Influenster: Slim Fast Bar, Crisps, and Shake VoxBox Review #ItsYourThing #Influenster

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Being part of the Influenster network, allows members to qualify for VoxBoxes. My latest one arrived in late December, which featured an array of Slim Fast branded products. Being the new year we all want to lose weight or at the very least get rid of that holiday poundage brought on by cookies and treats. I gained 6 pounds in the last week of December because I behaved from Thanksgiving to Christmas but once Santa came, he brought treats, candy, chocolates (I’m surprised I did not consume the stocking) and it seems I ate them all between Christmas and New Year’s Eve!

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I’m pretty good at restricting myself and believe with all the advancements in food today, that leaving food as it is, meaning less to zero processing allows us to eat pretty much anything (with portion control) and not suffer the consequences. I eat my weight in salads and I’m not even a fan of most dressings, as I think they tend to drown the freshness out of the produce as it is. I love avocados and find them to be nature’s dressing. They are creamy and never ruin a salad like a fake creamy dressing can. I have those days though where I am in a snacking mood or just running short on time, so I pick the brands I trust carefully. I look for meal replacement or snack products that are not full of fake sweeteners or loaded with sodium. Finding real ingredients is “my thing”, so let’s see how the Slim Fast VoxBox did.

The Slim Fast VoxBox included:

  • SlimFast® Advanced Ready to Drink Shake in Vanilla flavor
  • SlimFast® Advanced Nutrition 100 Calorie Snacks in Sour Cream & Onion Baked Crisps flavor
  • SlimFast® Advanced Nutrition Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Meal Replacement Bars
  • SlimFast® Advanced Nutrition 100 Calorie Snacks Drizzled Crisps in Cinnamon Bun Swirl flavor

 

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First, I tried the items that were easy to munch on and that was the Sour Cream and Onion Baked Crisps to satisfy the salty urges and for the sweet cravings, I tried the Drizzled Crisps in Cinnamon Bun Swirl. First thing I noticed with both bagged products, was the large amount of “dustings” in the bag. I call that the powdery and broken up bits in a bag that barely resemble the whole product you see pictured in the front of the bag. Like the posters for drive-thru burgers, my product did not resemble the picture on the bag. The Sour Cream and Onion crisps had the higher amount of “dustings” that I wondered if I should just use the contents as a batter coating! I taste a pinch-full of what these crisps use to be and the flavor and texture resemble closely to those chips that come in a canister….but more broken up. The odd part was when you ate the product, it tasted good enough to satisfy a chip craving but when you drank water, you had an odd aftertaste that lingered. The taste was not like potato or the sour cream and onion coating, think more milk solids or dry milk and it was what it tasted closely too. Each bag is 100 calories and states it comes with 18 to 20 crisps. I am not kidding when if I say I got 4 whole ones and that is counting the ones that were 3/4 whole. The breakage takes away from the enjoyment and if you get past that, the aftertaste did me in. I did not finish the bag but I figured that means I consumed less calories!

 

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Next, came the Cinnamon Bun Swirl crisps. These were a little more in one piece but the drizzle on top was mostly on the bottom of the bag. The sweetness is not overwhelming and the cinnamon had a nice balance to it. Again, the odd aftertaste was present but you could overlook this one more. The crisps had a pleasant crunch and like some products on the market, these did not leave you with a cotton mouth after you ate them. I could actually see myself picking up a bag if a sweet craving hits me that is overwhelming because a bag is just 100 calories for 20 to 22 crisps. These were also 30% whole in the bag!

 

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SlimFast’s Ready to drink shake that comes in an easy to go bottle. The bottle idea I like because sometimes messing with powder and a scoop can be a pain, but I usually take a bottle water (or almond milk) and just scoop into a shaker bottle when I am on the go. I then combine the ingredients (wet/dry) when I am ready to consume them, so this way I don’t end up with chocolate powder that found it’s way out of a plastic baggy and went poof in my purse! I made sure to try the drink cold from the fridge and upon opening the bottle, the Vanilla scent is not very Vanilla like. I take a sip and the drink is about 4 out of ten when it comes to overall taste and flavor. I have had much better and this drink had an odd thickness to it. I made sure to shake it just in case and the thickness left a film in my mouth that was not very vanilla or real milk tasting, or even a nut milk flavor! It took away from the enjoyment and even with time, I could not get use to it. Being able to get 20 grams of protein on the go is a plus, but when I priced it out, weighed in the flavor/texture and the ingredients, I would still opt for a premium powder mix that is usually higher in protein. I did fix the flavor by adding part of a scoop of powdered Peanut Butter and Chocolate, and that is when I noticed that my PB and Chocolate powder had a better quality of chocolate and real flavor than what the Slim Fast drink.  I then felt I wasted a scoop of the “good stuff” on trying to make the not so good stuff better! I also noticed there is natural and artificial flavors but no where but the title of the drink says Vanilla.  It’s called Vanilla Creme but nowhere is Vanilla listed! I then stopped looking at the ingredients because they made my tummy rumble more.  😦

