Tag Archives: ketogenic

Primal Kitchen Paleo Collagen Bars + Mayo + Ranch Review

One of my favorite, most influential entrepreneurs + minds + health advocates is Mark Sisson. Mark has many accolades at this point, but I know him from his blog, Mark’s Daily Apple, his brands Primal Blueprint and this one (Primal Kitchen), and have also heard him on the Melissa Ambrosini Podcast.

In many ways, I view his products as “Pre-Approved” by Mark himself. I sorta of intrust him to come up with products that are high quality and are aligned with a lifestyle that largely uses real food and fat as fuel. That has worked well for my body, hormones and overall state of health.

Here are the Primal Kitchen products I tried:

Garlic Aioli Mayonaise w/ Avocado Oil:

A creamy combination of garlic, rosemary, and cage-free eggs, this savory mayonnaise spread is infused with nourishing ingredients and uncompromisingly delicious taste.

Avocado Oil Ranch Dressing:

The holy grail of dressings: an uncompromisingly delicious, rich, full-flavored and oh-so-healthy ranch dressing.

Avocado Oil Mayonnaise:

Healthy Mayo, who knew? Made with avocado oil, superfood ingredients and organic herbs and spices.

Pure Avocado Oil:

First cold pressed and centrifuge extracted without heat to preserve the true properties of the oil—antioxidants, minerals and a high concentration of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

Dark Chocolate Almond Collagen Bar:

Turkish almonds and roasted pumpkin seeds enrobed in a chewy dark chocolate, caramel coating.

Macadamia Sea Salt Collagen Bar:

Macadamia nuts and a touch of sea salt offer a distinctly buttery, savory and sweet flavor combination, with only 12 grams of carbs.

Chocolate Hazelnut Collagen Bar:

The coveted combination of chocolate and hazelnut we all love, made with organic fair-trade cacao and paired with toasted hazelnuts.

Coconut Cashew Collagen Bar:

Cashews and roasted pumpkin seeds satisfy with a nutty crunch, while creamy coconut adds a hint of sweetness.

Where do I start? I’m just so glad that these options are now out there! With the inflammatory effects being so real with heavily processed oils like canola and soybean, finding dressings that are healthy has been such a struggle. Before Primal Kitchen, I would normally just bite the bullet and have crappy dressings, or make my own healthier take at home (which would never taste as good). Luckily now I don’t have to worry about that.

There are so many ways to use these products. My favorite use for the Avocado Oil is to roast vegetables (see above). I’ve also been loving tuna salads lately. (see below) Both the Garlic Aioli Mayo and traditional Avocado Oil Mayo work so good. I also add some hot sauce, sea salt and pepper to taste.

The ranch is….well…it’s really good ranch. And I’m a sauce queen! Give me ALL the dips and I’m happy. Of course I try to keep my diet clean but I do love dressing. This is such a rad, delicious alternative to most of the cruddy ranch dressings you’ll find in stores.

I’ve been a consistent collagen user for close to 2 years now. I’ve noticed a difference in my gut health, as well in my hair + skin + nails. There are so many benefits to incorporating collagen and it may take some people a bit of time to notice a legit difference. Primal Kitchen didn’t have to talk me into trying their collagen bars for that reason!

I found the bars a little bit hard to bite into (they’re pretty dense and hold together real tightly). But besides that, the ingredients are super clean, simple and the taste is satisfying. My favorite is the Dark Chocolate Almond!

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Helio Today: Ketogenic Meal Replacement + Greens Powder Review

This post is a review + my experience with Helio Today ketogenic friendly protein & greens powder.

In 5 years of living in Kansas City, I’ve met some neat, healthy-minded brand owners coming out of this seemingly low-key midwest town. Helio Today is one of the cooler ones! I like this brand a lot because these products fit into my approach to eating quite well.

I tend to dial up my plant based fats and dial down my carb consumption when I’m looking to get leaner without sacrificing optimum performance in the Crossfit gym. I’ve learned that an adequate amount of good fats give me sustained energy that keeps me going all day.

About Helio Today

The Brand

Our name is an homage to Galileo. For nearly a century, the people of the time neglected Copernicus’ Heliocentric model. Galileo knew it to be true, and with the invention of his telescope, he was able to prove that we, Earth, do in fact go around the sun, by showing the revolutions of Venus’ moons around it.

This is not only a story of perseverance and belief, but also of wit and progression.

Once the Heliocentric model was proven, everything began to shift. We started to question our place in the heavens like we never had.

Similarly, we are on a quest to flip the assumptions, choices, and options in the food and nutrition world.

