The much anticipated P28 review! They sent me a cute little variety pack of products to try for free  including a slice of their protein bread, protein wrap, protein bagel, and their protein peanut butter spreads!

I was definitely excited to try these products, especially the spreads. I am a HUGE peanut butter fan, but seldom buy or eat it since I have NO self control around the stuff ( I am talking jars gone in less than a week…wonder who ate them on me right? hehe) So the fact that these at least had some protein in them made eating them much less guilt free, coupled with the fact they are what I assume was in 2 tbsp portions, since they came in these teeny jars!

And I am talking teeny! I couldn’t even fit my spoon in it, too wide! Which was a blessing and a curse, since it made me have even MORE portion control.

So…naturally I tried all these first. They come in a few flavors, and P28 was nice enough to send me all of them.

Almond- this one was creamy, not too salty, and pretty yummy. I have had almond butter in the past, and detected no taste difference than this almond butter versus a non-protein brand. The almond flavor was strong and it was slightly sweet. Pretty good! 4 stars

White Chocolate- Ohhhh was I waiting for this one. I LOVE those flavored peanut butters that involve chocolate (who doesn’t?!). It certainly did not disappoint. It was creamy and smooth, with very subtle sweetness. I almost wish it was a tad bit sweeter, but it was also comforting that it wasn’t too sweet since I don’t want to be eating a lot of added sugar. The after taste of white chocolate was pleasant. 4 stars

Banana Raisin- This one was okay. It was detectably more oily than the other flavors, not that sweet, with a very slight banana flavor. It almost tasted like banana oil placed in unsalted peanut butter. There were a few raisins in the mix, and given my small sample, I would say if I had a larger jar there would be a fair amount of raisins in the mix. They were necessary since they added a slight sweetness. However, not a winner with me. 3 stars

Signature Blend- This one was interesting! There were nuts, raisins, and I think some cinnamon and nutmeg in the mix. It almost tasted like an almond and peanut butter mix. It was darker than the other spreads, a little more pasty, but also had a crunch. There were a few bits of dried fruit, which I assume was raisins, which added a nice sweetness. I do wish there was a pinch of salt in this one, as it would have helped bring out the flavor. 3 1/2 stars

Peanut Butter- An original peanut butter! I noticed the bottom of the jar of this one was on the dry side, kind of like when you pour out the oil of a natural peanut butter jar and the bottom of the jar is left semi hard from lack of oil. However…it was still yummy. A great peanut flavor, and couldn’t detect any protein flavor. It was creamy, thick, and a little pasty, but I enjoy peanut butter flavor, so I liked it. 3 1/2 stars

Next up, the bread!

I toasted it, and put some butter and SF jelly on it.  It had 14 grams per slice, so this eased my mind about eating bread. I am heavily into bodybuilding/fitness as well as a diabetic, so bread is not something I consume on a regular basis. However, this was really good. It toasted very well, and quicker than I expected. The outside crust of the bread was a tad bit sweet which was good in this case. I ended up buying a loaf of this stuff too and had it with turkey and cheese for a sandwich. It is a bit spongy in consistency when you don’t toast it, but still very good. 4 stars

Next up, the bagel!

I haven’t had a bagel in YEARS! Too many carbs, wreaks havoc on my blood sugars. I ended up having half at once. This one I also toasted, put some butter, with equal and cinnamon on it. Oh LAWD was it delicious! Chewy like a bagel should be, thick and strong texture. It had a whole wheat flavor to it, and was just really enjoyable. My favorite. 4 1/2 stars

Last up, the wrap/flat bread!

The flat bread itself was HUGE. I split it in two, and made two sandwiches out of it, filled with turkey and cheese and some lettuce. The first bite threw me off a little bit since it had a sweet taste to it, but slight, but as I kept chewing it was very food. It was chewy and reminded me of a typical whole wheat wrap at the store, but had some flax seeds and such in it which added nice flavor. I liked it! I would buy again. 4 stars

Overall, I am a fan! Check out their website for nutritional information and such. I wish they sold a variety pack of the bagel, wrap and bread all at once, because I would definitely buy that.

P.S. I am on INSTAGRAM now! Follow me @ lisa_liftsx for fitness and nutrition related posts!

A new flavor I saw on shelves (and hopefully better than that Green Tea one…) is the Chobani Simply 100 Pineapple Coconut Blended Greek Yogurt! So 100 calories, no fruit on the bottom, no fat, natural ingredients…not to mention one of my favorite flavor mixtures of pineapple and coconut. Looks promising :)

Here’s what it looked like

Nothing fancy, looks like a vanilla yogurt. There are few and tiny pineapple pieces in the yogurt as well, but for the most part the yogurt is “chunk” free of fruit.

