Categories: 4 Star

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Hot Pockets sent me some yummy goodies! I got some coupons to try complimentary new Hot Pocket Snack Bites, and saw these 2 at my local Stop n Shop. Pepperoni Pizza and Ham and Cheese.

These are perfect since Halloween is right around the corner, and they are filled with yummy protein and carbs to fill you and your kids up before a night of trick or treating! Also they are cooked in roughly over a minute per 4 bites. Quick, yummy, and easy!

Here is the Pepperoni Pizza up close. They didn’t ooze out the sides like I am used to with a Hot Pocket (there’s always a LITTLE bit of filling that comes out!)
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The Pepperoni Pizza ones were pretty good. They lacked on the pepperoni flavor, but I certainly tasted the sauce and cheese. They were a little doughy, and I feel the filling to dough ratio was a little off, and wished there was more filling. They weren’t super salty or anything, but tasty none the less. A good little carby snack, great for kids after school, because a 4 piece serving is perfect.

 

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Next up, the Ham and Cheese. These were a little doughy as well, and needed a tad more filling BUT they were more full than the other flavor. I wish the crust was a little more buttery or toasted in flavor, as it felt a bit undercooked in terms of flavor. They weren’t super salty, and I actually really liked this flavor. The ham had good flavor, like a cold cut, and it tasted like american or cheddar cheese.

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a 4 piece serving (Pepperoni Pizza) is 210 calories, 8 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbs, and 7 grams of protein. They are not loaded with protein, but these snacks will fill you up. I had two to try them out, and was pleased with the size. The sodium is roughly 330 mg per 4 bites, which is high but not horrible for a frozen food.

Without a coupon, these were roughly 3-5$ (depending on the store) which is a little expensive. I got them for a little over 3 dollars, but bought them again and they were 4.99$.  You get 3 servings out of them, which is good for 3 small kids, or one hungry older brother (ahem…my older brother).

Overall, 4 stars. IMG_6767

I received this product free of charge. This is an unbiased review.
31 Aug 2015, Comments (0)

Outer Spice Original & Spicy seasonings

Author: Healthnuttxo

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I got these spices to try from Outer Spice! I was sent two varieties, the No Salt Spicy version, and the Himilayan Sea Salt Original blend. They have a retail value of roughly $6.99 each.  They are MSG, GMO and Gluten Free, and made from high quality spices and herbs.

I used these a few times during cooking. We made chicken cutlets with the Spicy variety, and then I used the Original variety for turkey burgers (see below), shrimp garlic stir fry, and grilled chicken with veggies in a butter sauté.

imageI’ll review the Spicy variety first!

It was…not spicy actually!
Again, we made chicken cutlets with this spice mixed into breadcrumb mixture and fried.
I noticed that the thyme flavor was pretty strong. Again, it was not salty- no salt!
The flavor was unique and went well with the chicken but it wasn’t spicy, so a bit deceiving! 3 1/2 star

 

Next up, the Original blend.

It was very thyme-y again, with possibly Rosemary?
Not much other prominent flavors, but will enjoyable.
It went well with the meats, and my favorite was with the shrimp and grilled chicken stir frys. I did add some salt since it was not super salty. 4 stars.

 

Overall, pretty good and worth a try! I would pick em up and add them to your favorite dishes! If you order directly from their website, there is also FREE shipping! Woo! Click here to get some.

 

 

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

 


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Probiotics are super important in anyone’s diet. They help keep your immune system working well as well as your colon and bowels happy with a healthy flora of bacteria. They are especially recommended for people on Antibiotics a lot, since those medications wipe out ALL bacteria, both good and bad, in your gut, and the good bacteria is NEEDED in order to function properly!

I got Bio-K PLUS Fermented Dairy Probiotic in the Strawberry variety. The package came with 6 tiny 3.5 ounce bottles, each with 4 servings each (or less depending on your personal dosage). The bottle recommends 1/4-1 bottle per day. The recommendation is in rather small letters so I am glad I read everything throughly before consuming, as I definitely would have just had the whole thing at once, like I am sure most people might do (like my mother for example…never reads!!!).

Each bottle is 60 calories, and according to the box, has 50 live billion bacteria! They are gluten free, corn free, GMO and yeast free. You are instructed to shake vigorously before consumption. This I find weird, bc then they should have come with tops that I can close. How am I supposed to shake it later if I am only having half a bottle per day?

