Category: Product Review

My Favorite Things

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Shop Til You Drop

Just like we teach you to do, I almost never eat outside of my home. I cook or prepare some kind of meal three times almost every day and also look for healthy snacks to have on hand. Food is expensive so I only buy what fits into my nutrition plan. I look for excellent nutrition, high protein, low carb and overall nutritionally dense products that also taste good. Shopping is also time consuming so I try to make it one-stop and look for good value in great food. These are a few of my favorite things.

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Bob’s Red Mill Oats

I love Bob’s Red Mill Oats. Although all oats should be gluten-free, they are not due to cross-pollination with glutenous crops. I prefer gluten-free only because I’m gluten intolerant. It tends to make me itch so I avoid it. There is no benefit to eating gluten-free unless you have a specific reason. Eating gluten-free will NOT help you control your weight. A lot of processed gluten-free products are actually higher in calories than their regular counterparts. These oats cook quickly and creamy even though they are whole grain. The texture is always perfect. At $5.58 for 19 servings they are a real buy. There’s 190 calories, 6 grams of protein, 28 NET grams of carbs (33-5 grams of fiber) and 4 grams of fat per serving. They also contain 191% of the DV for Manganese, 41% of Phosphorus, 34% of the Magnesium, 39% of Thiamine (B1) and significant amounts of Zinc and Iron. Pair with Saigon Cinnamon, coconut oil and some pecans or pumpkin seeds and you have a wonderful breakfast that will sustain you for hours.

wp-15970188048932742751847004620058.pngSaigon Cinnamon

Oh, my goodness! I have always liked cinnamon and used it a lot. When David asked me if I had ever tried Saigon Cinnamon I was quick to give it a try. Usually if he likes something, so do I and this was no exception. It’s cinnamon made better. Richer, sweeter and hotter. Everything that you like about cinnamon is magnified in this product. At $4.54 for 1.25 ounces, it’s provides a lot of joy for less than $5.00.

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Semi-solid Coconut Oil

Coconut oil gets a lot of press. There are many different types made for different purposes. I use this one as a butter replacement. The calories are about the same but some people believe that coconut oil is a healthier choice and is even associated with less belly fat. A 4-week study in 20 obese adults that took 2 Tablespoons daily significantly reduced belly fat in male participants. (1) While nothing will help you lose weight unless you reduce your calories, I do like it so I use it. This particular one has coconut meat in it in small quantities. If you want to try it but want a smooth oil, those are also available. I love the silky, luxurious texture that all coconut oil provides in food.

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Pumpkin Seed Kernels

I love these things! I don’t entirely trust myself with nuts. I can easily eat a lot of my daily allotment of calories in nuts, so I buy seeds instead. I love seeds just as much as nuts but they are more filling. It’s much harder to overeat them. These nutritional goldmines are high in magnesium, healthy fats and zinc. One ounce has 151 calories, 7 grams of protein, 3.3 NET grams of carbs and 13 grams of fat (6 of which are Omega-6).

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Sweet Potatoes!

I’m known for carrying sweet potatoes around with me. They are easy to cook in the microwave. Just wash, poke a few holes in them and microwave. One cup of baked sweet potatoes has 180 calories, 34 NET grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein, 769% (NOT a typo!) of the DV of Vitamin A, 65% of the DV of Vitamin C, 50% of the Manganese, 29% of the B6, 27% of Potassium, 18% of the Pantothenic Acid and 16% of the Copper. They are really sweet if your taste buds aren’t dulled by refined sugars. Add a little Swerve Brown or Maple Grove Farms Sugar-Free Syrup, Saigon Cinnamon and a couple of Tablespoons of chopped pecans and you have a “Sweet Potato Casserole” without the sugar. For pure luxury, add some semi-solid coconut oil…Heaven!

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Trilogy Health Seeds

These crunchy little nuggets consist of Flax, Chia and Hemp seeds. They have 100 calories per 2 Tablespoon serving and that is a LOT of crunch. They have only 1 gram of NET carbs, 4 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat. Something that you need to be aware of is that they are high in fiber. If you are prone to digestive disturbances you may need to go easy on these until you find out how you will react to them. They are an excellent addition to oats, yogurt or even sprinkled on a salad. This 21 ounce container is $13.18 at Walmart but that’s a lot of seeds!

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Salmon Skinless Fillets

You can pay astronomical amounts of money for fresh salmon if you like but I love the convenience of frozen. These Wild Caught Fillets are easy to thaw and sear quickly in a little olive oil. Salmon is rich in Omega-3’s and an excellent protein source at 22-25 grams per 3.5 ounce serving. Salmon is high in B vitamins, potassium and selenium which may reduce cancer risk. An antioxidant called astaxanthin is found in salmon. It may have benefits for the heart, brain, and skin. (2) Salmon is also believed to be a powerful inflammation fighter and inflammation is linked to almost all disease processes. That’s a little miracle for $4.00 for a 16 ounce bag.

