13 Dec 2014, Comments (1)

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.

Hello! So a non-food item to review today, the Omron Blood Pressure Monitor. There will also be a GIVEAWAY for this monitor at the end of the review (now that may make your blood pressure rise!!)

Omron sent me a blood pressure monitor to review for free.  It comes nicely packaged in the box, with each component wrapped up separately. It has an option to use plugged in with an AC adapter, or to use 4 AA batteries with. I think this option is great, because there are definitely times when the power goes out (we had a power surge actually AS I write this!) and people need to have their blood pressure taken.

There is a little bit of a setup after batteries are put in/plugged into an outlet. You can input the date and time by pressing the clock button 3 times, and then adjusting the date and time accordingly. You can also bypass this option, but I put it in to store data.

Next, plug in the cuff in the blue circular hole on the side, and you can begin! What I liked about this cuff was that it had a firm circular “tube” set up for your arm, so it takes the hassle of wrapping someone’s or your own arm tight “enough” since there is often material that needs to be overlapped.

My arm slid right in, and I tightened the cuff. The wire connecting to the machine should be on your inner arm, and the cuff should be placed on your left arm, bare skin.

I hit the start button, and within 30 seconds I had my blood pressure. Happy to report good numbers! I am usually 110/70, and that is right where I fell.

I also liked how it gave you a range on the right side for normal numbers, and what would be too high or too low, and gives you your heart rate!

I tried the blood pressure monitor on my roommate as well, and it was also done with ease. He said his diastolic number was a bit lower than usual (a few points), but he just woke up and hadn’t eaten, so we accounted it to that. I *may* have woken him up just to use the machine, don’t judge me!

Overall, I liked this machine! I think it is the best at home use blood pressure monitor I have tried so far. 4 stars

NEXT- giveaway!!!

To win your very own blood pressure monitor from Omron…

  1. leave a comment on this page stating why you would want this monitor.
  2. share this giveaway! On twitter, a blog post, anything, Just use the link and leave a comment saying you did so.

US only. Giveaway will close December 6th 2014, 12 pm.

18 Nov 2014, Comments (8)

Quest Nutrition Protein Chips

Author: Healthnuttxo

Quest Nutrition Protein Chips!

I know, I know, I am a little behind on these, and while I did  get samples a little while ago my schedule is so tight I did not have a chance to post this until now.

SO,

Here we go!

I got 1 bag of 3 different flavors to try for free from Quest. I got the BBQ, Cheddar & Sour Cream, and Sea Salt flavors to try.

These chips are made without soy, and are gluten free. They are baked, not fried, according to the bag, and have roughly 21g of protein per serving with ~5 g of carbohydrates. They do not have any fiber in them, and are relatively low in fat. For example, the sea salt flavor had 1.5 grams of fat per bag.

One serving gives you a decent amount of chips, but they are flaky and airy, and a lot of the chips end up being very piecey and on the bottom of the bag. For example, I packed a bag for lunch one day and ended up eating entirely crumbs during class. Not super convenient! First up, the Sea Salt.

These were pretty good. The chips were half and half, were some would have a good amount of yummy salt flavor, and others would be on the blander side. The chips were piecey via mouth feel- they had this dried potato flavor to them but a rather strong undertone of whey protein flavor. They were dry, and brittle, and broke apart easily while chewing.

Next up, the BBQ flavor. Here’s a sneak peak.This bag wasn’t as damaged as my other two got during travel, so I got a shot of the chips as whole pieces not crumbs. The BBQ ones had a mild BBQ flavor, standard flavoring like most BBQ chips, but definitely not as strong. No flavor in the BBQ seasoning stuck out in particular. They had a nice crunch, and were not too salty, which was nice. I wish the flavor was a bit stronger. What happened was I would eat the chip, the seasoning would come off, and then it would taste like a plain chip within a few seconds of being in my mouth- that dried potato + whey flavor. It was doable for a snack ,but not my favorite.

Lastly, the Sour Cream and Cheddar. This had the same type of issue the BBQ one did. The flavors were good, mild, but good, but the seasoning came off so easily that it was as if they got sprinkled with seasoning after they were already baked. I wish it had some flavor throughout the chip. I definitely tasted cheddar flavors, can’t say I saw where the sour cream component was coming from. This bag I took with me to class and was the bag I ended up eating almost entirely in pieces, but I was hungry so it was still manageble.

Overall, to be honest, a disappointment from me! I expected better, seeing as I am in love with Quest Bars. I ended up buying a case of the sour cream  & cheddar after receiving my samples to try out of excitement, sure I would like them, and let’s just say I already ordered Quest Bars almost biweekly and I still have 2-3 bags of the chips left waiting to be eaten.

