{Nutracore Nutrition} Skinny Whey : A Quick Review

product review

HEAVENS TO BETSY! It has been once again been forever since my last post. It’s now time to grab the bull by the horns and post something so you don’t forget about me 🙂

There’s a business called Total Nutrition which is similar to a GNC in many ways. I’ve felt bombarded with the amount of sponsored ads for the store, including one for a Skinny Whey as seen below:

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What’s funny is that my main issue with it is that the flavor is called “Delicious Chocolate.” Being the curious girl that I am, I decided to try it out, especially since so many of my clients in Tuscaloosa have talked about Total Nutrition opening and that they’ve been wanting to try this protein powder since it’s only 100 calories per scoop.

Boasting 100 calories, 22 grams of protein, and only 1 gram of carbohydrate, according to Nutracore, it “supports a healthy low carb lifestyle.” In all honesty, I don’t have that big of an issue with most of the ingredients. I wish it had more carbohydrate, but then again you could always go with a different brand like EAS Lean 15 Chocolate flavor (which is delicious with almond milk, BTW).

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After purchasing it and tasting it, here is my verdict:

It tastes sour. At first I thought it was because I used almond milk, but I really think it’s the powder itself. When I first opened the product, I noticed that the protective Styrofoam was not properly sealed. It offers 22 grams of protein which I will recognize can help with feelings of fullness…however, for a person of my size and activity level, I only need about 45 grams of protein/day. I think that if this product was used with a liquid that contained carbohydrate or if you had additional carbohydrate with the product such as a banana, then this could be a viable choice. I totally get that this product is specifically geared for a low carbohydrate lifestyle, but if you’re not giving your body enough carbohydrate to actually have the energy to use all these massive amounts of protein you’re putting in yourself, then what’s the point? Some evidence suggests an extremely low carbohydrate diet can be maintained long-term for some, but if you are any bit of an active person, please don’t go extreme low carb.

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Would I purchase this again? I don’t think so. I’m still curious to see if the vanilla flavor is any better or if the container I got was a fluke, but this “delicious chocolate” flavor did not taste chocolate at all. I don’t mind it as a protein source to add to shakes, but I do believe that adequate carbohydrate should be supplemented throughout the day.

 

What do you think? Have you tried this product before? Let me know your thoughts and please share what protein powders you have (and haven’t) enjoyed in the past!

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Panda Express {A First Time Visit}

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit Panda Express for the first time. Being from the South, particularly Alabama, there hasn’t been an abundance of these restaurants around me. However, my town of Tuscaloosa is now one of four Alabama cities to have this “Gourmet Chinese” eatery. Now as I’m sure it is with most other small towns, Tuscaloosa is infamous for swarming new restaurants, all in the hopes of getting to eat there first and making recommendations to friends. It’s been that case for our Panda Express which has been opened for a few months yet has an unyielding drive thru line every time I drive by. However, I had a chance on Friday to finally try it in a desperate attempt to find something to eat near my work before my next patient was scheduled to see me.

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Since I hadn’t been to a Panda Express before, I wasn’t sure what to expect or what to order. I felt a little rushed to order so I was happy to see a little logo to let me know what the lower calorie entrees were. This little logo is known as the “wok smart” logo and indicates entrees that are 250 calories or less.

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I ended up getting a Panda Bowl which consists of one entree with a side. There were other combinations that you could do, including ordering two or three entrees which just seems like a lot of food to me (but ask me again when I’m super hungry). I decided to go with the Black Pepper Chicken and side of mixed veggies. The rice (both white and brown) were calling my name, but I knew I needed a veggie serving that day (and honestly I anticipated likely having a heavy dinner with the hubs later that night which did happen). All in all, my Panda bowl was allegedly 270 calories which isn’t too bad. The veggies in my bowl were bountiful and the mix of broccoli, carrots, peppers, and onions were pretty good. My only concern is the sodium which tops out OVER 1,500 milligrams which wouldn’t be conducive to the lifestyle of my patients with high blood pressure.

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photo 1Overall, I do think I tried to get the best choice possible for what was available. It isn’t my first choice in fast food, but  I would go back with the knowledge that it certainly wouldn’t be perfect eating.  I will say that it is better than many of the “mall food court” Chinese food I’ve sadly had in the past. The nutrition calculator that’s available on their website can be helpful for folks trying to find entrees that best fit their dietary needs, especially if specifically monitoring fat, sodium, carbohydrate content, etc.

photo 3 (2)I did get a pretty nifty fortune cookie and am actively on the lookout for my miracle 🙂

Have you ever eaten at a Panda Express? If so, what’d you think and what’d you order? Let’s chat!


