Tags: vegan

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.

Popcorn is by far my favorite snack (this post is still not biased!!). I was sent 3 flavors of a brand of popcorn I have never heard of, or even seen in stores, for free. Live Love POP sent me Lime Fresco, Sea Salt, and Truffle Salt popcorn, all made with minimal ingredients, and waist line friendly (30 calories per cup!).

The popcorn comes in brown bags that were both easy to open and close to stay fresh. I like that it had a nice sturdy bag, but also a natural feel, and had a zipper built in the bag. My number one pet peeve with snacks is that the cheap plastic breaks and then you have a bag ripped down the middle, thus, either snacks all over the floor from improper opening or stale snacks. BOOO!

I decided to try the Truffle Salt flavor first. And boy was I not disappointed! It was SO good! I never had truffles, or truffle salt, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, this popcorn had a lot of flavor and almost reminded me of a garlic knot. Garlic knot flavored popcorn for 30 cals a cup? COUNT ME IN! I did not miss the butter or anything on this popcorn, flavor was covered! It also had a good amount of salt, but not too much. My only complaint was that bag was too small! heh! 4 1/2 stars

Next up, the Sea Salt. This one was honestly pretty bland. I know it had no other flavor really except salt, but it was even lacking in the salt department. It was crunchy and fluffy popcorn, which kept me eating the rest of the bag, but I wouldn’t buy this one in the future if I had the chance. Not enough salt to have a sea salt flavor. 3 stars

Lastly, Lime Fresco.

This one I had high hopes for, especially after the Truffle Salt flavor. It sounded semi exotic, and a new flavor I never tried when it came to popcorn! The popcorn was a bit odd. It had a lime flavor, some bites more potent than others, that was a bit sour, mixed with some salt flavor. The flavor reminded me of a lime rub you would put on chicken to grill with. It got better as I ate more of it, and although it wasn’t my favorite, it wasn’t bad. I feel like a touch of butter would have been perfect, but again, 30 cals a cup a can’t really complain! 3  stars

Overall, I like the popcorn! I would LOVE to have more of that truffle flavored popcorn and love to see if Live Love POP has any more flavors to try. I think they would make a really good sweet flavored popcorn, because I like the direction they are going in! These popcorns are vegan, all natural, and GMO free 🙂

This review is LONG overdue! I got a free bottle of PurFIT Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake powder about a month ago. I had it sent to the wrong address (my “other home”…yea, I have two homes, you Jelly?) had to wait for it to ship to my current address, then when it got to my current address it was waiting in the mailbox and I didn’t know about it.

ANYWAY! Sorry to the folks over at PurFIT for the delay. Totally my fault. But now it is in my possession (FINALLY!) And I can test/eat/drink/enjoy/review it. Thanks again 🙂

So- some info on this product. It is intended to be a meal replacement, and you are advised to mix 1 scoop that they provide with 8 oz of water. The protein comes predominantly from pea and bean, and appears to be vegetarian/vegan friendly (I will post ingredients at the bottom). I think the calories are a *bit* low for a meal, even if someone is restricting calories, at 140 calories/ 14 grams protein per scoop, especially if paired with water. However, I could use this as a lean shake for a snack, or I also plan on trying chocolate protein bars since it is NOT made with Whey and I don’t have to worry about a rubbery consistency with baking it.

Here’s what it looks like dry-

First off, round of applause for PurFIT because this scoop was RIGHT on top. Honestly…what is worse than having to dig through a giant tub of protein powder to get a scoop off the bottom? Literally powder… E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E.

Not going to lie…it did not smell that great…it was a very strong and potent smell that I couldn’t quite describe. I was a little worried…but hey, protein powder never smells ALL that yummy, and can’t judge a book by it’s cover 8)

So, I put a scoop in a cup of water, and gave it a mix. It blended really easily, especially since I didn’t have my shaker cup with the little metal ball. I SWEAR I keep buying them and someone keeps permanently borrowing them…ahem…but whatever.

It made a relatively thick liquid, even mixed with water, which was a pleasant surprise. wasn’t so sure what to expect for sweetness with this product, seeing as it has no sugar. I took a sip…and I actually really like it! It had a deep chocolatey flavor, rich, and really creamy. I was surprised it was so creamy bc I used WATER! Usually I hate shakes unless paired with milk…but it said water, and I was conveniently out of both milk and almond milk.

It has a mild sweetness, like milk chocolate. I think it would taste phenomenal with peanut butter in a shake with ice and water or milk/almond milk. I really like that this protein powder has 7 grams of fiber too, to help tide down hunger, especially if this IS used as a meal replacement.