 

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Last but not least, the bar in Dark Chocolate and Sea salt. This is a meal replacement bar and has 10 grams of protein and 200 calories.  Ninety of those calories come from fat and the protein derives from Soy, not Whey. I look at the list and there are so many other bars on the market with better core ingredients and even protein impact, and with less fat! This bar is super sweet and off in taste, plus costs more than the better bars. The Dark Chocolate has a waxy texture and is of poor quality. I did not go past the one bite because my calories and fat matters. The bar is filled with syrups derived from everything from brown rice, tapioca and simple cane. They added Inulin as a source of fiber, plus Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil to hold it all together. Let me add the above comes before the Cocoa itself and Oats was still listed before the chocolate! They might as well called the flavored Sweet Oats-y. The only positive is that it has Almonds as a first ingredients but I felt they were ruined by the rest!

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Final Verdict:

I love the VoxBoxes and Influenster!  I am not so in love with Slim Fast.  I think back and they are a company that his been around a long time but I feel they are always playing catch up and still stuck in the motto of “portion control baggies”.  Most people that are serious about losing weight and/or managing their weight, can portion out an individual serving.  They sell containers to baggies to help you out that serve as a carrying vessel and probably keep the products in more decent shape.  You can use a scale or like I do, I still use a scale but I test myself first to see if I can visually guess-estimate on my own and then verify with the scale.  I notice I usually serve myself a little under the 1 serving a packaging lists.  I can do math, so I don’t need someone doing it for me.  Next, the ingredients used are “old school” but not in a good way.  Cheap sugars, bad oils, artificial flavors and dyes, and poor protein sources is not what I call healthy eating.  Yes, you get less calories but that is barely the entire picture when eating well.  You need good fats, a good source of protein and more to stay energized.  Yes, the Slim Fast products come with vitamins and minerals but again a multi-vitamin can do that for you if that is what you desire!  I looked at the products as a whole and asked myself is this a balanced diet?  Slim Fast does not state just eat our food solely but the 1 meal or 2 real meals you add in a day should not make-up for everything you did not get.  I want energy and I’m not even asking for a boost of it from products, just keep me going in the day.  If I started with a shake, ate a bar for lunch (maybe 1 or 2 crisp snacks) and then ate dinner…..well, when my body is suppose to be winding down is when my body got the better fuel.  Yeah, that did not sit well with me!  Then I saw the price points because convenience comes at a price and Slim Fast was more expensive than the “golden dietary products” on the market.  Um, I’m paying more to eat less better is what entered my head.  Yeah, I prefer paying the bills Santa brought and managing my weight with other products than paying for products that are sub-par both in how they were made and how they came out of a bag!

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Slim Fast and Influenster.  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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The Mediterranean Table w/ Over 150 recipes by Sonoma Press

It’s no secret that in this country, we’re overwhelmingly unhealthy thanks to our diets. The food that’s most readily available, easiest to prepare and (usually) the most affordable is some of the most unhealthy food in the history of this planet. Loaded with salt, sugar, refined and processed ingredients, saturated fats and empty carbs, a steady diet of these types of foods will make your life miserable and most likely put you in an early grave. In my house, we eat fresh, prepare every meal from (almost) scratch and don’t eat fast food. This book, The Mediterranean Table, will help you replace bad eating habits with better ones, and gently guide you to a healthier, c51FE+IyEhXL._SX403_BO1,204,203,200_leaner, more balanced lifestyle. And while the advice on it’s face certainly won’t be cheap, with some careful substituting and shopping weekly sales, the diet plan in here is doable, affordable, and an excellent roadmap to making lasting, permanent and health changes in you lifestyle and diet that will lead to a lifetime of benefits.

The recipes in this book are simple, easy to follow, and use ingredients that can be mostly found at the local supermarket for about what you’d pay for the prepared junk that sits in the deli case. It makes abundant use of simple, unrefined ingredients, olive oil, vegetables and herbs. There’s cheeses for the cheese lovers, meats for the meat lovers, breads for the bread lovers…There’s really something for everyone. What I would have liked to see is a
“substitutions” list on the recipes for harder to find or unusual ingredients. Some can be very seasonal and some are just not easy to find due to geography, but overall I found the recipes to be easy to follow, and simple to adjust for availability of ingredients. There’s soups, dinners, deserts, sauces, toppings, sides…and even an online resource list that can help you find some of the more exotic additions. Plus separate reciepe and ingredient indices for quick reference.

