Posted in Gluten Free, Healthy, Home Economics, Kid Friendly, Opinions & Commentaries, Product Testing

I’m officially… a Love Bug. 

Being a mom of two girls has had its challenges. In the beginning, I thought if they could wipe their bum and sleep through the night it would just be smooth sailing from there.

HA HA!

It’s ok. You can laugh at me too. Every stage with child rearing has its benefits & struggles.

Starting daycare or school is thought to be the ultimate in breaks. We get our life back, we get to go back to work, no extra daycare costs …. um, no!

Having another set of hands and feet other than our own is even more complicated when we can’t be with them constantly to take care of them.

That’s when I discovered Lovable Labels. I purchased a set for each of my daughters.

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(And one package has lasted until now!)

It was a Canadian company that made my life easier.  No more worrying about what wouldn’t be making it home that day (1 mitten, new indoor shoes, the expensive lunch thermos, etc.).  With Costco dressing many kids in durable snowsuits and backpacks, there’s bound to be a mix up of who’s is who’s.

Lovable Labels are made for a lifetime of use and stand up against the toughest kids.  They are:

  • Waterproof
  • Dishwasher Safe (Tested and true by this Professional Home Economist!)
  • Microwave Safe
  • UV Resistant
  • Peel & Stick (Except for the Iron-ons & non-label products)
  • Laundry Safe (Clothing labels only)
  • Bleach Safe

So I’ve been using these labels ever since. Well, mostly my kids’ stuff but there are tons of uses for adults too including work lunch containers (no missing leftovers from the lunch room fridge!), seniors in long-term care/nursing homes, sports (hockey, soccer, basketball, etc) equipment, students sharing dorm rooms/bathrooms etc.  Plus there are household labels (see my Top 5 list below!) that help homes stay organized inside (kitchen, office, crafts) and outside (recycling, compost & garbage bins!).

I even used them to do a fundraiser for the charity I work with, NSTEP, a few years back.

Recently I wanted to run a free promotion for my business, Nutrition Bites. As a Mompreneur, I have a home-based business but use expos to showcase as my temporary storefront. This season I was booked back to back at VegFest London and Whoa Mama! Marketplace. Many of my clients are parents & children. So what better way to advertise & market healthy eating to kids AND help out parents than to offer customized Lovable Labels to them as they walked by!!!?  I thought it was a very useful idea!

Here’s what my custom Nutrition Bites Lovable Labels looked like:


I attached them to a sheet explaining what they were & how to use them. You should have seen the kids light up! FREE stickers for their lunches? One girl took a few extras to share with her friends.

It was my little part to be marketing HEALTHY messages to kids and go up against the giants that unethically use millions of dollars trying to get low-density nutrition/foods into your kids all day long! (Can you tell I’m a bit passionate about health for kids & communities?!)

One of the best parts of ordering from Lovable Labels was their personalized touches:

A handwritten note to me!


After that I couldn’t help but be even more of a “Love Bug” unofficially of Lovable Labels.  Who takes the time to appreciate a customer’s orders?  This small, Canadian company sure does!

So I decided to support their company by registering to be an official Lovable Label Love Bug.  It was pretty easy, and within a few weeks my  Welcome Package arrived so I could share my love. All I do is be me: share my love of Lovable Labels with others.

What do you get?

  • Giveaways (FREE stuff for you!) – Seasons, themes, etc.
  • Cool ideas on how to use Lovable Labels from me, Sandra, aka Nutrition Bites

What I get?

  • Monthly Incentives & Free Products to review – No clue what these are yet but I plan on sharing them with my followers & Nutrition Bites customers somehow!  (Check out #1 on my Top 5 list below!)
  • Welcome Package to launch my love to you and the rest of the world – GIVEAWAY from me!
  • Content ideas for my blog, social media and home to get creative with Lovable Labels

So with all of the uses for Lovable Labels, I’m going to share with you MY list of the top 5 products I love.

