Swaggable: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 Chocolate Protein Powder Review #FuelledByHemp

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I have been a fan of the Manitoba Harvest brand and on a few occasions tasted their hemp based products, just to always find a new food to enjoy and this one is no different. They then added chocolate to the mix, so they definitely were making sure we would love it just even more.

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The previous Hemp products were in their whole form, where the Hemp Pro 70 line is finely ground, so you can have more options when incorporating it with other super-foods or just enjoying it as it comes. The Hemp Pro 70 powder is plant based protein, which breaks down like this:

  • A 4 tablespoon serving is only 130 calories
  • 3.5 grams of total fat and only 0.5 is from Saturated and zero Trans fat.
  • Sodium is a modest 25 milligrams
  • The Carbohydrates breakdown to 11 grams per serving, two come from dietary fiber and 7 grams of sugar.
  • Iron breaks down to 21% of your daily value, which is usually based on a 2,000 caloric intake. If you are dieting and consuming less calories, then this would satisfy more of what you should have on a daily basis.
  • You get a nice boost of 14 grams of total protein in each serving, so imagine if you pair it with Greek or Swedish yogurt, which a good brand gives you more of the good stuff and less of the sweet stuff (i.e. sugars).

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You also can’t overlook the omega factors and that is not something you get in plain yogurt, so this is why I feel it pairs up so well with it.

  • Omega-3 you get 667 milligrams
  • Omega-6 you have a generous 2119 milligrams
  • Omega-9 gives you 412 milligrams

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The product’s ingredients are simple as it gets and the shortest list I have seen on any protein powder list: Hemp Protein concentrate, Organic Coconut sugar, Organic Fair Trade Cocoa powder and natural plant extracts.

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Taste Factor:
All because something has chocolate it does not mean it will be pleasant in taste but thankfully Manitoba Harvest hit it perfectly. No fake malt flavors or granule texture left behind when I made my “jungle mix” this morning. My jungle mix bowl was one banana, a mix of nuts like walnuts, Brazil nuts, peanuts, and almonds. I then have dried cranberries, Goji berries, a few tablespoons of ground Flax seed and a dash of sunflower seeds. I add a dollop of vanilla flavored Swedish yogurt and a drizzle of almond butter. Two tablespoons of the Hemp Pro 70 protein powder and I lightly toss it to incorporate it. It’s the type of breakfast that if it’s even Monday, I’m ready! You can adjust your serving by your needs so even if 4 tablespoons gives me the aforementioned nutrition, I added other ingredients, so that means I can stretch out my protein powder but also have other sources that make up for it. I get to start my morning with a good chocolate taste that is not just good in flavor for being in a protein mix, but it’s so good in taste that I don’t crave a latte or a candy/sweet thing later. Not even Mondays can beat you when you start your day like this!

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Connect with Manitoba Harvest and get your Hemp fix at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Swaggable and Manitoba Harvest.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Crazy for Luna Bars!

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We started on a little journey here with Clif Bar & Company. And as we already established, Clif Bars rock. But what about another line from Clif Bar & Company? Like their Luna Bar and Luna Protein lines? Do those rock too? I’m here to say a big and enthusiastic “Yup!”. These rock almost as hard, if not harder. Because chocolate. This is a choco house, as any regular reader knows. And adding chocolate turns almost everything up to 11. So let’s turn it up to 11 right now.

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Luna bars are the take anywhere for any meal plan bars that I have eaten and munched on for years. There are sooooooo many flavors to choose from, I challenge you to say you can’t find one you like. It just can’t be done. I’ll just blindly reach over into the heaping pile of yum Clif Bar sent me, and grab a random flavor as an example.

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Peanut Honey Pretzel. 9g of protein, 3g of fiber, vitamins A, B(1,2,3,6 and 12), C, D, and E, 70% organic, Core 4 essential nutrients (Calcium, iron, folic acid and vitamin D), it’s a perfect snack, quick meal on the go, of addition to any meal at any time of day. Oh, a day did I mention, these taste good too? Big chunks of fruit, whole nuts, whole grains, just a touch of IMAG1688-1sweet and sometimes chocolate. There’s nothing in these I don’t love. Even Hubby has snuck a few from time to time (Stop it, girly man. These are for US!). Usually he snakes the ones with peanut butter or some variation of that theme. Luna bars are also filled with ingredients that Clif has gone out of their way to source from non-GMO suppliers. Thanks for that, because I’m tired of Franken-food. Even this time year. (boo!)
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The fun didn’t stop there, though. Because there’s an offshoot of the Luna line. The Luna Protein bar. Packed with the same Core 4 nutrients, non-GMO sourced ingredients, and normal looking foods, there’s now 12g of protein in a smaller snack-sized bar. Grabbing again at the plethora of delicious Clif was so kind to send me yields me a Chocolate Cherry Almond bar. IMAG1689-1Coated in luscious chocolate, filled with dried cherries, whole almonds, whey protein, macadamia nut butter and organic vanilla extract, this bar is decadent. This 1.6 oz. bar only has 180 calories. But for those of us in a rush (and we established in my last post that we allIMAG1690-1 are, for better or worse), these bars are heaven sent. Fills you up without making you sluggish and has enough good stuff to keep you powering through to the next meal. Heap big win.