Overall, I like it! I would drink this again. I may use 2 scoops if it is for a meal, as I am extremely active (heavy lifting 6x a week and some cardio), and I need a bit more calories. It’s a tad high in fat for me, 5g per serving, but I see that flaxseed is in the ingredients, which is a good source of fat. I also get why it has a bit of fat in it, since it is INTENDED for a meal…thus fat is needed for satiety. The creaminess is spot on, and I am curious to try this with baking. I will update you guys as necessary! Overall, 4 stars.


Finally!!! Someone has made an almond butter cup instead of a peanut butter cup! Don’t get me wrong… I’m all about the peanut buttah, and just jumped on this whole almond butter bandwagon rather recently. However, it’s refreshing to see almond butter be a star in a product other than just a jar. Now…when will they make powdered almond butter…? But that’s another story.

The kind folks at Buddha Chocolate asked if I would like to try their Raw Organic Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups. Obviously I obliged. I am a Type 1 Diabetic on a rather strict diet, with little wiggle room for sweets. However, an occasional bite of a treat I think is healthy for both my sanity and my sanity. (Did I say that twice?)

I got one single cup, and then a package of two cups, with one to eat and one to share (awww).

I opened the single one, wrapped generously in a pretty gold foil.  It’s a decently sized piece of candy, with the circumference almost being my entire palm. Its vegan, fair trade, dairy free, gluten free, and soy free, 78% cacao, and made in Brooklyn according to the label.

The chocolate part is quite bitter, so hopefully you are a dark chocolate fan if you decide to try these. It has it’s sweetness, but the potency of the bitterness of dark chocolate overwhelms the sweetness. The cup however, is very soft and smooth, and almost melted in my hand as I held it. The almond butter on the inside was the perfect compliment. Salty and a teeny bit gritty, it provided a good amount of flavor and really gave it a salty kick.

Overall, I like em! Dark chocolate really isn’t my thing (milk> white > dark in my opinion) but it was still enjoyable. I think especially if you like dark chocolate you will enjoy these. A nice take on the traditional peanut buttah cup! 3 1/2 stars

Here’s the nutritional facts. The ingredients are Cacao, almonds, coconut, palm crystals, mesquite, vanilla bean, and Himalayan Crystal Salt.

Something new!!!!

Browsing for a new peanut butter to buy at Whole Foods ( at 2 jars a week, I’m getting a little bored of my usuals you could say…) I saw this gem on the bottom shelf. WHY it was hiding all the way down there is beyond me, but a good eye can spot it. Earth Balance Crunchy Coconut & Peanut Spread. At first I wasn’t going to buy it, afraid the coconut would be, well, weird with peanut butter. But then I thought why not, and it was an average price for peanut butter (don’t remember the exact $$, but a little more than a usual plain jar I believe).

I opened up the jar and did a tiny stir. Mmm.

It’s really quite good! A thick peanut butter with tons of crunchy chopped peanuts. It’s sweet yet salty, and you can definitely taste the coconut. The coconut wasn’t too overpowering, but definitely provided a good amount of flavor.

I would say the peanut butter part reminded me of what Skippy or Jif peanut butter tasted like, as it was sweeter and saltier than I am used to. However, only 2 grams of sugar and 95 mg of sodium per serving, so really not that bad at all!

I also really liked how crunchy the chopped peanuts were. They tasted very fresh, and added a really good texture to the peanut butter. While there is a lot going on, crunchy peanuts and coconut flavor, all in all, it’s a good combination. It did say “no stir” on the top, and I did have a tiny bit of oil separation but not too bad at all. This spread is also gluten free and vegan. Yay!

Overall, 4 1/2 stars. A must try!

Another nut butter to add to my addiction and to subtract money out of my wallet (*sigh*…that wallet never had a chance against any nut butters). Insert, Peanut Butter & Co Mighty Maple Peanut Butter. One of the tastiest I have tried from Peanut Butter & Co., this one is also gluten free and vegan

SIDENOTE: How cute is that monkey?! With a barbell!

This was a thick peanut butter- not much stirring required, hardly any actually. Look here, didn’t even move as I turned my fork to the side. (WHHHHAAAAAT you don’t eat nut butter out of the jar with a fork, too?)