Overall I liked this book, and it’s recipes, and found something that both Hubby and I are greatly looking forward to trying. There’s heartier meals for colder weather, and lighter fare for the summers. I can see myself pulling this book out all year round for inspiration, and if you’re looking to start eating and living healthier and better, this book would be a great starting point.

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

SlimQuick Pure: Extra Strength Mixed Berries Drink Mix Review #SlimQuickPure

 

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Not all caffeine is created equal and that means some sources will cause more tremors, jitters and some even perform better than others. I try to always keep the source of my caffeine as natural as possible and also simple. I just want to boost my metabolism a little and get that much needed energy that gives me enough “umph” to make it through the day.

SlimQuick Pure covers the six reasons a female may be experiencing difficulties when it comes to weight loss:

  1. Increasing your Metabolism
  2. Reduction of Appetite
  3. Energy boost
  4. Reduce Excess Water
  5. Hormones Support
  6. Stress Reduction

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The mix is simple and even contains antioxidants and a SlimQuick’s patent mix named BioPure Green Tea™. The company also has support when it comes to diet plans and even a 25 pound weight loss challenge in as little as 13 weeks. With community support and being able to get advice and seek out information, I feel it’s more than just picking up an OTC product and “winging it”. It’s a drink with a program and with people that are sharing the same experiences and goals, such as weight loss and improving overall health.

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Ingredients:
Rest assured Slimquick Pure Drink Mix contains natural ingredients like Antioxidants, Calcium, Vitamin D and Exclusive BioPure Green Tea™.

Other Ingredients: Maltodextrin, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid, Cane Juice Crystals, Malic Acid, Aspartame, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Silicon Dioxide, Red 40, and Blue 1.

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Retail Price Point: $13.48 vi Amazon, $19.99 at Walgreen’s and Target had the product at $14.19.  The product also reflects a 100% Money-Back Guarantee on the packaging.

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Verdict:
Most mixes that are great for you are not always great to the taste buds but this drink was pleasant in flavor. Increasing your water intake not only helps with keeping you full and hydrated, but it’s just a good habit to get into. I felt the berry flavor also made the drinking of water a change from the plain. Now, when it comes to energy, the product does deliver and I felt more motivated to do the things I am suppose to do on an everyday basis, plus not get out of working-out. SlimQuick Pure’s Drink mix is that little helper and you can adjust your intake by your needs. I started off slow and did half a packet to see how I felt. The package states to not exceed more than 4 servings in a day and starts you off with one in the morning and then 1 packet in the afternoon. You increase on day two, in taking 2 packets in AM and 1 in the afternoon. Day 3, you do 2 in the morning and 2 in afternoon and stay at this intake level. I felt for the small amount of weight loss I wanted, I did not need that amount of intake and with the product’s box yielding 26 packets, that can make for one expensive dietary supplement. The one thing that sticks is that it works. It worked for me doing 1 packet in the morning and 1 packet in the evening and I curbed my intake by my activity level. No reason to get an energy boost I was going to do nothing with and that usually in my experience results in jitters. I do like that I can customize SlimQuick Pure’s drink mix and as long as you stay within the guidelines, you may see the results you are looking for like I did. 5 pounds on week 1 and I took less in week two and lost 3 pounds. So, far that means this mix works perfectly for me.

Connect with SlimQuick Pure at:

 

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

 

 

CortiSlim® Burn™: #CortiSLIM Burn Supplement Review

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CortiSlim was a product I was familiar with in the past and it was not because I have taken it, but the huge amount of advertisement that was launched to promote the brand. Years later the product left the market and it has returned, with new ingredients and changes.

One of the new ingredients is the adding of Raspberry Ketones and the proprietary blend called Bioactive Burn Matrix.

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Ingredients (as listed on bottle):

  • Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, Chromium, Bioactive Burn Matrix: Green Tea Extract, Razberi-K, Caffeine Anhydrous, Caffeine (sustained release) and Guarana Seed.
  • Other Ingredients: Microcrystalline cellulose, Gelatin, Silica, magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Blue #1

 

Indications (as I took the supplement): You take 2 capsules in the AM and 2 more in the PM.  No more than 4 capsules a day!

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Directions (on bottle): 

  • For Fitness Enhancement:  Adults take 2 capsules per day 1 hour before exercising with a meal and a full glass of water.
  • For Maximum Fitness Enhancement:  Adults take 2 capsules per day with breakfast and a full glass of water, and 2 capsules with lunch and a full glass of water.  Do not exceed 4 capsules in a 24 hour period.  If you are taking CortiSlim® Burn™ while taking another CortiSlim® product, do not exceed 2 CortiSlim® Burn™ capsules in a 24 hour period.

