Category: Product Review

Ole Extreme Wellness, High Fiber, Low Carb Tortilla Product Review

There are very few processed food which I consume regularly. One of the few exceptions are a couple of the low carb tortilla wraps which I like to make wraps with. I am pretty partial to Ole brand Extreme Wellness High Fiber, Low Carb tortilla’s with Boarshead brand Black Forrest Turkey or their Tavern Ham to make healthy and easy to consume, hand held meals  for when I am on the road in my semi.

If I could do it, I would forego the handheld foods I pack in my cooler for the road and only consume good hot meals while on the road. However, being as I run a team route that is 945 miles long, 3 nights per week, regular sit down meals are not possible as once I return to my home dock, my trailer gets reloaded and I head back out for another night and day on the road. It is a very busy schedule where I have to pack easy to carry foods, but never the less, I still only pack healthy choices for when I am on the road. My typical pack out for road food is a turkey wrap with 3 ounces Boarshead turkey and an egg, 1 1/2 ounces of almonds, a protein shake, 1/2 cup full fat greek yogurt blended with a chia, flax, hemp seed trilogy mix and then flavored with Crystal Light. I also do have a food container that keeps food warm that I usually pack 1 1/2 cups of pinto beans into that I sometimes mix with ground beef or a vegetarian ground beef substitute along with tomato sauce and chili powder. I pack healthy, satisfying foods that provide plenty of protein, a healthy amount of complex carbohydrates as well as a good amount of fiber and several bottles of water.

Ole brand Extreme Wellness, High Fiber, Low Carb tortilla wraps are by far my favorite. They are just the right size for my needs, and have a great taste that is somewhat nut like in nature, and they have a great texture. Being low carb and high in fiber, these tortilla wraps are also very satisfying, a single wrap will hold me over for several hours with zero cravings that would come from other tortilla wraps that can be high in simple carbohydrates.

Other reasons why a good fiber intake is necessary:

  • Helps maintain bowel health. This becomes more of an issue if you are sedentary for long periods of time, such as we truckers can be while out on the road.
  • Lowers cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol levels.
  • Helps control blood sugar levels. Just as it prevents fats from being absorbed, soluble fiber slows down the digestion rate of carbohydrates. This means meals containing soluble fiber are less likely to cause sharp spikes in blood sugar levels and may prevent them altogether.
  • Aids in achieving healthy weight or body fat percentage. Something as simple as eating 30 grams of fiber each day can help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and improve your body’s response to insulin just as effectively as a more complicated diet. Fiber helps with digestion and overall health, plus it makes you feel full, so a high-fiber diet may help you lose weight and then help you in maintaining a healthy body fat percentage.

Ingredients:

100% whole wheat flour, water, cellulose fiber, wheat protein, modified food starch, contains 2% or less of the following: extra virgin olive oil, ground flax seed, salt, aluminum-free leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate), preservatives (calcium propionate, sorbic acid), dough conditioner (lecithin, fumaric acid, gum blend, mono-and diglycerides, sodium metabisulphite).

Nutrition:

Serving Size: 1 Tortilla

Calories: 50

Calories from Fat: 15
Total Fat: 1.5g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Trans Fat:0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 310mg
Potassium: 0mg
Total Carbohydrate: 16g
Dietary Fiber: 11g
Sugars: 0g
Added Sugars: 0g
Protein: 4g
Vitamin A: 0 IU
Vitamin C: 0mg
Calcium: 100mg
Iron: 0.72mg
Vitamin D: 0 IU
At about $3.50 US for a package of eight tortilla’s, I find this brand to be a pretty good bargain for the quality of the tortilla in flavor, texture and their nutrition. They are only 50 calories for one, contain 4g of protein, contains zero sugars and arrive in at only 5 net grams of complex carbohydrates per serving when you deduct the grams of fiber from the total carbohydrates.
If you want a good, yet healthy sweet treat, try mixing 2 tablespoons PB2 with a couple packages of Splenda and a sprinkling of Saigon Cinnamon, and then roll this mixture up in a wrap. The flavor combination almost tastes as if you are enjoying a decadent cinnamon roll. And this delectable treat only comes in at a total of 100 calories, 9g protein and only 10g of complex carbohydrates. These wraps are well worth trying if you are curious about them.
These delicious tortilla’s can be ordered online at:https://amzn.to/2rQzVuS

 

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Pasta Zero and House Foods Brand Shiratake Noodle Review

One of the toughest foods for many on a weight loss journey to give up is their pasta. Many of us who have lived on tight budgets have made spaghetti such a large part of our subsistence that it is hard to even begin to imagine a life without it. However, eating a spaghetti dinner, or one consisting of any other pastas can cause a huge downfall in our weight management, especially for the carb addicted.

