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“Eating Consciously…It’s A Journey” by Kari Klinkenborg Anderson: Former Florida Gator VB Player, Actress & Model!

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Kari Klinkenborg Anderson is a former Florida Gator Volleyball player, Actress, Model and all-around super woman. She is also the founder of Feeding Soles, an organization which provides new shoes and socks to children in need.

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“Some people eat to live, and other’s live to eat.   I, myself, would be the latter.  Food is my love, my passion. People laugh when they hear me talk about food; it truly makes me come alive, and I often find myself thinking of my next meal before finishing what I’m currently eating.

Growing up as a competitive athlete, this was fine. However, as I’ve matured and no longer train 3-5 hours a day, I’ve had to face the harsh reality that my metabolism has changed.  I’ve heard it since I was a kid, “Oh honey, you’re so lucky, wait till you’re 25.” Inside I just laughed, I thought oh please, I’ll always be blessed w the ability to eat what I want, look good, and feel great.  Turns out, as with many things in life, you end up eating your own words, or in this case, I guess my own thoughts.  Allow me to explain…

Some of my earliest and fondest memories revolve around food – whether one of my favorite meals my mom or Grandma made, or simply deciding which box of cereal I was going to devour at 10pm when I finally made it home from practice. I can’t begin to adequately describe how I feel after I enjoy a fantastic meal, demolish a cheese plate, bake a delicious dessert, or have a great cup of coffee or wine after a long day.  Okay, yes, wine isn’t exactly food, but you get my gist, food is truly my happy place.  Food transcends time. It brings up memories. It’s exciting. You can have different meals based on the weather, region you live in, or the country you are visiting.  In fact, my ultimate goal is to own a coffee shop/cafe in a little town where everyone knows your name and you can eat healthy, yet indulge at the same time.

Healthy?   Did I just throw that in there?   Okay, after all that babble, I’m going to try and focus here.
 Growing up I was somewhat conscious of the foods I was eating, but I thought low-fat packaged foods were healthy and one pop tart versus two was exercising great self-control.  Ignorance truly is bliss.  I never knew what gluten was until I moved to LA, and I thought a Vegan was a fancy, more modern term for a vegetarian.  I’m happy to report that I now know what each of those are, however, I don’t adhere to either.  Not because I think they’re wrong, but because I’ve learned, and am continuing to learn, what works for me and my body.

First and foremost I have to admit, it is hard. It is very, very hard for me to consume less than I did when I was a competitive athlete burning thousands of calories per day.  I like to eat. Food tastes good. It is exciting, comforting, and downright satisfying.  However, I’ve learned the hard way that instant gratification is just that, instant.
Over the years I’ve enjoyed so many fabulous meals, yet I haven’t felt so great after I’ve consumed them. I always equated feeling bad with a rich meal or possibly (most likely) consuming way too much of the meal I was having.  When I was an athlete, cheat days were everyday.  No lie, I used to have people comment on a daily basis on how impressed they were with the amount of food I could consume.  I almost wore it as a badge of honor that I could maintain a decent frame and still eat what I wanted. It wasn’t until this year that I started realizing that maybe feeling sick after a meal, and actually wanting to vomit, meant more than I was just full or overindulged on my cheat day.    I wasn’t just uncomfortable, I was miserable. I was waking up with terrible stomachaches no matter how many hours had passed between finishing my meal and going to bed.  Of course I’d heard about “clean eating” and it changing peoples lives and blah blah, but that just wasn’t for me. I simply wasn’t going to put that much time, effort, and thought into what I was having for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

After sitting through a business dinner with very well respected individuals in the fitness industry, I started wondering if what they were saying about processed foods and hormones in our food could actually be true. The claims they were making seemed so ridiculous. If all of these things were so harmful for us, how were they allowed to be in our foods? Now I was interested, so when I got home that night, I hit Google University.

I started researching exactly what was going into the foods I was consuming on a daily basis.  Mind you, at this point, I’m not even sure I was aware of what processed food actually were.    Not only was I unaware of the junk I was constantly putting in my body (which tasted so delicious), but the research and studies were downright concerning.   I was truly floored when I researched the impact of red and yellow food coloring, and astonished at the amount of garbage (literally garbage) the FDA allows humans to consume. I would love to say that all of this knowledge allowed me to quit eating processed food and junk immediately, but it didn’t.

