Meet Amanda Caldwell: My Foodie Pen Pal

An introduction from Sarathlete: This is a guest blog written by Amanda Caldwell who was my foodie pen pal. This is her blog post on the box she received from me!

“Hello world! My name is Amanda Caldwell. I am a wife, mother, pharmacist, and first-time foodie penpal!

Being the first-time foodie penpal that I am, I got so excited about the box on my front porch that I immediately ripped into it and forgot to take any pictures! Here’s a retrospective account of the delicious goodies I found in my box:

I told my penpal Sarathlete that I had a huge sweet tooth. Let’s just say I underestimated a little. More like a wooly mammoth sized sweet tooth.

I have for your consideration, Exhibit A:

I cannot be trusted with Oreos in my presence. But it wasn’t just me, I swear. Hubby, baby, and the neighbors all joined in on this action. Estimated lifespan of a package of Oreos in the Caldwell residence: about 2 hours.

Exhibit B would be a picture of Reese’s peanut butter cups, but they too suffered a tragically short life.

Even my otherwise healthy breakfasts have to be topped with a little somethin’ sweet.

Exhibit C

Overnight oats made with 1/3 cup quick oats, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup plain yogurt, a dollop of peanut butter, and a generous spoonful of delicious apple butter!

I’ve never been a fan of the salty/sweet combination, so I saved the popcorn for another night. So cool to learn that Orville Reddenbacher is made in Indiana!

My penpal also challenged me to guess which item was vegan-friendly. I’m going to go with the apple butter. Hope that’s right!

Thanks again, Sarathlete, for making my first time memorable!”

Thank you as well Amanda for making my first time with this experience memborable as well.

As Amanda said, I challenged her to pick which item was vegan: Reese’s peanut butter cups, Oreos, Apple Butter with Honey or pound cake (which is not mentioned in the blog because her husband ate it on his way to Indiana)! Anyways, the guess was incorrect but very close. The Oreos are vegan. The apple butter would be vegan if it had no honey in it. Good guess though Amanda!

If you want more information on this program please check out my post A Foodie Pen Pal Experience for more information on how to sign up. This is a fantastic way to connect with people you’ve never met all over the USA. I highly recommend it!

Sara Sawochka


My August Foodie Pen Pal: Danielle Prestejohn!

This month Danielle Prestejohn had the privilege of having me as her foodie pen pal. She contacted me promptly and requested my address, any dietary restrictions and also anything else I might like!

For more information on Danielle’s blog, please check out Clean Food Creative Fitness.

This blog is loaded with pictures of food and a note from my foodie pen pal’s box that she sent me!

Read my blog post on A Foodie Pen Pal Experience to find out more about the program.

Here is the shiny shoe box filled with lots of goodies. Can you just feel the anticipation???

Here is a photo of the inside of the box when I opened it. Lots of goodies and a note which is one of the requirements of foodie pen pal program. And yes those are my unpolished toes in the picture too!

Next we have a picture of the note Danielle wrote me! We have to include food and one written item in the box. Here is her note to me:

Next are the contents laid out in the box of everything in the box. Check out the captions below the pictures for my comments on each product.

I’m not a fan of black licorice so I gave this to Pete and he absolutely loved it!

This turned out to be a life saver when Pete had his cycling crash. I rode home and made this mixed with 2 bananas and unsweetened almond milk. It was nutrition for Pete and I on our way to the ER after our 18 mile bike ride which ended in a broken clavicle bone.

These are spicy and make your lips tingle but are really good!

These sun-dried tomatoes were awesome. I put them on my boring hummus and sprout sandwich on Ezekiel bread and they really jazzed it up and gave it some flavor. I will be purchasing more sun-dried tomatoes in the future for sure.

This turned out to be a great post-workout drink. It tastes so good too in water! It gives it some flavor. However, if you don’t workout much I don’t recommend products like this. Eating your normal diet is fine if you don’t do much working out. There’s no need to add extra calories to your diet if you’re not going to burn them off.
I noticed I did not have as much muscle soreness the next day. I love Vega because it’s all about raw nutrition too which is very important to me since I believe my body absorbs more enzymes from raw foods.

Ok I know this is baby food and I don’t have a baby but this proved to be a good snack! It’s organic which is what I would want to feed my child in the future. I was hungry after a workout one day so I ate this as a post-workout snack. It’s just sweet potatoes and apricots. It was loaded with vitamins and ready to go. It was like eating a gel or GU. It was pretty good, low in calories and held me over until after church was over until I could get to Panera for lunch!

I haven’t tried these yet but I’m going to take them with me and have them as a post-workout snack. We’ll see how they taste. They look good and mangoes rock!

This is a pre-workout energy mix. I have to admit I didn’t feel energized. However, I don’t know that it’s a fair assessment because I had sat through Pete’s surgery and driven him back home that day. I will say that a for a pre-workout snack it tasted good mixed with water. And I never felt low on energy on my workout. Maybe that’s how I’m supposed to feel! It wasn’t heavy on my stomach at all which I really appreciated.

Danielle sent me vitamins. I admit I do not take vitamins regularly. I believe a person should be able to get their vitamins from food alone. I’m not a fan of processed vitamins. Since it was part of the program I did take them. I probably won’t buy any in the future.

I used this coconut milk in my morning smoothie! Coconut milk is a great alternative to any kind of dairy milk.

Lara bars are really good. They use very simple ingredients and taste delicious too. These are usually what I use as my pre-workout snack. They digest quickly and have some carbs for some extra kick.

I saved my absolute favorite for last. I love chocolate. When Pete took me to the winery for my birthday we took this chocolate with us and had some with our wine. It was delicious. I’m sorry to report it’s also all gone!

It was like Danielle had read my blog, knew what I liked and sent it to me. She did a fantastic job sending food to someone she’s never met. I loved everything except the licorice which went to a good home. Everything Danielle was vegan. Props to Danielle on that!

I highly recommend this project. Thank you so much for everything Danielle. Your efforts are much appreciated!

Sara Sawochka