Category: Product Review

Lumen Metabolism Tracker Review

Have you seen the Lumen Metabolism Tracker and thought it might be something that would come in handy with your weight loss journey? Do you have an extra $300 US to burn on useless gimmicks that promise to help you optimize your metabolism for fat burning? If you are like most people during this age of the Covid-19 pandemic, you probably don’t.

Scientifically, I am sure this gimmick works as advertised. However…

this is not going to get you to your goals in weight loss!

Yes, you can control your metabolism to a small degree by losing weight and gaining lean muscle mass. You do have some control over your metabolism by making small lifestyle changes by watching what, and how much you eat and exercise. But unless you are doing these things this tracker is NOT going to help you change your metabolism. Additionally, you need to know that any changes you do make to your metabolism are not going to be huge, and the changes will not be enough to allow you to consume as much food as you might desire.

I maintain a very lean body through my nutrition, hard work, and regular exercise that includes  8 hours of strength training and about 3 hours of cardiovascular training each week. You might think just by looking at me that I have a high metabolism, but what you cannot see is the fact I actually do not have a high metabolism. I consume an average of 2,270 calories a day to maintain my current level of body fat and weight. If I increase this by 500 calories per day, I will gain fat on 2,770 calories per day. I know this with absolute certainty simply because I have tried to increase my caloric intake to see what happens. For someone with a very physical job, and who exercises religiously, I have a low metabolism that I cannot manipulate to any great, long lasting degree.

Let me tell you a simple and blunt truth. If you are struggling with your weight and appetite, knowing what your body is burning for energy is not going to help you in any way, shape or form. If you are not struggling with your weight or appetite, this information is not even going to be relevant to you. You have to be willing to make permanent lifestyle choices in order to take off those extra pounds and to be successful at keeping them off. You do not need any gimmicky devices to do this. In order to lose weight, you must have a caloric deficit, meaning that you either must reduce your caloric intake below your total daily energy expenditure or increase your total daily energy expenditure through physical activity.

No matter your body type, the number of calories you need just for your body to function is called your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. If you know your BMR, you can better determine your caloric needs for healthy weight loss.

You burn most of your daily calories with zero effort, movement, or even thinking. Whether you’re sleeping, talking on the phone, working at a keyboard, or simply watching TV, your body is burning calories to keep your organs functioning such as your heart pumping and your lungs breathing. The calories used to maintain these basic bodily functions add up to your BMR.

BMR is one of many factors in the total number of calories you burn in a given day, also called your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). It accounts for roughly 65 to 70 percent of your TDEE, which is determined by genetics, biological sex, age, body size, and lean body mass. While many people blame a slow metabolism (they mean BMR) on weight gain, it’s actually true that increases in body size result in an increase in BMR. The bigger you are, the more calories you are going to need to maintain your weight. The thing is, this is true no matter if you are morbidly obese or muscle bound with little fat. The process to lose body fat is the same for the morbidly obese as it is for one who is just a little over weight. Both individuals will need to reduce their daily caloric intake by 500 in order to lose 1 pound of body fat per week. This can be done by reducing your food intake, or through exercise, or a combination of these two factors.

At rest, a pound of fat burns roughly two calories per day and a pound of muscle burns roughly six calories, however there are a few things you must realize about this. One of the things people do not consider about metabolism is how active a person is, even when they are at rest affects how much they can consume. Fidgety people are constantly moving their body in some manner. Some people are constantly moving during the day, while some are perfectly capable of sitting still while relaxing. The point is, unless you are naturally fidgety, or one to be moving all the time, odds are, you will not become that type of individual just because it will help you to increase your metabolism in order to keep the pounds off of your body. Trying to boost your metabolism probably won’t lead to weight loss, at least not to the degree that changing your diet and lifestyle habits will.

How much you weigh depends on the choices you make about food and how much physical activity you get.

To lose weight, focus on the factors you can control.