I started small. In fact, I decided to start by trying to be dairy-free for a week. I thought this would be so difficult because I love half and half in my coffee and I love cheese. Actually, I more than love cheese! But I had noticed that every time I consumed dairy I would start to experience the same symptoms. I just kind of thought I woke up with dull headaches and runny noses year round. But after my research, I had the feeling that maybe I had a dairy intolerance or allergy, hence my weeklong challenge to go without dairy. Yikes!

Even though I am competitive, I didn’t think I’d last more than 2 days without some form of dairy products. Turns out I went 10 days with absolutely zero dairy, zero. I couldn’t believe how much better I was feeling in the mornings. I wasn’t feeling congested immediately after my first cup of coffee, and I didn’t have a sore throat for the first half of every day. Pretty amazing, but I was not totally convinced. I was pretty proud to have kicked my half and half habit though. On day 10 a friend of mine was moving, so we decided to celebrate by going out for ice cream. Not fro-yo, but the real deal, full dairy, full fat, delicious stuff. It was so tasty and satisfying, but within 3 minutes of the first bite, I was sick. I mean pounding headache, nose running, sinuses hurting, needing to run to the restroom kind of sick. This was the day that I realized I had a severe dairy intolerance. I was pretty depressed because I knew this meant I was going to have to change my diet, and for more than just 10 days. But, it was also exciting to realize that I had found a simple answer as to why I hadn’t been feeling well off and on for years!

I did not give up dairy entirely; I have just learned what works best for my body. I can still enjoy cheese, I just try having it less often. When I do allow myself cheese, I’ve found the raw variety cause very little, if any, discomfort. I’ve learned that certain brands of coconut milk make my overnight breakfast oats taste way better than yogurt ever did, and for the days I’m craving yogurt, I opt for the coconut milk version. I think I was so overwhelmed with all the foods I’d be missing out on if I decided to scale back or go non dairy that I just decided that dairy didn’t negatively affect me, even though I knew it did. It turns out that there are so many delicious alternatives to most dairy products, and that having an allergy doesn’t mean that you have to limit yourself by eating boring foods, or limit what restaurants you go to.

After my dairy experiment I decided to try another one…no processed foods. This was very tough, because it meant I basically had to stay away from my cabinets. I’m always on the go, so I find myself stocking up on pre packaged food – mainly because it has a long shelf life and it’s easy to toss something in my purse and walk out the door. Well, if it can sit in a cabinet for years, what was it doing to my body? Again, I made excuses as to why I wasn’t going to be able to kick processed foods, mainly because I love the taste and I like carbs. I don’t like healthy carbs like oranges and sweet potatoes; I like crackers, chips, granola bars, cereal etc.

I decided I would eat zero processed food for a minimum of 5 days. I again think I lasted about 10, and it was pretty amazing because at first all I wanted was crackers and bread. After about 3 days, my body started craving the things I was giving it. It wanted more arugula salads, kale or mashed cauliflower, juicy watermelon (which I previously never liked), or crisp green grapes.

The hardest part of eating no processed foods for me is constantly having to grocery shop. Fresh food spoils so I only get the amount I can eat within the week so I won’t waste food. Aside from being at the grocery store 3 times a week, and it being more expensive to eat healthy, real foods, I have to say; there is nothing like the feeling of your body running at it’s best. I can truly tell you that my body has NEVER felt as good as it does when I am eating “clean.” I never wanted to be that girl who follows the fads, and I thought that clean eating and no dairy were just that. It turns out that everyone raves about it for a reason. It is a game changer.

Everything I do when I am eating clean seems easier. I’ve been able to do yoga poses that I never in a million years thought I’d achieve, or even want to. I can run further and faster without getting tired, and I wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to eat a healthy meal and start my day. My skin looks better. My body feels better. My mind is clearer. The benefits of eating a clean healthy diet and consuming a lot of water are truly indescribable.