So how did it taste?

The yogurt itself was a creamy blend, and it was rather tart from the pineapple. It tasted like the pineapple fruit on the bottom yogurt, but that one is 2% and this one is fat free, and you can tell, since more of the tart flavor comes out. The yogurt has a coconut after taste, which is pleasant. It is yummy for sure, but a little unbalanced. The pineapple flavor overtakes the coconut, and it is rather strong since it is tart. I almost wish the yogurt itself either
1. had more coconut flavor
2. was sweeter, less tart or
3. was made a 2% flavor, not a non fat. It needs the cream to mask the tartness of the pineapple, which is expected, but too strong.

However, still good. I would buy it again if on sale. 3 1/2 stars

11 Mar 2015, Comments (9)

Chobani Green Tea Blended Yogurt

Author: Healthnuttxo

If you’ve been following me for a while now, you know I LOVE Chobani. I have yet to find a flavor I haven’t really liked, and most flavors I thoroughly enjoy. I’ve seen this Green Tea Blended flavor on the shelves for a couple weeks now, so I decided to pick it up. I love green tea, and I love greek yogurt, so why not? It’s gotta be good!

Disclaimer: that is NOT a hair on the cup, that is a piece of plastic. Do not fret!

Oh boy, was I wrong on this one. This yogurt was nearly inedible for me. It started off promising, thick and creamy, typical Chobani fashion. Then I actually tasted it…awful. It tasted like plain yogurt, however it had this “cheesy” flavor to it. I had a couple extra bites to make sure, and only after my reluctant 3rd spoonful I finally tasted a very slight green tea flavor.

I was NOT. A. FAN.

It was terrible, I didn’t finish it, and had another yogurt for breakfast. I wish they did vanilla green tea, or something, because this flavor was hardly sweet or flavored, and it was almost like someone brewed green tea for a few seconds in very tart unflavored plain yogurt that had a cheesy flavor. This is officially the first Chobani yogurt I hate, and I will never buy again. 1 star


I got a free bag of the Limited Edition CinnamonSugar Pita Chips by Bearitos. These are non-GMO verified, which is always a plus. I don’t necessarily go out of my way to get non-GMO foods, but seeing a product non-GMO verified is definitely a positive!

I have a love hate with Pita chips. Love them, hate the calories and carbs. A serving size is usually like 7 chips from most brands that I’ve seen, because Pita Chips are so dense and thick. Who can only eat 7?!?!

Anyway, I was excited to try these. I was informed there is also a chocolate flavor that they make. I was sent the cinnamon sugar flavor. Here’s what they look like

As you can see, they have some seasoning on them but do not look drenched in cinnamon or sugar, which I’ll admit, I was already a bit disappointed. BUT, I tried these with an open mind.

Unfortunately, they were not as good as I hoped. They were a solid, crunchy chip, just as a pita chip should. However they were really bland. There was not a lot of cinnamon nor sugar flavor, and I had a predominant flavor of just a bland pita chip. I tried a couple chips, even some that looked like they had more coating than the others, and still to no avail.

The overall flavor was way too mild for me. If mild, and by mild I mean SUPER mild, is your thing, you might like these. I checked the sugar content of the chips, and it only had 1 gram of sugar. I suppose this is a plus, but I probably wouldn’t buy these if I saw these in store. Too bland, and not worth it if I wanted a sweet treat.  I did like the crunch these chips provided, but they just didn’t do it for me. I do NOT eat a lot of sugar (I am a Diabetic), so it’s not even as if I am used to a high exposure of sugary foods- these just barely had any flavor besides wheat.

2  stars

Skylanders!

The nice folks at General Mills sent me a package with Reeses Puffs and Honey Nut Cheerios which included the new Skylanders game to do a review of. In the box comes a box of Skylanders cards, which contains a coin (to see who goes first), the directions, and 10 Skylander opponents. You cut the game board out from the back of the specially marked cereal boxes, such as Reeses Puffs or the Honey Nut Cheerios I received for free.

After cutting out the board, you deal 5 cards to each player. You then flip a coin to see who goes first. You take turns, one at a time, playing one of the pieces on the board. Each piece has a different amount of arrows, and you “attack” with the strength. For example, if I placed a RED card with 4 arrows next to a BLUE card with 2 arrows, I flip my opponents card, and now my color is on the board.  The objective of the game is by the time the 9 spaces are filled, to have the majority of your color on the board.