Health is simpler than you probably think. Three square meals and shiny spoons are both symptoms of a system that has created an unbelievable amount of dis-ease, illness, and obesity.

By shrinking your eating windows, by becoming a qualitarian, by making wise macro decisions, and by flooding your body with a ridiculous amount of nutrition, it is absolutely possible to live vibrantly.

Join us in our quest to be alive and bright; like the sun.

The Lab

Before we started this company, all of us are coming from within the nutrition industry. We all knew that the holy grail of nutrition quality and control comes with manufacturing in-house.

Our ability to test, touch, taste, and tweak our products has allowed for exponential progress that we pass on to you, the consumer; flavor, texture, quality.

We started formulating in 2016, and by now, 2 years later, we are so proud of what we are making for you, and shipping to you.

Our Team

Founded by friends, and health pioneers in their respective rights, Helio is a people company above all else.

Benton (left) is an adventurer, world traveler, product formulator, nutrition tinkerer, herbalist, student of iridology, and solar powered human.

Miles (center) is an athlete, strategist, Olympic hopeful, digital student, experienced lifestyle designer, and efficiency expert.

Kirk (right) is a doctor of chiropractic, father, applied kinesiologist, acupuncturist, blood chemist, product formulator, outdoorsman, and skier.

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Here are the two products I tried:

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Dawn: A Meal Replacement Shake for the Carb Conscious

About: 

By prioritizing plant nutrition in the form of fat, protein, and fiber, Dawn provides energy, alertness, and convenience to the smart and productive individuals who choose to use it.

The morning ritual is becoming a dead horse in the success communities. You must have one. Nourishment is at the top of the priorities list.

 

Dawn is a combination of non-GMO, gluten, soy & dairy free plant ingredients. The macro-priorities are fat (22g), fiber (6g) and protein (30g), and very limited carbs (3g net).

By jumpstarting cognition with the fats, internal cleansing with the fiber, and lean muscle retention and development with the protein, Dawn ticks all of the boxes that we should expect from food.

Life will be better with Dawn in your routine. Give it a try.

Suggested use: every day.

 

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Helio Greens

About:

Helio Greens is a Non-GMO Vegan Superfood Blend of over 50 ingredients from all around the world.

This powerful product provides 20 servings of vegetables and fruits in every serving, which is more than double the recommended daily intake by the CDC.

Additionally, Greens provides 30 billion probiotics, digestive enzymes, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals in every scoop.

The 30 billion probiotic cultures promote healthy gut flora, and the digestive enzymes aid in your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. By incorporating these greens into your daily routine, you provide your body with the micronutrients it needs to boost your immune system, detox your colon and liver, clear up your skin, balance your hormones, increase your natural energy production, fight sugar cravings, and improve your overall quality of life.*

Helio Greens accomplishes all of this while maintaining a delicious taste. Mix with 12oz of water and enjoy.

*statements have not been evaluated by the FDA*

Ingredients:

Super Fruit Blend
Organic Acai Berry Powder, Organic Mangosteen Fruit Powder, Organic Wolfberry (Goji) Fruit Powder, Organic Pomegranate Fruit Extract

Greens and Vegetable Blend
Organic Spirulina Algae Powder, Organic Barley Grass juice, Organic Alfalfa Grass Powder, Chlorella Cracked Cell Wall Powder, Kelp Powder, Carrot Juice Powder, Spinach Leaf Juice Powder, Parsley Leaf Juice Powder, Kale Leaf Powder, Organic Beet Root Powder, Broccoli Juice Powder, Cauliflower Bulb Powder

Phyto-Nutrient and Herbal Blend
Green Tea Leaf Extract, Grape Seed Extract, Grape Skin Extract, Strawberry Fruit Powder, Blueberry Fruit Powder, Raspberry Fruit Powder, Blueberry Leaf Powder, Flaxseed, Licorice Root Powder, Cinnamon Bark Powder, Stevia Leaf Extract, Milk Thistle Seed Extract, Turmeric Root Extract

Resveratrol Blend
Polygonum Cuspidatum Extract (root) 50% Trans-Resveratrol, Red Wine Extract 30% polyphenols

Micro Blend
Acerola Cherry Fruit Powder, Aloe Vera Leaf Powder, Quercetin Dihydrate, Moringa Leaf Powder

Other ingredients: Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Monk Fruit Extract, & Stevia Extract
Contains NO: Soy, Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Preservatives, MSG, Shellfish, Artificial Colors, Flavors, or Bad Vibes

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My Experience

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, My biological make-up and specific body type really thrives off of a higher plant based fat diet. I’m learning that more and more individuals are finding their bodies so as well. Keto is turning into a buzz work of sorts, but for good reason. Low fat diets are becoming a thing of the past.

