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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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.

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Moms Meet: So Delicious Dairy Free Creamers #Review #SoDelicious

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Who doesn’t love coffee? I’m one of those where coffee not only tastes good but I have found it helps me with other health issues, by increasing my circulation and giving me a boost of much needed energy. Plus, the warmth of a cup helps when my joints ache. What I don’t like are creamers. I mean I love how they taste sometimes, but not when it comes to the chemicals and thickeners, which take the joy of having a cup of coffee that is now more a loaded cup of sugar. I have been hunting for an alternative and when Moms Meet featured So Delicious, this is the brand I have seen in stores but sort of walked by (shame on me).

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The campaign was mostly focused on the creamers So Delicious makes. You have two non-dairy bases to choose from, Coconut and Almond milk, with the former being the more extensive items to choose from:

  • Coconut Milk in Original
  • Coconut Milk Barista Style in Original and in French Vanilla
  • Coconut Milk in French Vanilla
  • Coconut Milk in Hazelnut

You can obtain the above in pints and quart sizes

  • Almond Milk in Original
  • Almond Milk in French Vanilla

You can obtain the above in only pint sizes

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Retail Price Point: Usually under $3 for the pint and if you get a coupon, this creamer can be easily obtained for $1.50 with a sale/coupon combination. I purchased the creamers at Von’s, Sprout’s Farmers Market and at Target.

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Verdict:
I was unsure what to expect and with about 25 calories per tablespoon with the Coconut variety and 15 calories with the Almond kind (i.e. comparing French Vanilla), you control what you want to put in your coffee. Not filled with sugars or artificial ingredients, plus soy free. Now, the taste matters. I love them. They taste better than the original creamers I used both in liquid and powder form. I’m getting a shot of flavor and creamer, all in one. I liked them so much, that I kept buying So Delicious. I am not branching out to other products. My friend that tried the creamer with us, has now raved about the ice cream……so look at So Delicious and change your routine. There is no getting bored here when it comes to flavors and all the wonderful products So Delicious makes! ¬†Go on-line and connect with So Delicious because they over sweeten the deals (not your coffee) with the coupons they always offer.

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Connect with So Delicious at:

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Moms Meet and So Delicious. 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.

Social Nature: Kim’s Simple Meals, Organic Macaroni Casserole #Review #TryNatural

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Next on the list, is Kim’s Simple Meals and this is their Organic Macaroni Casserole. The product again is easy to make and assemble. You simply boil the pasta, which is gluten free and made from organic brown rice. You then mix the contents with water, blend and add it to the cooked elbow shaped noodles. Mix and in the oven the casserole goes. The Mac is soy free and made with GMO free ingredients. Vegan friendly and Kosher too.

Ingredients: Gluten free brown rice elbow macaroni*, oat flour*, sea salt, sugar*, dehydrated vegetables* (onion*, garlic* & tomato*), yeast powder*, natural smoke Torula yeast, annatto powder* (annatto extract*, maltodextrin*), citric acid, lemon peel powder* and natural hickory smoke powder [potato maltodextrin, natural hickory smoke flavoring, hydrated silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent)]. *Organic

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Verdict:

The instructions were simple and because I tend to like more bite in my pastas, I did not boil the noodles as long as they suggested. When I blended the “cheese sauce”, it was very watery in texture and had an odd smell that was smoky. Kim suggests you can add your own meatless based meats, like a veggie based bacon. This time I decided to just go as it comes but I can see even adding vegetables. Once the pasta was partially cooked, I added the sauce and it did not thicken. It was more like the texture of a thin juice, versus any bechamel sauce I have made to make a typical Macaroni and Cheese dish. There is no real cheese here but I did notice this box is not labeled dairy free like the burger version. Why not add milk? I have no idea and it was not listed as a suggestion. Not even a nut milk that is unsweetened was not suggested, or even soy milk if you have no issues with it. The burger box had soy…..but I went forward and was thankful walnuts were not suggested like the video shared for the home-style burgers, and no oats! The house smells like something is cooking but it’s not like any Macaroni and Cheese I have had before. Maybe a pasta kind of dish but not Mac and Cheese. It comes out of the oven and it’s like one solid mass. I noticed this in the video also, when the serving was cut. The liquid was absorbed and you still smell something smoky-ish but I could not put my finger on it. Maybe fake bacon bits and along that area. I taste it and it’s not cheese and I have eaten many cheeses in my lifetime. This pretender is more like a rice dish, where the rice is shaped like elbow pasta and a yellow sauce. The sauce creates a pasta cake but no cheese and gooey texture you associate with the original. It was not awful but definitely not super delicious. The only thing that came to mind, is it tasted like that mystery dish where the label fell off the platter, which sat in a buffet/cafeteria line. Surprise-a-Dish! If you like surprises, this may be for you and adding vegetables or other items might spruce it up and make it less surprise-ish casserole.