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Sunflower Kernels

I love these in oats, yogurt or by the handful. They are rich in a multitude of nutrients including Vitamin E and selenium. They are a good source of phenolic acids and flavonoids which are powerful antioxidants. Some people believe that they can prevent chronic diseases of all sorts by reducing inflammation. A 1/4 cup serving provides 163 calories, 14 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of NET carbs and 5.5 grams of protein. I avoid the shells. I don’t like them and they have been linked to bowel obstruction. The kernels provide great nutrition but moderation is important. They are relatively high in calories and the salted variety can be high in sodium.

Pink Lady and Honey Crisp Apples

I enjoy many varieties of apples but these two are my favorites. They are both sweet and tart at the same time. They are usually more consistent in quality and flavor than most other apples. I will give Gala’s an Honorable Mention here because they are similar. I am particular about how I eat my carbs. I limit them. While I DON’T do Keto, I am always trying to improve my muscle to fat ratio so I am very conscientious about carbohydrates. These apples are worth the approximate 18-22 net grams of carbs. They have 4 grams of fiber which helps me to feel full. If I pair an apple with yogurt, I will stay full for hours. I chop one up in full-fat plain Greek yogurt and add some Saigon Cinnamon and Splenda for an apple pie treat. They are rich in Vitamin C and Potassium and various plant compounds that have many benefits including a possible anti-depressant effect in some people. (3)

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Sager Creek Farms Chicken Tenderloins

This is one of my newest favorite things! While fresh chicken tenderloins are usually moister and more tender, the horizontal cut on these chicken breasts results in a thin slice of chicken that cooks in a flash. I just put the frozen chicken in a seasoned cast iron skillet and brown them on medium heat and flip them and they’re done! Add the sauce of your choice or G Hughes Sugar-Free Barbecue Sauce for a quick tasty meal. You can add a baked potato and salad or roll them up in a low carb wrap. The possibilities are endless and FAST! White meat chicken is an excellent protein source and is a calorie bargain at only 284 calories for a 172 gram chicken breast. This serving contains a whopping 53 grams of protein and 0 carbs.

Forever Learning

Here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we teach that health is a lifestyle. Weight management is part of that lifestyle. We are always learning because we live this way. We strive for optimum health and fitness in our personal lives. As we discover new products, whether we believe them to be good or bad, we will always give you our honest opinion and try to give you new tools to achieve your personal best.

 

 

(1) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/can-coconut-oil-help-you-lose-weight#7

(2) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-benefits-of-salmon

(3) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/apples

Slim Cube Meal Replacement Bar Review (SMDH)

This advertisement caught my eye last night, and I thought I would investigate a little further since from the picture it looks similar to a weight loss product from the 70’s marketed under the brand name “Ayd’s”.

Then I saw something that made me think this was just a spoof product! 

Are they flipping serious? For the appearance of seeming slimmer!

These people have to be pulling our legs. I felt as if I had lost a few IQ points just by reading “for the appearance of seeming slimmer”.

However, these people are not spoofing.

Hell no, they are serious. 

I believe they are quite serious about extracting hard earned cash from the pockets of desperate and/or gullible people!

I believe the marketing of these types of products are not only a form of fraud, but also a form of bullying. A great many people who are overweight have not only an addiction to carbohydrates, they also often have some type of underlying mental condition that leaves them vulnerable. I know this last statement is true for me too as I suffer from a depressive disorder coupled with PTSD. I too have been obese during my adult life, and know up close and personal the battle those who are overweight are fighting through. Back about 100 years or so, Snake Oil salesmen who sold products like this were often tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. They were not treated kindly, and I’m almost of the mind we should return to painful punishments for those who take advantage of the vulnerable among us. We do not need to go to the extreme lengths of tarring and feathering, but financial penalties with stiff prison sentences could curb this exploitation.

Well, duh!

The statement above is meaningless drivel in regards to losing body fat in order to get healthy.

Kicking it to you real here, any type of diet can make these promises as those first 5 pounds and the additional weight is going to be largely a loss of water weight with very little actual body fat lost.

 Why is this?

It’s because the energy source your body turns to once it runs out of its relatively small store ​of ​carbohydrates (sugars) is glycogen. Glycogen is a large molecule made up of a protein core surrounded by glucose subunits. It’s stored in the liver and muscles for use during energy-intensive activities, like running away from danger and supporting the brain when food is scarce. Glycogen can be quickly metabolized to meet the body’s need for glucose, but each gram of glycogen is bound to three to four grams of water. So, if you use up your body’s glycogen stores (as when dieting or with prolonged exercising), a lot of water is released over a short amount of time.

