SunRype: The NEW Fruit & Chia Bars and just released Energy Bars #Review

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SunRype, makes bars for consumers that want other options than the soy loaded and artificial sweetener filled bars, you see in so many products of this kind today. I want real food and this goes for when I need a pick-me up snack to even a replacement meal. My Husband has soy sensitivity and I want a bar we can both share and eat. We usually even split an energy bar when we are running errands and the last thing I want to do, is say you can’t have this one. The bars are gluten free and even though we do not have a sensitivity or allergy to gluten, we like to not always eat the same ingredients with every meal. When SunRype approached me about reviewing their 4 most recent bars, I looked into the company and liked how they stated things like “100% Fruit Snacks”, “Simple Ingredients”, to words in the ingredients list that you can pronounce…….so a bar I can actually trust!

I was sent the following varieties from two of SunRype’s newest collections:

Fruit & Chia in Mango Twist
Fruit & Chia in Apple Cinnamon
Energy in Chocolate Coconut
Energy in Raspberry Chocolate

Verdict:

Taste matters because I love fruits and vegetables, and never understood why others did not until I tasted some bars on the market. Any real fruit was annihilated and I probably would feel the same if my introduction to certain fruit bars began that way. SunRype, respects the fruit! The Fruit and Chia bars are like the breakfast scatters I already eat. Every Sunday, I fill a mason jar with dried fruits, seeds and nuts to eat throughout the week. It’s mixed with several flax seeds from ground to whole, dried fruits from coconut to acai berries to other ingredients like cocoa nibs and even mini dark chocolate chips because everything in moderation does not hurt, plus actually makes eating your meal an enjoyment. Ironically, I skip what I call the common filler nuts like peanuts and it’s nothing against the nut but I prefer almonds, pistachios, to walnuts and if I crave peanuts, I’ll just eat peanuts. When I read the packages on the SunRype Fruit & Chia bars, they make what I eat. Versus it being a scatter that I usually eat with yogurt or Kefir, they put it in a package I can travel with. Great for mornings I am in a hurry or dinner will be at a later time that busy day. The bars start with 100% fruit pieces and use sweeteners from the fruit itself to molasses and even brown rice syrup. You know…..real foods! It’s a whole grain bar and they use gluten free oats and brown rice flour. Each of the Fruit & Chia bars contain 800 mg of ALA Omega-3 Fatty Acids and both the Mango Twist and Apple Cinnamon bar is just 200 calories per bar. Sodium is just 50 mg and you get a nice 4 grams of protein. I avoid cinnamon anything. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the spice but most times anything with it is loaded and overpowering. Not with SunRype! The spice is a compliment and the bar resembles an apple bread I bake from scratch. The Mango is a nice break from the common flavors and has a tropical puree taste from the dried mango but because the bar contains coconut, it has a beautiful balance.

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Now, the SunRype Energy bars come with 7 grams of protein that is plant derived. SunRype, also does not hide behind proprietary blends, they list what their energy blend comes from. The main component is pea (protein), green tea extract and ginseng powder for an energy boost. I find my body not only gets a natural boost from these ingredients but I metabolize them better, so no crashing like you would have with some energy drinks. The Chocolate Coconut is 210 calories and the Raspberry Chocolate variety is just 10 calories less. Not bars that you have to punish yourself later by cutting calories from your meals. They are decent in size and more than fulfill their need by stopping hunger to even keeping you going. The Chocolate Coconut was my favorite of all 4 bars. I love coconut and SunRype did not skip on the ingredient. I not only satisfied myself with a snack but also a craving. The Raspberry Chocolate still had the tartness from the berry! Love that because it’s the whole point I go after such berries, I want what they bring from the tart to sweetness that is unique in flavor to that variety.

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All in all, this bars were a hit. They remind me of my morning scatters I enjoy, mixed with fruit leather bars I purchase at the local Framer’s Market…..SunRype just got the wonderful idea of making them both meet to make a bar that is not only nutritious, but a pleasure to have. They have a store locator for their products to even available on Amazon, so no reason to not give there treats…..I mean bars a try. ūüôā

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Connect with SunRype at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from SunRype. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Nutraplex: Megaberry Bar #Review #Nutraplex

 

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We are always hunting for new nutrition, energy, supplement……well, you name it type of bars. I like to not only eat bars when I am busy but I actually enjoy eating them when they are done well. That latter part is where many companies seem to forget and it use to be because it was hard to jam real nutrition into bars. ¬†Nowadays, that is not that difficult with so many ingredients coming in powder to liquid form without compromising their nutrition value. You can really amp a bar up without skipping in real nutrition but so many bars out there are what I call fakers! Bars that call themselves nutritional but offer nothing new than being a multi-vitamin disguised in a sugary concoction. I expect more and especially if the company is asking for more price wise.