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Connect with Kim’s Simple Meals at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Kim’s Simple Meals and Social Nature. 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.

 

Social Nature: Kim’s Simple Meals, Organic and Gluten-Free Homestyle Burger #Review

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I celebrate Meatless Mondays, so I am always seeking out meat alternatives being that I do enjoy meat on other days. My goal is always to get 3 days out of the week where my protein source comes from anything else but an animal. This means I have had many hits and sadly many misses. My Husband is a carnivore and there is no bringing him to the lighter side of meatless meals, so I need something that is easy to prepare while I am making two different dinners in one evening. I am all for working and cooking, if the product delivers in texture and taste,

I had seen Kim’s Simple Meals at my local Sprout’s Farmers Market, but it seems the stock never moved. The boxes even began to gather dust, so when I received the invite to try the first of two, of the Kim’s Simple Meals…..I must admit my feelings were mixed. I looked at reviews and Amazon had a 50/50 ratio when it came to positive versus negative reviews. It took a while to get the coupon for the free product, and in that time Amazon dropped all the products and just carried the Breakfast Sausage from Kim’s Simple Meals. Sprout’s continued to support the brand and when the coupon arrived, finding it was a cinch.

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Kim’s Simple Meals differs from other products like it. So many use soy protein heavily and artificial boosters to gather a protein number worthy of advertising. Kim’s Simple Meals are Gluten-Free and Vegan Friendly, so no animal anything in this. Ingredients are also Organic, Kosher and Non-GMO friendly. Then there is other factors like these burgers being Dairy-Free. Lot’s of “free from” products and I worried if this meant free from flavor or even texture. The box states burger, so I expect a burger-like product.

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Ingredients: Oats*, garbanzo bean flour*, flax seed*, yeast flakes* (yeast autolysate* with rice flour* and sea salt), sea salt, tamari powder* [(soybeans*, salt), maltodextrin*, and salt], garlic powder*, spices*, onion powder*, dutched cocoa powder*, tomato powder*, natural smoked torula yeast, natural hickory smoke flavor [potato maltodextrin, natural hickory smoke flavoring, hydrated silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent). *Organic  .  Soy ingredients is listed and I noticed it comes from the Tamari Powder.

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Verdict:
As you can see, this is not a soy filled product that can sometimes cause bloat and discomfort. Yes, you fill full but also uncomfortable. You have oats and a bean as a source of protein listed first. Next, comes other ingredients to even cocoa powder! Everything is familiar and real when it comes to the ingredients I recognize. The idea is just to hydrate the product and then make your burgers. Pretty simple. I notice water was listed and you can add ingredients to both add flavor and texture to the product. The biggest complaints I saw when it came to other reviews, was the lack of flavor and to the product being high in oats. Upon opening the box, I do agree the oats visible is higher than I desire. The video on Kim’s Simple Meals website, shows burgers being made with mushrooms, plus onions and other ingredients. You can even add walnuts it states. Barbecue sauce was another addition I saw too. So, I began to look at Kim’s Simple Meals as “starter meals”. I am not new to this method and think of quick bread boxes to even “starter sauces” you pick-up at the store. Same idea. I added red and green bell peppers, red and yellow onion, plus a medley of mushrooms. I even grated some carrots, added Edamame and I went more with an Asian style base versus an American style Burger. For me, the mix was already very far away from a Veggie Burger you get at the store or are familiar with, so why push the product into something it does not even resemble? I added a soy sauce and miso mix to create a hydrating base (water) that would not only plump the ingredients, but also add flavor. Everything was sauteed first and I then lastly added the Home-style Burger base from Kim’s Simple Meals. Okay, it smelled pleasant. I opted for small meatballs in the oven that I basted with Soy Vay, a marinade/stir fry sauce mixed with sesame oil. The house quickly filled with these smell of these Asian style meatballs and it smelled good. I basted a total of 3 times and this made the meatball move around, so it created a nice round shape versus a one-sided flat meatball. The oil allowed for a crisp exterior to build up when it was baking, and using the convection mode and baking on parchment paper, made the cooking process an easy clean up. The taste test? Well, they tasted very good and have a meaty/oatsy texture. I could not imagine using the box’s contents as-is. Like no way! It’s workable but I have to be frank, this was a boxed meal that I fixed up and these are ingredients I always have in hand, so it’s a great way to use up perishables but I am unsure if I would seek Kim’s Simple Meals burger box again. I found myself not craving it and I consider that a test when it comes liking a product. Yes, I made it work but should a product be worked up so much that it no longer resembles it’s beginning….because in the first place you read it never would? Probably not. It’s a start like I said and it’s a meal from a box that is better ingredient wise than others, but not exactly a yummy Home-style burger like it says on the box.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Kim’s Simple Meals and Social Nature. 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.

