probably wondering how you can choose the right fuel. In fact, most of my experience with fueling has been achieved by trial and error until I’ve found the perfect match. But, that takes time (and money), so let me save you some hassle.

Science in Sport Isotonic Gels

I’ve had the best experiences with Gels, they are a quick and easy energy source that can be consumed on the move and can provide that boost of energy you need to help you go the distance. Energy Chews and Jelly Beans are ok when you have a moment to actually stop and eat, but when it comes to on-the-go fuel, Gels are at the top of my list.

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When I received my samples to test I noticed these claimed to not give you an upset stomach, a very common side effect from Gels when taken for the first time. So naturally, I decided to consume some of these Gels on an empty stomach right before a long run.

To my surprise, I was able to run cramp and stomach pain-free!

Now’s your chance!

I’m really enjoying these sport gels, and if you follow me on Instagram [@KenStandsonThings] I’ve teamed up with Science in Sport to give away two (2) boxes FREE! Head over to my [post] on Instagram, show me some love and tag a friend! Each winner will receive a box of Gels!

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BibRave Fans! Save 25% on your next order using the Discount Code: TRYSIS25 at checkout available on Science in Sport’s website!

Superfood Bites pack Superfood Flavor!

“Disclaimer: I received Superfood Bites from Food Groove Mission to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

If you know me, you know how important nutrition is to me and how I strive to maintain a healthy consumption of whole and natural foods. I mean, the reason Beyond24Days was created was to show off our love of food… real food! I’m all about nonprocessed foods, that use whole, and natural ingredients with labels that are easy to read – basically, I want to know exactly what I’m eating.

Enter: Superfood Bites by Food Groove Mission

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All About Food

Hey, remember when I used to post up some of my favorite meals? Well, guess what? We’re back with this latest edition and of “All About Food”.

Sweet potatoes are loaded with awesome nutrients, and even better for you when you eat the skin! Topping the list this week is this hearty quinoa stuffed sweet potato!

Bonus bite: Add a little hot sauce to this potato and take the flavor to the next level.

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