Nutraplex is a company, which carries a variety of bars that offer energy and nutrition. Their flavors are:

  • Megaberry
  • Pineapple Coconut
  • Pomegranate Cherry
  • Mango Strawberry

I was sent the Megaberry one to try out. Nutraplex describes their product as a, “balanced macro-nutrient ratio, plenty of omegas and fiber”.

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Ingredients: Dates, Chia Seeds, Cranberry (with Sugar, Sunflower Oil), Cashews, Pea Protein, Honey, Raisins, Safflower Oil, Blueberries (with Sugar, Sunflower Oil), Strawberries, Strawberry Juice Concentrate, Raspberries, Acai Powder, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Mixed Tocopherols, and Citric Acid.

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Let’s Break the above down:
The word “macronutrient” just means nutrition that the body needs in a large dose, so Nutraplex bars give you all your nutritional needs in what is really a small portion, which is a good thing. Feel full and have energy but you don’t need to amp calories and/or portions. The Megaberry has protein, which is derived from peas, so it at least breaks away from the soy enriched world so many bars have become. Once source of fiber comes from dates, which you can see from the picture is what makes up a lot of the bar and the word bar is it’s shape, but not exactly it’s consistency. Think of it more as a “soft bar shaped patty”. You have Chia seeds that are great for energy and also expand when wet, so you do feel full. You have acai in powder form, blueberries and strawberries to fill the antioxidant portion of the bar. Mixed Tocopherols and it’s really just an organic compound that helps preserve the bar and it’s oils. Many seeds and the oils they have tend to oxidize with air and light, so this is just Vitamin E used to help prevent (or at least slow down) this natural occurrence.

Retail Price Point: $2.99 per bar via Nutraplex’s site or $44.85 for a carton of 15 bars. I checked with Amazon and they have a price point of $39.45 for the carton.

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Final Verdict:
Yes, the bar is free of gluten and non-gmo ingredients, but I did not see a non-gmo certification listed on the site. Free of high fructose corn syrup, soy and dairy free. You have no dyes or artificial ingredients, plus it’s kosher. The price point is high for ingredients that are not of high value but I am still making the leap that Nutraplex is using higher grades here. Trust me not all Chia seeds are created equal! Even with that in mind, the taste and texture matter. Really matter! You are dealing with simple ingredients and I value that, just not $3 a bar that is not even organic certified. Like I mentioned the bar is in it’s shape and not so much in it’s texture. I opened it and it flops a bit because it’s just ingredients compacted to form a patty…..sort resembles a seed disc for birds. Very soft and chewy and you taste berry seeds but not a burst of berry fruit notes. Think of raspberry seeds, strawberry seeds, the chia seeds and so forth but packed into a date and maybe some raisin batter. I did not find it pleasing and I’m all for the “naked bars” out there. I don’t need a coating of faux chocolate or a oat/granola filling to respect the bar but if you say berry, I expect well a berry slap of flavor. This was too date-y for me and I like dates but when you mush, grind, pulverize and so forth…….the individual flavors start to get muted and I like energy and nutrition, but I still believe you should like what you are eating to some degree other than it’s just good for you. I would walk out with a berry bag of dried (unsweetened) fruit with the same ingredients in cluster form versus the mashed-up form any day. I only tasted the berry one and maybe the other flavors will be better at covering the the date and raisin base. I just think 190 calories (70 from fat) and at only 6 grams of protein, is not worth the exchange or will equate a bunch of energy. You also have 21 grams of sugars and the vitamin content is low with none from vitamin A, 4% of Vitamin C, 10% of calcium and 10% of iron. Sunflower oil is used in the product and with all the fats to choose from in today’s market, I was surprised and again when looking at the list……maybe my idea of “macro-nutrition” means something else because Nutraplex’s bar did not (in my opinion) offer enough macro in their Megaberry bar! ¬†It has nutrition but pretty low for energy and the nutritional facts say it all. ¬†I just don’t understand the price tag when so much is missing.

 

Connect with Nutraplex at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Nutraplex.  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.

