GreenForce Labs No2 PreWorkout Supplement Review #GreenForce

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I’ve passed off workout supplements to hubby before, and this one is no different, but thankfully for him, this one was much better than the last. I don’t think he could take another horrible product to be my crash test dummy for. So, without further adieu, here’s hubby:

I’ve been using pre-workout supplements for years now. Some tasted good and did bupkis for me. Some tasted horrible, and did bupkis for me. Some tasted tolerable and worked out well. I have yet to find one that wasn’t overly sweet, loaded with sugars, artificial colors and flavors, or ingredients that I’d rather not ingest. I think, however, I’ve found one in Greenforce Labs No2 Preworkout that hits every metric I want.

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Some background on what I consider essential preworkout primers. One is a bit of caffeine. It really helps get my butt up and moving. Next are some B-vitamins to keep it moving. A little arginine to keep the blood vessels wide open. Everything else for me is gravy. Greenforce No2 Preworkout ups the ante by adding l-ornithine and l-citrulline to combat muscle fatigue, and a new one for me, beet root extract, which aids in greater output, lowers fatigue, and possibly greater strength. Hey now, I’m in. And for me, this product worked. I matched my exercise output and results from my powdered product, at half the cost. I’m happy to alternate between this and my usual.

After making sure I cleared my system of my previous preworkout powder, which I consider seriously flawed due to being obnoxiously sweet. I can happily report that Greenforce No2 Preworkout has no added sugars, natural OR artificial, a major failing of almost every single preworkout on the market. You can easily tailor your intake to your needs or workout. With a 4 capsule serving, that’s simple to say “Okay, it’s late, I’m only taking half tonight”. Also, this is an all-natural product made in the USA, NFW and GMP certified. You get a month’s worth for $21.95 with 120 capsules per bottle.

Now for the best part. This product is 100% satisfaction guaranteed. From the first capsule to the last. Greenforce Labs stands behind this product, no questions, full stop. I had a minor issue with shipping and Greenforce Labs bent over backwards to make sure I was a satisfied customer. Above and beyond. Show me a supplement company that does that. I’ve had dealings with some of the biggest, and it’s all finger-pointing and no guarantees. I’m happy to report there none of that nonsense with Greenforce Labs. I’m happy to support them and look forward to see what they bring to market next.

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Connect with Greenforce Labs:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Greenforce Labs.  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!

Connect with Flav Fusion:

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.

Oloves Olives: Veggie & Bean Delight Quinoa Salad #Recipe

 

 

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  • Veggie & Bean Delight Quinoa Salad

You have a great salad that is packed with protein and fiber that is perfect for a “Meatless Monday”. You can also make this in the evening and it holds well for up to 3 days in the fridge. No dressing needed and you can eat it over a bed of lettuce, fill two tomato halves, or stuff an avocado. I opted for a little bed of lettuce to go with my avocado and it made two beautiful and very filling cups.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 /2 cup of Tri-Color Qunioa (cooked, drained and cooled)
  • 1/2 cup of White Kidney Beans
  • 1/2 cup of Garbanzo Beans
  • 1/4 cup of raw Carrots (diced)
  • 1/4 cup of raw Celery (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup of raw Zucchini (diced)
  • 1/8 of a cup of raw Red Onion (diced)
  • 1 pack of Oloves in Lemon & Rosemary
  • 1 pack of Oloves in Basil and Garlic
  • Optional- Feta crumbled Cheese (add this before serving as a topper)

 

Begin by cooking your Tri-color Qunioa, draining and allowing it to cool.  I always cook mine with a touch of smoked salt and this is why I did not any more to the salad.  The flavor comes all from Oloves olives!

Then chop up all your veggies and add to a large bowl that is big enough to mix and toss.

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Drain and rinse both cans of beans and take 1/2 cup out from each type of bean.

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Add to veggies and toss.  Then open an avocado in half, so you are left with two equal sized halves.  I always brush mine with a little lemon or lime juice to preventing browning and add a little flavor.

