Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Eat Smart Precision Pro Kitchen Scale

Some people may find it strange or odd...but I weight and measure just about all of my food.  I don't do it to diet, I actually do it to make sure I am getting enough of everything I need on a daily basis.  Unlike a lot of people, I tend to underestimate portions.  I love using a kitchen scale because that way I know I am getting the amount I need or want!  

I have been using a food scale for over three years now and really do love it.  At first it was a bit of a hassle, but now it is just how I eat.  

The scale I had was acting up so I was in search of a new one.  I have a bathroom scale from Eat Smart which I love, so I looked into their kitchen scales.  
I was very excited when the company agreed to send me one in exchange for a review! Batteries are included and you also get a Calorie Factor Guidebook. 
This scale is very easy to use.  Weighing and measuring your food can be a bit complicated at times, so you don't want to make it harder on yourself with a complex scale.  

Turn it on and off with the touch of a button. 
Use that same button to tare or "zero" the scale. 

 This scale measures in grams, ounces, pounds, and kilograms. It has a max weight of 11 lbs / 5 kg.  I have never needed to weight anything heavier than that!
Of course you will use the unit button to change between measurements.  I mostly stick to using grams and ounces, but it is good to have the other options.  

While I don't always weight my fruit and veggies, you can see how easy it is to do.
Make sure scale is zeroed, place apple on, and then you can record it if you track your food.  I love using MyFitnessPal! It is a great food diary app that you can use on your phone.  You can also use the website on your computer.  

I especially love this scale for weighing my snacks! I don't want to be shorted on my favorite pretzels! 
Each serving of pretzels is 30 grams.  Just place the bowl on the scale, hit the tare button, and start weighing your snack.  I wanted to two servings, so stopped when I got to 60.  

If you do struggle with portion control, this is a great tool for you.  If you are anything like my wonderful husband, you can easily eat five or six servings of peanuts in an single sitting!
That is all you get for one serving of peanuts! My husband was shocked, and a little sad, when he realized how small one portion was.  That doesn't stop him from occasionaly eating five or six servings...he just makes sure to keep track of it now.  

One of my favorite things to do with my new scale is make homemade trail mix! It is great because I can just add all the good stuff! Notice how I left out the raisins...
I love making single servings of trail mix to toss in my lunch box.  This way I know exactly what is in each portion so I can properly track it.  Plus, homemade trail mix is much cheaper than the store bought kind. 

Even if you don't weight your food, you will love this scale for baking!!
One bowl, one spoon, and one scale! Just tare the scale after each ingredient. You know you are getting exactly the right amount of everything.  

This scale is way more accurate than any measuring cups or spoons.  Say goodbye to all of these!
You can also say goodbye to washing all those cups and spoons :)

So whether you want to weigh all your food, just use it on certain snacks for portion control, or be more accurate with baking, this scale will certainly serve you well!
I am very pleased with it! 

 You can order this scale on Amazon.  They come in five different colors so you can even match it to the rest of your kitchen appliances. 
Check out the Eat Smart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale while you are there! I have tried a lot of different scales and it is hands down the most accurate one I have used.  You even save a little if you buy them together :)

Follow Eat Smart on all of your favorite social media sites!

Monday, July 28, 2014


Who loves protein bars?! This girl! I have challenged myself to try all the different flavors and brands that are out there! This is not an easy task.  There must be hundreds of different bars on the market today.  I sure have been having fun with the protein bar tasting parties though.  

I have heard a lot about the company NuGo.  I actually had one of their bars before and it was amazing! It was a Sea Salt Pretzel bar from their Dark line of bars.  They have seven different kinds of bars.  Dark, Organic, Free, Slim, Stronger, Family, and Smarte Carb.  No matter what your dietary needs, NuGo has a bar for you! They are also the only company to coat their bars in REAL dark chocolate.  Other companies substitute palm oil for natural cocoa butter which can add a waxy texture. 
I contacted the company and they suggested I try some bars from the Slim line.  It was really fun because they sent me coupons so that I could go pick them out for myself.  Plus, we didn't have to worry about the chocolatey goodness melting in the back of a hot UPS truck!!
The Slim bars come in five different flavors.  Rasberry Truffle, Brownie Crunch, Roasted Peanut, Espresso, and Crunchy Peanut Butter.  The NuGo Slim bars have 15-17g of protein, 7g of fiber, and only 2-3g of sugar with no malitol. The line is gluten free and features two vegan flavors! (Espresso and Crunchy Peanut Butter) 

I decided to try the Espresso bar first.  I couldn't think of a better way to enjoy this bar other than with a cup of coffee!
Completely covered in real dark chocolate! In case you were wondering, I am a very big fan of dark chocolate.  

