Archive for Product Review

Galaxy Granola, Green Monsters, and other-GOOD-eats, OH MY!

Have you heard of Galaxy Granola?  Their Fruit-Not-Fat product line seems to be sweeping the blogosphere lately and I was sent 3 generously large samples to review from Tristan.

The Fruit-Not-Fat concept is simple enough:  using whole fruit instead of oils in their granola to eliminate unnecessary fats.  

Their granola boasts:

  • NO artificial ingredients
  • NO oil (fruit instead!!)
  • No corn syrup (AMEN!)
  • No processed sugar

I was sent the Vanilla Almond, Cranberry Orange, and Not Sweet Vanilla.

All this granola is so overwhelming!!  Thus far, I’ve opened the Vanilla Almond to try first (I love GRANOLA and ALMONDS so this seems “parfait” for me =] )

The verdict?????  Well, plain by itself- this granola was AMAZING!  Great flavors, texture..etc  However, I really wasn’t a fan of it on top of my beloved greek yogurt.  It didn’t complement the yogurt as well as other granolas (Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax granola) and it just didn’t float my boat.

Alone, with banana slices or dried fruit, supurb great granola.  But on top of yogurt, not so much.  This granola would probably be a great topping for SIAB (smoothies in a bowl) or warm oats as well.

I love the concept, love the ingredients, love the flavor of the plain granola, but some old habits are just hard to break.

Stay tuned for when I try the other flavors, too!

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You might have noticed that I’ve been missing these last few days.  Well, I’ve been a SICKO!

In order to blast this sickness away I’ve been making myself some mean green monsters.   

Check this one out that I made:

  • 1 packet Amazing Grass Berry superfood
  • 1 packet Amazing Grass Wheat Grass packet
  • 1 bananer
  • 2-3 cups spinach
  • frozen strawberries & pineapple
  • 3/4 cup coconut water (mango flavor)

I also had a bit leftover that I stored in the fridge to share this morning with my Pumpkin Banana Overnight Oaters

  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 1/4 cup water (sucks up all of the water)
  • 3/4 cup Fage (1/2 cup in mixture, 1/4 cup on top as whipped cream)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp agave
  • 1 bananer sliced thick
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats

DELICIOUS!  I love everything pumpkin and these oats were thick and creamy– the lack of almond milk makes it SO thick, which I love.

I had a peanut butter larabar, 2 apples and banana as a small lunch/snack.

Whenever I’m sick I always want very very salty soup.  So, as an early dinner (because of my smaller lunch/snack)  I combined:

  • 1 cup of cabbage
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • lots of celery (i would guess 1 cup)
  • lots of zucchini (would also guess 1 cup)
  • 1 packet of miso soup mix
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • a couple small spoonfuls of vegeta to add more flavor
  • 1 & 1/2 cup water

I boiled this for 20 – 25 minutes and it was very tasty and hit the spot.

When I’m sick, I also love drinking herbal teas because they make me feel better.  Whether they have any medicinal benefits or its just all in my head, I don’t know. But- I know that whatever makes me feel better is good & so I keep on drinking ’em 🙂

Traditional Medicinals Organic Echinacea Plus & Throat Coat teas WORK WONDERS.

What is your routine when you’re sick/feeling under the weather??  I usually eat lots of soup, drink lots of teas, and overdose on vitamins & supplements..

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This weekend was my Mom’s 50th Birthday Party.  We had great catering and a delicious cake from this amazing *Polish* Chicago bakery.  So here’s some “food porn”….

I had a plate consisting of: roasted zucchini & squash, spinach & cheese ravioli, monk fish medallion, a bit of salad.

& of course I had a large slice of cake that had a tiramisu filling.  YUM.  & several glasses of chardonnay, too.

Here’s a pic of my dad & his 4 daughters, from the left: my younger sister Melissa (19), Dad (63), ME (21), oldest Margaret( 39), second oldest Yvonne (37)

Do you freak out about party foods & drinks or let yourself indulge a little?  How do you cope with situations like these?  I let myself eat what I feel like eating and don’t deprive myself of treats like cake or fattening foods because special occasions call for exceptions, in my opinion.