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Retail Price Point: $25.99 for one bottle via Amazon or you can invest in 3 bottles for $59.90.  Each bottle has 72 capsules.

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Verdict:
I took the product as instructed and took out my 1/2 caffeine pill I take in the morning, as I did not want to be over caffeinated. In week one, I noticed on the first day that my jitters were not present, as I sometimes can get “the shakes” with just the smallest intake of caffeine. I blame the albuterol for my asthma causing this with the caffeine. That was just not there, so that I did appreciate. Week Two, I continue to take the 2 pills in the AM and 2 pills at night. I’m still feeling energized like when I took my 1/2 caffeine pill but no more, nor more less. It’s sort of like the exact amount of “umph” I felt before taking CortiSlim. I was only taking 200 mg divided in half (100), so it’s not like I have a high tolerance and/or base use that would make the CortiSlim negligent. I continue watching what I eat and because I gear what I eat by what my activity will be that day, I consume around 1200 calories. I weigh myself and I can celebrate that I have not gained weight but have not lost any. I’m the exact same weight. The caffeine in CortiSlim is derived from Green Tea Extract Leaf, Caffeine Anhydrous, Caffeine (sustained release) and Guarana Seed Standardized Extract. I am getting more caffeine going by the amounts and intake, but I don’t feel it, see it, or even reap the benefits in caloric loss. I did notice no milligrams are listed on the exact caffeine amount from each ingredient, so maybe I’m taking less (who knows!).  I can see making the leap that the product is “maintaining” my weight. That is the other positive I can maybe find. I just wanted to lose 10 pounds and was hoping to accelerate the loss. I did see that CortSlim makes an “Advanced Formula” and for once I may ask the manufacture to send this out before I make a final verdict on the brand. Right now, it’s a great mix of caffeine for energy because I was steady as can be but that also comes at a price point. I will assume I plateaued when it comes to weight loss and will see if a stronger formula will give me the kick (offing of the 10 pounds that linger) I seek!

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Connect with CortiSLIM to checkout the BURN formula and their revamped product line at:

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

Sari Foods Company: Nutritional Yeast Flakes, Vitamin C from Acerola Cherries and Spirulina Powder #Review

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It’s not just because I told myself in 2014 that in 2015 I want to eat better, a la New Year’s resolution, but I have been looking for ways to add nutrition to my diet via super foods. The only way to know if the “buzz” is real, is to get out there and try it.

Super Foods and what makes them super duper is really in the eye of the beholder, however the general rule is a product that is naturally fortified with an enormous amount of vitamins, minerals, omegas, and/or antioxidants, and so forth. As I ventured down the super foods rabbit hole, I literally realized that I needed to go beyond the Goji and Acai berries I was so comfortable with already eating and drinking. I needed to go old school and give Spirulina powder a try, to the ultimate cherries called Acerolas. Yeast flakes is new to me and when the package stated it tastes like cheese, I know I love cheeses but unsure if a yeast flake had the “moo flavor” I was looking for. Time to get out of my comfort zone!

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Spirulina Powder– Sari Food’s provides you with a 100% purely organic powder, so that is a positive beginning. Spirulina is not new to the world of super foods that even the Aztecs consumed such a gem. The plant grows and thrives in water beds/lakes and is magical on it’s own, where it even creates it’s own feed so it can thrive. I was already intrigued by the idea of something creating nutrients for itself and to me that was like have an endless supply of energy bars in your purse! The protein level is insane when you look at the amount of product that delivers such a high content. Sarii Food’s Spirulina has 6.5 grams of protein for every 10 grams of servings, that equates to one heaping tablespoon, and it does not stop there:

You have Iron and 6.0 mg, which is 33% of your D.V.
Vitamin A 27 mg, so you get 1800% of your D.V. and we are still on 1 tablespoon’s worth.
Vitamin B12 15mcg., giving you 250% of your D.V.
Vitamin B2 comes at 450 mcg., and 28% of your D.V.
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is 350 mcg., and provides 25% of your D.V.
Niacin, known as Vitamin B3 is 3 mg and 15% of your D.V,
Magnesium is 48 mg, and 12% of your D.V.
Vitamin K is 40 mg and a generous 50% of your D.V,
Folic Acid is an astonishing 450 mcg, and comes to 113% of your D.V.
Plus, Total Carotenoids at 30 mg
Chlorophyll at 60 mg
Phycocyanin at 800 mg
Gamma-Linolenic Acid
DHA at 70 mg (Docosahexaenoic acid) which helps with brain function and is an Omega-3 fatty acid, comes at 70 mg

Retail Price Point: $23.95 via Amazon for a 16 ounce package, which provides 45 servings .