 

TeeChia: Organic Sustained Energy Cereal #Review in Blueberry Date and Cranberry Apple

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TeeChia is a company that takes making a healthy and super nutritious cereal to another level. You have a powerhouse of super seeds like:

  • Chia
  • Quinoa
  • Flax
  • Ramon
  • Amaranth
  • and Pumpkin

I was able to test out both flavors and see for myself how they are.  So far I like that the product uses Organic ingredients and is Non-GMO verified.  Sweetened with only fruit and is rich in fiber.

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Blueberry Date– Gluten-Free and just one packet provides you with 28 grams of Whole Grains, 6 grams of Fiber and 6 grams of Protein. You get a healthy dose of 1200 mg of Omega-3 fats and the cereal contains zero grams of refined sugar. The Blueberry Date also has currants and real dried blueberries, in addition to apple juice. The base of the cereal is rolled oats, dates and rice flour. The directions suggest to simply add water and you can also punch up the protein by adding milk or yogurt after. I went with a simple Lemon flavored Australian yogurt that complimented the Blueberry flavor perfectly. The reason I mention the yogurt being Australian, is that it’s a thicker base and I found the cereal even though I followed the directions and added the hot water first, it remained in a gritty/sandy state. I let everything soak up but it did not seem to want to play well so I resorted to a 20 second zap in the microwave and that helped it blend or at least hydrate to the point I felt this is as mixed as it’s going to get. Tasting it alone was a bit on the flavorless side and I felt the yogurt helped add flavor and reduce what I felt was not a pleasant texture. This is not an oatmeal, as the directions say you can use cold water if you do not feel like eating it warm/hot. My yogurt saved it and I appreciate the healthy aspect and the nutritional value TeeChia products provide. I remained unsure on wanting to have more and knowing this is not a product I can enjoy as-is, due to the odd texture and consistency it delivered.

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Cranberry Apple– Pretty much the same nutritional facts and contents but this cereal has 7 grams of Protein, versus the 6. Smelled better than the Blueberry variety and you pick-up the Cranberry scent immediately, even though this bag looked different (the base) from the Blueberry Date variety. This one had less fruit but looked more powder like. I decided due to the great Cranberry aroma, I would just eat this one with milk and heated up the milk. I added it to the cereal and again the apple squares did not re-hydrate correctly and this cereal was just sandy and goopy. Still smelled great but when I took the first bite, it was so bitter and you had what can be described as to what you find at the bottom of a cracker bag….dusty and powdery with a taste that was so off. I just could not continue. This cereal did not taste like it smelled! I most times make the best of a situation and especially when it comes to eating healthy. I can get past textures but not when the texture plus the flavor was just so….well, bad unfortunately. I wasted milk in my eyes and I even contemplated adding more cranberries because you can see from the picture that there was just not a lot of dried fruit. I then realized there was no saving this bowl and just discarded it because why add more when in the end the bitter and off taste can’t be fixed.

I wanted to really like TeeChia cereals and mostly by what they contain. I have eaten these seeds and actually add them too many of my meals from salads to yogurts. I don’t know why TeeChia’s same mix of seeds¬†tasted so different from mine. I thought maybe the milling process caused some quick oxidation to occur but there was definitely something off in the Cranberry variety. The cereals need some reworking because if you go by the contents, they are really great. You have the texture issue and the bitterness that is just not a way you want to routinely start your morning with. Eating well can taste so good but this just did not do the trick for me. ¬†I also noticed that both cereals do not re-hydrate or look like the product’s picture on the packaging. ¬†I am hoping I got a bad batch because I really wanted to like this super cereal ūüė¶ and mostly because I love their Teeccino line so much.

If you would like to try TeeChia’s Sustained Cereals, please visit them at:

  • On-line–¬†http://www.teechia.com/
  • Facebook–¬†https://www.facebook.com/teechiacereal
  • Twitter–¬†https://twitter.com/Teeccino

 

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I received the above product free of charge from TeeChia.  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.

 

 

 

 

UrthBox: March Box Review…..Discover a Healthier You!

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I can easily state that from all the subscription boxes that are food related…..this one is the¬†most¬†packed!

Urthbox is a company which fills their subscription boxes with healthy, not-your-average treats and snacks. Stocking their box with only non-GMO foods makes this company stand out above all the rest. ¬†They also have boxes that fit every dietary need from vegan, gluten-free and even “diet” options. ¬†Munching diet related products is a great way to know what works, what you like to even what you want to continue purchasing. ¬†Urthbox also has boxes to fit every budget starting from $19 (7-10 items), medium sized box for $29 (12-15 products), to the large box that makes you a super happy snacker at $49 (20-24 items). ¬†I received the “Part-Time Snacker” box in size medium. ¬†I received 12 products from different manufacturers but the quantity was larger because some products came in counts of 2 or even 3. ¬†I liked that they count your products by individual kinds versus counting that they added 2 items of one product and using that towards the full count. ¬†Very fair and generous of UrthBox. ¬†I also want to add that shipping is free, so the above price points are with shipping included.