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Blue Mountain Organics: The Raw Bakery “Coco Joy” Product Review

Last week when I was on vacation, Serena from Blue Mountain Organics sent me a sample of Coco Joy, a product from The Raw Bakery, one of their product lines.

From their website:

Blue Mountain Organics is a mission-focused company, founded to demonstrate the holistic and symbiotic relationship between people, food, and environment and between worker and business. We accomplish these goals by bringing to the public the most deliciously raw and pure organic products sourced from the most fair and conscious providers. We commit to working towards a more harmonious and sustainable world. We exist to demonstrate that business is naturally moving beyond being destructive, and even beyond sustainability, to serving as a regenerative force on earth.

Blue Mountain Organics is a dynamic and innovative team that lives to promote the well-being of our bodies and our beautiful planet by offering healthy, organic and delicious food products at competitive prices.

We strongly believe in using and supporting organic agriculture as it is the only sustainable way to grow food for generations without depleting and toxifying the environment. Also, by being nutrient rich, organic foods foster healthy bodies. Sourcing and providing organic foods is fundamental to our mission as a company.

Blue Mountain Organics views eating raw foods, exposed only to heat below 118°F, as part of a healthy lifestyle. We have researched the foods we carry and the processes by which they are obtained and/or extracted. We believe that you can taste and feel the difference raw foods make.

& also:

The Raw Bakery™ produces a full line of organically delicious low-temperature dehydrated sweet and savory superfood treats. We use ingredients from our Better Than Roasted™ line, offering a raw, wholesome alternative to traditional bakery products.  

All of The Raw Bakery’s whole nuts, seeds, and grains have gone through the Better Than Roasted™ process, which means they have been soaked, sprouted, and dehydrated. Sprouted nuts and seeds are easier to digest because our process removes phytates, which have been found to inhibit digestion.

The Better Than Roasted sprouting process also increases the bioavailability of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in our nuts and seeds.

The Raw Bakery is excited to offer a purely satisfying alternative to baked goods. Try some of our delicious raw treats. We are confident that you will enjoy them as much as we do!

In addition, all of The Raw Bakery products are:

  1. • Raw & Vegan
  2. • Premium, Quality Ingredients
  3. • Sweetened with Agave Nectar
  4. • Dairy and Soy Free, Non-GMO
  5. • USDA Certified Organic
  6. • Certified Kosher
  7. • Sprouted Superfoods
  8. • Made to Order in Small Batches

How awesome is that?!

If you’re a coconut lover, as I tend to be, you’ll LOVE this item!  It had a great chewy filling texture that had a strong coconut/nutty taste and the chocolate outside complemented it well.

Although a bit calorie dense (if you can’t read that picture, it’s 240 calories, 15 g fat, 5 g protein), this was a very filling, tasty & sweet snack.

But- the only ingredients were: Cashews, Agave, Coconut, Cacao, Golden Flax, and Vanilla.  How simple and great! 

Taste:  8.5/10

Company & Values: 10/10

Ingredients/Nutrition: 9/10

Overall?  A great company that features tasty products with wholesome ingredients.  Steer clear of this particular one if you hate coconut but if you love coconut, this is the tasty treat for you!!


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Kopali Organics Product Review!

Yesterday I received a package from Norman from Kopali Organics!

Kopali Organics is a great company devoted to organic, wholesome foods and supporting sustainable farmers and fair trade.  Here is a snippet from their website:

We founded Kopali Organics while living and farming on our off-the-grid educational farm and sustainability center in the rainforest of Costa Rica. In the face of unrelenting pressure to farm cheaply, organic local farmers, our neighbors and friends, were being driven out of business and off of their lands, and being replaced by large-scale chemically-intensive industrial farms. Our goal was to support organic family farmers and their communities by connecting them with the growing market of people who care about the quality of the food they eat, as well as the environmental and social conditions under which it is grown, produced and traded. And today we directly supports hundreds of sustainable farmers and their communities in nearly a dozen countries around the world. We are also well on our way to delighting, nourishing and inspiring millions as they become part of a healthier, more sustainable and more compassionate world.

