Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sunwarrior protein review & muffins!

Hey again! I know I have been posting alot about food lately, but it is kinda my life...and here is another one. Sorry not sorry. Actually it's not TECHNICALLY food, it's protein powder, but a real food based kind. I have been curious about this brand for a while so I contacted them, and Sunwarrior was lovely enough to send me a few samples to try out! They sent me a nice little package containing one Warrior Blend, two Classic Plus, and two of their newest protein Illumin8, which is a meal replacement.


I was already familiar with Sunwarrior from social media but I had never been able to get my hands on the samples because every time I decided to pick one up at my local health food stores, they were always out! I read up on the brand and I really like the values they live by, and what they represent.

Sunwarrior is a company that believes in the power of plant based foods, and nourishing your body with all the minerals, vitamins and enzymes that nature has provided us with. They believe in eating real, whole nutritious food, and that's what I'm all about. I may not be a vegetarian or vegan, but 80% of my diet is based around fruit, veggies, and nuts, seeds and some legumes, I think the best thing you can do for your health is to feed yourself right, and supplementing with a high quality protein such as Sunwarrior only adds to it.

Let's start off with each kind of protein, and then I will share my thoughts on each one.

*Warrior Blend - A grain free protein blend of pea, hemp, goji berry, and ground coconut (for MCT). It comes in Natural, Vanilla, Chocolate, Mocha, and Berry.

*Classic Plus - An upgraded version of their Classic protein (which I haven't tried). A blend of pea, brown rice, quinoa, chia, and amaranth proteins. Comes in Natural, Vanilla, and Chocolate.

* Illumin8 - A nutrient packed meal replacemet using a blend of pea protein, flax and chia, brown rice protein, and an abundance of super foods such as baobab and kelp, probiotic and enzymes, and tons of sprouts for extra nutrition. This one was my favorite of them all, especially the Aztec Chocolate! Comes in Vanilla Bean, Aztec Chocolate, and Mocha.


I am a smoothie junkie so I enjoyed all but one of these glorious samples in various smoothies. The Warrior Blend in Berry was the first I tried. Apon opening, I could immediately smell the berry scent and it reminded me of  when I was a kid and making Kool-Aid. It smelled amazing! The texture is very smooth and mixes very easily into smoothies. Sometimes with vegan proteins, you get a grittiness that never really goes away even after blending, but that was not the case with any of the proteins for Sunwarrior. There is pretty strong stevia sweetness to it, so if you don't realy like stevia that much just be aware of that before you try it.

I tried the berry in a smoothie mixed with my  Paradise Herbs Orac Greens (read my review here), kale, blueberries, almond milk, and my Four Sigmatic Princess powder.
Verdict: Delicious, smooth and mixes very well.

The Classic Plus was the next and they were both so delicious! My favorite mixture was a smoothie with the Chocolate flavor and some peanut butter, banana, greens powder, Princess, and coconut milk, Both of the flavors of Classic plus were smooth, mixed very easily and hid the taste of my greens powder extremely well.
Verdict: I love the chocolate flavors and they make any smoothie like a dessert.

Last but not least is Illumin8. This one was my absolute FAVORITE of all of them! I made a smoothie with the Mocha and it was the bomb, and the Aztec Chocolate was the secret ingredient to some protein muffins and it was so unbeleivably good, I will definitely be buying the full size container in the near future!
Verdict: The texture was smooth and silky, blended well, tasted like I was eating something naughty but was actually super healthy!

I am so glad I got the chance to try out all of these wonderful products form Sunwarrior! I am definitely a new customer and look forward to trying the other flavors as well.

The muffins I made were a chocolate banana protein muffin, using Know Foods pancake mix was the "flour". They came out so chocolatey and moist and were devoured by the next afternoon by my boyfriend and myself. If you are looking for a delicious, high quality, plant based protein powder to try, go do yourself a favor and try Sunnwarrior if you haven't already!

Chocolate Protein Muffins:
makes 6 muffins
Ingredients:


1/4 cup coconut oil
1 egg
2 bananas
1 packet Aztec Chocolate Illumin8
1/2 cup Know Foods pancake mix
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Enough almond milk to make everything mix well.
coconut oil spray

Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin pan with coconut oil spray or use muffin cups. Mix all dry ingredints, and wet ingredients in seperate bowls, them add together.
Fill 6 muffin cups 3/4 way full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Thanks so much to Sunwarrior for allowing me to test out these samples, and I hope you guys will try them for yourself!