 

BetterBody Foods: PB Fit, Peanut Butter Powder and PB Chocolate Powder #Review Panettone Pound Cake #Tryazon

I have looked at powdered peanut butter but never actually purchased it. I sort of walked around it and wondered how it was when it reconstituted, how it baked when used in recipes, to even how it was when sprinkled over my morning breakfasts. ¬†I even imagined mixing the powder with peanut butter, creating a grilled PB Nutty &J sandwich that would make everyone stand in lines to get their fix. ¬†The BetterBody Foods PB fit is a brand that I saw was preferred mostly and touted as being the “must try” when it came to venturing into Peanut Butter powders.

Powdered Peanut Butter is not just one of those products that is made just so you can see if you can be done! It has it’s applications because I myself sometimes wish I could up the “peanut flavor” without having to add more nuts or even the butter itself. Formulations have doomed me when I cooked recipes or was experimenting and added too much peanut butter that created an unpleasant texture. From too much oil to even producing bake goods that baked up more like a crunchy paste than a bread or a cookie dough. Thankfully, our dog saves us when my PB creations have failed.

The BetterBody Foods PB fit is also a different product all together than what comes out of a jar and no butter knife required. You can easily add flavor and not sacrifice texture. You also have health benefits that come in to play that I had overlooked. The BetterBody Foods company powder offers:

  • A Gluten Free Peanut Butter Powder
  • Lower in Fats, which depending on the variety you buy that can be from 75% to 85% lower
  • 1/3 less calories per serving compared to standard peanut butter
  • Good source of protein and also fiber
  • The Peanut Butter powder is also natural with no artificial ingredients, dyes, or preservatives.
  • Simply Peanuts, Salt and Sugar made from non-GMO ingredients

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Okay, this Peanut Butter is a different nut all together in my book. It’s a cleaner and a more¬†intense¬†tasting peanut, so I opted to make a recipe and using the PB Fit powder because of the lower fat content but not lowered peanut tasting! With the holidays approaching, almond cakes and pound cakes are some of my favorite baked goods. They just go with anything from the seasonal fruits and berries, to just plain with a dollop of whipped cream or a warm sauce. I figured since I was being adventurous, why not make an Panettone¬†Pound Cake¬†and use a combination of products that are nut based.

Let’s Begin….

  • 7 ounces of Almond Paste (grated)
  • 2 sticks of Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cups of White Sugar
  • 4 Eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 drop of Lemon
  • 2 drops of Almond Extract
  • 1 tablespoon of Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 4 tablespoons of PB Fit Powder (you can use plain or even the chocolate variety. ¬†You can also divide the batch to make a marble cake by using both varieties)
  • 1 cup of Cake Flour
  • 1 cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup of Hazelnut Flour (ground hazelnuts)
  • Zest of one Orange (any variety you desire)
  • 1/2 cup of Milk (room temperature)
  • Optional 1/2 a cup to a cup of nuts like Pistachios to even mini chocolate chips. ¬†You can even add candied fruits, dry fruits (imagine figs) and crystallized ginger in lower¬†amounts. ¬†You can also add slivered almonds on top when 1/4 baked through, and then make sure to cover (with foil) to avoid burning when they have toasted.