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Then simply open 1 bag each of the Oloves pouches in Lemon & Rosemary and the Basil and Garlic varieties.  Add to salad and toss to combine.  Taste and if you want to add a little salt or freshly cracked pepper…….go right ahead but I found the flavors were perfectly balanced by just using what Oloves provided.

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Then simply lay out some lettuce (even Kale) so the avocados don’t feel lonely, top with the salad and you can add some Feta cheese if you desire.  You can store the remainder in a glass container for up to 3 days.  I never store with the cheese because for no reason it sounds “icky” to me, so I top just before serving.  Enjoy!

 

 

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Get your Oloves and you can make the above recipe and more at:

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

 

Oloves Olives: Perfect Olives in every pack #Review

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I really enjoyed the Oloves pack I received with a subscription box and served as my introduction to the brand. You have perfectly shaped green olives that are infused with flavors, not even a pit to get in the way of your munching. Perfect brine paired with a nice “meaty” olive, both the quality of the olives and the ingredients make for one spectacular combination. The company was kind enough to share their selections with me and every Oloves pouch leaves you with a very happy and satisfied taste!

You have several flavor variations to choose from, so the Oloves party never gets dull:

  • Basil & Garlic
  • Chili & Oregano
  • Lemon & Rosemary
  • Chili & Garlic

All products are made with simple ingredients that are Vegan, Kosher, Gluten Free, and all natural. Low in saturated fats and each pouch is a friendly 50 calories.

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Basil & 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.

 

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Chili & Oregano:

An olive with a little attitude! I love this one and the pouch made a delicious muffuleta spread that went wonderfully paired with a Rosemary Ham sandwich. The chili adds a little heat and zest but because the olives are plump and “meaty”, this olive can handle the heat! I will be making a brushetta next time and topping each bread slice with half of an olive in this variation. It changes up the flavors and the Oregano compliments the topping nicely.

 

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Chili & Garlic:

I love garlic but I shy away from it when it comes to packed goods and mostly because manufactures do not respect the clove. You want garlic in it’s full real flavor, not some powdered stuff that looks and tastes like saw dust. Oloves not only got the harissa spice right but the real garlic notes are so there. This is a black olive that slaps back when it comes to heat and flavor but I polished 2 baggies off because I was going to win this battle!

 

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Lemon & Rosemary:

I never knew lemon went so well with that nice acid and brine flavors you get with olives. It just awakens your taste buds with the freshness and the rosemary even made me add a pack (chopped up) into the daily bread I bake. It went so well with the rustic loaf that I will be repeating that concoction again. I also made a salad that has zero dressing because like I mentioned, these are not boring olives. They are the spice of the party!  I will be posting the recipe next!

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Get your Oloves kick at:

 

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

 

 

 

 

Cocomama Foods: The Easiest and Tastiest way to start your morning with Quinoa Cereal #Review

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Cocomama Foods was kind enough to send me a sampler pack, which featured their 4 different varieties of Quinoa cereal. I indulge in the morning and usually want to start with a nice energy filled meal. Getting anything at the store that comes from a box may energize a hummingbird with the amounts of sugar added, however I can’t flap that fast. I’m seeking energy that lasts so I can keep going at a normal pace and Cocomama Quinoa based cereals fit that perfectly.

Got milk? No worries, their pouch form servings are perfect and ready to eat. No need for a stove or even watts from a microwave. You can enjoy the cereal heated or at room temperature. I love the ease of customization because sometimes I want to add fruit and especially when I buy more strawberries than a family of 2 can eat. What can I say, the sales get to me and I have plans at the store that do not always come to fruition at home. I also love the no excuses approach to starting your day in a more healthier way. You seriously can grab a spoon and eat from the pouch on the go, or be a little more civilized if you did not hit the snooze button twice that morning and enjoy it in a bowl, warmed up with a drizzle of honey and fresh fruit.

