Tags: Gluten Free

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.

 

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Hi Guys!

Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving. I know I ate too much. But certainly enjoyed all the food, and hope everyone else did too AND enjoyed their family time.

In the spirit of Black Friday, I will be hosting a giveaway today based on this review.
Go Macro sent me a box of bars, the “Thrive” line. These bars are organic, non-GMO, gluten free, soy free, kosher, vegan, and low glycemic.  They come in a variety of flavors, which we will go over below.

The bars more or less had the same texture- dense and chewy. They were hearty and most had a sesame seed and date flavor.

Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt--> this one was pretty darn good. The chocolate amount was decent– I feel like sometimes when companies add chocolate chips you get like 3 chips for the whole bar and they have the NERVE to call it a chocolate flavored bar… haha, not the case here. The dark chocolate chips are prevalent. The cashew flavor goes well with the chocolate. The sea salt? lacking. Needs more of that, however, still good.   —-4 stars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip--> this one was a bit more dense than the others, but very good. A peanut butter base, with peanut butter chips and a hint of chocolate. Picture a peanut butter cup but in a “granola” bar form. So did I like it? Yeah I liked it. Do you like peanut butter cups? Yea? Okay, you’ll like this one.  — 4 1/2 stars

Almond Apricot–> this one is pretty good. Seems “nuttier” than the others in flavor, a tad bit more crunchier. The apricot gives a nice sweetness that is scattered throughout the bar, and the almond adds that crispy crunch you sometimes crave in a “chewier” bar. —-4 star

Blueberry Lavender–> lavender… personally I am not a fan of ingesting lavender. Makes me feel like I am eating soap. But I digress…. anyway, this bar was okay. Lightly sweet, slightly bitter aftertaste. The blueberry flavor was prominent, and lavender had a hint. I think the flavor overall was a bit flat and almost needed a pinch of salt.    — 3 star

Ginger Lemon–>The ginger in this bar was mild, but prevalent, and went really well with the lemon flavor. I happen to be a fan of ginger, and the “burn/spice” you get from ginger was not present, which is good for those who don’t enjoy ginger, however I felt myself missing that.  However, it was a great combo and almost reminded me of a cookie. But again, I felt it was a bit flat/missing something.  —- 3 1/2 star

Caramel Coconut--> my personal favorite, wish I could order a box of just these. It was super, super yummy! Lightly sweetened with coconut and a mild caramel flavor, but went oh so well together. Reminded me of these coconut condensed milk brownies my mom makes for the holidays. The coconut flavor shines through and overall, a delicious bar.  — 4 1/2 stars

You can try these bars 30% off with the promo code THRIVE30  here!

GIVEAWAY!!!!

You will win 1 box of assorted Thrive bars! 🙂

TO enter….
1) you must like Go Macro on one of their social media outlets. Please leave a comment below telling me which outlet you used (IG, Twitter, FB, etc.)

2) If you do not have any social media, you may leave a comment below saying which bar you would like to try the most.

3) for an additional entry, follow my fitness/blog IG at lisa_liftsx. Leave a comment saying you did so!

U.S. only. Giveaway closes 1 week from today, December 2nd, 12 pm.

 

 

 

disclaimer: I received these bars for free. This is an unbiased review.

29 Nov 2015, Comments (0)

BFree Wheat and Gluten Free Foods

Author: Healthnuttxo

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A company that just expanded to the East Coast, I got some yummy bread samples from from BFree! They create products that are gluten free, wheat free, nut free, dairy free, soy free, no sugar added, Non GMO, and more. They can appeal to anyone with special dietary needs, especially those with severe allergies.

With Celiac’s Disease and gluten intolerance on the rise, it’s important to have companies that care to replace bread or pasta products in people’s diets that are allergy friendly, and also I think it’s great these products are also nut and dairy free, because more often than not, you find people have Celiac’s AND another allergy/intolerance to dairy or nuts. The GI tract is connected, so it makes sense!

Anyway, moving onward. I received a plethora of samples from BFree, including wraps, dinner rolls, bread, and bagels. Let’s get to it!

First up, Soft White Sandwich Loaf.