This bar had a great coffee flavor, but it wasn't too overwhelming.  Nice and smooth.
Little crispy pieces all throughout the bar gave it the perfect crunch.  This was a great start to my day!

Snack time.  
Since I was trying the Rasberry Truffle bar, I figured it would go great with some more fruit! 

I am not gonna lie, I am usually not a big fan of the fruit/chocolate combo...I was a little worried...
NuGo did good with this one! I could definitely taste the raspberry flavor, but it was not too strong.  I still got to enjoy the wonderful dark chocolate.  

Chocolate break time! I knew the Brownie Crunch bar was going to be extra chocolatey! 
I was right! 

This was so good, especially if you are a chocolate lover.  There were little crunchy bits and chocolate chips all covered in that amazing smooth dark chocolate.
I really love how these bars are chocolatey, but they are not overly sweet.  Simply perfect!

I was saving the two I was most excited about for last.  
I am not at all ashamed of my peanut butter addiction! 

 Crunchy Peanut Butter was up. 
I decided to munch on some actual crunchy peanuts while taking pictures.  It just seemed fitting :)

Oh goodness! This bar still had the crunchy pieces inside, but the rest was a little bit softer.  
Something about chocolate and peanut butter...such an amazing combo!  This was hands down my favorite one so far!

 I don't know...can the Roasted Peanut beat the Crunchy Peanut Butter bar?!
Ah, I just can't choose! I loved the texture of this one.  Even softer inside which I really enjoyed.  The perfect little crunch and all that dark chocolate.  I am gonna have to call it a tie!! Peanut Butter bars for the win!

These will absolutely be a new part of my diet.  I never go anywhere without at least one protein bar just in case hunger strikes.
I think these will be making a frequent appearance in my bag!

 Did I mention these are a great snack to toss in your gym bag too?!
With 15-17 grams of protein, they are great pre or post workout!

 I would absolutely recommend you give these bars a try! I am so glad I got the chance to try all five flavors from the Slim line.  I am looking forward to trying more flavors in the very near future!
NuGo bars are sold all over the US and Canada in many local grocery stores. You can also find them at Whole Foods and specialty stores like GNC and Vitamin Shoppe. Use their store locater to find NuGo bars near you! 

 Even Satchmo the cat enjoys NuGo Slim bars!
Ok...so maybe she just enjoys the sound and feel of the wrapper...either way...

 Follow NuGo on all your favorite social media sites!!
Read and sign the petition by NuGo Nutrition to create a FDA standard for dark chocolate.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Nutrilite Review

A few weeks ago, Pittsburgh held their annual marathon.  I have no desire to run that long...ever...but I did want to check out the Health and Fitness Expo downtown.  One of the first booths I came across was a company called Nutrilite.  I honestly had never heard of them before.  I sampled a drink mix kind of similar to a Mio or Crystal Light.  Ya know, the stuff you squirt in your water to make it actually taste good! Well the ones I sampled were awesome! A day or two later, one of the representatives contacted me asking if I was interested in some of their products.  We ended up meeting at a local Panera and he brought me one of the best free goodie bags ever!!!
This company seemed really awesome! For starters, how many people would meet with you to actually go over the products they want you to sample?! Not many! Also, Nutrilite has been around since 1934, so I am pretty sure they know what they are doing! They have everything from green cleaning products, make up, vitamins and supplements, stuff for kid, weight management, and sports nutrition.  

Of course I was mainly interested in their sports nutrition products.  We all know that I love baking with protein powder! I was so excited to try using this non flavored all plant protein powder.  While I usually bake sweet desserty foods, I sometimes like to make more savory dishes.  I already knew a couple of my recipes I wanted to use this in.  Each serving is 12.5 grams.  Only 50 calories 0.5F 0C 10P.
A great thing I learned about this company is they own and operate all of their own farms!! Can you say amazing product control!? They know exactly where all of their ingredients come from! Of course their farms are all organic and they don't use any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.  