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Flavors? Psssh. There’s one for everyone. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Chocolate Peanut Butter. Lemon Vanilla. Chocolate Coconut Almond. Trust me, Luna’s got you covered.

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The long and the short of this is, skipping meals rarely does you any good. In our go, go, GO world, we need the fuel to keep our “get up and go” from having “got up and went”. A bag of chips won’t do it. An “energy drink” is just a seizure in a can. Candy bar? Do you really hate your body that much? Luna bars are an affordable and smart option. Throw it in your purse, pocket or bag. It fits. Not just it’s size. It fits your life.

 

 

Connect with Luna Bars!

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Clif Bar & Company And Luna Bars. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Clif Bars are Good, to Go!

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Every one is in a rush. I am. Hubby is. You are. It’s like we lost hours in the day somewhere. So when Clif Bar & Company offered to send me some products to test, I said “Yes, Please!”. As much as I love to cook and bake, when it’s this hot, a runnin’ oven is no bueno. Imagine my surprise when a box came loaded with treats from their Clif, Luna, AND Luna Protein bar lines! I did a little mental backflip of joy, because a physical one in this weather might just have killed me.

A small note, my bars were somewhat mushy and melty due to the extreme heat. This is in no way indicative of Clif’s Q.C. people. The weather is beyond everyone’s control and I’ve had enough Luna bars to know this is waaaaay outside of their norm.

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unnamedClif bars are an awesome way to fill your food hole on the run. And it seems we’re all on the run anymore in some form or fashion. The first thing to suffer, after sleep, is usually nutrition. We grab something at the market to nuke or **shudder** drive through somewhere. Yes, even I’m guilty of that. How nice is it, then, that Clif packs enough good stuff in their bars to keep you motorin’ until dinner. Plenty of carbs, fiber, and protein and just around 200-250 calories per 2-3 ounce bar. A, B, C, and E vitamins. Flax seeds, rolled oats, real fruits and nuts, almond butter, fig paste, sea salt. Hey, I can pronounce these! Nice. And organic, rainforest certified and non-gmo sourced, too. Not too shabby at around $1.50 (or less) per bar! The texture is great (and remember, these had been stuck in nasty California heat for DAYS), the flavors rock, and it fits in your pocket or purse. It fills you up without dragging you down, and that’s win-win in my book. Clif says they pride themselves on “kitchen made” bars, and you can see, feel, and taste the dedication to that in every bite.

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Speaking of flavors, holy monkey are there a lot of good ones here. Black Cherry Almond. Blueberry Crisp. White Chocolate Macadamia. Chocolate Brownie. Seasonal flavors like Spiced Pumpkin Pie and Iced Gingerbread. I could go on and on. There’s a flavor for everyone, and they all ROCK.

 

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If I had one knock, it’s that the protein is soy-based. A lot of folks, Hubby included, are sensitive, if not outright allergic, to soy proteins. I would love to see Clif bars come out with a whey protein line as well, but for the price, they are tough to beat. I’ve been known to stock up during 5 for $5 sales, and the only hard parts are getting into the stores early to get my favorites and limiting myself to 5 or 10 at a time. Plenty of energy and punch to get you through the day with these little bars! You could do a lot worse with a midday meal or snack. You probably have. I know I have. I guarantee you hubby has. Now there’s really no excuse. Grab some Clif bars. Do it now. Go ahead, I’ll wait. I promise not to start my Luna Bar review without you.

 

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Connect with Clif Bar & Company!

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Clif Bar & Company.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Siggi’s: Icelandic Style Skyr Strained Non-Fat Yogurt Tubes in Blueberry #Review

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I’ve been fortunate enough to get to try a whole host of yogurts, Greek style, European style, Australian style…the list goes on and on. Some have been great. Some, not so much. A few are now in my regular rotation. Siggi’s falls into that last category. You might not have heard of Siggi’s, but you really should make a point of finding yourself some.

Siggi’s is truly a different kind of yogurt. In fact, it called Icelandic Skyr, a protein-dense low sugar form of yogurt. Truthfully, they

My local Target carries the Siggi's Yogurt Tubes in Blueberry & Raspberry

My local Target carries the Siggi’s Yogurt Tubes in Blueberry & Strawberry

had me at “low sugar”. In the U.S.A., almost everything you can buy in the markets is salty or sweet. Overly so at that. Don’t believe me? Take a look at almost everything in the middle of the market. Sometimes I think the FDA has revamped the 4 major food groups as salt, sugar, corn and soy. So when Siggi’s skyr says it’s not too sweet, I jumped in with both feet. It’s got all the probiotics and active cultures of the best Greek-style yogurts, but the yogurt here is the star, not some syrup on the bottom or some packets of stuff in a sidecar either.

