Tag Archives: health

NaturAlmond Review

3 Nov

A few days ago I received a tiny little package in the mail from Jaime at NaturAlmond.  I was lucky enough to sample a jar of their maple caramel almond butter.  Let me tell you this stuff is absolute heaven in a jar!  It’s rich and full of flavor.  Great paired with fruit, toast, waffles, crackers, yogurt you name it!  Not only is it delicious but it’s loaded with nutrition.   All of their products are made with no added sugars or preservatives.

I’ve always been a big peanut butter fan but over the last year I have discovered many healthy alternatives, one of them being almond butter.   Almond butter is equally as delicious and much more nutritious.  Almonds are great for your heart, lower blood pressure, control blood sugar, are rich in antioxidants,  and help with weight control.   NaturAlmond is hands down of the best all natural nut butters I have tried and I highly recommend their product.  They offer four flavors including; original, honey roasted, maple caramel, and salt free.   All of their products can be purchased online at www.naturalmond.com .  So head over to their website and check them out, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

 

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EK Choc Review

6 Oct

The wonderful people at Artisana sent me a little package of their brand new products called EK Choc.  They are 100% raw cacao spreads and are made from Venezuelan cacao criollo which is the highest regarded premium cacao from the best cacao beans in the world.   These spreads are boosted with herbs, antioxidants and hazelnuts for added nutty flavor.  These spreads are a great alternative to nutella which is loaded with processed ingredients and added sugar.  The flavors available include cardamon, vanilla, strawberry, rose, and licorice.  My two favorites were the vanilla and strawberry, not too sweet and full of flavor.  These spreads are perfect spread on a rice cake for a quick snack, added to oatmeal, toast you name it!  For more information on this awesome new products made by Artisana check out their website at www.artisanafoods.com

 

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Coconut Secret Review

24 Feb

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About a month or so ago I received an awesome package from Lena at Coconut Secret and I fell in love.  The package included coconut nectar, coconut aminos and an organic almond coconut bar.  First off the coconut nectar is great it has a very unique flavor and a little goes a long way.  Coconut nectar is a great substitute for maple syrup, agave and honey and has alot less sugar as well as a lower glycemic index.  I use it on my pancakes, toast with nut butter, and sometimes even in my oatmeal.  The only downside there is to this stuff is that is very very sticky, almost like a sap but regardless its still a great healthy alternative to cane sugar.  Coconut aminos have seventeen naturally occurring amino acids and is a great sub for soy sauce which is packed with sodium.  Coconut aminos only have 113mg of sodium in one tsp compared to soy sauce which can have as much as 1,000mg in one tbsp.  I refuse to eat my chicken for dinner anymore without this stuff, its addictive!  It’s also great in salads, marinades and stir frys.  Last but not least the almond coconut bar was unbelievable it was literally love at first bite not to mention it is extremely low in carbohydrates, sugar, and sodium.  I’d like to thank Lena for the generous package!  For more information on all of the fantastic products Coconut Secret has to offer check them out at www.coconutsecret.com 

reviews.reviews.reviews

23 Sep

OK so I literally have not a chance to breathe the past month! School and multiple reasons of stress have made the blog take a backseat but I had a little spare time today to write a quick post!  Over the past month I have received a ton of samples to review and they were all great.  Just want to thank all the companies that were so generous.  Including: Way Better Snacks, Simply7, Navitas, and Manitoba Harvest.

 

Way Better

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks are some of the best “healthy” snacks I have tried in a long time.  I’m constantly reading labels seeing what is put into my food and these are nothing but the real deal.  They were very generous and sent me a huge box filled with every flavor they make.  The flavors include simply sunny multi-grain, unbeatable blues, sweet potato, sweet chili, no salt naked blues, and simply beyond black bean. 

All of the chips tasted great and had a nice crunch but my two favorites were sweet potato and sweet chili. Not only do these chips taste good but they are good for you! Sprouting has been known to enhance the bio-availability of nutrients and aid in digestion.  Every serving has a great amount of omega 3 essential fatty acids and a  whopping 17 grams of whole grains.

The main benefits of sprouting include:

  • increased vitamins and minerals
  • increased antioxidants
  • increased digestibility
  • increased nutrient absorption

For more information about the company and the many health benefits of eating sprouted foods check out their website at www.gowaybetter.com 

 

Simply7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The company Simply7 sent me out a MASSIVE box of their awesome chips! Three different types and eleven great flavors!  Pomegranate, hummus, and lentil are the three types of chips they make at Simply7 made from all natural ingredients with zero trans-fats, artificial colors or preservatives.  Not to mention they are gluten free and vegetarian friendly.  Pomegranate chips come in three flavors including: white cheddar (my favorite), black pepper and sea salt.  I’m not going to lie when I saw pomegranate chips in the box I was a bit skeptical but I must say they were delicious! The taste of pomegranate was very faint but just enough for that extra punch and sweetness!  The hummus chips come in three flavors including: sea salt, spicy chili pepper, tomato basil, and roasted red pepper.  I really enjoyed the hummus chips as well and my favorite flavor would have to be the roasted red pepper, a must try.  It instantly reminded me of eating pita chips with roasted red pepper hummus except it was a million times better!   The lentil chips come in three flavors including: sea salt, bruschetta, creamy dill, and jalapeno.  The lentil were my least favorite out the three different kinds but still overall very good!  My favorite flavor was the bruschetta, you instantly recognize the taste of tomato followed by fresh basil.  For more information about this company and their products go to www.simply7snacks.com.

