Tag Archives: artificial

Camelbak Mantra Powder Drink Mix Review

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Camelbak Mantra

Overall Rating: 3 Stars

About Camelbak Mantra:

“NATURAL INGREDIENTS: No artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.

ZERO CALORIES: Made with the natural sweetener stevia

LESS WASTE: Great tasting drink mix is designed for reusable bottles

CONVENIENT: Powder stick packs are great for hydrating on-the-go

ENHANCING: Antioxidants, vitamins and electrolytes replenish as you hydrate

FULL INGREDIENT LIST for Blueberry Pomegranate (for example): Monopotassium Phosphate, Calcium Lactate, Sodium Citrate, Magnesium Lactate, Citric Acid, Stevia Leaf Extract, Fruit and Vegetable Juice for Color, Natural Flavor, Ascorbic Acid, Niacinamide, Retinol Acetate, Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Biotin, and Cyanocobalamin.”

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My Thoughts:

The Camelbak brand is invaluable to my family’s vigor for nature and being outdoors. We love all of our Camelbak backpacks as well as the water bottles–of course, I’m a big fan of the fact that they are all BPA-free. This large purple Eddy bottle is perfect for our little girl her fluid capacity gradually increases. It’s a bit bigger than the kid’s Eddy and is great for long days or trips away from our home water filter.

As far as electrolyte replacement and hydration goes, I’m very easily to please. Water does it for me. I drink only water before and after activity, with the occasional squeeze of fresh lemon juice or lemon essential oil into my water bottle. I don’t naturally gravitate towards sports drinks or mixes. If I try them, my standards are pretty high. I want the ingredient list to be chock full of recognizable, whole food ingredients.

In the case of Mantra, it’s tough for me to stand behind a product that does not use organic ingredients. I do believe it to be a large step in the right direction (and better than the big lines of sports drinks–not naming names) for these Camelbak Mantra powder mixes to be free of artificial ingredients, colors and sweeteners– & I like the choice to use stevia in these mixes. However, to make it into my daily routine, these ingredient lists would have to look much more appealing and recognizable.

I appreciate the idea of this product, but in actuality–the ingredients are not up to par for this running girl.

 

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Evol Foods Review

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Evol Foods

Overall Rating: 3 Stars

About Evol:

“Our food philosophy is simple: Love what you eat. So, we make REAL FOOD with ingredients that you would find in your pantry. We’re leading change in a challenged food system and encouraging people to connect with food, where it comes from, and how it is produced. Whether it’s made from scratch in your kitchen or a convenient frozen meal on the run, every eating experience should feel good and be worth sharing.


No Anitbiotics
Our chicken, beef, pork, eggs and cheese come from animals raised on US Family Farms WITHOUT the use of Antibiotics & Hormones.

No Artificial
flavors, colors or additives.

No GMOs
in our grains, vegetables & oils.”

Gluten Free Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese

About:

“Gluten free elbow noodles, caramelized onions and chives–All combined with an insanely tasty smoked gouda cheese sauce.”

Gluten Free Uncured Bacon Mac & Cheese

About:

“Gluten free elbow noodles, crispy uncured bacon and peas–All combined with an insanely tasty cheddar cheese sauce.”

Chipotle Chicken Mac & Cheese

About:

“Tubetti pasta, creamy cheddar cheese sauce and tender white meat chipotle chicken–All topped with an insanely tasty corn tortilla crumble.”

Chicken Enchilada Bake

About:

“Tender braised white meat chicken, pinto beans, cilantro lime rice, cheddar cheese and roasted corn layered between authentic corn tortillas–All topped with an insanely tasty green enchilada sauce.”

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My Thoughts:

As a product line that is readily available at most health food stores in the frozen section, Evol makes it convenient for customers to get their hands on read-to-cook meals that are free of GMO ingredients. This is what sets them apart from other lines of frozen dinners–their stance against Non-GMO and their gluten free options.

This array of dinner options was a more viable option for my husband, who doesn’t limit grains like I aim to, most of the time. He was impressed with all of these dishes he tried, with the Chicken Enchilada Bake being his favorite and the two Mac & Cheese dishes as his next preferences.

We have also tried Evol’s frozen burritos, which are hearty, satisfying and tasty. They definitely do flavor right. The obvious scrutiny to me is that they do not use (or indicate that they use) organic ingredients. I also prefer the frozen food I buy to be easily reheated using a toaster or stovetop, not a microwave–which is the recommended way to reheat in this case. I’m sure you could be creative and find a way to skip microwave usage, however, the bowls that these dishes come in seem to be chosen for microwave usage.

Taste-wise, Evol products are pretty awesome. Quality wise, they are a bit above average but require some work to be up to par with my highest standards.

Zevia Stevia Soda Review

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Zevia Stevia-Sweetened Soda

Overall Rating: 3 Stars

About Zevia:

“In 2007, amidst the rainy backdrop of Seattle, Zevia Zero Calorie Soda was born. Sharing our first flavors, naturally sweetened ColaLemon Lime Twist and Orange soda with the world became our mission, and we were welcomed with open arms; the good soda love was spreading as people made it clear they were ready for smarter choices.