This is not to say that I don’t still enjoy a juicy burger and fries or a big piece of cake or hit the candy bins. I still do all of that but I do it in moderation and I try and eat a juicy burger from a restaurant and eat organic beef instead of fast food. Like I said, my body has stopped craving junk the more I cut it out, and sometimes when I indulge in my old favorites, I literally get sick because my body is not used to that stuff anymore. Now, more often than not, I crave dark chocolate, and I’ve never been a chocolate person before. The more real foods you eat, the more your taste buds change and you start appreciating REAL flavors.

My advice to anyone looking to change his or her eating habits or start living a healthier lifestyle is to start small. Make a realistic goal like cutting out sugar or fried foods or dairy for a few days. You want to set yourself up for success. If you’re like me, and you suspect something may be upsetting your body, try eliminating that first and go from there. One of the biggest changes I’ve made is shopping the perimeter of the grocery store. Other than canned beans or tomatoes, peanut butters, Lara bars, or occasionally some crackers, I do not buy anything from the middle of the store. It is basically all processed junk. Buy organic when you can even though it’s a little more expensive. When using veggies and fruits to juice, it’s important that you’re not giving pesticides a fast track to your digestive system. I always buy organic meats if they’re available. This is one food item where I can absolutely tell a difference in the quality and taste. Try sticking to natural sugars. Real maple syrup, local organic honey, agave; they’re all delicious and a little goes a long way.

Find what works for you, and trust your body. Our bodies can tell us a lot if we are willing to listen and adjust accordingly. And don’t beat yourself up. If you want to eat something, do it. Just do it in moderation. It is okay to indulge. It is okay to have a cheat day or two. I usually eat something sweet at least once a day because I know if I don’t I will most likely binge eat. However, I now try and eat a piece of toast with honey and peanut butter, a piece of dark chocolate or an apple with almond butter.

I still live to eat, I just now do it more consciously.”

Author Bio:

Kari grew up the middle child of 5 girls.  A self-proclaimed tomboy, she grew up in Iowa, California and Denver, allowing her to fall in love with the city life while appreciating her country roots.   Kari played multiple sports during her middle school years in Iowa but realizing how much she loved volleyball she made the decision to move back to Colorado when she was recruited by one of the elite volleyball clubs in the country.   Kari competed with her high school track team and was captain of the volleyball team.  After earning All State and All American honors Kari was offered a scholarship to play volleyball for the #2 ranked Florida Gators.  While at Florida Kari was part of three SEC championship teams and lead the SEC in regular season hitting percentage in 2005.   Kari suffered a career ending injury after her junior season but continued to pursue her love of sports and entertaining while earning a Bachelor of Science in Communications, hoping to one day pursue sports broadcasting.  While at Florida Kari hosted a weekly sports show entitled “GatorZone” highlighting all the Gator Athletes and upcoming events.   This solidified her desire to pursue a career in entertainment.   Upon graduating Kari moved to Los Angeles where she founded a charity called Feeding Soles aiming to provide new shoes and socks for underprivileged men, women and children in the Los Angeles area each Christmas.  Kari has pursued acting for the past 4 years, appearing in several national commercials, TV shows and recently shot two feature films.  In her down time, Kari loves being with her family, her puppy Major, being outdoors, being active and traveling the world.

I am so thrilled to have Kari’s thoughts on story on ROO! Isn’t she incredible? I’m so grateful that she was willing to write a piece about healthy eating. Go Gators!

Organic Valley Protein Milk Drinks Review

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Organic Valley

Overall Rating: 3.5 STARS

About Organic Valley:

Always Organic & Farmer-Owned since 1988

If a company is going to make a difference in today’s world, it’s going to have to think differently. At Organic Valley, our philosophy and decisions are based on the health and welfare of people, animals and the earth. We’re a mission-driven cooperative, owned by family farmers, and we’ve been leaders in organic agriculture from the very beginning.

The Roots Support the Crown

Our story starts back in January of 1988—a time when family farms were on the brink of extinction. We were a handful of farmers in Southwestern Wisconsin’s coulee region and we shared a love of the land. We also shared the belief that a new, sustainable approach to agriculture could help family farms and rural communities survive. With a small poster inviting area farmers to join our current CEIEIO, George Siemon, for an informational meeting regarding the formation of the Coulee Region Organic Produce Pool (CROPP) at the county courthouse, we created enough momentum to carry us to this day.

