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Hi, I'm Whitney! I am a middle of the pack runner who discovered the fun of triathlons in 2009. Join me in my adventures in life and training. I run with the Rush Running team and enjoy the fun that comes with such a supportive group of friends who understand what running means to me. I'm newly discovering road biking and the fun that it entails.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Healthy Breakfast Options and Giveaway

**Disclosure - I received product samples from Shirley J to complete this review.  All opinions are my own based on my experience cooking with the samples provided.  

I was really excited last month to hear from a company that I hadn't heard of before called Shirley J.  Shirley J is a baking and cooking products company that is all about making everyday cooking easy and simple. They have been around for 30 years and are most known for a product called Whisk Bliss, a universal cooking base to make quick, creamy soups, sauces, etc.   The timing was perfect when I first heard about them...I was about to embark on a healthier eating plan and having a healthy hearty breakfast was a key part of my eating makeover.  I needed to incorporate a breakfast that would keep me from getting the snack cravings by 9AM that would send me to the snack shack for unhealthy options.

Enter the Shirley J Timeless Grains Cereal - Cranberry Almond.  Below is the product description from the Shirley J website.
With 18 natural grains, nuts and fruit we've given you the perfect combination for better health, higher performance and quicker recovery in our all-natural cereal. 32 oz. Ingredients: Oats, barley flakes, cranberries, rye flakes, organic evaporated can juice, almonds, long grain rice, yellow corn flour, wheat, amaranth, millet, flaxseed, buckwheat, organic quinoa, spelt, cinnamon, sesame seeds and sea salt.

The cereal sounded perfect to incorporate in my healthier eating plan.  I enjoyed looking around the website and discovering some new recipe ideas for other ways to prepare the cereal instead of just as a hot, oatmeal. Anything with cookie in the title for breakfast appeals to my sweet tooth!  The site is really helpful so you can search for recipes by product or by meal type.  So convenient to select the product you have and see several recipe options for you to try.

For my first recipe to try, I prepared a full recipe of the hot cereal by combining 1 C cereal mix with 3 C water.  It took about 15 minutes to cook on the stove top and was super easy.  I just made sure to stir every once in a while to prevent any spots from sticking to the pan.  Then I portioned out the cereal into 3 reusable containers so that I had 3 breakfasts ready to take to work.  Each morning as I packed my lunch bag for the day, I included some chopped fresh apple to add to the hot cereal.  It was easy to reheat each container for about 1 minute in the office break room and then when I got back to my desk I added the fresh cut apple.  Any fruit would do to add in and truthfully the cereal was just as good without it.
Hearty hot cereal got my brain fired up for a full day of work! 

I also tried the breakfast cookie recipe.  I think if I made this one again I would reduce the peanut butter because that taste simply overpowered the other flavors in the cookie.  I might just increase the apple sauce to still get a moist cookie but with a better blend of flavors.
Ready for the oven...each cookie had cranberries in it! 

I also got a chance to try the Shirley J Mugging line, which are baking products meant to be prepared in the microwave in single serving sizes.  I tried the Quiche mix but didn't have any fresh mix-ins to add to my mix.  I think next time I would incorporate some of the mix in suggestions on the box to get more flavor and a more filling breakfast option.  Some fresh ham or even veggies would have been a great addition...I'm not a very good grocery shopper since I don't always plan out meals in advance.  Something I need to work on!

I haven't had a chance to try out the Mugging Chocolate Brownie Cake yet...part of my healthy eating restructure the last few weeks has been to reduce extra sugary foods in my eating habits.  The photos of the cake look awesome so I'm looking forward to trying it as an evening treat once I start incorporating small doses of sugar back into my diet.

Now is your chance to try out some of these yummy Shirley J products.  I'm running a Rafflecopter giveaway to try out some of the same products that I tested.  Please enter below!  The contest will run through 8/14 and I will announce a winner on the blog.  You can earn entries multiple ways and some allow you to earn entries each day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I take Fage Greek Yogurt and a Banana almost everyday for breakfast.

  2. I send a banana and peanut butter on whole grain bread to work with my hubby when he can't eat at home.

  3. I usually pre-make some oatmeal with fruit, nuts and honey.

  4. I usually take yogurt and a granola bar!

  5. I take a banana and cereal