The Scoop on Healthy Skoop Powders

Product Review: Healthy Skoop Powders

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I feel like the hunt for the perfect protein powder is ongoing.  I certainly have my go to whey and plant based powders, but I love to experiment with new brands.  If you follow my posts you probably have seen my favorite whey powder, Warrior Whey by Defense Nutrition.  When it comes to plant based protein powder my current favorite is Phood by Plant Fusion.

That being said, I have never tried a greens mix, which is something that Skoop offers.  Skoop sells powders for different nutrition goals, but advertises the product lines as an all encompassing package. While for the most part I consume plenty of greens and antioxidants, there are days where many of my meals are on the go.  I was grateful when Skoop offered to send me a generous sample package.  I hope you enjoy my review!

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Skoop a variety of powders: A GAME, B STRONG & B LOVELY.  All three powders are gluten-free and GMO-free.

Skoop A Game Is a powder you can wake up with. Phytonutrients, micronutrients, and adaptogens are said to help increase your energy level.  Since I don’t drink coffee I saw this as a great early  morning option.  The contents of A Game allow you to start your day with fiber and probiotics.  In my mind A Game stands up against my usual powders with its ORAC equivalent of 10 servings of fruits and veggies. Some days I am on the go all day. The ability to get my greens and antioxidants with just a shaker and some cold water is a huge plus. There are two A Game flavors, Chocofresh and Supergreens.  I have been shaking both with just cold water, but also adding them to my smoothies. I add Chocofresh to my chocolate protein powder along with a frozen banana, almond milk and chia seeds.  I add the Supergreens powder to my green smoothie.

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Overall, I liked having A game as part of my regimen.  I did feel a bit more energized when I included the powder in my first meal of the day.  The flavor took a little getting used to, its a bit bold.  I was adjusted to the taste by day five.  A Game is 50 calories per scoop and only 2 grams of sugar.

B Strong is the Protein powder.  It is plant based, soy-free and dairy-free as well as gluten-free and GMO-free.  The great thing about B Strong is it’s prebiotic fibers that assist your gut in breaking down and absorbing the protein.  This will allow you to use the 16 grams of protein and additional fatty acids to build muscle and recover quickly.

I tried the vanilla powder, which makes it harder for me to compare because I usually go with chocolate protein powder.  I do feel that my Warrior Whey is a bit smoother, but it is also whey protein.  There could be a compromise due to the extra prebiotics and antioxidants in Skoop.   If you are looking for a clean plant based protein powder I would certainly recommend Skoop.

Last, we have B Lovely.  This is actually a skincare product you consume.   B Lovely contains natural herbs, antioxidants and fiber.  You can help combat oxidative stress, repair damaged collagen and promote circulation with just 20 calories of this powder.  I cannot tell you if it works, I only tried the powder twice, but I can tell you how it tastes.  I was not a fan.  I am a tea drinker, so when I added the powder to my warm water I was expecting it to taste like a floral tea, I am sure it I could hide the taste in a smoothie or protein shake, but I only need one shake a day.

Overall, I found Skoop powders to be clean and easy to digest.  I suffer from a lot of stomach and GI issues, and I am easily irritated by many powders.  I had absolutely no issues with Skoop.

 

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Super-Gut-Food Almond Butter

I have been dealing with Leaky Gut Syndrome for a while now, but my flare ups have become irregular and almost obsolete.  In fact, my gut has been fairly healthy in the past year and a half.  However, this past Monday I was completely blind sided by the side effects of this crap syndrome.  So for a few days I was consuming mostly liquids (coconut milk, kombucha, hot tea, and lots of water).  I eased my way to coconut milk yogurt, sauerkraut and mashed up bananas.  My stomach was inflamed and my energy level was insanely low due to a calorie deficit.

So now I am on a mission to repair my intestinal lining and get back to a healthy gut.  My diet for the next 2-4 weeks is going be restrictive, more or less Paleo with some extra rules.  I cannot eat soy, sugar, legumes, dairy, night shade vegetables, grains or anything processed by any means. Last night I had a dream I was eating Chinese food. I don’t even like Chinese food.  I have been Gluten Free for almost seven years and I remember in the first year I would have dreams I was eating sandwiches all the time.

It is not complete torment, I still get to eat most of the things I love.  I will be consuming lots of coconut products like coconut milk, coconut milk yogurt, coconut oil and coconut butter.  Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi are great for gut health and I do love an excuse to splurge on kombucha.  I will be attempting my first bone broth this weekend which is supposedly deeeelish, I just hope I can find some chicken feet.  Another great food group for gut health is sprouted seeds (like flax seed, chia seed and hemp seeds).  Which brings me to my creation this morning.