Folks back then, just like you today, were concerned with food quality and environmental issues. They were looking for more natural, nutritious food—food grown without synthetic and potentially harmful pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. We began by growing organic vegetables, and soon added organic dairy products. When we found the demand we anticipated was real, we created the Organic Valley brand name and expanded our product line.

The Cream Has Risen

Our co-op, through the Organic Valley™ brand, soon became the number one source of organic milk in the nation. Once pioneers of organic agriculture, we’re now an established leader. Organic is all we do. We remain driven by our mission to promote regional farm diversity and economic stability by the means of organic agricultural methods and the sale of certified organic products. We maintain integrity through our commitment to consumer education and delivering the highest quality, strictly organic products to consumers, schools, and a variety of manufacturers looking for organic ingredients.

At our helm is one of our original seven farmers, George Siemon, our Chief Executive Officer. George prefers the title C-E-I-E-I-O. A lifelong farmer, he and his family have operated an organic farm in the Bad Axe River valley of Wisconsin’s driftless area since 1977. With his unique combination of having a hand in the soil as well as being able to see the big picture, George has been a leader in the campaign to establish effective national standards for organic certification.

We are committed to organic agriculture and building a future for sustainable family farming in America. Organic. It’s all we do.”

Organic Fuel

About:

Your motivation isn’t synthetic. Your recovery shake shouldn’t be either.

You work hard to push yourself to the next level – and so do we. Introducing Organic Fuel. It’s a game-changing, organic recovery shake packed with 26 grams of high-quality milk protein to help get your body to its absolute peak.

Ingredients

Organic Filtered Skim Milk, Water, Organic Fair Trade Unrefined Cane Sugar, Organic Cream, Organic Fair Trade Dutch Cocoa, Organic Chocolate Extract, Lactase Enzyme, Gellan Gum, Vitamin D3.”

Organic Balance

About:

Nutritious, wholesome ingredients to power you through your day.

At Organic Valley, we believe in keeping things simple. Use what you need, and leave out what you don’t. That’s how our family farmers have operated every day since 1988.

This belief is brought to life with Organic Balance, which consists of only 9 high-quality ingredients, 16g of organic milk protein and 50% of your recommended daily intake of calcium.

Like all Organic Valley products, Organic Balance is made without the use of GMOs, antibiotics, synthetic hormones, toxic pesticides or artificial sweeteners.

Ingredients

Organic Lowfat Milk, Organic Filtered Skim Milk, Organic Fair Trade Unrefined Cane Sugar, Organic Fair Trade Dutch Cocoa, Organic Dark Chocolate Flavor, Lactase Enzyme, Gellan Gum, Organic Stevia, Vitamin D3.”

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My Thoughts:

My interaction with Organic Valley has been nothing short of pleasant, and I had a wonderful time contributing to the Rock the Lunchbox campaign that helps inspire ideas and generate momentum for making children’s lunches healthier.

Looking at Organic Valley as a whole brand, I truly appreciate that they offer organic dairy products to the everyday consumer. These products are available in most of my local health food stores, thus I’d say they are readily accessible to most.

Both of these drinks are delicious. I definitely prefer the vanilla flavors in both the “Fuel” and “Balance” drinks; though the chocolate flavors are delicious in their own right. Though they are “protein shakes,” they were sweet enough to me to be a tasty dessert. They taste like melted ice cream (THAT yummy). The Organic Fuel shake has a higher protein content (and higher caloric content), thus is the more filling and satisfying drink of the two. The Organic Balance drink has a macro balanced nutritional profile with adequate amounts of fat, protein and carbohydrates–and is a lighter option compared to the Fuel drink.

In regards to quality, these drinks are amongst the very best you can find in your local store, as they’re organic, non-gmo, free of hormones and antibiotics. However, I take issue (in general) with pasteurization, both in milk products and juice. Heat denatures protein and diminishes most of the product’s nutritional value. Pasteurizing increases the shelf life of milk and juice, making it a widely used method (unfortunately). To make up for this deficit, many milks have vitamins added. I also understand that raw milk is not legal in most states–thus, pasteurized milk is the norm. Without turning this whole post into pasteurization, I’ll just say: The whole process is something that I’m just not a fan of.