Set oven to warm at 325 degrees

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I start by grating 7 ounces of Almond Paste and added it to the butter and white sugar. Blend until creamy.  Add eggs to the butter mixture and blend again until smooth and combined.

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In a separate bowl, add zest of the orange to your dry ingredients (flours, Salt, PB Fit Powder, and Baking Soda) whisk, and set aside.

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Add extracts.  You then grab your dry ingredients bowl and in shifts add some of the dry ingredients and then some of the milk until all ingredients are combined.  Do not over mix, as this produces a dry cake.  You can then fold in the optional ingredients if desired.

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I use a large pound cake pan, but you can even use a cake pan and make two layers with the cake batter.  No rules here because I can imagine making a custard/pudding that would be divine with this cake.  You bake the cake for 60 minutes and if it starts to brown too much on top, cover with foil.  At the 1 hour mark, raise the temperature to 350 degrees and bake until done.  Cool for 5 minutes and then flip the cake on to a wire rack to cool an additional 1 to 2 hours before slicing.

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This cake is like a Panettone in flavor but with a heavier texture to resemble a pound cake, which has a crumb that can withstand more than the airiness you get from a Panettone batter.  You bake it slow to allow the flavors to build, the butter to brown, and to yield a moist pound cake.  Enjoy!

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Verdict:

So, it’s a product with the name PB fit and I made cake (I know)! ¬†Well, I’m a girl that thinks even fit focused products can create magic with what is seen as naughty. ¬†They talk about clean eating, well I think that applies to baking too. ¬†Alienating a product because it carries the word “fit” would just be silly and the BetterBody food company is about making products better for the consumer, and I always say when you use top quality ingredients, you can never go wrong and this cake proves it! ¬†It’s a little of naughty and nice to go with the holiday season. ¬†The holidays are about experiencing flavors from pumpkin to dark chocolates, and peanut butter is no longer seen as just the “poor man’s nut”. ¬†Many companies make exceptional peanut butters that are even considered gourmet creations. ¬†BetterBody Foods, allows the consumer to take a known product that is just not like any peanut butter I ever tasted. ¬†There is that cleaner taste that is more intense and closer to the nut’s true flavor because of the simple process they use that equates to just less processing in the first place! ¬†I can make the powder into a butter by adding water, so don’t think your sandwiches are in jeopardy. ¬†I can’t wait to make a peanut butter cookie because this is the product I have been waiting for! ¬†On Halloween, I added the PB Fit Chocolate powder to crispy rice (cereal) treats and they were different and gone before the evening was over. ¬†It was one of those moments where I was about to add peanut butter and thought I already add mini chocolate chips to the top of the treats when they are cooling, so why not add the powder to the marshmallow and butter mix. ¬†It took just 4 tablespoons to create a flavor that made my treats vanish, and any cook and baker loves that!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from PB Fit and Tryazon.  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.

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.

 

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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.

 

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Connect with Manitoba Harvest and get your Hemp fix at:

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

InstaNatural: Advanced Action Retinol Moisturizer #Review #InstaNatural

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The next couple of weeks, I will featuring several products from InstaNatural. Starting today will be their Advanced Action Retinol Moisturizer.

InstaNatural is a company which features a large array of beauty products that range from serums, masks to products that target problem areas that suffer from stretch marks, scars to cellulite. You can get all your beauty needs satisfied with InstaNatural, as they have hair products to even supplements! If you sign-up on their site for the Club Discount, you get an instant 15% off. Need to save more? Order $25 worth of beauty products that are guaranteed to work, as they all covered by the InstaNatural 100% Lifetime Satisfaction Money Back Guarantee and get free shipping. Nothing to lose than some fine lines!

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InstaNatural: Advanced Action Retinol Moisturizer

This product is part of the moisturizers InstaNatural has to offer. You get a powerful combination of ingredients:

  • Aloe Vera Base (no H20 fillers here)
  • 2.5% Retinol
  • Vitamin C, Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Organic Jojoba Oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Green Tea
  • All products at InstaNatural are made in the USA and never animal tested

Retail Price Point: $23.75 for a quantity of 3.4 ounces via their site or on Amazon

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Application- Due to how well the Advanced Action Retinol Moisturizer distributes, a little goes a long way. You use a small amount and gently distribute with your finger-tips using a circular motion. Apply to face and neck area and allow the product to be absorbed in full. I used the moisturizer following up any serums or thinner like products I applied before. Can be used under cosmetics and if you have sensitive skin, I would only use it at night. Due to the retinol in the product at a generous 2.5%, also remember to use sunscreen to avoid irritation. It’s something you should already be doing but sometimes we think we can skip it in the Winter months (major no-no).