What’s not to love? Pasta is full of simple carbs and is such an excellent carrier of tomato, cream and cheese sauces which are often also loaded up with added sugars. These delicious meals are easy on our budgets and also create an instant endorphin rush as we eat them. Meals high in simple carbohydrates are quite enjoyable, but are the devil for one trying to lose weight. After all, who eats just one serving of spaghetti? I never could…

Having family members who cannot stand the thought of giving up pasta in order to lose weight has been a catalyst for me to find a type that is suitable by not being high in simple carbohydrates. This seems to be an almost impossible task, despite the many which are marketed as lower carb, rice pasta, gluten free pasta, along with others made from black beans and lentils. I have scoured the shelves in all of my local grocery stores to no avail, and then began a search upon the internet to see if there is anything out there to fill the bill of a truly low carb pasta. Enter Pasta Zero.

What is Pasta Zero ?

This food product doesn’t contain any wheat, making it gluten-free. The low calorie spaghetti is made from the root of the konjac plant, which is sometimes called a konnyaku potato. It’s a soluble fiber food that’s packed with calcium, fiber and folic acid. This gluten-free spaghetti also doesn’t contain any fat, egg or dairy. It’s just 15 calories per serving and has a slightly firmer texture than traditional wheat pasta. This pack of noodles pairs deliciously with your favorite pesto, red or white sauces. Each 8 oz Bag of Nasoya Pasta Zero Shirataki Spaghetti is easy to prepare. Simply heat, serve and enjoy. Have this spaghetti along with side dishes and meat for a fulfilling meal. It’s vegan and can be stocked in a cabinet until needed.

Ingredients: WATER, KONJAC FLOUR, CHICKPEA FLOUR, POTATO STARCH, CALCIUM HYDROXIDE, REDUCED IRON.

As you can see from the nutritional information, despite Pasta Zero being very low in carbs and calories, it is not any different than any other pasta as there is almost no nutritional value to the product. The only nutritional plus is there are 3 grams of fiber per serving. Other than that, this product is a nutritionally empty vessel to carry your pasta sauce of choice. While this product is maybe a better choice than regular pasta being as it is not full of simple carbs, I simply do not advocate eating any foods that are lacking nutritional values.

When you first open a bag of Pasta Zero, you will notice a mild earthy smell. I have read reviews where it was reported the odor was a bit fishy, but that was not my experience. Once I drained and rinsed the product as per the instructions, I tasted it plain, without sauce. I found the flavor to be mild and somewhat earthy, but it was not too bad. I then transferred the pasta to a pan and heated it with a tomato basil pasta sauce and plated it. The product looked like any other spaghetti in appearance, some might not know the difference if they are not paying close attention.Once heated, I thought the earthy flavor came through with a bit more prominence, but is was not anything over powering. I honestly cannot think of anything I have ever eaten to compare the flavor too. It tastes different than anything I have ever consumed.

We all have different tastes when it comes to what we like and dislike. You may love this product, you might hate it. I was kind of indifferent in that I would eat it if it was prepared for me by a friend, but I would never go out of my way to buy it again. At $2.28 for a 8 ounce package, the price is steep when compared to regular pasta, yet still cheap per serving when you can have a plate of it with your favorite sauce for under $5.00 If you feel you must have pasta in your life, I would say Pasta Zero is worth trying at least once. While I did not care for it too much, one of my family members thought is was pretty good despite being chewy in texture. Taste is all subjective to the individual.

House Foods Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti is almost identical to Pasta Zero with only minor differences. It is made from a blend of tofu and konnyaku (or konjac), an Asian yam, Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti contains 20 calories and only 6g of carbs for the whole package.

Ingredients: water, soybeans, yam flour, calcium hydroxide, glucono delta lactone, calcium sulfate.

Upon opening this product packaging, I found the odor to be no different that that of Pasta Zero. Slightly earthy, but not overwhelming as I had been lead to believe from some of the reviews I have read. I had read that these types of noodles are better with Asian sauces over tomato or cream based sauces and since I had a good spicy peanut sauce recipe in my head, that is how I prepared it.

I found this product to look like regular spaghetti much like Pasta Zero, and the texture had the same chewiness too. The difference was in the flavor. The earthy flavor was a bit much for my personal taste. After consuming about half of what I prepared, I chucked the rest in my garbage disposal. I could eat this to be polite if someone served it to me, but I’m not sure I could pretend to enjoy it. Again, taste is subjective to each individual, you might love them. I found the flavor to be the same as that of Pasta Zero, only it was stronger. The price point was about the same as Pasta Zero at about $2.50 a package. While this is an inexpensive meal choice, to me the cheapness is also reflected in the lack of good nutritional value. I personally believe in making every bite of my food count towards making a positive contribution to my nutritional needs. I find this product to be lacking in this area. While I’m not bursting at the seams to buy either product again, I would recommend going with the Pasta Zero over House Foods brand. But hey, you might just think the opposite.

