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ProBar Organic, Gluten Free Nutrition Bar Review: Part 2

Pro Bar

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

I immensely enjoyed sampling Pro Bar’s “Bite” bars prior to this goodie bundle. You can check out my thoughts on those bars here: Bite Bar Review. They are incredibly delicious! I also appreciate that Pro Bars are 70% raw, as well as organic.

My eyes got really big when I opened this assorted box of Pro Bar awesomeness. I especially go bonkers for their Base protein bars. They taste good, they’re more macro balanced than most nutrition bars and they pack a good punch of protein.

I see the Fuel bars as more of an intra-workout snack boost for when I need a source of carbohydrates that my body can quickly tap into. I

The Meal bars are perfect to pack in my gym bag when I need a well-rounded, convenient “meal” at my fingertips when I’m leaving the gym. They’re satisfying and make me feel like I’ve ingested enough to tide me over until I get home and have the kitchen to prepare in.

The Bolt energy chews are not something that I see as a necessity in my daily routine, but I did recently find them super handy to hand out to the players on my 12-year-old elite volleyball team mid-tournament. They loved that they resembled candy (except they’re worlds healthier in reality), gave them a boost and tasted yummy. I can see myself taking these with me for a mid-run refuel for a longer race (at least half marathon length), I just don’t do that as often as I used to. I’m more often in the gym lifting and doing higher intensity circuits to stay lean and strong. These chews would combat the fact that I try to limit extra sugar, so I would only consume them as needed during a grueling, endurance workout or race.

I totally dig on the tee & water bottle they threw in! I’m impressed with their range of products and suggest you give them a try if you are apprehensive about bars–the flavor & quality will get you on board!

 

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Midori Organic & Raw Matcha Powder Review

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Midori Matcha Powder

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Midori Matcha Company:

“Matcha is made from freshly picked green tea leaves that are stone-ground into a fine powder. With its rich flavor and creamy texture, it’s considered one of the world’s healthiest beverages. In fact, just one bottle of Midori matcha is equal to ten cups of ordinary green tea! From our perspective, it’s just about the nicest thing you can do for your body.

Energy and Focus

Matcha provides steady, crash-free energy for up to 6 hours. The secret is in its high concentration of L-Theanine, a naturally occurring amino acid that sharpens focus and lifts mood.

Detox & Rejuvenate

Matcha is packed with vibrant green chlorophyll which helps the body cleanse itself of harmful chemicals and toxins. Matcha also has dietary fiber which helps with digestion, controls appetite and stabilizes blood sugar.

Strength and Fat Loss

Matcha contains more antioxidants than any fruit or vegetable on the planet. These powerful nutrients strengthen your immune system, boost metabolism and promote fat loss.”

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About the Powder:

– 100% USDA Organic Ceremonial Grade matcha
– 30 servings
– Non-GMO
– Zero sugar
– Zero artificial sweeteners or preservatives

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My Thoughts:

I’m always eager and looking to try new superfoods and supplements that I believe can help boost my health in some way. To be honest, getting me to swap out coffee for matcha tea was a bit of a struggle at first. I love my coffee ritual–everything about it. But, in my mind, I got to a point where there was no denying that green tea matcha powder potentially has a whole-heck-of-a-lot more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals when compared to coffee that has been brewed. Thus, I decided that I’d certainly give matcha its fair shot.

Midori seems to be a fantastic brand that has focused their efforts solely on products that highlight and focus on matcha powder. This is a neat idea because it’s essentially an organic, plant-based brand that has harnessed the rejuvenating effects of matcha to serve as a natural energy drink. Not only do they sell this pure matcha powder, but they’ve also created cold-brew matcha drinks that will be on sale soon. I was lucky enough to try one of their little cans of green goodness.

So, here’s where I really get “picky” about it. In my ideal world, this powder would be raw AND organic. It’s clearly labeled as organic, however it’s unclear whether this powder has been processed with heat. This is huge deal to me because there is a major difference in nutritional value when you compare a raw food to a cooked/heated food. It’s just not even close. There is such a significant health benefits from raw plants; you won’t get those same benefits with a product that’s been heat treated.

