First product review!!

I’ve decided to start doing a monthly product review for you, my dear followers. There are so many products out there, all of which claim to have some major health benefit, but with no regulations, how is a consumer supposed to know what is legit and what is bogus? Fear not — I am here to help!!

My first product is called Greens by a company called It Works! They are a company that makes a variety of health products, including detox wraps, supplements, moisturizers, etc. I was recently invited to a “wrap party” and, despite my initial skepticism, I was actually sold on the Greens. (The wrap was cool and I lost an inch around my belly area, but I’m not here to talk about that.) The Greens are a concentrated, powdered blend of a ginormous variety of fruits, vegetables, and other plant compounds. We were given a small sample (mixed in water) at the party so we could taste-test.
greens

(Sorry for the blurry ingredients, but most of it should be legible!)

(Sorry for the blurry ingredients, but most of it should be legible!)

I chose the individual packets for convenience, but it also comes in a large canister. I tried my first packet on Sunday, and have had two more since. Here are my thoughts:

What I liked:

— Ingredients are all natural, pronounceable, and non-GMO (HUGE plus as I refuse to eat anything GMO!).

— It contains Bacillus coagulans, a probiotic that promotes digestive health.

— It does not contain caffeine or any other stimulants.

— I really did feel an increase in my energy level after drinking it. (In fact, the label advises not to drink it 3-4 hours before bedtime for this reason!)

— The flavor is not bad. I think it is also available in orange.

— It’s vegan and gluten-free.

What I didn’t like as much:

— It’s a little pricey, at $30 for 30 packets.

–The color might be an issue for some people. When put in water it turns almost black.

BUT: You get what you pay for. I’d rather spend $30 on this once a month than some cheap vitamins with unknown ingredients. Think of it this way — that’s less than the cost of 5 grande coffee drinks at Starbucks, and with way more health benefits!

Bottom line: Worth it! This is especially good for those who have a hard time getting enough fruits and vegetables in the diet.

Below is a link to the URL where you can order if you are interested. This is the page of the rep I used, but you can search the general website for someone local to where you are.

https://wrapitaway01.myitworks.com

If you try it, please let me know your thoughts!

Have a happy day and be well!

~Jean

Cookies for breakfast? Yes please!

I’m getting bored of cereal. Sometimes I just need something a little different. I found my salvation in these breakfast cookies from Oh She Glows. Behold — the Oh Mega Carrot Cake Cookies!!

Delicious. Breakfast. Cookies.

Delicious. Breakfast. Cookies.

(The photo was taken during my breakfast this morning — does NOT do this cookie justice!)

I have to give a shout-out to Angela Liddon right here. You may also know her as Oh She Glows from her blog of the same name. She has truly made me a believer in how amazing and flavorful a vegan diet can be. If you have not seen her blog, I highly recommend you check it out. She also has a new cookbook out that, in my opinion, is a kitchen essential. All the recipes are vegan, many are gluten free, all are DELICIOUS! I have literally not made a single recipe from it that I didn’t love. I’ve even gotten my carnivorous husband to try some of them. You’ll see a lot of her recipes on my blog, but here’s the link to the recipe:

http://ohsheglows.com/2012/01/10/oh-mega-carrot-cake-breakfast-cookies-superfood-green-monster/

Enjoy!

The chocolate lover’s dilemma

chocolate

As a dietitian, I am under significant pressure to set the perfect example for how one’s diet should be. If I am spotted eating chips, or — God forbid — some cake, people say, “You’re a dietitian, you’re not supposed to eat that!” What people forget is that I am, in fact, human, and have the same cravings as everyone else. Granted, I follow a vegan diet 90% of the time and probably eat things people would consider strange (kale chips, anyone??), but I like a good cupcake every once in a while, too. Chocolate is a particular vice. My day is not complete without it. Do I feel okay about this? Absolutely!

Case in point: Myself and the other two dietitians I work with all decided to give up chocolate for Lent (also known as 40 days of suffering). At the end of Lent (Easter Sunday), we all found ourselves with some major cravings. We began to indulge said cravings, eating chocolate chips right out of the bag and concocting desserts that even a stoner would envy. Then came the guilt-stricken dialogue that we dubbed “Confessions of Crazy Dietitians.” (Watch out, this could become a regular blog theme!) “What is wrong with us???” we lamented after one particular episode, “it’s like crack!” Which got me thinking. There are a lot of bad habits one could have, and if chocolate is the worst vice you have, then I’d say you’re doing okay.

The bottom line: Go with the dark chocolate — less fat, more antioxidants, and the rich flavor is more satisfying. Antioxidants fight cancer and promote heart health, so this is a perfect excuse to indulge. The dietitian approves!

Spring time means fresh veggies!

Apple. The fruit and flowers.Here in Virginia, the weather is a fickle thing. After lots of back-and-forth between snow, rain, warm, and cold, it seems spring is here to stay. Hurray! That means time to start the vegetable garden! Growing your own food is much easier than you think, whether you’re limited to containers on a patio or have many acres. The vegetables you grow are tastier, healthier, and best of all, you enjoy the rewarding feeling that comes with knowing you have provided food for your family — no supermarket needed!

My husband made us some raised beds, which I HIGHLY recommend, especially if the soil quality isn’t great where you live. You can fill in the beds with compost, vermiculite, and other rich materials to give your seeds a great start. Plus, it cuts down on weeding. It’s a win-win!

Soon, my little "baby basils" will be ready for transplanting!

Soon, my little “baby basils” will be ready for transplanting!

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What are you growing this year?
So far, I have planted dill, chives, strawberries, potatoes, kale, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, turnips, onions and garlic.
This weekend I will be planting squash and cilantro. I will be posting pictures of the veggies' progress as well as harvesting when the time comes, so stay tuned!!