I REALLY enjoyed the flavor of both the greens powder and the Dawn shake mix. I like drinking my greens powder mid day in place of a caffeine fix right before an afternoon workout. I was impressed with how good it tasted and how rad the ingredients are (milk thistle for liver health? CHECK) and that’s just naming one ingredient. There are many more energizing superfoods in this blend, not just greens.

The satiability of the Dawn mix is awesome–I love how full and replenished I feel after a meal higher in plant based fats. It provides me with sustained energy to tackle anything and everything I have ahead that day. With a bazillion ways to prepare this mix, I don’t think you could ever get bored with it. I personally prefer just throwing it into a blender bottle with some hemp or almond milk. But, as you can see in one of the above photos from the Helio site, it would be excellent as a smoothie bowl base, especially because of it’s thickness.

Give this brand a try and check out all the radness they’re putting out on social media:

Helio Today Facebook

Helio Today Instagram

Helio Today Twitter

Helio Today Website

Natural Force Emulsified MCT Oil Review

This is a review of the emulsified vanilla coconut MCT oil by Natural Force.

MCT

Natural Force Vanilla Emulsified MCT Oil

In Their Words:

“In addition to being tasty, easy to digest, and super convenient, it is also one of the highest quality MCT oils on the market.

Made exclusively from 100% Organic, Non-GMO coconuts, each batch is tested for purity (no residual solvents) and is Certified Vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and sugar/carb free.

Unlike most other MCT oil products, our MCT oil (both the “classic” Natural Force MCT Oil and the new Vanilla Emulsified MCT) contain NO palm oil and is sourced from sustainable coconut plantations in the Philippines and Sri Lanka, which is good news for animal lovers since palm oil plantations are notoriously bad for orangutan habitats!

We also employ a special processing method which allows all of our MCT oils to retain high levels of naturally occurring lauric acid (30%) which is typically eliminated in conventional processing.”

My Experience:

I’ve loved getting to witness this brand growing and continually releasing “BS-Free” (they coined that awesome phrase!) supplements. They have several high-performing sports supplements to accompany an active lifestyle, and this one sits atop that impressive pile.

I look to MCT oil as a way to ramp up my coffee routine. Not only does pairing fats + caffeine create a sustained energy boost, but it also enhances your brain function and overall feeling of focus and cognitive sharpness.

This MCT is unique in my eyes because both the appearance and texture are different that most. It flowys into warm coffee like a pure white + milky amoeba stream. That may not be the best way to describe it. But–it’s what comes to mind! You’ll just have to experience it yourself. I’m sure you’ll pull up this post again and write me, “Jes, you’re exactly right! Totally a milky amoeba stream!” Haha….

The flavor of this oil is richly vanilla + very + very tasty. It does something really special to my morning coffee. Flavor + good fats without a bunch of crap that normally comes in coffee creamers.

Sitenote: the packaging that the MCT oil comes in has a cap with a small hole underneath, which made for super simple pouring. No mess + no clean up. Anyone who has tried pouring MCT oil out of that big bottle before know it can be an oil slick.

 

Chapul Cricket Protein Review

This is a review + my experience with Chapul Cricket Protein.

Much of my extra curricular time (what does that even mean when you’re an adult?) time is spent dissecting + pondering + researching the best possible way to fuel my body. You could describe it as complete + utter fascination. I am absorbed how our bodies respond to food and how we can tweak that to optimize how we feel + perform + operate.

I’ve experimented with several different ways of eating (in chronological order):

-Paleo

-Ketogenic

-IIFYM (if it fits your macros)

-Vegetarian

-Vegan

-Vegan + IIFYM

-Flexible vegan + without focusing too much on macros + animal protein here and there + mostly plants

Thhhat’s a lot. It’s not all been super restrictive. It’s been mostly experimental spurred by curiosity.

What I’ve learned is that my body feels best + recovers best on:

-Lots of green juice

-A protein source

-Loads of water

So, at this point, I’d describe my approach to eating as experimental. No diet labels. Just eating to feel good.

Chapul comes into this quite nicely. I first heard about Chapul Cricket protein powder + bars at Expo West in 2016, a trade show in Anaheim, CA that I attended as a blogger. The good vibes at the booth + the bar’s flavor + the unique key ingredient really cemented their spot on my radar.