I was recently excited to hear that Midori’s matcha powder and drinks are both considered raw. They provide a great explanation of how their drinks are made using cold pressure processing on their website. That’s refreshing to know that Midori is organic & raw. Well worth the money, in that case!

In regards to preparation, the can of matcha powder suggests that the powder be mixed with hot water. I understand that tea is traditionally made with hot water, but–I try to do things as raw as I can, as often as I can. So, instead of using their method, I mix a small amount (I don’t measure, but I’d say it’s about a teaspoon) in my morning superfood drink–along with other goodies like cacao powder, turmeric, cinnamon, etc.

I find that it does indeed provide me with a noticeable energy boost (not jittery, just a good & sustained feeling). Some days, I consume the matcha instead of my morning coffee. Matcha has a naturally occurring caffeine content similar to that of which occurs in a cup of brewed coffee. The difference is that matcha provides more brain boosting power and antioxidants to your system. I like incorporating both matcha and coffee in my diet (you can also find green coffee powder!). For those who don’t drink coffee, matcha may the perfect everyday energy solution.

 

Camelbak Forge (for Hot Beverages) Review

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Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About the Forge:

“Forge ahead without spills on your way to the trailhead in the morning. Sometimes water just isn’t enough—that’s why we reinvented the travel mug for a better on-the-go coffee and tea experience. The double-walled, vacuum-insulated steel vessel keeps 16 oz. of coffee or tea piping hot for over 4 hours, with an impact cap that prevents dents or cracks if you drop it. The Forge is designed to fit in most cup holders, but the leak-proof cap means you can also toss it into your pack without soaking your gear.

When you need to keep your eyes on the road, the self-sealing cap lets you drink one-handed, then snaps back into place to prevent leaks or spills. For frequent sipping, just press the top button to lock the cap open. The lid won’t collect grime, either—just pop up the arms for easy cleaning in the sink or dishwasher.”

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My Thoughts:

I have been crazy fortunate to work with this radical brand, Camelback, on several occasions on several reviews. You can give those a read here:

http://runonorganic.com/2014/08/18/camelbak-mantra-powder-drink-mix-review/

http://runonorganic.com/2014/04/04/camelbak-relay-water-filter-pitcher-review/

http://runonorganic.com/2013/08/26/camelbak-eddy-kids-arc-quick-grip-water-bottle-review/

My first experience with the Camelbak Forge was a bit comical. I thought that I had received a defective bottle because I could not get the sip slide feature to come off completely while I had the lid screwed on tightly. Turns out, this bottle was smarter than me! It was designed that way to make leaks and spills less likely.

When the lid is screwed on, you take a drink by engaging a button on the side of the lid–it opens just enough to allow you to drink. When you release the button, the bottle is completely sealed. I’d imagine I could shake it, toss it upside down across the car and have no mess at it. It’s truly and awesome design.

The 16 ounce size is perfect for me–a great size for commuting with coffee or tea. The Forge also keeps my coffee warm for a longggggggg time, to boot. I know many containers claim that–but it’s truly the case with the Camelback Forge. I brought a Forge-full (hehe) of coffee with me to an all-day volleyball tournament and my coffee was warmer than room temperature by the end of the day. I was very impressed with that.

I’m so happy with the Camelback Forge. I can see myself purchasing many to give as gifts in the future. It’s the perfect gift for the winter months or just for your favorite coffee/tea drinker. As always with Camelbak products, the Forge is BPA-Free. It’s another fabulous product from Camelback. Kudos!!

 

Raw Generation Juice Cleanse Review

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Raw Generation

Overall Rating: 2 Stars

About Raw Generation:

“Never Heated, Pasteurized, or Pressurized (HPP)

Raw Generation Juices NEVER  heated, Pasteurized, or Pressurized (HPP). Our juices are NEVER exposed to heat of any kind…they are truly 100% raw. Flash freezing is the best way to preserve vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and micro flora without effecting taste or nutritional value.

Any form of Pasteurization, including High Pressure Pascallization (HPP), lowers the nutritional value of foods by raising temperature. Don’t be fooled by claims of “Gentle Pasteurization” either… that’s marketing hype to disguise the fact that the product has been heated.

Never Diluted

Our juices are made with 100% fruit and vegetable juices. We never add water so you can be assured you are getting the maximum amount of nutrition in each bottle.

