Tag Archives: eating

Eat Smart Digital Kitchen Scale Review

This is a review of the Eat Smart Digital Kitchen Scale for tracking macros and working towards your nutrition goals. Great for Crossfit enthusiasts and individuals looking to follow IIFYM (if it fits your macros).

Eat Smart Digital Kitchen Scale

About:

  • Professional food scale – Extra large lighted display and stainless steel platform
  • Max weight 15lbs; Displays ounces/lbs/grams/kgs; Graduation .05 oz / 1 gram
  • Includes FREE EatSmart Calorie Factors guide – Portion control and calorie counting made easy!
  • Tare feature eliminates the weight of a plate; 3 Minute Auto-Shutoff lets you prepare ingredients while maintaining battery life
  • 4 AAA batteries included; 100% EatSmart Guaranteed Satisfaction

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My Experience:

Measuring food was a foreign concept to me not long ago, but I gained an interest in it after learning more about how consuming certain macronutrient ratios may be able to maximize health and performance during workouts.

I came across this opportunity to try out an Eat Smart Scale and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I’m new to using scales (thus, I don’t have much to compare it to), but I wouldn’t see a need to ever get a different scale. This one seems to do an excellent job and is easy to store (we keep it on top of our microwave).

I like that could can measure in various ways like grams, ounces or pounds. My routine has been to the scale on with the bowl I’m using already on it, that way the scale is at zero with an empty bowl on top (it doesn’t weight the bowl this way).

I’m excited to have this fancy tool in our kitchen and have found it useful espescially for measuring out fat servings (like nuts) as well as measuring ground coffee for consistent brewing. If you do any kind of measuring in your kitchen on a regular basis, this is definitely worth having.

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Wanna get your hands on one? Check out Eat Smart’s social channels:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EatSmartProducts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EatSmartScales

Instagram: http://instagram.com/eatsmartproducts

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/eatsmartscales

 

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So…What am I Supposed to Eat?

When I’m asked for help in regards to nutrition and/or exercise, I have always feared sounding like a know-it-all. Being that way doesn’t feel natural to me. But I also get an overwhelming amount of questions like, “so, what am I supposed to eat?”

Speaking from experience and simply explaining how I do things feels incredibly natural, though. That slight changing of gears (in my mindset & approach) in helping others become the healthiest version of themselves has been huge.

Something I’ve witnessed with folks that are looking to become healthier, lose weight, regain vitality &/or boost energy is….

an overwhelming sense of paralysis due to fear & information overload in regards to food.

What’s good for you? What’s not? But, that website said I shouldn’t eat this? So, should I? Why am I breaking out? Is that my body detoxing? Why am I not losing weight? Do I need to go paleo, vegan, gluten free, dairy free blah, blah, blah, blah? Is low fat good? Or should I limit sugar? What about eating frequently throughout the day? Snacks? Eating late? How much protein do I need? Do I need to buy organic food? What’s the big deal about raw food?

Holy cow.

That’s what I mean. Can you say: Oh-ver-load!

Recent discussions in the food world, especially in healthy-minded communities have reached an all-time high–or at least it seems that way. Perhaps, I’m just more aware of it now because I am completely submerged in this world.

Like ANYTHING else in life. I find that the solution is simple & concise:

Ditch rules. Think: Eat to feel good.

Now, I get that many brains will completely come unwired to that idea. There has to be more to it, many must think. Well, I can break it down a little bit farther for those brains. Here are some things I keep in mind & how I would describe my daily eating choices (I feel the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life)…

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How I do it:

-Loads of: plants, superfoods, alkaline-forming foods

-Look to healthy fats & protein for fuel (limit refined sugar–it’s more of a cheap thrill. Too much promotes internal acidity. FRUIT is not in this category. Eat your fruit!)

-When grocery shopping, think: organic, raw, fresh.

-Drink lots of water. Basically as much as you can stand. Water helps everything in your body operate more optimally.

-Appreciate food again. Get excited to eat GOOD FOR YOU food. Don’t rush everything. Savor the subtle flavors of everything.

You might be thinking….so what about the dietary restrictions?

I find that (life is like this, too) when I focus my energy on all of those good things going into my body, I don’t have room for the extra junk. Thus, foods like processed grains, dairy, junk food, soda, other miscellaneous garbage food don’t find their way into my daily nutrition often because there’s no room for them. Does that make sense?