Read the above carefully. Ten Slim Cube bars will provide you with 1100 calories per day. This is all that you will be eating each day. You will eat one with water every 60 to 90 minutes. Besides being too drastic a caloric restriction, how long will you last before you get bored by consuming nothing all day except these meal replacement bars.

Their boldface statement at the top is a damn lie! 

You will not protect vital muscle mass on a 1100 calorie per day diet of eating these bars. Not only that, with the muscle mass you will lose, you will also slow down your metabolism which will only cause you to have a greater percentage of body fat once you put the lost weight back on.

To lose body fat and maintain muscle at the same time, and to maintain your strength, you need to do some type of resistance exercise while consuming a healthy diet that fits your caloric and macronutrient needs. Yes, reducing your caloric intake will help you lose weight. But dieting alone can strip away muscle along with body fat. Research suggests that as much as 25 percent of weight lost by dieters is from muscle. And that’s not a good thing for anyone.

If you are new to wanting to create a healthy, fit and trim body through exercise, you will need to know that losing muscle while on a calorie-reduced diet can hinder your performance in the gym by reducing strength and stamina. It can also slow your metabolism, so you burn fewer calories during the day, making it harder to lose weight, and thus easier to gain it back.

The amount of muscle you have is the biggest contributor to your resting metabolism – the number of calories the body burns to carry out basic functions such as breathing, keeping your heart beating and growing and repairing cells. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more you have, the higher your metabolic rate.

I will agree with saying no to complicated diets and time-consuming meal prep. However, there is nothing at all complicated about following our methodology at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. You can find our plan at this link! I promise that you can prepare healthy meals in far less time than it takes to go through your local fast food drive through, and by preparing your own meals, you never need to worry about getting bored. It is quite easy to get creative with different seasonings and simple ingredients.

These people want you to only eat their damn bars for at least three weeks, and nothing else!

Even those with less than average intelligence should know better than to believe there is anything good about his advice.

Really?

Industrial sugar?

I agree about cutting out sugar, but have to say that “industrial” is a new type to me.

Okay, do I want cold or hot water to rev my metabolism?

There may be something to be said for both schools of thought, but it is really insignificant. If you drink about a quart of ice water per day, that amounts to maybe burning 100 calories. You might believe this sounds significant, but the reality is that drinking water, whatever its temperature, will help ratchet up your metabolism, stave off overeating, and save calories over soda and other sugary drinks. And although a warm cup of water may feel soothing to the stomach, there’s no evidence to suggest that the body absorbs it any different than if it was cold. The take-home? Drinking water, period, is infinitely more important to your health and well-being than the temperature at which it’s served.

Oh, and they let you know that a sauna can have a stimulating effect too!

Can You Lose Weight in a Sauna or Steam Room?
Yes. But you are not burning a significantly raised rate of calories. All that you are accomplishing is the loss of  water weight only. In addition, not replacing the water you are sweating out can actually make it harder for your body to lose weight. The weight that you lose while you sit in a sweltering room is purely water, water that you should be replacing as fast as you are losing, otherwise you are just severely dehydrating your body. Not practicing proper hydration while you’re in one of these hotboxes is unhealthy and actually makes it tougher for your body to lose pounds permanently, as hydration is an essential component in shedding extra weight.
In actuality, you should not even use a sauna for weight loss even for the most temporary of circumstances. For example, if you are trying to lose weight very quickly for an event or to squeeze into a particular dress, you would feel (and maybe even look) terrible if you had used a sauna to drop those last few pounds before the event without rehydrating your body after the sweat session.

Consistent, healthy habits are key to losing weight and keeping it off; try your best to avoid extremes and quick fixes as they’re usually either a scam, not healthy, or not sustainable long term. Be kind to your body, you deserve it!

Purely Inspired Organic Protein Shake Review

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Unique Product

In a conversation with our dear friend, Dolly, of the Kool Kosher Kitchen blog we became aware of special dietary needs of some people who can’t tolerate milk protein but need a protein drink. They are hard to find. Most are milk based. This one has no milk protein, it’s dairy-free and has NO SUGAR, which is a prerequisite for us to recommend any food.

Taste and Texture

This protein drink is sweetened with stevia and monk fruit. While stevia is not my first choice of a no calorie, no sugar sweetener, it works in this drink. This flavor has a strong dark chocolate flavor that blends with the taste of the stevia. This is reminiscent of the chocolate milk made with Hershey’s Cocoa and sugar that our Mothers made when we were children.

