Sunday, May 28, 2017

Fit Frozen Faceoff!


Have the countless posts on social media of this healthy ice cream and that healthy ice cream left you scratching your head wondering which (if any of them) are worth the hefty price tag? Maybe with summer temperatures on the way, you want to know which frozen treat is best! I'm here to help! Here are some pros and cons of several "healthy" frozen dessert options!

Enlightened Ice Cream is probably one of the more scarce options. Thankfully, a grocery store near me recently started stocking the pints! You can also order online at icecreamsource.com and submit product request forms to your local stores. I really like this brand - they have a lot of great flavor options and when they say they have swirls they're not kidding. I have been told that the company has made arrangements with retailers that if the product has been damaged (ever open up a half filled pint?), you can return it to the point of purchase!



 Arctic Zero - ah, some love it, some love to hate it. I've even heard it referred to as frozen toilet water. It definitely has a much more subtle flavor and is not super sweet. I, however, do enjoy Arctic Zero. I don't think of it as ice cream, though. The brand refers to it as a fit frozen dessert, so they don't claim to be ice cream. I enjoy Arctic Zero for a cold, sweet snack and I think they've improved in both taste and texture over the years. Many people enjoy the chunky pints (300 calories) more. These are a great option if you are lactose intolerant!











Halo Top - my first protein ice cream love. It typically has a good ice cream texture and very rich flavors. I personally like their vanilla flavor better than the Enlightened Vanilla. I have experienced a pint or two with a bit of iciness but you win some, you lose some. Overall, I love Halo Top and would choose this or Enlightened if I wanted ice cream. Another bonus is that they are now sold at Walmart!













Edy's Slow Churned has long been hailed as the "macro friendly" dessert option in the fitness community. It's very inexpensive in comparison to Halo Top, Arctic Zero and Enlightened - typically costing loss for a carton than for a pint of the others. If you're looking for protein, this has a bit less than Halo and Enlightened. Another downside is the ingredients list. It's higher in sugar and if you opt sugar-free, it utilizes sucralose which has been said to alter gut flora. Honestly, though, sucralose is in so many things, I'd say this a great budget friendly, "macro-friendly" option for once in a while. 



Breyer's No Sugar Added is another cheaper option. It has the ice cream texture you'd expect from Breyer's Ice Cream. The No Sugar Added Vanilla clocks in at only 90 calories per serving. However, this brand utilizes aspartame as their zero calorie sweetener so I would use this option sparingly as I try to avoid aspartame. They also make fat free and 1/2 fat varieties if you want to explore those options as well.













Last but certainly not least is Protein Fluff. I make this so often! You choose the protein powder so you can choose the flavor, how much protein, and what sweetener is used. I most often use Slap Nutrition which is sweetened with stevia. The only other ingredients are a banana, ice and xanthan gum. I bought a jar of xanthan gum for about $5 and it is lasting forever. Bananas are very inexpensive so this is another inexpensive option. The only downsides are that it takes time and effort (clean up) and you need a blender. Also, this is certainly not an ice cream substitute but it is voluminous, cold, and sweet!






When I want ice cream, my top choices are Enlightened and Halo Top. When I want cheap, I typically go with Protein Fluff. When I'm just feeling it, I go with Arctic Zero lol! When I'm craving ice cream but also on a budget - Edy's or Breyers. I hope this helps some of you to decide which option is right for you!

Have you tried any of these? Which is your favorite? I still need to try ProYo's new pints!



Graphics created with the Canva app. https://www.canva.com/ Photos from their respective owners. 
Breyers: http://www.breyers.com/product/detail/113881/vanilla
Edys: https://www.edys.com/
Enlightened: https://www.eatenlightened.com/pages/store-locator
Halo Top:https://www.halotop.com/where-to-buy/
Arctic Zero:https://www.arcticzero.com/e-products

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Is This Legal? A Jerky Review

I'm a jerky lover. Who's with me?


It's such a convenient snack that I like to take on hikes or on trips! It lasts a long time and I personally think it tastes delicious.

I first tried Lawless Jerky from SnackNation, and I have to say it seemed a bit dry. I know it's dried meat but this was a bit tough. The company told me this was not right and they sent me a new batch!
It was mailed from the company and it was noticeably better! It was chewy and tender and so delicious! I love the fun flavors they have. They have:

Sweet Sriracha Beef Jerky - this one is pretty spicy, true to it's name!

