Birch Benders Keto Syrup – Maple

As a Type 1 Diabetic, certain foods are hard to eat without a huge spike in my blood sugars. Any sweetener tends to fall under that rule, and maple syrup is no exception.

For years I would use sugar free syrup sweetened with Sucralose or Aspartame, however recently I have decided to cut this from my diet and opt for more natural alternatives.

Birch Benders had a keto maple flavored syrup, sweetened with monk fruit. I was intrigued.

Ingredients aren’t too shabby- no caramel coloring, Sucralose, aspartame.

Here is a drizzle on top of some French toast

So how was the flavor?

Let’s just say it’s interesting that the back of the bottle says maple syrup purists would love this product because I love me some maple syrup and this is…gross.

It is tart and tastes like a blend of stevia and monk fruit sweetener – almost like a licorice taste – and very tart aftertaste with some maple undertones.

Truthfully,I threw It right in the trash and I’m rather mad I spent almost $11 on It. I do NOT recommend this. I will have to settle for using regular maple syrup in very minute amounts rather than this until I find a better alternative.

1/2 star

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Freshe Gourmet Tuna, Salmon and protein meals

Are you on the go and need a meal to keep you satisfied? Or like camping and need something easy to eat? Or maybe just looking for a change from the basic albacore tuna… in comes Freshe Meals ! With their slogan, “Small meals, big protein” , I think these are a great fit.

The fish is packed in a BPA free lid, and per their website, “Freshé Meals is committed to supporting the environment through sustainable practices. Our tuna is protein-packed Friend of the Sea Certified Sustainable Wild Skipjack Tuna”.

They are also made with good ol OLIVE OIL!!! No seed oils!!! We avoid seed oils in this household so I am happy to see It was packed in olive oil.

The company sent me some varieties to try:

AZTEC ENSALADA – Mexican style tuna with red beans, corn, pepper and onions.

THAI SRIRACHA– Tuna, sweet and sour beans, peanuts and hot spice

PROVENCE NICOISE – Tuna, peppers, potatos and onions

MOROCCAN TAGINE– Salmon, chickpeas, onions, zucchini, quinoa, olives, carrot, lemon and fennel

BARCELONA ESCALIVADA – Salmon, eggplant, quinoa, tomato, garlic and paprika

SICILIAN CAPONATA -Tuna, butternut squash, roasted veggies, almonds and herbs

Heres the nutrition facts: you can see this little can really packs a punch for protein and healthy fats!

Overall, I think these are great and TASTY!!!
I understand canned fish is an acquired taste but these are a fun way to spice It up with wholesome ingredients. Some of them are salad toppings but I think using It on a sandwich (like a traditional tuna Sammy) or even with pita crackers/chips would be great! My mother in law is a big fan of canned Tuna and she really enjoyed these as well.

Dirt Kitchen’s air dried veggie crisps

So vegetable chips are typically a total scam. They appear healthy when in fact, they are not. They take perfectly healthy, nutrient rich vegetables and fry them in OIL!!! Tell me, whats the difference between a green bean soaked and fried In oil versus a potato (aka your classic potato chips)?  Nothing!!

And here’s where this company comes in…

Dirt Kitchen’s air dried veggie crisps!

They have no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no added sugar. They are vegan, gluten free and GMO free. Best of all, just a minimal amount of added oil, and it’s good ol’ extra virgin olive oil. We don’t eat seed oils in our house hold so we are very pleased these were made with olive oil.

These are definitely crispy and crunchy with a good amount of salt. They have a sweet potato flavor to It but then followed up with a strong cooked carrot flavor. The BBQ flavor is quite mild.

Overall I think they could be a good option for when you want something salty and crunchy without overdoing It on fat and oils. The portion is quite small and they are not cheap (but is any food cheap these days?). I would definitely be interested in trying other flavors and would buy these in the future.

Overall, 4 stars.