Cocomama has a Quinoa Cereal to satisfy any craving and avoid breakfast boredom:

  • Honey Almond
  • Banana Cinnamon
  • Wild Bluberry
  • Orange Cranberry

 

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Each flavor has real fruit and the shortest ingredient list I have seen in a pre-packaged cereal. You have water and coconut cream that creates the perfect base, followed by organic quinoa, a touch of sea salt and then whatever the variety is. For example, the Banana Cinnamon flavor has the aforementioned and then maple syrup, banana puree, natural flavors and cinnamon…….told you Cocomama is real food with no codes and abbreviations for stuff you hope you are guessing right when it comes to ingredients. I tried finding a simple cereal like this and could not at my local market. I would have to make it from scratch!  All cereals are dairy free, soy free, gluten free, all natural, vegetarian friendly, great source of protein and fiber and let’s not overlook the 9 essential amino acids you get in every serving.

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  • Cocomama Quinoa Cereal in Wild Blueberry– This is the happiest blue colored bowl that puts a smile on your face. Made with wild blueberry powder, there is no hunting for blueberries to taste them! You get a blueberry burst of flavor and the smell immiting from the bowl is intense as well. If you want to pretend you are in a blueberry patch minus the thorns from picking them, this is the bowl for you. I enjoyed a nice “patriotic bowl” by adding fresh strawberries and fresh blueberries, plus some yogurt chips. One filling pouch is just 220 calories, which deliver 4 grams of protein, 8% of your daily value of Vitamin C and Iron, plus 4% of Calcium.

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  • Cocomama Quinoa Cereal in Honey Almond I always craved the maple and brown sugar oatmeal that was pictured on the box but my oatmeal never looked like the picture or even satisfied my taste buds. If you seek that flavor, this is the variety for you! You have sweet delicious honey and a small hint of Almond. Want more almond? Add them and I have but this base is better than any oatmeal you can make and that is even if you opted for milk versus water. This version also has kaniwa, a ancient super grain/super food that is less bitter and resembles almost red quinoa. Think of a naked quinoa grain because kaniwa is missing the saponins, the outter coating you find on quinoa. It has a more mild flavor but still that great texture. That is another thing you will enjoy, like pasta, grains must be rinsed and cooked properly to achieve the best texture we all seek and Cocomama does just that. A Honey Almond bowl is only 240 calories and you get 5 grams of protein per serving, 8% of your daily value of Iron and 2% of Calcium.

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  • Cocomama Quinoa Cereal in Banana Cinnamon– I love bananas and especially bread but only myself and the dog eats them, so I rarely make banana anything. Now I can have my “nanner” fix and be happy. Want a super banana taste? Use a fork and mash a small banana and then nicely fold in this Cocomama cereal and heat for 25 seconds in a microwave…….the smell alone is insanely good but wait for it to cool before taking a bite. My taste-buds took control of my brain one morning and they got the best of me or to be more exact, my tongue. The wait will be worth it and you will be in what I call “nanner heaven”. I also seek a more mild cinnamon spice flavor, so this made the bowl perfection for me……think of a deconstructed banana bread slice.

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  • Cocomama Quinoa Cereal in Orange Cranberry– I wish this combination of flavors was more popular than just during the holidays. I can find even cranberry sauce and muffins during December but then the party is over, the year flips and I see no Cran-Orange anything. Now I can party all year because whoever said this is just a Winter treat knows nothing! You have moist cranberries floating in sea of orange juice plumped quinoa. Again, every bite delivers the flavor and the scent is just citrus-y and happy. I was so excited when I saw this combo in the sampler pack because it’s what I seek to not get into that breakfast rut. I was naughty and added just a teaspoon of mini dark chocolate chips…….it’s like having an oatmeal cookie without those disappointing raisins. Oatmeal cookies should be made like this and trust me they would sell……..makes me wonder if adding a little rice flour and honey would probably make this pouch into one pretty yummy cookie (hint, hint).
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Bowl filled with Cocomama’s Banana Cinnamon Quinoa Cereal

