Product Review: Wild Friends Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter

Today while shopping for a client I stumbled upon this pretty packaging.  I like peanut butter, I love coconut and I LOVE chocolate so I bought it.

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I spend a lot of time in grocery stores.  Honestly,  I probably visit Harris Teeter, Trader Joes, Whole Foods and Safeway once a week.   As a bit of a health food whore, I get excited by Non GMO & USDA Organic stamps on packaging pretty packaging.

Today we are talking about Wild Friends brand Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter.  First of all, it tastes like heaven without out all the added sugar.  The ingredients are simple and natural: Peanuts, Coconut,  Organic Agave, Unsweetened Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt.  I bet your mouth is watering.  You will find only 5 grams of sugar in a serving compared to Nutella’s 21 grams.  The taste is natural and rich.  It is the savory kind of sweet that I crave.

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We are talking gluten free, dairy free, vegan, Kosher and Non GMO.  Peanuts generally pack a fair amount of GMOs.

The protein content comes in at 6 grams, which is pretty dang good for what I would consider a dessert.  Nutella only has 2 grams of protein.   The nutrition facts are pretty comparable to an organic peanut butter.  You will notice there is a slightly higher saturated fat in Wild Friends.   That is due to the coconut.  Coconut is high in saturated fat but it is one of those healthy fats our bodies thrive on.

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So would I buy this product again? ABSOLUTELY.  I will probably have to buy it soon because I don’t think this jar is going to last all too long.  Five Stars.  I would give it six but I only have five to give.

Cheers!

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Yoga Review: Yogadownload.com

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If you fall into any of the below categories, you will LOVE YOGA DOWNLOAD

  • A yogi with a busy schedule
  • A yogi on a budget
  • A yogi who travels
  • A yogi without a worthwhile studio nearby
  • Love to sweat
  • Need a deep stretch
  • A runner
  • A beginner
  • Enjoy Pilates

I discovered Yoga Download through Groupon a little over one month ago and have been practicing through the site 2-4 days/week ever since.  The site is stocked with hundreds of yoga classes and even Pilates, cycling, kick boxing, dance and running classes.  They even have yoga with weights!  My Groupon gave me the “Yearly Elite” package which allows me to stream and download unlimited videos for one year.  The regular price for this pass is $90 annually.  While this sounds steep, it is going to cost you $7.50/month if you break it down.  That is the cost of one [cheap] brunch cocktail per week.  You can also chose to pay for 1, 3 or 6 months at a time, click here.

It’s easy to find the type of class that will serve you on any particular day.  You can search through classes via your objective (detox, sweat, weight loss, recover, etc); focus (yoga for athletes, morning yoga, yoga for seniors, etc); body part; pose type (arm balances, twists, sun salutations, back bends, etc); featured channels and through studios/brand.  You can also locate classes by scrolling through the various yoga styles as well.

Each video comes equip with a description, preview and reviews you can study before deciding to stream/download.  I love having the ability to read customer reviews.  There is nothing worse than getting half way through a class and realizing it is not challenging enough or too advanced for your practice.

The ability to download a class to your own device means you can practice yoga anywhere (with or without WiFi)  as you travel for work or leisure. 

I use the site to sweat, stretch, detox, meditate and wake up.  I have been able to find classes for all my yoga objectives and I have not had the need to repeat a class with so many options to chose from.  With a busy schedule, I am often squeezing classes in between clients and the ability to just open my lap top and step onto my mat allows me to flow much more often.

Yoga studios can be intimidating to beginners, I think this site is great for people who want to try yoga without committing to the prices of a studio they may not even like.  In addition, a site like Yoga Download allows you to hand pick your classes to fit your instructor and style preference.  I absolutely love the experience of visiting my local yoga studio, but I am usually with clients the during the time slots I enjoy.  In addition, studios are expensive. One year of yoga download would not cover the cost of a monthly membership at your average yoga studio.  So if you practice regularly, you cannot go wrong purchasing this service.

In addition to personally using the site, I have had clients and friends purchase the service in the past month after my recommendation.  The site is a value and worth every penny.