  • Calories. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in. There are several ways to reduce the number of calories you eat, including reducing portion sizes; eliminating added sugars and saturated and trans fats. Begin choosing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats instead of processed foods for your daily nutrition. And keep in mind that as you age, you may need to eat even fewer calories. This is because the amount of muscle you have tends to decrease as you get older. Your muscle mass affects how many calories you need because muscle tissue burns calories, even at rest. So having less muscle decreases your calorie needs by decreasing your basal metabolic rate, while having more muscle increases your calorie needs by increasing your basal metabolic rate.
  • Activity. Exercise helps you burn calories, and build and maintain muscle mass. Any physical activity is better than none. Start slow, and gradually work your way up to incorporating both aerobic exercise and strength training into your routine.

Follow us here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we can help you to learn all that you need to know about successful weight loss and management.

As with any new lifestyle change that includes diet and exercise, be sure to consult your physician before doing so.

Jif No Sugar Added Peanut Butter Review

I love peanut butter, I always have. And I have to say, this no added sugar Jif is simply the best. This healthier version of the original Jif brings back happy childhood memories of sitting high up on a tree limb while eating my peanut butter sandwich. While I enjoy other natural peanut butters, I have always had a taste for the creamy types that do not require any stirring before eating. I like that this peanut butter has the same peanut goodness of other creamy brands, yet there is no sugar included in the ingredients. It tastes much like its’ counterpart that does contain sugar, only there is no sweetness to it. This peanut butter also spreads quite nicely and is most excellent when eaten on slices of apple. Another huge bonus with this no added sugar peanut butter is it is entirely diabetic friendly at 7 grams total carbohydrates, minus 3 grams of fiber for 4 grams net carbs. There is only 2 grams of natural sugar to a serving. If you have a diabetic child in your home who is not allergic to peanuts, I cannot think of a better peanut butter to serve them, or even yourself.

NUTRITION INFO

I really liked this peanut butter and was totally satisfied.  I highly recommend you go ahead and try it by yourself.  Our local Walmart carries this at $5.97 for a 2 pound jar. It is available at other stores as well so prices may vary slightly.

Elite Sports Born Tough Workout Pants Review

https://www.borntough.com/

https://www.elitesports.com/

Workout Jogger Pants & Leggings

Born Tough Women Contoured Tracksuit Bottom Black

FINALLY!

I have looked for good workout pants for years and paid way too much for many of them. I have bought a lot of the top brands and while they were pretty or professional looking, none have performed like these.

The sizing is true. I ordered a medium which is my regular size, and the fit is perfect. I am 5″6′ tall and there is a little extra length that scrunches close to the leg, so they will be long enough if you are taller than me. If you are not as tall as I am, you will still have a good fit because the high-quality fabric that Elite used to make these pants lays close to the skin. The SWIFT fabric is 92% cotton and 8% spandex and has incredible stretch and structural support. They are contoured to fit close to the body which is perfect for all athletes. The accentuated seams make the pants more flexible and tough, so they perform well in the squat. We all know that if pants stand up to the squat, they will stand up to anything!

I particularly like the drawstring waist that helps give you a smoother waistline and also keeps your pants secure in the squat. You don’t have to worry about southern exposure when you go deep when you’re wearing these pants. The inset panel at the waist also smooths your front view. The contoured panels in the legs allow for the muscular build of athletes. Your quads will be cozy in these pants. While they have great stretch, as witnessed by their performance in the squat, they also have good support due to the high quality fabric. I believe that this quality of comfortable, functional support is made possible by the high percentage of cotton in the fabric. While cotton does stretch, it stretches much less than those trendy pants that are mostly spandex.

You can order the pants at https://www.borntough.com/products/born-tough-women-contoured-tracksuit-bottom-black . At only $39.99, they are a true bargain. You can even choose to pay for them in four $10.00 interest-free payments! Now where else can you buy workout pants like that? I have paid much more for well-known brands of workout pants that I have either thrown away or are simply taking up space in a drawer. I tend to wear my favorite pair of pants over and over because they make me feel good in my workout. As of today, I have a new favorite. https://www.borntough.com/collections/workout-jogger-pants-leggings

RiduZone is Just Ridiculous!

