Friday, October 19, 2018

Product Review: Super Lotus Snacks

What's popping? 


Lotus Seeds, that's what! 

Popped lotus seeds seem to be a new trend in the healthy snack market and I am totally on board. Lotus seeds are naturally low in fat, relatively high in protein and fiber and low in calories. 

Super Lotus Snacks kindly sent me some samples of their take on this snack with age-old roots. These little puffed seeds might look strange but they have a satisfying crunch that will keep you coming back for more. It's hard to describe the texture apart from being puffed. It's definitely unique! I tried the Simply Turmeric and Salt and Cumin. 

I loved both flavors. The turmeric has a smoky, savory flavor without being overwhelmingly turmeric-y.  Let's not forget that turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant just to name a few benefits. 

The Salt and Cumin tasted like it's namesake; it tasted like salt and cumin! I happen to love both of these spices and thought they were well balanced. Cumin aids digestion and is a rich source of iron. Winning!



I think I am hooked on this "new" snack and it may just help curb my popcorn addiction! Super Lotus Snacks also has a Cinnamon Sugar flavor which sounds delicious for sweet tooth cravings. Check out Super Lotus snacks here: SuperLotusSnacks.com

Would you try these? What trendy snack thing have you tried lately?


Monday, October 15, 2018

Product Review: Numa Milk Chews!

First of all, what the heck is a "milk chew"?


I had no idea. But I wanted to try it.

A milk chew is milk based chewy treat inspired by Tawainese nougat. It reminded me of a sort of nougat, taffy-like candy. So what makes Numa milk chews special?


  • no artificial ingredients
  • artificial ingredients and preservative free
  • less sugar
  • healthy vitamins  
They use traditional methods and high-quality ingredients and I could tell. It tasted sweet and rich with a great chewy texture. You know when you go to an old-fashioned candy shop and get the candy that was made fresh? That's what this was like! It tasted REAL and fresh. The name "Numa" actually comes from the Chinese characters for daughter and mother because this candy was based on Joyce's mother's handmade treats. She had an autoimmune disorder and enjoyed her mother, Jane's healthy treats. Now they share that with all of us! 

They have less calories, fat and sugar than a granola bar or ordinary candy. They have more protein and vitamins and make a great snack pre-workout, traveling, at work, or basically anything! I would definitely take these on a road trip or plane or just as a nice sweet treat for any day! 

They currently have one flavor with peanuts and dried cranberries but they are coming out with two new flavors soon! Stay tuned - I'm so excited for the new flavors! 

Check out Numa Milk Chews here: https://numafoods.com/

What is your favorite candy to get at an old fashioned candy shop? I used to love pralines!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

'Tis the Season for Enlightened Ice Cream

Have I mentioned that I love Enlightened?

Aside from their fun and interactive social media, they have great customer service, amazing healthy ice cream and tasty roasted broad beans. 

But wait, there's more. They have released three seasonal flavors! Could I be any more excited? (Please tell me you read that in the voice of Chandler Bing!)

Triple Shot Espresso
320 calories per pint

Not for the faint of heart, this gives you a triple shot of espresso via espresso ice cream base with espresso ribbons and espresso chips. The bold flavor will hit you in the face and knock you down. I loved the rich espresso flavor so I enjoyed this pint even more than I expected to, but if coffee is not your thing, you may want to try a different flavor.

Pumpkin Spice Latte
240 calories per pint

How basic are you? Pumpkin spice latte has a reputation for being the fall drink of "basic white girls", however, I've never actually had a pumpkin spice latte! Oops! This flavor has a pumpkin ice cream base with an espresso swirl. I thought they executed this flavor well and I really enjoyed the simple, sweet and spicy pumpkin base. It tastes just the way pumpkin ice cream should. The espresso swirl adds a little bit of depth to the flavor and mimics a true pumpkin spice latte. 

White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha 
360 calories per pint

White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha
This flavor has a coffee ice cream base, chocolate peppermint swirl and white chocolate chips. If mix-ins are your thing, this is the pint for you. The coffee ice cream gives a nice backdrop to execute to barista inspired pint. The chocolate peppermint swirl was so thick and fudge-like in consistency, it was unbelievable. The white chocolate chips add to the interest and give a sweet little bite to it. Somehow, all these flavors combine to give you: White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha and it is just as magical as it sounds.

All in all, I think they would've had wider appeal by sticking with classic flavors and not the barista collection, however, since I love coffee and coffee ice cream, it works for me. I really liked the pumpkin spice latte and think I would choose that as my number one from the three of these but it's hard to rank two and three. If you love coffee, I definitely recommend you try these out! As always, Enlightened does not disappoint in providing a thick, creamy, rich texture! No icy half pints!

Thanks to Enlightened for sending these to me! Find out where you can find Enlightened pints here: https://eatenlightened.com/pages/store-locator and follow the hashtag #TeamEnlightened on Instagram!

Have you seen or tried the new collection? Which one are you most excited about?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Life Changing Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies!

Tahini? In cookies?

I know what you're thinking. "She's totally lost it."

But wait, this is actually a remake from @kalejunkie on Instagram. I had seen a few Instagram posts of others making her cookies so I had to give it a try.

Just a few simple ingredients: egg, maple syrup, almond flour, tahini, chocolate chips, baking soda, and sea salt.

I followed her directions precisely and they came out perfectly. What I noticed:

  • I got 15-16 cookies and she states the recipe yields 10-12
  • I baked half on a silicone baking mat and half on parchment on a cookie tray and the ones baked on the silicone mat came out thicker and more aesthetic
  • Reducing the chocolate chips was a mistake lol 
So how are they? 

