Tuesday, March 17, 2015

MealEnders Review and giveaway

My habit is not gum, or smoking, it's my addiction to Lifesavers mints and Dr Pepper. I normally keep a ready stock of the mints with me everywhere. It's a bad habit to keep me from drinking soft drinks that doesn't always work.

So when Fit Approach gave some of us the opportunity to try MealEnders,  an appetite curbing lozenge, I was skeptical but definitely intrigued! I'm a snacker and if something could help me stop, then I was all for it. (Plus, it's slightly embarrassing having a 3 pound bag of Lifesavers mints around...)

The flavors for these are Citrus, Mocha, Chocolate Mint, and Cinnamon. What makes these different than the other products I've seen to curb cravings is that these are actually really satisfying! The outer layer is one of the above mentioned flavors (and even though I don't like citrus flavored things normally, this one is pretty good!) and the inside layer is more of a cooling mint flavor that makes your mouth just feel done with your meal, and diminishes the craving in almost the way toothpaste does.

Each packet contains 25 lozenges. The image below is of the cinnamon one, which I think tastes kinda like a snickerdoodle. I'm really sensitives to artificial sweeteners and was pleased to see none in these! Each piece is 15 calories, with 2 grams of sugar. I keep a handful in my purse for when I'm on the go and a Sonic milkshake is calling my name.

They have definitely helped me curbing my appetite. Instead of reaching for cookies, or stealing my son's granola bars when a chocolate craving hits, I grab one of these and it's gone. I also like these for after dinner to keep me from eating a second helping of something I really don't even want. 

Leave a comment below telling me why you'd like to try this out and one winner will get a chance to try out all 4 flavors! Or, tell me what flavor you think sounds the best. 

Soul Food Love cookbook

I'm learning to cook. I know how weird that sounds when I'm in my 30's but...yeah. I'm learning! Ha ha. So I've been eating up cookbooks to review when I can. First was SkinnyTaste, which was great and we found a few regulars in the book.

My boyfriend and I both grew up in the South; he in Kentucky, me primarily Texas and a few years in Georgia, so our food tastes are very random. He does love Soul Food though so when this book came up, I had to snatch it up!

The recipes are beautiful, easy to do, and don't require weird ingredients that I've never heard of and can't find in a regular grocery store. Though living in the hometown of Whole Foods, it's pretty easy to find special ingredients.

But what is most amazing about this book, is the long family history in the beginning of this family of women, their cooking, their impacts on their culture, their lives. The beautiful family pictures and stories of four generations of Black women were amazing.

The recipes, their whole purpose is to be a healthier version of Soul Food that are organized into the following categories:

Sips and Bites
Main Dishes
Sides and Salads
For a Crowd

For dinner, we decided to make the spicy hot chicken. I had never, ever, ever made a whole chicken before this. My version of a whole chicken was an already seasoned, and cooked, whole chicken from the grocery store deli. (We did add red pepper flakes because we are insane, and we cooked two chickens for this instance).

Super yummy with tons of flavor and perfectly crispy skin. All of us loved it, even the 12 year old. 

Granted, there were some that seemed repetitive, especially in the sips but the entrees and veggies were great! I have a few I plan on making, especially the broccoli with peanuts and raisins, and fiery green beans. Those are on the menu for this week.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

hyperbiotics probiotic review

As promised, here is the hyperbiotics probiotic review. I take a few medications, vitamins, and supplements to deal with my weird knee issue. So a probiotic becomes necessary for me so that my stomach doesn't hate me!

Per the Mayo Clinic:
Although more research is needed, there's encouraging evidence that probiotics may help:
  • Treat diarrhea, especially following treatment with certain antibiotics
  • Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections
  • Treat irritable bowel syndrome
  • Speed treatment of certain intestinal infections
  • Prevent or reduce the severity of colds and flu
My doctor did see this supplement and even agreed that it looked great and would be beneficial in taking in conjunction with my medication for my knee. A lot of medications do cause stomach irritation because they throw healthy bacteria out of whack. And if you are lactose intolerant, which is typically where you would get the healthy bacteria from, a probiotic is definitely beneficial! 

I haven't had any side effects when taking it. I did introduce both hyperbiotics products about two weeks apart so that I could see how they did separately and make sure one wasn't impacting the other. I now take them together without any ill effects. No weird after taste either!

It is one tablet a day, and below is a picture showing the size. I know a lot of people don't like to take huge vitamins, and this one isn't that large. They are also vegetarian, and gluten and lactose free, both pluses for people with food sensitivities. For more information, go to the hyperbiotics website for the probiotic here.  

Like the hyperbiotics immune formula, I was given this to try in exchange for my honest opinion per Brand Backer.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

hyperbiotics immune review

I was given the opportunity to try two products by hyperbiotics, the immune formula, and the probiotics. I'm going to start off with the immune formula. 