As I sat down in front of my television early this morning to enjoy my first steaming cup of black coffee, I got to begin my day in disgust when the first commercial I saw was one advertising this brand of snakeoil. I’m not sure how long RiduZone has been on the market, but it is a new one to me. Regardless, whether it has been several days or several months, it has been around far too long in my opinion. I totally despise the marketers of products like this as they take advantage of the desperate and vulnerable among us. They rake in tons of cash with promises to help people with their weight and appetite, yet their products are always nothing more than a rip off to the consumer.

If you note in the picture above, they tell you that  this product is FDA acknowledged for safety, but does not mention if it is FDA approved for effectiveness.

And, as you can see in their disclaimer below in bold letters, they tell you “Do NOT Expect These Results”!

I truly wish I had a dollar for every time I said to avoid these worthless supplements!

In the above picture, con men at RiduZone are playing to your emotions in regards to weight loss and your past failures with it.

None of your failures were your fault, you can simply blame it all on nature!

You can place all the blame on your sluggish metabolism!

I am not in the business of hurting feelings. I have spent countless hours building this website to help people from all walks of life to lose weight and then keep it off in a healthy manner. I do not believe that sugar coating the truth is beneficial to anyone, nor is it helpful to shift blame when it comes to the weight and health of our bodies.

Our metabolism slows down when our body fat percentage is too high. It is a fact of life that  muscle cells require more energy to maintain than fat cells, so people with more muscle than fat tend to have a faster metabolism. When you live a sedentary life and eat bad foods, the reality is, you have created your slow metabolism. People who struggle to lose weight often blame a slow metabolism. But there’s little evidence to support this claim. There is research that actually shows that overweight people can have faster metabolisms than thinner people simply because larger bodies require more energy to carry out basic bodily functions.

It is a fact, most people tend to eat more than they think they do. More often than not, the reason you’re putting on weight isn’t because of a slow metabolism, it’s because you’re eating and drinking more calories than you’re burning. It may be hard to accept, but staying on top of the number of calories you eat is key to losing weight and keeping it off. While it is true that cutting your calories too far can affect your metabolism, you really should not cut them by that much unless you are under a doctor’s supervision. If you’re concerned about slow metabolism and your weight, talk to your doctor about healthy changes you can make. And if you still think you have a slow metabolism, your doctor can check your metabolism or check for rare conditions that can cause problems with metabolism and weight, such as an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), Cushing syndrome or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

What in the world is OEA?

Oleoylethanolamide (OEA) is a molecule produced in the body, usually found in the intestines. It is responsible for the feeling of satiety following meals.

OEA is sometimes included in fat burning supplement stacks. There is currently no human evidence that suggests oral supplementation of OEA is able to burn fat.

OEA acts on a receptor called Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Alpha (PPARα). When this receptor is activated in the intestines of rats, the animals consume less food. Research on rats shows that both injections and oral intake of OEA causes a reliable reduction in the amount of food eaten.

Limited human evidence suggests that OEA may be able to aid fat loss by acting on PPARα. When this receptor is activated in fat tissue, energy expenditure increases. Further evidence is needed before oral supplementation of OEA can be recommended for weight loss.

Kicking it to you real!

In order to get your appetite under control, the best method to make yourself feel satiated, is not through the use of this or any other supplement. If you want to feel satiated, then you must adopt healthy nutritional habits where you consume all the macro and micro-nutrients required for good health. When you consume a healthy diet, free of added sugars and processed foods, you will notice that you no longer crave foods between meals. A healthy diet is the only method you should ever use for your satiety!