Aloha Teriyaki Beef Jerky - tastes like your typical teriyaki flavor, a classic.

BBQ Spare Rib Pork Jerky - okay, this one is so delicious! It really tastes like it's namesake and it was so tender!

Mango Habanero Beef Jerky - This one is probably one of my favorites because I love how the sweetness perfectly balances out the spiciness. (They have a heat rating on their website if you're interested or sensitive to spicy things - I have high spicy tolerance! lawlessjerky.com)

Pho Beef Jerky - I have yet to try this flavor but it says it has herbs (cilantro, mint, basil) and spices (star anise, cinnamon, cloves and the kick of jalapeno) for Pho on the go. I've never had Pho either but this certainly sounds delicious.

Honey Chipotle Beef Jerky - The final flavor offering is another I have yet to try. This Mexican - inspired flavor is another sweer-meets-spicy flavor that sounds delicious. It has ingredients like smoked chiles, paprika, garlic and honey!

Why Lawless? It's called Lawless because it was founded by an attorney who left his practice to pursue his passion for crafting delicious jerky for people's enjoyment. Lawless breaks the "laws" of jerky by using no added chemicals and tasting like real meat!

Lawless Jerky is:

  1. 100% grass fed beef and hormone free, antibiotic free pork
  2. No added nitrites/nitrates, MSGs or corn syrup 
  3. Made with quality ingredients and made in small batches 
  4. Convenient 
  5. Delicious
  6. Great source of protein and iron (important to me as I'm iron deficient anemic)
Which flavor sounds best to you? Do you like jerky?





Monday, May 8, 2017

Eating my Way through Italy!

Normally, I try to eat a lot of whole foods, vegetables, fruits, etc. I honestly can't remember the last time I had pizza or spaghetti and I rarely eat non-"diet" ice cream (but seriously, Enlightened and Halo Top is so good anyway...).

However, when in Rome...

Hazelnut Gelato in Florence




















Did I go completely crazy and eat everything in sight? Just a little at the end! XD

In all seriousness, I did try to be somewhat conscious of getting in some nutrients, and water. Thankfully, my travel companion was alright with hitting up the local markets to have meals that we weren't eating out. I got yogurt and fruit for some breakfasts and snacks, along with popcorn and chocolate because, well, I love chocolate.
Shrimp and melon salad in Rome

Sometimes, when we went out, I got salad, or fish and vegetables, etc. Then, in Naples, I had to get pizza! They invented it! I finished my entire pizza myself, but if you looked around the pizzeria, everyone, young and old was finishing their own pizza. Also, I could tell the ingredients were so fresh and I didn't feel greasy and disgusting after eating it. Full, yes, but not greasy and gross.

Cookies and Caramel Gelato in Cinque Terre
I did eat gelato almost every day but I'm a huge gelato lover. Portion control is pretty easy when you're paying a pretty penny. I also indulged in a traditional Sicilian cannoli when we went to Taormina, Sicily. It was hands down the best cannoli I've ever had.

Coffee and I forgot the second flavor! Florence, again. 
It was a very fast paced trip as we started in Florence, then moved on to Cinque Terre, where we hiked along the coast from town to town (only partially because part of the Blue Trail is closed due to rock slides and erosion so you can't hike to each town). From Cinque Terre we went on to Taormina, Sicily which is hilly but beautiful! Then we took a long train ride to Rome where we saw the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, among other things! It's truly an amazing city full of history and architecture and culture and good food! We took a little day trip from Rome to go to Naples. Honestly, I wasn't a huge fan of Naples outside the pizza lol! I truly love traveling and trying the different foods! There's no need to feel guilty for "going off track" or indulging in less nutritious foods than normal while on vacation. It's short term and I would really regret letting guilt over gelato ruin my precious travel memories. So the lesson is, eat, experience and enjoy. Be balanced.

I'm not super thrilled to be home, but I do enjoy routine. I had this Monday off work so I went to the gym as usual and am getting prepared for the rest of the week!

What's your favorite part of vacation? How much pizza would you eat in Italy? LOL!



Cannoli in Sicily

Magherita pizza in Naples