Here’s what it looked like toasted:

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And with some PB&J

 

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The sandwich loaf bread crisped up nice in the toaster oven. It had a nice crunch but was relatively bland on it’s own. The texture and consistency are good, chewy and soft underneath a crusty exterior. It doesn’t have much flavor, so it’s perfect for eating with toppings, just not alone. It doesn’t mask flavors either, so it went well with the PB&J. I think toasting is necessary. 3 stars

Next up, the Brown Seeded Sandwich Loaf. 

Here it is, toasted.

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This one, as you can see I also had with some peanut butter and one with butter, since plain and toasted is relatively flavorless. I noticed this one (and the white) take a while to toast in comparison to the bread I usually have. I didn’t really like the one with the butter…becuase the flavor of the bread isn’t masked. Alone, the bread has an odd seedy kind of rye bread flavor. With the peanut butter, the flavor is masked, and it is a crunchy piece of bread with a soft interior, that doesn’t affect the flavor of the peanut butter. So again, this bread is good if you have a spread you like on top. 2 1/2 

 

Next up, the bagels! First, the multi-seed bagel. 

Here it is toasted with some butter. Right off the bat, I am kind of annoyed because these aren’t pre sliced..HAH. I guess I am spoiled and used to pre-cut bagels.

This one toasted wasn’t bad. The texture isn’t 100% like a gluten filled bagel, since the dense chewiness comes from wheat gluten. But, this is pretty darn good for a gluten free bagel. It is chewy in a different way, and fluffy. It had the consistency of the chewiness of the bread but thicker since it it a bagel. The flavor again is really not there, very bland, and the seeds didn’t provide much flavor. I think all of these previous breads need a touch of salt or something to help bring out flavor. However, I think it would be good with butter and jam, or butter and a fried egg 🙂  3 1/2 stars
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Next up, the white/ Plain Bagel.

This one we toasted and put cream cheese on!

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This one was not really a hit. I also let my brother try this one (it was his cream cheese after all…) and he was not a fan. It was very bland, airy, and didn’t have that chew like the seeded bagel did. Even after toasted the inside of the bagel didn’t change color much, so I couldn’t really tell when it was done. Just not a fan, it almost took away the flavor from the cream cheese, and the consistency not as good as the seeded bagel. 2 stars

Next up, the Quinoa and Chia Seed Wrap.

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Made a turkey and cheese wrap with lettuce on this one.
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This one I am iffy about… I liked it at first, then as I made more wraps with it and continued to eat it, I grew to dislike it. One problem with the wrap for starters is that after you defrost it, it is WET. You need to really get the moisture out with a paper towel unless you will have a soggy wrap. I am used to having frozen then fresh wraps, and usually you just wipe off the little bit of condensation, but this one you need to really blot or toast to get some of the water out. I assume that is because it is made with rice, which holds onto water.

Anyway, this wrap doesn’t offer much flavor other than the seeds, so if you like a seedy flavor, you may like it. However, the consistency got semi- mealy after I continued to eat it. Not really a fan. It ripped really easy and isn’t chewy like a wrap normally is for me, and is a bit stiff. 2 stars

Lastly, the dinner rolls! Brown Seeded and Soft White. 
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These we heat up slightly in the oven and then cut open and put pats of butter on them.  The Brown roll was earthy and nutty tasting… it reminded me of a granola bar almost with some pumpkin seed flavor. It was pretty bland otherwise and needed some salt. The texture was chewy and a little dense which I actually kind of liked. 2 1/2 stars

The white roll was pretty good.

Again, a little bland, needed some salt, but tasted pretty close to a gluten filled white bread roll. Chewy and the thickness of the roll went well with the warm butter and dinner. I would eat this one again. 3 1/2 stars

Overall, BFree Foods has some hits and some misses in my book. HOWEVER, these are definitely some of the better gluten free products I have tried. Due to the nature of rice, a lot of GF products end up being piecey in consistency, or fall apart in your mouth, and just plain awful. These products, while a tad bland, were versatile and textures were honestly pretty good. The wrap was my least favorite, and I think the more “bread-y” products did better. I think these are definitely worth a try, especially if you have allergies.