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Anywho, how does it taste? It smells like a strawberry yogurt, but not as strong. The flavor is also strong…it is very tart…but not bad. I would advise taking baby sips of this and now a whole mouthful. It tastes like very tart strawberries, unripened, but the “milky-ness” of the dairy makes it so you do not pucker as you would with the tartness of a sour candy. It has some sweetness to it, which is good, but sour is definitely the predominant flavor. NOT like sour milk sour, more like tart-sour candy sour. It’s an odd flavor…but I kind of like it.

Overall, I think this is a good way to take a probiotic. You can get roughly 12 servings out of it if you drink half a bottle per day (or 24 if you drink 1/4). I am drinking half per day, and not peeling the green foil back all the way so I can “reseal” so I can shake it later. The flavor is totally doable for kids too- I would tell them it’s Sour Strawberry flavor so they know to expect a semi sour patch kid flavor with strawberries. Easy way for them to take probiotics, especially those who do not like to swallow pills.

Overall, a good product. A few kinks, but I like it. 4 stars

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

I was sent some of the Summer Essentials suggested from Vitamin Shoppe‘s Expert Brianna M. Diorio, who is an MS, Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Lifestyle Coach, and NASM Certified Personal Trainer. In my little package I got a Vitamin Shoppe pill box, a sunscreen from Goddess Garden Organics, and a Kiss My Face Sport lip balm!

 


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Alright! Let’s review the sunscreen first. I like that this is organic and a natural sunscreen, I often wonder what kind of chemicals we are using and putting on our bodies every day!

This sunscreen has an SPF of 30, which is good for someone super fair skinned like me (I get kind of toasty in the sun…). It comes out with a light mist, and feels cool once applied. It doesn’t smell like sunscreen which is my favorite part! I definitely do NOT like the smell of sunscreen, and I know it ALL too well seeing how fair I am. It has a lemon grass type of aroma which I actually really enjoyed.

I could certainly feel the sunscreen while it was on me, and left a type of residue, but it wasn’t oily, and more slightly sticky. It wasn’t bad at all or uncomfortable. Also, I did not break out or anything and I used it on my face. I like this stuff! I would buy in the future.

4 stars, here is some facts below as well
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Moving on to the pill box from Vitamin Shoppe. It is definitely on the smaller side…Is this a daily pill box? Only 6 compartments…not 7. Odd. I think it is good for short term, maybe 2 or 3 days worth of pills (depending how many you take!), or you could use it daily if you need to take pills several times per day in separated increments.

I was surprised because the squares were bigger than they looked, and even fit 2 of my HUGE fish oil pills without problem. It is made of recyclable plastic which is a plus. It is small and discreet, and easy to carry along.

The plastic isn’t super sturdy but it does the job. I just hate that there are 6 compartments not 7…I almost wish they did 8 compartments so it could still be in a square format,  but at least fit a week of pills! 3 1/2 stars

 

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Lastly, the Kiss My Face Sport Balm. This has sunscreen in it as well, SPF of 30, which I REALLY need when I go to the beach. I always forget about my lips and they get super dry after! It is made with coconut oil, shea butter and vitamin E. It goes on super smooth and is super soft, almost waxy, but doesn’t taste like wax. It has a bit of a minty flavor to it (not that I ate it! You know, some just happen to be tasted!), and a mix of a medicine-y type flavor. I really liked it though, as it kept my lips soft and supple, and protected them from the sun.

4 1/2 stars

Good ratings all around! You can check out these products and more at Vitamin Shoppe.com 🙂

I received these products for free. This is an unbiased review.
30 Jul 2015, Comments (0)

Atkins Stone Fired Cheese Pizza

Author: Healthnuttxo

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Saw this baby at Super Stop n Shop I believe…HAD to buy it!  As a Diabetic, I watch my carbs very seriously, and try to keep them on the lower side. So Low carb pizza?!?! Put me down!!!

I cooked it in the microwave, the suggested method, on the silver plate it comes with. Here’s what it looked like:


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KIND of comical in comparison to the box and how it depicts it to look…LOL

I ended up putting in the toaster oven as well for 2 min to crisp up the bottom crust a little more and get the cheese more melty.