Here’s another bone to pick: the tubed yogurt marketed mostly to kids is loaded with sugar. It’s practically syrup itself . Yuck.

But not Siggi’s. The yogurt you get in the cups is almost identical to the yogurt in the tube! Nice. And while it’s not as thick as the cups, I’d assume to promote viscosity and ease of eating, it’s not some runny mess either. Finally, something you and the kids can share, and not have them hopped up on a sugar rush later! I’m in love with a tubed yogurt? I am, and I have no shame admitting it. It’s so good hubby made a tube or two a part of his morning breakfast routine.

I have tried only the blueberry tubes from Siggi’s so far, but I’m a big enough fan that I have plans to immediately go and get the other flavor as well.  You can also freeze them and have a healthy frozen yogurt treat!

This is a product unlike any on the market today in the U.S., and if you’re like me a day you’re fed up with all the sugar in everything, get some Siggi’s today. You’ll wonder how you ever ate yogurt any other way before.

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Connect with Siggi’s:

 

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Siggi’s.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Siggi’s: filmjölk Swedish-style drinkable yogurt Blueberry Quick Bread #Recipe

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This is a bread that uses very little sugar and delivers a wonderful texture derived from the combination of flours and the moisture from Siggi’s Filmjolk yogurt. At 0% fat with Siggi’s drinkable yogurt and the little amount of sweetener used, this is a great bread you can enjoy with less guilt!  I am able to enjoy it as a breakfast bread or even a dessert bread. Goes great with seasonal fruit and you can adjust this recipe easily by using any of Siggi’s yogurts. Very versatile and best of all…..very tasty!

Let’s get started……

Ingredients:

1 cup of Whole White Wheat Flour
1 1/2 cups of All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup of Almond Flour/Meal
1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1 1/2 cups of Siggi’s Blueberry Filmjolk or any flavor you desire

You have your choice when it comes to sweeteners in this recipe and the goal is just to use 1/2 cup to get there and I used:

1/4 cup of Dark Molasses
1/4 cup of Maple Syrup & Orange Blossom Honey

1/4 Unsweetened Dried Blueberries and make sure to plump them before adding by using hot water and waiting 20 minutes for them to re-hydrate. You can get creative and warm a fruit drink (i.e. blueberry juice) to hydrate them and I have used the microwave method where I add the blueberries to a bowl, add water and then microwave to warm.

1/2 cup of fresh Blueberries

Optional- Sprinkling the top with Turbinado Sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Start by re-hydrating your dried fruit and I went with blueberries but you can use whatever fruit or combination of fruits you desire.

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Grab a bowl and mix your flour with a whisk.

Then add the Salt and Baking Soda, and whisk again.

Measure out your Siggi’s Filmjolk and set aside.

Make 1/2 cup of any sweetener mix you desire.

Add the re-hydrated fruit to your dry mix and fold until well mixed.

Then take the wet ingredients (Siggi’s Filmjolk and the liquid sweeteners) and add them to your dry ingredients.

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Fold all ingredients making sure everything is well incorporated and mixed.  You want to make sure there is no dry mix lurking and everything is mixed nicely and wet.

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Grab a loaf pan, spray with non-stick cooking spray.

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Add the mixed batter to your pan and spread evenly.

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Take the 1/2 cup of fresh berries and start studding the top of the bread.

Then, you can sprinkle with sugar to create a nice flaky crust (crisp top) and also sweeten the fresh fruit.  I went with Turbinado sugar because I love the texture and how it makes a loaf just glisten!

Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.  My Blueberry loaf took 47 minutes and I did not need to cover the pan with foil at anytime but if yours starts to over brown, so ahead and cover loosely (tent) with foil.

 

The loaf is cooled for 20 minutes and I use a cake tester to loosen any stuck edges before flipping and allowing it to fully cool.

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I start slicing always after 1 hour or more of cooling to allow everything to rest and not lose any moisture.

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I served mine with more fresh Blueberries and a nice smothering of whipped topping.  The whipped topping was a cinch to make, just softened cream cheese, a little powdered sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream.  You just then let the mixer do the work until it’s nice and fluffy.  You want an airy topping, not very stiff peaks……just a cloud for the berries to float on when served.  Enjoy!