Remember this about pasta, it releases endorphins in your body which make you feel better in the moment. These two products are not going to do this. If you just have to have pasta in your life but know you need to cut it out in order to control your weight, I would make a comparison to non-alcoholic beer to a serious beer drinker. While an O’Douls might taste kind of good, it will just be enough to get a serious drinker to put it down and go get the alcoholic version which are much better in taste and how they make you feel. Fake pasta is the non-alcoholic beer version of pasta, it is the decaffeinated cup of coffee in the morning that brings no satisfaction to a coffee drinker. You may very well think differently, these are just my opinions. If there was no one who actually liked these products, they would not be found on the shelves of your local grocery store.

Quest Protein Chips Product Review

Nutritional Info

Calories 140

Net Carbs 4 grams

Fat 6 grams

Protein 18 grams

When I first saw this product I was pleasantly surprised because most protein snacks are sweet and this is obviously a savory, salty, crunchy one. I just had to try them. Since these chips have 18 grams of protein and only 4 grams of net carbs, they are a much better choice than regular tortilla chips at only 3 grams of protein and 30 grams of net carbs. While they are not a “health food”, they are definitely a healthier alternative.

At $2.48 per serving most people are not going to binge on these chips. I found them at Walmart in the pharmacy with the protein powders and bars. They come in three flavors in my store, Nacho Cheese, Barbecue and Ranch. I went for the Nacho Cheese because that is probably the most common tortilla chip flavor.

I don’t like Quest brand protein bars so I wasn’t expecting much from these chips. The first bite seemed overly seasoned and salty but I took another chip out of the bag and suddenly, the seasoning was really working for me. They are high in sodium, 340 mg, so naturally they are salty. In mere minutes that bag was gone! I really liked these chips.

If you have had to rehab from binging on chips, leave them alone because they are good enough to get that craving started again and you are not likely to keep paying this price. If you start wanting them all the time, you would most likely go back to the cheaper regular tortilla chips and wreck your weight management efforts. If you are not prone to that particular addiction, you can enjoy these occasionally with ease.

They have a crunch that is similar to a fried flour tortilla, a softer crispy crunch but definitely crunchy and satisfying. They are obviously cheesy with a smoky undertone that reminds me of smoked cheddar, all in all a tasty protein snack.

They are still a processed food so I won’t make them a regular part of my diet but for that late night trip to Walmart without enough calories in me and my stomach getting a bit empty, they filled the gap nicely. Although I won’t buy them often, I’m happy to see a higher quality protein snack for those times when convenience is paramount. If you find yourself wandering the aisles looking for a small snack to tie you over until you get home, you might want to try Quest Protein Chips. The crunch is a delight.

Caulipower Margherita Pizza Review

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Well, I was anxious to try this pizza because it seemed like a good thing. There is no wheat flour in the crust to degrade into sugar, so that is a plus. Compared to Freschetta Margherita Pizza, it is a similar nutritional choice. Caulipower Margherita has 330 calories, 34 Net Grams of carbs, 15 grams of fat and 12 grams of protein while Freschetta Margherita has 370 calories, 46 Net Grams of carbs, 14 grams of fat and 16 grams of protein. The Freschetta serving is 1/4 of the pie while the Caulipower pizza is 1/2. The Caulipower pizza sounds like a lot more , but 1/2 of that pizza is not much because it’s so thin. The addition of cauliflower is probably insignificant when you consider that this is still a highly processed food with a long list of ingredients. At David’s Way we favor whole foods.

The nutritional information is good to know but the truth is that when we reach for a frozen pizza, we are interested in taste and texture. Here’s where we may disagree if you like these pizzas. While there was nothing bad about this pizza, there was nothing good. The crust seemed like an under cooked biscuit that didn’t rise properly because it had a chewy, gummy texture even after cooking until it was quite brown on the bottom. The Margherita flavor is simply a combination of tomato, basil and parmesan cheese. This may be part of the problem for me. It was thin and chewy and seemed like glorified cheese toast. I do like a hearty pizza if I eat pizza, which almost never happens these days. We have a wonderful “Pizza Casserole” recipe here at David’s Way that satisfies me so I don’t venture into fast food for pizza. Again, I prefer whole foods. I could eat the Caulipower pizza but had no reason to eat it except that I was hungry. It was certainly not because I loved it.

At $6.48 it was cheap enough, but I cannot imagine being satisfied with half of that pizza. It was barely an appetizer. Because I am a strength trainer, I am accustomed to being full and satisfied. At David’s Way, we never go hungry except for the minor hunger that we sometimes experience during the fasting hours of Intermittent Fasting. We always have more calories to eat than we can easily manage. This serving of this pizza made me hungry all night long. For 370 calories I could have had a massive amount of whole food with substantial protein that would have sustained me nicely, all night.