The peanut butter has a mild sweetness, but I can definitely taste both the maple and the peanut butter. It has a roasted peanut taste, and then a hint of maple flavor. Not too salty or too sweet, but just right. I ate this directly from the jar, like most of my nut butters, and I can’t get enough of it. This isn’t my first jar, and it will not be my last.

One thing different from other peanut butters is I can “taste” and detect the granules- like a very mild grittiness to the peanut butter. Not like sand, or like anything that would ruin the peanut butter, but it is not 100% smooth.

Overall, delicious and addictive. A made a significant dent in my jar the first night. I’m too ashamed to show you the picture and I also don’t want to think about possibly eating 3-4 servings in one sitting, so I’m going to pretend it never happened. (*What peanut butter??*) I get remarks all the time about how fast I can finish a jar of peanut butter, and quite frankly, it doesn’t bother me a bit. Heart healthy fats, protein, and hey, I can think of worse things to inhale on a 2-3 day basis (sad, yet true. Shelf life of a jar of peanut butter in my house is 3 days tops).

One thing, is these are a bit pricy, I’ve seen them as much as 6+ dollars for a jar. So, from me, this one gets 4.5 stars =)

What’s your favorite flavor/variety from Peanut Butter & Co. if you have tried it? Mine is this one here.

26 Sep 2011, Comments (0)

Birdbath Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie

Author: Healthnuttxo

I shouldn’t have done it.

Coming home from the gym today, I passed by this bakery, Birdbath Bakery. I have such a weak spot for cookies. Cake? dont need it. Ice cream? pass. Brownies? no thank you. But cookies? I. Cannot. Resist. Cookies.

So after I elliptical-ed (is that a word? It is now!) for an hour (ok, ok, 45 minutes) I wanted to take a peek inside the bakery. Maybe get a muffin or something. And then I saw a stack of cookies in various flavors. Some of them were vegan, and some weren’t I ended up getting 2 vegan cookies, and 1 not vegan- the chocolate chip, for 5 dollars.

The staff was very friendly, and I overheard that if you brought your own container in, you get $1 off your purchase AND, I read on the website you get 25% off if you come by skateboard or bike! Eco friendly alert!! 🙂

You can check out their website here- they are pretty amazing!

ANYWAY, back to the goodies. I already froze the other two cookies to eat later, because I KNOW I would eat all 3 in one sitting if they were in front of me.

This cookie. Was amazingly-amazing.I mean, really, HOW could this (half a cookie picture- wonder where the other half went?? =p ) taste bad?!?

Also note the grease spots on the bag. THATS how you know something
tastes good!

This cookie had the slightest crisp on the outside, and was soft, gooey and rich on the inside. It had a buttery taste, and was rather sweet, but very delicious. I noticed it even had a slight pretzel taste to it- weird – but it worked. It added that very slight salty taste that accompanied the big, gooey chocolate chunks.

Overall, a delicious cookie. Aside from the pretzel taste thing going on, a perfect chocolate chipper in my eyes. And at 3 for 5 $, thats a little over $1.50 per cookie, which isn’t too bad. Plus I’m loving the eco-friendly aspect of this place!!!

I kinda love this place.

I kinda couldn’t stop eating this cookie. In fact I demolished it in about 5 minutes.

I kinda can’t go here unless I went to the gym that day.

I kinda dont want to know how many calories, fat and sugar is in this cookie.

Because…I kinda dont care.

It’s that good 😉

SO, if you ever have the chance to go to Birdbath Bakery, I highly recommend the chocolate chip cookie! This was the non-vegan version, but they HAVE a vegan one as well!!  5 stars

Ever been to a vegan bakery? Which one? What did you get?

I think I should start off by saying I don’t like dark chocolate.  I will eat it, but I find it too bitter, hardly sweet, and just unenjoyable for my taste buds. My taste buds much prefer milk chocolate, and white chocolate (with my FAVORITE white chocolate review here!) Nutrition courses via an accredited online college for people who have decided they want to
pursue their knowledge about health and nutrition further. It is helpful to learn from each other as well as experts and books.

So, before eating this, in the back of my head I thought, aw man, DARK chocolate? Boo! But who am I to judge based on the name? Who knows what it will taste like? It could be cookie heaven.

And it was…

As you can probably see, it was a bit crumby, and broke apart very easily. Kind of like the other gluten free cookie by Fabe’s. It was dense, and a bit “piecy” as I chewed it, but wow was it DE  LIC  IOUS. And yes, delicious is three words now, you didn’t know that? ; )  (kidding). Literally, this cookie melted in my mouth as I ate it. It was very sweet, and tasted like a brownie. Or just like chocolate frosting. Actually, how about a brownie WITH chocolate frosting on it. SO GOOD!