My immune system isn't great, due to my chronic pain issues, which leads to not sleeping much, which leads to getting sick easily. It's not fun. So I was really excited to try the immune formula. 

I normally get insane colds over the winter that last for weeks and so far this winter (knock on wood) I haven't been knocked down.

I definitely attribute that to this product. I was even in an office full of people with colds, hacking, coughing, fever. I was out one day with the cold and was fine. Normally when I get sick, the people around me are sick for a day or two and I'll be sick for a week or more. 

Size for one dosage compared to a quarter

This formula doesn't have a weird taste. It just has to be stored in a cool, dry place (I keep mine in the freezer). The recommended dosage is two pills once a day, or if you need intense support in the immune area (ahem), twice a day. It also didn't upset my stomach, or give me a headache like some others. 

I would definitely recommend this product, especially for those who are semi-immune compromised, or who are trying to avoid colds in sickness filled offices. For more information, visit their website here

This post was sponsored thanks to Brand Backer. I was given the product to try for a period of time and all opinions are my own. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Q&A a Day book

Super cute journal! It's small, with simple, but interesting questions for every day of the year. This version is the 5 year version but they also have ones for kids, 3 year, and a couples one! The questions are geared towards adults but not adult content just things like the question below: How did you get to work today?
I'm obsessed and I just got it a week ago! It's adorable. I wasn't sure what I would think of it based on some reviews that complained about the small size but I think it's perfect. 4 lines are available For each day, and you can start anywhere you like throughout the year. The edges are lined in gold (I did not paint my nails to match, just happened to have painted them gold a couple of days before it arrived). 

It's definitely smaller than a traditional paperback book in height, but about the same in width. The pages are thick so it probably won't bleed through easily. I used a normal ballpoint pen so far with no issue. I'm planning on buying some for gifts this year. Love it!!!!!!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Skinnytaste recipes review

I was sent this book to try out from a book review blogging program. I got to pick the book and I had been anxious to try this one out. We picked out a few recipes that we all agreed on (yes even the 12 year old). We tried a mixture of a few for a few different dinners and were pleasantly surprised with almost all of them! I was actually most surprised of my kiddo's reactions and would highly recommend this cookbook.

Find the book here:
The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor

I was able to find a variation of almost all of the recipes we tried on her website as well so here you go!

Roasted Acorn Squash with brown sugar
Pleasantly surprised. The child SWORE he'd hate it. Tried and he was in love with it. He said it tasted like candy. We all enjoyed it immensely and it was soooo easy. The book used maple syrup instead of brown sugar but other than that, not much of a difference.

Roasted Asparagus
The book had a slightly different recipe, adding lemon, which is what we did. We love roasted asparagus.

There are also some sesame green beans from her book that didn't have a comparable replacement on the site. They were delicious!

Creamy Cauliflower
We did use cream cheese instead. It was a recipe we had already been using from her site but we love it. I would eat potatoes with every meal but the other half won't let me so he made some substitutions!

Baked Zucchini Sticks
The kiddo has asked for these almost every day since we made these. We've made them twice and he's in love with them.

Oven Fried Chicken
Similar to the book recipe, we added some extra spices and the book had corn flakes instead of bran flakes and a different initial coating. We added a bit more cayenne, soaked the chicken overnight in buttermilk (per the book) and even my Kentucky born boyfriend approved of it!

As a family, we all really enjoyed these recipes. The boyfriend and I loved the oven fried chicken the most, with the acorn squash being a close second; the child was all about the zucchini fries. There are several other recipes we have marked as a family to try and I can't wait.

I think my favorite thing is that there weren't any odd ingredients. Everything can be found at a normal grocery store and easy to prepare. 

All opinions are my own. I was given the book in exchange for my honest review and opinion but honestly, like most books I review, I chose this one because I already interested in it. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Matcha green tea

I've heard of this stuff for what feels like forever but hadn't had a chance to try it! It was always either too expensive, or I had no idea what to do with it (honestly, that latter one is more true than the former).

So on a whim, I decided I HAD to try this stuff. I purchased Kiss Me Organic's from Amazon a few weeks ago. I love matcha green tea latte's from a local coffee shop so that was the first thing I made!

I like almond milk more than dairy milk, mostly because my boyfriend is lactose intolerant and my son finishes the dairy milk before anyone else can touch it, so I made it with that. There were quite a few recipes for this, but I kind of just combined them to make my own.

Matcha Green Tea Latte with Almond milk
1-2 teaspoons of matcha green tea powder *if you LOVE green tea, add more. If you aren't sure, add less.
2 ounces of hot water
6 ounces of heated almond milk
Preferred flavoring: 1/2 to 1 tsp Almond extract or vanilla, or both!
Optional: Agave, honey, or raw cane sugar for sweetness

Sift the matcha green tea powder and then pour in the hot water to dissolve.

Add the almond milk, and whatever flavorings you want and shake.
Pour over ice if you want it cold (my preference).

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