See you soon!
Shauna

Where to buy:
Sunwarrior.com

Thursday, October 20, 2016

In the KNOW- The best bread ever.

Right now I am sitting on the couch drinking some paleo superfood hot cocoa (based on this recipe), and wishing I had a delicious muffin from the company I am about to rave all over you about. I am obsessed with this company. It's a love affair that I hope never ends. Sometimes brands enter your life for a reason, to have an impact on your life and teach you something along the way. Know Foods is one of those companies for me. I came across a sponsored post for Know Foods on Instagram right at the beginning of my grain free experiment, and was immediately drawn in and went straight to their website to explore...and never looked back!
Know Foods is a company out of Atlanta, Georgia who is on a mission to teach people the benefits of a gluten and grain free life by way of making the best bread EVER. Not only do they make bread slices, they also offer buns, bites, muffins using Enjoy Life chocolate chips, and most recently, pancake mix. All grain free and paleo friendly!

What makes these products so much better nutritionally is the fact that they use nutrient dense superfoods such as flax, chia, and coconut flours to create a bread that tastes unbelievable, and is also low glycemic (less than 10  glycemic index), high protein, and full of fiber. This  delicious slice of superfood heaven really softened the landing of my journey into grain-freeness. I use to think I would never be able to go grain free because I love toast...but my mind was blown and changed immediately after my first bite.

I'm not exactly sure how they did it, magic is my guess, but they somehow made grain free bread taste like the real thing. The texture is a little more dense but it toasts PERFECTLY, and is very sturdy. I even take pre-toasted slices in my lunch to work and they never get soggy! That was one of the reasons I preferred sprouted bread, was the fact that it held up in my lunchbox and being refrigerated.

A great thing for me about these products is that I have no water retention after eating them, When I eat grain based things, whether it be sprouted bread, or even organic pasta, I retain water and get puffiness all over, especially my face and hands/ feet. I never really thought it was related to grains until I removed them from my diet and saw immediate results. So if you are someone who has trouble with puffiness after eating, this could be a great product for you as well,

None of their products contain:
*GMO's
*gluten
*grain
*wheat
*soy
*dairy
*peanuts
*yeast
*added sugar
*trans fats

So far I have tried everything but the bread bites, but they are on my list! I have purchased from Know Foods 3 times now, and they always throw in a bag of muffins....and they are amazing! Their customer service couldn't be better also! Every time I order, they actually call me on the phone to see if I will be home the next day to receive my package. Who does that anymore?? I was so impressed. They ship next day as well, although sometimes it takes a few days for them to ship it since they have to make it.

The packaging has changed since my first time ordering, but I just love the simplicity of the black and white labels. The bread slices and buns come in packs of 4, while the muffins and bites come 10 to a bag. I always get 4 packs of slices (16 slices), and put one in the fridge then the other 3 in the freezer until i need to use them. They freeze well, and even toast nicely right from the freezer.
I have been experimenting with their pancake mix, and am loving it! It makes a great breading for chicken and also makes really good muffins. I have a muffin recipe coming soon using Know pancakes and Sunwarrior protein so keep an eye out.

Just to show you how Know bread compares to other popular brands, here is a handy chart.

Know bread wins in the fiber department, not to mention the lower sodium, higher fiber, protein content AND the super low glycemic index.

Each one of their products costs $10, unless you get the sample pack ($15), or the subscription ($80).
The sample pack includes:
 *2 buns 
 *5 bites 
 *5 muffins

Subscription:
*8 buns
*20 bites
*16 muffins
Delivered twice per month

 Before you say that's too expensive hear me out! You know the rewards program that Iherb has? Well Know Foods has one too! Yep! You earn points every time you place and order, or share them on social media! Here is a break down of the rewards program from their website.

Once you create an account, you automatically receive 100 points!