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I highly suggest using Siggi’s Filmjolk yogurt and you can get your Siggi’s fix at:

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Siggi’s.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

Siggi’s Icelandic-style Yogurt: Blueberry filmjölk Swedish-style drinkable yogurt #Review

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In my continuous effort to try every yogurt out there, I found Siggi. What is a Siggi’s yogurt? Well, I first was drawn in by their very clean and low-key look. Then I saw their motto of, ” simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar”, on the packaging. That is how I eat, cook, well practically live. Yes, I bake and often but I don’t enjoy very sugary or very salty foods. I like to taste the flavors nature provides in their simplicity. As I always do, I went over to Sprout’s market and got lost in the yogurt aisle. I even blocked some people while I reached as far as I could to get the blueberry bottle of Siggi’s Filmjolk. I was fortunate to have the company send me coupons because I wanted to feature them on my site after my husband and I shared just one cup of Siggi’s Blueberry yogurt. Yes, one cup is all it took for me to get on the “Siggi’s……oh, dear goodness I love you”, wagon! It’s not greek and it’s a texture and recipe that’s all it’s own. It’s rich but not super milky in taste, just creamy and whatever the flavor on the package shows, that is all you get with a touch of sweetness. That is all! Simple, good and now we always with a high tone say, “Seeeee-ggy”, when we reach for it. I do wonder what people think of us! 🙂

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I did not get a coupon for the Filmjolk but you know when you have tried something from a company and it surpassed all your expectations? Well, Siggi’s did this so I just took the plunge and grabbed the last bottle of Filmjolk Sprout’s had in stock.  I get home and I can’t wait for breakfast and sort of regret I had dinner already because a “dinfast” or “Breakinner” would have been perfect but off I go to get my beauty sleep.

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The next morning, I wake-up tired and you know it went away once I knew my curiosity of what Siggi’s drinkable yogurt version was going to be like. Being that blueberries are at a reasonable price, plus I had just shopped for fruit, and I had granola in hand…….well, it was the breakfast of champions I created. Siggi makes a yogurt that leaves a zero film in your mouth or throat, but remains creamy in texture when eaten. I love it and not only did I fall in love when I took the “sniff” test, I knew right there and then to pour it over my banana, peach, blueberries, and granola breakfast……more what my husband calls my morning “scatter”.  The yogurt is not bitter or sour, just think of being left with a clean palette and whatever fruit you picked as the after-taste.  Refreshing and also fills you.

Ingredients as listed from the site:

  • Blueberries
  • Cane Sugar
  • Fruit Pectin
  • Live Active Cultures
  • Pasteurized Skim Milk

That is all!

Great health benefits too like:

Live Cultures
Bifidobacterium sp., L. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. casei, L. lactis subsp. cremoris, L. lactis subsp. lactis, L. lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis, L. rhamnosus, Leuconostoc subsp. cremoris, S. thermophilus
Probiotic Cultures Per Serving
L. casei + B. lactis 1billion
Just 120 calories for a very generous and healthy serving of 8 ounces.  You can drink, eat, use it as you would kefir to even baking with it and that is exactly what I did and of course it has a blueberry theme too.  I will be posting my Siggi’s Blueberry Bread recipe soon so stay tuned but while you wait, have a Siggi anything and I mean it……you will forget the Greeks and become an Icelandic yogurt fan too!
Connect with Siggi’s:
My local Target carries the Siggi's Yogurt Tubes in Blueberry & Raspberry

My local Target carries the Siggi’s Yogurt Tubes in Blueberry & Strawberry

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Siggi’s.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

 

Healthy Surprise: Subscription Snack Box filled with goodies and delivered right to your door

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Healthy Surprise is a company, which delivers snack filled boxes to your door on a monthly basis. The company also offers specialty themed boxes, like their Chocolate Box that is filled with anything and everything having to do with that cacao bean we all love. You also have different box levels and they just get fuller and fuller as you go up the scale:

  • Starter Box- $40.00 a month and filled with snacks for 1 to 2 people. Each box has 11+ full sized snacks to enjoy.
  • Big Box– $60.00 a month and filled with snacks to satisfy 1 to 4 people. This box comes with 16+ full sized snacks to indulge in.
  • Combo Box– $95.00 a month and filled with snacks to satisfy 2 to 6 people. The Combo Box is huge and filled with 27+ full sized snacks that will satisfy any taste-bud and then some.

All treats are soy free, gluten free, natural to vegan. Snacks are corn free and even plant based. I also found they research very carefully what they offer in their boxes from products not made in China to the ingredients used. You won’t find MSG to High Fructose Corn Syrup. Worried about allergies? Healthy Surprise hunts for dairy free, peanut free, shellfish free, no artificial flavors, dyes, color, to even no artificial sweeteners used in their health friendly boxes. No Partially Hydrogenated oils or yeast extracts to upset your taste buds! It’s munching but at a higher level of quality and some can same say less guilt. I’m always for feeling better and less guilty about snacking!

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One thing I dislike about monthly subscription boxes is the wait. You miss that delivery window and you are waiting 30+ days to get anything. Not with Healthy Surprise!  They even have a count down and I ordered one day in the early hours and I am not kidding, I was opening up my box within 48 hours. Healthy Surprise is a California based company, so I got quick delivery and so can you, as they ship for free anywhere in the U.S. You can also set when you want a box shipped and I like that level of control when ordering.