It is thick enough to  qualify as a “shake” and coats the glass when you turn it up. I’m really not a fan of the thin, watery protein drinks that are on the market right now. The thickness of this shake is more satisfying than those drinks. It’s smooth when you shake it well. Be sure to shake it vigorously for the smoothest texture.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition is where this product shines. It has 20 grams of plant based protein from pea protein and rice protein. I have come to really like pea protein. It is the protein in the Lenny and Larry’s Keto Cookie that we reviewed. It has a silky texture that is much more appealing to me than whey protein. While whey is an excellent protein, I personally do not like it. Most protein products have some sort of milk protein in them and since this one does not, it’s ideal for those of us who avoid dairy. It has no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, 0 grams of sugar and 24 vitamins and minerals. It makes an excellent portable pick-me-up for only 130 calories! It will be a staple in my lunch bag at work.

Price and Availability

I got this 4-pack straight off the shelf at Walmart, in the pharmacy on the bottom shelf where the protein bars are found. It’s hard to find, nestled among the other protein products but it’s worth it if you want a dairy-free, sugar-free protein drink. This is not a substitute for a fast food milkshake. It tastes like real food and it’s a great mini-meal. A lot of these products have to be ordered from an internet site, so finding this one quickly on the shelf in Walmart was a big plus for me. You get four shakes for $7.27 which is a bargain for enough nutrition to get me through a couple of hours at work. If you are looking for readily available, high quality protein with no dairy and NO SUGAR at a good price, you might want to give Purely Inspired Organic Protein Shakes a try.

 

Bolthouse Farms Dark Chocolate Protein Keto Review

As I was picking up produce at my local Dillon’s store the other day, I spotted these Bolthouse Farms products nestled among several other “healthy drinks”. Most of the other drinks on the shelf are laden with added sugar, so I normally skip on past them. However, I knew when I saw the word Keto, this product should be sugar free. I am not exactly a fan of Keto as I believe it is unnecessarily restrictive on carbohydrate consumption, but I do live my life entirely free of added sugars in my diet. Seeing this sugar free dark chocolate drink, I figured I would give it a try and report my findings to all my wonderful readers!

Taste

I really enjoyed the flavor of this drink. It was not too sweet and did not have any strong after tones you sometimes get with protein products. What I loved about this drink produced by Bolthouse Farms is it took me back to early childhood memories when my loving mother used to make us chocolate milk by using Hershey’s Cocoa Powder instead of store bought Nestles Quick. True to the name, this drink tastes like dark chocolate.

Viscosity/Texture

Besides a nice rich taste, this product has a silky smooth texture to it. This silky, smoothness would be derived from the coconut milk and coconut oil derived MCT oil. Yet, these ingredients do not impart any hint of coconut, thank God. I hate the flavor of coconut, however you can buy liquid coconut oils that have no flavor at all. I use a tablespoon of liquid coconut oil in my supplemental protein drinks on a daily basis.

What are MCT oils and why do I care?

MCT oil, is a medium chain triglyceride which has been shown to increase the release of two hormones that promote the feeling of fullness in the body: peptide YY and leptin. MCT oil has been found to even be better than coconut oil in keeping you full. One study found that people taking two tablespoons of MCT oil as part of their breakfast ended up eating less food for lunch compared to those taking coconut oil.

MCT oil has been dubbed a super fuel since your body absorbs MCTs more rapidly than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which contain more carbons in their fatty acid chains. Due to their shorter chain length, MCTs travel straight from the gut to the liver and do not require bile to break down like longer-chain fats do. In the liver, the fats are broken down to be either used as fuel or stored as body fat. Since MCTs easily enter your cells without being broken down, they can be used as an immediate source of energy.

MCT oil may reduce heart disease risk factors such as weight, cholesterol and inflammation. Adding it to your diet could help lower your risk of heart disease. I can say that since beginning the daily use of coconut oil which is a source of MCTs, my last three blood labs have come out with perfect readings. My cholesterol and triglycerides are all well within healthy levels and there is zero trace of inflammation in my 57 year old body.

Most people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, which makes diabetes harder to manage. The use of MCT oil has been shown to help management of diabetes by reducing fat storage and increasing fat burning. It may also help you control your blood sugar.

It is important to note, this product contains 15 grams of protein and 280 calories with no added sugars. The 1 gram of sugar that is found is from the natural sugar within the ingredients. This amount is minimal to say the least.

Ingredients

Coconut Milk (Water, Coconut Cream), Milk Protein Isolate, Erythritol, Mct Oil (Medium Chain Triglycerides), Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali), Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Dipotassium Phosphate, Carob Bean Gum, Gellan Gum, Sea Salt, Stevia Leaf Reb M.

Old School Labs Vintage Burn, Fat Burner Review

This product review kind of pains me to do, it is not exactly an unfavorable one to write, but neither is it going to be favorable for a few reasons that I will get into.

