5 Oct 2017, Comments (0)

Simple Mills Gluten Free Cookies

Author: Healthnuttxo

 

Who doesn’t like COOKIES!!! Well…. to be honest I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like at least some form of a cookie. But what about those who cannot enjoy your every day cookie from the bakery, due to gluten intolerance, vegan lifestyle, soy allergies, dairy allergies?

Simple Mills has a cookie for ya! They have a line of products for those who are gluten intolerant, as well as those with other special dietary needs. The cookies they sent me come in 4 varieties, Toasted pecan, Cinnamon, Chocolate Chip, and Double Chocolate. All of them are gluten free, paleo friendly, dairy free, vegan and soy free. They are all relatively low in sugar as well (see ingredients and nutritional information below for the double chocolate variety), and made with non-GMO ingredients.

But how do they taste?

Toasted Pecan– I was super pumped for this one. Pecans are my favorite nut, and usually one of my favorite flavored things. But these cookies fell….flat. They were relatively bland, not sweet, and just had a weird taste to them. The pecan flavor was lacking. On the bright side, the texture was pretty good– crumbly and crunchy. These would be good perhaps with a cup of coffee or tea, but not by itself. 2 stars.

Cinnamon- these were okay. The cinnamon flavor was mild, and really needed more of a punch. Mildly sweet again, but crunchy and the texture was good (this is important, especially in gluten free products which I have seen time and time again fall apart). While the flavor was good, it was just weak and really needed something to amp it up. 3 stars

Chocolate Chip– oooh. now we are talking! These were yummy. I know they were yummy because once I opened them, the box was nearly gone (thanks to my cookie monster brother). We both agreed they tasted very similar to “Famous Amos” cookies. Sweeter than the other varieties, mild vanilla flavor, crunchy, and the milk chocolate flavored chips were sweet and added a nice touch. Definitely my favorite of the 4 —  4 stars

Double Chocolate- these were also very good. Crunchy and sweeter, a nice chocolate flavor throughout, and the mini chocolate chips were sweet and melted in your mouth. There was a mild vanilla flavor as well. Really wanted to smear some peanut butter on these and inhale but…self restraint! 3.5 stars

 

Overall, not too bad. I think that they are relatively NOT sweet cookies- so you might be shocked if you are used to sweeter conventional varieties of cookies. However, I think they are a good alternative, especially if you like cookies that aren’t packed with sugar. The double chocolate variety for example, has only 4 grams of sugar for 3 cookies, which is almost unheard of for cookies. The BAD is that they are a little on the bland side, and saturated fat will run you almost 4 grams for 3 cookies, which I feel like is a lot, but guessing it’s from the coconut oil.

The One Smart Cookie plate was also a super cute touch.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: I received these cookies for free. This is an unbiased review.
30 Sep 2017, Comments (0)

Expression Med Adhesives for CGM G5

Author: Healthnuttxo

OKAY! We all know Type 1 Diabetes bites the big one in terms of autoimmune diseases. There is no sugar coating it, it stinks. All of it. But I really love these companies that try to make the disease a little less painful by providing some fun.

Most Diabetics I know nowadays have a Continuous Glucose Monitor which checks their blood sugar levels every few minutes and transmits the number to a device via bluetooth. The diabetic wears a “pod” on their skin for up to a week or so. The problem? It falls off, the edges peel when it gets wet, and well…they are kind of ugly. I wear one on my thigh, the amount of times I have ripped off a pod are unreal, and let’s face it, Diabetic Meds are NOT cheap and do NOT have time to be ripping these off. Too costly!!!

Expression Med has come up with super cute adhesives to wear over your CGM pod. I LOVE the idea, especially for kids who may feel alienated amongst their peers. I have had type 1 since I was 4, and while I was never bullied or anything of the sort, I see a lot of kids nowadays with CGMs and insulin pumps, and it may feel like a lot for a kid– he can’t act the same way as his peers, his cake and candy has to be monitored, it stinks- but its companies like this that make it just a bit better by providing cute adhesives.

The instructions are simple: 

I applied, waited my allotted time. And this is how my adhesive has held up a WEEK later.  NO peeling, nothing!