Top 5 List of Lovable Label Products

From a Nutrition Consultant & Professional Home Economist

1. Lil’ Dose of Love Labels: Tutti Frutti

An extra little gift for being Customer of the Day (another sweet thing Lovable Labels does that I had no clue about – who doesn’t love FREE stuff and surprises!?) were these amazing labels.  Their website talks about giving kids positive messages in their lunches & backpacks but I thought – wow – exactly what I believe in – using FRUIT, not candy, to market to kids.  Plus the punny food humour is sure to make any kid-at-heart smile!


2. Allergy Alert Labels

Food allergies can be deadly for some.  Most are aware of this fact as schools, daycares and camps are trying to protect those that have severe allergies.  These labels help to remind others when you can’t be there, to not give your child certain allergens.  Allergy Alert Labels can also just be used for those wanting to have a certain lifestyle – like vegetarianism, veganism, gluten-free, etc.  And if your child has diabetes or other conditions that require a modified diet or lifestyle, the medical alert label will help you define that for others simple with a “peel & stick”.

3.  Canning LabelsPantry Labels 

Keeping healthy can start by being organized in your kitchen.  With personalized Canning Labels (which also help to make great gifts or for small farmers’ markets!) and an extensive pack of 88 Pantry Labels (almost ALL are very healthy staples to have in your home!), you’ll be sure to stock your home and others’ with healthy foods to nourish your bodies and busy lifestyle.

 

4.  Date It! Labels  & Write-On Labels  

These labels allow you to write & personalize AFTER you receive them in the mail.  Date It! Labels are perfect for food safety at home. Ever ask yourself (or someone else asks you), “When were those leftovers made?  Are they still good?”.  Well less work for you and this way you can customize with some Retro, Mayan, or Country styles without having to personalize before you actually make those pickles, roast or banana muffins.

5.  Outdoor Bin Labels 

As a person that has moved a lot in my life, these stickers were my gift to me (along with a local newspaper subscription) when I began my new life as a single mom.  No more chasing a black garbage can down the street to wonder if it was actually mine (Notice how almost everyone has the same one these days!).  No family name needed, just the address to keep your identity private but your bins easy to identify. It’s kind of like a “Return To” if found, during windy days.  And it looks way better than the spray-paint or sharpie method that’s bound to wear off during our harsh, Canadian winters!

 

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BONUS #6 – Don’t forget where Lovable Labels started – their personalized labels great for lunch & drink containers as well as clothes, shoes and bags.  I suggest their healthiest theme, Fruition, to (subconsciously) market fruits & veggies to your kids (and maybe you or your spouse!)

 

A LOVABLE GIVEAWAY FOR YOU!!!

I thought I’d start it of right by sharing the love right away with fellow bloggers & Nutrition Bites followers.


I’m giving away THREE different items from my Love Bug Welcome Package & my Nutrition Bites Promotion:

  • “Blogging is Bliss” & “I love Blogging” Labels/stickers
  • Lil’ Dose of Love Labels: Tutti Frutti (A sampler!)
  • My “personal”-ized favourites #NutritionBites Lovable Labels

Visit my Nutrition Bites Facebook Page to comment to win!

Find the blog post and follow the easy instructions! (Contest not in affiliation with Facebook in any way.  Open to age of majority in Canada. Contest deadline: December 18th, 2016 at 11:59pm.)

Stay tuned for more creative ways to use Lovable Labels and giveaways for my followers – YOU!

Follow me on Social Media:

Facebook:   NutritionBitesCanada

Instagram & Pinterest: @NutritionBites

Twitter:  @NutritionBites8

Blog (this is it!):   nutritionbites88.wordpress.com

Website:   www.nutritionbites.ca

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Posted in Farm, Fruits, Gluten Free, Healthy, Home Economics, Local, Ontario, Opinions & Commentaries

Cherry Pitting: Home Hacks on Trial

Being a Niagara native and having met many people while working as a crop scout, I was fortunate enough to keep some as lifelong friends.  Paula Bryk is one of them.  She is reviving her family farm in Jordan, Ontario also known now as “20 Valley”.

