Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How Do You Banza?

What? What is she talking about? She blogs about running and inspiration and her health and wellness journey...what is up with that for a blog title?

It has everything to do with running and inspiration and my health and wellness journey.

It all started in a humble kitchen in Detroit Michigan. Pasta was one of Brian's favorite foods. He always thought of it as a guilty pleasure as many of us do or as a necessity for fueling before a long run or race day.

Here is what inspired Brian to look for an alternative to pasta:
Pasta has a problem. It is one of the worst offenders when it comes to overeating. In fact, the average pasta portion size is nearly five times what it should be.

Pasta is the second worst offender on the list, only to be ousted by chocolate chip cookies.

At a time when two in three Americans are overweight, and large portion sizes are attributed as the leading cause, it's not unreasonable to look at pasta with skepticism.

...I know I did.

But pasta is one of my favorite foods. I kept thinking to myself, "How can I eat this stuff every day without feeling guilty about it?" Frustrated by a lack of options, I started making chickpea pasta in my kitchen in Detroit. At first it wasn't very good, but I knew I was onto something when I tricked my roommate into thinking it was regular pasta.

A selfie of Brian with his pasta:

A year ago, Brian shared this in an interview:

“I moved to Detroit through a program called Venture for America. VFA places recent college graduates in cities with negative job growth, with hopes that we will create jobs in those cities through entrepreneurship. I previously worked in a growth marketing role at a startup called Quikly in downtown Detroit. My goal has always been to start a company, mostly because I truly believe that there is no better way to create value.”

Even though I do not have an issue with gluten, I noticed that when I ate regular pasta, my joints would feel achy the next day. In fact, I stopped eating pasta and would fuel with chicken, salad, whole grain rolls and a smoothie made from a banana, organic coconut, milk, ice, organic cocoa, a tad of organic sugar and unsweetened baker's chocolate.

When my friend Lee Woodruff introduced me via email to her daughter Cathryn Woodruff (also a Boston College Eagle I might add) and asked me if I would be interested in trying Banza, I jumped at the opportunity!

Here is Cathryn at the Eastern Farmer's Market in Detroit selling Banza:

Within a week after exchanging emails this arrived on my doorstep:

We love to take advantage of every moment we can barbeque here in New England but on Sunday it was raining. A perfect time to sample our new pasta product.

I sauteed fresh mushrooms in olive oil and added in Trader Joe's Organic Marinara Pasta Sauce. We had a fresh salad made with organic veggies and sparkling water with organic lemon slices.

It tasted absolutely delicious!!

My husband Tom agreed that there was no way to tell the difference between Banza and regular pasta in terms of texture and taste and Banza tasted better than pasta. It was lighter in texture and taste and when I woke up Monday morning, rather than feeling that achy feeling I would feel after eating pasta, I felt energized.

Here's the 411 about Banza's nutritional facts:

One serving of Banza has double the protein as regular pasta. You're getting more protein than a protein bar in your pasta. Protein helps speed recovery after exercise, and will help keep you fuller for longer.

It's all about balance. Regular pasta is mostly carbohydrates. Because Banza has more protein and more fiber, it has nearly half the net carbs as regular pasta.

Banza has more than four times as much fiber as regular pasta per serving. Eight grams is more fiber than a bowl of bran cereal.

Banza is free from gluten, grain, and soy ingredients. No wheat or rice in this baby!

And speaking of rice pasta ... well actually I'd prefer not to ...

Banza is an all natural product. Not a single genetically modified ingredient in sight!

No animals were harmed in the making of Banza. In fact, they weren't even involved!

Chickpeas work hard to keep your blood sugar levels stable, which helps control your appetite. Thanks, Chickpeas!

I often joke that training for a marathon is like being pregnant. Your body goes through these incredible changes and you get cravings. I've been craving macaroni salad but as my husband so poignantly pointed out to me...it has no nutritional value especially if you get it in the store. Imagine how delighted I was to find a recipe for macaroni salad right on their website along with incredible recipes that tell us how to Banza! Fortunately a box of elbow macaroni was included in my shipment.

Join the movement from pasta to chickpea pasta -- high protein pasta with all the flavor, none of the guilt and none of the "side effects" of eating regular pasta!

Less than a year after Banza's humble beginnings in Brian's Detroit kitchen, Banza is in over 1300 stores and has helped create twenty five manufacturing jobs in their home state of Michigan. If they can maintain their momentum, it won't be long before everyone is eating Banza instead of pasta. How's that for inspiration?

Visit their website and order your Banza shipment today or buy it at your local store. Then be sure to share on social media #howdoyoubanza @eatbanza on Twitter and show their Facebook page some love!

I chronicle the first 7 years of my healing odyssey in "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility" and continue the journey in "Journey Well." These two inspirational books that will motivate you and move you to tears along with my books of inspirational poetry are available on Amazon.

No comments:

Post a Comment