It was actually fun! They are quick games, but it was a game of strategy and quick thinking. I think it’s a great game for a Mom or Dad to play with their kid. Plus who doesn’t like Reese’s Puffs, which is where you can get the game! (I may be biased here…Reese’s Puffs is my favorite cereal ever!)

These specially marked boxes will only be available in March, so if you are interested in playing, better go grab a box!

Now…GIVEAWAY TIME!

General Mills is offering the same gift set of cereal with Skylanders game inside to one lucky winner. To enter,

1. leave a comment below with your favorite General Mills cereal.


2. For extra entry, follow me on Twitter at LiiSA_tee to stay up to date with all reviews (and well…my tweets about life haha). *MUST leave a comment saying you did so

Must be U.S. only. Open until March 2nd, 12 pm.

8 Feb 2015, Comments (8)

Quest Nutrition Red Velvet Cake Pops

Author: Healthnuttxo

So Quest Nutrition asked if I would try one of their Valentine’s Day Recipes and post about it on my blog, and I happily obliged. I decided to do the Red Velvet Cake Pops using their Vanilla Protein Powder and Dark Chocolate Chunk Quest Bars. This will be my outline/review of the recipe (the real recipe is at the bottom), and my thoughts on the product.

Here we go!

First, I microwaved the  Double Chocolate Chunk Quest bar in the…well, microwave. Then I flattened it out

baked it, and grinded it up so it got to be a fine powder. I then combined the Quest bar with a slew of other ingredients, such as almond meal, red food dye, almond milk, and the Quest Vanilla Protein powder in a medium bowl and mixed well.

Then…into the oven it went!

In the meantime, I made the “frosting”. I used the Quest protein powder again, alongside cream cheese, sweetener, and sour cream, and mixed well. *tip- soften your cream cheese before you try this recipe… I did not and it was awfully hard to mix! I tasted the frosting though, reminded me of a vanilla buttercream.

After about 20 minutes I took the quest bar mixture out of the oven.

Then I crumpled up the cake, and added the frosting to it.

Next up, made the cake into little balls, and off to the freezer! (I did this step backwards…oops)

The last step was melting and coating them in chocolate. I decided to use regular chocolate versus sugar free, mostly since it was easier for me to find in stores and cheaper.

Overall…how did it taste?

really damn good!!! The chocolate was a savior, and it went just perfectly with the cake. I loved the fact I was eating something that wasn’t going to derail my diet. The cake was moist, had a cream cheesy, vanilla flavor, and tasted like a normal cake pop you would find at Starbucks. These were definitely time intensive…but worth it! 4 1/2 stars.

The recipe was a bit labor intensive, but cake pops (at least from my experience) are not an easy thing to make. So this recipe might be difficult for a beginner, but it was still easy to follow. If I made this again, I would probably do a half sugar/ half 0 cal sweetener, since I can sometimes detect that sugar free taste (I am used to it as a diabetic!), but I think half sugar would provide a little less bitterness and better flavor. However, since this is a “cheat clean”, I can see why 0 calorie sweetener was used.

Recipe & nutritional info below!

Here is the recipe they gave me. I do NOT own this recipe, it was provided to me by Quest Nutrition, as well as getting a free tub of their Protein Powder and quest bars to make the recipe. Any  modifications I personally made are provided in parenthesis.

Red Velvet Cake Pops:

Yields: 18 servings

Serving size: 1 cake pop

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 24 min

Ingredients:

Cake

1⁄ 2 cup Quest Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder

1 Double Chocolate Chunk Quest Bar

1⁄ 2 cup almond meal

1 1⁄ 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons zero-calorie sweetener

1⁄ 2 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄ 4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla coconut milk)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1⁄ 2 tablespoon red food coloring

Coconut cooking spray

Frosting

1 scoop Quest Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder

3 1⁄ 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (I used full fat)

1⁄ 4 cup zero-calorie sweetener (I used Splenda)

2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream ( I used full fat)

1⁄ 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Coating

6 ounces sugar-free milk or dark chocolate ( I used regular milk chocolate)

Method:

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, heat unwrapped Double Chocolate Chunk Quest Bar for 10 seconds.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll the bar out to 1⁄4-inch thickness.
  • Bake for 4 minutes, or until bar is lightly crisped. Remove to cool.
  • Break the crisped bar into pieces, place in a mini blender, and process into a powder.
  • In a medium-size mixing bowl, add Quest Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder, the powdered Double Chocolate Chunk Quest Bar, almond meal, cocoa powder, zero-calorie sweetener, baking soda, and salt, and mix well.
  • Add almond milk, vanilla extract, and red food coloring. Mix cake base until fully incorporated and batter is dark red.
  • Coat a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in batter.
  • Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and cake is completely cooked and springy.
  • Remove and let cool.
  • Break the cake into small pieces, and place in a large mixing bowl.