If you are a fan of the Margherita flavor and style of pizza, you may like this pizza better than I do. Everyone is different, but for my calories, I will stick with whole foods and our recipes here at David’s Way. Caulipower Margherita is available at Walmart if you want to give it a try.

Vegetarian “Ground Beef” Crumbles Review

As I have stated on another product review on vegetarian meat substitutes, I’m a meat eating carnivore. I love my meats, but occasionally enjoy a few vegetarian alternatives. These plant based, alternative beef products have improved by leaps and bounds compared to how nasty they were to me way back when I was in elementary school. I will never forget how repulsive the soy burgers back in the day could be. They were not even remotely close in taste to the beef patties they were replacing in our school lunches. Because of this past experience, I was not quick to consider giving any of the new products a try until a few years back. I must say, the plant based meat substitutes have greatly improved over the years.

I have come to like the Boca brand Original Veggie Crumbles the best out of the three products I’m reviewing for this piece. What I like about the Boca brand is their product is the closest in appearance and taste to actual ground beef than the Beyond Meat and Gardein brands. The texture is exactly the same as actual ground beef, and I find it hard to distinguish any difference from ground beef at all when I add Boca Crumbles to a dish. Because of the size of the crumbles, they are also easier to measure out than the Beyond Meat brand. This is critical when you are measuring and tracking what and how much you eat.

I find the Boca Cumbles to be a handy ingredient to have on hand in the freezer. They are fully cooked and take little time to heat thoroughly when used. I have made vegetarian taco’s and Sloppy Joe’s with them. I have also added them to spaghetti sauce and to chili and nobody in my home ever knew the difference. I like the convenience factor with having a package on hand. For instance, when I pack food for the road in my semi, I will add a half cup of crumbles to a can of pinto beans, salsa and habanero hot sauce for a road dinner I pack into a hot food container. I add them directly to the beans without the hassle of browning ground beef and then draining it of fat before use. Without the fat content, the crumbles do not stick together as bad as ground beef will when frozen. These crumbles are a convenient ingredient to have on hand when you are in a pinch for time. If you have ever been curious, this product is worth a try at about $5.00 US per 12 ounce package.

Boca Original Veggie Crumbles Ingredients

Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Contains Less than 2% of Natural Flavor (Non‑Meat, Contains Celery), Malt Extract (Contains Gluten), Salt, Yeast Extract, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Dried Onions, Spices and Herbs.

Boca Original Veggie Crumbles Nutrition

Serving Size 0.50 cup
Servings Per Container 6
Calories: 70
Total Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 210mg
Total Carbohydrate: 6g
Dietary Fiber: 3g
Sugars: 0g
Protein: 13
This product was just alright to me, your opinion may differ than mine as we tastes and likes are all individual. I do like Beyond Meats product for the convenience factor, however I found the crumbles to be quite larger and not as easy to accurately measure as the other two products in this review. The larger crumbles are a little chewy and the taste is a little heavier on the onion seasoning and other flavorings to me. The taste was much less like beef than the Boca product. This could be a result of the product being soy and gluten free. While I believe they might be just fine in a spicy dish such as chili or taco’s, I do not believe I will use this product for anything else. I was a little disappointed as I really do like Beyond Meats other products and felt a little let down with this one. While I did not find the Beyond Meat product to be horrible, I did not think they were worth the approximate $5.75 US I paid for them. As you can see below on the nutrition data, the Boca Crumbles are a better buy.

Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles “Beefy” Ingredients

Water, Pea Protein Isolate*, Canola And Sunflower Oil, Rice Flour, Spices, Tomato Powder, Contains 0.5% Or Less Of: Yeast Extract, Sugar, Potassium Chloride, Tapioca, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Salt, Acacia Gum, Onion Extract, Natural Flavor, Garlic Extract

Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles “Beefy” Nutrition

Serving size: 1/2 cup

Servings per container: 5

Calories: 90 Total

Fat: 3g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 240mg

Total Carbohydrates: 3g

Dietary Fiber: 1g

Sugars: 0g

Protein: 12g

On the plus side, the Gardein Beefless Ground is similar to the Boca product in that it is easy to measure. While the taste is not exactly bad, it tastes more like it is a plant based product than the other two in this review. If you want a beef taste, you might be disappointed. If you are a strict vegan, you might be over joyed on this point. The simple fact this one contains organic cane sugar is enough to keep me from buying it again. Not the organic part, it’s the sugar itself that will keep me from another purchase. I wish I had read the label better before buying this product. While the sugar content is not high, I plainly do not consume added sugars in anything for the reasons I have written about pretty extensively. You might enjoy it, however, I will save my $3.97 US on a 13.7 ounce bag and spend it on the Boca product instead.

Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground Ingredients

WATER, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE*, EXPELLER PRESSED CANOLA OIL*, ORGANIC CANE SUGAR, SEA SALT, YEAST EXTRACT, ONION POWDER, GARLIC POWDER, CARAMEL COLOR, NATURAL FLAVORS (FROM PLANT SOURCES), SPICES.

Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground Nutrition

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Servings per container: 7

Total Fat: 1.5g

Saturated and Trans Fats: 0g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 230mg Total

Carbohydrates: 5g

Dietary Fiber: 3 g

Sugar: 1g

Protein: 12g

We will continue doing product reviews for you on food items that are touted as being healthy, or healthier alternatives. We recognize that everyone has different likes and dislikes, and therefore you might still want to try a product even if we do not give it a glowing review. If there is a product you might like for us to review for you, please leave a comment or drop us a request in our contact email. Thank you Julie for the Beyond Meat product review request!

Rebel Ice Cream Review

By special request from Melissa in Alabama, here is my review of Rebel Ice Cream.

First, as with any product review, just because one does or does not care for a product, my opinion of what I think about it may be different than yours.

What is Rebel Ice Cream?

From Rebel Creamery’s Web Site:

Rebel Ice Cream Is The First Low Carb, High Fat, No Sugar Added Ice Cream On The Market. The Perfect Ratio Of Keto-Friendly Ingredients. It Passes The Kid Test. Healthy Fats. Low Carb. No Sugar Added. Lowest Net Carb Ice Cream. High Fat. Keto.

Rebel Ice Cream comes in 14 flavors  according to their web site. My local Dillon’s only had 4 of them;  Cookie Dough, Mint Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Fudge, and Butter Pecan. I chose the  Cookie Dough for my review.

My first thought upon checking out with the cashier was I hoped it was going to be really worth the price of $5.99 US per pint. This seemed a little steep to me when I could buy Halo Top or Enlightened for less than $4.00 US. That being said, I am not in the habit of buying pints of ice cream either.

From reading the ingredients list, I thought the ice cream was going to be pretty good. However, I was disappointed to see it only has 2 grams protein per serving. But still, at only 6 net grams of carbs per pint, I was still hopeful I would enjoy it.

When I removed the lid, the inner foil cover said to let the ice cream sit for 15 minutes for it to be it’s creamiest. No big deal, I was still in my truck with the windows down in 79 degree temperatures and I had a couple phone calls to make while it was softening. This ice cream is pretty dense and does require softening before consuming. After I was done with my phone calls, I began to dig into what I thought was going to be a creamy goodness. This should not be an unreasonable expectation as the first ingredient is cream and the fat content is 15 grams per half cup serving. My expectations fell far short on the creaminess. The ice cream actually crumbled as I stuck my spoon into it. Friends, in my humble opinion, there is something not right about ice cream that crumbles under any circumstance. Especially given that it had set in my 80 degree pick up for close to a half hour before I began eating it. There was a little creaminess around the edges, but for the most part, the ice cream was crumbly and had a strange texture to me. I believe the texture comes from the carob and guar gums which have been added as stabilizers.

As for the flavor, I thought it was not too bad. Although not good enough to overcome the crumbly texture. Rebel is not over sweet as it is sweetened with erythritol and monk fruit instead of sugar. The use of these sweeteners is a great thing as they are very low on the glycemic index and zero calories. The vanilla component had a pleasant enough flavor as did the cookie dough, but again, this is all subjective to personal tastes. If you like cookie dough ice cream, there is plenty enough in there to satisfy you.

Ingredients

Cream, Water, Cookie Dough (almond flour, erythritol, butter, water, natural flavor, baking soda, salt, sunflower lecithin) Eryrthritol, Chocolate (coconut oil, cocoa, erythritol, sunflower lecithin, salt, dutch cocoa, natural vanilla flavor, monk fruit) Chickory Root Fiber, Egg Yolks, Vegetable Glycerin, Milk Protein Isolate, Natural Vanilla Flavor, Salt, Peruvian Carob Gum, Guar Gum, Monk Fruit