BFree is on FACEBOOK here.
BFree is on TWITTER here. 

 

I received these products free from the company. This is an unbiased review.

 

 

 

 

Introducing…Vitamin Shoppe’s Protein Pantry!

IMG_6725 A new section at Vitamin Shoppe filled with yummy protein packed foods! My favorite. Aside from the traditional protein bars, I like eating protein enriched foods, since I have such an active lifestyle. Gotta fuel those muscles!

They sent me MET-RX Protein Pancake Mix, P28 Apple Crisp Spread, and D’s Naturals Fluff Butter in Chocolate Fudge Cake Batter and Vanilla Maple.

First up…the pancakes!

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You can do 2-3 scoops with up to 1/3-1/2 cup of water, mix, and cook. I decided to use milk and cook with some pam and light butter because I like my pancakes crispy. 
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Mmmmm….
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The finished product!
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These were super yummy! They got crispy on the outside from the butter, but remained fluffy and moist on the inside. There was a delicious vanilla aroma being pervaded throughout the house when I was cooking them. They mixed easily, and cooked within a few minutes. The flavor was mildly sweet, mild buttermilk flavor, and even a touch of what felt like a vanilla protein flavor.

I liked them! I think they are versatile and welcome your own additions, but are great with butter and some sugar free syrup alone. You can view the nutritional facts below. I’m a little bummed sugar is the second ingredient added, and wheat flour is used over whole wheat. The protein count to carb and sugar ratio is a little low for me, so these will be used more as a pre-workout meal versus a post workout. With that being said, 4 stars. Great for people trying to put on some mass as well, as they are easy to eat and have some good quality calories.

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Next up, The P28 Apple Crisp Spread

Here’s the spread on some toast:
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As you can see, it was pretty creamy in texture. At least…the top part was. The bottom half got a little drier, more “cement” like, kind of when you extract the natural oil out of non hydrogenated oil. It needs the fat! So if you do buy this, make sure you stir it! The bottom also had tiny bits of raisins and granola crunches that you miss out on until you hit the bottom of the jar. The flavor otherwise is okay, it’s a little pasty, not too sweet, not salty, and pretty mild. I really liked it on toast after I added some jelly, which brought out the flavors of the Apple Crisp spread so much. The apple undertones really came out, and I could taste the cinnamon as well. Overall, good, but not a favorite eaten alone, especially when you hit the bottom. The nutritional profile is actually pretty awesome too- high in fat, obviously, but sugar is low and protein is high. Carbohydrates aren’t much higher than a normal serving of peanuts either. 4 stars

2 tablespoons is 200 calories, 16 grams of fat, 3 saturated fat, 10 mg of sodium, 8 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of protein.

 Lastly, D’s Naturals Fluff Butter

First up, the Vanilla Maple

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As you can see, on toast, it kind of “disintegrated” when it was warm.

So next round, I waited until it cooled off a bit, and added some Jelly.

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Alone, not a huge fan of this flavor. It’s a little pasty, and tastes like almond extract with a maple flavor. It’s thick, but not super creamy, and has this odd texture which I think is from the pea protein. If you have ever had pea protein, you know what I am talking about. It’s not creamy…it has this “powdery” texture even when blended with a liquid. I can’t have a spoon of this all at once…too powerful of flavor.

On toast with Jelly, much better. Even though a lot of the flavor seems to disappear into the toast, and I just seemed to taste it mildly. Overall, not a huge fan. I would pass on this one. 2 1/2 stars

Below is some nutritional facts:IMG_7471

Lastly, the Chocolate Fudge Cake Batter Almond Fluffbutter. 

This one was pretty good. I liked it better than the Vanilla Maple. It was sweet, but not sugary. It was a little pasty, and you could taste the pea protein. It definitely has a fudge flavor, and reminds me a little bit like chocolate frosting, but not as sugary. Like a protein chocolate frosting. It is creamy, and you can taste the almond which is nice. The flavors are mild, but good. I enjoyed this one straight up- which is vital for me to really enjoy a spread or nut butter. 4 stars

 

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

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I got some yummy Perky Fruit Bodies to try! What is that, you say? These are organic, raw, vegan, gluten free, and kosher “fruit leathers”.