I want to drink and eat real food, close to the source. I understand this isn’t the reality 100% of the time–but, when I’m deciphering which products I’ll continuously come back to, they are the high quality, organic products that have been minimally processed, and if possible, raw.

When compared to other dairy options, Organic Valley products are a better alternative to most dairy that you’ll find in your local market. Not all dairy products are organic, non-mo and free of antibiotics & hormones. These Organic Valley drinks are delicious, convenient are an upgrade from most dairy products.

Source Organic Whey Protein Review

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Source Organic Whey Protein

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Source Organic:

“Convenient, wholesome protein is one the most difficult things to incorporate into a busy and active lifestyle, but is also one the most important.

Where your food comes from is important, and what goes into making the purest whey protein available is just as important as what does not. Source Organic Whey Protein starts with the finest raw ingredients and does as little to them as possible.

We start by working with farmers who believe in the welfare and humane treatment of their animals. Our farmers’ cows are a heritage breed called Jersey cows. These cows graze year-round on fresh pasture of clover, rye, and other native grasses.

The milk they produce is naturally high in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA’s), lactoferrin and immunoglobulins. Our USDA Organic Certification is our guarantee to you that our cows have never been given hormones, antibiotics, steroids, or genetically modified feed (GMO).

For the process to convert liquid whey to a powdered form, we use industry leading techniques of cold-processed microfiltration and small batch drying to ensure the most nutrient dense protein.

Each bag is hand packed under the direction of a certified organic processor. Our packaging is done in an environmentally conscious facility. Once packed, our bags are shipped directly to you.

To meet the request of our customers who use our Source Organic Whey Instant protein, we add less than 1% organic sunflower lecithin (not soy lecithin) to allow for the protein to mix instantly in any liquid. Our Source Organic Whey Classic protein contains no lecithin and mixes best when blended in a blender.

Process

We start with organic milk from four family owned local dairies, all within 90 miles of our whey processing facility.

Climate
The temperate climate allows cows to graze year-round on fresh pasture of clover, rye, and other native grasses.

Sustainability
With 100% of our milk coming from local dairies within a 90-mile radius, we greatly reduce the energy costs of transporting milk. The whey plant itself employs energy recovery systems, saving 43% on the energy required to dry the protein. Millions gallons of water per year and electricity are saved through water recirculation and electrical updates at our facilities.

Jersey Cows
Our farmers raise a heritage breed of cow know as a Jersey cow. Jersey cows have a 20% lower carbon footprint than the Holstein cow, the mostly widely used breed by dairy cow.1

(1) (J. L. Capper and R. A. Cady. A comparison of the environmental impact of Jersey compared with Holstein milk for cheese production J. Dairy Sci.95:165–176. (2012))

A2 Milk
Jersey cows produce A2 milk, whereas Holstein cows produce A1 milk. Recent research suggests that the protein structure found in A1 milk may play a negative role in certain health issues.

Filtration and Processing
Liquid organic whey undergoes cold-processed, ultra-filtration and a short-duration, low temperature drying process, to produce a powdered organic whey protein.

Acid- and Bleach-free processing. Independent testing for impurities, including heavy metals.

Did you know?
For every 1000 lbs of whey, 10 lbs. of our organic whey protein are produced.

Packaging
Our resealable packaging is free of phthalates, heavy metals, and genetically modified (GM) components.”

My Thoughts:

This brand of whey protein is one of a few different whey protein powders that I’ve been trying out and implementing into my marathon training routine. This protein by Source Organic is delicious and tastes real (because it is) unlike many other protein brands that taste chalky and fake.

I love how thorough the information on the Source website is regarding the process of making whey protein. They really give you a full picture of how they approach packaging organic whey protein. Other that some slight taste nuances between the various organic whey proteins that I’ve tried, I essentially the same overarching thoughts about all of them. All of them appear to be driven by creating a pure, healthy, organic product.

It’s hard to find protein powder that you look forward to using because it tastes so good. I am loving that I can mix this protein with anything I want–the vanilla has gone very well with any concoction I’ve come up with thus far. I like it best blended with almond milk and a few strawberries.