No Harsh Chemicals Used

We use a safe and natural cleaning solution of water and vinegar to wash our fruits and vegetables. No harsh chemicals are used. What would be the point of drinking our juice if it were filled with a chemical residue?

No Preservatives or Additives

That means absolutely no chemicals, additives, preservatives, dyes, flavors, etc, etc. Nothing is added to our juices. Our ingredients are picked out of the ground or off a tree- fruits and vegetables ONLY!

Separation is Natural

Since our juice is freshly made with no fillers, binders, or chemicals it will naturally separate. Just give it a good shake before you are ready to drink it and it’s ready to go. This juice settles. You shouldn’t.

Opaque Bottles

We purposely stopped using clear bottles. Why you ask? Because clear bottles let in sunlight that destroys the nutrients faster than in opaque bottles. The choice was simple! We’re using opaque bottles so our juices stay as fresh as possible so you can get what you are after… high quality nutrition to help you lose weight and feel great!

BPA-Free Plastic Bottles

We use BPA free plastic bottles. You are drinking our juice because you want the health benefits right? So why would we sell it in a plastic leaching bottle? Plus, you can take these bottles anywhere! Rest assured that you are drinking nothing but juice from fruits and vegetables.”

In regards to the quality of the ingredients, I learned this about Raw Generation’s fruits and veggies:

“We purchase all our fruits and vegetables from a local wholesaler. Are products come from all over some local some not so local. We triple wash everything we produce to insure we remove any residue.”

To get started with Raw Generation, use the code “RUNONORGANIC” for 40% off!

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“Jessica”

About:

“Packed with the cleansing nutritional power of leafy spinach, kale, and collard greens, this specially formulated juice also includes bright notes of lemon and apple for a clean, sweet taste.

Each leafy green vegetable is bursting with a wide array of minerals (lacking in most peoples’ diets) and provides all essential amino acids, which means you get a nice dose of complete proteins! This is the best juice to incorporate into your daily diet and will give you noticeable results in a matter of a few days.

INGREDIENTS: [50% leafy greens: kale, spinach, collards], apple, carrot & lemon juices.”

“Elizabeth”

About:

“Our Elizabeth blend brings you a daily dose of our soothing and stimulating green juice blend. The result helps rid your body of harmful toxins while promoting optimal health you can feel from the inside and see on the outside.

Hydrating cucumber and aloe invigorate and refresh your vital organs and tissues, while the enzymes in sweet, ripe pineapple support optimal health and digestion.

INGREDIENTS: cucumber juice, pineapple juice, aloe vera juice.”

“Carolyn”

About:

“Replenish important vitamins & minerals with the delicious and filling juice. This nutrient-rich juice blends fruits and vegetables has absolutely no preservatives or added sugar.

The Carolyn contains apples, high in beta-carotene, malic acid, and vitamin C. The beets within the beverage boost fiber, folic acid, iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, B, and C. Carrots are high in B vitamins and Folate.

INGREDIENTS: carrot juice, apple juice, & beet juice.”

“Cecelia”

About:

“This juice quenches thirst and packs a powerful punch of antioxidants with a blend of carrot, ginger, and fresh squeezed orange juices. Not only does the juice help rid your body of toxins found in many of the foods you eat, it also provides your cells with components that help them heal and rebuild.

Ginger, a root rich in anti-inflammatory properties, gives the juice a little kick. The carrots are high in B vitamins, beta-carotene, and vitamin A (great for a healthy liver) and vitamin C. Oranges have a long list of nutritional benefits, such as being high in C & B vitamins, phytochemicals (powerful antioxidants).

INGREDIENTS: orange juice, carrot juice, & ginger juice.”

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My Thoughts:

I was really looking forward to trying Raw Generation juices after reading the story of how it all started. Moreover, I thought it was neat that they have a juice called “Jessica”–even though it has one too many “s” 😉

I really enjoyed the juices in regards to their flavor profiles and combinations. I like that “Elizabeth” contains aloe vera juice, “Cecelia” is a bright, orange smack-in-the-face, “Carolyn” gives you the hearty, robust goodness of beet juice, & “Jessica” loads you up with a bunch of leafy greens.