Nutrition

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Servings per container: 4

Calories: 160

Calories from fat: 140

Total fat grams: 15g

Saturated fat: 9g

Trans fat: 0g

Cholesterol: 60mg

Sodium: 80 mg

Total carbohydrate: 14g

Dietery fiber: 3g

Sugars: 0g

Erythritol 10g

Protein: 2g

Vitamin A 7%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 4%, Iron 4%

Melissa, I hope this review does not disappoint you. But in rankings of my least favorite ice creams I have ever consumed, this was the third worse. The worse was the soft serve we had aboard my Navy ship where a vanilla ice cream powder was mixed with the ships distilled water that had a metallic taste with a hint of jet fuel. The next worse was Halo Top Lemon Cake followed by this one. The texture was not creamy enough, and there was no wow factor to the taste to overcome the crumbly texture for me. My next issue is the amount of empty calories one would consume if they eat the entire pint. For this flavor there are 640 calories in the entire pint. My personal feeling is that if I am going to consume 640 calories of anything, there needs to be a good nutritional value to the food. As you can see from the ingredients list and the nutritional information, the nutritional component is lacking anything of value. Even if one were to split the pint with one or two other friends, there are still too many empty calories. The fact is keto friendly means little if you are still eating down more calories than you might need in a day. The bottom line is if you over eat your caloric needs, you will still gain weight even if their is no significant carbohydrates in the mix. Whether they realize it or not, many who lose weight on keto are only doing so because they are still running a caloric deficit each day. Excess calories will still get stored in our body as fat. This is simple biology.

In closing, I had enough calories left for my day to eat the entire pint. I did this as I wanted to see if it would give me any gastro-intestinal upset. I have an iron gut, and must warn all to proceed with caution if you eat an entire pint as it did upset my stomach some. Others may, and probably will really enjoy Rebel Ice Cream. For me personally, from this experience, I do not believe I will try any more of their flavors.

Sugar Free Condiment Product Review

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I never thought that anybody would outdo Log Cabin but I like Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Pancake Syrup better than Log Cabin’s variety. Maple Grove Farms is easy to find at Walmart and is cheap at less than $3/bottle. It has a true maple flavor and has a slightly thick, sticky consistency that adheres to pancakes well. It’s just sweet enough and the maple is stronger than the sweetness which avoids the overly sweet, artificial sweetness of some sugar free products. This syrup is a staple in my pantry. I use it in beans, oats and even full fat, plain Greek yogurt at times paired with Saigon cinnamon for a traditional “brown sugar and cinnamon” flavor. Combined with a little Dukes Mayonnaise and mustard, I can create honey mustard that rocks. There are only 15 calories per 1/4 cup and 6 grams of total carbohydrates.

I started buying Heinz No Sugar Added Ketchup years ago when the only bottle available was an 8 oz. bottle. My son liked it much better than regular ketchup and now at 25 years, he still does. In 1 Tablespoon it has 10 calories and 1 gram of total carbohydrates with that 1 gram being from the natural sugar in tomatoes . It’s a perfectly balanced tomato flavor that is equal parts tangy tomato and slightly sweet. I challenge you to find a better ketchup of any type. It’s really good. The 29.5 oz. bottle is a bargain at about $3.98.

Ah, now the cream of this crop, Duke’s Real Mayonnaise. Duke’s is not a special sugar free recipe. It’s always been sugar free. It’s creamy and slightly tart and perfectly spiced. I believe that the reason it’s so good is that this is an old family recipe that contains more egg yolks than other mayonnaise, with no added sugar resulting in it’s characteristic tangy flavor. It is the third largest mayonnaise brand in the  United States and has 100 calories and 0, ZERO grams of carbohydrates. You can pick this delightful product up at Walmart for $3.39.

Condiments add flavor and varied textures to good whole foods. These choices here are low in calories and diabetic friendly. Children love condiments and you can feel good about allowing them to have these products in moderation.  I can remember my Mom taking the ketchup off the table because of all the sugar and calories in the products available then. It’s nice to count the calories in your entree and have plenty left for a calorie conscious sauce. Condiments can transform a plain meal into a mouth watering delight. I hope you try these products the next time that you plan your menus. I believe that you will be glad that you did. Enjoy!

 

Beyond Sausage Review

As a bonafide carnivore I love my meats, yet being of a healthy mind and a health and fitness author, I like to explore alternative products for both myself and you, the reader. I give my honest opinion of what I think of different products, however, each of us have individual tastes. Just because I may or may not like a product I have reviewed, it does not mean you will come to the same conclusions regarding tastes, smells and textures.

After a week on the road, I really wanted a good breakfast this morning. Beyond Meats plant based sausage Beyond Sausage Brat Original filled this need for me.

Coming out of it’s packaging, I thought these Brats appeared more like an actual meat product, than the burgers and the Hot Italian Sausages. This was just a very minor detail for me though. What I wanted to know was how they were going to cook, and then of course, how satisfying they would be. And of course, they had to be nutritionally sound.

I browned them in a cast iron skillet with a little extra virgin olive oil over a low medium heat. It did not take long before my kitchen was filled with the good smell of sausage being cooked. The sausages browned very nicely in the olive oil, the casings seemed to be a bit better than I remember the casings from the Beyond Meat Italian sausage product. The Brat casing seemed to be pretty similar to any other sausage casing, yet the product is 100% plant based.