As if Cocomama Foods needed to add more to their breakfast or late night meal arsenal, they have come out with a brand-new product…..Crunched Out! I can’t wait to try it and from the pictures below, you can see something like Fudgy Chocolate and I see a Vanilla Nut flavor and yes, I would even put it on my coconut sorbet….eating good sometimes makes me feel guilty because for some, eating good is seen as a punishment. Well, you are not doing it right then! Eating good is full of flavor and I eat everything but it’s just real and natural, with a mix of organic even. Real food delivers the entire fruit, grain……what gives your body energy and fuel to run on. Start your morning with Cocomama and your body will be running on happy!

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Check out Crunched Out:

  • Support Cocomama on Kickstarter- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cocomamafoods/get-crunched-out

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Stay tuned for the Crunched Out reviews and I will be releasing the crunch monster in me, it’s sort of like the kraken but I’m friendlier 🙂

Get you Cocomama fix at:

  • On-line- https://www.cocomamafoods.com/
  • Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/CocomamaFoods
  • Twitter- https://twitter.com/cocomamafoods
  • Linkedin- http://www.linkedin.com/company/cocomama-foods?trk=fc_badge
  • Blog- https://www.cocomamafoods.com/blog/

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

 

 

 

Swaggable: The 17 Day Diet Book by Dr. Mike Moreno Review

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Right about the month of March, whatever diet program I have been trying or testing has pretty much reached a point of…..well, boredom. I know it’s a life-style change and thankfully I am usually only fighting off 10 to 15 pounds I want gone, but I call them my celebration pounds, because they return when there is a holiday or birthday. Why March? Well, it’s my birthday month, as well as  my husband’s, so this means cake. Call it cake pounds and as much as I want to blame the confectionery with happy sprinkles that hypnotized me, if I was not looking at it I would have never fallen under it’s spell.

I received the 17 Day Diet book in late January and have read through it and the one thing I loved, is how Dr. Mike Moreno changes things up. Days, weeks, or even months do not play-out the same way for me so that also plays havoc on my diet. I sometimes under eat and other times over indulge, so this book has a more realistic approach to what I call R-E-A-L life. There are times I can do well for 2 weeks and then comes week #3 where I eat something someone brought over to I maybe did the unthinkable and had a real cheesy burger……with bacon and caramelized onions….some fries too. I obviously can’t just get back on the same horse the next week because I sort of strayed but Dr. Moreno also brought exercise into the picture, whereas most of us want a “way to eat”, or a pill to take to be the answer and only solution. It’s like the relationship you truly wish will work but sooner or later you have to dump whatever and move on! I’ve moved on (thankfully not on Husband 🙂 ) but definitely the  dreaming of the magic that never arrives. You got to move more and eat less but also eat smart!

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Dr. Moreno uses a program designed around 4 stages/cycles, each consisting of 17 days. No tricks and just simple methods:

  • Accelerate– The cycle where you lose weight rapidly and cleanse your body out. You start cutting out the things you already know you should not eat and what really just ends up starving your body, rather giving it “real energy”. There is an optional fasting day in this stage.
  • Activate– In this cycle you start the metabolic burn, by having days your intake (caloric wise) will be high and others low.
  • Achieve– Here you learn about the smart way to eat and this where I mention previously about controlling the amount you eat, but also introducing new exercises.
  • Arrive– The combo stage where you enter the lifestyle of eating right and moving. Best explained, it’s a combination of the previous cycles to help continue a healthy way of eating that will not only benefit you long term but you will be happier with how you feel and look.

Like many diet books, this also comes with recipes but you get over 50 of them! I liked that not all recipes were ultra expensive or hard on the pocket book. Yes, you have lean meats but most of them I found to be low in cost, especially if you shop smart. Dr, Moreno even discusses supplements, exercising when you travel and even holiday stress. Topics from alcohol consumption are addressed, and even a section on PMS! Like I said, pretty much everything is covered including specific medical conditions.