 

Navitas Naturals 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Navita’s Naturals sent me out a bag of cacao goji super-food power snacks and a small bag of mulberries.  The power snacks are made from  date paste, cacao powder, chia seeds, sesame seeds, raisins, sunflower seeds, goji berry powder, maca powder, lucuma powder, camu camu powder, and chocolate flavor.  These little bites of energy are crunchy from the various seeds and slightly sweet from the dates.  I would not consider these a sweet, candy like snack but they are definitely good for some quick long lasting energy.  This was my first time trying mulberries and when I opened the bag I was a bit scared but the taste didn’t disappoint! They remind me of golden raisins but I would pick these over raisins any day!  Not to mention they are a true super-food and one of the few fruits to be considered a protein source.  There are about 3 grams of protein per ounce and they are an excellent source of iron, calcium, vitamin C, and fiber.  Recent studies have shown that regular consumption of this special antioxidant helps promote a healthy heart and longevity.  You can add this sweet super-food to oatmeal, pancakes, smoothies, yogurt and trail mix.  Navitas makes a ton of great super-food products so check them out at www.navitasnaturals.com

 

Manitoba Harvest 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few weeks back Sarah from Manitoba Harvest was so kind and sent me out two big bags of hemp hearts including original and organic.  This was my first time trying hemp-seeds and I am now a BIG fan.  Hemp-seeds have a slight nutty taste that is simply delicious.  They paired perfectly with lots of my breakfasts the past month and I totally recommend giving hemp a try not only because they taste great but they have a ton of health benefits.  They pack a powerful amount of protein and omegas.  A 30g serving contain 10g of easy to digest protein, 10g of omegas and many more minerals!

I am currently obsessed with topping my waffles and pancakes with hemphearts!

Thank you Manitoba Harvest!

Check out them out at www.manitobaharvest.com 

Like them on Facebook & Follow them on Twitter!

Innovation & Motivation

16 Aug

Everyone hits a rough patch in life at some point…and this past month I hit it.  Fortunately I’m hanging in there and trying to look on the bright side of things and stay true to what my Grandfather always said “keep smiling”.  Well it’s been a few days but Happy Thursday everyone! If you follow me on instragram you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been posting a few new recipe ideas so I will start with these delicious little concoctions..

Coconutty Peanut Chia Porridge 

This can be used as a low-carb alternative to oatmeal, a snack, dessert…whatever it’s damn good!

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbs coconut flour
  • 2 tbs PB2
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk (may need more or less depending on the consistency you like)
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let set in fridge overnight

After setting in the fridge overnight it should be creamy and resemble a custard. I popped mine in the freezer for about 20 min and topped it with some blueberries.. it was cold and kind of reminded me of ice cream..delicious!

Cookie Dough Coconut Butter

Beware this is highly addictive..

I didn’t really measure ingredients out on this one but I’ll give you my best shot.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of lets do organic shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 cup of cocoa roasted almonds
  • 1 tsp stevia
  1. Add the coconut to a food processor and process until fine.
  2. Add coconut oil, almonds, and stevia.
  3. Processes until creamy and smooth
  4. This may take a while depending on your food processor.. 10-20 minutes

Unfortunately I haven’t gotten a polar ft watch yet..but I have discovered some awesome apps that do the trick in a pinch.  Like this one.. gps + pedometer ultimate.. you enter your weight, height and measurements and it seems to be tracking pretty well but I still need that Polar watch!!

It’s happening within the next week!

And then there’s Nike Training Club which has a ton of awesome workouts..cardio, toning and strength. Perfect if you don’t have access to a gym or just want to get a good workout in at home.

 These workouts definitely work up a good sweat!

Only you have the power to make yourself the happiest you can be.

Have an awesome weekend everyone! 😀

Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins

10 Aug

Most muffins or baked goods are filled with fat, sugar, carbs, garbage, carbs, sugar, fat, and more sugar.  This recipe has zero added sugar..minus the dark chocolate chips cause they don’t count ;-).  Everyone likes something with their coffee.. well maybe not everyone but I know do and these are the perfect pairing or just a great on the go snack.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Oat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Quinoa Flour
  • 2 Scoops of Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Stevia
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1/4 Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 2 Ripe Bananas
  • 1/3 Cup Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 Cup Natural Mini Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts

 

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray a 12 muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl.
  4. Mash bananas with a fork in a bowl until smooth.
  5. Add egg, egg whites, milk, greek yogurt, and vanilla to mashed bananas until smooth.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to dry and mix well.
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts evenly.
  8. Evenly distribute batter into your muffin tin.
  9. Place in the oven and bake 25-30 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven.
  11. Gently remove muffins from muffin tin, place on a cooling rack for a few minutes.
  12. Enjoy!