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What to Expect- I tested the product for 2 weeks. I like that the moisturizer comes in a pump to avoid air diminishing the quality of the retinol and is also not see through. Easy to pump out and apply. The product does deliver moisture and I did not experience any adverse reactions. The Advanced Action Retinol Moisturizer kept my fine lines from deepening and I experienced within a week’s time, a firmer texture to my skin and mostly in the neck and chin area. Due to how little I need to use and how well the product worked, this is a must buy because I did price comparing and could not find such a healthy mix of ingredients in one product for the price point that InstaNatural offers. Most product do not even declare retinol percentages and I was using a 1% strength prior to trying this moisturizer. I experienced slight redness that went away over night, so I can state that the product does at least carry a higher strength than the former product I was using. ¬†With continued use, I do expect to use this moisturizer as a prevention (i.e. to welcoming fine lines and the sort) due to how satisfied I am with the results.

Connect with InstaNatural and their large array of Beauty products at:

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

~Nothin’ But Love for These Treats~

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Everyone loves cookies. Everyone. If you are some kind of space alien who doesn’t love cookies, boy howdy have you been reading the wrong blog. I never pass up a chance to try a cookie or three, so when Nothin’ But Foods¬†offered up their granola cookies during summer diet time, I said “Thank you, sir, may I have another!”. What’s a few more crunches and a couple more minutes on the elliptical machine when it comes to cookies, amirite?

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I really stepped in it, though, because these are goooooooooood. Like, “Ohmahgawd, I ate how many?!” good. When one thinks of granola cookies, you tend to think of hard, dry, crumbly, crunchy cookies that don’t taste like much. I am thrilled to report that nothing could be further from the truth here. Chewy, moist, bursting with flavor is what Nothin’ But’s granola cookies are. I got to try both the Chocolate Coconut Almond and the Cherry Cranberry Almond varieties, and I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite between the two. But I have zero hesitation telling you that these are, hands down, far and away the BEST granola cookies I have ever had. Don’t just take my word for it though. Hubby doesn’t like either coconut or granola, and I had to hide the bags before he polished them off before I could review them. That’s how good they are.

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“Food from a kitchen Not a lab”. Nothing But Premium Foods boasts “100% Natural, non-GMO, gluten free deliciousness, with no fillers, eggs, butter, and made in an kitchen not a lab”, and they deliver in spades. 2 cookies are only 120 calories, with only 0.5 grams of saturated fat per serving, all while delivering 2 grams of dietary fiber and 3 grams of protein. And here’s the trumpet card: You know, have heard of, and can pronounce every ingredient. Almonds. Oats. Honey. Cranberries. Cherries. Sea salt. Cinnamon. Vanilla. Semi-Sweet Chocolate. Espresso powder. I love when I don’t need a chemistry book to know what I’m eating. I love that I probably have 90% of these things in my pantry already. I love that it’s good enough for breakfast, yet tasty enough for dessert.

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Did I mention they make snack bars too? In the above flavors as well as Ginger Lemon Cashew and Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate? Yeah, hands off, hubby. Or you’ll lose a finger. These are MINE. There’s gift assortments if he’s interested, and behaves.

 

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Since 2008, Nothin’ But Foods has been making fantastic, wholesome treats, and putting the others to shame. Started by Jerri Graham after she got tired of processed, fake and nasty “foodstuffs” and wanting something better for her daughter, she decided to fill a niche in the market by making something good and making something real. She started small and grew with word of mouth and dedication. It’s gotten to be a chore to find real foods in the the center isles of the markets. So much processed, shelf stable junk passed off as food. Jerri started in her kitchen making these with love, and it shows in the quality, flavor, and simplicity. There is an old adage that says “Do one thing, and do it well”. So, well done, Nothin’ But Foods. Well done indeed.

 

Get your hands on some Nothin’ But today, but int he meantime, reach out to them via:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Nothin’ But Premium Foods¬†. ¬†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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