RiduZone’s Testimonials and Results Disclaimer

In accordance with the FTC guidelines concerning use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, please be aware of the following:

The weight loss and fitness testimonials presented apply only to the individuals depicted, cannot be guaranteed, and should not be considered typical.  Every testimonial on this website is from a real customer who used the product RiduZone, and/or workouts and nutrition advice listed on the website. No one was paid for a testimonial or endorsement. Some individuals were given RiduZone at no charge for their reviews. Before and after photos were not retouched or altered. Results (weight, body fat percentage, circumference measurements, etc) were self-reported by the customer and therefore cannot be confirmed. Errors could have been made in reported weight and body composition numbers. You should assume that featured results are not typical.

What You Might Expect:

You should assume that any results shown in testimonials, advertisements, stories, blog posts, articles, forums or anywhere else on this site or our associated websites are not typical. Typical weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week when someone consistently practices healthy eating and activity levels. If one does not practice healthy eating and have activity level, no results should be expected. Results may vary from person to person based on body size and other factors. In overweight or obese individuals, weight loss of up to 1% of total bodyweight per week is more common. Faster weight loss in the first 2 weeks is common but usually represents water weight loss, not body fat. Faster fat loss is possible, but not likely. The NutriForward, LLC suggests a healthy eating and activity lifestyle to body fat reduction, strength gain and functional conditioning. Any dramatic body transformations will take dietary discipline and hard physical work.

Please, do yourself a huge favor and do not buy this product, it is nothing more than a rip off.  There are better things you can do with your money than to plop down $119.99 on a product that is sure to let you down. Think about this, if a product at this price actually works, why do we continue to have an obesity epidemic? How could high priced bariatric surgeries still be a thing if these products were even a little bit effective? How many similar over the counter supplements have you ever taken to only be let down once you have finished them? RiduZone is not going to be any more effective for you than anything else you have tried in the past, I guarantee this.

Save your hard earned money and follow us here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. We are free of charge to everyone as we truly want to help you to successfully lose those unwanted pounds and for you to keep them off. We can also now be found on Facebook @ David’s Way to Health and Fitness, Sugar Free Living! Stop by and give us a like and a follow!

Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Pancake Mix Review

I bought this pancake mix today kind of on a whim, and thought it would be a great mix for a review. I was loosely looking for a different brand to do a review on, when I spotted 7 grams of protein and 0 added sugar at the top of the bag.  I have to say these pancakes were quite delightful and I had to go back and check the nutrition and ingredients to make sure I was not wrecking my normal healthy nutritional practice. All was good!

I prepared the mix in accordance with the instructions. I added 2 eggs, 1/4 cup coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of water to the 1 cup of the mix. The package was not specific to the type of oil, therefore I used coconut oil which besides being a healthy oil, it also gives food a nice texture. I liked that I did not feel any need to doctor the mix when I make my next batch. I have tried Kodiak protein pancakes and found them to be far better when mixed with eggs and milk rather than just water as their preparation instructions call for.  I find it a plus that with Purely Elizabeth, I can recommend this mix to those who are not adventurous in the kitchen and know that they will have a batch of healthy, filling and quite delicious pancakes without having to modify the recipe at all.

These pancakes are a quick meal to prepare. You can begin preheating your skillet on medium high just before preparing the mix. Once you have mixed it, then it is only a couple minutes in the skillet per side and your pancakes are ready to eat. Total time in the kitchen for me was maybe about 15 minutes, possibly a little less. I cannot drive to a restaurant and have a meal in that amount of time no matter where I might go. Besides that, I find Purely Elizabeth to be far superior to any pancakes I have ever consumed at International House of Pancakes (IHOP).

I added Maple Farms Sugar Free pancake syrup to these tasty cakes and because of the coconut oil, I did not spread any butter on them before adding the syrup. I can say, the flavor is good enough that the addition of butter is not necessary in my opinion.

Ingredients:

Almond Flour, Arrowroot Flour, Organic Coconut Milk Powder (Organic Coconut Milk, Organic Tapioca Maltodextrin, Organic Gum Acacia), Organic Teff Flour, Organic Buckwheat Flour, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Tigernut Flour, Organic Hemp Seeds, Organic Flax Seeds, Leavening (Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate Monohydrate), Sea Salt, Cinnamon.