When I started weight lifting in 2015 (give or take), I found that adding a clean + bioavailable source of protein to my diet helped me recover better and made me feel stronger + leaner overall. But, as many of you are likely aware, there are SO many protein products on the market. How do you navigate that world as a consumer?

I’ve found that looking for clean ingredients is a good start. Chapul packs a bunch of organic ingredients in their bars, which is a great indication that they seek quality as a company. They also feed their crickets a vegetarian + organic + nongmo diet.

I’m really stoked about this brand + the charisma +people behind it and am happy to be on board as an ambaddador.

Use code runonorganic for 10% off your order at Chapul.com!

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About Chapul:

Chapul introduces edible insects into Western Cuisine as a healthy and sustainable protein. We launched the first insect-protein product in the US with our award winning Chapul Cricket Bars, fortified with our signature cricket flour. We represent a growing food revolution intent on increasing the health of our food resources for our children and for the planet.

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Products I Tried:

Matcha Green Tea Bar:

The Matcha Bar combines the hints of Japanese cuisine into a high protein, low sugar bar. Combining the richness of organic tahini and sesame seeds with sweet banana pieces, and a hint of bitterness from the matcha green tea, it is becoming a crowd favorite.

Aztec Dark Chocolate Bar:

Inspired by the Aztec roots, the dark chocolate, coffee, cayenne, and cinnamon make the Aztec Bar taste like a modern day Mexican Hot Chocolate, with a late blooming wave of cayenne heat. By mixing sweet, savory, and spicy, we’ve paired delicious with adventure.

Thai Coconut Bar:

Inspired by Thai jing leed recipes, our Thai Bar is a delicious mix of coconut, ginger, cricket flour, and a subtle twist of lime. Perfect for a summer day’s adventure.

Chaco Peanut Butter:

Our most popular flavor is good ‘ol peanut butter and chocolate. The name is inspired from the desert-dwelling Chaco culture, a pre-Columbian civilization in the Colorado River Watershed. The Chaco Bar is a delicious blend of peanut-butter and chocolate, packed with protein, and low in sugar.

Cricket Flour (High protein powder)

Inspired by traditions of Aztecan and other Native American cultures, we use an artisan, stone ground process to mill our Chapul Cricket Flour Protein Powder. Packed with a balanced, complete amino acid profile, use it to boost the protein content of any baked good, smoothie, or make your own delicious cricket bars.

 

Recipe: How to Make Bulletproof Coffee

Bulletproof Coffee

Have you heard of this? Bulletproof coffee is becoming increasingly more prevalent–as it should. Without diving-head-first into the boat loads of science behind these ingredients and the synergy that exists between them, I’ll give you the…

Semi-basic run down for why bulletproof coffee can take your coffee routine to the next level & a few tips on making your own:

  • Improves your mental clarity
  • Slows the assimilation of caffeine and fats in your body, making them more filling & giving you sustained energy versus just a quick boost.
  • Coupling the coffee with fats like grass fed butter, MCT oil (you can also use palm oil or coconut oil) improves the satiating effect of the drink and the natural caffeine content of the coffee bean helps make the fatty acids more readily available for absorption and energy use in the body.
  • Laird describes this robust drink as one that will give you “a whole new focus.”
  • The presence of omega-3 fatty acids in the butter and oils help reduce inflammation in the body by decreasing triglyceride levels.
  • Make sure to choose a coffee blend that is organic (preferably a dark or espresso roast, as those often contain less acid.
  • You can make this completely vegan and dairy free just by using the MCT oil, coconut oil and/or palm oil.

My interest in bulletproof coffee has existed for a while now–initially prompted by this video by one of my main professional-athlete-inspirers (surfing legend, fitness & nutrition guru), Laird Hamilton.

 

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My Recipe for Bulletproof Coffee:

(created with inspiration from many!)

No exact measuring here! Everything is approximate.

Instructions here are minimal:

  • Simply combine all ingredients (sans coffee) in your coffee cup.
  • Brew your coffee as usual, separately.
  • When finished, pour the hot coffee into your cup to combine all of the ingredients.
  • The heat from the coffee will liquify the oils and help everything to combine.
  • Stir & ENJOY!

I’ve loaded up that list with the links to all of the products that I used.

Also, it’s just worth mentioning that I drink this is the morning in place of a breakfast. Lately, I’ve been practicing intermittent fasting (only liquids until 11amish, then eating from about 11am-7pm) paired with a ketogenic approach to eating. I’m not counting macros right now, but I mindfully to good sources of fat for energy and then an adequate (filling) amount of protein.

Have you ever made your own bulletproof coffee? I’d love to hear about it. Happy Brewing!