Choco Whey: The World’s Premium Whey Chocolate

 

milk__18159.1390364143.328.245A candy bar that delivers 9-11 grams of whey protein with no added sugar, it sounded too good to be true.  So of course, I had to try it. Luckily Defense Nutrition was able to facilitate my taste test by sending a sample.  I should have specified my chocolate preference.  I am a dark chocoholic.  Not to worry, there are several different variations of Choco Whey.    I tried the Cacao Nib Milk Chocolate and Whey bar. See the nutrition facts below:

ChocoWhey-CacaoNibs-Milk-Bar-1.5ozBefore we even talk about the nutrition facts, lets take a look at the ingredients.  NO SUGAR ADDED, NO SUGAR ALCOHOL, NO FRUCTOSE, NOTHING ARTIFICIAL . Did I mention it is GMO FREE? You cannot really beat that in a candy bar.  I also think calling this bar candy is a stretch.  It is nutritious and a great serving of Whey protein (9 g per bar), but if you are looking for the taste and melt in your mouth texture of a Hershey’s bar you will not get it with Choco Whey.  It tastes, well, healthy.  I think this particular bar tastes just like their Chocolate Whey Protein Shake in solid form. It was pretty good with a smear of almond butter and a medjool date on top.  According to Defense Nutrition, it outperforms your everyday protein bar and is made without syrups (sugar, fructose, sugar alcohol, agave, rice, malt, etc.), which is always a plus!

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If you have read my blog before, you know I do not look at calories or fat when assessing a natural product’s nutritional label.  I go straight to the sugar, fiber and protein.  This product passes in all three categories! For a chocolate bar, this bar is super low in the sugar department.  Compared to a Nut Delight Kind Bar, this particular flavor packs three more grams of protein and and three more grams of fiber all while containing three grams less sugar.

The bar is full of antioxidants , great for muscle recovery and I am honestly dying to try some of the other flavors! When you purchase Choco Whey you can choose from Milk or Dark chocolate.  They also have a ChocoVegan bar. Milk and dark chocolate have the following varieties:

  • Plain
  • Cacao Nibs
  • Almond
  • Coffee
  • Macadamia
  • Super Crunch
  • The vegan chocolate is not available in Macadamia or Super Crunch

The nutrition facts change slightly for each variety of milk and dark chocolate bars.  Overall, the dark chocolate has less sugar and a little more fiber.  It looks like the Super Crunch variety packs the most protein coming in at 11 grams per bar.  The ChocoVegan bars have less than half the protein overall, ranging from 3-4 grams per bar.  I would recommend sticking to the ChocoWhey bars unless you are a vegan.  Go here to compare nutrition facts across flavor variates.

I would recommenced this product to active chocoholics looking for a way to get their fix and up their protein.  I love that all the artificial sweeteners and mystery syrups are left out and only quality products are put in.  The taste is much more natural and not super sweet like traditional candy bars. The Milk Chocolate Cacao Nibs bar had a bit of a nutty flavor. It was not sinfully delicious, but it tasted like all natural milk chocolate.  The cost definitely reflects the quality. A box of 12 chocolate bars costs you $47.90 with shipping included for those in the U.S ($3.99 per bar).  If you decide to purchase the bar individually, it is going to cost you $4.95 per bar.  Protein bars are typically $1-3.  I usually get kind Bars 4/$5 or Lara Bars 3/$5.  Perhaps with a little popularity and increased demand, the price will go down.  I DO want to try the dark chocolate.  If you have tasted it before let me know your thoughts!

Click here to purchase this product!

 

From the Farmer: DC’s Best Farmers’ Market Delivered

Doc1A couple of weeks ago one of my clients told me about a new service she had subscribed to which delivered fresh, local produce to her door step once a week.  As a rabbit with a busy schedule, I knew it was something I would have to try.  Not only is From The Farmer convenient and sustainable, but it reasonably priced!  I signed up to receive half a bushel per week, which cost me $35.   The delivery is dropped off on your front stoop between 12 am and 7 am.   This morning I was welcomed by a insulated bag full of delicious local produce as I stepped out for my morning run at 6:15 am.  Here is what I got in my delivery:

• Pink Lady and Fuji Apples
• Asparagus
• Bunched Beets with Tops
• Spinach
• Asian Mustard Mix
• Spring Scallions
• French Breakfast Radishes

The great news is, a half bushel is more than enough to get me through the week.  I will definitely have plenty of greens for salads, sautes and green smoothies.  I love that this service provides where each piece of produce comes from along with suggested recipes (in e-mail form).  This will definitely help me mix up my diet, pulling me from my kale and sweet potato rut.  Below is an example of the preview e-mail I received three days prior to the delivery.