Her farm, 20 Valley Harvest, is undergoing a rebuilding and rebranding of sorts (if speaking in business terms) after withstanding several generations in the same family as well as the loss of her father, who last ran the farm at capacity, a few years back. I have been helping with the farm’s promotions, resource development and social media campaign in the past few months.

Even though cherry season is just past the blossom stage and the immature fruit is starting to appear, I had to buy some ripe but un-local ones.  Gasp!  The reason: recipe development!  It’s one of my favourite things to do (Need help with your farm or food business?…. Nutrition Bites Consulting to the rescue!).

Some of the 20 Valley Harvest Facebook posts include educating the public on the  nutrition, preparation and uses of cherries.  One deterring issue with fresh cherries is having to pit them for most recipes.  Many people buy the tart (sour) and sometimes the sweet ones already pitted in pails.  (Nutrition note: they are usually sweetened with added sugar! Check the labels!).

Others that purchase cherries in large quantities might splurge the average $15 – 20 cost of a hand-held cherry pitter.

Being a frugal PHEc, I found some “hacks” on the good ol’ internet to pit cherries without buying a one-use item or processed and less healthy options.

So I put them to the test as I was developing a recipe (you’ll have to stay tuned to 20 Valley Harvest & Nutrition Bites websites for the recipe reveal in June).

I enlisted by youngest daughter to help.  Not a good idea.  Every hack failed. (So it’s not as easy as “Even a kid can do it!”…)

Hours after the initial attempt, I decided to try them for myself.  Here’s how the home hacks brought havoc to the cherries:

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  1. Chopstick & Beer Bottle
  2. Straw & Beer Bottle
  3. Paperclips – regular and plastic coated

The Chopstick & Beer Bottle method was the winner!  It still didn’t work perfectly though.  With softer cherries, the pit sometimes stays attached to the flesh.  A second attempt aiming at the pit and flesh usually gets it off into the bottle.  It’s not as clean as the video makes it out to be, but it definitely saves your hands from looking like you are a mass murderer.


The Straw & Beer Bottle method works well with harder straws or thicker ones (the wide smoothie or frapuccino ones).  I used cute party ones made out of paper and food-safe ink from Presidents Choice.


These worked well for about 6-8 cherries but then started to collapse and fold with the repeated pressure and moisture.  Tip: It’s still a great way to do it but you will need several straws as they begin to bend and break under the “pitting pressure”.

The Paperclip method did not work at all.  I’m assuming we needed hard/firmer cherries as well as perhaps the video showed a different cherry variety than I had purchased. We used two different kinds of paper clips (regular and plastic coated) to make sure, but it was a complete fail and made a huge mess.

So if you are attempting to pit a whole bunch of cherries this season (be sure to make a trip to 20 Valley Harvest Pick Your Own or Market Stand!), I suggest the Chopstick & Beer Bottle method – easiest and cleanest hands down!

Cherries spray their colourful sweetness with almost any pitter you use – home hack or store bought!  So don’t forget to NOT wear your favourite clothes when cherry pitting.  Actually, if you can do it – set up a mini kitchen outside during the summer season.  I do a lot of prep work outside on a table beside my BBQ in the summer.  Also, if you are of age, cherry pitting is also a good excuse to have a beer on the patio before you get to work.  It’s in the name of saving money and reducing your added sugar intake (pitted cherries in pails), right?  Well, you can try convincing people you (or someone else) a beer is a necessary tool in order to bake and cook with cherries.

Don’t drink or know someone who does?  You could always snatch a soda pop bottle instead (but I’m definitely not going to be encouraging more added sugar…).

Happy summer season in Ontario!  Enjoy the harvests, support local farmers, grow your own when you can and get cooking with cherries!  Use my advice on cherry hacks and it won’t be “the pits” anymore!