This is not the only whey protein on the market, obviously, but it is absolutely one of the highest quality. There are a few other lines of organic whey protein out there–I am finding that amongst those brands, most of them are comparable. These top organic whey protein brands appear passionate about producing whey protein that you can trust, which is more than what your typical store-bought protein can say for itself. By trust, I mean know that the protein is free of pesticides, GMOs, hormones and artificial junk.

Though I do not include other dairy products, I digest whey protein fine (in high-quality whey proteins, 100% of the lactose has been eliminated, thus it’s resemblance to milk is gone). Performance wise, I am on the top of the game in regards to running, lifting and requiring little recovery time. I believe that including organic whey protein in my diet has been a large part of that.

I also feel good about a brand that voices a concern for how the cows are taken care of and is against artificial hormone injection. The cows and us individuals ingesting the protein both benefit from that.

This protein is best put into a blender or a bpa-free plastic blender bottle. Stirring it with a spoon will not sufficiently break up the clumps. The higher quality whey proteins seem to be that way. The whey flavor goes well with merely any combination you can dream up. Anything that you would typically pair with milk would be a good choice.

I’d recommend this Source Organic whey protein to anyone looking for an organic, high quality whey protein powder to aid in muscle growth, maintaining lean body mass and improved recovery.

Prime My Body Plant-Based Protein Review

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Prime My Body Protein

Overall Rating: 3.5 STARS

About Prime My Body:

“Prime Protein is a 100% natural plant based superfood that delivers the essential amino acids, omegas & proteins your body deserves on a daily basis.

Directions: Shake or blend 1 scoop of PRIME with 6-10oz of coconut water, almond milk, filtered water (our favorite!) or with any other beverage. Within seconds you’ll be ready to consume the best whole foods & plants Earth has to offer. Delicious is an understatement..

Our 100% plant based ingredients aid in detoxification, while delivering the essential amino acids, omegas & proteins a body needs for optimal function. For information regarding our incredible & natural ingredients see our research here.

Real Moments Require Real Food.”

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My Thoughts:

Without getting into a whole discussion on all of the various proteins that are out there, lets just say that finding a protein that I believe suits me best has been a major focus of mine in regards to my diet. I’ve essentially concluded that I feel and perform better (running and weight lifting) when I do my best to limit my consumption of grains. Because of this, I’ve tried to generally dodge protein powders that are derived from brown rice. I am still very much a proponent of hemp protein (which is one of the few plant-based proteins with a complete amino acid profile), which is a part of this Prime protein blend (brown rice protein, pea protein, hemp protein). I would keep this protein in my grain-free routine if it contained only the hemp protein.

That said, I realize that there are many individuals who are vegan or vegetarian and are looking for plant-based protein options. For those people, I’d recommend this protein. Since this protein is non-gmo, it is heads and shoulders above many other protein brands you’ll see in the store. Organic is best, and I’d love to see organic ingredients in this blend (if they are organic, they are not listed that way).

Taste-wise, this blend is very good! You know a blend has a great taste when it’s great mixed with just water (as they suggest). The chocolatey flavor tastes real and satisfying. The drink itself is very filling as well.

I’ve had a very pleasant experience interacting with this company–and that is no trivial thing. They have been very helpful in answering my questions about the protein, which has helped me gain a fuller understanding to their approach in creating this protein. They also happen to ship their protein in the coolest boxes that read “Heck No GMO.”

Like I said, I would consider being a regular customer if they created an only-hemp protein blend! I love the passion behind their product and their stance on overall health.

Garden of Life Wild Rose Detox & Raw Fit Review

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Garden of Life

Overall Rating: images 

I have done several reviews and giveaways on Garden of Life products and believe they create high quality, organic supplements.

If you are submerged in the world of health products, you’ve likely heard about the scrutiny that Garden of Life has been under in regards to their products containing heavy metals. My brief  response (just to address it)–as dismissive as it may be, is that when you’re on the top, many will try to knock you down. I feel a bit that way with this GOL situation. As a successful brand, it does not surprise me that they have individuals who are seeking to find flaws. That said, I do not know the specific, scientific data from the tests that were run on their products, but I would venture to say that these supplements are still worlds better than most.