I knew this protein was going to be amazing in my Spinach Pancakes.  I would usually use vanilla protein powder, but I wanted to make this batch more savory.  They turned out better than I anticipated!
Super easy too! Mix together 4 T protein powder (25g), 6 T egg substitute (92g), 1 cup canned spinach (240g), 1/2 t baking powder, salt, and any other veggies you like (pepper, onion) Cook like regular pancakes.  The protein powder made the batter nice and thick! It mixed up very easily too, no blender or special equipment needed.  You gotta try these!!!

Speaking of protein...they also have delicious meal replacement shakes.  
Normally I don't really like to drink my protein.  I would rather make something to eat with it.  But sometimes you are in a hurry and just need a quick meal or something to keep you going!  These are perfect for that! No shaker bottle needed either.  Just toss these in your bag and you're good to go.  These are honestly the best tasting shakes I have ever had.  In the past I have had ones that are kinda gritty and really artificial tasting.  Not these! So smooth and amazing vanilla and chocolate flavor! 

Perfect breakfast on-the-go!
Each one is 140 calories 3F 15C 15P.  

More drinks! They have a whole line of energy drinks.  There are 11 flavors to choose from.  I was lucky enough to try 3 different ones. 
Now I am not gonna lie, I don't really believe in energy drinks...I know that sounds silly, but I don't really feel like they give me more energy.  But, I do enjoy them for the taste sometimes! These vary a bit and have anywhere from 8-45 calories per can.  The best part is they have no sugar.  I can't say that about most energy drinks out there...They are also packed full of vitamins and key amino acids!

I would absolutely drink the Electric Lemon Blast again!! 
Reminded me of Sun Drop! Or like a fizzy lemonade.  So refreshing!! 

I was hesitant to even try the grapefruit because I despise the stuff!! Seriously, hate it!! I wanted to do a good review so I had to taste everything...I loved it! Go figure.  It was sweet and fruity and simply delicious! The only slight downfall is that it does have 45 calories and 10 carbs for the can.  But, it was worth it to me.  

Citrus Blast also got a big thumbs up! Like an even better orange pop.  I love that these are carbonated.  I feel like sparkling drinks always quench my thirst better.  Great alternative to all the pop I drink...

I hate water! Well, I hate drinking plain water anyhow...so boring... Problem solved!! Fruit and vegetable drink mixes.  These are so much better than any comparable ones you might find at the store.  
Not only do they taste great, but they also contain a full day's worth of vitamin A and C.  I love the little individual packets.  Also, they are liquid so they dissolve super easily.  No shaking the bottle like crazy trying to get all the powder to mix.  These don't taste articial at all.  Very fruity! Only 5 calories each.  The twisted berry and mango citrus both scored a 10 from me!

You have probably figured out by now that I am snacker! My husband says I eat like a bird sometimes.  Not because I eat too little, but because I am always snacking.  Little bites here and there, all day long! I was very happy that my goodie bag contained some snacky food!
Granola is pretty much always delicious.  Not always that great for you though...Most granolas are packed full of sugar and really no better than a bag of candy! This bag of Strawberry Almond Clusters is an exception! Made with gluten free oats, strawberries, and almonds.  

This is the best tasting granola I have ever had!! Just look at those ingredients!! It is sweet from the chewy strawberry pieces but not overly sweet like some granolas that have just been covered with sugar.  The oats and almonds give it a nice crunch too.  Perfect texture.  The bag is only 150 calories 6F 19C 4P.  Perfect snack to throw in your bag for when hunger strikes!
The only bad part is that I wanted to eat so much more of it!! I am a volume eater and with granola the serving size is usually pretty small.  But, no one says you can only have one bag! This would be amazing mixed up in some nonfat greek yogurt! Would absolutely eat this again.  
Another fun product I got to try were some endurance cubes. I have tried some similar gummies from other companies before and was never a huge fan.  They always tasted really artificial, and kinda like medicine...The texture was also usually pretty awful....These were nothing like those other gummy chews!!
 The texture was perfect! I felt like I was just eating some regular old gummy bears!  They were sweet, soft, chewy, and very yummy.  
They are supposed to give you energy, but as I mentioned before, I don't always think energy snacks and drinks work for me...I would absolutely just enjoy these as a little snack or pre workout treat!!
Each serving is 90 calories 0F 22C 1P.  They have potassium and electrolytes so they would be great if you're going on a long run, bike ride, or hike! I brought them with me for a day at the park with the kiddos! Even the kids tried one and they just thought they were eating candy!