Super Gut healthy Almond Butter

  • 2 tablespoons of Almond Butter ( I use Trader Joe’s Unsalted Crunchy)
  • 1 teaspoon of Chia Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of Ground Flax Seed
  • 1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil

Mix them all together and enjoy! I spread mine on apple slices for a mid morning snack.  This is a very filling spread so you might not need to eat the whole two tablespoons in one sitting, but it’s so good I cannot help but lick the bowl clean.

Taste of Summer Salad

This is the easiest salad you will ever make and the Lemon Dijon dressing is even easier. The key to making this salad delicious is choosing quality ingredients.  Vegetables taste better when the are fresh, bottom line.  So hit up … Continue reading

Sleeping Late & Dessert for Breakfast

Monday sucks.  It’s painful for almost everyone.  Today I attempted to keep my bad mood under control by making two decisions last night. 

  1. I turned my 5:30 alarm off and I slept until 7:30
  2. I prepped a magically decadent breakfast

Monday Fuel

I typically wake up around 5:30-6:00 on Monday mornings to workout, but as I climbed into bed last night I realized how sore I felt from that morning’s weight lifting session.  It has been a crazy couple weeks with new clients and a new workout regimen so I am stepping out of my routine for some rest.  Wow, 9 hours of sleep has me feeling like a new woman.  Sleep is the new cardio. 

When I went to prep my breakfast last night I realized there was only about half a serving of yogurt left, so I improvised and made the most decadent breakfast of my life.  It was like eating peanut butter pie for breakfast, but better, because it was filling fuel not empty calories. 

I zoomed to the office this morning so excited to dig into my breakfast jar.  Catching up on emails is so much more fun when you are shoveling delicious food down your throat. 

Here is what went into my morning jar: 

I mix all the ingredients together and let the jar sit in the refrigerator over night.  This allows the flavors to really soak into the yogurt.  The chia seeds expand into gelatinous fibrous omega-3 fatty acid sprinkles. 

This recipe is full of healthy fats and 19 grams of protein to keep you full and satisfied until lunch! There is no added sugar (or artificial sugar), so you wont crash like you will with a bowl of cereal.  I even counted calories for all you number crunchers and with my portions it was 380 calories.  That is one gram of protein for every 20 calories.  Vegetarians rejoice!

Give it a whirl or make your own version, it will make your regimented morning a tad more exciting.  Report back!

Be Prepared Not Hungry

I love the ease of meal prepping.  It keeps me (and my clients) from eating out during the busy work week and and controls our portion sizes.

1/2 Banana, 1/4 cup blueberries, about 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 Tbsp raisins, 2 Tbsp KIND quinoa granola

1/2 Banana, 1/4 cup blueberries, about 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 Tbsp raisins, 2 Tbsp KIND quinoa granola

I don’t love eating the exact same breakfast, lunch and dinner for 5 days straight.  I also don’t like when food tastes/looks like leftovers.  Many meal preps are done on Sunday for the whole week, which I do on my super busy weeks. I prefer to break up my personal prepping, this keeps ingredients fresh and exciting. 

For example, I will prep my breakfast for Monday and Tuesday on Sunday night and repeat with slightly different ingredients on Wednesday night for Thursday and Friday.  On Wednesday I have enough time in the morning to make my breakfast at home, so I will cook up an egg scramble or something more labor intensive.  Eating healthy  and clean is satisfying when you are using fresh, flavorful and interesting ingredients. 

When it comes to my yogurt jars I have a couple staple ingredients: plain Greek yogurt (I like FAGE) & half a banana.  I rotate the other add ins to avoid meal boredom.  I will usually pick two from the following list to spice up my breakfast jar: 

  • Chia seeds
  • KIND’s quinoa granola
  • Gluten free rolled oats
  • Berries
  • Raisins
  • Apple slices
  • Coconut flakes
  • Cinnamon
  • Raw unsalted almonds
  • Raw unsalted walnuts
  • Almond Butter (Raw Unsalted Chunky)
  • Peanut Butter Powder
  • Whatever fun fruit I receive in my farm basket 🙂

This week my farm basket included blueberries, so into the jar they go! The photo above is from my Wednesday night meal prep.  The size of my breakfast jars vary slightly to accommodate my appetite.  If I know I have a later lunch or I am particularly starving, I will grab a larger portion. 