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I liked that the book was not only easy to read, as the author did not act like they found new miracles. Dr. Moreno found an easier way to apply what we all pretty much know already when it comes to diets and eating habits. The book was used as a manual at times, because it was easy to find information I could quickly reference on the topic I needed help on. Like, for example, when I was purchasing my supplements, I added Selenium and found I felt a positive difference. Most chapters have key points under the review section so you can take in the information as a whole or just go by what you want to read about……again, very adaptable.

Connect with Dr. Moreno and the 17 Day Diet Book at:

Via Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/17daydiet

Send a tweet via Twitter– https://twitter.com/17DayDiet

Pinterest is filled with recipes and advice too- http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=17%20day%20diet

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I received the above product free of charge from Swaggable and Simon & Schuster.  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.

Baking: Hawaiian Bread Loaf Recipe, Aloha Bread

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Being tired of bread that reads like a science experiment gone wrong, I now just resort to baking at home. My experiments, at least when they fai,l are not filled with chemicals and the dog has benefited from a few “oopsies”. Thankfully, this is not one of them and it’s very easy to make….you don’t even need a dough hook.

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Hawaiian bread is suppose to have a little tropical flair with a touch of sweetness from the Pineapple Juice and is usually a nice soft texture. I love making ham sandwiches with it but also just eating it with a little butter.

Let’s begin….

You will need:
3 cups of All-Purpose Flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill), plus

  • 1/4 cup of All-Purpose Flour (to be used after the dough rises)

1/4 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
2 Eggs (room temperature)
1 1/4 cups of 100% Pure Pineapple Juice (I used Langer’s Pineapple Juice), and at room temperature
1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of Vanilla Extract (depends on your taste)
5 tablespoons of White Sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast
4 1/2 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter (melted), plus

  • 1/4 tablespoon of softened Salted Butter (to grease the bowl the dough will rise in) and another 1/4 for the final rise and to grease the dish you will be baking in.

First mix your wet ingredients, this would be eggs, pineapple juice, vanilla, butter and white sugar in one bowl. Then in another bowl mix your 3 cups of flour, salt and yeast. Using the mixer with the paddle attachment (or by hand with a spatula), start incorporating the dry ingredients to the wet. I usually do it by hand using a spatula and you will get a sticky dough that is ragged looking. It takes me about 2 minutes by hand to accomplish this. If the dough looks too dry, add a little more pineapple juice. If the dough appears too wet, start by incorporating a little flour until you are left with a moist dough that does not have a over sticky appearance/feeling.

I then allow the dough to rest one hour in a buttered bowl that is big enough to allow it to double in size. This is where I use the 1/4 tablespoon of Salted Butter and it helps keep the dough moist but also does not let it adhere to the bowl.

After the dough doubles in size, I flour the surface and dump the bread dough to start incorporating the 1/4 cup of flour. I begin to first punch down the bread and then slowly knead it for a minute and until the flour is incorporated. I just keep folding in until I get the right texture and if it’s too moist, I slowly add a little more flour if needed. I then take the 1/4 tablespoon of butter and grease the loaf pan I will be baking in. I add the dough and again allow the bread to rise for about an hour, or until it doubles in size.

Set the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown in color. I then take the bread out and allow it to cool 15 to 20 minutes and pop it out of the pan to further cool down. I give it a couple hours and then start slicing and enjoying. This bread makes great panini style sandwiches and I love how it also toasts up. Get creative and enjoy!

Beautiful Nooks and Crannies in the Bread!

Beautiful Nooks and Crannies in the Bread!