Honestly, I am impressed. No peeling, no itching, no irritation, water seal. Once the pod comes off the skin, its ability to monitor your BG levels are altered, so this is not only great for looks, but also functionality. It also helps you save money because you can get the full use out of your product and not have it peeling off, falling off when it hasn’t been on the entire allotted time. For a DEXCOM G5, I wear it up to a week, but other CGMs may vary.

I REALLY loved the elephant one I was sent (above) and I am definitely interested in buying a few more.

Overall, I love it! On the website I noticed they run you about 15$ for 5, which really isn’t that bad considering the quality. If you have kids with CGM or you find your sites falling off easily, these are a MUST!

I received this product for free, this is an Unbiased review.
24 Aug 2017, Comments (0)

Skim Plus Lactose Free / Fat Free Milk

Author: Healthnuttxo

 

So for those of you that still drink Cow’s Milk… I know, with so many options out there, Cow’s milk seems to be thrown to the side!!… here is an option that is both figure friendly and tummy friendly. Skim Plus, Lactose Free and Fat Free milk. As an added benefit it has 11 grams of protein per serving, a tad more than regular serving of skim milk. It’s also ultra pasteurized, which extends the shelf life, and it’s also in an eco friendly, recyclable container.  The milk (and the cows…) are not treated with hormones or antibiotics — (however the fine print says it is only tested with Beta- Lactam antibiotics — often combined with penicillins, etc.)

NOW… I grew up on regular skim milk. Then Mom accidentally bought whole milk once…woo was that a game changer, and then because of all the fat, we went down and compromised on 2%. However, cow’s milk does give me an upset stomach if I drink it or have yogurt too early in the day. Not super convenient for someone who needs a cup of Joe the second the wake up at 6 am…

So this milk definitely had some appeal to me. Compared to regular skim, it definitely is a tad more creamier. However, if anyone has ever tried skim milk vs lactose free skim milk, you WILL notice a change in flavor– think about it– Lactase is added to break down the milk sugar, lactose, so naturally the flavor will be different. I feel like this one had a stronger flavor change than other lactose free milks I have tried.

It worked pretty well in coffee. Naturally, if you’re used to having whole milk in your coffee and then you switch to skim, you’ll need some extra to compensate. However I didn’t mind adding extra, since I knew it wouldn’t upset my stomach (it didn’t), it had extra protein, and was fat free (nutritional facts below).

Now would I buy it in the future? The company provided me a coupon so I got this carton for free, but it was $5.00 for a carton at the store it was purchased from. That’s a bit steep for a half gallon of milk. I mean I get it– lactose free, antibiotic and hormone free, eco friendly container– but 5 bucks?? For someone who already prefers a higher fat content of milk, not sure if I would buy in the future. I don’t consume enough glasses of milk where I feel I need to chop the extra cals and fat grams and get skim for my coffee, but for someone who consumes a lot of milk, or eats a lot of cereal, etc., I think it’s a good switch. I would personally like to see this brand make like a 1% or so, may appeal to more customers who prefer that fat flavor other milk has to offer.

HOWEVER, if you use regular skim milk, and have the extra money to spare, I think giving this a try is definitely worth your time. 4 star

 

 

I received this for free from the company. This is an unbiased review.
17 Aug 2017, Comments (0)

Banana Wave Dairy Free Banana Milk

Author: Healthnuttxo

An alternative for those bored of soy, almond, or can’t tolerate regular milk, in comes BANANA MILK!!! I love the concept of this, every now and then when I make oatmeal or something, I like the flavor of banana but I HATE warm bananas– changes the consistency and bleh — but something like this would come in perfect.

Banana Wave is made with actual bananas, so none of that artificial flavor banana stuff. That also means you get the added benefit of Potassium with your banana milk, a pretty important mineral to prevent muscle cramping and maintain proper conduction of your heart, etc.  This milk is vegan, kosher, gluten free, and has no artificial colors or flavors.

I tried it 2 ways– in my morning coffee in the place of milk, and with my oatmeal (again, in place of milk).