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While you do not choose the produce you receive, you can go in and modify your order 48 hours prior to delivery. If there is an item you do not particularly like, swap it out for something else available.  I personally love the variety offered and the opportunity to mix up my diet.  The company delivers to the DC and Baltimore Metro areas.  I live in Reston and was excited to see they deliver to my neighborhood.  Below is a photo collage of my morning delivery:

image (3)I unzipped the bag to find it packed full of fragrant, colorful fruits and veggies.  Bright pink radishes, yellow and red apples, deep burgundy beets and vibrant greens!  If you don’t need a delivery, there is no charge to you to skip a week.  You are billed at the end of each month after all your deliveries are tallied.  There is no fee to join or to cut off the deliveries.  This is a commitment free way to try a new avenue for receiving your weekly produce. It doesn’t hurt that the produce you receive is local and much more nutrient dense than anything you will find at a supermarket.

If you are in the DC or Baltimore area, sign up to receive your produce basket.  If you have a family to feed, order a bushel or two! You can even throw in a loaf of bread.

http://fromthefarmerdc.com/

From the Farmer LLC is a weekly farm-to-consumer delivery company with an emphasis on fresh, high-quality, local produce and an added dedication to connecting farmers with their consumers.

Product Review: DOD Fitness

The fitness industry is booming, and with that we are seeing all kinds of new products come to market.  It’s hard to stay up to date on what is out there.  Luckily, I have a really great contact at 411 Video Info to keep me in the loop!  Today I am going to be reviewing a fairly new product line from DOD Fitness.  The goal of these products is to make exercise easy and comfortable for everyone.  Currently there are three product types that help eliminate pain many people experience in everyday exercises.

First I want to talk about the wrist wedges.  These are designed for people who experience wrist pain while performing body weight exercises on the hands.  I have seen this issue first hand in yoga class.  Not everyone has the wrist strength to remain in poses that require the wrist to bed back 90 degrees, and holding a pose past your threshold could result in a strain.  I personally have no use for this product, but I know that there is a large demographic who does.  I would say about 50% of my peers in yoga class could benefit from this product while flowing through a standard sun salutation (poses like Downward Facing Dog, Upward Facing dog, Chaturanga, and Plank Pose).   This product has the potential to increase the effectiveness of a beginner’s yoga practice by reducing the wrist strain during basic flow or long holds.

The knee donuts are what I found to be the most useful product for me.  I had Osgood-Schlatter in my knees as an adolescent and still have a knobby area of bone growth that can be painful when combining pressure with hard surfaces.  It is not shooting, just unpleasant.  I used the knee donuts while performing Modified Kettlebell Pushups on one knee  (an Amy Dixon move).   The knee donuts allowed me to perform a max amount of reps in one minute because it eliminated my normal pain by cushioning my knees.  I am also currently getting over an injury to my meniscus and the donuts not only eliminated any pain, but also the anxiety that I may tweak the same injury again.   The knee donuts are great for any exercises that require you to be in a tabletop position as well, which could benefit anyone who practices Pilates with knee pain.  I could even see myself using the donuts while cleaning my bathrooms or gardening, since I tend to be kneeling for long periods of time.

Last we have the neck circle.  This product I personally found little use for.  The intention is good, the circle keeps your head in a neutral position while performing exercises on your back, thus reducing tension.   I feel the demographics for this product would be physical therapists, senior citizens and individuals with a muscular imbalance that causes neck strain.  I do believe I will come across a client who will need this product, but not nearly as often as the wrist wedges and knee donuts.  I am constantly hearing gripes of knee pain and wrist strain getting in the way of exercises, but neck pain is often linked to a postural issue or muscular imbalance I would look to correct as a personal trainer.

If you are interested in learning more about DOD Fitness or purchasing their products, visit there website here.