Now to the box we go! I received the smaller box called the Starter Box and calling it small is an understatement, with 13 items but does it live up to it’s price tag? Let’s see….

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  • Hail Merry Macaroons Blonde– The bag comes with 1.75 of puck shaped macaroons. They are small but packed with flavor and no skimping on the coconut. I loved these and ate them with fruit, then dipped some in chocolate and two macaroons swam in an almost empty jar of Fleur de Sel Caramel that was too good to waste. Love these and they are addicting. The product is gluten free and Vegan friendly. Hail Merry uses top notch ingredients from organic maple syrup, shredded coconut, extra virgin coconut oil to raw almond flour. You add vanilla and sea salt and that makes up the entire list of contents. Simple and delicious and I’m a fan. A bag this size retails for about $4 to $5.

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  • Gorge Delights, Just Fruit Bar in Apple Cherry 100% grown U.S. fruit, this bar is sort of like the “fruit leather” you find at Trader Joe’s. A little thicker and it’s made of apple puree, apple concentrate, and cherry concentrate. The bar is simple but delivers more of an apple punch than a cherry one. Due to it’s ultra minced texture, the bar is a little on the gummy side but not satisfying in texture like a gummy bear is. It’s more gummy and smashed. Was not a fan of the bar and stopped at two bites because the cherry was just not there for me and it started to taste like fermented fruit. I really wanted to like this bar because it does satisfy 2 fruit servings of your daily requirements and I would try it again but in another flavor. This bar retails for about $1.16 when purchased in bulk sizes (for retail).

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  • Oloves in Basil and Garlic These are natural green pitted olives and they have a touch of salt, sunflower oil, basil, garlic, vinegar, and acidifiers listed as lactic and citric acid. The pouch weighs 1.1. ounces and safely keeps the green olives intact. No broken or smashed ones and I added them to a salad, which made my dinner look like a beauty and my taste buds were 100% satisfied when it came to the flavor and texture. You get a nice brine that is not over loaded with acids or too high in flavor when it comes to the marinade. Oloves found the perfect balance where the other flavors compliment versus taking away from the olive. A bag this size retails for a little over a $1.00.

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  • Hail Merry Grawnola in Orange and Cranberry– Another hit for the Hail Merry family and this raw nut and fruit blend is packed with flavor that is perfectly balanced. Many orange flavored items are over powered with a poor tasting juice that smells better than it tastes, but not here. You get the hints of citrus and the granola is crunchy and not coated with that honey/orange juice glaze that gives you sticky fingers. You have ingredients like raw almonds, maple syrup, buckwheat groats, fresh orange juice, dried apples, raw pecans, and cranberries. The blend continues with raw sunflower seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, vanilla and a touch of cinnamon and salt. Perfect and craveable, plus energy packed. Most ingredients are organic and this product is gluten free, Vegan friendly, grain free and packed with Raw Omegas. Hail Merry products make you look at the label twice and it’s not a trust issue, it’s that you can’t believe something so good is not doused in sugars and bad stuff! This 1.5 ounce bag retails for between $2.50 and $3.00.

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  • Buddy Fruits in Mango Passion & Banana– The drink comes in a resealable container and Buddy Fruits is simple in the ingredient list. You have pure blended fruit derived from Mango. Apple, Banana, and Passion Fruit juice…..that is all. The pouch delivers a taste just like you would imagine the fruit combination would be. Great product to drink as it is or even add to smoothies. I semi-froze mine to enjoy on a hot day and it got a nice slush consistency that made me wish I had 2 of these in my box. The 3.2 ounce pouch retails for about a $1.00 to $1.25.

 

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  • Freshly Wild Super Foods, Kale Joy in Jazzy Sweet Mustard– Healthy surprise sent me another thing I’ve been dying to try, kale chips. Because let’s face it, everyone gets “munchy” from time to time, but potato chips are all kinds of unhealthy and bad for any diet in excess. From Freshly Wild, a small Portland, Oregon-based health food company, comes Kale Joy in Jazzy Sweet Mustard flavor. Not just your average dehydrated kale chip, these are handcrafted and carefully dehydrated in a small kitchen “powered by renewable wind energy”. Cool. Gluten-free, non GMO, and vegan, three things that are quite popular right now. Using “… only the best juices, nuts, seeds and spices”, this little guy is coated in crunch and flavor, with little bits of nut and seasoning all over. Neat-o. In a resealable .75 ounce package to boot. Crispy without being crumbly, and a satisfying crunch that fills that “munchy” feeling I mentioned earlier. Tangy and sweet. Two things jump out at me: 1 is that unfortunately, a lot of the chips became “shards” at the bottom of the bag. And 2 is that for only an ounce, you’d be paying between $4.50 and $6.00 a bag. Yowza. Fortunately, a little bit goes along way.