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That is a lot in just 1 heaping tablespoon. I tried the product by adding it to smoothies and to my morning power breakfast, which is mixed with fruit, yogurt and granola. The taste did not affect my breakfast in a negative way and by week one, I did notice I felt better but I did not stop taking my daily supplements, so Sari Foods’s Spirulina really filled the void that was missing and/or needed in my daily nutrition intake. The protein is plant based and is even rated better than what you get from legumes and without the bloating effects or feeling too full from eating beans. Studies wise I found very little when it came to having a negative impact from Spirulina and because I can’t beat the boost of energy I have been experiencing, I am addicted to feeling better so will continue it’s use.

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Vitamin C powder from Acerola Cherries– Sari Food’s again provides us with a 100% USDA certified, Organic product. The package states that just 1 Acerola Cherry gives you the vitamin C of 65 oranges. Okay, you got my attention! The Acerola cherry tree is found in many regions like Brazil, where so many super foods derive from to California, Florida, Texas and certain regions in South America. The fruit tends to deteriorate quickly once ripe, so cultivation and process is key in making sure you get the most out of every red little gem the tree produces. When I stated quickly deteriorating, think of when you cut into an apple or potato and the Acerola cherry comes near that. Within 4 hours from just harvesting, a negative impact in appearance and in texture is already visible. That is one delicate little cherry but not when it comes to nutrition:

I mentioned the orange versus acerola statement above but to put it into perspective, this cherry juice gives you 13 times more Vitamin C than one glass of O.J.  Sari Food’s has made the impact even better by just 1 teaspoon giving you 500 mg, that is 833% of your D.V. The only other ingredient in their powder is organic and non-gmo Maltodextrin, so nothing gets between you and your Vitamin C!

Retail Price Point: $29.95 via Amazon for a 6 ounce package, which provides you with 58 servings.

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I found many benefits on-line upon reading and we already know what Vitamin C does for the body and protecting our immune system.  Some studies suggested aid with asthma, allergies, regulating blood sugar, shortening colds, helping with the aging impact of free radicals, to reducing cholesterol and heart disease.  The claims were broad and some with clinical back-up and some just anecdotal.  I gave the powder a try for 3.5  weeks and the one thing I was able to attribute to it’s intake, was better skin.  The month of February was the best looking clear skin I have had.  The powder is tart to sour like you would expect from a Vitamin C powder but the package suggested just a touch of coconut sugar would help if that was an issue.  I went with nectarines and once chopped, I added the powder and it actually improved the taste of my fruit versus needing to fix anything with the powder.  I will be taking this when stress is coming my way, which in my world is on a weekly basis!

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Nutritional Yeast FlakesSari Food’s gives you a Vegan product that is Non-GMO and Gluten Free.  Yeast flakes provide everything from Potassium, Iron and a multitude of vitamins and minerals.  You have also a great amount of fiber, so it fills you up without the guilt!  Yeast is consumed for many reasons and used to amp up a dish’s nutritional value to some people who enjoy the flavor the product provides.

Retail Price Point: $12.95 via Amazon for a 8 ounce package, which provides 14 servings.

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The yeast flake product from Sari Food’s in non-fortified, meaning you get a natural product that is nourished from natural sources.  No fake vitamins or anything created in a lab to increase what is derived naturally!  The yeast has a whopping 18 amino acids and everything from Biotin, which helps with hair and nail growth to 352.0% of your D.V. of B5 Vitamin.  You just take 2 heaping tablespoons and add it to “almost” any dish.  I will say the scent of the product really in my opinion is more geared towards savory dishes.  The only yogurt based spread I could think of that would be pleasurable in taste, was when I made Gyros and combined the yeast flakes with Feta cheese.  We liked the change and especially on potatoes.  It really does amp up the protein content to 8.32 grams, which breaks down to 16.6% of your D.V., so I kept this in mind when cooking with proteins.  I know protein and especially clean protein is good for you but I also want only so much of it.  The fiber content makes digesting easy and especially if you are attempting to lose or just maintain a healthy weight.  This product may have limited me towards the savory dishes but then again everything else is geared towards sweetness in the diet and nutrition world, that I found it welcoming to have something I could add with most dinners.  The Yeast flakes in salads was another boost of flavor I was able to enjoy and especially on avocados!

