Thursday, August 25, 2016

PlantFusion Vegan Protein Review and Giveaway

I am always happy to share helpful information and great product finds... PlantFusion Vegan Protein certainly fits here!

I first became familiar with PlantFusion vegan protein powder a couple of years ago when I won a giveaway and eagerly chose a tub of Cookies N' Creme as my prize. Until then I had been only using whey powders, and this lucky introduction to a vegan powder opened my mind about protein powders completely.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I received a parcel with a few different PlantFusion samples inside... and now I am happy to be able to share them with you.  PlantFusion is offering to give one lucky reader her/his choice of one of the 3 products they sent me.

Disclosure:  I did not pay for the samples and the opinions expressed are my own.



Let me tell you about them to pique your interest.

PlantFusion COMPLETE PLANT PROTEIN

First, I have to tell you that this Vanilla Bean flavor is, honestly, the best vanilla protein powder that I have ever tasted!  In my opinion, the truest test of the taste is to mix the powder with either plain water or a neutral unsweetened almond milk... this Vanilla Bean passed the taste test with flying colors and as sure as I am that it would be good with fruit or veggies blended into it too... I have not done that. I love it just the way it is!  Why mess with perfection after all?



PlantFusion is free of all the major food allergens such as eggs, milk, fish, crustacean shelfish, wheat, soy and tree nuts.  Whew!  It also contains no GMO ingredients.  It is made from a blend of pea protein isolate, artichoke protein, organic sprouted amaranth powder, and organic sprouted quinoa powder, providing 4,500 mg BCAAs, and a proprietary blend of enzymes.

This is my choice for a pre-workout or pre-run shake.  Delcious, filling and nutritious... a whopping 21 g of protein in only 120 calories per serving.   The Complete Protein samples come in individual packets.   Read all about it and available flavors here.


PlantFusion PHOOD

Of course because it is PlantFusion, it is made from 100% plant sources and it has none of the common allergens... no soy, no gluten, no dairy, no animal products, and no GMOs. And Phood is more than a protein powder... it is a complete meal because of 8 key essentials: plant based proteins, cruciferous vegetables, high fiber, digestive enzymes, organic whole food vitamins, probiotics, healthy omega fats, and energy-boosting superfoods.


The Phood samples come in individual packets.  I love this Chocolate Carmel !  It is truly delicious... I use it mixed with almond milk or coconut milk when I want a meal in a hurry and I also like to use it a little more creatively... recently we had  Chocolate Carmel Cherry Nice Cream for breakfast.  Oh yes we did!

I blended a frozen banana with a cup of frozen cherries and a packet of Phood along with 2 tablepsoons of almond milk in my food processor, just till smooth... and then divided it into 2 bowls and topped them with...

chocolate chips, shredded coconut and whole cherries for him...

chocolate chips, pecans, and whole cherries for me.

If you don't have someone you want to share this with, put the second serving into the freezer and enjoy later. Honestly, this is fabulous!  I think next time I will blend everything but the cherries and then add them and puls a bit... that way there will be pieces of cherry throughout.

Because Phood is a complete meal, it has a higher calorie count...more carbs,and a bit more fat than the protein powders have, and 18g of protein. Learn more about PHOOD and available flavors here.



PlantFusion ORGANIC PLANT PROTEIN

The flavor I received is called Vanilla Chai and although I do like it just as is, I have been blending it with fruit on days I want more carbs in  my shake. Bluberries are great, as are bananas and mixed berries... the fruit compliments the flavor quite nicely and I really enjoy it.  The 'chai' offers a dash of spiciness.

Again, this powder has none of the common allergens... no gluten, no dairy, no soy, no animal products, no GMOs.

It is made from a blend of organic pea protein, organic sprouted amaranth, organic sprouted quinoa and organic flax seed.  It also contains fermented sprouted millet, lentil, flax and chia, along with a proprietary enzyme blend.

I also like to make what I call cookie dough with this particular powder.  Basically I mix a scoop of the Organic Plant Protein with 3-4 Tbs of almond or coconut milk till it is crumbly like a lumpy drop cookie dough, and then I go crazy with added toppings... nuts, nut butters, chocolate chips, coconut shreds, raisins, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and sometimes a bit more of the milk...




This has become a favorite breakfast or even afternoon snack.  There is 20g of protein in each serving and only 120 calories. The Organic Plant Protein sample comes in a tub.   You can read more about this product and available flavors here.