The milk itself is mild in flavor, and has the consistency of a thicker almond milk. In coffee, it was okay. I usually use whole milk in my coffee, because I like it light and sweet, and hate the bitterness of a cup of Joe. The flavor is pretty mild so a little bit of banana flavor came through but unfortunately the coffee flavor still predominated and the bitterness remained.

In the overnight oats, it provided mild sweetness and banana flavor, which went fantastic with peanut butter. Seriously, what a great find. I used it with overnight oats– so I didn’t actually “cook” the milk– but put 1 cup of Banana Wave with 1/2 cup of oats and 2 Tbsp of peanut butter in a container and let it sit in the fridge overnight, and then just put in microwave for 30 seconds in the morning to take the chill out and melt the peanut butter. Delish!!

Here are the nutritional facts: more or less the same as a banana in terms of calories, but does have added Cane sugar so a serving will cost you 18 grams of sugar (Forgot about this when I had my oatmeal –> high blood sugar… whoops)

However, a good alternative to almond/soy/cow’s milk and good to spice it up every now and then. But watch your sugars!

4 stars

 

DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free from the company. This is an unbiased review.
17 Aug 2017, Comments (0)

Thunderbird Real Food Bar

Author: Healthnuttxo

 

WELL sorry it’s been a while guys…life got a little hectic the past month but I’m back, never fear 8)

Coming at you with some Real Food Bars by Thunderbird. They sent me 4 varieties to try, all vegan, no added sugar, and grain/gluten free. They are nut, seed and date based. As an added benefit, they are also paleo certified. (NOTE: This applies to the bars I got from the company, if you check the website they have several flavors to pick from and details may vary!)

So let’s get started:

As I said above, all of them more or less have the same texture, nutty/seedy with a fruity, date base. The date flavor was there in all 4 bars.

Hazelnut + Coffee + Maca

Coming from a coffee lover, this was not my favorite. It was…gritty. Like I would take a bite of the bar and then grit.  WHAT IS THAT?!?! I checked the ingredients, and it seems it could have been the coffee beans or chia seeds, not entirely sure, but not entirely a fan. The coffee flavor was definitely strong, but overpowered the hazelnut component because I did not taste that too much. The date was sweet and strong as well…If I had to rename this bar it would be like “A Date with Coffee”…because it really just tasted like dates and coffee.

2 stars.

Cashew + Fig + Carrot

Alrighty, moving on. This one was okay. As a whole, it was entirely too sweet without much of another component to balance it out– needed more crunch, or something even slightly salty, etc. The Fig + Carrot together gave it a sweet potato vibe. & like I said, this one was lacking on the crunch factor, a cashew is a pretty soft nut to begin with so it was kind of lost in this bar. Overall, too sweet, too fruity, needs something else. Maybe almond would have been a better choice.

2.5 stars

Peach Pecan Vanilla 

In this bar, the peach and date flavor really shine through. The vanilla flavor is somewhat lost. It’s a sweet bar, but not overly sweet, and almost gives off an apricot type of flavor. Chewy, dense and nutty, and the pecans add a nice crunch. I almost taste a bit of cashew in this one. Overall, this one was pretty good, I’m a fan.

3.5 stars

Texas Maple Pecan

Well, well, well, moving on to the star. This one was kind of like pecan pie 🙂 Chewy and dense, sweet but not overly so, huge chunks of pecan and a nice cinnamon flavor. It goes well with the date because it reminds me of the condensed milk, etc. they use to make pecan pie. The maple flavor is subtle,  but delicious. There is some type of “zing” to the bar, and I can’t quite figure out what it is–perhaps the cinnamon– but I like it. Basically if you’re like me and will eat the topping of a pecan pie, you’ll like this bar.

4 stars.

OVERALL, I like the idea of these bars. Gluten free, paleo, minimal ingredients, no added sugar. I think some need a tad bit of tweaking, BUT you have to also consider the minimal ingredient component. I would definitely try the Pecan based flavors, and I would be interested in trying the other flavors (like ummm they have this cool Pecan Goji Pistachio flavor!!) Thunderbird has to offer.

Check them out!