Raw Fit – Marley Coffee

About:

“RAW Fit is a USDA Certified Organic, RAW, plant-based vegan high-protein powder that is an easy way to increase your protein intake. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that mixes great with your favorite food or beverage and contains RAW, organic and clinically studied ingredients to help you burn fat, maintain healthy blood sugar, boost your energy, lose weight and look great!†

  • Support healthy blood sugar levels and burn fat naturally with the power of Svetol® Green Coffee Bean Extract, RAW Food Created Chromium, Organic Cinnamon, and Organic Sprouted Grains†
  • Help regulate your cortisol levels and manage stress related cravings with RAW Organic Ashwagandha†
  • Build lean muscle mass, help repair it after work-outs and sustain it on a sensible meal plan with 28g of RAW certified organic plant protein—a complete protein with 13 organic sprouts and a biological value of 98.2%!
  • Naturally filling and satisfies hunger with RAW Organic Soluble and Insoluble Fiber from certified organic grains, seeds, legumes and fruits.
  • Promotes healthy and comfortable digestion and elimination with live probiotics and enzymes†.”

My Thoughts:

I used Raw Fit and Raw Meal both for about a 6 month period in 2013 because I found that it was hard to find a protein that’s organic, non-gmo and free of common food allergens (like dairy, gluten, soy). In 2014 so far, I’ve seen the biggest strides in my running performance and overall healthful feeling from omitting grains. Because of this, I haven’t been incorporating brown-rice based proteins like this GOL Raw Fit product. This is a more “paleo” way of eating and I’ve found that I feel my best when I stick to it. So, instead of brown-rice proteins, I’ve been using organic whey and hemp based proteins.

I realize that everyone is different, and many of you are likely vegans. For that group of people, I see the appeal for using GOL brown rice protein, as it’s a plant based source of protein that is satisfying and abides by the vegan way of eating. For paleo-eaters similar to myself, I’d recommend listening to you body and trying to figure out when you feel your best. Is it when you omit certain foods like dairy and grains and increasing your intake of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables? That’s been the case for me.

All of that said, this protein tastes wonderful, is high quality and I think is a great recommendation for many individuals. I am an avid coffee drinker and have been a Marley Coffee fan long before GOL collaborated with them to create this product. Their coffee is USDA organic and is delicious & rich (the roasts are also named after Bob Marley songs–so awesome!). You can check out Marley Coffee products here.

Wild Rose Herbal Detox

About:

“For over 25 years, the Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox Program has been the leader in providing a complete detoxification of the liver, colon, kidneys and lymphatic system in Canada. Now, thanks to Garden of Life, this amazing cleanse program is available to you. By following the recommended diet and taking the herbal formulas provided, the Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox Program helps promote a healthy balance between assimilation and elimination.†

For many, a new detox is the beginning of a new lifestyle, and a time for breaking unwanted habits.† Whether to stay in good health, to support a specific health goal, or to use after over-consumption, a detoxification program can be an integral part of your personal approach to maintain overall health.”

My Thoughts:

I’m all about making detoxification a part of my every day life. Detoxing don’t have to mean implementing a product like this, but occasionally its a great, extra boost. Some great every day habits for detoxing are thinking blended greens (not juiced), fresh fruit and vegetable juices and drinking citrus-infused water.

I was impressed with the list of herbs that this GOL Detox contains, as many of them are naturally potent liver detoxifiers.

I think a common misconception with detoxing is that you are going to feel this instant WHOA! I FEEL CLEANSED! In reality, it’s not like that. If you pay attention to how your body feels daily, though, you will notice that you have a bit more energy, you don’t have digestive issues (bloating, stomach aches. constipation) when you do a detox like this. Those are the main things I noticed.

I would recommend this cleanse to anyone that has not done an herbal detox before. This detox can also help those that suffer from acne–as many acne problems are a result of a liver that is not functioning optimally.

These herbs are different than other detoxes that just use fiber to clear out your digestive tract. You’ll love the slight boost it gives you–you’ll feel cleaner and clearer, inside and out.