Let’s get to it! ^-^

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Coconut Banana– this one is squished!

IMG_7576The color and appearance isn’t appetizing, but we always go beyond that for food reviews! The flavor is OK. Banana and coconut flavor is strong, the banana provides the natural sweetness, and tastes like an over-ripened banana. It is dry, and a bit flaky. It is not “sticky” like you would picture a “fruit roll up”, and is more like a natural fruit leather, but still on the drier side. It’s alright. 2 1/2 stars

Strawberry Banana– this one is good!

IMG_7578Tangy from the strawberries, and sweet from the banana. Tastes like a strawberry banana smoothie in fruit leather form. It is a bit chewier than the Coconut Banana, and more held together, which I like. It has a bit of a “rip” to it when you bite it. I would eat this one again. 4 star

Cacao Banana Coconut-  this one I also like.

IMG_7577The cacao flavor is pretty strong, but it gives a chocolate covered banana flavor to it. Good amount of sweetness. The Cacao gives almost a dark chocolate feel as well. The coconut flavor is very mild, and lacking, but I don’t mind because I think it tastes good the way it is. Chewy and has a nice “rip” to it…I like this one! 4 star

Overall, not bad! They run 60-130 calories each, ranging from 14-18 carbs and 0-7 grams of fat depending on the flavor. I think they would go great as a pre workout snack, as you are getting a boost of energy from the sugars from the fruits, and they are light enough where they will not make you feel sluggish during a workout. I also like how they are individually wrapped and easy to bring with you on the go. You can view nutritional information below.

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I received this product to try for free from the company. 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.


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Alrighty! So, I do not drink a ton of protein powder- not my style, I am much more of a food eater, but it definitely has a place in my diet. I tend to stick to low carb whey proteins, and use them when I need calories post workout and do not feel hungry or for convenience in the morning.

I received Growing Naturals Organic Rice Protein in Strawberry Burst to try. I have never had rice protein before. This one in particular is:

Organic
Vegan
Allergy friendly
Made with brown rice protein (raw),
Has 3 grams of carbs (1 sugar), 24 grams of protein
&& is NON GMO certified

There is a complete panel of the Amino Acid profile of the rice protein on the BPA free plastic, which is definitely a plus (see below). There is even an explanation of what an essential amino acid is, which essentially (hehe) are a few of the 20 or so amino acids that your body cannot produce on it’s own and you NEED to eat.

SO, I opened the tub and saw brown powder. I was a little shocked and expected to see pink…since strawberry…but I have to remember this is BROWN rice protein, and there are no added artificial colors. It smells like a mixture of strawberries and well…protein powder. It’s hard to describe what protein powder smells like since it is so unique, but for anyone who has ever tried it, knows it has an odor.

It’s kind of hard to mix…I added it to milk and tried mixing for a few minutes. The powder just did not seem to want to assimilate. I would suggest doing it with a shaker cup or blender.

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I took a sip and….

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meh.

I do not like it. I added half a scoop to roughly 4-5 ounces of 2% milk. The strawberry flavor is muted by the overpowering stevia flavor. The stevia is really bitter and tastes like the extract, and is very strong. This stevia and strawberry flavor put together makes the strawberry flavor taste like a fake flavor, not like natural, fresh picked strawberries but more like a stevia sweetened strawberry flavored milk you’d purchase at a store.

There is a residue left on your tongue, powdery and piece-y. I kind of expected that, since a lot of rice products I’ve had before in the past always had off consistencies. There is an aftertaste as well, but I still would think this is from the stevia.

Overall….huge let down. I was excited by this protein, looking at the label and reading about it. I had another person try this with peanut butter and milk in a blended shake and he wasn’t a huge fan of it, and agreed there was an aftertaste. Perhaps if you mixed it with a banana and used a lot of ice to dilute the flavor, it is doable.

It’s a pass from me. 1  1/2 stars

 

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I received these samples for FREE. This is an unbiased review.

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