As you can see, there are lots of different ways to earn points. When you reach 1000, you actually can get free bread! You earn 10 points for every dollar you spend, and if you refer a friend and they use your link to purchase, they get 10% their first order, but you also receive 200 points. For every 5 people that purchase through your personal link, you get $10 off your next order, Every time! How cool is that? You can cash your points in after you reach 500 and Know Foods will email you a coupon code to save $5. So simple, and so awesome,

If you are interested in trying any of the products that Know Foods offers, feel free to use this link to save yourself 10% on your first order.
And go check them out on all of their social media accounts!

Facebook  | Instagram | Twitter


Where to buy:

Knowfoods.com

If you live in Atlanta, you can find them at Buckhead Bread Corner Cafe, and Atlanta Fish Market.

Ingredients-
egg whites, almond flour, applesauce, flax seed, prebiotic fiber, allulose, apple cider vinegar, coconut flour, baking powder, chia, coconut oil, sea salt.

Let me KNOW if you try it!

Shauna

* I was not sponsored by Know Foods or compensated in any way to write this post. I express genuine love and appreciation for this company, and purchased these products myself.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Going grain free, progress and goals.

Back in August, I went out for dinner with my boyfriend and his mom at a local Mexican restaurant as we have done many times. When we go to this place it is usually on a Thursday because the have a buffet and we all really like that because you can load up on all the fresh veggies and avoid having to eat things you would like to avoid.  All seemed to be normal until the next day when bf and I both started having stomach trouble, and it lasted for about 2 weeks.

His mom had no issues so we though maybe we had just eaten something earlier that day, but it was strange that we had never had this problem before. My guts felt swollen and actually hurt on my left side and I was very bloated and just plain uncomfortable. I looked around online and spoke with my Naturopath, then decided maybe I should try going paleo for a bit to see if I had any food triggers.

So that's what I did. I had no grains or beans or gluten at all for 2 weeks and after only 3 days I saw a huge difference. My belly flattened, my guts weren't swollen, and all bathroom problems had almost disappeared. I also noticed my body looked and felt leaner which is great because I workout regularly and can never get certain body parts to lean out. I thought there really is something to this paleo thing!

After 2 weeks, bf and I drove to Chicago to see Black Sabbath for The End tour (epic btw!!!), and being a person who runs late a lot I was not prepared and had no road snacks so we ended up stopping at White castle somewhere in Indiana. I saw that they had grilled chicken on their menu now so I got that thinking I would just remove the bun...but it came out to me breaded. Great. So I had the whole thing because I was starving. I had a little bloating and water retention the next day and honestly felt kind of crappy. That's when I decided to go MOSTLY grain free from then on, only eating grain when I don't have other options or when I am out at a restaurant and just feel like eating bread on my burger, or when I feel like having oats for breakfast.

I just feel better when  I avoid grains/ gluten. I have more energy, I feel like I poop better (TMI), sleep better, and retain less water which has always been an issue for me in my hands and feet. So that being said, nearly all of the foods I talk about from now on will be paleo or grain free, as I am not avoiding legumes since they don't cause any digestive problems for me.



What are your thoughts on the paleo lifestyle? Have you tried going grain free, and if so how did you feel? I would love to hear your experiences!

See you soon!
Shauna

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Healthy dips this fall.

Hey guys! One of my favorite things to do is eat. If you follow me on Instagram, you will know this already. Eating food and learning about food are literally my two favorite things in life (besides going to concerts that is!). A couple weeks ago I was approached by Chobani and they asked me if I would share my thoughts on ways to make eating dips and spreads healthier for this season. Um...I LOVE dips, and talking about my favorite snacks, so of course I said yes.

I had gone to Target and saw the new Mez dip Chobani has come out with and I decided what a great time to give it a try! I also threw in my personal favorites, such as salsa, guacamole, and hummus, and since this season is all about watching sports and traveling around to friends houses to watch games (not me, but people do...) I decided to just buy everything already made to see how easy it is to eat healthy snacks.

When it comes to making your dipping healthier, it's really simple swaps that make all the difference. Here are some tips to show you how easy these swaps can be.
1. Use veggies instead of chips or pretzels. They are just as crunchy and make great vessels for and dip! Also try roasting your veggies to make them even more delicious.
2. Try eating the rainbow. The more colors you have on your plate, the more nutrients.
3. Try finding dips that have a really short ingredient list, that way you know you aren't loading up on junk.