 Their products are dried fruits and chocolate covered treats and come in the following varieties:

Dried Mango, Dried Pineapple, Dried Mulberries, Dried Goldenberries, Superfood Mix (Goji Berries, Mulberries, Pistachios and Cacao Nibs), Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs, Chocolate Covered Goji Berries, Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, Chocolate Covered Banana, Chocolate Covered Mulberries

I was send the Dried Mango and Chocolate Covered Banana:

The verdict?!

  • Dried Mango– It was very good-  sweet but not too sweet and they had a very good flavor.  The texture was appealing and the portion size was adequate as well.  I ate it as an in between classes snack and it was a nice, portable, non-messy snack.  It would also taste great on top of greek yogurt or some oatmeal! 
  • Chocolate Covered Banana– whoa, definitely was surprised by this one!  I never was much of a fan of dried banana but this was divine.  It was a perfect dessert and would be a nice fro-yo topping or an oatmeal topping (the meltage in hot oatmeal would do wonders).  The banana chocolate combo was very tasty.  The portion size was listed as half a bag and I had a hard time believing anyone could eat just half of it.  Their other chocolate covered varieties some delicious, especially the goji berries and chocolate covered cacao bits!

 

I was up at the crack of dawn (5:30 am EEEEEK) writing a paper that I was too tired to write last night, here’s a glimpse of my breakfast:

Overnight oats with CHHHHHIA SEEDS (yes I finally got them and they’re amazingly delicious and very filling) in a large Fage container!

I was also accepted into my school’s Mortar Board Senior Honor Society today 🙂  They come in and announce it in one of your classes and I was really caught off guard because I thought I hadn’t been accepted.  (A student in one of my classes yesterday was recognized as an accepted member and so I assumed I wasn’t accepted)  Nope, I had to go up in the front of the class and my prof took a picture of me, workout sweats on and all!

Well, I’ve got lots of studying to do for midterms this week before I leave for vacation.  Here’s what I’ll be studying tonight:

  • North American Archaeology for an essay midterm tomorrow (eeeeeeeeek!  😦 )
  • & preparing to study for my Insular SEAsia Cultures essay midterm on Thursday, is it Friday yet??

Questions:

Do you find yourself procrastinating often?  I am an avid procrastinator and wish I could kick the habit!

How do you cope with procastination? I try to get things done early but somehow often end up waiting until the last minute.  I try to limit myself from distracting things such as: the internet, tv, people….etc

How do you procrastinate? aka, what do you DO to avoid being productive?? 😉         Anything & everything.. facebook definitely is a part of it!

 

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My Running Shoes & Larabar Product Reviews

I promised pictures of my running gear, which really is my shoes because I can wear any workout clothes and run:

These babies are Nike+ Lady Triax 12 & my second pair of ’em!

See those PINK SOLES inside?  Those are my Superfeet inserts!  They work wonders with my feet & I recommend checking them out at your local running store.

All this talk of barefoot running has me quite intrigued!!  I need to read “Born to Run,” which is next on my list after “The Omnivore’s Dillemna” (which I am currently reading)

What shoes do you run in?  Are you a barefoot runner- what made you decide to change from shoes to solely (heh) feet??

Now… ON TO THE LARABARS!

I discovered Larabars at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon expo & have been mildly obsessed ever since..

Those ones in the picture are the flavors I currently have in my pantry.  Jealous? 🙂

I haven’t tasted a bar I haven’t liked.  They are made or 3 -5 ingredients and consist of a date base with nuts and dried fruits (sometimes one or two spices) added in for the flavor.

Because I have nothing negative to say about them, I’m going to list them in the order of their tastiness, with ONE being the best!

  1. Peanut Butter & Jelly
  2. Peanut Butter Cookie
  3. Key Lime Pie
  4. Pecan Pie
  5. Lemon Bar
  6. Apple Pie
  7. Cherry Pie
  8. Cinnamon Roll
  9. Cashew Cookie

Those are all the ones that I’ve tasted and while they ALL TASTE AMAZING, some clearly taste better than others.