Note- My recipe uses 100% Pineapple Juice that has no added sugars or sweeteners. I feel Hawaiian bread has a touch of sweetness but should not start off being a dessert style bread. It’s suppose to be versatile and this why I control the sweetness by adding my own sugar and adjust my vanilla to fit my tastes or future uses.  You can also make buns for sliders using this recipe, versus just a loaf 🙂

Panini Ham Sandwich I made with the loaf.

Panini Ham Sandwich I made with the loaf.

A Fridge Full of Bolthouse

Okay, we already covered Bolthouse Farm’s 100% Carrot Juice, even adding a nifty little take on going “beyond the juice”. Now, we get to the other treats Bolthouse sent, and let me tell you, in this house, we’ll always make room for Bolthouse now.

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Pomegranate juice, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

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No, seriously, I love me some Pom juice. Over ice cream, in my fizzy water, as a glaze on a grilled leg of lamb. Bolthouse went the extra nine here, though, and gave you the pearl in the oyster and juiced that red globe for you. There’s a “Wonderful”  version of this juice out there, and don’t get me wrong, I love them too. But let’s be real, they’re not always the most affordable, or easy to find. Bolthouse has really saved both of these issues in one fell swoop.

DSCN41603 and 3/4 servings of fruit in this bottle. 5 and 1/4 whole Pomegranates. 150 little calories, 100% juice. And it tastes like a million bucks, but doesn’t cost anywhere near that much, obviously. You can find small 15.2 oz. bottle for you or to share. Giant 52 oz. bottles from your local Costco for the whole family. There’s something for every fridge and every budget. This one, this is my favorite. I’d drive across town for it. It’s not bitter, and tastes very fresh, very light, and not overly sweet. Out of the 4 juices Bolthouse sent, this has to be, far and away, my favorite.

 

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

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.

Bolthouse Farms Review: 100% Carrot Juice made into a Hearty Soup #MeatlessMonday #GlutenFree

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I first tried Bolthouse many years ago and then became reintroduced to the brand when I visited my local Costco. The “samplings” got me and of course I then had to usher my husband over and he became a fan too. Recently the wonderful company sent me 4 bottles to try and I am in love with the one I had the least expectations on. I love carrots but it’s usually the vegetable that acts as a filler in every vegetable medley I purchase, that I started to take it for granted. I tasted the juice and learned that not all carrots are created equal. My carrots from the baby to the large are missing the Bolthouse touch! The sweetness is unbelievable but not derived from sugar or some unholy syrup…..just the carrot. I know the bottle in the front stated clearly 100% Carrot Juice but I still flipped the thing around looking for further contents and then saw the ingredient list: Carrot!

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I stopped drinking bottled vegetable juices because most taste like they took the oldest and not so prime vegetables to create the juice, and like a bad grape makes a bad wine, bad veggies make horrific juices! I should not have to pinch my nose to drink something that is suppose to be healthy and good for me, to then have it repeat on me after…..sort of like, “surprise, you pinched your nose, but here I come, back so you can taste my awfulness!”. Bolthouse juices have none of that. They are good from the blends to just the plain ones like this 100% Carrot juice.

Being that today was #MeatlessMonday, I looked at my left-overs and got creative. I have diced plum tomatoes, wild rice, and some Thyme left over from the crackers I baked. It’s the last real cold day we will have in California this week, so I want to make the most of it!

Let’s Begin….

Soup Base (great portion for Lunch Time):
1/4 a cup of Bolthouse’s 100%Carrot Juice
1/4 a cup of canned Diced Tomatoes. I used Plum Tomatoes that have been canned with Basil (unsalted)
Fresh Thyme
Smoked Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional- Dash of Oregano before serving

I put the above all together in a pot and just bring it to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Once it’s done, I paired it with the Herby Cheese Crackers I baked.  You can find my Herby Cheese crackers recipe here: http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-Dh

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Now, for dinner, I wanted something a little more hearty. I used the above soup base but went up to 1/2 a cup of the 100% Carrot Juice from Bolthouse and 1/2 a cup of the Tomatoes. I added 1/2 a pat of unsalted butter, smoked salt and pepper medley to taste, and a dash of oregano. Let that come to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