Zevia was embraced by people all around the world but none we knew better than our fans in the Pacific Northwest, as it was home. However, cold soda & hot sun seemed like a perfect fit so we up and moved to Los Angeles! Southern California became our new home, but a big part of our heart is still in Seattle. Our family of soda loving people has grown right along with the world’s passion for Zevia. So what to do when you have more Z team members? Make more soda, of course!

While our team has almost doubled in the last year, so has our commitment to our incredibly loyal and vocal customers. For us, this means listening to the most important people to our company – you! In early 2013, we heard you loud and clear, and the call for glass bottles was answered with great enthusiasm! Cherry Cola,ColaCream SodaGinger AleGrape and Ginger Root Beer can now be enjoyed in a classic glass bottle, in addition to cans.

Our momentum hasn’t slowed. In fact, 2013 has been our biggest year yet! In the second quarter of 2013, we broke our own records, selling an astonishing 17 million cans throughout April, May and June! That’s a lot of soda, and tons of sugar grams avoided! What’s more, we were ranked 17th amongst 20 diet soda brands and were the only independent brand among them! You might say 17 is our new lucky number!

With a commitment to continuous improvement and natural sweetener innovation, we have now “cracked the code” on something truly special!  We’ve added Monk Fruit to our sodas to make them even better tasting!  We call this winning combination of natural sweeteners, SweetSmart. While Stevia still provides most of the sweetness you taste in Zevia, the addition of Monk Fruit to our existing formulas complements our Stevia and enhances our soda’s overall sweetness while reducing any of that Stevia aftertaste you may have noticed before. Still zero calories and zero glycemic index, just a little smarter!  Make the jump to read more about SweetSmart, you smarty pants…

WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT ZEVIA?

With natural products, being healthy isn’t enough – a product has to taste great, and also be healthy, to really be a compelling alternative. At Zevia, we really believe that we’ve created a better soda.

And we’re fortunate that our fans are vocal. Every day, we receive letters, emails and calls from folks who have just discovered Zevia, and are thrilled to have a product they can feel good about consuming every day.

One of the most fun things about working at Zevia is sharing our products with people who used to drink soda and stopped, or in some cases always avoided soda for health reasons. Kids are the most fun of all – we meet lots of kids who’ve never had soda in their lives, because it was banned in their household, and to watch their faces when they try Zevia for the first time is priceless.

Similarly, people with diabetes, people seeking to lose weight or control their weight, or people who just want to live a healthier life really light up when they discover our product.

We don’t think that soda should be a “four-letter word,” and we’re out to change the way people think about soda by providing a healthy option that tastes great.”

My main interest in every food or supplement I try is the ingredient list. Sure, taste is great, but I won’t be eating/drinking it regularly if I don’t believe in the ingredients. Here is a little bit more information on a few less-recognizable ingredients in Zevia Soda:

WHAT IS NATURAL?

In our opinion, natural means nothing fake, phony or artificial. No artificial sweeteners, colors, junk. Only the good soda stuff. None of the bad. We use only the best ingredients to make our beverages. So you can drink this diet soda knowing it’s been made with love and care.

WHAT IS ERYTHRITOL?

While only 3% percent of the sweetness you taste in Zevia is from Erythritol, this natural sweetener plays an important role in SweetSmart, our next generation sweetening system. Erythritol is one of those ingredients that we love but shouldn’t judge by its overly scientific sounding name. A natural component of fruits, vegetables and grains, Erythritol is classified as a sugar alcohol, even though it is neither sugar nor alcohol. It is derived from fruits and vegetables through a natural fermentation process, much like that of yogurt and has absolutely no calories and no effect on blood glucose levels.

WHAT IS ZEVIA?

Soda. Pretty plain and simply, Zevia is soda but smarter. Zevia was created with the miracle ingredient, stevia, which makes it all natural and zero calories. Never any sugar or artificial sweeteners mean it’s a healthier soda for you and those that you love.

WHAT IS STEVIA?

A miracle plant. We think so anyway. Stevia is a little green plant from the sunflower family and originally native to South America. The stevia leaf is up to 200x sweeter than sugar but has no caloric value or effect on blood sugar levels. Natural and zero calories? Yep! Smarter sweetener? You betcha. Worthy of a trophy? We think so.”

My Thoughts:

Traditional soda is one of the very first things I stopped consuming several years ago (when I was in middle school) when I made a conscious effort to fuel my body like a serious athlete. However, Zevia is a step in the right direction with this soda-drinking epidemic. This is a much better alternative to both traditional soda and diet soda–both of which are rich in JUNK.

The flavors that I enjoyed the most were the Cream Soda and the Black Cherry, and my husband is a fan of the Cola and Ginger Ale.

I truly appreciate the usage of stevia (a plant-based sweetener) in Zevia. My scrutinies of the product simple lie within the fact that none of these ingredients are organic. The reason this is significant is because I can go to the store and purchase a Kombucha (my effervescent drink of choice that is completely organic). For that reason, Zevia would not be my choice as I’m strolling through the grocery store.

I’m also aware that there are a TON of people out there that are actively searching for a healthier option to replace their traditional soda habit. Zevia is a good product for those people to take a step in the right direction, and I would recommend Zevia to those individuals. Zevia is ingredient conscious and obviously pays more attention to what goes into their soda than other big-box soda brands do. I also love that they offer their soda in glass bottles (BPA-free) as an alternative to the metal cans. I look forward to the day when Zevia releases an organic line!