Shube Sauce and Mr. P’s BBQ Sauce

Okay folks, I’m definitely in “foodie mode” today. Over the weekend I had the pleasure of trying out two delicious sauces that were part of my speaker “swag bag” given to me after presenting at ALDA last week. The hubs and I decided to put a Boston butt in the slow cooker as the perfect medium for enjoying these Alabama local sauces.

sauceThe Rob Berglin’s Shube Sauce is a creation straight out of Fairhope, AL and is known as a Gulf Coast “universal condiment.” I noticed the Shube Sauce had a sweet, vinegar base that can definitely hold its own.

shube sauceMr. P’s (Pilleteri’s) Sauce is a well-known commodity in Birmingham. In fact, it has even been voted as “Best Sauce in Town” by Birmingham Magazine. My hubby was particularly excited about the Mr. P’s being a Birmingham native who’s grown up on many Mr. P’s products. It is also a sweet sauce and very reminiscent of an Arby’s sauce with a little bit more awesome.

mr p sauceWith the pork butt that my husband got, we decided to fashion the rub from this recipe at chow.com give or take a few ingredients.

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When all was said and done, I really enjoyed tonight’s dish. We ended up mixing a little bit of both the Shube Sauce and Mr. P’s. The recipe from chow.com was different from the rub my husband usually does…especially with the call for cumin. This definitely did not taste like the traditional type of roast we usually have at our house and was more so reminiscent of the flavors of a Cuban pork, black bean, and rice dish that I had in Los Angeles almost 10 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, this meat was delicious on the onion roll, but I think our game plan for dinner tomorrow night is to make some delicious black beans and rice to go along with the pork. I will keep you all posted! 🙂

Bottom line: definitely give Shube Sauce and Mr. P’s Sauce and products a go the next time you’re in the Alabama Gulf Coast or Birmingham area. And for my Alabama native readers, please share your favorite dishes to use Shube Sauce and Mr. P’s products! 🙂

Until next time!


“Hot” Chocolate

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Happy Thursday friends! How many of you like your chocolate hot? And by hot, I mean spicy. If you do, then my little sweet treat today might hit the spot. I’ve been super stressed at work lately with all the activities coming up, and a coworker/angel decided to provide me with a delicious piece of chocolate. She said, “this looked like something you’d enjoy” and boy was she right. I’ve never had any of the Chuao Chocolatier products but had the pleasure of trying the spicy maya mini chocolate bar today.

After getting the initial taste of dark chocolate, I started feeling the sensation of heat from the chile and cayenne, and cinnamon undertones. I always enjoy high quality small bits of chocolate because you can really savor them and get some enjoyment from such a small amount. For only 50 calories, this was pretty delicious and satisfying 🙂

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For my chocolate lovers out there, what’s your favorite brand and flavor of high quality chocolate? Let’s sound off!


Hydroxycut Gummies

20130407_114036 Last night I had the pleasure of talking to a college bible study group about fad diets and general healthy eating during the summer. I was so excited about their questions but also realized that some of the misconceptions they had were probably pretty common– especially when it comes to finding the magic bullet quick fix to weight loss. Which brings me to my next item of business…. have any of you seen the gummy version of Hydroxycut?! My husband and I made a trip to Sams Club earlier this week, and I was blown away by this newest gimmick in the weight loss pill industry. I decided to Google these little gems and found a few user reviews. Of course many of these raved about loving the gummy taste and “how fun” it was to “effortlessly” lose copious amounts of weight. The funniest thing I found though was the following review at http://www.drugstore.com:

“Curbs my appetite—I still eat what I want, just not as much. Tastes like burned taco seasoned meat.”

I don’t know about you, but that is the funniest thing that I’ve read in awhile. But in all reality, I do have concern with these types of products, especially in the gummy form when you run the risk of small children mistaking them for candy. When working with my patients and having conversations about diet supplements that they’ve seen on TV or heard about from friends, I always ask my patients if they see themselves taking this product for the rest of their lives. When my patients respond with a no, then we discuss what will eventually happen to their “high metabolism” and the possibility of gaining the weight back they they’ve lost. When it comes to weight loss, slow and steady is the key. This ensures that you’re losing/burning actual fat instead of pure water weight and lean body tissue. It’s very likely that someone will lose a fairly significant amount of weight loss during the first week of changing up their diet (2+ lbs) but you really want your rate of weight loss to stay within a range of 0.5-2lbs per week. The most disheartening thing I find is losing a good bit of weight in a fairly short amount of time and gaining it all back quickly and possibly weighing more than you had to begin with.