Posted in Gluten Free, Healthy, Home Economics, Ontario, Opinions & Commentaries, Product Testing

Tenota: Product & Service Review

How many memories do you have of a warm beverage and a special event or friend that shared that moment?  It seems like tea and coffee have always been a way to come together, have a conversation, share stories and keep not just our bodies warm on cold nights, but it seems our souls.

I have grown up on tea and coffee since I was a little girl.  On my dad’s knee at the Italian neighbour’s home stealing the milk foam off his cappuccino. And my mom, she brought the English heritage out – but it was black tea  with either milk and sugar or lemon and honey.

There is a reason why there are cafes seemingly on every corner, in every city or town.  They are more the norm than the watering holes, being way more acceptable for all ages and types of social interactions and meetings.  We, as a society here in Canada, usually meet up for a beverage with friends to catch up.  Ahhh, but what happens if you live far away, don’t drive or can’t make your schedules match up?  My friend Kathryn and I, friends from good ol’ University of Guelph but now living a 3 hour drive away, schedule “coffee chats” where we brew our own at home and set up a time to chat.  We also send each other small, sentimental things in the mail that make the other smile and remind her that we care.

So when my friend Allison told me of her family company, Tenota, and wanting my opinion on their product, I first thought, “I want to send one to Kathryn! What a great idea!”: a service sending tea with a personalized note attached, literally! 

 Obviously, I wouldn’t be the one receiving the tea to taste if I sent one to my dear friend, so Tenota sent me one to try.  (I’ll be sure to send one to Kathryn with the great promo code Tenota provided for me and my followers (keep reading to find it!).)

tea notes pic.jpg

I was lucky to receive my foodie gift in the mail quickly.IMG_3404

The rustic and sturdy kraft-paper envelope with printing reminded me of an old fashioned printing press.  First impression: cute, quality and a home-y feel.

Upon opening the envelope, I was greeted with the tenota graphic: (the latin word for tea).  Cute touch.

IMG_3405.JPGte notes te pic

 

I pulled out the card. One side had a cute note saying “Someone sent you a gift!”IMG_3406

And the other side said “Tenota tea notes…. Tea with a message”. The wintery weather and Canada Post handling of home delivery I think played a big part in a tiny bit of smudging…. but honestly it just looked even more rustic and handmade.

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And drum roll for the presentation….IMG_3410.JPG

The personalized note attached to the tea bag was adorable!  It was a note within a card, within a package, with a gift!  Something perfect to send to a best friend far away,  grandma in her retirement home, a sick relative, a pick me up for a new mom or sick colleague.  And honestly, what about the foodies in your life?  I’m thinking of all the people I know who love tea and love receiving gifts in the mail (who doesn’t?)!

The cute pyramid tea bag was definitely an additional highlight as all I can think of is those gourmet teas at Starbucks that I order.  For some reason a 3D tea bag resembling the Egyptian pyramids always makes me feel spoiled and a bit like royalty compared to the run of the mill 2D circle or square normal options.

Taste Test

  
So then came time to taste test “Long Life” tea that came with my Tenota delivery.  I followed the instructions exactly as given on the tea note/tag.

  
The green and white teas were blended with herbal and fruit additions.  The tea was creamy with a definite flavour of pear and a note of spice.  The white tea definitely took the spotlight with the green tea adding a bit of depth.  The orange peel, though minimal in amount, definitely gave a strong but fresh flavour with fennel seed adding a “bite”.  I’m assuming due to the high quality of the product.

I added honey as I was sipping it alone but it would pair well with a sweet or savoury scone. I’m thinking something more of the cranberry variety (with the pear flavour in the tea complimenting the tart berry) yet perhaps a blueberry pie slice would pair well with the orange to balance it out.

One surprising ingredient was the calendula petals.  I don’t think I have ever had them in a tea, so I can’t say that I know what I’m tasting and looking for….. but I’m assuming it added a bit of a light floral taste.