Well, in my honest opinion, "life-changing" may be a bit dramatic of a claim. They are good, yes, very good, but I've had very good cookies before. The key is the sea salt. It perfectly complements the flavors of the tahini and chocolate. The texture of the cookie is great! They are soft and chewy, moist and dense - everything a cookie should be. No one will know they are gluten-free! 

Full disclosure: my parents thought they tasted weird, not bad, but weird. My friend and her mom who are gluten-free loved them so to each his own! 

I would definitely recommend trying these out because they are delicious, unique, so easy and perfect for anyone with intolerances or allergies since they are gluten free, nut free and dairy free

Find Nicole's recipe on her blog here: kalejunkie.com

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Mental Health Day: The Tipping Point

Do you ever feel anxious?

Do you have anxiety?

Do you find it hard to cope with?

Chances are, most of us answered yes to the first question and that's totally normal. However, some people experience anxiety all the time. It can be hard to cope with and hard for others to understand.

My personal experience with anxiety is like the bucket at the waterpark. Do you know the one? Water is streaming into it from multiple sources and kids stand under it waiting for it to tip and dump water everywhere.

I am the bucket and the water is anxiety pouring in from multiple sources. Eventually, I reach a tipping point. Those closest to me feel the effects the most. 

The hardest part to explain is that just one tiny drop can be the drop that puts me over the edge. What others don't see is all the "water" that's been filling up and up so that I was just one drop away from a breakdown. Since they don't see that, it seems unjustifiable and unreasonable. I know that this is not healthy so I have decided to think logically. How can I keep myself from reaching this tipping point? Here's what I came up with:


  • Find an outlet 
If I have an outlet for the stress, it won't build up to the point of tipping. In the past, I have used journaling, music, and painting but have given them up. I think it would be good for me to reintroduce one of these methods or even talking to a close friend. 
  • Reduce sources of stress
If there are fewer sources of water going into the bucket, it wouldn't be so quick to tip. So if I can find ways to reduce stress and anxiety sources, I would be less quick to have a mental breakdown. So I will be mindful of negative self-talk, negative talk from others (remove toxic relationships from your life), and try not to sweat the small stuff. If a job is causing undue stress, could you look into a new job? If you're taking on too much, could you simplify? Reduce the sources of stress that you can and then you have less to deal with!

Anxiety is a part of life for everyone. That's undeniable. However, it IS possible to cope with it in a healthy way. I hope that something in this was helpful for you if you are struggling.

What tips do you have for coping with anxiety?

Monday, October 8, 2018

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Protein Ice Cream!

Pumpkin craze has swept the nation!

Actually, I think it swept the nation about a month ago. But now, it's October, pumpkins are in season, and I am joining the craze.

With pumpkin ice cream. What else would you expect from me? #IceCreamAddict

I used an ice cream maker but see the notes at the end for possible churning substitutions. Honestly, I think this recipe could be better, but it was pretty good so I figured I would share and if I tweak it, I will update this recipe!

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Ingredients:


  • 1 cup plain kefir (I used LifeWay Brand)
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • about 1/3 cup erythritol/sweetener of choice to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare and combine all ingredients. 
  2. Follow instructions for your ice cream maker. 
  3. Pour ingredients in the ice cream maker and churn for the recommended time. Mine churned for one hour. 
Note: If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can put the mix in a freezer safe container and remove every 30 minutes or so and blend. I have used this method before and it's not as creamy but you still yield a yummy frozen treat. Continue to do this until it is frozen as hard as you like it. 

Yield: 4 servings
Macros per serving: 76 calories 1.8f/21.2c/5p

What's your favorite pumpkin food? Would you try pumpkin ice cream?



Friday, October 5, 2018

Friday Finds!

I've been finding some neat snacks lately! I just have to share!

Bohana Popped Water Lily Seeds - What? If you're like me, that name confuses you just a little. Well, don't overthink it. That's exactly what they are! Seeds of a water lily that have been popped for snacking purposes! These make a great popcorn substitute. This snack has been around for thousands of years in India but Bohana has reinvented it in three flavors: Soulful Spice, Himalayan Pink Salt, and Wild White Cheddar. I loved these! They are so poppable and satisfying! Check them out here: https://bohanalife.com/

Smart Cakes - Here's a smart idea: a moist, delicious cake with no sugar, no carbs, and no grains. Pfttt, impossible, right? Wrong! Smart Baking Company may have some sorcery because these cakes are just what I described! I honestly cannot believe how good they are! I haven't yet tried tangerine flavor but I have tried chocolate, lemon, cinnamon, and coconut. My personal favorite is Coconut but they are all good! These are great for any gluten free, dairy free or low carb dietary restrictions. Trust me, you'll be amazed! Did I mention they're only 38 calories a piece?! Have your cake and eat it too! Check them out here: https://smart-baking.com/smartcakes/

Lemon Smart Cake topped with Pearl Butter Turmeric Coconut Butter
Bang Energy Drinks - Okay, so I have an energy drink problem. I recently started trying some flavors of Bang Energy Drink and they are so good! They have tons of flavors and while I've had a few that were "meh", I 've never had a gross one. The problem? They have a whopping 300 mg of caffeine and are sweetened with sucralose. The upside? They are cheaper than Monster Energy Drinks, they have creatine and BCAAs so they make a great pre-workout and they are sold at my local gas station. Current favorite flavor is Sour Heads! It's so good! That being said, I'm going to try to tame my addiction lol! Check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/BANGenergy/

Do you drink energy drinks? What's your favorite? I call them my guilty pleasure!