7 May 2015, Comments (0)

Vionic Venture Walker Shoes

Author: Healthnuttxo

Foot pain. I feel like I hear everyone complain how their feet hurt almost daily. And how can you blame anyone? We have jobs! A lot of them standing (think teachers, doctors, sales clerks…so many!), and a lot of them even walking quite a bit (thank your Nurse and PAs you see! They are definitely on their feet all day long!). Or even if you don’t work, foot pain is such a common complaint.

Myself? I have some issues. I may be young (err, quarter century or so), but my arches hurt unless I wear an arch support, and since I am a diabetic, my feet are prone to blisters due to extra sensitive skin. I also have occasional heel pain since I pronate too much when I walk. It has caused me to have some shin splints (when I did track) and knee problems down the line =(

So…introducing Vionic Venture Walker shoes! I got sent a pair from the company in Fuchsia to try out.  The website says one of the main features is that it has “Orthoheel Technology” which is a “biomechanic orthotic footbed that naturally aligns your feet and may help to relieve heel pain produced by reducing over-pronation”.  This is good news! I was definitely excited to try a pair.

Here’s what they look like

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IMG_1412Mmmm. Look at that heel…looks nice and cushiony!

So first off, I really liked the color combinations. I have been told over and over by doctors to get “orthopedic shoes” but let’s be honest…most of them are really ugly. These however, are super cute!! I am a huge fan of pink, and I like the fuchsia color mixed with purple interior. The purple laces were also anice touch, and easy to tie. I like how they are not wide either, they just look like normal sneakers :)

But how did they feel?

They were soft on top, so not constricting on the foot at all.

There was a heavy duty arch support, which is nice, but definitely took some getting used to when you put it on. Within a few minutes of walking I forgot about it though, but it definitely is noticeable.

However, these are extremely comfortable, no complaints at all. I usually have issues with heel, or by toe area for sneakers. Too compressed or tight, but the lightweight top on these shoes allowed my feet to move without being constricted.

They were also very breathable, my feet didn’t sweat even on a hot day.

So…in a nut shell…these are winners! I am going to be wearing these essentially until I can’t wear them anymore. It’s definitely not easy finding a shoe that is stylish and fits comfortably. I am going to give these a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars. The only minor drawback I think is that the arch is very strong, which is totally fine for me, but may be bothersome for other individuals. It might just be that they are new and the arch might mold more to my foot as I walk, so we shall find out. Either way, I would definitely buy a pair of these in the future.

 

 

I received this product for free. This is an unbiased review.

 

 

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General Mills and Star Wars have come together with….#CerealWars! Now, for a limited time, you can get a super cool Star Wars posted inside of some of your favorite General Mills cereals in specially marked boxes :)

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I got sent two yummy cereals, including my favorite Reeses Puffs, alongside some pretty cool Star Wars posters. The posters were about 1.5 times the length of a cereal box, and of good quality.

IMG_1249A shiny finish, and the perfect size for a kid to hang up in his or her room after having his or her favorite cereal in the morning.

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Now…YOU can get a chance to win! General Mills will ship you some cereal with a Star Wars poster inside!

RULES:

1. leave a comment saying who your favorite Star Wars character is!
2. for an extra entry, add me on Instagram at Lisa_liftsx. Must also comment that you did so.

3. For another extra entry, TWEET about this giveaway, mentioning my handle “liisa_tee”. Must also comment you did so.

U.S. only. Giveaway ends May 4th 2015.

 

This product was given to me for free. This is an unbiased review.

 

 


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Urinary Tract Infections are certainly no fun…bacteria essentially builds up and then causes pain or burning, and just overall discomfort. AZO has a line of products to help alleviate a UTI (but not cure…must go to a doctor!), including the new Cranberry Gummies.

I thought these would be perfect to try, seeing as Cranberry juice is always recommended to prevent UTIs, but I cannot drink it, as I am a Diabetic (juice is a huge NO, unless blood sugar is low!) These gummies are the equivalent of 1 glass of cranberry juice (per 2 gummies), according to the bottle. The bottle also states that “studies have been shown that cranberries can help prevent bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall and help maintain urinary tract cleanliness”. Sounds good to me!

I’ll admit, I am a sucker for gummies. Fish oil gummies, daily multi-vitamin gummies…it’s like a little treat per day! So I was certainly down to try these. I’m a little kid on the inside…it’s ok…right?