The flavor of the pancakes was the perfect mix of each of the ingredients listed. I enjoyed the fact the buckwheat flour and cinnamon seemed to be the dominate flavors, but the nuttiness of the other nut and seed ingredients were also quite evident with no flavor overriding any other. Each ingredient is perfectly complementary to the rest.

At 310 calories per serving, this is pretty good for most people. You can add sugar free syrup for about another 20 calories if you desire. Or, you could spread a little bit of peanut butter on them for a delicious treat too. At 5 grams of fiber, these pancakes bring a significant amount of fiber to you which is always a good thing to have in our diet. I love that this mix contains zero added sugars and comes in at 7 grams of protein. Nutritionally, these pancakes are very sound for the health conscious individual as they contain:

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a powerful superfood once used as currency for its exceptional value. The Aztec warriors used this endurance seed, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and complete protein to run great distances.

Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein. Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation in the body. Flaxseeds are also rich in lignans, a type of phytoestrogen compounds that has been shown to help protect against breast and prostate cancer.

Tigernut Flour

Tigernut is a small root vegetable with a nutty, slightly sweet taste and originates from Africa. It is a versatile ingredient that can be made into flour and even butter. This paleo-friendly flour is also a prebiotic fiber powerhouse.

Buckwheat Flour

Buckwheat is a seed from a fruit that is ground into flour. It is one of the highest fiber gluten-free flours and creates a light and fluffy texture.

Almond Flour

Made from ground almonds, this naturally gluten-free flour adds a nutty rich flavor and is the leading ingredient.

I found this excellent mix at my Dillons grocery store for $6.99 US. Dillons is a subsidiary of Kroger grocers. They can also be bought online straight from Purely Elizabeth’s website. I will definitely be enjoying these Ancient grain pancakes more in the future.

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GT’s Synergy Raw Kombucha (Gingerberry) Review

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented tea passed down by centuries of Eastern tradition. To craft Kombucha, a base of sweetened tea is cultured with a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast). Over time, the SCOBY transforms the tea into a tangy, naturally effervescent drink with billions of living probiotics to support gut health and promote overall well being.

Homemade Kombucha with the SCOBY floating on top.

When kombucha is being produced, bacteria and yeast form a mushroom-like film on the surface of the liquid during fermentation. This is why kombucha is also known as “mushroom tea.” The fermentation process produces acetic acid (also found in vinegar) and several other acidic compounds, trace levels of alcohol and gases that make it carbonated.

A large amount of bacteria also grow in the mixture. Although there is still no evidence for the probiotic benefits of kombucha, it does contain several species of lactic-acid bacteria which may have probiotic function that provide your gut with healthy bacteria. These bacteria can improve many aspects of health, including digestion, inflammation and even weight loss. For this reason, it is said that adding beverages like kombucha to your diet may help to improve your health in many ways.

How it tastes.

Well, there are multiple flavor offerings from GT’s Synergy, I had the Gingerberry and while I did not find this product to be particularly good in flavor, it was not bad either once you get over the initial taste.

Upon my first sip, I immediately noticed and appreciated the carbonation of the drink, which I believe helped to make it more palatable. However, the first flavor profile of many that I found this drink to have was that of  weak vinegar that comes from the acetic acid. This taste of vinegar was followed by the flavor of a watered down non-alcoholic beer that has been flavored with ginger and berry. The drink was also made more palatable by being chilled good before I drank any of it, I believe it might border on awful if it was served up warm, but concede others might be perfectly okay with a warm kombucha drink. I just can’t imagine myself liking it at room temperature any more than I like warm beer. It simply does not work for my palate.