Now, let's talk about the giveaway...

PlantFusion will give a single winner, her/his choice of one of the thress samples that they sent to me... the winner chooses the flavor.

This giveaway is for U.S. residents only and the sample pack, as described above, will be shipped directly to the winner from PlantFusion.  I will collect shipping information from the winner and pass along to my contact at PlantFusion for arrangement of delivery.

All entries must be via the Rafflecopter form below.

There is only 1 mandatory entry. You must leave a comment on this post and indicate that you have done so in the Rafflecopter form. 

The winner will be contacted by email afer the giveaway ends and will have 48 hours after I send the email to respond and claim the prize.If that person has not given an email address for contact, or does not email me back within the 48 hour time frame, I will have to choose a different winner.  Make sure I can contact you if you want to win.  




a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck!

Now, if you like,  you can order a $10 sample kit from the PlantFusion web site.  And you can also enter to win 2 tubs of the new PlantFusion LEAN + a big prize pack at  https://plantfusion.leadpages.co/pf-lean-contest/ 


Sunday, August 7, 2016

3 Cheers for Chia!

I think it was about 5 years ago that I first discovered chia seeds and started eating them. I seem to go in little spurts with them... eating them often or not at all.  Lately it has been very often.  The more I read about them, the more I realize I need to add them to our diets on a daily basis.

Yes, I said CHIA seeds... those little tiny black seeds that you once may have spread over  the wet body of a clay sheep or a dog or even a kitten... and watched it turn into a green 'furry' CHIA pet as the seeds germinated and grew!

Still available for sale on Amazon!

And sorry for the ear worm....


Back in those days we didn't know the seed was edible; we just thought it was entertaining.

Thank goodness for modern science.  Now we know that chia seeds, once coveted by Aztec warriors, are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They have nutrients that can have important benefits for our bodies and our brains.  Calorie for calorie, they are one of the best sources in the world of several important nutrients. They are loaded with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients.

This is what they look like.



And when they are wet, they thicken somewhat and form sort of a gel.  Some vegans use a chia and water mixture in place of an egg when baking.

I have been experimenting, coming up with different ways to eat them. On their own they are very bland but that just  makes them all the more versatile.   They can be sprinkled on salads, soups, yogurt or cereals...  they can be stirred into muffin batter, cookie dough, protein shakes, smoothie bowls and even salad dressings.  This morning I added some to my husband's favorite white flour pancake mix...


He told me he really liked it! Yay!  I had been adding milled flax seed to it, trying to healthify it somewhat but he didn't care for that add-in very much....

I also love to make chia puddings. Basically you just need to add some chia seed to a milk of your choice, along with your favorite flavor enhancements and a bit of sweetener and allow it to set up for a while in the fridge.

A while back I came up with a simple Coconut Chia Pudding and shared it on my food blog. You can find it here if you are interested...




One of the first protein 'balls' recipes I ever came up with uses chia seeds... these are really tasty little bites and if you like lemon, you will love them.  Find the recipe for Lemon and Chia Raw Protein Ballz on  my food blog here.




Recently I received a few products from Chosen Foods to sample... a nice assortment and I was really excited to dig in after I opened the package.



I had never seen chia seeds offered this way before.  They are in individual packets, that contain 8g (just over 1/4 ounce) of chia seeds... and they are presented this way so that you can add a whole packet to a bottle of water and enjoy...  easy and convenient and of course, portable. Toss one in your gym bag or tuck it into your pocket.  Next time you need a little energy boost, mix the contents into a bottle of water and sip.


I did shake it a few times to make sure I got most of the seeds out of the bottle as I drank the water. Odd at first, but quite nice, really.

If you haven't given chia seeds a try, I urge you to pick some up soon.  They are low in fat, high in fibre and a really good way to get in your Omega 3 each day.

So, are you on the chia train these days, too?  How do you enjoy them?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Won't You Sit Down and Catch Up With Me?

Why yes, I have been on a mini-vacation... a lovely 4 days on the mainland to attend a wedding and then a few days South of the border to do some shopping in WA.  Let me tell you a bit about it.