The creativity with the bottling (and using BPA-free bottles) along with the use of ultra-healthy ingredients like kale, ginger and aloe vera make me a fan of these juices. However, it’s hard for me to REALLY get on board with a brand that does not strive to always use organic ingredients.

I understand it is a much more costly route to creating juice. But, I always believe that proper and adequate nutrition is worth every dollar. Thus, I’d really be happy to continually support Raw Generation if they started using all organic ingredients. For that matter, indicating that the juices contain non-gmo ingredients would be a good first step in the right direction. For me, it’s hard to justify buying these cleanses when there are several other brands who make organic juice cleanses for about the same price.

I also get that it may be shocking to see such an unfavorable review for juice that is entirely made of fruits and vegetables. What can I say, my standards are very high. I aim for organic juice whenever possible (it’s always possible) 🙂

SuperEats Non-GMO Kale & Chia Chips Review

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SuperEats Kale Chips

Overall Rating: 3.5 STARS

About SuperEats:

“We (Aaron & Charlie; nice to meet you!) have always liked snacking. When Aaron’s dad had a very close call after getting blind-sided with heart disease, his father wisely started focusing more on healthy eating. This hit close to home and we followed suit. It was a wake up call and was time to put our snacking habits under the microscope as well. We were eating healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners but we still ate unhealthy snacks; in particular chips. Why? Because chips are delicious and there were NO healthy options. Chips have the perfect texture, flavor and crunch. So why hadn’t anyone made a truly healthy one?

We set out to create a chip packed with nutritional value and amazing taste. That is a rare combination in snacks these days. We needed the perfect texture, a chip strong enough to dip, amazing taste, and nutrition that you can see. We decided to start with kale and chia seeds to ensure there were no empty calories. After a lot of research and development, this healthy green chip is what we came up with! (Aaron’s dad is now in good health and munching on our chips regularly.)

So you want to know more about SuperEats…

They Are Tastier than Junk Food.

Snacking was a hobby for us.  We wanted to be healthy – but carrot sticks and dehydrated kale just weren’t doing it for us. We liked chips. Our chefs spent many sleepless nights perfecting the SuperEats recipe for a Kale + Chia chip to win over the most critical, demanding, junk food-eating taste testers.

We Achieved the Healthy Snack Bucket List.

We like to know what is in our food and we don’t want ingredients that were invented in a laboratory.  That is why all SuperEats foods are natural, gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher, vegan, paleo-friendly, vegetarian-friendly, etc. You get the point.

SuperEats are Packed with the Good Stuff.

We were sick of simply avoiding the bad stuff in our snacking, so we created a chip that not only avoids the bad stuff, but actually gives your body what it needs. Our chips are stuffed with the antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins of kale, along with the fiber, protein, energy and Omega-3 fatty acids of chia. Your body will thank you for eating our chips. Perfect compliment to any meal or stand great alone.

We hope you like our chips and please feel free to reach out to us! We’d love to hear from you.

Sincerely,

Aaron & Charlie, Co-Founders.”

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My Thoughts:

These chips are super tasty super eats (hehe). They really taste delicious and could easily replace mine and anyone else’s over-processed, junk-filled chip habit. Each of these flavors (sea salt, cheddar, chili lime, tomato basil) are uniquely delicious, respectively. Even the subtle flavor of the sea salt chips is hearty and pleasant enough to consume by themselves. I enjoyed the cheddar flavor the best out of these 4 flavors.

These kale & chia chips are the perfect healthy pairing to go along with hummus, or other nutrient dense dips. They also make the perfect on the go snack that you can keep in your locker, purse, backpack, car or lunchbox. Unlike generic potato chips, these chips will actually provide you with nutrients while tackling your craving for something salty and crunchy. Also, they are in a category of their own in regards to chips. They aren’t leafy, seasoned, baked kale leaves and they aren’t potato chips. They are a hybrid of the two, if you will. I love the idea!

As always, organic ingredients in regards to food & skin care is what I strive for. The ingredients in SuperEats chips are non-gmo, but they aren’t organic. This makes them a big step up from a bag of your typical big-box brand of chips (not naming names), but they aren’t as good (in regards to quality) as they could be. I look forward to the day SuperEats utilizes organic ingredients. I’d come back for more–many times over!