According to Mayo Clinic, limited evidence suggests kombucha tea may offer benefits similar to probiotic supplements, including promoting a healthy immune system and preventing constipation. At present, however, valid medical studies of kombucha tea’s role in human health are very limited. You might enjoy this product enough to consume enough to possibly derive probiotic benefit, but for me, at a cost of $4.00 US for a 16 ounce bottle, I will continue to receive my probiotics from yogurt, sauerkraut and a few other sources that I actually do enjoy.

 

Peanut Free WOWBUTTER Review

By special request from one of our subscribers, I bought this product for a review today. Janet has a child who is a very picky eater, who also loves peanut butter despite being allergic to it. Being as WOWBUTTER does contain a small amount of cane sugar, I normally would not touch it. But in the interest of trying to help one of our faithful readers here goes.

The folks at WOWBUTTER in their advertisement state this product has a taste and texture that consumers know and love. I am going to have to disagree with them on this point. This statement is about as off point as many vegetarian hamburgers allegedly tasting like the real thing. They might taste good, I actually like many of them as something different. But with that being said, there are no vegetarian hamburgers on the market that actually taste exactly like beef.

WOWBUTTER has a somewhat creamy texture, however it is a little stiffer than actual peanut butter. The taste however, is nothing that comes even remotely close to the taste of peanuts. It does not even taste like poor quality, cheap peanut butter. WOWBUTTER tastes like soy. While it is not particularly a bad flavor to me, it does not fill the bill as a peanut butter replacement.

But for the added cane sugar. WOWBUTTER is nutritionally sound. From this standpoint you cannot go wrong. One aspect I do like about the nutrition is that with it being made of soy, you will get a full profile of all nine essential amino acids which our bodies require for healing and replacement of all of tissues. However, being as this product does contain added cane sugar, there is no way I am going to recommend it to anyone. If you like it, then go ahead and enjoy it. Just do not expect it to taste like actual peanut butter.

Ingredients:

Whole Toasted Soy, Pressed Soy Oil, Cane Sugar, Palm Oil (Sustainable), Sea Salt.

Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausage Review

I stumbled upon these delicious, smoked apple, sage sausages a few days ago at my local Dillons grocery store, and have to say I believe they might be my new all time favorite! The folks at Field Roast have nailed the perfect breakfast link, and for the vegans out there, these delectable ingredients come entirely from plant sources.

Field Roast sausages are made using traditional, tried-and-true sausage-making practices with their version of a grain “meat” made with apples, Yukon Gold potatoes, onions and garlic and other seasonings. I have to say that I found it quite amazing how meat like these sausages are considering they are made largely from apples and potatoes. You could serve these up to a meat loving carnivore, and they would never know they were munching down an entirely meat free sausage. I am a carnivore at heart and I love these sausages!

You can cook these sausages on an outdoor grill which would be a real treat, or you can do as I did and brown them in a skillet over a medium  low heat in a little bit of olive oil. Just be sure to remove the casing before cooking.

One note of caution, when cooking these sausages, you need to be attentive and not walk away from them as they brown quickly and it would be quite easy to burn them if you are not paying attention. However, the fact they cook quickly is a positive benefit in my world, I live a very busy life with a 60 plus hour work week on top of my work building and writing on my website and still dedicating at least 8 hours per week to strength training.

As you can see in the picture above, these “meaty” sausages browned nicely and were a nice pairing with scrambled eggs topped with habanero hot sauce. The flavor and texture is actually very meat like and the apple brings out a sweetness that was a perfect compliment to my hot sauce.

One of the features I like about these vegan sausages over actual meat sausages is the fact they are not in the least bit greasy. Some meat sausages are entirely too greasy for my belly so I tend to avoid them because of this.

Ingredients:

Filtered water, vital wheat gluten, expeller pressed safflower oil, unsulfured dried apples, Yukon Gold potatoes, yeast extract, onion powder, barley malt, garlic, natural hickory smoke flavor with torula yeast, spices, sea salt and rubbed sage.