Alright, I’ve got a Spanish midterm tomorrow and an Archaeology Regional Culture (Cajamarca in the Andes) project due tomorrow morning so I better get to it!!

All this talking of pies from reviewing Larabars has got me thinking about pie— what’s your favorite pie??  My favorite is a tie between Pumpkin and Key Lime… nom nom nom..

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Powerbar Gel Review

This weekend I had an 11 mile run in training for a half marathon I have in a couple weeks.  When I ran my first marathon I was very unprepared as far as hydration goes-  I hadn’t used any gels or sportsdrinks in my training and “winged” it during the race.  Fortunately, my stomach was not bothered by these foreign ingredients and since then I vowed to run my long runs as I would a race.. with proper hydration and refueling.

The gels I’ve used before during a marathon were GU energy gels.  I liked them a lot but know that there are MANY other alternatives out there so I decided to try some others. 

The first ones on my list are Powerbar Gels. 

This is mainly because I think power bars in every form are delicious.  They chewy goopy bars taste similar to candy bars, and with the huge sweet tooth I have, what’s not to love?!

Another good thing about Powerbar products is that they are found in nearly every grocery store, convenience store, gas station store, running store, health foods store, sporting goods store…etc  They are probably the most widely known sports product, except for maybe gatorade. 

Luckily, my local grocery store carried Powerbar Gels in the nutrition section of the store and I decided to try out the Chocolate flavor, the only other flavors they offered were fruity and for some reason I prefer my gels to taste like those fudge packets that came with the dessert Lunchables for sake of nostalgia:

Don’t worry, I won’t be reviewing those anytime soon.  I don’t even want to look at the ingredients list on those babies..

But, moving on, I decided Chocolate would be a good flavor to review because I also love GU chocolate gels.

As it was 20 degrees outside, I ran on the treadmill at the Gym.  With a goal of 11 miles I decided to run 6 miles and then mentally decide whether I needed the gels.  Running more than 6 miles on a treadmill is incredibly difficult mentally and so I needed the gels to be able to get through my run mentally.  I ate half of it after mile 6.  It was very thick.  It had a good flavor, thick and chocolatey, a little on the sweet side for my tastes.  After gulping down some water it kicked in and I felt reenergized for about 15 minutes.  Then I took the rest of it and it took me through the rest of my run.

On terms of flavor I would grade it a 3/5, and on terms of results I would also say a 3/5. 

It didn’t live up to GU gels, but a suitable alternative if you are uanble to get GU’s.

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Oikos Greek Yogurt Review!

Today in the mail I received coupons for Stonyfield Oikos Greek Yogurt from Kristina!  They came in the mail with a personalized letter! 

Obviously once I got the coupons I couldn’t stand the excitement from trying this new product, so I went to my closest grocery store only to find that they were sold out of all but the plain 5.3 ounce cups.  This was fine by me since I prefer plain yogurt, but I’ll have to make another trip for some of the flavors I’m dying to try:  honey, blueberry, caramel, chocolate!

The consistency was so thick and creamy and 0% fat? Definitely does not taste like 0% fat! From first bite it was sweet and creamy, not sour or bitter/tangy like some plain yogurt can be. For comparison, it wasn’t as thick as Fage 0% but was sweeter and didn’t have that tanginess that Fage has.

I loved this message on the foil top, how cute! “It tasted like the food of the gods”

Look how creamy!

Of course I had to add some granola in (or I wouldn’t be living up to my username!)

Oikos Plain had a good, thick consistency and sweet flavor. 0% fat, 15 g protein, and 80 calories for a 5.3 ounce serving is pretty appealing! However, because it is an organic product it is pretty expensive. A 5.3 ounce cup is 1.99, which is twenty cents more than Fage (1.79 a cup)

Have you tried Oikos Greek Yogurt? What’s your favorite flavor? Any suggestions for a flavor I should try next?

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