DISCLAIMER: I RECEIVED THIS TO TRY FOR FREE FROM THE COMPANY. THIS IS AN UNBIASED REVIEW.

Kiara Sky Powder Dip review

So after the disastrous Nailboo experience with dip powder, I decided to not give up. I recently purchased Kiara Sky after seeing someone mention It on an instagram post. It claimed to be professional grade and definitely had a hefty price tag, ($109 for a kit and about $20-30 per color), so I said WELL this has to be somewhat decent, lets give It a try.

Well let me tell you, Kiara Sky knows how to win me over with cute packaging that’s for sure.

HOW ADORABLE are these little pink hearts? (however totally not necessary and totally bad for the environment I am sure…)

Heres the entire kit. It comes with everything you need including 1 clear and 1 natural powder. I was a little bummed about the color selection and that It couldn’t be swapped out but I decided to go for the very light pink/tan with a gold sparkle.

It comes with this kit which allows you to re-use the powder as less waste.

Overall, the kit is easy to use and odorless which I really liked. I often feel light headed at the nail salon from all the nail glue , acetone, etc.

All said and done, It takes about 1 hour to complete including filing, buffing. What I will say with nail dip powder is you HAVE to be meticulous. I recommend thin coats of powder and try as much as possible to not touch the actual cuticle or your skin as the nail will fall off (the powder “nail”).

FINAL PRODUCT, featuring my left foot and also my dog’s toy above (ha ha). Wish they offered more of a pink with the starter kit but It would be good color to do a French with. However I am not nearly that advanced (yet).

OVERALL, I have tried this kit, nail boo and one other and so far this one is my favorite. It definitely is expensive. I had the nails last about 2 weeks and then one of them fell off. I work in health care and I wash my hands a LOT so I am not sure if that plays a role, I notice they usually fall off on a Saturday when I am cleaning (even though I often wear gloves). I am really working on technique so It could be user error as the gold nails REALLY stuck on well. I like how nice and clean It comes out and smooth. I struggled getting non-bumpy nails with other kits, and this one did not require too much buffing. OVERALL, 4 stars.

EcoLips Vegan Brazilian Lip Tint

HEY!

I am back!

Sorry the delay everyone, I was moving, got a new job, got married, aka unfortunately all my free time was devoted elsewhere. We also got a new puppy, because…why not lol.

Anyway, getting right back on track, today I will be reviewing the Lip Tint by Eco Lips. I was pretty excited about this, I have never been a lipstick kind of gal but I do appreciate some color. It’s not that I don’t like lipstick, I just find I can never find a color that matches my skin tone well, or doesn’t flake, smudge etc., so I just have avoided It and forever have been using that chapstick at the bottom of my pocketbook.

Eco Lips provided me 4 of their vegan lip tints to try out. Each of them are fair trade certified, certified vegan, and NO animal testing.

They come in colors “Brave”, ” Bold”, “Brazen” and “Blissful”.

This is BOLD below.

Here’s a pic of the side of the lip tint. I don’t love the shape. I find It too flat and large of a circumference. If you zoom in on my pic above, and I left this purposely, if you apply this as you would chapstick you will end up with a nice amount of the lip color outside your lips.

I kind of wish It had an angle to It, or a smaller circumference to allow more control for application.

The application is smooth and creamy, and the colors are quite nice but they do not last. I felt I would put It on the morning and by the time I got to work It already faded (Granted , I sip an iced coffee on route, but still!)

Love that they are non irritating (for my annoyingly sensitive skin) and are creamy and hydrating, but given the fact I need to re-apply It frequently and can’t do so quickly without a mirror present isn’t the best combination for me.

3 1/2 stars. Would use again, not sure if I would purchase in the future.

DISCLAIMER: I received these products to try for free from the company. This is an unbiased review.

Mary’s Gone Crackers review

Who doesn’t love a good plate of cheese and crackers?
The nice folks over at Marys Gone Crackers sent me some of their crackers to try. We were sent 4 different varieties. They are non-GMO and organic, and have some gluten free options!