  
That night I was on the run, so I had to leave the last sips in my cup.  Upon my return hours later, I though “Hmmmm I wonder if it would taste great cold?” (PHEc tip: Making iced tea at home can involve gourmet flavours at a minimal cost!)  It was still so flavourful and sweet, that this would be a great blend to send year-round to those iced tea lovers.

All things considered, I’m jealous of Allison’s family company, Tenota.  A simple idea with attention to detail that delivers a delicious tea gift made from quality ingredients, historically reminiscent packaging with a personalized message that would bring warmth to any heart and home in Canada. 

I highly recommend their products as well as this sentimental service to spread cheer and smiles across the miles.  Don’t wait for a special occassion to surprise someone or let them know you are thinking of them.  But if you need an excuse, January is Hot Tea Month and February brings us the day celebrating the most historic sender of notes – St Valentine!

And to help you even more, Tenota is offering a special promo code to my followers!  Visit my Friendly Support page to get the code for 20% off any order at Tenota!

te notes te pic
Te: The latin word for tea.
Posted in Gluten Free, Healthy, Opinions & Commentaries, Product Testing

Product Review: Sol Cuisine Sprouted Quinoa Chia Burgers

A quick post after a very hectic personal life was necessary tonight. 

A busy night of kid activities led us trying this product. 

  
My little one has been begging to be in a blog post ever since the older one was featured in one trying NuPasta. 

We had NO burger buns and tried them right out of the microwave. It took over 3 minutes: a bit more than the two minutes on the instructions but I won’t split hairs. 

My little one did manage to quickly split …. 
… the burger and the blog post.  

Don’t you love the IKEA kid plates. She sets the table (chore charts are a parent’s best friend I tell you) so sometimes we dine on plastic. 

The results were unanimous. 

  

We didn’t like them all that much. 

Green plate: I ate mine.

Yellow plates: The little one had one bite and chose carrots, an apple, cheese and whole wheat toast instead. (NOTICE: 3 food groups and everything she can make herself. Mom only makes dinner once and needs to feed herself too!) 

The big one took one bite and opted for oatmeal and fruit juice. (She’s been heavy on the fibre lately so I know she’s getting her veggies and fruits during the rest of the day.)

This product has a very noticeable quinoa crunch with the old fashioned veggie burger taste. 

Microwaving is not optimal as a cooking method. They were kind of soggy in the middle but dry and crispy on the edges. 

Pros:

  • Quick and easy to cook
  • Vegan
  • Gluten free
  • No soy filler
  • Source of fibre
  • Source of iron
  • Made in Canada (but not all are Canadian ingredients)
  • Ingredients (except modified cellulose) are real food ingredients

Cons:

  • Cost – Expensive at over $6 for 4 (71g) patties 
  • Very veggie taste – not a good hamburger alternative/swap
  • Not kid friendly 
  • Texture is crunchy and soggy
  • Nutrition facts table does not give a great display of the healthy fats possibly present
  • Lower in protein than I expected
  • Required to be in the freezer, not the fridge & cooked thoroughly. 

So this is a thumbs down, no thank you, will not buy again product. 

I was highly disappointed in the product but truly bought it myself with the hopes it would shine bright like the package. 

I ate it. It’s not terrible, but being the omnivore that I am, it’s definitely not as delicious as my regular beef, chicken or venison alternatives. It’s definitely not a product you serve at a BBQ thinking “those (traditional) people won’t know the difference”.  

For those of you on certain diets (vegan, gluten free) or allergic to soy, this product is something you might want to try if it goes on sale. Or clearance. 

It’s just not my cup of tea. 

Posted in Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Product Testing

Testing out NuPasta’s Gluten Free Pasta

NuPasta Instagram Em

So I was doing some foodie research and on a local market’s Facebook page (Remark in Hyde Park, London, ON) was this NuPasta featured on a post.  Someone was given a sample to try and said she liked it. It was gluten-free AND low-calorie, high fiber?  And it tasted good.  I have loved functional foods and food inventions since I was in my classes at the University of Guelph.  So, being the knock-on-door, take initiative type – I emailed the company.

