Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ten Day Challenge with Garden of Life!! [Starting March 1st]

I really love Garden of Life.  They are hands down the number one purchased brand in my home, with So Delicous Almond Plus milk being a close second.  I have bought their protein and meal powders for a while now, and repurchase them time and time again.  I am the type of consumer that doesn't care what you buy, necessarily, but what you keep buying.  For me, Garden of Life is that brand that I keep coming back to.

Garden of Life recently sent me their RAW Fit Protein in Marley Coffee and Original, as well as their fucoTHIN Green for a ten day challenge.  I would love to get more people on board with it!  There is a $5 off coupon in the Whole Foods book right now, and they carry several of the Garden of Life products (including their vitamins and supplements).

What will this challenge entail?  Starting March 1st, I will be replacing my breakfast and lunch time smoothies with RAW Fit Protein.  I will be drinking the Marley Coffee flavor for breakfast, and the original flavor for lunch.  Because the Fit protein powder is so low carb, I will probably pair it with some fruit at breakfast and probably nuts or fruit at lunch as well.  I will be keeping my calorie intake at 1200 calories, per usual, focusing on eating high protein and keep my carbs at or below 75g.  For those who follow macronutriet guidelines, I will be shooting for 75g of carbs (25%), 135g of protein (45%) and 40g of fat (35%).  For those of you who do want to follow macronutrient guidelines, I highly suggest the myfitnesspal app for calorie trackings, and really like this site for figuring out your macro needs.

I will be pairing these two meals with a wisely picked dinner and regular exercise.  I love the Insanity workouts.  I don't do them as consistently as I should, but I will be doing the workouts at least three times a week.  I will be trying to do it more often, as work allows.

I will also be taking their fucoTHIN Green supplement.  fucoTHIN has two active ingredients, Fucoxanthin and Green Coffee Bean Extract, both in their raw forms.  The coffee bean is decaffinated to prevent jitters, which makes me extremely happy.  Anyone who has had caffeine jitters knows what a nightmare that is.. now imagine being a makeup artist and trying to do liquid liner on a client.  I would also be scared to mix this with the Marley Coffee Fit protein if the supplement wasn't decaffeinated.  I've had large portions of caffeine, but that's during the holidays and I really don't feel well doing it.

As a precursor to this challenge, I want to give a brief description of both key players in this challenge, the Fit protein and the fucoTHIN.  I plan on doing an in depth review of both following the challenge, but I'd like to give you guys a little information now so that you understand why I chose them.

RAW Fit Protein:  RAW Fit protein is a hybrid of a meal powder and a protein powder.  It has an impressive macronutrient profile (28/5/67 on my 1200 calorie plan; I'm shooting for 25/35/45).  This means I have room for healthy fats, and means I will probably be eating a lot of avocados.  Avocados have been found to help suppress hunger, so they will be a great addition to the challenge.  That, and they're just damn delicious.  My favorite thing about the RAW Fit is that it is still a raw food, and that the protein blend is about twenty different things for a complete and rounded amino acid profile.  Also fantastic?  It's vegan, gluten free, dairy free and soy free!

fucoTHIN Green:  The active ingredients in this weight loss supplement are Xanthigen® (raw, concentrated Fucoxanthin) and Svetol® (raw, naturally decaffeinated green coffee bean extract).  These are both non-stimulant natural fat burners.  We've all heard of green coffee bean (it came to the market in 2002), but I'd never heard of Fucoxanthin prior to this supplement.  A little research taught me that it was a not so new ingredient used in weight loss that had recently gained popularity thanks to celebrity doctor Dr. Oz.  It's derived from a brown algae and is an accessory pigment in the chloroplasts responsible for their brown and olive color.  Scientists in Japan did a study with mice and rats and found that it increased thermogenin which lead to weight loss.  A later double blind study with a placebo in women found that when it was blended with pomegranate oil, the subjects taking the fuxocanthin lost weight.  I found this information with a google search and I recommend you do the same before you start any supplements with unfamiliar ingredients.