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  • Snip Chips in Dill Pickle– This is a Parsnip and Coconut snack mix. I have never even sniffed a blend like this or much less had one but I’m a try it all and then decide type of gal. The product is parsnips, raw coconut, raw cashews, apple cider vinegar, dill, garlic and lemon, plus a touch of chipotle, mustard seed, and Himalayan crystal salt. I dive in and it’s not crispy but more of a dehydrated like texture, I have seen these at my local Sprout’s Market and they come in other flavors. I like dill pickles and found myself puzzled by the blend as I knew it.  I did go back for a second and third piece. The verdict is still out on this one for me as much as I tried to make-up my mind about it. I guess I’m in the middle about it, I don’t love them or dislike them but unsure if I will be having more. Sun Chips does have other flavors and maybe the cheesy one would be better. This bag at a weight of 2 ounces retails between $5.49 and $5.99.

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The Daily Crave Veggie Chips– Remember that “munchy” feeling I mentioned? The one that comes between meals and runs diets? Yeah, that one. Here’s another product that should make you feel a little less guilty about munching. Note that I said “should”. I’ll explain that in a minute. The Daily Crave is a snack food company that boasts on their website:

*100% All Natural
*100% Vegan
*No Artificial Ingredients
*No Dairy
*Non GMO
*No Artificial flavors
*No Artificial coloring
*No Hydrogenated Fats
*Perfect for Dipping

That’s a mouthful. And it’s got a neat package, a good price, clever marketing, what’s not to love? Well, a close look at the ingredient list reveals that these are not all that different from, say, those chips in a tube shaped can that stack so nicely. Potato flour, potato star hotel, and oil are the first 3 ingredients. And while there is salt and sugar, it’s thankfully in very small amounts. Almost as small as the amounts of actual veggies in these veggie chips. Now, that’s not to say they aren’t tasty, because they are. But for all they got right, they also got quite a bit wrong. Snazzy packaging and trendy buzzwords do not a great product make. A small filled bag at just 1 ounce retails for $1.33 (retail bulk price).

  • Snapz Premium Grilled Zucchini Crunch & Snapz Premium Pineapple Crunch– I hate being a snack buzzkill, so let me mention a couple of yummers that I loved. Snapz Crisps makes an entire line of gently dehydrated fruit and veggie crisps, so there’s something for everyone. They are a “Brand leader for non fried fruit and vegetable crisps, 100 % natural, not fried or baked. Using unique technology to ensure the products are very crisp (?) they combine the fun and enjoyment of crisps with the goodness of fruit and vegetables. Appealing to all ages groups — young and old alike.” I got to try both sweet and savory with their Premium Pineapple and Grilled Zucchini flavors. While I appreciated the subtle flavors of the grilled zucchini, a little touch of sea salt would have really livened it up. But the pineapple crisps were a hit all around. Too often there are added oils and sugars in dried fruit that completely drown out the flavors of the fruit, but not here. I love the one item ingredient list: Pineapple. Winner! Tasty, crunchy, tangy. Not oily, not overly sweet. What’s not to love? Fat free, gluten free, nut free, GMO free, sugar free, salt free, preservative free…can it be true? It is, but I came crashing down to earth when I went to buy some more: 12 bags (0.46 oz each) were over $17 plus tax and shipping at Amazon. That stings. I really hate that the closer you get to real foods the more it costs, but that’s the reality in America anymore. I will say I really, really enjoyed these and will be on the lookout for them when next I darken the market’s doorstep.

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  • Righteously Raw Chocolates in Mint, Rose, and Dark chocolate– The Dark has a nice creamy and intense cacao notes. It’s not perfume-y, just chocolate satisfaction all the way through at 83% pure cacao you can believe it’s good and no bitter notes at all. It’s the espresso of chocolates! The Mint version has 82% cacoa and it’s not your typical mint that is creamy, think more of a “dry mint” taste where your mint is derived from peppermint so you get the sharp notes combined with the dark chocolate. A good combination and I liked that it was different than the typical mint flavors I have tried before. Then comes the Rose. I love roses and have even indulged in pastries that contain rose water……I took a bite and the flavor was so off, that I quickly chewed and opened the Dark version for salvation. It tasted like something bad had been infused and not like any rose I have eaten or even smelled. The tricky part is the bar smells like just dark chocolate but when you bite, something bitter and sour just takes over your mouth. It says red raspberry powder, brown rice protein powder to red beet are mixed in with the chocolate. Rose hips is last on the list and maybe it’s the flavor combination but it’s a no-go on the Rose and I love chocolate and have even continued to eat chocolate that when asked how it is, I reply “ummm, it’s okay”, but continue munching. Could not do that with the Rose. Righteously Raw did well with the Dark and surprised me nicely with the Mint, so go there when buying this one. The 3 chocolates I received are considered “bite-size”, so finding a price point was a bit difficult but buying in bulk of a bag of dark was 16 pieces for $22.99 via Amazon, making it under $0.70 per bite size bar.