 

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

 

This post goes out to my gluten free friends who are sick and tired of trying gluten free pasta alternatives that ultimately, well, stink.  Fear  not, I come with solutions!!!

Explore Cuisine sent me 2 of their gluten free pasta varieties. The Organic Chickpea Fusilli, and Organic Black Bean Spaghetti.  Both of these options have more protein than your rice pasta varieties (or flour based!) and are NON-GMO verified.

Let’s start with the Organic Chickpea Fusilli. a 2 oz serving is 200 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 35 grams of carbs (5 fiber) and 11 grams of protein.  Pretty good stats if you ask me since it IS pasta.

NOW a caveat. I am NOT a pasta eater. Do I like pasta? Of course I like pasta. But it wreaks HAVOC on my blood sugars for hours, so I tend to stay away. So I had hopes that *maybe* these wouldn’t do me dirty like flour or rice based pasta does.

Ok, so let’s start with cooking, shall we?
This chickpea pasta was a real pain in the butt to cook. Once it was boiling, I lowered the heat a bit and it kept boiling over the sides with that “pasta foam”… hard to describe but it sure made a mess…several times. So PLEASE keep an eye on this and don’t turn your back (not that you should be far anyway when cooking!). I cooked it until the al dente texture.

 

I made it with some green beans and chicken in a light gravy. The pasta itself was great in terms of texture, it does NOT fall apart like rice based pasta would. It more or less had same consistency as flour based. It has a tiny bit of an aftertaste of chick peas, but overall very mild in flavor making it pretty versatile. It was particularly  yummy plain with some  butter and salt.

Moving on to the black bean spaghetti, this one was not a pain to cook at all, but It *does* look a little weird when it’s all cooked. Sort of like a bird’s nest. So eat with your mouth not your eyes in this case. Don’t judge it!!!

Because I actually like this one even better than the chickpea. Super mild in flavor, same texture and consistency as flour-based pasta, and went amazing with tomato sauce. The best part, at least for me, was NO EFFECT on my blood sugars. In fact, every time I ate it, my blood sugar went LOW after, and that is a diabetics dream. So I will 100% buy this in the future.

1 2 ounce serving is 215 calories, 2 grams of fat, 23 carbs, 12 grams of fiber, and 25 grams of PROTEIN!!!! Talk about AMAZING nutritional facts!!

Overall, very pleased with both of these products. I like the spaghetti more than the fusilli in terms of taste and texture, but I do wish that the black bean variety came in a fusilli or spiral type shape, as I prefer those noodles over spaghetti. But hey, cant be too choosy.

These get 4 1/2 stars from me. All my gluten free fans (and diabetics!!!) I think these are worth a shot!

 

I received these products for Free. This is an unbiased review. Please consult your doctor/RD first– remember I am not licensed professional.
24 Jun 2017, Comments (0)

The Mermaid Pillow

Author: Healthnuttxo

 

Mermaid pillow…what a perfect name for this product.
You can read a backstory on their website here.
But these pillows are great. They have both a sequin side, and a softer side without sequins, allowing for both fashion and comfort.

The sequins are SO. MUCH. FUN. to play with.
(I’m serious…  left this in the back room and caught a family member playing with it for a solid 15 minutes)

 

I am a super fidgety person so this is great to play with during a TV show, or honestly I sat with it when I was feeling anxious. Something calming about the sequins turning different colors. They are smooth and easy to turn as well– won’t get stuck or hurt your hands, etc.

I really liked the other side for show as well– a sleek design, made with great quality.

What also caught my eye with this company is that they donate pillows to Children’s Hospitals and, for every pillow that says “Accept, Understand, Love”, they donate $5.00 to Autism Speaks. That really hits home for me, because I have a family member who suffers from Autism. It also so heart warming that they donate pillows to children’s hospitals because I BET children love to play with this and watch the sequins turn colors.