They were happy to provide me a sample as they were just starting to come on the market to consumers.  Before I received them, I started researching the main ingredient (konjac flour).  It came from a natural source (made from a root of the konjac root) and then blended with soy flour.  Konjac flour has a soluble dietary fibre called glucomannam.  So for anyone new to food science – soluble fibre will expand with water (think oatmeal not lettuce).  This is how NuPasta is 95% water and 5% fiber and hardly any calories per serving compared to pasta (1/10th says the card).  And hence it is not made from the usual gluten-free starchy (re: carbs/calories) flours (potato, rice or tapioca), and finally we have a gluten-free product (no certification yet) that is NOT high in calories and carbohydrates.

I received the packages in the mail.  Yes, pasta in the mail.  It is shelf stable until opened!

NuPasta Packages

Then I read the information it came with.  This sounded so easy a baby could cook with it.

Babies usually need to be in the oven for 9 months, and they don’t rent them for foodie experiments so call in my oldest “baby” who is 11 years old.

Emily Mulberry

So we were on a mission…. see if this kid (who does have food skills because she has a parent teaching her at home) could make this without really cooking.

(Warning: Parent Trick for Picky Eaters)

But I tricked her… even though she is not usually a picky eater (the younger one takes the cake on that one!), it was getting her involved in cooking that would even distract her from asking “what is it made with”.

She picked spaghetti over the fettuccine and angel hair options we were given.

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“Step 1. Drain the water in the pack, rinse NuPasta under cold water for a short while, drain excess water and NuPasta is ready to use.”

This was super easy except getting into the packaging.  We did have to use a knife to cut the clear film top as the edges didn’t help to pull it off.  Other than that, super easy.

Draining NuPasta

“Step 2. Prepare the topping and sauce.”

Emily loves butter and grated cheese on her pasta, myself – tomato sauce for this saucy Italian-Canadian.  So we decided with not much time before a cheap movie theatre night, we were going to use the microwave method and KISS with NuPasta.

Toppings and sauce for NuPasta

“Step 3. Mix topping, sauce, and NuPasta and heat with a skillet or by microwave (use proper microwave container).”

 Splitting NuPasta       IMG_0620

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“Don’t over-cook or NuPasta can become chewy; its nutrition value will remain unchanged.”

So we tested it out and with heavy bowls and no bulky additions to it.  We gave it 2 spins of 35 seconds and it was warm enough to eat right away.  This obviously depends on your taste, microwave, bowls and other added ingredients.  It was not chewy at all for us.

“If you wish to serve NuPasta cold, pre-chill the pack for 2 hours then do the drain and rinse.  You can cut it into shorter strands and add to salads or other cold dishes.”

We didn’t do this, put think of the possibilities if this comes in rotini or penne?  A great summer pasta salad recipe without the cooking on a super hot day before a picnic – NuPasta would definitely be considered convenient!

“Since NuPasta is sodium-free and sugar-free, add seasonings to your own liking.” 

This is a huge advantage for anyone trying to have convenience foods that are not preserved with lots of salt/sodium.  That would be anyone following a DASH diet for cardiovascular diseases.  As well, sugar-free means that this would be a great product for perhaps patients trying to control blood sugars (diabetes, hypo/hyperglycemia, etc).

But the disadvantage of this is about to be revealed….

Emily wanted her butter and freshly, grated cheese on top.  She threw some cheese on mine too. (So yes now we had sodium added in, so be careful what toppings and sauces you choose.  Read food labels!).

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So here is her honest to goodness reaction…..

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She said it tasted bland. I was so disappointed.  So I dug into mine.  I had an idea after I had my first taste.

I said to her to try mine even though I knew she “didn’t prefer tomato sauce”.