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Get acquainted with the above products and with Sari Foods Company at:

 

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

 

Summit Nutritions Instantized Whey Protein Isolate Powder (3-pack)

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While I am a fan of and can appreciate a good protein powder, Hubby is the real “house expert” here, so I will again defer to him for this coming review, Summit Nutritions Instantized Whey Protein Isolate Powder in natural dutch chocolate. Take it away, Hubby:

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I’ve tried more than a few protein powders, and mostly through much trial and error have found out what works best for me and my exercise routines. Summit Nutritions has made a very decent Isolate product that can stand on it’s own with the likes of BSN, Muscle Pharm, and Optimum Nutrition. A little bit about this product and others like it. All whey proteins are not created alike. All protein powders aren’t created alike either. Whey is created by separating the components of milk. The differences between concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate. The differences between the three are the purity of protein, available protein by weight, and the purest forms can be virtually lactose free, carbohydrate free, fat free, and cholesterol free. Whey proteins are quickly absorbed, have a high amout of BCAAs, and lately, the better ones can be very expensive. Isolates especially. To find a good isolate powder, that isn’t spiked, and tastes good is a tricky endeavor. “Spiked” powder is pretty cheap and unfortunately pretty common. The practice of spiking protein powders with certain amino acids and other substances to artificially boost the protein count. Brands like Body Fortress are notorious for this, and are actually being sued in a class action because of it.

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Summit Nutritions isn’t playing that game. Just whey protein isolates, some natural flavors, sweeteners, cocoa powder, and some thickener. And for it’s minimal ingredient list, it tastes pretty dang good. A little on the sweet side, but for anyone who’s tried “unflavored” whey proteins knows that the sweetness is much better than the alternative. No sugars, no cholesterol, minimal carbs and practically no fat. It mixes well, leaves no clumps, and actually tastes IMAG2403better than my usual isolate product. It’s premeasured in 30g individual pouches, and one can easily add your BCAA powders or creatine with minimal effect on the taste and consistency of the shake. I use these powders for my post-workout shake, but I can see this being an occasional meal replacement shake too. Be it a quick liquid breakfast or a liquid lunch on the run. The sealed single serve packages lend themselves to quick and easy mixing that you can do anywhere, anytime with just a half bottle of water. If not for one glaring thing, I could see this becoming my go-to powder for regular use.

 

That oIMAG2404ne thing is price. At $8 for 3 servings, you’re looking at almost $200 to match the leading brand’s 74 serving tubs of concentrate, or $133 to match the leading brand’s 50-serving isolate tub. That’s prohibitively expensive. I’m not sure I’d pay an additional $80 for the convenience of pre-measured powder to mix on the go. Currently, the company sells a package of 3 single serving pouches at $7.99, 2lb tubs at $36.99 and 5lb tubs for $69.99. That’s still pretty expensive, more than one would spend for similar products of equal quality on Amazon, which is currently the only place Summit Nutrtions sells their protein powder. So while 3 days of mixes do not really give you enough of a sample size to see whether you get the usual benefits of a good post-workout whey isolate shake, it is enough to tell you it tastes good, smells good, mixes good, & seems to have everything you want in a protein powder, nothing you don’t.

 

Thanks, Hubby. I appreciate you being my designated sports nutrition testing try-out fella.

 

Connect with Summit Nutrtions:

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

FlavFusion: 26 Oz Infuser Water Bottle with Flip Top Sipper Lid #Review #InfuserWaterBottle

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With the new year brings new goals and that means dropping old (bad) habits for the sake of improvement. One of the goals I implemented in 2014, was to drink more water. I was not dropping a soda habit but I just forget to drink anything for long periods of time and usually recall right before dinner time. I started by just carrying a water bottle around and realized that it’s nice and heavy in my purse when full. I carried that water bottle everywhere and never even forgot it or lost it……but rarely had any. I think just the idea of drinking plain water over and over again was sort of lost on my taste buds unless they were suffering from thirst.

My solution in 2015………let’s add fruit to the party! An infuser water bottle allows me to change things up with the seasons, my cravings, to just getting me enticed to drink more fluids and of the good kind to boot. FlavFusion makes the perfect Infuser bottle minus the big price tag. The bottle does not have all the bells and whistles but it’s the ideal “starter bottle” I need.  This allows me to know if this will work for me, do I want to add more bottles to the collection, or is this just another bottle for me to lug around.
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Retail Price Point: $11.61 via Amazon for a large 26 ounce bottle

When the FlavFusion bottle arrived, I was ready with my favorite fruit, Pomegranates. I had one ready with all the arils already removed so I can get a jump start. I did as instructed and washed the bottle, removed the top, added the fruit to the “infuser tube”, added filtered water and allowed everything to come together. I even semi-crushed some of the fruit to allow better (and quicker) infused results. I tried both an overnight fusion and even a simple one hour of soaking before drinking. I can say I did enjoy playing with the flavors, amount of fruits to different fruit combinations. I even used Coconut water at times as a base and made a tropical blend with a small Pineapple spear and Tangerine slices. My experience was mostly positive and I did drink my way to 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day. Success and very easy to do!