Chipotle – Real Thin (bottom left)

Lightly sweet at first then a nice kick at the end. Nice and crunchy. Has a little bit of heat but not too spicy. Good on their own. Would buy this one in the future for sure. 4/5 stars. Really good.

Original Cracker (top Left)

Nice crispy crunch, airy. Has a nice toasted flavor to It. Not too salty and no added sugar. Would buy this in the future. Pairs well with cheddar cheese. This is a 3.5/5 star.

Super Seed (top right)

Nice crispy crunch with a strong seed flavor. Can taste the flax seed. Not great on its own but pairs well with cheese. These have a bit more fat and protein than the Original cracker with less carbohydrates per serving. 3.5/5 stars.

Olive Oil and Cracked Black Pepper – Real Thin (bottom right)

This one is tasty! Just a hint of olive oil flavor and a nice kick of black pepper. 4.5/5 stars.

Heres the nutritional stats:

Overall, I do like these. I think they would be great with some cheese as an appetizer for a dinner party. No palm oil which I like but has sunflower oil. The fat grams per serving are decent. The crunch of these is amazing too!

DISCLAIMER: I RECEIVED THESE TO TRY FOR FREE FROM THE COMPANY. THIS IS AN UNBIASED REVIEW.

Nailboo Dip Powder

I am a big fan of doing my nails.
Once a week since I was a kid I would do my nails for the week. Recently I splurged and got powder for the first time. I loved the results so much – long lasting, hard nails, no chips, 2-3 weeks of use!

I saw an ad for Nailboo on instagram (Insta always seems to get me to buy stuff) and saw It was backed by Brittany Aldean and Paris Hilton so…OK lets give It a chance.

I got 3 colors – Pop Star, Princess Pink and Cutecumber

Heres the kit in full – comes with applicator, top coat, base coat and base powder.

It was pretty easy to use. Paint your nail with base coat, dip into base powder, paint with base coat and then dip into color of choice

The little booklet failed to mention you need to dip several times to get the color you want. So the first round was a disaster LOL. But anyway I re did It.
The little booklet also failed to mention like they do on the website to wear a mask and eye glasses as you can get “dip flu” from the powder. Super.

So anyway this was round 2 with Popstar (color on the R in above pic)

My first issue is…thats not the color. that looks orange… not Pop star pink???
It was also very thick but I said ok this was probably on me as It was my first time doing It.

My second issue was the applicator brush was…broken??? Like It came out the bottle like this first time.

No worries though- I contacted Nailboo and they sent me a new one, no issues.

So round 2 , I tried the “Cutecumber” which might as well have been the “not-cutecumber”. It looked like Elmers glue once It dried. I actually painted over my pointer and ring finger with a nail polish bc I couldn’t stand the color and I was NOT in the mood to redo the whole process on a Sunday Night.

This was 3 coats of “cute cumber”

I mentioned Nailboo on IG and they offered to credit my account to get a different color. So again, awesome customer service.

Third try – Princess pink.
I also invested in a nail buffer to help the nails look less bumpy and more smooth before drying.

Loved this one. Came out decent and by my third time around I knew how to get a more smoother coat.

Problem is, a whole nail fell off 1 week later. I don’t know how It happened. I am not aggressive with my hands. I don’t have a manual job. I wasn’t touching any acetone. It also chipped on another nail. This was 2 coats with Princess pink. As least the color was accurate.

The whole process, including removing the powder nails, is about 1-1.5 hours.

Overall?
This product stinks. The customer service is great however the quality? Stinks.

Colors don’t match up to the actual powder despite multiple dips, chips after 1 week, 1 random nail came off. The applicator nail polish bottle feels as if It was 1/4 way full when It arrived. It’s also decently expensive.

So for me, who hates going to the nail salon as I hate sitting there for 1-2 hours, and also hates chipped nail polish…I will be going back to basic nail polish and doing It once a week. Bc this is not worth the hassle.