How does it taste?? Honestly…it was pretty good! The crust is super thin, so you get mostly a sauce and cheese taste. The microwave created a crust that in circumference was rather tough and chewy as opposed to crunchy, so if I bought this again I might use toaster oven only on a bake setting, not the microwave.

 

The sauce—-> not too much of it, not super salty, pretty tasty. It might have had some parmesan cheese or something mixed in it because it had some flavors other than “tomato” which is yummy to me, it was like a 4 cheese type of sauce.

The cheese—>a little greasy, I think it was a combination of mozzarella and parmesan, but it was certainly flavorful, and NOT that yucky low fat cheese. This was real cheese!

The Crust—> honestly, it was kind of bland alone (but then again, there isn’t much “crust”, it’s all coated by cheese and sauce), but still good. Had a wheat flavor, but went well with the cheese and sauce and was a good base.

The NET CARBS?? —> So what’s the verdict? Did my blood sugar spike? Was it REALLY 11 net carbs? Honestly, SUPER happy about this part. My blood sugar went LOW after dinner! Not normally a good thing but very unexpected when eating a pizza! I only gave enough insulin for the recommended 11 net carbs, and I ended up going lower than expected. BRAVO, Atkins!

 

Overall, would buy again. Atkins products are pricy, and I wasn’t super full after this, but pair it with some green veggies and you have a perfect light dinner with minimal effective carbs. Great Diabetic friendly pizza. 4 stars

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16 Jun 2015, Comments (1)

The MedCenter System

Author: Healthnuttxo

So, as you all probably know by now, I am a Type 1 Diabetic. So I am on a slew of prescriptions that I take daily, just to help keep my body healthy, as well as some vitamins and supplements I take to help ease some side effects of Diabetes (like a probiotic!)

Personally, I take my pills morning and at night. I was offered to try the MedCenter System, retail value of $74.95, and gladly obliged! I had a crappy 5$ pill organizer I used, but this sure looked like quite the upgrade! I personally like pill organizers, especially when on very sensitive prescriptions, because it can be a HUGE deal missing a pill, or taking two by mistake! Having a system that is organized can prevent this, and many unwarranted side effects.

So, the MedCenter System is a monthly pill organizer. It uses dates rather than days of the week. It comes with a clock that tells you the time of day, and you can also set up to 4 alarms per day to remind you when you take your pills.

Here is what it looked like.

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It was pretty large honestly, I would say roughly 10 inches wide by 6-7 inches for the tallest rack of pills. It has a color coated system, so the RED numbers are the pills you haven’t taken yet/are full, and the GREEN side are the pill boxes that are empty. I think this is pretty cool, since it helps you see visually when you need to reorder pills, or repurchase, and especially if you opt not to use the clock, if you already took them or not!

There are 4 sections for each individual pill box

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The box itself has a pro and a con in my opinion. It is very sturdy, and roomy, which is good for those giant pills (think Fish oil, or those huge joint pills!!!). However, it can be a little hard to open. This can be good and bad- good because if it is in your pocket or purse, the pills won’t fall out and the box is shut tightly. Bad because if you have arthritis or hands are in pain for whatever reason, it may be difficult to open.

I like the compartment on the bottom that lets you rest your pill box for the day, and even has arrows pointing and aligning with each section for your pill box.

The clock has 4 main buttons. The Green button tells you the current time and date.

The blue Alarm Check button lets you confirm your alarms for the day with each click.

The yellow button puts a light on the interface of the clock.

The red Alarm Acknowledged button is what you would hit when the alarm goes off for you pill reminder.

IMG_2543Setting the time and calendar year was relatively easy. The instructions are easy to follow. The clock has the option of being Loud or VERY loud, which I like, especially if someone is hard of hearing.

Setting the alarms was a tad confusing, I messed up a few times. I wish there was an easier option of turning on and off each alarm, because I kept accidentally turning off the alarm I wanted to try to set, and that is no bueno! However, if you follow the directions carefully, it shouldn’t be a problem setting the alarm. And luckily…you can check if you set your alarm on or not with the Alarm Check button!

Overall, a great product. I know for a fact my aunt wants to steal this from me so she can organize my Grandmother’s pills…hah! The visuals are clear and easy to read, the voice is loud and easy to understand. The product itself is a tad cumbersome, but I put it in the corner of my room. And, the best part is, I can set my pills for the month and then not have to do it for another month! I would give this a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

 

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

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I got this carepackage from Salonpas! They sent me an array of pain relief in the form of patches, a spray and a gel. I was excited to try these out! I do a lot of heavy lifting at the gym, and sometimes my muscles ache (think: traps and legs!) or my lower back is stiff post deadlifts, so I thought these would certainly help. All together this bundle is valued at $100.