The Positives-

  • Low price point and especially if you are starting out and want a easy travelling around bottle
  • The bottle holds a nice amount of fluid, 26 ounces in all
  • Removable fruit infuser core, so no battling trying to fit fruit in a fixed center, that may fall and then swim around freely in the bottle
  • BPA Free and Lead Free
  • Bottle is made of PET Plastic
  • Basket (infuser core) is made of Polypropylene
  • Made in the USA and if the bottle has issues, the seller replaces defective bottles

A few (small) Cons- The bottle states to hand-wash and I know sometimes we are all use to just adding items to the dishwasher and even the top rack. This would be a no-go here as the heat would probably damage the product.  Knowing that the bottle is made of better materials, I can easily overlook this.  The bottle sometimes drips from the top where you secure it closed and this could cause some drops to leak and that can’t be too nice when carrying or if it happens to tip over. Just make sure to always keep it upright and you should drink happily!

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

Gurin: High Accuracy Digital Bathroom Scale ACS-100 #Review #DigitalBathroomScale

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Gurin High Accuracy Digital Bathroom Scale with 4.3″ Display and Step-On Technology

There is one product that everyone absolutely needs this time of year, but no one thinks about. A scale. With all the rich comfort foods, sugary desserts, and appetizers, my bikini body can go “poof” in a New York minute. And I worked very hard on it, so you better believe I’m tracking every calorie and pound. What better way to do that than with this stylish, tempered-glass digital beauty from Gurin? Why can’t a scale look snazzy too?

Retail Price Point: $23.50 via Amazon

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It feels solidly built enough that I’m not terrified to step on it. Hubby either. This Gurin ACS-100 is backlit, consistent and reliable, safe for up to 400 pounds. The 4.3″ LCD Screen can be viewed from any angle, even in the dark! With “Step-On” technology it’s a cinch to operate. And best of all, it runs on AAA batteries, which, yes, thank heavens, are included.  Four precision sensors means an accurate reading the first time, and every time. We compared side by side with our previous scale that cost nearly twice as much. We got the same reading time after time.

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I’m loving this new scale. And I’m loving how it looks, even if it doesn’t always deliver the news I want. Specifically, that cheesecake, pumpkin pie, and stuffing are not calorie free and as we’ve established, this Gurin ACS-100 doesn’t lie.

Start 2015 with a Gurin scale!  The scale comes with the Gurin Satisfaction Guarantee and a 2-year warranty.

 

Connect with Gurin and their products at:

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

 

 

Diet Standards: AMINOHD 1000 Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) #AminoHD1000AmazonReview

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I received from Poliquin Group, the opportunity to try Branch Chain Amino Acids and quickly knew it was something my Husband would like.  Below is his review of the product and the details. .

I’ve been using supplements now for almost 2 decades. I know what works for me and what doesn’t. I use very few because, honestly, most of them are junk and don’t do squat. Of the few I’ve taken with regularity, BCAAs are some that I feel work for me. So when Diet Standards offered to let me try their product in exchange for an honest review, I jumped at the chance. There’s some good stuff, and a little bad here, so let me explain.

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Ingredients (as listed on the site):
AminoHD 1000 BCAA contains only Branch Chain Amino Acids and Vegetable Capsules. Nothing else deserves to be in your BCAA supplement. – Ingredients: L-Leucine (250mg per capsule), L-Isoleucine (125mg per capsule), and Valine (125mg per capsule) in Vegetable Capsules (Vegetable Cellulose).

-The Good-

These BCAA’s are very competitively priced in this market. You get 450 500mg capsules for $29.99. That’s a fantastic value. They advertise no fillers or artificial ingredients, and as near as I can tell, there aren’t any. I’ve opened the capsules to mix with my post-workout shake, and mixed some in with my pre-workout drink as well. No horrid taste that I can detect. As far as results, I exercise to maintain my health, strength, and fitness level, not to get fitter, bigger or stronger. So in that regard, I give the product high marks, now two weeks in, for being not all the different than the “optimum” branded product I was using before. No better, and no worse. So that should be high praise indeed.

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-The Bad-

The recommended servings are INSANE. 2 capsules between meals, before workouts, and after workouts That’s a LOT of damn pills, people. Unless you’re looking to get jacked up like, say, a Ronnie Coleman, that’s massive overkill. And that many BCAA’s without an extremely intense, long workout are a total waste. Also, the capsules are kind of flimsy, which leads to the powder “leaking” out, or getting crushed easily, or popping open. No bueno. But if that’s the price I pay for a more natural gel capsule, I’ll live with it. Just keep a zip-top baggie handy if you need to transport them.