Now for the only downside I see to this product. At 220 calories per link, I like the fact they provide 23 grams of protein, but you would think a vegan product would at least provide a fiber component, yet there are 0 grams of fiber in these sausages. The fat content is good, but for those who need to watch their sodium intake, these might not be for you as they provide 560mg of sodium which is 24% of the recommended daily allowance, therefore not much better than a good meat counterpart.

I bought this product for $5.19 US for a package of 4 links. At approximately $1.30 per one link serving. The price is quite a bit more affordable than taking your kids to your local fast food restaurant and cost you less frustration and time!

The Impossible Burger Review

Not long ago, my younger sister suggested I do a review on Burger King’s vegetarian Impossible Whopper. I normally never eat fast foods and would have no reason to enter a fast food restaurant unless I was on the go and would not be able to eat for several hours. But, it is always good to know where one can go and still have a healthier choice of foods than the typical burger and fry meals served at almost all fast food establishments.I have not had a reason, nor opportunity since her suggestion to review the Impossible Whopper, but last Saturday I was excited to see my local Dillons grocery store is now selling the Impossible Burger. I bought a package for a review and found myself quite pleased with the product.

As you can see, the Impossible Burger almost looks like actual meat, and, I noticed this product did not have the faint smell of dog food as a couple other veggie burgers I have tried.

Hmm, vegetarian burgers that bleed as you cook them… This blood is what gives the Impossible Burger it’s meaty flavor. However, it is not truly blood of course. What this blood is, is Soy leghemoglobin which is short for legume hemoglobin — the hemoglobin found in soy, a leguminous plant. Leghemoglobin is a protein found in plants that carries heme, an iron-containing molecule that is essential for life. Heme is found in every living being — both plants and animals. (Heme in animals is carried by “hemoglobin” and “myoglobin” among other proteins.)

Out of all the fake meats I have sampled for reviews, the Impossible Burger truly is more meat like than I ever thought possible. In fact, I believe that once the burgers are dressed on a bun, most people would never know the difference between these and actual ground beef. The taste and texture are similar enough to the real thing that if someone said something about the taste, it could be played off on how you had seasoned the burgers before cooking. I’m not suggesting you fib about these burgers, I am just trying to illustrate a point to how much they do in fact resemble actual ground beef burgers. I will say, this carnivore likes these veggie burgers and will buy them for a little something different in the future.

Nutrition:

 From Impossible Burger Website:

Impossible Burger is made from proteins, flavors, fats, and binders. The key difference from your average beef burger? Our ingredients are derived from plants. Here’s an overview:

  • Protein from soy and potatoes
  • Flavor from heme (the molecule that makes meat taste, well, meaty)
  • Fat from coconut and sunflower oils make it sizzle on the griddle
  • Binders, methylcellulose and food starch, hold it together so you can make anything you want — meatballs, kebabs, patties, and more.

Want the details?  Here’s the ingredient list:

Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% Or Less Of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (Antioxidant), Soy Protein Isolate, Vitamins and Minerals (Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12).

The Impossible Burger comes in at 240 calories which is about 49 calories less than an equivalent 4 oz 80/20 ground beef patty. Nutritionally, these burgers have somewhat of an edge over their meat counter parts since they also contain 3 grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein which is the same as ground beef. Impossible Burgers contain soy protein concentrate, which is a good source of fiber, as well as folate, copper, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, phosphorus, and iron, but most importantly, it’s the only commonly consumed plant protein that’s comparable in quality to animal protein. Soy protein carries a full complement of all nine essential amino acids which our bodies can only receive from the foods we consume.

Protein quality is typically defined in terms of protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS), which is a measure of its essential amino acid composition and digestibility.  Higher PDCAAS means higher quality, with 1.00 being the highest score possible. Soy protein concentrate has a published PDCAAS of 0.95. For reference, conventional ground beef from cows has a published PDCAAS of 0.92. Soy protein’s high PDCAAS means you get plenty of nutritional bang for your buck with the Impossible Burger– a 4oz. serving has 31% of the daily value (DV) for protein. Comparing the DVs for different proteins is a better way of comparing two products than grams of protein alone. Two foods may have the same amount of protein per serving, but very different DVs because of differences in their PDCAAS.