Here’s what they look like:

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They come in mixed berry flavor, and the darker versus lighter purple gummies have different flavors. The darker gummy has a tart, potent cranberry flavor. Almost like an extract. It’s very sweet and tart at the same time, but also good. It leaves a cranberry after-taste, like most cranberry products do. The lighter purple gummy is less tart and strong in flavor. I like it better, it’s sweeter. It almost reminds me of a raspberry or strawberry type of flavor, with a cranberry aftertaste.

The gummies are dense but chewy, and very slightly waxy. Not as squishy as a fish oil gummy, and a little harder.  They come in shapes that  honestly resemble the cake emoji for the iPhone…I have no clue, that’s what I think of every time. LOL.

It was hard to get a pic of the label, since it was stretched around the bottle. But…Each 2 gummies has 15 calories and 4 grams of carbs with 2 grams of sugar. It also contains 500 mg of Cranberry Whole Fruit Powder.

Overall, I like them! As a diabetic and female, I am prone to UTIs, so I would consider buying these if I saw it in stores. As always, with any vitamin (gummy or not), do NOT exceed the recommended dosage. Doesn’t matter how good they taste! 4 stars.

 

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This sample was given to me for free. This is an unbiased review.

 

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Alright! So as you guys probably know, I am a *huge* nut butter fan. However, coconut butter has never been one of those nut butters I bought or tried. Sweet Spreads offered me 6 of their coconut butters to try for free. They come in White Chocolate, Vanilla Cupcake, Maple Pancake, Dark Chocolate Mint, Cinnamon Roll and Chocolate Brownie flavors. Each of them have 2 grams of sugar per serving, which is a plus.

Now. One thing I know about coconut oil/butter is that it is solid at room temperature. So If you open a jar of this stuff it will be exactly that…a soft solid. There is a white layer on the top (fat most likely) and more colored separation on the bottom. Sweet Spreads wrote “Tip: For a warm smooth sensation- remove the lid and microwave for 10-15 seconds”. I would argue that’s less of a tip, and more mandatory, at least at first. Once you microwave it the first time, and it cools again, it hardens up more “mixed”, and then I essentially used a fork to “chip away” and eat pieces of coconut butter. Sounds hilarious, but it was actually kind of fun.

Here’s what it looks like when you open up a jar:

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Here’s my chipped away coconut butter (post microwave/ re solidified):

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And here’s my fresh out the microwave coconut butter: Mmm.

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So, I’m not sure how these spreads would be on a sandwich, but you can give it a try. I had mine straight from the jar.

Maple Pancake: Nice and smooth post microwave, and the smell was really delicious. It has an almond butter consistency, and coconut flavor. The maple flavor was honestly pretty slight, I wished it was a bit stronger. However, it grew on me. There was something that left a little bit of a bite to it, like cinnamon, once it was done eating. 3 ½ stars

Cinnamon Roll– This one was gritty but smooth, again, like almond butter, A nice cinnamon flavor, and definitely detected a nutmeg flavor as well. The sweetness was sight, but there. It definitely was indicative of a cinnamon roll, but with some certain coconut flavor as well. It had almost an “earthy” taste to it. I liked it. 3 ½ stars

Vanilla Cupcake– This one tasted almost like straight up coconut butter, since the vanilla flavor was so milk. It was a bit pastier than the others, and I felt it needed to be sweeter. I like this one better cold, and it reminded me almost of cake batter. It was very rich however, so I couldn’t eat too much at once ( a good thing, since this is caloric!) 3 ½ stars

White Chocolate- this one was pretty good!! It was sweeter, but not too sweet, and the flavor goes well with a coconut taste. It had a mild white chocolate/vanilla flavor. I let this one heat up, cool, and then “scrape” with fork. A tad pasty, but good. 4 stars

Chocolate Brownie- mmmm. This one was good. Like a chocolate covered coconut treat. A little gritty, even post microwave, but still tasty nonetheless. A rich chocolate flavor, this one was sweeter than the rest and really good. It was I would say 50/50 chocolate to coconut flavor ratio….but a good ratio at that. 4 ½ stars

Dark Chocolate Mint– I tried this one last. I was afraid. Minty nut butter?? And while it wasn’t my favorite, it wasn’t bad. It tasted like a muted York Peppermint Patty. Chocolatey and minty, but not TOO minty. The coconut flavor is almost completely masked in this one. The dark chocolate aspect was nice though, and very rich. 3 ½ stars

Overall, pretty good! The only drawback is that these are mighty caloric. 1 Tbsp has 140 calories! Not good for those nut butter addicts like me! But if you watch portion sizes, you do not need more than 1 tbsp at a time…they are very rich and decadent, and certainly a sweet treat ☺

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So I’ve seen these Simply 100 yogurts on the shelves from Chobani, and they appeal to me, since they are lower in carbs and sugar. I am a Diabetic, so I try to limit the amount of carbohydrates I consume.