Let’s get started because I have so much to cover….I will be using the 1 to 5 point system where 5 is superb in taste/flavor and texture, and where 1 is pretty much saying don’t put it in your mouth ūüôā

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  • Snap Pea Crisps (One .75 ounce package):¬†I have seen these being sampled at Costco but never actually stood in line to try one. ¬†It’s pretty much Green Peas that are lightly salted and baked. ¬†A healthier way to snack because you get less fat than potato chips but this treat also is a good source of fiber. ¬†I love peas of any kind so I am biased on this one. ¬†I did like the texture but was not super fond of the aftertaste. ¬†It was not pleasant and left my mouth lacking moisture but now I know to pass versus buying on these. ¬†I give them a 2

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  • Hemp Hearts (Two 0.5 ounce packages):¬†I have tested these before and enjoy them very much. ¬†You can read my full detailed review here-¬†http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-fP¬†and I give these a 5

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  • Viana Mild Jumbo Veggie Snack Sausage (Two 1.76 ounce packages):¬†I received the Traditional German Smokehouse variety and have never tasted a non-meat sausage. ¬†I first loved how it smelled because that is my first test before taking a bite. ¬†The smell was spicy and very inviting. ¬†I take a bite and must say that flavor is not missing and you get a nice smoky taste with a wonderful blend of spices. ¬†Being a meat-eater, I can say if you told me it was turkey or chicken based….I would be none the wiser. ¬†It’s organic and you get a generous 13 grams of soy based protein with only 130 calories. ¬†It’s up there with a cup of yogurt and only 360 mg of sodium and 2 grams of sugar. ¬†It fills you up in a more satisfying way and I would purchase this item again. ¬†I give this product a 4

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  • Salba Chia Boost (Two 0.5 ounce packages):¬†Advertised as not your usual chia seed and something I would have overlooked because I have had bad chia seeds. ¬†I did not think qualities changed so drastically and because I sorted on value when first buying them, I first purchased a bag of great quality seeds. ¬†I then go and repurchase the chia seeds but decided to pick-up a cheaper brand……big mistake. ¬†There was such an off taste that eating them in a wet or dry method did not save me. ¬†I ended up discarding them so there went my savings turning into waste. ¬†I can say that Salba does have a premium product and I also enjoyed that these come in ground (powder) form, something that was new to me. ¬†I mix it with my flax seeds and they are a treat with a nutritional punch. ¬†I give this item a 5

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  • Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut oil (One 0.5 ounce package):¬†The Coconut oil is cold pressed and unrefined. ¬†Love that it’s Fair Trade certified and Organic. ¬†I have become a fan of the coconut and it’s oil, to the point I cook with it and even purchase a butter and coconut oil spread that makes great grilled cheese sandwiches, even to just being used on bread. ¬†The Kelapo package states to warm in hands, tear and squeeze. ¬†Like many cooking oils, not all are equal and I put Kelapo in the higher grade when it comes to standards, texture and flavor. ¬†This is why I love these subscription boxes…..I became a fan of a new brand and give this oil a 5

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  • Shelton’s Smoked Snack Stick (One 1.0 ounce package):¬†The sausage stick came in jalapeno flavor and is turkey based. ¬†Shelton’s products use turkey that is antibiotic free and the ingredient list was rather short. ¬†You have the turkey, jalapeno peppers, water, salt, encapsulated lactic acid, celery juice, red pepper, black pepper, granulated garlic, coriander and the blend is stuffed in a beef collagen casing ¬†Pretty simple and as natural as you can get when it comes to the sausage world. ¬†The product has a nice texture and spice content. ¬†You pick up the flavor of the peppers and I loved that it was not greasy or fatty like other sausages of this kind. ¬†I give this product a 4

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  • Neo Water (One 16.9 ounce bottle):¬†Neo is a “Superwater” and it’s super-ness comes with the triple the benefits that come with this drink. ¬†You get water and added minerals for flavor, but also alkaline, has electrolytes and antioxidants. ¬†The water has a crisp and refreshing flavor and it’s definitely noticed when drinking. ¬†It tastes cleaner and I like the added benefits. ¬†I give this bottle a 5