Pictured above is part of a very exciting email I received last month on May 21. Old School Labs, a supplement company I am very familiar with approached me about a collaboration and partnership with their brand. I know from personal use, and from several of my friends who are also into weight training, these folks put out great products. I was stoked to say the least they contacted me without any solicitation on my part. It was thrilling to receive this email as there are many great names behind this product line. Old School Labs ambassadors include some of the greats from the Golden Era of bodybuilding such as Tom Platz, Samir Bannout, Ric Drasin, Mario Da Silva, and John Hanson.

All the shaded countries are where we have readers. In the US, we have over 72,000 readers to date.

I was super stoked this quality brand supplement company had reached out to me. After all, I am pretty much an unknown entity, except for this humongous health and fitness website I have built up over a little more than two years now. While my name might not be well known, my work and that of my lovely co-author Brenda Sue has now reached people in over 100 countries around the world. We have helped a great deal of people through our writings and have also helped a great deal of people privately without having ever charged a single one even a penny. We have helped people of all walks of life, and have never cared a wit about who or what they might be.

We discriminate against no one!

My mission from day one has been to help people, and some of the people who need our help the most, also do not have an expendable source of extra capital. This website is first and foremost a “labor of love”, and it always will be going forward. Although it would be nice to one day have proper backing to carry us to even greater heights. But this can only happen if I never lose creative control over my website. I will die a broke man before I ever let another entity take control of my work and turn it into something even remotely similar to Weight Watchers and a few others. We will always provide you with well researched information, coupled with our own personal experiences, and will never compromise our integrity by telling you sweet and easy lies over uncomfortable truths.

We cannot help you if we sugar coat anything.

We cannot help you if we allow you to believe that we have bought into any type of excuses you might have.

The Review

Old School Labs have a variety of great supplements in their product line. Being as Brenda Sue and I have been exploring an avenue into quality health and fitness supplements to sell ourselves, there are a lot of pitfalls to consider while going into this endeavor. Partnering with a great company would be a great win for us. I do have full respect for Old School Labs business model, they have been doing their part in cleaning bunk products out of the supplement market.

Old School Labs Mission

With a mission statement like this, I would be happy if I could get involved in selling their products in order to off set the cost of running my website. A little bit of personal profit would be the proverbial “icing on the cake”. My desire in doing this is solely to always be able to keep the rest our content free to everyone who follows, and or subscribes to David’s Way to Health and Fitness.

Before Vintage burn

However…

The product they sent for me to do a first review on was their Vintage Muscle Preserving Fat Burner. I have sworn I would never sell fat burner products for any reason as I do not believe in them. I believe more harm can come from most fat burners than any type of good. My mission is to help people with proper nutrition with only a few supplements at best to provide elements they might need for better health. Fat burners are an easy way to fat loss, if they truly work. But, that is taking the easy way out and does not bring health and fitness to anyone. Losing body fat and then keeping it off is not easy, this endeavor must be worked at for it to truly bring benefit to your health and well being. If you can simply just take a pill to lose fat, you are not likely to care a wit about improving your nutrition to keep healthy. Too many people falsely believe that being at a low weight in itself is healthy, when the reality is, low weight means nothing if you are still what we refer to as “skinny fat”. Skinny fat is where your body does not actually look too bad, it is not lumpy from fat deposits, but it is still soft and has little to no definition. Skinny fat is no better than obesity, especially since this condition often brings about a false sense of security when it comes to good health.

With considerable trepidation, I opened the bottle of Vintage Burn when it arrived and began using it as advised. One capsule twice a day for the first few days, and then two capsules twice a day for the remaining product.

I began this test at 180.2 pounds and ended it at 180.2 pounds.

I am 57 years old and still have loose skin on my belly and chest from losing close to 80 pounds a few years back. The loose skin can mask how lean my body is from the front, but not much anywhere else.

Just this week, I had blood labs done as I do twice a year to monitor my health. All my lab readings were excellent except one of my liver enzymes had become slightly elevated.

Was it the Vintage Burn that raised this enzyme?

I cannot say it did, yet I can say it was the only deviation to my nutrition and fitness routine.

What they promise:

Taken from Old School Labs web page.
After Vintage Burn, you can see some bloating.

I did feel better focus during my workouts at first, but felt I built a tolerance to Vintage Burn fairly rapidly. The downside to this would be that many people will either quit using the product, or they will double down on the dosages which could eventually have detrimental effects on their health.

Pictured above is my weekly weights while on Vintage Burn. While the deviation is not anything to get concerned about, there was some weight gain and bloating that came during the use of this product as you can see in my after picture. There was absolutely nothing different about my dietary habits or daily routines during this month long trial except for the addition of Vintage Burn.