I probably won’t buy them again in the future, I really wasn’t that impressed with these. I can see them as a livesaver for someone who is on a strict diet and needs a “cheat”, because it is crunchy and has mild but good flavor, but it doesn’t beat out the quest bars. Also, there is no fiber in the chips, so they left me hungry where as a Quest Bar was much more fulfilling.  However, I did enjoy the fact they were only 5 grams of carbohydrates. Always down for low carb snacks being a diabetic. Overall, 2  stars

1 serving (Sea Salt) = 120 calories, 1.5 grams fat (0 saturated), 190 mg sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 21 grams protein.

Ingredients (Sea Salt- from bag): Protein blend (milk protein isolate, whey protein isolate), dried potatoes, corn starch, high oleic sunflower oil. Contains less than 2% of the following: Sea Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavors.

Probiotic! What is a probiotic?

A probiotic is basically a supplement of millions of healthy bacteria. You can find them in yogurt, for example, or you can take them in a supplement. These bacteria are good for your gut, digestion, and have some immune benefits as well. They are especially important when taking an anti-biotic. Think about the word’s pro and biotic. Biotic means alive/life, and pro would be indicating there is life. Anti would be indicating no life, aka, when taking an antibiotic, your gut gets completely wiped out of both good and bad bacteria. This is not good! You need healthy/ “good” bacteria to function!

So, now that the mini science lesson is over…Juice Press sent me a Probiotic called Proviotic, and it is entirely vegan. According to the bottle, the good bugs (bacteria) were found in a European snowdrop flower and then grown in juice to be cultured. The bottle also states that “the size of our good bacteria (CFU) is 4 times larger than other probiotics, and each serving contains exceptional strength…without lactose, gluten, soya or nuts”.

Now onto the review! Fortunately, the pills weren’t big.

They came in this nice tin- I suspect to not allow UV light to come in and degrade the probiotic, but I am not 100% sure. You are instructed to take 2 a day, I assumed (since the serving size is 2 capsules) so for most days (except ones I forgot), I took one with breakfast and one with dinner. On my first dew days of taking it, and occasionally throughout the course of the bottle (roughly 1.5 weeks), I noticed some serious gurgling noises going on in my gut. It was only after I ate whilst taking the probiotic. It didn’t happen for a long period of time, nor was it painful, so I figured maybe it was just helping my gut do it’s job!

However, what I loved about this probiotic is that I felt WAY less bloated than I usually do. Normally by the end of the day I feel distended, but this probiotic eradicated that completely. I woke up feeling flat and went to bed feeling flat and not puffy, and it was great. However, I forgot to take my probiotic one morning, and I definitely noticed a change in how my stomach and gut felt- puffy!

Another thing I noticed was that my acid reflux was reduced. I normally only get indigestion with acidic foods, like coffee, or things like onions. I tend to drink coffee almost daily, despite the stomach upset, due to a tight schedule. While taking the probiotic I noticed it reduced my acid symptoms. I still got a stomachache while taking aspirin (which irritates the stomach lining), but I did not have problems with coffee, so that was nice.

Overall, a great product. However, there are only 30 capsules in a bottle, so the bottle goes quickly, and according to the website it is priced at $40.00 per bottle. I received mine to try for free from the company, but if I did not, I certainly don’t think I could budget $80 a month for a probiotic, even though it works awesome. So if you have the budgeting room, definitely give it a try! It is certainly one of the best probiotics I have every tried (I used to be on some other ones a few years ago), and I noticed the best results with this one, it is unfortunately just too expensive for me personally. So, with that in mind, this product shall get 4.5 stars.

Alright! So I already did a review of the original Cluck’nMOO burgers, which you can view here, and I absolutely loved them. So the company approached me and asked if I wanted to try their new  burgers, made with Kale, so I happily obliged.

I cooked these babies up with some broccoli on the side, and some cheese on top. They were relatively easy to cook- I defrosted them first in the refrigerator, and then pan-fried them over medium heat with a little nonstick spray. They were super juicy when I cut into them to see if they were done- juices literally poured out all over the pan. I had to remember, I could NOT eat these “a little pink” because they were made with chicken, not just beef, and raw chicken is a big no no!

Here is them all cooked up! You can see the tiny pieces of green kale on the burger with no cheese. (except that giant green blob on the bottom…that’s a piece of broccoli, hah!)

And here is a close up of it cut

The kale is relatively undetectable in the burger.  This can be seen 1 of 2 ways. A positive, if you don’t like vegetables, but want to eat vegetables in the form of meat (haha). A negative, if you really wanted the taste of kale to be present. The color dissipates as you cook it, so only a few green specs were shown on the cooked burger.

