Friday, April 28, 2017

Ways to Add More Fiber to Your Diet

photo credit: javajoba Organic Apples via photopin (license)

Fiber fiber fiber! I feel like fiber doesn't get the same kind of attention protein does, but fiber does good things. And I had the chance to review some great fiber products, but more on that later. Well, fiber, keeps you regular (ahem, we all know what I mean) which is wonderful for the health of your bowels. And according to the Mayo Clinic, it can also lower cholesterol, help your blood sugar levels, and helps you maintain a healthy weight (because fiber is so much more filling!) (SOURCE)

Well, how do you GET fiber is the next question?

My first favorite that I tend to have a lot in my diet - BEANS. Beans are filled with fiber and I'm learning you can have all KINDS of beans to get fiber. Lima beans, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and so much more.

Next fruits. Apples, right? That's the first thing that came to mind for me. But you can also get fiber from berries too. And bananas. And prunes.

And don't forget vegetables too. Apparently, according to Today's Dietitian, the greener the veggie, the more fiber! So, think about trying collard greens and spinach.

Another source of fiber that is excellent for you are nuts and seeds. This is the other source of fiber I eat. Things like almonds, pistachios, and cashews make for excellent snacks and excellent ways of getting fiber.

Then you have whole grains. I'm gluten intolerant so I need to be careful, but brown rice and wild rice is a great source of fiber. Oats (I always choose certified gluten-free rolled oats!) are another good source of fiber. And if you choose the right kind of pasta, this can also be a great source of fiber.

So my brother had the chance to try out this pasta called, "FiberPasta." This pasta offers 15 grams of fiber per 3.5 ounce serving. THAT ladies and gents, is some fiber. Sadly, this is not something I can enjoy, but my brother really enjoyed it. He had some pasta with this alfredo sauce (ironically, I accidentally bought some with wheat in it - a new thing I learned to look for wheat ingredients in) and he had it for dinner. He thought this was very filling and tasted hearty too.

One unique feature to this pasta is for those of you who are diabetic, this is diabetic friendly! Price wise, I think it's fairly a bit expensive. It's about $4.25 a box of pasta. But if you are seeking ways of getting fiber in your diet, I think it might be worth considering paying that higher price point.

Purchase some pasta for your next spaghetti dinner (and add fiber to your diet!) today.

For anyone out there like me, guess we will have to get our fiber elsewhere. BUT they do offer up some really fancy and tasty looking pasta sauces on their website. I haven't tried those, but I have my eye on them for sure.

Be sure to also look for this in a store near you! (Looks like it's mostly in California but I am hoping they will expand!).

Also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

I received the above items in exchange for my honest review.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

5 Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

Can you believe it's almost May? That means that Mother's Day is just around the corner! So if you are trying to think of some gift ideas, I think you need to consider something a bit out of the box. I've had the chance to try out a couple of Thoughtfully gift boxes and they make for great gifts. It's a bit like combining a physical gift with an experience gift. You don't just open the box and enjoy what you received - you experience it. Plus you can select a gift based on the personality of your mom as well! It's not a one sized fits all company.

1) Mom's Survival Kit

Photo via Thoughtfully
This is an adorable gift, especially for the mom with younger children. It includes a coffee thermos, a babysitter notepad, earbuds, real coffee, and some more goodies! Probably not the most personal gift if you are giving this to your mom but if you have a friend who is a new mom I think this is a great gift to give. Especially if you offer your babysitting services so she can have a night out or even some time to herself.

Price $59.99. Purchase now.

2) Breakfast in Bed

Photo via Thoughtfully
Breakfast in bed is an excellent way to treat your mom! I discovered this gift on Thoughtfully and although the better version of this gift is to be there to make breakfast for your mom or take her out to breakfast, this is an excellent gift if you happen to be far away. It includes pancake mix, coffee, syrup, and some other goodies.

Price is $99.99. Purchase now.

3) Pour Over Coffee Gift Set

Photo via Thoughtfully 

Does your mom love coffee? I think this is a really good gift for a mom who loves coffee. It includes a mug, pour over coffee blog, (and the most fun part I think) a magnetic mug with alphabet tiles too. I'd say make sure to include some extra coffee with this gift too.

Price is $39.99. Purchase now.

4) Cheers to Art

Photo via Thoughtfully

Oh this is an excellent gift set for the mom who loves art! Included with two stemless wine glasses, also includes a paint by numbers canvas board, paint brushes with a wooden display, and some paint.

5) Party Props & Pops

I had the opportunity to review one of these fun boxes! And the one I reviewed is the Party Props and Pops. It includes stemless champagne glasses, photo props, fancy coasters, and sugar stirrers. I would say if you are giving this as a gift to your mom, include some champagne too! The photo props can get people laughing really easily and I think that's a fun way of turning this gift box into something really special. 