Vintage Burn Ingredients

From Old School Labs web page.
  1. Green tea leaf extract. Like green tea, green tea extract is a great source of antioxidants. These have been credited with a range of health benefits, from promoting heart, liver and brain health to improving your skin and even reducing the risk of cancer.
  2. Green coffee bean extract. In 2012, green coffee extract was promoted as a miracle weight loss supplement by American celebrity physician and talk-show host Dr. Oz. Many health experts have since refuted the notion that it has any significant impact on weight. Even so, green coffee extract remains one of the most popular weight loss supplements on the market. Several small studies have treated mice with the extract and found that it reduced total body weight and fat accumulation significantly. However, studies in humans have been far less conclusive.
  3. Raspberry ketones. Raspberry ketone is a chemical from red raspberries that is thought to help with obesity. Some research in animals or in test tubes shows that raspberry ketone might increase metabolism, increase the rate at which the body burns fat, and reduce appetite. But there is no reliable scientific evidence that raspberry ketone improves weight loss in humans.
  4. Olive leaf extract. Olive tree leaves contain oleuropein, which is a polyphenol that may help prevent weight gain. In a 2016 study, researchers orally administered oleuropein to rats with obesity that were consuming a high-cholesterol diet. After 8 weeks, the rats had a lower body weight, less fat tissue, and an improved metabolic profile. Another study from 2014 found that oleuropein supplementation reduced body weight and weight gain in mice that were consuming a high-fat diet. These findings suggest that olive leaf extract containing oleuropein may have the potential to reduce weight gain and lower the risk of obesity. However, further studies are necessary to confirm this possible health benefit in humans.
  5. Caffeine. Caffeine alone won’t help you slim down. It may slightly boost weight-loss efforts or help prevent weight gain, but there’s no solid evidence that caffeine consumption leads to noticeable weight loss.  Be cautious about using caffeine products to help with weight loss. When used in moderation (400 milligrams or less) by healthy adults, caffeine is generally safe. But too much caffeine might cause nervousness, insomnia, nausea, increased blood pressure and other problems.
  6. Bacopa leaf extract. Bacopa is generally safe, but some people may experience nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Pregnant women should avoid this herb, while those on medications should speak with their healthcare provider before taking it. Test-tube and animal studies show that Bacopa may have potent anti-inflammatory properties and suppress pro-inflammatory enzymes and cytokines.
  7. Garcinia fruit extract. Its biggest claim to fame is that extract supplements can help speed up weight loss, reduce appetite, and boost exercise endurance. Garcinia cambogia contains a compound called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) that may inhibit an enzyme that helps your body store fat. Theoretically, the fat would instead be burned as calories. Allegedly, garcinia cambogia can increase the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, a feel-good messenger in your body. This may enhance your mood and reduce stress-related eating. The first rigorous research on the effectiveness of garcinia cambogia was conducted in 1998. The study concluded that it doesn’t perform any better than a placebo when it comes to helping you lose weight.
  8. Chrysin. Athletes are interested in chrysin for bodybuilding because laboratory research suggested that chrysin might increase the male hormone called testosterone and improve bodybuilding results. But research in humans hasn’t found any effect on testosterone levels. The amount of chrysin that is absorbed from the intestine may be very small, which would make treatment effects unlikely.
  9. Forskohlii root extract. Many studies have investigated the effects of forskolin on fat metabolism. Most of them are test-tube experiments or animal studies, so the result may not be applicable to humans. Put simply, forskolin allegedly stimulates the release of stored fat from fat cells. The same thing happens whenever the body needs to use body fat for energy. On its own, the release of stored fat is not enough to promote weight loss – it needs to be accompanied by a calorie deficit. In other words, for weight loss to happen, energy expenditure (calories out) must exceed energy intake (calories in).

Did I just sabotage myself from what could have been a possible great partnership?

Maybe, maybe not.

Do I care?

How about a resounding NO!

While there may not be anything inherently bad about Vintage Burn, there is also nothing inherently good about it. I believe you might derive a placebo effect only from this product. At the end of the day, the trust in my readers to know that I will only provide them the best of information, and maintaining my credibility and integrity are what is most important to me. No, I cannot recommend this product to you, not even when there is a possible financial benefit to myself.

Lenny & Larry’s Peanut Butter KETO COOKIE Review

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Score!

When I found this cookie, I almost left it in the store because I’m not too impressed with most cookies and bars because they usually contain whey. I don’t like the taste of whey and it doesn’t set well with me, so I avoid it. This cookie is made with pea protein and I like it.