HOWEVER, the burger is still awesome. Super juicy, tender, and flavorful. It tasted like a 90% lean hamburger (or cheeseburger…). The chicken flavor I thought was not really detected, but in my opinion was still a good thing, since it lowered the fat and calories of the burger, since beef is relatively fatty if you want it to be flavorful/juicy.  There is 11 grams of fat, 4 saturated, and 190 calories per burger. I easily ate 2, one with cheese, one without, with some low sugar ketchup (I’m a diabetic), and a big side of broccoli with a smear of butter, and called it dinner! Delish! 4.5 stars

I received these burgers for free from the company. This is a sponsored post. In no way, shape or form are my thoughts altered. This review is 100% unbiased.

I got some goodies!!! Nutiva sent me some yummy coconut treats to try, and Numi sent me a variety of some organic teas! I thought the idea was cute, since teas and “cookies” often are paired together :)

Let’s do the coconut treats first. These treats were individually packaged, and teeny! About a third of the size of my palm each. The hemp & chia coconut treat was yummy. It was lightly sweetened, but still had a nice sweet flavor to it. It reminded me of one of those macaroons you could buy at a bakery, but a lot less sweet. It was very soft, with a predominant coconut flavor, and a vanilla aftertaste. If you don’t enjoy piecy coconut consistency, this would not be for you! The little bite was also rather dense and chewy. As for chia or hemp flavor? I didn’t really detect much, but I wasn’t really complaining because it was still good. 4 stars.

Next up, the classic flavored. This one was also good. I found it to be a tad bit more dry than the other treat, but it wasn’t as flaky/piecy as the hemp & chia flavor. It was also dense and chewy, with a yummy vanilla flavor. I could definitely taste the cane sugar syrup that was used, or the tapioca syrup, but it wasn’t as if it was in excess to where it was gross. I am just familiar with those flavors, and thought it went nicely with the coconut. Overall, I liked it! 4 stars

Next up, the teas! To be fair, I did NOT sweeten any of them or add milk, etc. I had them straight up! First, the Jasmine Green tea. Gotta say, not my favorite. The Jasmine predominated the Green tea flavoring, and was quite strong. The smell was also quite strong, and it almost tasted exactly how Jasmine smells, if that makes sense. However, I passed this tea along to another tea lover, and she loved it, BUT she loves Jasmine. So, safe to say, you may enjoy this one as long as you like Jasmine. I wouldn’t drink it again, but it’s just not for me. Based on both of our ratings- 3 stars

Next, the Moroccan Mint! This one I thought I wouldn’t like, but really enjoyed! It was soothing, with a very faint minty flavor, almost like a peppermint. It was enjoyable, and reminded me of sleepytime tea with the flavoring. Like I said, the mint flavor, VERY subtle, so one a 1-10 scale, 10 being very minty, it was around 1.5. Which I liked! I thought it would be overpowering but was pleasantly surprised. 4.5 stars

Lastly, I got to try the Breakfast Blend Tea. I do not have a picture of this one, however, I can say it was also quite delicious.  I thought it might be harsh since it was a black tea, but it wasn’t at all. Not to say it was light in flavor, but it wasn’t bitter or overpoweringly strong. I let a friend try this one, and she ended up drinking the whole dang box on me! Guess she liked it :) 4 stars

OVERALL, enjoyable! Kudos to Nutiva and Numi. Now I have to ask, what is your favorite flavor of tea?

A semi-foodie review, I got these awesome hand-carved serving spoons for free to do a review of. And…(after the review) one of YOU lucky readers get a chance to win these spoons (a value of $65) at the giveaway posted at the end of this page! Woot!!!

The spoons are hand carved, and came all the way from Kenya! ALL of the proceeds made from selling the spoons go to help orphans of the Kamba Tribe, that are located in Kenya. This is located in the village of Chebaiywa, Kenya, according to the tiny tag on the spoons.

The spoons are made of olivewood, and come in a beautiful bag that was also handmade. I can’t even believe the bag was handmade, it is so perfectly done. It has a very rustic feel and the colors and designs compliment the spoons perfectly. The spoons are also a beautiful design. The second I opened the box, my roommate was jealous, and wanted a pair for her own! The spoons have a “braided” design for the handle, which is just so pretty, and makes it easy to hold. They are light weight, and have a very clean feel. While there are a few teeny rough edges where you can tell it was hand made, you otherwise cannot tell. It looks like it came right out of a factory, since the wood is super smooth, and carved with identical edges.

Overall, I love these spoons! Please check out Worldvisiongifts.org if you are interested in buying these spoons or any other goodies!

Now onto the giveaway…

ONE lucky winner will win a pair of these Hand-Carved Serving Spoons from Kenya! You must be from the USA (sorry non USA folks) HOW TO ENTER:
1. you must either like World Vision on facebook or please follow them on twitter (you can use hashtag #giftcatalog for more).
2. please leave me a comment saying which one you did. If you do not have either FB or Twitter, you may still enter, just please leave a comment saying so.
Winner will be picked September 26th, 5 pm Eastern Time. Thanks!

***GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED***

If there is one food that I love…it is beef! I used to avoid beef like the plague…for whatever reason…but since I reintroduced it back into my diet a little over a year ago, I can’t get enough! Meatballs, burgers, I love it all. However, beef usually pays a price in my diet. It is either super delicious, and high in fat and calories, or, still tasty but rather dry, and thus lower in fat and calories.

So, I was excited when Cluck’n Moo offered me to try their Grass Fed Beef & Chicken Burgers. Not to be confused as two separate products…they are one burger, meshed together! These burgers are made without any antibiotic use, have 52% less fat than the USDA standard for ground beef  and 34% less calories than the  USDA standard for ground beef (according to the package).  I was super excited to try these!

By the time I got the package, it was in a cooler but partially thawed out, so I figured why not cook them now? I fryed them up in a frying pan over medium low heat with some non stick cooking spray. I did not add any seasonings except a sprinkle of sea salt. I noticed that the burger raw was very soft.

While cooking, I cut it open to see if it was done, and juices just POURED out! I’ve never seen such a juicy burger before!
Naturally, I cooked it a little longer. Normally a little pink would not bother me for a burger BUT you have to remember that there is raw chicken in this burger as well, and raw chicken is a HUGE no no!

After it was done, I put a piece of cheese on top.
The burger did shrink a little bit after cooking, as most do, and ended up being about the size of a little bit bigger than my palm. I had it plain, no bun, with some veggies, and sorry NOT sorry, I ended up eating 2 in one sitting. These were GOOD!

They are super tender, and very moist. It honestly tastes exactly like it was 100% beef. You cannot tell there is chicken in it, and I love that. It was not dry or tough at all. It had the flavor of an 85-90% lean beef burger, but was definitely more moist. I knew it was a hit when someone in my house came downstairs and asked for a hamburger…he had no idea!

Overall, I am giving these 4 1/2 stars. I love that they are grass fed, no antibiotic use, and lower in calories and fat. There are still around 11 grams of fat per patty,with 4 of that saturated, so that deducts half a star, however, I would rather eat some fat in a burger and scrimp on fat elsewhere in my diet. DEEE-lish!!!

Here are the nutritional facts:

This is a sponsored post. I also received the product to try for free. My review is 100% unbiased.
22 Aug 2014, Comments (2)

Bai 5 Antioxidant Infusions beverage

Author: Healthnuttxo

I received some free samples of the Bai 5 Antioxidant Infusions beverages, in 3 different flavors. I received Brasilia Bluberry, Limu Lemon, and Tanzania Lemonade Tea.

I must be honest, I feel like I have definitely seen these in stores before but never thought to buy them for whatever reason. But alas! Now I have no choice but to try them!

Each bottle is made with superfruit, or as the bottle says “the outside” of the coffee fruit…”coffee’s secret superfruit”. The company then “infuse[s] the antioxidant power of the superfruit, add[s] a splash of exotic fruit juices and voila! You have naturally sweetened, free-radical crushing Bai 5″.

Each bottle I received has 35 mg of caffeine in it per serving, and 5 calories per serving, They are sweeteend naturally with organic stevia extract and erythritol.

First up, the Brasilia Blueberry. This one is very tasty. It tastes like you ate a handful of fresh blueberries and that sweet, fruity flavor is left in your mouth. It is sweet, and you could swear it is sweetened with sugar, but alas, it is not! However, it does not have any bitter flavor that stevia can sometimes provide, and leaves your mouth feeling refreshed. I REALLY like this one. I did this review at 8 pm and had to stop myself from guzzling the whole bottle from the caffeine unless I would be up all night! 4 1/2 stars

Next up.  Limu Lemon. This one had a strong scent of lemonade. Again, it was delicious. Tasted almost exactly like a fresh squeezed lemonade, and had just the right amount of tartness. It was sweet, but also irked on the more tart side. I like it because unlike lemon flavored drinks I have had, it did not leave a funky feeling in the back of my throat or on my tongue. Just pure refreshment. 4 stars

Lastly, the Tanzania Lemonade Tea. This one reminded me of those half & half products, where the beverage is half lemonade and half iced tea. It was sweet, and definitely had lemon/lemonade flavor to it, but also a bit of an iced tea flavor. I found it a little duller in sweetness than the other 2, but it was still rather enjoyable. 4 stars

Overall, bravo Bai 5!!! I really like these! If I see these in stores, I will definitely be picking some up. As a diabetic, it’s hard to find “sugar free” alternatives that will not spike my blood sugar that actually taste good and not too chemically. Woo!!

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