The pros? The hard and strong nails. Princess Pink was a nice color Thats about It for me.

2.5 stars

Meat District the O.G. Angus Brisket, chuck & Short rib beef patties

Want a delicious burger but don’t want to leave home? Look no further.

Meat District has created these delicious burgers for which my fiancé, myself and his brother all thoroughly enjoyed. It is Angus beef- Angus brisket, chuck and short rib patty.

Now… we live in a condo without access to a grill…so we expected the burgers to maybe be a little subpart to what they would be on a grill. But I will say, pan frying did not disappoint. I simply sprayed some non stick spray, added some salt and pepper to the patties and fried them up on the pan.

However these burgers to not disappoint.

They were juicy , fresh and just….delicious.

The nutrition facts…are not great. So while I wouldn’t make this an every night thing It is definitely something I can see myself eating once every 2 weeks or so (weekly for the future hubs)

Overall… a 4 star for me! For taste alone I would give a 5 but this is the HEALTH NUTTXO after all and the fat content (whilst somewhat inevitable) drops It down for me a bit.

DISCLAIMER: I received this item to try for free. This is an unbiased review.

From the Ground Up Snacks Cauliflower & Butternut Crackers

I LOVE cauliflower. I mean…my fiancé would beg to differ as he thinks It smells like socks every time I cook It but I love It! Low carb, versatile flavor and can really “beef” up a dish and make It more hearty without a lot of calories.

I saw these crackers by From the Ground Up Snacks , in Cauliflower Sea Salt and Butternut Sea Salt , and decided to give them a try.

I loved the fact I could eat 50 crackers for 100 calories, 18-20 carbs, and the first ingredient was either cauliflower or butternut.

Ok, ok…we got veggies, we got low calorie…but how is the TASTE?

The cauliflower crackers …well…they stink. And not just the smell. They are definitely crunchy and nicely seasoned. The first flavor is pure cauliflower followed by an overwhelming cassava aftertaste. It almost Tastes like spinach as well. Regardless…big let down.

Okay so the butternut?
The butternut crackers are not bad. They have a mildly sweet butternut flavor but again…the cassava flavor is overwhelming. I just wish they partnered with some other base to let the other flavors shine through. Nicely salted and crunchy.

Overall? It’s a no from me. 1 star. Edible, but would not buy them again. Sorry! I really wanted to like these.

CBD ME by EcoLips Lip Balm

Do you use CBD?

I have a couple of products in my rotation infused with CBD oil.

CBD ME, by Eco Lips, is a company focused on making great quality CBD infused lip balm. According to their website, the CBD is extracted from Hemp grown in Oregon. It is 3rd party tested to ensure there is no THC. The hemp seed oil has essential fatty acids to keep your lips smooth and supple.

The company sent me 3 lip balms to try, Lavender Mint, Natural, and Lavender Orange.

Below are the ingredients:

Overall, I like these.

As a caveat, I have very sensitive skin, including lips. I used to use an undisclosed brand for the longest time and my lips would be chapped – until I spoke to my dermatologist who told me I was ALLERGIC to those ingredients!
Needless to say, I had no problems with these lip balms.

I will say I found *no difference* between the natural, lavender orange and lavender mint. To test if It was just me, I had my fiancé smell the lavender orange variety and he stated he could not discern what It was because It was too faint. I don’t entirely think that’s a bad thing. I dislike when lip balms are overly scented or “flavored”.

These lip balms are smooth, long lasting, without any flavors. A very VERY mild scent to them, which I like. I had no irritation from them, and the lip balm itself is not sticky, which is always a plus.

They are about $7.99 each, which is a bit steep for a lip balm, however I did like the final result. I also love supporting companies for which products are made in America.

4.5 stars

DISCLAIMER: I RECEIVED THESE LIP BALMS TO TRY FOR FREE FROM THE COMPANY. THIS IS AN UNBIASED REVIEW.

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