Frosting

  • In a medium-size bowl, add Quest Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder, cream cheese, zero-calorie sweetener, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
  • Mix until smooth.

Assembly

  • Add frosting to crumbled cake, and mix together until all frosting is incorporated.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove cake from freezer. Take a small amount of cake batter and form eighteen walnut-sized balls.
  • Break chocolate into even-size small pieces. Melt slowly over a double boiler or in a dry bowl that fits snuggly over a pot. (Water should not touch pot or bowl above it. Before placing pot on top, simmer water in pot on low heat, then turn off heat and place the dry bowl or pot with chocolate in it on top, and stir when chocolate starts to melt, until chocolate is shiny and smooth)
  • Once chocolate is ready, remove cake balls from fridge and carefully submerge each into melted chocolate. Gently tap the edge to remove excess. If chocolate begins to seize, simply return to double boiler. Place each pop on wax paper and insert lollipop sticks.
  • Chill for 10 minutes in freezer, or until chocolate hardens and creates a shell.

Nutrition Info:

Calories: 110

Protein: 7

Fat: 7

Net Carbs: 3

Fiber: 4

Trigger Point Therapy, or Self Myofascial Release (SMR), is something I am particularly fond of. I was offered a free book to try by Dr. Karl Knopf and Chris Knopf on doing trigger point therapy with a foam roller. Unfortunately, a foam roller is not included, but I had one anyway so it worked out perfectly!

What is SMR? The root “myo” means muscle, and “fascia” is in a nutshell, what makes up your muscles. You can get these sort of “knots” in your muscles that lead to pain in other places, or could just be tight. For example, if someones hamstrings are very tight, it can cause pain on the lower back. One can do SMR on certain areas that let those hamstrings “loosen up” and then your lower back pain may be relieved!  (please note: I am not licensed in SMR or trigger point therapy. I learned through my career of personal training).

The book starts with an overview, which tells you what SMR is and how to use a foam roller to hit your “trigger points”. Then it moves onto some programs, which range from things such as a Posture Program, Upper Back Release Program, Foot & Leg Release Program, and even things such as a Basketball or Bicycling program. Each program lists a few exercises, and next to each exercise there is a  page number. I really like the fact they incorporated a program, so if you have a specific goal in mind, and have no idea how to help your target issue, this book can lead you in the right direction. Or if you have pain from chronic bicycling, how these massages may help you, and etc.

Part 3 then leads to the exercises themselves.  Each exercise gives you detailed instructions and pictures. I did not take a picture to post of the pages for copyright issues, but I can tell you they are easy to follow!

My favorite exercise was the Piriformus Release. You essentially sit on the foam roller at an angle on your glutes, and it helps your lower back and glute region loosen up. I found it the most useful for  all the deadlifts and squats that I do. My hamstrings, glutes and lower back can get awfully tight!

Here is what it looks like…yes I am in my PJs :D



Overall, a great book. Some of these I already knew from my personal training background, but there were definitely some new ones in there for me. A MUST for people who workout a lot and are active, or find themselves with frequent muscle knots. The only thing I didn’t care for was the quality of the pages. They felt very thin and cheap, I wish the pictures were in color and the pages were a bit sturdier.

Hello!

I got some  yummy treats from Uncomplicated Foods to try for free called Tali-O Bites! They are these bite sized treats made from organic dates and other flavors, to make for a healthy snack. They come in 3 flavors, Powerfully Peanut, A Hint of Almond, and Double the Coconut. All 3 flavors are gluten free, vegan, non GMO, soy free, and free of added sugars, according to the package. The Double the Coconut and Hint of Almond flavor are also paleo friendly.

As you can see, they are tiny!

I tried the Double the Coconut flavor first. These were soft and chewy, and had a sweet and fruity taste. You can certainly detect the fate flavor. The coconut flavor was prominent, but I wouldn’t say it was “double” in terms of flavor strength. I am assuming the powder on the bite was some type of extra coconut flavor. There were tiny pieces of nuts that gave it a teeny crunch, which was nice and added texture. These were really yummy! I used them pre workout early in the morning (I’m talking 5 am…) for a boost since it was too early for me to eat a full breakfast. 4 stars

Next up, Hint of Almond. This one was not my favorite of the 3, but it was still good.  Almond was not the first thing I thought of when eating these, however. It had a sweet taste to it, but moreso tasted like an almond butter after-taste. It was soft and chewy, and had a rather peculiar flavor that is a bit hard to describe. Almost like if you took almond butter and dates and made it into a chew with teeny nut pieces. Overall, 3  stars.