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Taste/Texture

I love peanut butter and this peanut butter cookie is right down my alley. It is reminiscent of the old fashioned peanut butter cookies with the fork imprint on the top. It contains organic erythritol and a small amount of stevia extract as sweeteners and the erythritol gives it a slightly cool sensation on the tongue. Coconut oil gives it a silky texture that only coconut oil can impart. Since it is made from a grain free flour blend that contains peanut flour and also has peanuts, it has a real peanut butter taste. It crumbles a little so be prepared to catch every delicious crumb.

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Nutrition

This cookie has 190 calories, 3 net grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of fat and 8 grams of protein. I can always afford 190 calories because on David’s Way program, I struggle to eat all of my calories because I don’t eat sugar. The 8 grams of protein is enough to make this a worthwhile treat. Again, I really like the fact that it is made with pea protein and absolutely NO WHEY. There is NO DAIRY whatsoever and NO GLUTEN ingredients if that is of interest to you. They are manufactured in a facility that also processes wheat, so if you are a sensitive celiac, they might not be for you.

 

Price and Availability

I bought these cookies in a 4-count box for $5.97 at Walmart. You can buy one for $2.29. They are available online, but be careful where you order them. Unscrupulous people have bought a lot of these and they are selling them at ridiculous prices. You can order them from the manufacturer or Walmart at a reasonable price. At lennylarry.com you can order Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter and Coconut in a 12-count box for $21.95. I suggest you purchase a single cookie and give them a try before making a large purchase, but if you want cookies, definitely give them a try!

 

LigHTLIFE PLANT-BASED BURGER Review

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Pleasant Surprise!

Everyone who knows me knows that I love my protein and I usually get it from beef, pork, chicken or fish. I am not a huge fan of plant-based protein sources. I bought a few products weeks ago to review for David’s Way and they have been setting in my freezer. I was not really looking forward to trying them. Boy, was I surprised when I bit into this burger! Since I browned it nicely in olive oil, it had a firm, slightly crunchy bite. The inside of the patty did have the texture that is usually associated with plant-based burgers, but the firmness of the surface gave me something to chew so the soft inside was still quite palatable. I added “No Sugar Added” Heinz ketchup and French’s yellow mustard, and it was very good.

 

Easy Prep!

 I poured a bit of olive oil into a cast iron skillet and browned them for about 15-20 minutes. They smell good cooking and they brown easily, so cook them on low-medium heat until they are nice and brown. I cooked them from frozen and they cooked up just fine.

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You can see the texture here. It’s not like a ground beef patty, but it’s good. The color is reminescent of an undercooked beef patty and you have to get past the feeling of eating an undercooked burger, but you can measure the internal temperature and be sure that it’s done. It’s made from pea protein and tastes quite hearty.

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Nutrition

This good-sized burger, that shrinks very little during cooking, is 1/4 pound before cooking, 270 calories, 17 grams of fat, Net Carbs 8 grams and and a whopping 20 grams of protein! There is no added sugar. With this nutrition profile and robust flavor, I will buy these burgers again. I must say, this is a first for plant-based meat substitutes. I have never liked one enough to buy it again.

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$Price$ and Availability

I bought these at Walmart for $5.94 for two patties. I shop at one of the smallest Walmart’s that I have ever seen so I believe that you can fiind them in your home town. The price is lower than what some people pay for one burger in a restaurant. I consider them a bargain. Even my 26 year old son really liked these burgers. That’s a deal, when you can get a $3.00 meal that the whole family likes! Lightlife, you have a winner.

 

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Review

Almond Breeze Unsweetened Chocolate and Vanilla are lactose and soy free milk substitutes that contain just 40 and 30 calories per cup respectively. These drinks are low on the glycemic index, making them an excellent choice for people who want to avoid sugar in their diet.

I found both flavors to have a pleasant enough, yet mild underlying natural almond flavor to compliment the chocolate and vanilla which are mild in their own right, without being overly sweet as many of these drinks can be. To be honest, if you are one who cares about having a creamier and sweeter drink, you will likely be disappointed in these products. However, these were the qualities I enjoyed about them both.  In my humble opinion, I think these almond milks make a more refreshing drink than actual milk products as they are relatively creamy in consistency, but they do not have the thickness of cow’s milk.

Nutrition

As you can see from the nutrition data on both flavors of the Almond Breeze, these are healthy beverages that are entirely diabetic friendly. There is nothing objectionable I can see with either of these drinks and find that as a low calorie choice, these are most excellent for those who are trying to reduce their body fat. My only gripe is that I wish they were higher in protein per serving, but that is okay since I get my daily protein needs filled from a variety of sources anyhow.

Price

You should be able to find these products on your grocers shelves at about $2.00 per 32-ounce shelf-stable quart and $4.00 per 64-ounce refrigerated half gallon. Mothers, this is not a bad price to spend on a healthy choice for your children. You could easily spend a significant amount more on sugary drink boxes. Another great aspect to these products is that Almond Breeze Almond Milk is widely available in natural food stores and large grocery chains in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Europe, and Asia!