So who's ready to accept my challenge?  Who's in it to win it!!?  Let's do this!!

Where to follow me for this challenge?
this blog
my instagram
& facebook

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What's In My Pantry: Recent Food Hauls

I've had these items for about two weeks and haven't made this post yet.  I've been a little busy with work and trying to get in three mile walks with my dog.

In this haul:
=> Spectrum Ground Flaxseed:  Got it on sale so it was pretty cheap.  I'm mostly excited that it's ground.  The pro to that is that it's much easier to absorb its nutrients.  The cons is that it can go bad more quickly.  It's an easy fix: store in the fridge after opening.
=> Nasoya Black Soybean Tofu Plus: this is my preferred tofu.  I feel like I compared the ratios and it was the best I could find for protein.  I'll have to check this again next tofu outing.  I got this for $2/5, with a $1 off coupon.
=> Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla and Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut:  These were on sale with a coupon so I grabbed a flavor I trusted, and something new to try.  I may have tried the Vanilla Coconut in the past, but I don't remember.
=> So Delicious Cashew Milk:  it was time to try a new "milk".  I've never had cashew milk.  These were on sale and had a coupon, so I jumped in; all or nothing.  Hopefully they're good.  I haven't gotten to them yet.
=> Dancing Star Chunks of Energy Chcolate Almond Chip: my local Whole Foods carries these in the bulk bins.  These are a great snack for prolonged activity.  I like to eat two of these before I leave for work in the morning.  Gets me through my morning walk and takes me into my day.
=> Roasted Unsalted Soybeans: these are a great high protein snack with good fats.  I like to munch on these when I'm craving something like potato chips.  It isn't the same texture or taste, but for some reason it works for me.  Much more protein than a potato chip.  These are also from the bulk bin at Whole Foods.

Garden of Life sent me these goodies.  There will be more about that tomorrow, actually.  Pictured here is their RAW Protein in Vanilla Chai and the RAW Fit powders in Original and Marley Coffee.  Also pictured is their Herbal D-Tox regimen, and their fucoTHIN Green weight loss supplement.  I'm so excited!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mail Time: Graze Box #4

What's in my box?

LIGHTLY TOASTED PISTACHIOS:  These are pistachios, whole (in shell), lightly salted and lightly roasted.  These are delicious and flavorful, and a nice low calorie, low carbohydrate snack.  I liked these a lot, actually.  They weren't overly salty and didn't taste.. overprocessed.

Calories: 104 kcal
Fat:  9.61g
Carbohydrates: 1.45g
Protein: 3.12g

GRAZE'S CHOCOLATE ORANGE:  This is a combination of dark chocolate, orange raisins and hazelnuts.  First and foremost; what a combination!  It's the highest calorie snack this time, but it's also rich in antioxidents, vitamins and minerals.  I love the combination of orange and chocolate, so I'm glad Graze keeps delivering on that.  I ate this faster than I'm proud to admit...

Calories: 208 kcal
Fat: 13.4g
Carbohydrates: 19g
Protein: 2.98g

PINA COLADA:  This is dried pineapple, coconut and mango.  This was sweet and delicious, almost like eating candy.  This is definitely something to give to kids instead of junk food or candy when they want something sweet.  It's also rich in good carbohydrates so it'd be great in a packed lunch to get them through the day.  It's low calorie, too.

Calories: 103kcal
Fat: 4.18g
Carbohydrates: 16.8g
Protein:  <1g

CHERRY PIE:  This is a combination of cherry raisins, almonds and cranberries.  I'm disappointed to not see actual cherries in this, but I'm sure they had their reasons.  Almonds are a super food in their own right, so this is a good little powerhouse of a snack.  This was just the right balance of sweet and tasty.

Calories: 158 kcal
Fat: 8.29g
Carbohydrates: 18.3g
Protein: 3.39g

Wednesday, February 5, 2014