PEACH is one of my favorites from the Original Chobani line of greek yogurts, so I saw this flavor in the Simply 100, and definitely wanted to give it a try. Here’s what it looked like:

 

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You can see it’s a bit “milkier” than typical Chobani. I’m used to that firm greek yogurt on top when I take the lid off, looking all smooth and perfect, until I stick my spoon in it that is!

However, this yogurt was still plenty creamy and thick, typical of Chobani fashion (a good thing, I might add). I was essentially imagining this to taste like the original, which is also non-fat, but it did not live up to the original. It was TART! I can’t tell if it was tart due to the fruit not being in season (but it is almost summer…) or the fact that there was an artificial sweetener (Stevia) added rather than sugar, and the tart overpowered the sweet…

Either way, they could probably get away with renaming this Apricot yogurt. I noticed some evaporated cane juice was added, but not a lot, seeing as only 6 grams of sugar, and some of that sugar is natural fructose from the peaches and lactose from the yogurt itself. So 6 grams of sugar? Good. Tart peaches? Not so good.

On the bright side, quality is always there for Chobani. Real fruit, fresh fruit, and fresh fruit often means seasonality comes into play. However, I think there should  be a bit of tweaking with the sweetener to peach ratio, as these dang things were TART! I might try it again…but then again I might just stick with the original Peach Chobani and eat the extra 40 calories.

3 stars

 

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22 Apr 2015, Comments (11)

Blake’s Hearty Beef Stew

Author: Healthnuttxo

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Saw this at Target today (the best store in the world, duh) and decided to give it a whirl. I often stay away from frozen dinners for a few reasons…
1. Full of sodium (hellooooo bloating)
2. Full of preservatives (how about some BHT with your carrots?)
3. Teeny portions for a lot of money

And while this one looked small, the sodium levels were low, and it was a natural dish so no preservatives or colors added. I’ve also had Blake’s chicken pot pie before and it was scrumptious. So I decided to give it a whirl.

Suggested cooking method is the oven. Did I use the oven? Of course I did….the microwave oven (see what I did there?) 😉

Here’s what it looked like:
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Smaller than I thought. Frozen dinner? How about a frozen snack….

There was literally 3 pieces of beef in here. THREE. TEENY. PIECES. I am a big girl (okay, I’m not a big girl, but my stomach likes big portions), and I can easily down a plate of meatballs, steak, hamburger, etc. And still be hungry. So I knew this wasn’t promising.

The first piece of beef was scrumptious. Soft, tender, flavorful. Bits of garlic and pepper, perfectly complimented with the gravy. Reminded me of the stew my mom used to make…mmm.

The other two pieces of beef were fatty. Half fat I should say. White, visible fat. Chewy and bleh. Some people like fatty meat. I am not one of them. Moving on…

The carrots and peas were on point. Carrots were perfect consistency, and peas were nice and crisp. It reminded me of the inside of a pot pie. Both flavorful and fresh. Very good.

The square potatoes were an epic fail. These were supposed to be red skin potatoes? They tasted like the super starchy brown ones you can make french fries with. They were essentially a block of mush. Starchy mush. Awful.

The gravy was thick, but gelatinous, which probably meant it had a high fat content. And seeing as my mere 3 pieces of beef could not possibly contribute all 12 grams of fat, I assume the rest of the fat was in the gravy. Which I will admit, was delicious and flavorful. It held the dish together nicely and went well with everything. Even those awful potatoes.

Overall? Meh. Hearty? Hardly. I wasn’t even hungry when I ate this and I think I am hungrier post meal. Would not buy again, but if bought for me I would eat it. 2 1/2 stars

 

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Alright! I got some goodies from Krush Nutrition to try out, including their Nutty by Nature Peanut Butter, made with whey protein, flax and chia, as well as their Krush Bars in Raw Cookie Dough and Birthday Cake flavor. Let’s begin!