The wedding we attended was the most beautiful and intimate I have ever experienced.  It was in a colorful and lush garden at the home of my husband's sister in North Vancouver, on the base of Grouse Mountain. Over the past many years they have landscaped and formed a lovely oasis, complete with mountain stream in the backyard of their home... no wonder their son and his lovely fiance chose this venue for their wedding.  Only 35 guests. Absolutely stunning and yet somehow, simple in its elegance.  And we also attended 2 other small family get-togethers and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

And our trip to the U.S. resulted in some great shopping and tired feet!  I have some favorite little shopping areas and also checked out some new ones.


Vitamin World is one of my favorite places to stock up on essentials and supplements. This time I added some BCAAs to the bag. I have been doing lots of research about adding them to my supplements and chose this brand to try.  So far, so good. The flavor is lovely, that is for sure.

And on the home front...


Sunday morning found me running, very slowly, a loop around our neighborhood. After not running for a couple of weeks, I really struggle.... but it was a lovely morning and good to get out. I really need to be doing this consistently again.

On Monday I started a new workout program called Metabolic Prime... it is another by Jade Teta and his team. It is along the lines of Metabolic Aftershock which concentrates on the larger muscles and bodyweight exercises, but with the option of adding weights or resistance bands to your effort. It is 12 weeks in duration.  Love it so far!



And on Tuesday we were back on the tennis court.  Boy was my form rusty after a couple of weeks off but was great to stretch out the quads and glutes that I worked so hard in the gym on Monday.  I love playing tennis.


I have been trying out some new protein powders from Plant Fusion. So far GREAT. Do stay tuned for a giveaway soon.  More and more often I am selecting plant-based proteins as they do stick to my ribs a lot longer than whey.


And yes, because someone asked... I am still oil pulling EVERY day. It is making my teeth shiny and white and I have noticed less staining.  I made sure to stock up on unrefined virgin coconut oil while South of the border too.



What are you loving lately?  I love catching up on your news, too.





Saturday, July 9, 2016

Tommie Copper Sport Orthotics Review

Did you know that Tommie Copper has a line of orthotics?  Or actually 2 lines... one for sport, and the other for most everyday shoes.

Well, I didn't either... but when I was given a chance to test a pair of the new Tommie Coppper Sport Orthotics, I eagerly accepted.

I am really fortunate in not having a history of problems with my feet... but over the years I do think that the fatty, soft pads on the balls of my feet have diminished somewhat and I find myself searching for thick, comfy socks more and more often. I do notice the impact when I run and have had some tenderness occasionally.  After reading some information about the Sport Orthotics I knew that I wanted to give them a try.

These orthotics do provide a nice comfortable cushioning.  And I agree that they definitely provide some shock absorption.  There was a noticeable difference in my comfort level when running on the streets and sidewalks in my neighborhood.

They also have soft top cover made from patented Copperguard to help prevent odor, bacteria, and fungi on the orthotic.   Great idea!  Who wants a smelly orthotic?  Not me, and I know you dont' either.




I have been wearing these orthotics in my gym shoes and also in my running shoes... I find them extremely comfortable and have noticed a difference not only when I run, but when I happen to do jumps and plyometrics on the carpet-covered concrete floor in our fitness room.

I simply chose my size and when they arrived, slipped them into my shoes.   The underside....


I would urge anyone looking for an off the shelf orthotic to check them out.  You can read about the Sport Orthotic as well as the Memory Foam Orthotic on the Tommie Copper web site.

Do you use orthotics?  Do you experience any foot discomfort on your runs or during your workouts?


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Catching My Breath

I have been so very active this past few weeks that I have barely had time to think about a blog post let alone actually sit down and write/publish one.  But I am not ready to give it up just yet so thought I would just catch my breath, and catch YOU up, too.

Here goes...

Fitness

I have been keeping the promise I made to myself and getting into the fitness room in our building 3 mornings every week to do a strength session. Yes, I am concentrating on my core and my upper body in these sessions because I think the other activities I am enjoying are taking care of my legs.  I am using a couple of my 21 Day Fix workouts... alternating between Upper Fix and Dirty 30... and really seeing good results in my core and my shoulders, especially.  Don't you just love how weak and shaky your shoulders and arms feel for a while after a good hard workout?



I am keeping my eye on the prize... which is wearing a beautiful floaty Summer dress to a nephew's garden wedding in mid July so it has been easy to stay focussed!  #workforthedress


I have also been playing singles tennis with The Captain twice a week.  This is not only great HIIT/cardio work but also reinforces the shoulder training. Wow! and it is fun. I love playing tennis. And I love my purty purple Asics tennis shoes, too. They are so comfortable.