I like to fill my morning with healthy fats and protein like yogurt, nuts, chia and quinoa granola.  The fruit adds antioxidants, fiber and flavor. On Wednesdays and weekends I do eggs with lots of greens because I have the time.  Breakfast sets the tempo for your day, so start your day with something clean and satisfying.

I share this with you all because I am very passionate about making healthy food appealing to my clients.  I love taking over kitchens to prove how easy healthy eating can be.  Losing weight is not just about what you eat, but when you eat! Going hungry is no way to treat your metabolism.  If you are interested in a meal prep lesson feel free to contact me directly or through the Storm Fitness website.  Just mention Broke Girl Fitness or me (Gen) in your online contact. 

If you are wondering about my lunch and dinner meal preps, stay tuned for a post in the future 🙂

Avocado Protein Pops

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A Popsicle just screams summer to me.  Like everyone else, I grew up downing Freeze-E pops and chasing the ice cream truck.  Today there are tons of healthy pops you can find in the grocery store that do not contain high fructose corn syrup or unnatural dyes.  It can still be a little more fun to make your own sweat treat.  I wonder how well muscle milk freezes? Tehe

A friend sent me this link via Facebook for an Avocado-Lime pop last week.  I doctored it up and improvised with ingredients I already had at home.  Here are the ingredients I used:

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Throw all your ingredients in a blender and run until smooth
  2. Pour into a Popsicle mold and store in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours
Look at that green creamy goodness

Look at that green creamy goodness

I tried a pop after a very very hot and humid run with my good pal Amanda Bacon, who’s mom actually supplied the recipe.  What would I do without Bacon women?It’s creamy, delicious and actually pretty filling. It tied me over until my dinner date at 8:00 pm.  The healthy fats in the almond milk and avocado keep you satiated while the whey protein feeds your muscles after a hard workout.  The potassium in the banana helps prevent cramping and adds sweetness. Every part of this recipe (my version)  is wholesome and natural.  The original recipe I referenced uses Stevia, which is a processed zero calorie sweetener that is advertised as all natural.  However, Stevia is only all natural when you extract  oil straight from the Stevia plant.  The granulated Stevia you buy in the store has been spliced and processed to create another zero calorie product, which is why I added the banana for sweetness and omitted the Stevia.

As for the protein powder, I would have used vanilla if I had it. But I only had chocolate and a few samples of Warrior Whey’s special flavors, one of which was green tea.  I will definitely make a variation of this Popsicle in the near future, or as soon as I finish all my Avocado Pops.

Have a safe and fun 4th of July weekend!

Decadent Peanut Butter Oat Energy Bites

I am not kidding. These things are decadent.  I recently posted on powdered peanut butter and promised a recipe to follow.  Behold, deliciousness made from dehydrated peanuts and a few other clean ingredients! As always, this recipe is gluten free!

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The recipe makes 4 bites.  I had two after lunch…they took care of my sweet tooth.  I found the recipe on Betty Lou’s Inc.’s website  and made a few modifications.  The chocolate chunk was my touch.  It’s not dessert unless there is chocolate.  My philosophy: without chocolate, it’s breakfast.

Makes about 4 bites

  • ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp Organic Powdered Peanut Butter
  • 3 Tbsp gluten free quick rolled oats (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp water
  • ½ Tbsp organic honey
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 4 pieces of dark chocolate
  1. Mix Organic Powdered Peanut Butter and oats together in a small bowl.
  2. Add water, agave, and coconut oil and mix until well blended and consistency is like cookie dough.
  3. Roll into small balls.
  4. Chill for about 15 minutes to firm up, or eat immediately for softer truffles.
  5. Store in the refrigerator.

This takes about 5 minutes to whip up (dangerous).  I think I will be making these until I kill my jar of powder.  I ate them before refrigeration when they were soft and creamy like a peanut butter truffle. I am not very patient when a sweet tooth strikes.  Ask anyone who has ever eaten a meal with me, 30 seconds after my last bite I am hankering for chocolate.

Enjoy!

Product Review: Powdered Peanut Butter

NUTS. I love nuts.  Filling, satisfying, crunchy, whats not to love? Nut butter? I’m obsessed.  I often have a big spoon of almond butter and call it a snack or dessert.  It’s indulgent, delicious and satisfying.  I bitch and moan at Trader Joes when the Raw Unsalted Crunchy is out of stock.

Now with peanut butter, I’m a little picky.  Any “Jif like” product contains hydrogenated oils and has a weird filmy texture.  My dog loves it, but it’s not for me.  I do enjoy a good, all natural peanut butter from time to time–mostly in desserts 🙂

Nut butters are high in fat, which for me is a good and a bad thing.  I maintain a pretty plant based diet and sometimes I really need the fat in nuts to satiate my hunger and keep me satisfied.  However, I am a junkie for sweets, so any way to naturally reduce the fat and calories in my sweet treats is worth a try.