It’s like overwhelming your body with “positive,” good foods (like you overwhelm your mind with postitive thoughts to stay happy), so much so, that you don’t leave any room for the negative stuff that sucks the life out of you. You see, it’s all connected. It’s not diet is one isolated aspect & mindset is another isolated aspect of you. The same mantras can & do apply to every facet of your well being. Just apply them and life just becomes easier. You become healthier. That fog lifts. You end up looking in the mirror one day and feeling like you are becoming little Jesica again. Young, spry, capable, healthful without a care in the world. Well, maybe that’s just me. But MAN, it’s an incredible feeling–hard to describe really. AND it all starts with how you fuel your body and your mentality going into it.

Sunfood Organic & Raw Superfoods Review

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Sunfood Superfoods

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Sunfood:

The Sunfood Story
Years ago, a group of health minded individuals noticed an alarming trend in their towns and communities. They saw friends and family eating and drinking dead, processed foods full of chemicals. They knew that this was the path to obesity and disease, ultimately leading to western medicine’s suppression of symptoms with drugs and scalpels.  This is not true healing.

Sunfood was born from their desire to create an alternative path to health.  We believe that the secrets to health, energy and long life are found in nature through diet and nutrition.  Building upon the wisdom of traditional and modern natural healing methods from all over the world, we are here to share powerful information and superfoods that help people heal and rejuvenate themselves naturally.

It is our quest to find the most nutrient dense, raw, organic, Non-GMO superfoods on the planet.  Our search to uncover ancient and modern healing knowledge lost to our society has taken us all over the world, from the tropical regions of South America to the high mountains of Tibet.

Our family-operated business is located in San Diego, where we prepare superfoods in our certified organic facility and package them for you with care.  We are passionate about empowering our Sunfood family through education, from our superfood specialists on the phones, to our newsletters filled with the latest health information, to recipes made with love from our kitchen to yours.

Our Mission
At Sunfood we are on a quest to help you discover the healing, energy and longevity power within you.  We do this through education and the most nutrient dense, raw, organic, Non-GMO superfoods on the planet.”

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My Thoughts:

Sunfood is amongst my very tippy top favorite superfood brands! The quality of their expansive range of products is far superior to most that you will see on shelves. To insure that I’m ingesting superfoods with the utmost nutrient content, I aim to always eat raw superfoods. Also, to insure that I’m minimizing my pesticide exposure and am effectively dodging GMOs, I aim to always eat organic superfoods. Sunfood meets BOTH of those specs.

Of this bunch of samples, I enjoyed the Sun is Shining Green Superfood & the Superfood Smoothie Mix the most. I look to greens in my diet to provide me a large amount of the vital trace minerals that my body requires to operate at its maximum capability. I love the portability of these powdered greens; I add them to my morning smoothie and even take them with me on-the-go for a quick green drink on-the-fly. The superfood smoothie mix I value for the range of superfoods that it allows me to consume at once–this dense concoction includes the powder form of goji, maqui, camu camu, maca, acai, cacao, lucuma and brown rice protein to make them all more readily digestible & to make the drink more satisfying. It tastes unique & delicious–you really get to appreciate all the flavors of these powerful superfruits. For an added boost of protein (which I like to do in the mornings), I add the Raw Vanilla Brown Rice Protein & love the pure taste of it. Though the superfood smoothie mix already contains a small amount of acai powder, I added the pure Acai Powder to my smoothies (because I had it on hand!) and found that it served as an extra ka-pow of revitalizing power to my drink (as well as a beautiful & vibrant color!) Acai is so rich in antioxidants and nourishing vitamins thatI consider it an excellent beauty food to keep your skin looking dewy, protected and fresh.

I took the Chlorella Tablets as a preworkout energy boost. You can certainly chew these little tablets, but I chose to swallow them with a glass of water. I love the feeling that green energy provides. It’s real, it’s sustained & there are by no means any negative side effects–just pure goodness and an uplifting feeling.

There is so much information out there about superfoods, their benefits and so on. What I can say from personal experience is that incorporating superfoods into my daily nutrition routine is the single best thing I’ve ever done for my health. The quality and impact of superfoods compared to taking a multi-vitamin pill is a joke, in that there’s no comparison. Raw, organic superfoods will provide your body with real, recognizable fuel that will take good care of your body from the inside out. Also, many ailments are a result of a nutrient deficiency. Superfoods combat both malabsorption issues & nutrient deficiency as they normalize your internal pH, making it more alkaline, as well as giving your system a healthy shock of nutrients.

Go superfood yourself!!