When it comes to Hydroxycut gummies or many of the other weight loss supplements out there, I urge my clients to be weary of all of the fillers that are contained in the product. When someone briefly looks at the label they may find comfort in reading ingredients that appear recognizable such cumin extract, wild mint extract, pomegranate, etc., but since Hydroxycut does not disclose the amounts of their “proprietary blend” including the filler ingredients, it all seems very questionable. Other reviews that I have noted have cautioned that though this product is said to be “stimulant-free”, consumers should be weary since the company has been controversial and notorious for its products and methods.

The bottom line:

If a product sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Case in point, gummy candies that will help you lose weight sounds like something right up my alley but even if you see initial weight loss, you’ve got to ask yourself if this is weight that will stay off long-term. And, if you think about it, if these gummies or any other weight loss pill were the true magic bullet, I think they would charge more than $19.99/bottle (granted, if you follow the dosage recommendations, you’d need about 3 bottles of gummies per month).

In the next few weeks, I’ll be doing some reviews on some of the popular fad diets circulating right now. If you’ve got a special request, just let me know 🙂


Product Review: Healthy Choice Four Cheese Ziti Marinara

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Since getting married and in reality, since graduating from college, it’s been quite awhile since I’ve eaten a frozen meal on a consistent basis. However, my husband and I made a trip to Publix a few weeks ago and I noticed these products were on sale. Being one to take advantage of a good deal (~$2.00/meal), I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try them out and provide a little review 🙂

Behold the Healthy Choice Four Cheese Ziti Marinara. One of the first things I noticed on the box was that it boasted a “BAKED” taste as well as being preferred over Smart Ones Three Cheese Ziti Marinara (*based on a national taste test). 20130402_172623

In terms of taste, I actually really enjoyed it. This dish was advertised to have a freshly-made ziti pasta and hearty tomato marinara sauce topped with mozzarella, parmesan, romano, and asiago cheeses. Compared to frozen meals I had during my college years, I feel like this particular dish was an appropriate portion size and fairly filling for a convenience meal. Usually with pasta dishes I like having some type of meat involved but the taste of the sauce and cheese was flavorful and allowed the meal to be contained at 310 calories.

20130402_172615 (1)As far as nutrition goes, the pasta dish had about 11 grams of protein, which as an average female (not pregnant, lactating, an athlete, or vigorously trying to lose weight, etc.) is pretty appropriate considering I only need about 45 grams of protein overall for the day. I try to encourage my patients to make sure their meals and snacks have a great source of BOTH carbohydrate AND protein, especially since protein assists in keeping you full for a longer amount of time (more on that in a future post…).  The carbohydrate content is pretty  amicable as well with 46 grams of total carbohydrate (5 of which is dietary fiber- also contributing to making the dish filling). Now, I don’t know about you, but usually with frozen meals and processed foods in general I have concerns with sodium content and other preservatives. Healthy Choice labels their products as being free of preservatives. With that said, I found the sodium content for the baked ziti to be fairly decent at 560 milligrams. For anyone who has concerns about sodium content and preservatives in a frozen meal, you want to try to purchase items with less than 600 milligrams of sodium. Now, if you have sodium restrictions to your diet due to chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, etc., remember that “fresh is best” when it comes to nutrition and you’ll likely need to consume a diet of less processed foods in order to meet the sodium recommendations prescribed by your physician, dietitian, or other health care provider.

20130403_093405Lastly, I really like how Healthy Choice (and other brands) lists the exchanges for each meal based on the Exchange Lists for Diabetes created by the American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The exchange list system has been really helpful for a lot of my clients that prefer a simplified way of tracking their diabetic lifestyle vs keeping track of grams of carbohydrate for each meal and snack.

VERDICT: For someone who’s looking for a little back up meal to have at work in case you don’t have time to go out or pack something from home that morning, this is a great option. Personally, I would recommend having a serving of fruit alongside the meal to round out your food groups and provide opportunity for some additional vitamin, mineral, and fiber content to your meal 🙂

Overall, I would buy the product again (if it’s on sale 🙂 )

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obviously I had no problem finishing it 🙂

What do you guys think? Do you have a favorite go-to frozen meal as a back up in your work or home fridge?