Deep Relieving Gel- This is clear and jelly-like…looks like a clear jelly fish in my hand! It absorbs quickly into my skin, and leaves no residue behind which is a plus. I put a dime size amount on upper back and neck.I wish I used gloves since the smell of menthol stayed on my hands for a while even post washing! But now I know for next time.

It first started with a cooling sensation, then warmed up. It felt pretty good…but needed more than it said I think. Next time around I used a little more than a dime-sized drop and felt better. My neck and trap area seemed to loosen up a bit! 4 stars

Pain Relief Patch-

Smaller, beige in color, and thin. It was Easy to apply, and stays on easy.I applied to my lower back, and it starts with cooling sensation, and then that was it. Generally ineffective…I didn’t feel anything after that initial mild cooling sensation, and my back feels the same. As a plus, it didn’t fall off. Maybe it needs to be used on smaller areas? However I would argue that if it isn’t meant for the lower back, they can’t advertise it as use for lower back. 1 star

Pain Relieving Gel Patch-HOT-

IMG_2410I used these post heavy deadlift day when I woke up to a sore back. The patches were flimsy but thick, and flexible. It was relatively easy to apply, even on my own lower back.

It started off with a cooling sensation, and left with heat. It didn’t’ seem to penetrate deeply at all, more like surface, but still helped loosen up my lower back/make it feel a little better.

The patches didn’t stay on easily. I put one on and ate breakfast, and just shifting in my chair caused the patch to start to peel off. I reapplied it a few times until I finally took it off out of frustration. Luckily, the heating sensation continued for quite some time post patch removal. However, annoying! 2 ½ stars

Pain Relieving Jet Spray-  Alrighty, let’s be blunt here…this one stinks. Literally, and figuratively. The smell is awful…like a foot cream or something mixed with menthol. It comes on nice and cool, which feels nice, but it literally does NOTHING! I sprayed it on my hamstrings and at first felt nothing. I tried another day and put more on, and again, nothing. Ineffective. Feels good being sprayed on, but did not work for me.  1/2 star

Arthritis Pain patch- This one was applied to the knee (don’t we all have arthritis in our knees?!) It was a comfortable patch, you don’t feel it while it’s on, and stays on easy. It was relatively thin. There was a cooling sensation that seemed to come and go during the duration of wearing the patch, but nothing spectacular.  2 stars
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SO, a summary. If you are going to buy any Salonpas products, I would go for the deep relieving gel. It’s a little stinky, but hey, get some rubber gloves, rub it in, and enjoy. And while the patches are less smelly, they were also generally ineffective for me, except the Gel patch, which worked better but hardly stayed on. I would skip the Jet Spray entirely…my mother and I both tried it and both felt NOTHING! Stay pain free, my friends!!! 😀

I received these products for free. This is an unbiased review.

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Alright!

So a friend of mine told me about this brand called D’s Naturals. I personally never heard of them or have seen them in store, so I went to their website to check them out. I got the opportunity to try some of their No Cow bars, in 3 varieties- the Mint Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough,  and Blueberry Cobbler.

What makes these bars special?

They are gluten free, vegan, dairy free, soy free, no sugar added, lactose free, and non GMO according to the label. They run roughly 170 calories per bar, with 20 grams of protein and 19 grams of fiber. They are sweetened with Erythritol, not sugar.

These were appealing to me, especially as a Type 1 Diabetic. I CANNOT have added sugar…well I mean I *can* but, it doesn’t lead to pretty blood sugars. However, protein bars are usually chock full of sugar (and sugar is also HONEY, CANE JUICE, do not be fooled!). These also appealed to me since they had a good dose of fiber and protein, so I would have optimal blood sugar regulation as well as being, well, full!

Here’s a sneak peek of the Mint Chocolate Chip Bar:IMG_2221

As you can see, these bars are dense and chewy, almost like a “fruit” based bar made with fig. They are a bit sticky too!