Trader Joe's is really the ultimate affordable dip haven. This salsa is the best one I have ever tried and it is under $2.00. For real, Also, their roasted garlic hummus is the bomb and it is under $2.00 as well. This pre-made guacamole has big chunks of avocado in it and no weird ingredients so you know you can enjoy yourself and not feel guilty.

As far as dippers, my favorite by far are kale chips, bell peppers, carrots and celery. The bell peppers dipped in salsa are unbelievably good! I also really liked the kale chips with the chili lime Mez dip from Chobani. The flavors went so well together I couldn't stop eating...I ate every piece of food pictured here. Well, the veggies that is! I still have some (very little) of each dip left over.

Eating healthy may seem like it is very daunting, or expensive, but you really can get great quality snacks to indulge in this season for very little money. Veggies are always inexpensive options, rather than processed grain crackers or chips which are usually pretty pricey for "healthy" ones.

I hope this helped you find some options to try this football season when you are watching a game or just feel like snacking. Like me. What are your favorite dippers and dips? I would love to know!

See you soon!
Shauna

*If you are interested in trying the Mez dip for yourself, you can find more info on their website here-
http://www.chobani.com/products/meze-dip

*I was not compensated by Chobani for this post, All opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Paradise Herbs Orac Energy Greens Review

* This product was provided by iHerb free of charge for my honest review
 
Paradise Herbs is one of my favorite supplement brands, and I personally use a few of their products everyday. They have a large range of products from resveratrol, to fish oil, to pea protein powder and are a great high quality brand. Their most popular, and 8 year award winning Orac Energy Greens Powder is the star of the show though when it comes to my supplement routine. 


Recently Iherb.com posted on instagram that they needed reviewers to spread the word about Orac Energy Greens and I immediately emailed them and told them I would be thrilled to be part of the review team since I had been using it and had actually just repurchased it when this post went out. It was perfect timing. When they emailed me the great news that I was chosen I was beyond excited! They even sent me a container to test out! I have been a fan of this greens powder and the multivitamin of the same name for over a year and want to get the word out of how great they are. 


About a year or so ago, I went to my naturopath for some help with eating too much sugar, and one of the things he recommended to me was a supplement called Juice Plus. Juice plus is a fruit and veggie supplement full of tons of minerals and vitamins and something that he and his family take everyday, but after seeing the cost I kindly declined and started looking around for a cheaper but equally as good alternative. That's where I came across Paradise Herbs.


After researching various brands of greens powder, I came across Orac Energy Greens and I knew my search was over. This product had just about everything you need in life besides wifi. In one single serving there is the antioxidant equivalent of 24 servings of fruits and vegetables, which is wonderful if you are missing anything in your diet or if you just find it difficult to fit in the recommended 9 servings from food alone. Paradise Herbs has a couple different sizes and even a chocolate flavor of the greens just in case you are looking for a sweeter version. They also have a protein and greens which is their pea protein along with the Orac greens.


This greens powder really is amazing. Here are just a few key points to highlight the awesomness:
*Certified organic and wildcrafted
*vegan
* Anti- imflammatory herbs turmeric and ginger
*Alkalizing greens
*Liver cleansing and support such as milk thistle and artichoke leaf
*Adaptogens like rhodiola, holy basil, and cordyceps 
* Antioxidants from white tea and grapeseed extract
*1.2 billion cfu probiotics
* Maca and acai for energy
* No fillers, sweeteners, or animal products
* 40,000 orac per serving



The flavor and smell is very green, like plain wheat grass, so I always have to add a banana or maybe a few drops of monk fruit sweetener when I take it. The great thing is, is that the texture is very fine and mixes so easily. I love to have this product first thing in the morning in a smoothie, along with Aloha vanilla protein (my fave protein!), a banana, and almond milk. I really feel like it gives me energy and I just feel better overall than on days I may not have time to make a smoothie in the morning. I even got my boyfriend taking it because he doesn't eat enough fresh produce, so there is a container at each of our houses to make sure we get it in!



 





I really hope if you are looking for a greens product to add a boost of nutrition in your diet, that you will consider trying Paradise Herbs Orac Energy Greens. It really is a fantastic product, and I have noticed a difference in how I feel since adding it into my diet. If you would like to try it feel free to use my referral code on Iherb.com to save a few dollars on your first purchse! You can do that here.