Squarebar Organic, Gluten-Free, Protein Bar Review

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SquareBar

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About SquareBar:

“Squarebar began in the San Francisco kitchen of husband and wife Sarah & Andrew Gordon. After battling asthma most all her life, Sarah discovered that eliminating inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, soy, and processed sugars freed her from medication. It’s been more than five years since her last attack, and she no longer keeps an inhaler in the house.

Squarebar launched March 2012 at Natural Products Expo West and is now nationally distributed… growth built on our belief that Ingredients Matter Most . We source only the most nutrient-dense organic and non-gmo foods, and work directly with farmers to ensure an ethical path from crop to bar.

That way the most important ingredient of all [you] can feel good about the food you eat.

  • Organic & Non-GMO Project Verified  
  • 12g of Complete Protein
  • Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Peanut-Free, and Corn-Free
  • Coconut Nectar Sweetened (Low Glycemic)
  • No Added “Natural Flavors”
  • Real Chocolate Coated
  • Vegan.”

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Cocoa Almond

About:

“Chunks of almond, with just a hint of cinnamon for spice, coated in antioxidant-rich dark chocolate. Our favorite morning bar to pair with a cup of tea or coffee, with 12g of plant-based protein to keep you full all the way to lunchtime!

Ingredients:

Organic Coconut Nectar, Organic Whole Grain Sprouted Brown Rice Protein, Organic Dark Chocolate (Organic Cocoa Liquor, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Cocoa Butter), Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Gluten Free Oats, Organic Almonds, Organic Cocoa Liquor, Sunflower Lecithin, Organic Cinnamon, Sea Salt.”

Cocoa Coconut

About:

“Coconut and chocolate… a match made in snacker island paradise. Shredded coconut and extra virgin coconut oil make for a creamy coconut flavor. And with 11g of protein, your appetite and taste buds will be left feeling satisfied!

Ingredients:

Organic Coconut Nectar, Organic Whole Grain Sprouted Brown Rice Protein, Organic Dark Chocolate (Organic Cocoa Liquor, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Cocoa Butter), Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut, Organic Gluten Free Oats, Organic Cocoa Liquor, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt.”

Cocoa Crunch

About:

“Our neutral flavor that is anything but! The most chocolately of the three, with 12g of complete plant-based protein, and brown rice crispies for a ‘crunch.’ Consider your chocolate and hunger fix fixed!

Ingredients:

Organic Coconut Nectar, Organic Whole Grain Sprouted Brown Rice Protein, Organic Dark Chocolate (Organic Cocoa Liquor, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Cocoa Butter), Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Gluten Free Oats, Organic Cocoa Liquor, Organic Brown Rice Crisps (Organic Brown Rice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Sea Salt), Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt.”

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Use code “runonorganic” to get 20% off + free domestic shipping on your Squarebars order!

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My Thoughts:

There are some nutrition bars that taste like nutrition bars, then there are nutrition bars that taste like superpowered, healthy candy bars. Squarebars are the latter. These bars are simply amongst the very, very best you can buy as far as nutrition bars go. They taste insanely delish (all three flavors do), they’re certified organic, non-gmo certified, gluten free and also free of common food allergens like dairy, soy, peanuts and corn. Ipso facto, they rock!

They are perfectly satisfying on their own–but I’ve found them to be an absolute splendor when coupled with a cup of coffee. You can also chop them up and throw them atop a bowl of coconut ice cream for a healthy, protein-loaded dessert!

So, it took me about .5 seconds of reading the label to distinguish that these bars are atmospheres above average. The other thing that can really put a nutrition bar over the top for me is: “How much of it is raw”” In other words, how much of the ingredients are providing their maximum output of nutrition? (when cooked, plants become less nutritious)–I learned from the beautiful co-founder of SquareBar, Sarah Gordon, that about 70% of their ingredients are raw. That’s pretty awesome stuff!

If you ever wonder what the big deal is about foods being raw, digest this: raw cacao powder contains at least 4 times more antioxidants than cooked cacao powder. This is significant! Thus, in addition to a bar or food being organic, I’d like to see that it’s raw, too. This means I’m getting as big a nutrient load as I can in the bar I’m eating. With that percentage being so high in Squarebars, it’s obvious that they value raw ingredients as well.

Sarah at SquareBar is a radiant, passionate family woman whose enthusiasm for healthy living has infiltrated her protein packed bars. You can tell these bars were made with love. I am so happy to back her brand and tell all of you that these bars will make your body smile! 🙂

“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!