Naturally (no pun intended), I started with the Nutty by Nature Peanut butter. Oh…it’s been a while for me and peanut butter. See, we are good friends…but he is evil, and I end up eating the whole jar in 3 days or so…BAD. So we argue and we fight and I’m mad, and then I don’t buy it for weeks, sadly pass by it on the shelves…and somehow he always comes back!

LOL. What can I say I love nut butter. Here’s what it looked like!

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Mmmmm. You can see the baby chia seeds in there! I noticed everytime I ate the nut butter the top of it would have a slight oily residue, and underneath it was drier, but then if I left if overnight, it would go back to the same scenario. Which, I am not complaining,  because oil is good for nut butter. Nut butter without oil = awful. Trust me…I’ve tried taking oil out of Natural peanut butter before. BAD idea…

Anyway, this peanut butter…ah-mazing. So good I had to keep it in my roommate’s room so I wouldn’t eat the whole dang thing in a few days (I wish I was kidding). It is sweet and creamy, but has some texture to it. You can taste the sweetener, but it’s good, it’s xylitol, and I can guarantee that because I am a diabetic and I know my sweeteners! However, only 2 grams of sugar, despite the sweet taste. I really, really loved this nut butter, dangerously good if I do say so myself.

You can tell there is something mixed in it, most likely the whey protein, but does not take away from the flavor at all. It gets a teeny bit pasty at the end of the jar, but I’ll choose my battles. This thing tastes like the inside of a Nutter Butter cookie. UGH! SO GOOD! 

 

Moving on… Krush Bars! There are gluten free, protein bars, loaded up with fiber. The stats reminded me of a Quest bar, which I took a picture of below.
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As you can see, low sugar, high fiber, the whole deal. 240 calories, which is kind of high, but these are natural bars so I will take it.  Here is the Raw Cookie Dough bar up close

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And…here is the Birthday Cake bar up close. CHECK THOSE SPRINKLES!!!

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Let’s discuss. Both of these bars have a home-made feel…very soft, chewy, dense but not hard, authentic feel to them. Something that screams “hey, I wasn’t made in a huge factory. I was handmade”, which I kind of like. The Raw Cookie Dough was sweet, but semi muted in sweetness. I expected sweeter, seeing as cookie dough is sickeningly sweet (but, c’mon here Lisa, this is a PROTEIN version of cookie dough…not a tube of it…). There were a few chocolate chunks in the bar which were good, but again, not that sweet. This made sense, as the bar indicated there was no added sugar. There was a peanut butter undertone of flavor, which of course I enjoyed, and the overall flavor was nice. I felt it was missing something…but still a good bar. 3 1/2 stars

The Birthday Cake bar was delightful. The sprinkles added a nice touch and pop of color. It was sweet, but again semi muted in sweetness, and not sugary tasting. It was dense like a breakfast bar. It reminded me of a sweet treat or confection in a protein bar form. Not exactly screaming frosted ice cream birthday cake…maybe a less sweeter cake pop in bar form. With protein. However… the protein flavor was minimal, if not non-existent. I really enjoyed this bar. I wish I had another one. 4 stars

Overall…some good stuff from Pure Fitness Nutrition. I am mad because now I have to go buy more of that peanut butter. *sigh* It was too dang good! =]

IMG_0758Follow me on INSTAGRAM!!! Lisa_lifts

 

Sponsored, unbiased post. I received these items for free.

 

 



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Hello!

So the nice people over at Enzymedica sent me two of their supplements to try out for free, Digest Gold with ATPro, and Acid Soothe. I was excited to try these, and I have a very sensitive stomach, and could use any extra help I can get!

The Digest Gold is vegan and kosher, and helps with digestion by providing a slew of enzymes. It is priced at roughly $29.99. Here is a list of everything inside!

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So anything ending in “-ase” is an enzyme. So you can see, there are a LOT of enzymes in this bottle.  Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down sugars, Protease helps break down proteins, Lactase helps break down milk based/lactose products, etc.  Here is what the pill looked like. It was relatively small and easy to swallow, which is a plus for me. I hate taking huge pills! I will purposely stop buying a brand if the pills are too big.