Running is taking a bit of a back seat right now.  I seem to have slotted it into Sunday mornings and then taking the opportunity for a good stretch afterward. I really need to start adding yoga too and have just enrolled in a yoga challenge for runners so hope this will motivate me.

And walking... oh yeah! I have been averaging about 12,000 steps per day on my FitBit for a while now.  We are lucky to live in such a walkable, beautiful city.  Even though we moved a bit further from the water in January, we can still be on a beach walking only 20 minutes in any of 3 different directions!

So what has all this activity done for me?  Well it makes me HUNGRIER I can tell you that. So lets move on to my favorite topic...

Food

Some people would think that my food plan is kind of complicated 'cause I follow a few different programs... but they compliment each other so well that is it easy for me and they all help me choose natural, whole foods and limit junk and processed frankenfoods.

I am a Weight Watcher, and you know I am loving the Smart Points program that is part of the recently rolled-out Beyond the Scale platform.  I find it really easy to live with because it steers us away from sugar and toward protein... it just naturally points me toward healthier choices.

Along with that. I have also embraced the Cheat System Diet.  It is a great program that promotes healthy EATS and limits less healthy CHEATS.  It is so easy to understand and it fits my brain and my lifestyle.  I am a volume veggie eater so this works for me. It focusses leafy greens and healthy fats.

And you all know I carb cycle, too, a la Chris Powell.



I naturally eat in a window that is about 11 hours long and don't snack in the evening.  I am thinking about shrinking that to about 8 hours... we shall see.  I lnow that lots of people workout and run in a fasted state but I have not had any great success with that myself.

Sounds so complicated, all of this, but it works for me and is just easy.

I have been in love with dark frozen cherries for some time now and cannot find enough ways to eat them (on my high carb days, of course!).  This bowl has low fat cottage cheese mixed with a bit of NuNaturals cherry stevia and cinnamon.  OMG. My fave!  If you are counting Smart Points, it is only 2.



And these goodies from Chosen Foods!  Avocado oil is a new love... chia seeds and coconut oil are long-time favorites. I am thrilled to learn that some Chosen Foods products are available in my local markets.



Fun... Frills... Frivolity

We are having a phenomenal Summer here. The weather is spectacular and I am spending as much time as I can outside. I am even doing a bit of reading for pleasure... yes, total frivolity in entertaining novels! I have missed this as when we lived on the boat, I would spend hours lazing in the sun reading.  We had no internet connection when we were swinging on the anchor, and it was great. Life was simpler, and so much less 'connected'. It is a direction I am leaning toward again...

Our own balcony gets wonderful morning sun but we are in the shade in the afternoon.  There is a lovely rooftop lounge in our building with a large adjoining outdoor area that has been really nicely furnished with several bistro tables and chairs and also sun lounges.  That's for me!  Especially cause no one ever uses this area it seems.  I have been reading a few chapters at a time and keeping the sunning to about 30 minutes. I love a bit of color on my arms and legs, but don't want to bake.



'Fessions

I have been using coconut oil to brush my teeth for some time... usually mixed with a bit of baking soda.  Recently I read that coconut oil pulling will, over time, actually remove plaque from the teeth, so I have been faithfully oil pulling again. If I can avoid the hygenist scraping my teeth, I am all for that.  I think my teeth look shinier now after a full week of daily pullling than they did after the last time I had them cleaned and polished!  They certainly feel smooth and shiny too.  It only takes a spoonful of coconut oil and I usually pull it back and forth between my teeth for anywhere from 10 to 12 minutes while I am washing my face and doing my hair.  After I am done pulling and have disposed of the oil, I brush with a commercial toothpaste and warm water.  Here is a tip... don't dispose of the oil in your sink... it will clog up eventually!




Fashion

This is not normally my topic... but I have picked up a few new Eddie Bauer tees this Summer. They keep sending me $10 coupons in my email and I keep using them!  How can I resist when they match my tennis shoes?  I really think that Eddie Bauer makes the softest tees, but I honestly cannot imagine paying regular retail price for any of them. Wow!



Finally

We will be celebrating Canada Day on Friday, July 1st.  Lots of fireworks and fun things planned for the day and evening.

What about you?  What fun things have you been up to lately?  Have you ever tried coconut oil pulling?