Once cooked, I scrambled a few eggs and plated it for myself and my brother in law who was having breakfast with me. Howard is one who might normally turn his nose up to any type of vegetarian or vegan friendly product, and I did not mention that was what he was being fed.

I cut into my Brat and thought it appeared almost realistically meat like in appearance. Truth be told, if I did not know what it was, I probably would not have seen any difference. I bit into my first bite and was instantly impressed with the taste and texture. The only issue with the flavor was I thought it had more of a breakfast sausage sage taste than that of actual meat  Brat’s. For me, this was not a bad thing, if it had been a breakfast sausage, the seasoning would be perfect for my taste. I enjoy sage, but it does not take much to be too much for me.

The texture was very much like a good meat Brat, yet there was a very slight chewiness to it. This was a non-issue for me. I also liked that the Brats were not greasy at all. The moisture content was satisfactory, yet I believe they might become a little too dry if overly cooked.

I asked my brother in law how he liked the Brats and he said he thought they were quite good. He was silent for a second and then asked me if they were the plant based product I bought last week at the store. I said  they were, and he replied that he liked them pretty good and would not mind having them again. I have two remaining that I believe I am going to cook on my grill over charcoal later this weekend.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 cooked link

Calories: 190, 110 from fat

Total fat: 12 grams

Saturated fat: 5 grams

Trans fat: 0 grams

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 500 mg

Potassium: 230 mg

Total carbohydrate: 5 grams

Dietary fiber: 3 grams

Sugar: 0 grams

Protein: 16 grams

(based on 2000 calorie per day diet)

Vitamin A: 0%

Vitamin C: 0%

Calcium: 6%

Iron: 22%

Ingredients:

Water, Pea Protein isolate, Refined coconut oil, Sunflower oil,Natural flavor, Contains: 2% or less of: Rice protein, Faba Bean protein, potato starch, salt, fruit juice (for color), apple fiber, methylcellulose, citrus extract (to protect quality) Calcium Alginate casing

Overall, I find these Brats to be a good nutritionally sound meat alternative that can be found in Kroger grocery stores and their subsidiaries. They can also be bought online from several sources, and are now being served at some restaurants. You might find them a little expensive at $8.99 for a package of 4 links. However, when considering food costs, even if your groceries might cost a little more to eat healthy choices, this expense will be offset by not having unnecessary visits to your physician for any health issues which are a direct result of poor nutritional dietary habits. You can pay a little more in the store for quality foods, or you can had your hard earned money over to your doctor and your pharmacist later when you are suffering from heart issues, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and a whole host of other health problems related to your nutrition or lack there of. The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

Klondike No Sugar Added Vanilla Ice Cream Bars Review

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Calories 180

Net Carbs 16 grams

Protein 2 grams

Ah, now here’s something that’s a little different in the “No Sugar Added” category. So many of these desserts seem to be missing something, not this one! I buy these for a 25 year old male and he doesn’t eat anything that isn’t good. This is a favorite treat for him!

The chocolaty coating is firm to the tooth yet it doesn’t crumble everywhere when you crunch into it. It’s just sweet enough to give you flashbacks to your childhood on the playground at recess, crunching with abandon into a melting ice cream bar, dripping down your chin. Bear in mind, this bar contains the sweetener maltitol, which has the potential for GI upset, so don’t binge! ONE should be just fine for most people.

The creamy vanilla ice cream inside is smooth in texture and has a near perfect hint of vanilla and a perfect level of sweetness. As you chew the crunchy coating into the ice cream, it becomes a dessert of substance. It doesn’t just melt away instantly. It lingers just long enough for you to truly appreciate both the flavor and texture of this summery delight.

At David’s Way we encourage you to eat whole, unprocessed foods but on the occasion when you really want something a little different, this bar fills the bill. It won’t give you cravings because it doesn’t contain sugar. The caloric count is significant at 180, and 16 grams of net carbs bears noting. As long as you enjoy these delightful ice cream bars on occasion and allow for the substantial calorie count, you can work one of these in most anytime.

Halo Top Ice Cream Review

Out of 17 flavors of Halo Top, I have only tried two. Therefore in fairness, I concede there may be some better than others. I first heard about Halo Top products and how wonderful they are through a couple weight loss social media sites. Everything I have ever read about Halo Top from those trying to lose weight is that it is a wonderful product that is healthy as well. As with many things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

I found the Chocolate flavor to be far superior in taste and texture over the Lemon Cake favor, but this is not saying much. The ice cream is quite dense and requires a little thawing before you can eat it, which is no big deal unless you are “hangry” when attacking a tub. I found it difficult to spoon out until it had set on the counter for a little while.

Once the ice cream had softened, I found it to be creamy enough. But if I am going to eat ice cream at all, I prefer the creaminess that can only come from a full fat ice cream. Just my opinion, but I find anything else to be lacking in substance and therefore not as enjoyable as a former ice cream connoisseur.