 

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough– Mmmmm. Nice peanut butter flavor. It has some sort of sweet, semi caramelish feel to it. It was chewy and super soft, with little pieces of nuts in the bar. I can definitely get a peanut butter cookie dough vibe from it though! Like a batter before peanut butter cookies are made, but less sweet. However, there is definitely a consistency thing going on here. It’s hard to explain but there is this “leftover” piece-y type feel on the tongue. Like the bar has broken down and leaves a residue behind. I think it’s from the pea protein that is used to make the bar, but I could be wrong. In this case, taste outweighs texture for me. 4 out of 5 stars

Blueberry Cobbler– This one is sweet and fruity!! I enjoyed the blueberry flavor, it was a mixture of a fresh blueberry feel alongside sweet and chewy dried blueberries. You can’t taste any protein flavor, so that is a plus. I liked the flavor, but again, that texture thing is prevalent here. It’s like I can “feel” the protein, because I am positive this is from the pea protein. A good bar, however. 3 1/2 stars

Mint Chocolate Chip-  As a caveat, I am not a huge mint chocolate chip fan. I like Extra mint chocolate chip gum, and that’s about it. But I remained open minded about this bar. There are little pieces of cacao nibs in this bar which add a little crunch. It honestly tasted like a York peppermint patty, but in protein bar form. The consistency issue was NOT as bad here, still prevalent, but not as bad. The mint flavor is also pretty strong. Perhaps you can get a breath freshening while you dose up on your protein for the day (kidding). Given that I don’t generally like this flavor combination, I would still give it a 3 1/2 star rating.

Overall, not bad. I think the formula needs some tweaking. Personally, the consistency thing isn’t really an issue for me, as I go for nutrition and flavor over texture. For some it might be an issue. I think you have to pick your battles here though, the nutritional facts are pretty good AND these bars are vegan as well as dairy free, so they are limited with their protein sources. I can appreciate this company, so kudos D’s Naturals! I look forward to trying your products in the future, and maybe picking up some of those pb cookie dough bars if I see them 🙂

 

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I received this item for free. This is an unbiased review.
14 May 2015, Comments (0)

Blake’s Shepherd’s Pie

Author: Healthnuttxo

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Mmmm. Shepherd’s Pie. One of my favorites. I saw this at Target, and used a coupon  mailed to me at the courtesy of Blake’s…thanks guys! 🙂

There were two cooking methods…microwave oven or conventional oven. I chose microwave (because I’m lazy). I decided tonight would be a good time for a microwave dinner because
1. It was hot, and I didn’t feel like cooking
2. My normal raging appetite was on the low side today, so a smaller portion meal would suffice

Onward we go! After 4 minutes in the microwave, I let it sit for a bit (because I’ve scorched my tongue WAY too many times doing frozen food to microwave reviews…and perhaps I have finally learned better) and then dug in. Here’s what the inside looked like:

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Heavenly.

Let’s start from the Top to the bottom, shall we?

The mashed potatoes laid on the top. They reminded me of a whipped potato, fluffy and airy, and had a bit of a “country” feel to it. They had a slight taste of garlic but were otherwise on the bland side. It was fine though, since this meal isn’t really intended to eat piece by piece…I just like to dissect my meals.

The corn underneath was sweet, fresh and crisp. There was certainly plenty of it as well, which was good because I always feel I need something moderately “crunchy” in a meal, and the corn is obviously a classic for Shepherd’s Pie. I applaud.

The beef underneath was great as well. It was chopped up very fine, almost minced, and I almost wish it had bigger chunks. That is totally personal preference though, since my mother’s cooking always had bigger chunks of beef for “chop meat”, so I am kind of used to that. However, the beef was fresh and tasty, and had this “clean” feel to it. I can’t describe it other than it tasted fresh. I wonder if it was grass fed beef, since the beef flavor was prominent. It was juicy, not oily, and there were visible onions I saw on the bottom layer as well that helped with flavor.

All together? Pretty dang good. It was small, but hearty for it’s size, and there were good ratios of each of the 3 components. I added a pat of butter on the mashed potatoes and it tied everything together. My only complaint really is that the mashed potatoes I think need a little work, but overall, a good  light meal.

The sodium content is great, only 520 mg for a box (which isn’t that bad for frozen foods), and 18 grams of protein is enticing as well. There are 5 grams of saturated fat, and since the beef tasted lean, I checked ingredients and saw cream, so I assume that is what the saturated fat is from. Regardless, 4 out of 5 stars.

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