 

 

Oatless Oats & Sweat

10 Aug

I have been hearing so much about oat-less..yes oat-less..oatmeal that I decided to give it a go yesterday morning.  It exists and is totally paleo friendly and approved.  I am not paleo, although I have been contemplating doing the whole30 or at least trying it. Come September it may be a very big possibility but we’ll see..anyways here is the recipe for OATLESS oatmeal.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Whisk together egg whites and milk
  2. Add in flaxseed, cinnamon, mashed banana, and vanilla
  3. Whisk until completely combined
  4. Pour mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat
  5. Constantly stir the mixture and scrape the bottom of the saucepan until you reach a cooked oatmeal consistency. The cooking should take no more than 5 minutes.
  6. Scoop into a bowl and top with toppings!

Without any toppings it comes out to be around 200 calories.

Circuits are my favorite absolute favorite kind of workout and I’m always up for trying and creating new ones.  The other day I came up with this one which is a combination of strength exercises using a medicine ball with some jump roping in-between each move.  This workout is about 30 minutes long and definitely gets your heart rate up!

Larabar Review!

7 Aug

This was my first time trying Larabars and let me tell you I have become a huge fan! I just want to say THANK YOU to Annie at Larabar for being so kind and sending me these awesome samples to review! So here’s what i got…

What makes these bars so perfect is that most of them are made with anywhere from 2-7 whole, natural ingredients. No processed ingredients, chemicals or fake stuff here! Definitely a super clean and healthy snack, post or pre-work fuel, afternoon pick me up or dessert!

The first flavor I tried was Ginger Snap and it was a huge hit! It tasted exactly like a gingersnap cookie and the spices were just right not too little or too much. Made from dates, almonds, pecans, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Perfect!

Peanut Butter & Jelly..really? This one is probably going to be one of my favorites. It tasted exactly like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and the only ingredients are dates, peanuts, unsweetened cherries and sea salt. Can’t get anymore natural than that!

Next flavor was chocolate chip cookie dough. I mean come on who doesn’t like cookie dough? I left this one in my car as a mid morning snack to munch on after I ran errands…and well the sun kinda melted the chocolate chips but oh my goodness was it good! Yet again tasted exactly like the name and totally guilt free. Made from cashews, dates, chocolate chips and sea salt. Two thumbs up!

Cappuccino…I love my coffee although I’m not the biggest coffee drinker coffee flavored anything is usually a hit in my book. Made from dates, almonds, cashews, coffee and vanilla extract. So simple and so good!

These next two I am saving for afternoon pick me ups..they both are made from only three ingredients and I’m sure I am going to love them! Banana Bread is made from dates, almonds and unsweetened bananas and Peanut Butter Cookie is made from dates, peanuts and sea salt. I mean really how much cleaner can you get? This is why I love these bars and after trying them I am now HOOKED. If you like finding healthy snacks or food products definitely check these out! You can find them at most grocery stores, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, Target etc.

Check out their website for more info at www.larabar.com

Progress and Creativity

5 Aug

Cardio…can be beyond boring.. running on a treadmill staring at a wall is not my idea of a fun workout and lately I’m all about circuits.. circuits and more circuits. They keep my body guessing and lifting weights will not make you big and manly ladies! I repeat will NOT make you big and manly.  Ever since I started weight training with light to moderate weights I have seen a significant difference in the way I look and feel.  Joining a gym, using expensive machines, lifting heavy weights is what people typically think strength training is all about..WRONG. A good workout can include pushups, jump squats, lunges, mountain climbers etc.  More calories are used to make and maintain muscle than fat, and  strength training can boost your metabolism by 15 percent..that can really jump start a weight loss plan.

6 Reasons to Add Strength Training to Your Workout Plan

1. Strength training protects bone health and muscle mass.

2. Strength training makes you stronger and fitter.

3. Strength training helps you develop better body mechanics.

4. Strength training plays a role in disease prevention.

5. Strength training boosts energy levels and improves your mood.

6. Strength training translates to more calories burned.

Yes..I have little baby muscles but I like it that way. I know I will never be a female body builder nor would I ever want to look like one.  So for me this is just about right.. Mom and sis are observing in the background if you didn’t take notice 😉

Before I left for vacation I needed  a fast, simple, clean breakfast…like this one.  Yeah it doesn’t look very pretty but it was actually pretty delicious and only 150 calories..I kept it small because I knew I would be indulging later on that day. So here goes…

Ingredients 

  • 1 slice of ezekiel bread
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp sugarfree strawberry jam
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Toast the ezekiel bread
  2. Top with chias and jam
  3. Crack 3 egg whites into a bowl
  4. Add coconut milk and cinnamon and beat well
  5. Microwave on high for about 2-3 minutes
  6. Top it with calorie free syrup and TA DA!

150 calories of fiber, protein and carbs for a quick..healthy breakfast