I had some left-over wild rice I made over the weekend and added 1/4 cup to the soup base, along with 4 ounces of diced fresh zucchini. I brought that back up to a simmer and cooked it until the zucchini was the texture I desired. To serve, I added some parmesan cheese and a few of the crackers I baked earlier. Done! You can get creative by using wheat pasta, fresh kale to any vegetables that need attention from fresh to even frozen ones. A Meatless Monday meal that takes 10 to 12 minutes to make and is not only filling but delicious! Enjoy!

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

Next time, I will be reviewing the juices from 100% Pomegrante juice to Multi-V Goodness Smoothie.

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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.

Arbonne Essentials Protein Shake in Chocolate and Vanilla Review

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I recently had a chance to try a few different products from the Arbonne Essentials. I thought I’d share my experiences with you.

The first product I tried was the Arbonne Protein Shake Mix. I will say that, thanks to Hubby, I have been able to try a wealth of different protein powder shakes from almost every major brand out there. So he was my “taste buddy” on this little trial run as well.

A few things about Arbonne Essentials before we go any further. They strive to “keep it simple”, keep it healthy, and to make “good for you” products that are free from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, cholesterol, trans fats, and 100% animal product free. These are vegan products, and they take that seriously. They have a very comprehensive line of products to address a multitude of needs.

So, back to the shake. I got to try chocolate (Our favorite flavor for EVERYTHING!) and vanilla. We tried to read on the package what the ingredients were, what the nutritional breakdown was, stuff like that. Nothing to really be found. Okay. Let’s look at the pamphlet that came with it. That tells me that it’s “pea protein” blend, 20 grams of it. It’s gluten free. It has coenzyme Q10, alfalfa, ginseng, and flax seed. Unless that doubles as an ingredient list, I have no idea what else is in there. That’s a little…frustrating. I tear into it and I’m immediately hit with a smell that I most closely identify with….latex paint?!? That can’t be right. We dip our respective fingers in and give the dry power a little taste. “Not chocolate” says Hubby. There’s a very strong vegetable flavor that immediately overpowers any hint of chocolate that might be there. Okay, well, it’s dry. You’re not supposed to taste it dry, so let’s add the requisite water and let the flavors bloom. I notice right away there’s A LOT of powder. Hubby’s go-to protein powder has been Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey powder, and for comparison purposes, it’s a much smaller scoop. He has a few different shaker bottles, so we select his best big one and give it the old “30-second shake up”. There’s chunks of goo everywhere. So Hubby shakes some more, and with great vigor this time. No luck. It’s a chunky mess. Well, sometimes it helps to sit in the fridge a bit and let the particles super-saturate and help the process. So sit it shall.

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After an hour, we take it out, noticing that it’s started to separate a bit, but after a couple of shakes it’s still kinda gloopy. Hubby gamely offers that he’s “had worse” and goes in for a taste. He immediately tells me it’s got a very chalk-like consistency and it’s kinda gritty. There’s a very strong veggie taste, even pepper-ish, and the aftertaste that remained as “horrible”. The smell is still off, but I will myself to give it a go and I regret it almost immediately. He’s right, something is off. I really can’t taste any chocolate, but it’s closer to a malted V8. Hubby gamely goes back for more, and after 3 sips, he says he can’t finish it. Just so you know, I’ve seen this man chug things that would choke a billy goat, all in the name of fitness. For him to tell me he can’t finish is shocking to me. I open up the vanilla and smell the same “latex paint” smell from before and I’m not even going to torture ourselves and go through this again. I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t even mix it.

I have to wonder if there was something off about the samples I received. For company to be so high on their products that they send out samples like this tells me there must be something there, and hopefully this was just an anomaly.

I also got a chance to try their Energy Fizz Sticks, but that is for another post! =D

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

 

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