Charlie even enjoyed the pillow 🙂

 

Overall, I really love this company and this pillow is great. Please give them a try! You (or your children!) will not be disappointed 🙂

 

This is an unbiased review. I received this pillow for free.
6 May 2017, Comments (0)

ISOThrive prebiotic nectar

Author: Healthnuttxo

 

People are more or less familiar with PRObiotics…ya know, those friendly bacteria (yes, bacteria) that live in your gut and help keep you and your gut happy and working, but what is a PRE-biotic?  You can basically think of it as food for the probiotic bacteria (generally lactobacillus) to “eat” and then function at peak performance. We need to ingest prebiotic sources in order to fuel the probiotics for them to do their job.

This is where ISOThrive comes into place. It is 1g of maltosyl-iso-malto-oligosaccharides (a type of indigestible complex carbohydrate) that “feeds” your gut bacteria.

Do I take probiotics? Off an on. They are expensive, and some of them don’t work. Do I eat yogurt? Yes, daily, which is a natural source of probiotics. I have never ingested a pre-biotic type of supplement, but you can eat probiotics in foods like garlic, leeks, and other plant based foods, although the source may be low.

ISOThrive provides what you would need for prebiotics for the day in one tiny sachet. You can add it to water and drink, or take it and “drink” it straight from the little sachet. It’s about the size of a sugar packet, so it’s not a lot, maybe half a teaspoon at most.

ISOThrive claims to help with weight loss (by keeping hunger  at bay), provide an  immunity boostdigestive balance (by overriding “bad” bacteria and encouraging “good” bacteria), and be a natural acid reflux relief (by adjusting your micro biome).

first off…what did it taste like? Honestly, it’s not bad. It’s not quite a syrup, more of a “serum” in consistency, with no odor. It’s really just a sweet-ish but kind of flavorless, almost like sugar water, but thicker in consistency. I couldn’t be bothered to put it in a glass of water so I would just take it right from the packet and didn’t have any issues with flavor or consistency.

Did it work?

Honestly, I don’t know, maybe. I took this supplement once daily every morning for roughly 3 weeks now. The first few days I noticed a was a bit bloated which was annoying but I am also skeptical- is it the supplement? Or did I just eat something salty or high in carbs so I’m bloated?

I do suffer from GERD but I also constantly drink coffee with a high anxiety/stress life which only contributes to acid.  However, I did not really have any bad acid flare ups while taking this product. I also get nauseous from time to time with the GERD/acid and I was not nauseous while taking the product.

I’ll tell you I did not have my hunger lessened at all, but I am also extremely active thus, always eating, and I haven’t weighed myself so I couldn’t tell you if I lost weight or not but I doubt it (not that I’m really all that saddened by that, did not want to lose weight to start with). So don’t count on this for drastic weight loss.

As for immunity boost? I did not get sick while taking this product (knock on wood), but again, is that from the product? Or was I just not exposed to germs? This time of year is more allergy related “sickness” than common colds, so perhaps the germs just weren’t hitting me.

I mean I still got stomach aches and slight indigestion from foods, but overall haven’t had any problems with this supplement, and I definitely think it’s worth a try, especially if you have GI issues, bloating, GERD, or even if you find yourself getting sick a lot. We forget that the food we eat and the nutrients we consume have a lot to do with our health, so this may be worth throwing into the mix.

Here is the brief facts about ISO Thrive.

 

Disclaimer: I received this product for free. This is an unbiased review.
25 Apr 2017, Comments (0)

Zaca Recovery Chewable

Author: Healthnuttxo

What is a recovery chewable? Zaca has come out with a product designed to help you “recover”… from stress related events, exercise, drinking, etc. According to the website, the chewables are intended to help hydration, enhance electrolytes, increase endurance, boost mental focus, and be a liver aid.

BEFORE we go any further… Let me give you a disclaimer. I am a skeptic. I don’t often buy supplements beyond BCAAs for the gym (which I am also convinced I am buying a powder and drinking expensive water but whatever, I like it), and I really do not believe much in homeopathic or osteopathic remedies when it comes to actual physiologic problems. In other words, NO your CINNAMON will NOT cure my Diabetes. So I am going into this as unbiased as I can be, but I have a medicine background and I am always going to be skeptical about supplements for improving health without scientific evidence.