Probably the only thing that gives me some pause about gifts like this Thoughtfully Gift Box is that I fear it's more impersonal. But in reality, when you buy something like this, if you can add in your own spin to it like buying extra champagne or coffee - this makes for an excellent branching off point for gifts. 

I think one thing that I love about these gift boxes is that...they aren't filled with junky things. I mean these champagne glasses were really nice! And the party poppers and the photo props were good quality and good sized as well. Sometimes with these gift boxes, you get them and it looks like it was meant for a doll house or something, but with Thoughtfully that's not the case.

Price for this gift box is $49.99. Purchase now.

Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

I received the Party Props and Pops gift box in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Why You Should Buy Organic Coffee [and Giveaway]

photo credit: Some Strange Lady One of the loves of my life...-HMM! via photopin (license)

I'm always on the organic route when I go into a grocery store, but I have only just recently heard that we really should be drinking organic coffee. I never really thought of this before and didn't realize the importance of choosing organic coffee until now.

One major reasons to drink organic coffee?

You avoid a good majority of the pesticides.

This is the main reason I choose organic produce. Did you know that coffee is known to be one of the most heavily sprayed crops? While many argue the roasting process eliminates the pesticide residue, this still doesn't leave warm feelings in my coffee pot about what the coffee bean could entail. (SOURCE)

It's also environmentally beneficial. Many conventional growers will clear out forests to make room for their crops. This eliminates natural pest killers like birds and other creatures and this leads to more pesticide use. Organic coffee is grown more naturally, maintaining the forest life in the surrounding area. (SOURCE)

Venture into the weeds of any coffee connoisseur board (I'm looking at you Reddit) and this is of course, a highly debated subject. But overall, I'm definitely on board the organic train and when I can, I do. Growing organic coffee is definitely a challenge, but for those farmers who values growing organic, it's worth it. Check out this post I found that talked a little about it.

So why my mini discussion on growing organic? Well, I had the chance to try out Weaver's Astral Blend Coffee which is USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified Coffee. Plus, by purchasing this coffee, you are also supporting breast cancer research as well. I thought this coffee tasted pretty good, it was a gentle dark roast flavor. It was kind of the sweeter side and very rich (without any bitter flavors).

Price wise it's a bit out of my range on what I usually spend - it's $18.95 for 16 ounces. So if you can support a good cause in more ways than one, I would recommend purchasing this organic coffee by Weaver's Coffee. By the way purchasing Fair Trade coffee benefits the farms that grow the coffee, and their surrounding communities.

I'm working to be more conscious in my food choices so I recommend purchasing Weaver's Coffee and putting forth the extra money on occasion to buy this.

Purchase Weaver's Coffee Astral Blend and other Weaver's Coffees today. Order now. They have a really interesting blog you should check out that includes recipes and discusses some interesting coffee facts. Also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

I am also happy to announce one lucky reader will get the chance to win some Astral Blend coffee of their own. Enter via Rafflecopter below. Ends 5/1.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received the above items in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Quick Gluten-Free Breakfast Idea - Flax4Life Muffins [My Review]

Gluten-Free, Flax4Life, Muffins, Gluten Free

Recently, I had the chance to try out some amazing treats by Flax4Life. I am gluten intolerant and I often have a hard time embracing the idea of a quick breakfast. I mean the only one I can usually think of is yogurt, which maybe isn't all that quick if you have to eat on the go. I like the idea of baking something healthy in advance for the week, but realistically I don't often have the energy for that. 

I think what makes Flax4Life an excellent morning treat is that it's really filling, tastes good and you won't feel bad afterwards. Flax4Life is a family owned business and they've been in business for over 15 years now. They come from a family of gluten-intolerant as well as many who have Celiac disease - so they've been making gluten-free products for more than a decade now. They make their products in a gluten, nut AND dairy free facility. Check out their about page for more info. 

I got the chance to try out some of their muffins and some mini-brownies. First, for their muffins, I love their chocolate chip muffin. I know it maybe doesn't sound like the healthiest choice, but it offers 10 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber and 360 calories for one muffin. That's really pretty good to me! And if you are wary of the idea of flax, you really can't tell the taste. Although I must say if you are having flax in your diet for the first time, I'd recommend having a TON of water following. I also highly recommend warming up the chocolate chip in the microwave for maybe 40 seconds to give the chocolate a chance to melt just a bit.

Now onto one of my favorite things that Flax4Life offers - the mini brownies! They have a Toasted Coconut Brownie and that is one of my favorites. I'm loving the flavor of coconut lately and this was such a gentle sweet flavor.

Of all the ones I tried out, I'm not a big fan of the carrot raisin muffins. I feel like I need a little something with it - like tons of butter or something to balance out the husky flask taste that stands out more with this flavor.

I think this makes for a fantastic breakfast idea and the mini brownies are such a fantastic treat (I recommend these cold!).  Find Flax4Life products in a store near you. And check out their website if you want to purchase online.  Be sure to like them on Facebook and Twitter.

I received the above items in exchange for my honest review.