The Impossible Burgers are going to cost you about $7.00 US for a package of 2 burgers. While this is more expensive than ground beef, it is still less expensive than going out to buy a hamburger anywhere you could go anyhow. Sometimes you just have to ask yourself how much is too much for healthy foods, and why? You could spend this much or more on a single serving of ice cream at your local Dairy Queen.

My bottom line is that while I do enjoy these vegetarian products, I am not going to give up my meats anytime soon. I enjoy a good steak on occasion and there is no good reason for me to not indulge in this delicious source of protein. Going vegetarian or vegan is a personal choice, but one thing I can promise you is – if you go vegetarian or vegan, this in itself does not in any way mean that you are also going to lose any weight. I have encountered several overweight and obese vegans over the years. No matter what you choose to eat, you must make wise decisions in the foods you consume. Moderation is still key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight no matter what you are eating on a daily basis.

Lightlife Jumbo Smart Dogs Review

It is, or should be, no secret that hot dogs are typically a damn poor choice for good nutrition. They are made up of the parts of the animal that are left over once the choice cuts are used up. This meat is then mixed with water, corn syrup or sorbitol, salt, food starch, and liquid smoke and a variety of different spices. To boost the color of the hot dogs, and improve their shelf life, sodium nitrate is added as a preservative. Sodium diacetate, sodium erythorbate, and any number of other chemicals may also be added. However, to many people, hot dogs are as American as apple pie and baseball. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans eat 818 hot dogs per second between Memorial Day and Labor Day, which adds up to about 7 billion hot dogs.

I have to admit, I do love the taste of a good hot dog, but being as they are an unhealthy choice of low nutrition processed meat,I never eat them. There is almost nothing better than a hot dog cooked on a stick over an open wood fire, but even this does not taste as good as being healthy, fit and trim feels.  However, my dear wife still does eat hot dogs and with her being a picky eater, I was quite surprised when she said she wanted to try a vegetarian hot dog. Loraine never eats vegetarian meat substitutes!

To my surprise, despite her finicky tastes when it comes to hot dogs, she really likes the Lightlife Smart Dogs!

Looking at the ingredient list, I was skeptical about how good these dogs would be. I tried the MorningStar brand of corn dogs a while back and would just as soon take a good swift kick to the shin rather eat them again. The MorningStar hot dog was awful, and left me cynical in that anyone could actually make a decent vegetarian hot dog.

Lightlife managed to make a good dog!

I prepared one of these Smart Dogs by boiling it in water for a few minutes until thoroughly heated. I then put it on a Ole Extreme Wellness tortilla with a little bit of sugar free ketchup and yellow mustard. My first thought when removing the dog from it’s package was it did look and feel like a meat hot dog, unlike some of the others I have seen in the past. Once I had it wrapped in my tortilla, I bit into it and had to go back and look into my refrigerator to ensure I had not mistakenly cooked a meat hot dog. I do not know how they pulled this off, but the Lightlife Smart Dog actually tastes like a beef or pork based hot dog. The smell and texture were even the same as their meat counterparts. Now, I really need to see how they do by cooking them over an open wood fire or charcoal. These dogs are good.

As with any other hot dog, you have to consider these are still too high in sodium, so I could not recommend anyone having these on a daily basis. Especially if you are one who needs to watch your sodium intake. That being said, the calories are not too bad, they have healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats at 3 grams total, 2 grams of fiber making only 2 net grams of carbs, and 13 grams of protein. Another downside for me is there is a trace of sugar in the ingredients, but this is actually quite miniscule at less than 1 gram per serving.

Bear in mind, that while these hot dogs are a healthier choice than their meat counterparts, this does not mean they are a healthy food. In reality, they are still a highly processed food product and their consumption should be kept at a minimum.