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Enter Powdered Peanut Butter.  I saw this product (Just Great Stuff  the Original Organic Powdered Peanut Butter) when I was picking up my dog’s peanut butter yesterday and bought it out of curiosity.  Just Great Stuff is Organic, Non GMO, Gluten Free, Corn Free and Low Glycemic–wohoooo! I also love the short and simple list of ingredients: Organic Peanuts, Organic Coconut Sugar, Sea Salt.

Powdered peanut butter is basically dehydrated peanuts with salt and sugar (sans oil).  This is why the powdered version has 90% less fat.  Since the majority of peanut butter’s calories come from fat, the powdered version has about a quarter of the calories.  A popular powdered brand on the market is PB2.  I saw this product but decided to spend the extra money for organic and GMO free.  Peanuts are a highly sprayed crop, so it is worth paying extra for organic and GMO free peanut products.

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So I mixed up one serving of powdered peanut butter (2 tablespoon dry) with one tablespoon of water to do a taste test after lunch yesterday.  Sadly, two tablespoons dry yields a little more than 1 tablespoon wet, so in reality I would double the calories and fat if you are looking for two tablespoons of creamy peanut butter. The taste is very similar, but the texture and mouth feel cannot compare to a nut butter with natural oil.  I do foresee myself using the powder in desserts, mixing it in my Greek yogurt and adding to protein shakes and smoothies.  I’ve even pondered mixing it with coconut oil for some healthy fat.  Stay tuned, there will be a powdered peanut butter concoction on the blog next week!

In addition to the lack of creamy mouth feel, you miss out on all the healthy fat that clean eaters need to stay energized! This society has a fear of fat, when the real culprit in  Americas’ diet is sugar.  The powdered version yields the same amount of sugar as creamy peanut butter (which is relatively low).   Powdered peanut butter has half the protein when compared to it’s creamy & oily counterpart, another reason to keep the real thing in your pantry.

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If you have not tried powdered peanut butter yet, i recommend giving it a whirl. If you have already added it into your recipe repertoire, tell me how you use it!

Delicious Gluten Free Quiche

quicheI love all things eggs, so when I came across this quiche recipe with a sweet potato crust I had to try it. Saturday night I summoned my partner in crime and the kitchen to help me test and taste.  It’s much more fun to cook when you are drinking wine with a pal while listening to “Buy U A Drank” radio. We have proven this over the past two years. This recipe was tested on a whim so we just used what we had.  Below is our spin on the quiche.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 5 spring onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of shredded garlic & herb grass fed cheddar

How to

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray/grease a casserole or pie dish with olive oil
  2. Thinly slice the sweet potatoes then place them at the bottom of the dish and around the edges, fill the gaps the best you can
  3. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. When finished reduce heat to 375 degrees
  4. While the crust is baking saute the garlic, spring onions, spinach and bell pepper for about 10 minutes. Set aside
  5. Whisk together eggs and mix in 3/4 of the cheese then set aside
  6. When the crust is out and the oven is reduced to 375 degrees, mix together the sauteed vegetables and egg mixture
  7. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for another 40 minutes
  8. Sprinkle your remaining cheese (and maybe some extra) on top. Don’t burn your tongue!

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Our quiche came out perfectly when cooked for 40 minutes.  We served the quiche with an ear of corn and roasted crispy asparagus. The sweet potato crust was way more flavorful than your basic quiche crust. It really made the dish.  The sweetness of the potatoes really balanced out the herb-y and savory egg mixture.  If you have left overs, it is still yummy the next day! Amanda heated her left overs up in the microwave the next day and I ate it cold, it’s tasty either way.  It’s really good with red wine, just try not to drink at breakfast.

This is a great post workout meal, especially if you are not much of a meat eater.  Eggs are packed with protein and amino acids, and you will stay full thanks to their omega 3-fatty acid content.  Did I mention all the vitamins found in yolks?  Give it a whirl, it’s cheap and easy!

In this recipe the spinach, asparagus and spring onion all came from From the Farmer Dc which you can learn more about on last week’s blog post! My grass fed cheddar cheese was picked up at Reston’s Smart Market.  If you have not been yet this year, I recommend you go.  They have a few new vendors (two of which who offer gluten free goodies) and the produce is great!

If you have an questions, leave a comment!

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!