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  • A $25.00 gift card– was also included and can be used towards the purchase of a Healthy Surprise box, making the smaller one more than 50% off. Good company when it comes to continuing patronage with their customers.

I liked being able to try some brands I had never heard of, brands that I have seen but knew nothing about, and seeing the familiar ones like Hail Merry but trying new items from a company I know and purchase products from. Exploring is fun and The Healthy Surprise Company does the hunting while you do the munching. I believe every subscription company should at the very least be tried once and to get a good idea, try it a second time. I did feel some items were overly priced by companies but that is not Healthy Surprises’ fault. It did let me adjust my shopping list by making sure to add some companies to my list and knowing what products to just walk away from. If you are into exploring new items and new flavors, but in a “better for you” way, try Healthy Surprise. I found a great link you can use, which is via Groupon. For a limited time you can get the $60 box for $30!!!

Visit Healthy Surprise and get the Groupon deal at:

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I received the above product free of charge from Healthy Surprise. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Epic Blend: Finally a Lip Balm that Works #Review #EpicBlend

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I reviewed the hemp products from Epic Blend in the past, which came as part of a beauty box, and the company was kind enough to send me their entire line and then some to share :). Epic Blend has 3 collections to choose from:

  • More Moisture Collection– They use seven moisturizers like organic shea butter, organic coconut oils, organic sunflower oil, organic castor oil, organic beeswax and a non-GMO vitamin E. You also have flavors to choose from like grape, green apple, cherry and even unflavored. This line gives your lips that extra punch of moisture without feeling greasy or looking overly shiny. My lips can still breathe and if your lips have damage from chapping or just dry from the wind or the sun, you get rapid repair. I felt the More Moisture collection made up for the times I forget or just plainly neglect protecting my lips. Epic Blend’s More Moisture collection forgives me for being not the best caretaker of my lips and I love not smelling like a medicinal oddity. I used to purchase every product on the market that promised to repair and make my lips healthier, to only just masking the problem while I wore the balm. Epic Blends products don’t do that! Who wants to also smell like you rubbed a muscle ointment on your lips……that’s just not very kissable 🙂

 

  • Vegan Collection– Epic Blend makes product to fit everyone’s needs and this line is 100% plant-based and free of beeswax. The base product is candelilla wax, which is a plant (shrub) and the wax is extracted from the leaves and stems. The final product is a very smooth balm that just glides beautifully over your lips. Epic Blend adds organic coconut oil, organic sunflower oil, organic cocoa butter and non-GMO vitamin E. There was no skimping on the quality to meet vegan standards and even though I am not a vegan, I would not pass up this lip balm. The flavors available are Wild Berry and a Pineapple-Mint variety. Your lips are left supple and not only feel wonderful, but are left healthy without a greasy feeling.

 

  • Hemp Collection– This is the lip balm that brought me to the party! The one that made Epic Blend a name in our household and the one I touted as the go-to for ending the cycle of chapped lips, dry lips, or if there is anything you dislike about your lips….try Epic Blend. The Hemp Collection by Epic blend uses hemp seed oil, which has antioxidant properties, is super nourishing, and is quickly absorbed by the skin. They round out the formula by using coconut oil, sunflower oil, beeswax, and a non-GMO vitamin E. You get to choose from Vanilla, Mint, Coconut and Citrus Kick. They also make a limited-edition flavors in Banana and Chocolate Rum…..the Choco-Rum as I call it, is just heavenly in scent!

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Price Point: A 4-Pack of Lip Balms is just $12.00, or $3.49 per flavor.  Your lips are worth it and at $3.49 a stick….it’s for a lip balm that actually works and not only looks great, but feels luxurious.  Give them a try!  They even have a “happy guarantee”, but it’s really impossible to be unhappy with Epic Blend because they stand by their products.  All products are petroleum-free, gluten-free, non-GMO and not tested on animals (cruelty free).

Many lip balms have odd colors (dyes, tints, food/bug based colors, ect.) that is not something a guy wants to use, or a that a gal wants to have to fight off if they want to wear a certain color of lipstick. Epic Blend is free of that, it goes on clear and leaves a natural matte look on your lips. It’s seriously non-reactive, so much so that I use it every time I apply lipstick or gloss as a base. My lips remain protected but because they are healthy and not sucking out the life of whatever I apply, my lipstick and lip glosses last longer. My lips are finally healed and look normal, something I did not think was possible. If I skip a day of use….it’s okay because I have healthy lips that can take it. I never thought I would get off the cycle of needing to smother my lips with creamy and oily concoctions to look normal. I spent so much on what I call “premium broken promises” because my former balms had a hefty price tag and promised to end the dry lips I had but all they barely did was mask it. My lips peeled and just were left unhealthy. I disposed of all my balms and I only have Epic Blend now! I highly recommend using any of their lip balms because I would have just overlooked them and would have missed out on being happy with my lips. Have Happy Lips with Epic Blend and you will not be disappointed with the results!