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  • Spatone Pur Absorb Iron (3 0.67 fluid ounce packages):¬†Okay, I never thought of drinking iron and I’m the type that usually tries to get mine from vegetables and meat. ¬†You get 5 mg of iron per package and the contents are listed as iron-rich natural spring water. ¬†Now, I’m more curious and my first thought was, “please don’t taste like iron”. ¬†I taste it as-is and I will say the package suggests adding it to a fruit based juice or just more water. ¬†It does not smell strong but my nose must be stuffy because the taste was very unpleasant. ¬†Strong notes of metal and almost a fishy finish. ¬†I drank plain water trying to wash the unpleasant taste and I would think I was free from it for it to just creep back. ¬†The very unfavorable notes were stuck in the back of my teeth and in my throat, it took several sips to just diliute it enough so it would not give me a “sicky-feeling”. ¬†Again, why would someone want to drink their iron like this is something I thought before tasting and was reinforced after tasting. ¬†I give this product a 1 but wishing my scale had a 0

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  • Licious Organics Honey Cookies (One 1 ounce cookie):¬†Let’s move on from the iron disaster and onto cookies…much nicer. ¬†I received the cranberry almond variety and this is an unbaked cookie. ¬†You have finely crushed oats, coconut, almonds and raw honey, plus cranberries and sunflower seeds. ¬†You also have sunflower oil, Utah pink salt, cinnamon, vanilla and lemon juice. The cookie is also wheat free and 130 calories per small cookie. ¬†I can say it tastes unbaked and even though dates are not mentioned, the pulverized texture makes you think of them of date bars. ¬†This cookie saved me from the iron so I am grateful! ¬†The texture and puck shaped cookie makes it……well un-cookie like. ¬†This is more like a nutrition bar shaped like a disc but when I looked at the protein and nutrition facts, I can see why it’s called a cookie. ¬†Not bad if you have it right there but would not crave it or seek it out. ¬†I give the faux cookie a 2

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  • Beanfield’s Bean & Rice Chips (One 1.5 ounce bag):¬†I was fortunate to review the entire selection offered by the Beanfield’s company and today I still purchase and eat their chips. ¬†I received the pico de gallo flavor and please read my detailed review here-http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-n2¬†. ¬†You will enjoy these very flavorful chips and I give this tasty chip a 5

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  • Eco-Dent Oral Care (3 packets):¬†This is a company that makes natural based products for oral care. ¬†I received 1 packed of dental gum, 1 packet of the daily rinse and 1 packet of tooth powder that substitutes as toothpaste. ¬†Eco-Dent has a full line of dental hygiene products to fulfill your dental needs. ¬†The products tasted actually rather nice and they all had a mint-based flavor. ¬†The company included a 10% off coupon, plus a nice informative pamphlet about what makes their products premium and natural. ¬†They even stand behind their products with a money-back guarantee! ¬†I’m addicted to keeping my teeth white and while I did like these items, they just did not fit my individual needs. ¬†Yes, Baking Soda whitens but in my experience not as quick and fast as the products I currently use. ¬†These products perform as advertised and I give these products a 4

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  • CalNaturalle Svelte Organic Protein Shake (One 11 Fluid Ounce container):¬†I skip on drinking protein shakes or smoothies and I must be honest on why, I’m lazy about washing my non-dishwasher safe shaker bottle. ¬†Yes, it comes down to that but it’s the honest truth. ¬†I then think of buying one that is dishwasher safe but no point if you need it the following day so I made a simple purchase complicate. ¬†Only me! ¬†In comes Svelte making sure to clear away my laziness by having their shake come in their own bottle. ¬†I just shake, open and drink. ¬†My flavor came in French vanilla and is sweetened with stevia. ¬†All organic products and the protein shake is soymilk based, giving you 11 grams of protein. ¬†It tasted pretty good for being a vanilla flavor and I drank half and then put it in the freezer for it to freeze just enough to make it taste like a shake….20 minutes top. ¬†Then I loved it so I give this product a 4

 

  • So, let’s rate my UrthBox and I give the service, size of box and items included a fairly deserved 4.5 and 5 if you find a discount code…..wait, I found one. Use code 5XU83J and you get a $10 Gift Card towards your first order. Code expires on 5/30/2014.

Please Visit UrthBox and broaden your food and snacking needs:

 

I received the above product free of charge from UrthBox.  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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