Anyway, back to the review…. 😀

The chewables have Japanese raisin tree berry extract (claimed to help “liver detox”), l-alanyl-l-glutamine (claimed to enhance electrolyte and water absorption),, L-Glutathione which I know is big for antioxidant properties in the body, (but also claimed to help detox and for immune fortification), prickly pear leaf  (high in antioxidants and flavonoids), and some other things such as stevia and magnesium. They are gluten free, GMO free, sugar free, stimulant free.

Each pack comes with 2 tabs. They are crisp and sweet, with a pear and berry type of flavor. Sweet, mildly tart, kind of like a sweet tart but not quite as sweet or tart (lol, just trust me). I can definitely taste the xylitol type flavor and that stevia type sweetness as well. They’re good, and they’re easy to eat.

I took these after a night of drinking, and in the morning, as instructed on the package. I won’t lie, I wasn’t my usual nauseous self the morning after. But was that from the Zaca? or from the water I drank?  I can’t quite help my cynicism.

I took them again a few days, I work out hard, I work long hours, constantly on my feet, and maybe get 6 hours of sleep a night, sometimes less. So I am drained. I can tell you I did not get sick while consuming the tablets, so perhaps the L-Glutathione did help the immune system. I am not sure if they helped with recovery after workouts, I felt more or less the same. Mental focus? Mine is sort of crap unless I consume coffee so wouldn’t be fair to judge Zaca’s benefit for that. As for liver detox? Well. I am sorry I don’t entirely believe in any type of detox when it comes to your body. In my eyes, and in the eyes of science, your liver and kidney do all the detox you need. Plus how could I judge if my liver was detoxed or not?

Overall, it feels unjust to give this a numeric rating. Homeopathic and osteopathic medicinal and supplemental treatment is very user dependent, and if your skeptical like me, you may believe otherwise. However, I can just report the facts. The taste was good, they are easy to take with you and store in your gym bag. I did not get sick while taking them, and I did feel pretty good the morning after a night of drinking while taking Zaca with water. So the verdict? Give it a try. You may like it.

 

 

I received Zaca for free. This is an UNBIASED review.

22 Apr 2017, Comments (0)

Ion8 Sports Bottle with ionizing technology

Author: Healthnuttxo

 

So before receiving this product and doing a bit of research, I had no idea what it meant to “ionize” your water. To me, I know cations and anions involved in body chemistry and physiology, or what an “ion” is– (which is a molecule that lost or gains electrons to give it a + or – charge)… but what does it mean to IONIZE my water?!

According to the box, I could do that to my water/drink by shaking it. What I am assuming is that you are aerating the beverage, thus ionizing it, which I’m not sure the chemistry behind that (I’m in medicine…not chemistry!) so we will just go with it and talk about the other features of the bottle.

 

The bottle is BPA free, dishwasher friendly (this one is huge for me), can be used with hot or cold beverages, big enough to add ice cubes to, odor resistant, and leak proof. It has a cap that closes snugly, but then also a little lever that you clip so it won’t open up in your bag. Which, let me tell you, I have had many “expensive, great” water bottles open up in my bag and like what is the point of spending good money on a bottle if your beverage leaks everywhere?

NO POINT THAT’S WHAT.

anyway…

 

I used this with water and iced tea mainly. Honestly, I loved it. Loved that I could just throw it in my bag, and the box claims it has a “vented, smooth liquid flow” which is 100% does. You ever go to drink out of a bottle and the flow of water is either so rapid you almost choke or barely streams out of it? Or you get a lot of “glugs” of water (I may have made that word up), where it just doesn’t flow smoothly. I really liked that the flow of water was smooth and just easy to drink.  It’s hard to explain, but I will tell you it’s much different and noticeable than drinking from other bottles.

The bottle also has a rubber portion in the middle making it great for grip, and since it’s a sports bottle (and I am assuming most of you guys get sweaty during sports with sweaty palms…) it’s easy to hold and won’t slip out of your hand. With ice, it kept my beverages cool for a decent amount of time. Unfortunately I don’t drink a lot of hot beverages besides coffee so I did not test how long it would keep something hot.

Overall, a homerun from me. Really loved this product. Solid 5/5, no complaints.

 

 

Disclaimer: i received this bottle for free. This is an unbiased review.
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