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Pick-up one or several flavors of Epic Blend at:

I received the above product free of charge from Epic Blend.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Bolthouse Farms: ALMOST Too Much Good Stuff

BHF Orange Simplified Logo                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Almost. But as it stands, this one is just right. I love it. Hubby loves it. You’ll love it too! For those following along at home, this is the last in the Bolthouse Farms Juice reviews. We previously covered their 100% Carrot Juice, 100% Pomegranate Juice, Daily Greens, and now, without further adieu, I happily present Bolthouse Farm’s MultiV Goodness!

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The last treat in my batch of Bolthouse yum is a newer product for them, the Multi-V Goodness Smoothie. Packed with the juice of pomegranate, cherries, strawberries, apples, peaches, blackberries, cranberries and bananas, but not packed with calories (only 140 per serving) there is nothing not to love about this drink.

DSCN4162Did I mention the 8 grams of fiber? That’s nearly a third of the recommended daily intake already. You’re set! High in vitamins A, B, C, and D, and none of the yuck that comes in most highly processed smoothies, this one is good for breakfast, lunch or even dessert! I liked how the flavors all blended in harmony, making for a great experience. Hubby loved it too, and he’s not big on peaches or bananas. There’s no seeds or pulps like a home Smoothie would have. I love it. Hubby loves it. If we hadn’t been so quick to enjoy it, I’m sure the pooch would have loved it too. This one also comes in 2 sizes, 15.2 oz and 32, which makes it big enough to share, if you’re so inclined.

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Visit Bolthouse and their Countless Juice SelectionsJuices from Blends to the Plain; to Cafe drinks and even Protein ones:

  • Say hello to the MultiV Goodness online!
  • Veggies and Fruits on Twitter
  • Visit Fun Bolthouse Crew on Facebook
  • Catch the pics on Instagram
  • Save $1.50 off any bottle here!

I received the above product free of charge from Bolthouse Farms. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Peeled Snacks: Paradise Found Fruit

As a few of you may recall, I tried the Peeled Fruit Mango Snacks and wrote a not too favorable review. I felt bad because going by everything the company advertised, the product was below my expectations and obviously not the common experience, so my guilt made me reach out when I launched my review.

Just like I expected the Mango to taste, is just like how the people at Peeled Snacks treated me, NICE! I received a very kind response and they sent a beautiful array of snacks for me to share with you.

You will notice that Peeled Snacks keep things simple and I like that. The less you mess with my food, the better it will taste to me and I seek these types of foods for my family. These fruits are described as “gently dried”, so you don’t get that dried fruit like I recall when I was a child, drenched in a sugar bath and gummy. Peeled snacks take a step further and are USDA Organic certified, Non Genetically Modified, All Natural and Gluten Free. You can see why I was lured by Peeled Snacks because the idea of food like this just tends to draw me in!

Let’s get started…..

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Paradise Found

The Paradise Found features a mix blend of Organic Bananas, Organic Mango and Organic Pineapple. You look at the ingredient list and it matches the contents, just the fruit and NO SUGAR added. You can see by the picture below that the fruit slices and pieces have a pleasant look and resemble exactly what they are with no artificial anything. I call it Naked Fruit!

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Taste and Texture: First, you do smell a nice fruity scent that can be described as tropical so it is properly named Paradise. The banana slices are just delicious and not mushy in texture or leathery, just soft and when you chew, the taste does satisfy the craving. Great in yogurt to even cereal. I liked the bananas so much and felt they were better than the dehydrated type you usually find in markets as “cereal toppers”, so I was glad with the large amount provided in the mix.

Next comes the Pineapple and one thing that always got to me with Pineapple in this manner, was that because it is a fibrous fruit, when they would dry and sugar them, you got this horrible crystallization crunch that drowned any pineapple that was left from the over-processing. Not with Peeled Snacks! The pineapple tastes and varies just like it does in nature. One bite may be sweeter and the other may have more of the bitter notes and I like that variety in my fruit.

The Mango is much better in this mix and I enjoyed how each fruit tastes like it’s own even though they share a bag, they don’t blend in flavors. The Mango is peeled pieces and tender when you bite. Sweet and completes the tropical blend perfectly and this is coming from someone who is not a Mango lover but more a liker:)

Stay tuned for my Peeled Snacks Apple Clusters in Cinnamon Crunch coming very soon, plus much more from this great company!

In the meantime please check out Peeled Snacks at:

I received the above product free of charge from Peeled Snacks.  I am not obligated in providing a favorable/positive review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the products, which may differ from yours.

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