Low and behold….. “that’s so much better” she said.  We agreed it was a great product with additional flavours and toppings.  And ta dah, I even got her to eat tomato sauce which she usually doesn’t.  I even said a thai-based sauce would be great with NuPasta.  Think stir fry frenzies for gluten free noodle lovers.  (It does have that kind of consistency if you’ve cooked with those type of noodles that come soaked as well.)

So the verdict is:

Yes, I would recommend this product.  It is very kid friendly too. My guinea pig agrees too. Cheers to that (forks will have to do.)

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I would like to do my own research more carefully on glucomannam for the science geek that I am. I know that some soluble fibres in products (ex: inulin) can cause GI upset in some people if taken in high quantities.  The little bit of searching I did show that if taken as just as a supplement, lots of water is required with it (due to its high water absorption ability).  Since it is cooked and soaked/stored in water, I can’t see NuPasta having this safety issue at all.

Update:  New study showing components of glucomannam & chitosan can help people feel full longer leading to a possible weight management strategy. 

Link here to news article & study reference: http://mobile.foodnavigator.com/Science/Mixing-two-well-known-ingredients-could-be-key-to-new-weight-loss-foods-Study


Plus consumers are really different tastes.

As a Professional Home Economist that loves experimenting in the kitchen, I would encourage you to try it if you are looking for a pasta alternative for whatever reason.

Highlights of this product:

  • Gluten-free AND low-calorie (hard to see that together on the food market shelves right now)
  • Super easy to prepare
  • Kid friendly
  • No cooking necessary
  • Convenient – pre-cooked AND shelf-stable (ready to use)
  • Sodium/salt free
  • No added sugars
  • Very versatile – flavours, sauces, extra ingredients can be added; hot/cold options

 

 

So one last thing to touch on.

It is something that I find I have a major issue with, with many blogs out there with posts about new product testing:

This is absolutely a product review.  By ME.  I was not asked by the company to do so.  I will never sell out my true self.  My opinion of a product will never be anything but super honest.  If I ever try a product I do not like and asked to write about it – I’d prefer to not write at all.  My mom taught me best – If you do not have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  So with that in mind, this and ALL reviews (ever) will be my opinions alone and will never reflect anything but (unless a quote from someone else who was helping me).  Companies should want the feedback (good and the not-so-good) to improve their product for their customers.  A fluffed up opinion to market a product rather than reflect the honest truth will never make a product or that company successful in the end.  We all have to sleep at night.  I’d like to make sure I keep my little bit of space here, free for me to be me. It’s the only person I can be.  )

So happy looking and cooking for new food products too.

 

Posted in Gluten Free, Healthy, Opinions & Commentaries, Product Testing

Foodie Fun Pen Pal Exchange

Genius ideas for foodies: penpals that exchange food through mail!  Ok this is fantastic.  I love getting mail that isn’t bills (who doesn’t?) and I love surprises and trying new things including FOOD.

So even though I cannot post my box contents until “Reveal Day”, I thought I’d share the blog and website that you can go to, to participate in the next month or exchanges.  It’s simple rules and I honestly can’t wait to do it again (and I haven’t even opened my box yet!).  It’s so nice to know that you are shopping for another foodie.  I get to share some of my fave products as well as learn about some new products.  This first time, I was paired with a vegan from Toronto.

Here is where you can sign up for next month (no time commitment so I probably won’t do it for a couple of months until I am more “free” to enjoy and blog about the experience again.

http://www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/

I thought you might like to at least look into it.  It’s well organized and minimizes cost (avg cost of food is $15 and shipping varies depending on what you are sending (think light!) and the size of the box/container you are sending it in (smaller is cheaper) as well as where it is being shipped to (you get paired with people closer to you and definitely in the same country USA vs Canada vs England).

Well, keep your eyes open next week for my post to reveal what I was sent.  I gave my penpal no restrictions so it will be interesting to see what I received and get to try!

Eat healthy and be happy!