Lastly,  Powerfully Peanut. This flavor was my favorite! It had a yummy peanut flavor and was mildly sweet. THere was a hint of coconut flavor and almost tasted a little like vanilla. They were soft, dense and chewy. Very good! Definitely want more of these!

Overall, these are good! I do not have or know the nutritional facts, but I do have the ingredients for Double The Coconut listed below.

13 Dec 2014, Comments (9)

EnjoyLife Handcrafted Crunchy Cookies

Author: Healthnuttxo

Who doesn’t love cookies?!?!

EnjoyLife sent me a huge box of goodies for free, and let me tell you how pleasant of a surprise it was seeing that on my doorstep!

These crunchy cookies are gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and soy free according to the box. The box also states that they are “free from the 8 common allergies”, so one could definitely assume they are allergen friendly :]

They come in 4 different flavors, Vanilla Honey Graham, Double Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, and Sugar Crisp. I was so excited! I generally prefer soft cookies over crunchy or crisp ones, but I am also never one to turn down a good cookie :]

I tried the double chocolate first. Here is what they looked like up close!

Mmmmm. These cookies were nice and crunchy, but not flaky, they had a good body to them. There was clearly a good amount of chocolate chips, but I think it had more of a dark chocolate than a milk chocolate flavor to them. These actually reminded me of a brownie-cookie. They were very sweet and a tad salty, so in other words, a great combination! The consistency was great. Couldn’t tell it was gluten free or anything aside from a regular ol’ gluten-y cookie. Haha. Very good! 4.5 stars

Next up, the chocolate chip. These were yummmay!!! Crunchy and crispy, but had body like the other ones. The chocolate chips melted easily which was a good thing, and they were plentiful without the cookie. There was a slight vanilla flavor as well. They were sweet with a slight punch of saltiness, so again, delicious combo. You really can’t tell it was gluten free! Often I tried GF cookies where you can taste the potato flour or there is a piecy consistency, but not the case with these. They held together well, and I ate, well, ALL of them :) (oops) 4.5 stars

Next up, the Sugar Crisp. Again…yum! Crispy, but not airy, with a prominent vanilla flavor. In fact, these were full of flavor. These had a slight break down after you chew it where you can tell it was made of rice flour, unlike the other two, but they were still quite good. If you like a sweet cookie with a strong vanilla flavor, these are for you. 4 stars

Lastly, Vanilla Honey Graham!Look how perfect these little guys look! These cookies almost tasted like toast with honey spread on it. They had a rather strong honey flavor, and a very slight undertone of vanilla flavor. The toasted flavor however, was quite predominant, and the cookie has strong flavors. I think the toasted flavor was supposed to be the graham flavor, but not too sure. If you like honey, I would say this a good choice. I enjoyed it, but not my favorite of the 4. 3 1/2 stars

Overall, I approve! I would definitely buy some of these if I saw them on my next trip to the supermarket :)

7 Dec 2014, Comments (8)

Pearson Farm Natural Elliot Pecan Halves

Author: Healthnuttxo

Pecans are by far, my favorite nut. So when I got an email asking to review some of the “BEST. PECANS. EVER!” , you bet I was down to give them a try!

I got sent a bag to try for free from Pearson Farm. I was slightly skeptical after reading the ingredients. Just…pecans? No salt? Not roasted? Hmm…

However, these are fantastic! They are soft, have a slight mapley/sweet flavor to them as well, which HAS to be natural! They have no oily taste to them, and do not have a funky aftertaste to them that I find raw nuts sometimes have. The pecans are nice and big, and just very flavorful. Easily the best raw pecans I have ever tried, and very yummy for a “plain” flavor.

I think these would be great for baking. With holiday cooking and baking right around the corner, I think they would be excellent for making a pecan pie or a topping for cookies. However, they are delicious right out of the bag as well. I will always be a fan of roasted over raw, but for no salt AND raw nuts, these are very good, and very flavorful. Really allows the pecan flavor to shine through. I applaud! 4 1/2 stars from me.

Q- what is your favorite nut?


ALSO- the winner of the giveaway for the BP monitor is Kenny! You were chosen randomly via random.org, You will be contacted soon to claim your prize.

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