Overall, these are a tremendous value for the quality, and I’m glad I got to try them. I can say that when this bottle is done, I’ll probably be ordering another. Thanks again, Diet Standards!

Connect with Diet Standards on:

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

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sano: Vitamin C Serum+ Daily Skin Revitalizer and Vitamin C Eye Gel+ with Silk Peptides #Review #SanoSerum

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I have been wanting to incorporate Vitamin C into my skin care regimen after doing some research.  In the following weeks, I will be reviewing products that will focus around brands that deliver to your skin the maximum Vitamin C and hoping to see positive results. You can read my post on my research at- Topical Vitamin C use in Beauty Products Research and Information

My first to test and review is by a brand named Sano Naturals.  I liked from the get-go that they back-up their beauty products.  If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase and skin care experience, they will refund your entire purchase price, no questions asked.  They also include a bonus item with purchase and that is always a positive!

 

Sano Vitamin C Serum+:

On the bottle it states the product is of high potency and a Daily Skin Revitalizer. The bottle is a beautiful cobalt blue in color and the dark hue aids with preserving the product, which is rated at 20% concentration. I next looked at the ingredient list and you have an Organic Herbal Infusion, Aloe, and then Vitamin C. So far I am happy that water is not the delivery agent and other good quality binding ingredients were used along with the vitamin. The list goes on but everything is recognizable and friendly, not something I am use to in the “beauty world”. You get Hyaluronic Acid, which helps with inflammation (puffiness) and dry skin. It’s an ingredient you see for treating Eczema. Sano also uses kosher Vegetable Glycerin to Organic Jojoba oil. Jojoba has many good properties from being used as a fungicide and preventing mildew growth, to being able to deliver moisture without leaving an oily residue.

Results-

Even though most studies for Vitamin C ranged from a month to 12 weeks, I used the product for a period of 2 weeks. I eat a pretty balanced diet that is rich in greens, vegetables and fruit but I have those days that I wish I could say I ate bad, but it’s mostly that time gets in between meals and I eat late. Inconsistency happens! I noticed when I apply the Sano Vitamin C Serum+, my skin quickly absorbs it. It was so quick that my skin felt soft but with no product residue. I even tested one side of my face by applying just simple H2o and even water does not get absorbed at this rate. It usually would roll off but not this serum. So far I was happy with my first application and in not getting an oily appearance and/or feeling. I continued use and by day 4 saw what appeared as smoothness. Let me add no blemishes, pimples, blackheads or any skin occlusions. This serum is friendly when it comes to any acne suffers and even though people say mine is in the mild range, I myself is the one that deals with it so I rate it moderate at times to those moments that you get the monster bump that never comes up. My pores appear smaller just because my skin looks smoother and plumped up but in a good way! I continued use and noticed less was needed as I continued to use the product. My skin was hydrated enough that where I used 2 to 3 drops in one area, then changed to only needing one drop. The one drop then glided better when applied because my skin did experience positive changes. I don’t feel I have lost “years” when it comes to aging but I definitely look better. I look like I slept well, drank all my 8 glasses of water, and even ate well……even though that is not always the case. I was definitely happy with the results!

Retail Price Point: $18.95

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Sano Vitamin C Eye Gel+:

This is a bonus item with purchase.  You again have a cobalt blue colored jar and I love that the product comes with a safety seal that you peel, so no air or anything that can damage or eat up the Vitamin C benefits while in storage. Easy to store and even pack in an overnight bag.

Results-

I never thought a gel could deliver moisture I was happy with but this one did the trick. Being that it’s a gel, the product goes on cold and instantly starts working on my morning’s puffy eyes. The Aloe in the product is very gentle to the skin in that area and I love how my make-up glides on after. Some eye creams would roll up sometimes due to the residue left behind and I had to then try to collect these little eye cream left-overs while at the same time not messing up my make-up. Not with the Sano’s Vitamin C Eye gel+. The product is rich in Peptides to Hyaluronic Acid. Do not be fooled, this gel does moisturize but the area is left with a supple and replenished look. I had zero eye irritations and found the gel friendly to my allergy suffering eyes. A little goes a long way, I used what I could as lightly dab out of the container, maybe the size of two rice grains per eye. The instant results alone of reducing puffiness is hard to beat and I used it with the Sano Vitamin C Serum +, just to get that extra help in my problem areas. My only small con is the product coming in jar form. I prefer bottles with pumps or that have an applicator like a dropper. I’m just not a fan of dabbing into a jar due to bacteria/germs, but due to the performance of the product, it would not deter me from buying it.

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Check-out the products provided by Sano Naturals at:

 

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

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

 

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