They have a line of snack bars too.  Each bar is only 100 calories.  The macros vary a bit depending on the flavor, but the Cranberry Crunch has 3F 15C 4P.  Look at those cranberry pieces! 
This bar was not my favorite.  It was a little hard and chewy, and I just prefer a softer bar.  Cranberries are not my favorite, so I had a feeling I wasn't going to love the flavor.  In general, I am not usually a huge fan of small snack bars.  Only because I feel like they are a little small and not very satisfying.  I would rather eat a bigger bar that has more protein.  However, this bar did not go to waste! My husband gobbled it up!! So there ya go, just because it wasn't cup of tea, doesn't mean you won't love it! 

I did like the white chocolate coating on the bottom.
I will have to try the other flavors.  These also come in Fudgy Brownie, Caramel Creme, and Chocolate Caramel. 

It is no secret that I am a big time protein bar connoisseur!! I never go a day without eating at least one! In addition to the snack bars, they also have whey protein bars, meal bars, and energy bars. 

I tried all the energy bars first. Vanilla Pretzel!!! That sounds right up my ally! I love pretzels and I almost always prefer vanilla to chocolate. 
You can actually see the whole pretzels under that vanilla coating!

Oh my goodness!!! This might be the best tasting bar I have ever had! It reminded me of a Take 5 candy bar, but with white chocolate.  There is caramel and a soft nougat in there too.  
Amazing!! Love the macros too! 180 calories 6F 16C 14P.  I could eat this bar everyday!!

I couldn't decide which one to try next so I tried both!! Do those look good or what??
The Mixed Berry Smoothie was so soft and just the right amount of chewiness.  The Chocolate Nut Roll had nougat, caramel, little crispies on top, and covered in chocolate. 

This tasted better than a lot of candy bars!! Of course way better for you! So in love with this bar! It was soft and sweet and I felt like I was eating dessert!
190 calories 6F 16C 15P

Mixed Berry Smoothie? Super tasty! It was like a raspberry vanilla bar of awesome! The hubby tried it too and loved it!
190 calories 4F 28C 8P.  I could live off of this line of energy bars! Wow, just wow!

Next up was the meal bar.  I got to try Lemon Twist.  200 calories 3F 29C 10P.

I will admit, I was super nervous about this one...I have tried lemon flavored bars in the past and they have all tasted like cleaning product!! I brought this one with me on a shopping trip with the hubby and I brought a back up bar in case it was awful!

Guess what!? My back up bar was not needed! This was surprisingly really good!
There was a really good layer of a lemon gel, a slightly chewy layer, and a coating of creamy yumminess. The flavor wasn't too overpowering at all.  It was not the best bar I ever had, but I would absolutely eat it again! I usually don't like lemon desserts...you won't ever see me order lemon meringue pie... so for me to like this is major bonus points!! 

Last bar was from the whey protein line.  Cookies and Cream? Yes please!
I was loving all the protein in this one.  300 calories 12F 28C 24P.

It had a chewy chocolatey layer and a then a sweet creamy layer.   It also had some little crunchy cookie pieces and was completely covered in chocolate.  If I hadn't seen the package it came in, I would have guessed this was an unhealthy candy bar!!
It was better than a candy bar! Oh my! Love love loved it! I bet you could sample this against a real candy bar and people could not be able to tell the difference.  Yum!!! The husband stole a bite and agreed it was delicious!! 

So what's my overall opinion of Nutrilite!? I would have to say that it is one spectacular company!! They have quality products that taste amazing, they have been around forever, they use the best ingredients which come from their own organic farms, and their customer satisfaction is unreal! If you are not 100% satisfied with something you try, you can exchange or return with no questions asked! What have you got to lose!? I highly suggest you go here and try some of their products.  I am so glad I found this company! I look forward to trying more of their protein, bars, and drinks in the near future :)