IMG_0628So how did it work? I decided to take it in the mornings, because I usually feel nauseous after breakfast (disclaimer: I am not pregnant! Just sensitive tummy!). I usually have toast with butter and some coffee for breakfast, and then go to the gym shortly after. At the gym, even 2 hours later, I sometimes feel nauseous or still “full” from my food. The first day I took the Digest Gold I noticed substantially less nausea, and felt pretty good! I was pleased and my stomach felt less heavy than usual.

I tried it again at dinner time. I always get indigestion from sauce/onions, so I had it with a meatball dish with sauce. Again, no heartburn after or indigestion, which was great.

I have been taking the remainder of the bottle with breakfast every day, and although there were a few days I was still nauseous, I would say this product definitely helped me. I would consider buying it again for sure, even though it is a little pricy. 4 stars

 

Moving on!

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The Acid Soothe. This product was priced at (I believe) around  7-8 dollars, which is average for traditional forms of acid relief such as Pepcid for a 30 count box. This product is vegan and filled with vegan enzymes and herbs to help heartburn. Here is the list:

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I found the perfect opportunity to take this the other day, when I had a little too much coffee. I had mild heart burn and it was otherwise just giving me a little bit of a stomachache. I took the Acid Soothe and waited about an hour. I must say it was a little bit disappointing. It alleviated the heart burn by very little,  but did help relieve some gas (in the form of some burps) but the heartburn was still relatively painful. I had high hopes for the Acid Soothe seeing as the Digest Gold was so great,  but this one I deem as generally ineffective, as least for me. 1 1/2 stars

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So whilst purchasing my weekly dosage (yes, dosage) of greek yogurts, I spotted this new gem on the shelf. I used to be absolutely obsessed with regular Stonyfield Farm yogurts for years…it was my go snack. I since then moved onto greek yogurt, but Stonyfield Farm will always have a  place in my heart. So I saw this Stonyfield Organic yogurt on the shelf and decided to give it a try.

It’s made with “sweet fresh cheese” which can be off-putting I think as a label to people who don’t eat a lot of cheese or yogurt, but, yogurt lovers can appreciate it.

Anywho, this baby has 10 grams of protein per serving, which is sub par for a greek yogurt,  but, this never actually SAYS greek yogurt on it…but it is conveniently placed next to the greek yogurts at the store, probably due to the container. So, I’ll blame Stop n Shop for this one, and myself for not actually reading the container. (What do you want from me? Sunday night grocery shopping with my best friend isn’t exactly productive…)

Here’s what it looks like:

IMG_0838The consistency is halfway between a thick greek yogurt and a more runny regular yogurt, a hybrid if you will. The Belle Blueberry in flavor, however, is quite exquisite. A gentle, “real” blueberry flavor, and mild sweetness, but a beautiful cream flavor pervades the yogurt. Only 2.5 grams of fat too, which is entirely from the cream, but totally worth it. The flavor is delicious with the blueberry, and gives a blueberry and cream-eqsue feel.

Perfect.

Will definitely buy again. I’ll shush my sub-conscious screaming “HEY but this doesn’t have 13-14g of protein!!!” by telling it I will up the egg whites at lunch later on. Problem solved, protein quota hit.

4 1/2 stars.

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11 Apr 2015, Comments (0)

Chobani Concord Grape Blended Yogurt

Author: Healthnuttxo

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Grape Chobani! I finally saw this flavor pop up at my local Target (ahh…don’t you just love Target?) and had to buy them. I had a free coupon from Chobani…but of course I left it at home -_-, so I ended up paying for this one.  I would use that free coupon to buy and review again but…

I will not be buying this flavor again. Chobani, you are my favorite brand of Greek yogurt, but the new flavors have been real flops! I hated the Green Tea flavored yogurt( which I reviewed here) and this one was a let down as well. Here’s what it looked like.

IMG_0409It was a creamy, blended yogurt, so no fruit on the bottom. It was just not sweet enough, or grape flavored enough, or…enough enough. It tasted more like plain yogurt than grape, since the grape flavor was so muted. What little grape flavor there was tasted awfully fake, like a grape flavored candy or something. It had an awkward after taste as well that I could not get over. It was like a few drops of fake grape juice poured into plain yogurt.

Blech.

Will not buy again. Will not use free coupon on. Will not feed to dog. It was slightly better after I added an Equal packet, but not good enough. I’ll stick to pineapple and mango flavors of Chobs, both of which are delicious. 1 1/2 stars

 

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