Hormel Natural Choice Uncured Bacon Review

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Yes, We Eat Bacon!

Good nutrition does not mean going without food that you love. Bacon can change a meal from hum-drum to divine. Since we advocate eating healthy, I choose to avoid added nitrates and nitrites. Hormel has an extensive Natural Choice line and I had eaten their Smoked Ham for years but had never tried this bacon. I was missing something!

So Fragrant!

One of the best features about good bacon is the wonderful aroma that fills the house when you cook it. You can almost know what the bacon will taste like as you begin to smell the first smoky wafts drifting from the pan. This bacon smelled so good, and the flavor matched the smell exactly, spicy-sweet and smoky. It has the taste that gets you hooked on bacon and it’s worth every calorie.

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Preparation

One of the worst things that you can do to good bacon is to rush it. I fried this in a cast iron skillet on medium low for about 15 minutes the first time I prepared it. The second time, I browned it on a temperature controlled griddle. I liked it best on the griddle because it cooked more uniformly, but either way will produce good bacon if you take your time. With time, you get a sweet-salty, crunchy-chewy delight instead of a hard, salty chunk of burnt fat. If you’re spending the calories, do it right. It’s average thickness, not too thin or too thick, and it will cook up pretty quickly even if you are taking your time.

Nutrition

At only 80 calories, 7 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbohydrates and 5 grams of protein for two crunchy slices, this is a nutrition deal. While I wouldn’t advise eating the whole package, a couple of slices will jazz up any meal in a flash for less than 100 calories. It does have turbinado sugar listed in the ingredients, but since the FDA allows a claim of 0 grams of carbs as long as there is less than 1/2 gram of sugar per serving, this is insignificant for a single serving of two slices. There are 5 grams in a teaspoon, so 1/2 gram is less than 1/8 teaspoon of sugar. It’s insignificant unless you eat a whole lot of bacon!

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$Price$ and Availability

I bought this at Walmart for $5.56. I love that it’s so easy to find and the price is a real deal if you actually eat only one serving at a time, only about $0.79/serving. That is cheap happiness! The bacon is from pigs raised without antibiotics, it’s minimally processed and has no artificial ingredients. There are no nitrates or nitrites added except for those naturally occuring in sea salt and celery.

This bacon will be a staple in my kitchen. If you are a bacon lover, you might want to try this soon!

 

 

 

Enlightened Ice Cream Keto Collection Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Review

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They’ve Done It Again!

I love to be able to do a positive review and Enlightened is supplying me with good opportunities to do just that. This “No Sugar Added” ice cream bar is delightful. The bar is thick and rich and gives you the feeling of indulgence as soon as you open the package.

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Flavor

It’s hard to go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate in the same product! This ice cream reminds me of Reese’s Cups and that’s a very good thing. Since they contain erythritol and monk fruit extract for zero calorie sweeteners, they are sweet enough to satisfy your ice cream craving but they will not raise your blood sugar and they are not habit forming like sugar sweetened offerings. The peanuty goodness is quite nicely complimented with the small, dark chocolate chips. Because the chocolate chips are dark and rich, the sprinkling in the bar is perfect.

Texture

Just like the Mint Keto Collection Enlightened Bars, these bars are creamy as they begin to soften when you eat them. Interestingly enough, they manage to be creamy while staying on the stick. One of my pet peeves with ice cream on a stick is that it falls off. Not so with these Enlightened products. They stay on the stick quite well as they soften on your tongue and last a long time, which is always a good thing.

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Nutrition

 These bars have 190 calories, 1 gram of Net Carbs (12 total-8 sugar alcohol-3 fiber), 17 grams of fat and 3 grams of protein. They have no added sugars, which is a requirement in ice cream for me. I believe that their wonderful creaminess may come from the coconut oil that you can see in the list of ingredients. Coconut oil is an integral part of my world.

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$Price$ and Availability

I bought these scrumptious ice cream bars at Publix for $5.99 for 4 bars . Publix is just one of a group of grocery stores that are nationwide. You should be able to find these bars. At $1.50 each, they are a steal. An unhealthy treat from an ice cream shop will cost you much more initially and then you must add the cost of going to get it and the long-term effects of a sugar addiction. No Sugar Added treats like this can save you a world of hurt. They give you a quick fix and also help you break your sugar addiction. If you like ice cream and you want to ditch the addiction, you might want to look for some today.

You might want to read my review of the Mint bars here for a little extra information on the brand overall. David has also reviewed the Vanilla pint here. Overall, we are quite impressed with this brand of “No Sugar Added” ice cream.