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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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.

 

Naturo Sciences: Garcinia Cambogia Pure #Review #Fitness

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I had heard and even passed several end-caps that featured this product. I was always unsure but I did my homework. Garcinia Cambogia, is a tropical plant that has a fruit that is similar in shape to a round squash/pumpkin. The skin of the fruit is rich in Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA). This HCA is a (derivative) citric acid, which is suppose to help with weight loss by suppressing your appetite. I used the product for 3 weeks and with exercise and increasing my water intake, I did find the product helped with digestion and giving me that “full feeling”. I found that taking it (one pill) 30 minutes before a meal and with 2 glasses of water, I tended to not be so hungry. The combination of the pill, drinking more water and also exercising yielded results more visually than on the scale. My waist is smaller as are my thighs and hips. The scale only reflects 3 pounds lost but I was more happy fitting looser in my jeans and going down one size on my belt. I don’t care about numbers……I care about results and I like that these capsules do not make me jittery or even interfere with my medications. It’s 100% natural and I prefer a weight loss that is slow because I want to keep the weight off and this is the safest way I could find for me to do it.

Indications:

  • Take 1 pill 30 minutes before eating a meal.
  • For maximum effectiveness, you can take 2 pills before each meal.  Do not take more than 6 capsules in a 24-hour period.

 

Ingredients:

  • Potassium 500mg
  • Calcium 200mg
  • Garcinia Cambogia 1000mg (75%) Hydroxycitic Acid

 

I just seem to not be able to shed those 10 pounds I so desire to do so but this is helping because I eat right already, was drinking water (8 glasses+) but I peaked.  Eating is a trick I already had down and even committing to smaller portions and a low calorie and fat diet.  I actually enjoy eating like a bunny! I even increased my vegetable only days to 3 days but I would see a 1 pound difference that would return the minute I drank more water the following day.  At the end of the day, when you have hit that wall and just need 10 to 15 pounds to lose (hey, I want an extra 5 I can play with), I personally have found moving (exercising) is the key because by this time you probably have the “diet thing” covered and it’s when moving and how you move will make a difference.

Connect with Naturo Sciences:

  • On-line- http://naturosciences.com/
  • Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/naturosciences
  • Amazon– I found has the best price point

 

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