Seriously, Fabe’s knows how to make cookies. Yes, there are some crumb issues going on, so I wouldn’t reccommend eating this while your wearing white or at a friend’s house who can’t stand crumbs anywhere. In fact, I advise you don’t eat this cookie at that friends house, or I predict he or she will be very angry at you. However, feel free to eat it on your way out the door because you can’t wait until you get home. It’s that good. It’s so good I made up an imaginary friend for you who doesn’t like crumbs. Your welcome.

ANYWAY, this one gets 4 1/2 stars. Again, the crumb/consistency of the cookie is a bit off, but the flavor is right on. And the nutritional facts will set you back 280 calories if you polish off the whole cookie (hey…don’t point your finger at me. I only ate 3/4 of the cookie this time! =) ). Regardless, I think you should try this if you have the chance to!

I got this cookie to try for free from the company.

Along with the delicious Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookie I was sent for free from Fabe’s, they also sent me some others, including the Sweetened by Nature Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Cookie. According to the wrapper, this cookie is also  vegan, egg free, dairy free, all natural, and has no refined sugar.

I’m always a bit skeptical when something says it’s free of a lot of ingredients, as are some of my friends who I have heard comment to me in the past. Well, if it has no refined sugar, no eggs, no dairy, no gluten…what’s it made of? And HOW could it possibly taste good?

Well. I don’t know….doesn’t this look delicious?


Well – no worries here, Fabe’s has you covered. This particular cookie was actually quite delicious. The first thing I noticed is that it was VERY crumbly. It literally started to fall apart as I opened the wrapper, but I liked how it was a bigger cookie. However, there are 2 servings (read 1 serving if you’re me) in this cookie.

There were are a good amount of cranberries, which were chewy and sweet, and slightly tart. The cookie had a melt in your mouth consistency, and had a different texture than any cookie I ever had. It was almost like a crumb cake in texture. It was VERY sweet, but delicious, with a predominant orange zest flavor, and a  coconut flavor as well!

Overall, Fabe’s has proved that even without eggs, dairy, gluten or refined sugar, yummy cookies can be made. If I hadn’t eaten the whole cookie myself (ooooops….) I would bring it over to my skeptical friends to prove them wrong. This cookie gets 4 stars, because I wish it was a tad less crumbly. Also, this cookie has two servings, and it’s WAY too hard not to eat both. So delicious!

Cranberries- are you a fan? I would say I’m on the fence. If they are sweet and dried, I like them. But if they are too tart, I could definitely do without them!


Got some free cookies, courtesy of Fabe’s, and of COURSE I had to try the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies first =) Seeing as I love both peanut butter AND chocolate… well, I guess to be fair, there are a LOT of people who love peanut butter and chocolate… So, let’s just say I did the Fabe’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie for YOU guys first 😉

I dont know about you, but those gooey chocolate chips pretty much won me over  on the spot.


The flavor was pretty good. Chewy and soft, with a mild peanut butter flavor, and pieces of nuts scattered throughout. It was a very rich cookie, and sweet but certainly not overly sweet. In fact, the raging sweet tooth I have kind of wishes it was a bit sweeter. It kind of had the sweet and salty combination going on, especially when I bit into a chocolate chip. Which, by the way, receiving these cookies in the mail on a hot day was sort of like a gift. These tasted like they were fresh out of the oven. The chocolate chips were gooey, but definitely had a different taste than what I’m used to- being a milk chocolate chip. They kind of reminded me of the Enjoy Life Boom Choco Boom Non Dairy Rice Milk chocolate bar in terms of flavor. Had a chocolate-like taste, with a vanilla flavor as well.

The middle of the cookie had that “I-just-took-these-out-of-the-oven-ten-minutes-ago” appeal, and like it was at the point where you take out a cookie and your not quite sure if it’s done or not. Your afraid it could be raw, but you dont want to overcook it. Thats how these cookies were in consistency. I’m not saying they were raw, but they were like a few steps beyond it. In other words, just the way I like it 🙂

Overall, very good cookie. It is pretty calorie dense, and has 12 grams of fat and 19 grams of sugar, and it’s also VEGAN and has no refined sugar. In other words,  my kind of cookie. I’m not vegan, but I dont mind when products are, and I certainly like when products are sweetened with other things besides refined sugar. I think this cookie is worth a try.  4 stars

What’s your favorite vegan cookie or baked good?


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