*Use my Rewards Code,SEQ516, to get $5 off your first time order at iHerb.com with no minimum purchase*

 Here are links to the various sizes and flavors available on Iherb.com:

12.8 oz (60 servings) $50.00

3.2 oz (15 servings) $14.99

6.4 oz (30 servings) $32.99

15 packets (15 servings) $19.24

Truly Chocolate 12.8 oz (60 servings) $54.99


Let me know if you give it a try!

See you soon,
Shauna










Thursday, August 25, 2016

I'm done with deodorant!

Hey there. It's been a while. I won't get into details right now but the past year or so that I've been away has been CRAZY. From breakups, moving, adventures, and getting to be with my dream guy...(that I have liked for nearly a decade!) my life has been very hectic.

The past couple months though, some awesome new things have come around and impressed me so much it brought me out of hiatus and back into the blogging world! How I've missed you!

The first thing I want to share with you is a deodorant that I found from a local company called Sassa Bella, which I reviewed sometime last year and still use/love, but before I get to that, let me explain the reason behind the title of this post- me being done with deodorant. Recently I had a HORRIBLE reaction to Scmidt's bergamot & lime deodorant that caused huge knots in my armpits.
I went on vacation to L.A. with my boyfriend a couple days after the bumps appeared, and my pits were so swollen I couldn't even bear to apply deodorant. I had 6 lumps in my right armpit and one huge one in the left.  After using Irish Spring soap to cleanse out of necessity, and taking a natural antibiotic,  it finally disappeared.

My sister told me she had a similar reaction to a deodorant by Kiss My Face, and another girl on Facebook said the same thing about using a deodorant from Jason. I have used several deodorants from natural brands since I switched to organic products and this was the first I've ever seen of this kind of reaction. I have had small irritations from the ones containing baking soda but never anything bad.

Sassa Bella has a deodorant called Beautiful Skin also that is made for the most sensitive skins, and people going through radiation treatments. That is the only thing I could use on my skin during that outbreak. When I got back from California, I got on Sassa Bellas's website to reorder the Beautiful Skin and noticed they had launched a new deodorant called BodyFlex geared towards active people.
I am an active person! After reading the ingredients list, and browsing around for reviews, I decided to purchase it. Most importantly for me, there was no baking soda, which is what I suspect caused the lumps before.

The ingredients for BodyFlex are very clean and pure which is what I love about this company. It contains several antibacterial and odor fighting ingredients such as:

*coconut oil
* zinc
* tea tree 
* manuka honey

So much antibacterial goodness! Zinc is the powerhouse here in my opinion, as it is a very effective odor killer, while still allowing your skin to detox by sweating and not clogging pores. Not only are these ingredients soothing and effective, but they are even gentle enough to not cause irritations when applied after shaving. That is huge for me! I have always had issues with red bumps when I used anything directly after shaving. The one complaint I have is that it applies very white the same way suncreens that contain zinc do. That isn't a big deal for me though.

The scent is similar to a mint toothpaste, which I really like because mint is refreshing when you are sweaty. I will say that it does not last all day as the description says, I usually have to reapply at least once while I am at work. Other than that I am extremely happy with this deodorant. I have tried quite a few natural deodorants since starting this blog and though they seemed to work well for the first couple of months, the never seem to pan out in the long run. I have been using this product nearly the entire month of August and have not had any signs of irritation or red bumps!

This is the only deodorant I will use from now on. I will not be looking for another. I'm done! It has everything I am looking for, doesn't cause irritation. and is from a local business. You can't get any better than that really.

Let me know if you try this product, because I really love Sassa Bella and use several of their products daily, so be on the lookout for future posts. Also, there will be some blog changes happening as my lifestyle has changed over the past year and a half so I want this blog to reflect that.

See you soon!
Shauna

Price: $8.95
Where to buy: www.sassabella.com
                        Good Foods Coop- Lexington, Ky


Ingredients: Organic Coconut Oil, Sunflower Wax, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Zinc Oxide,  Polyglycerol-3 Beeswax, Non-GMO Vitamin E, and Essential Oils of Spearmint, Peppermint, Clove, Rosemary, Tea Tree, and Manuka