The taste was just alright, kind of mediocre in my book. But, taste is subjective to each individual. The ice cream tasted to me kind of like a fairly bland commercially available chocolate milk you find in any grocery store or convenience store refrigerator shelf. It was not horrible, but it was also nothing to write home about.

I love lemon flavor. I love lemon cake. When I saw this flavor, I just had to try it. I let it sit on the counter to let it soften a bit, and then dug into it with great expectations it would be a blissful flavor. Did I say I like lemon cake?

Hands down, this is the second worse ice cream I have ever consumed in my entire life. The only ice cream I eve enjoyed less, actually refused to eat more than a couple times at best was aboard my first ship in the Navy. That ice cream was made from a powdered mix that was prepared with the ships metallic and jet fuel tasting distilled water.

While the Lemon Cake Halo Top was not as repulsive as ship board ice cream aboard the USS Enterprise, it was still a huge disappointment for me. While I found the chocolate Halo Top to be a little too sweet for my taste, the Lemon Cake did not over power with a sweetness. In fact, I found this ice cream to be almost flavorless. I really could not taste any lemon, no vanilla, there was not much of anything in flavor at all. While it did not taste bad, there just was not much taste at all. It was just a weird flavorless ice cream that also had a strange texture to it. This ice cream was not very creamy, and it also had a bit of a grainy texture that I found odd. The grainy texture was likely caused by the guar gum that some ice cream manufactures are including in their ingredients in order to keep their product from settling too much in case it thaws a little before getting to the customer. Manufacturers are whipping more air into their products as a cost saving, profit enhancing method. The guar gum hides this effect. Guar gum acts as a stabilizer and is normally not a noticeable ingredient as it adds nothing to the flavor, nor does it pose any health risks. Just know that if your ice cream ever has an odd grainy texture, this is why.

Nutrition (Chocolate)

Total Calories per 1 pint container is 280 to 320 (depending on flavor)

Serves 4 ( lets be honest, who only eats a half cup)

Calories: 80 calories from fat: 25

Total fat: 2.5 grams

Saturated fat: 1.5 gram

Trans fat: 0

Cholesterol: 45 mg

Sodium: 110 mg

Total carbohydrates: 13 grams

Dietary fiber: 2 grams

Sugar: 6 grams

Sugar alcohol: 5 grams

Protein: 5 grams

Ingredients

Skim milk, eggs, erythritol, cream, organic cane sugar, milk protein concentrate, high fat cocoa, vegetable glycerin, prebiotic fiber, sea salt, organic carob gum, organic guar gum, organic stevia leaf extract.

Summary

While I find nothing too much wrong with Halo Top’s ingredients, I will not eat any more of it simply because it contains cane sugar which as I have written extensively about is a huge contributor to our nations obesity epidemic along with all of the health related problems that come from consuming too much of it. The protein content is only 1 gram more than you would get from a serving of Blue Bell ice cream that has 4 grams. Using this low protein amount as a selling point would only appeal to those who might not be nutritionally aware that is an insignificant amount over what you might find in any other ice cream product in your grocery store freezer.

Halo Top is very popular among the Weight Watchers crowd as many think it is a healthier alternative to other ice creams. News flash, it is not any healthier than any other low fat ice cream you can buy. But the others rarely place the calorie content on their labels in such bold lettering. There are better quality products available to you if you take the time to seek them out.

If you are on a weight loss journey, you should really consider skipping this ice cream because the sugar content is going to not allow your cravings for carbohydrates to go away. The sugar in Halo Top is still going to have an impact on your blood sugar and insulin levels as any other ice cream will. The only exception is the fiber component in Halo Top might, (MIGHT) mitigate some of the effects on your blood sugar and insulin. However, this is going to depend largely on your personal discipline to only consume one serving, which is 1/4th of the pint.

Let’s be honest, if you are trying to satisfy a sweet tooth, are you only going to eat 1/4th of the container? Or, are you going to eat from the container and then find yourself just eating a little more, and a little more, as you keep eating the soft stuff around the edges? If we are being truthful to ourselves, odds are that if you are over weight or obese, you likely do not have the personal discipline to just eat the manufacturers recommended serving amount. If you did, you would not have a weight problem in the first place and the need for a healthier ice cream to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings would be a moot point.

Beware of Halo Tops marketing gimmick of advertising that their is 20 grams of protein and only 280 to 320 calories per container. This implies that one container is one serving, while the nutrition label clearly states the container is supposed to be 4 servings. If you are on a weight loss journey, you are treading on thin ice by still eating the crap that got you into trouble in the first place, even if the label promotes the product as being healthier.

If you want to still eat sweet treats that are delicious while being sugar free, and diabetic friendly, then go to our recipes menu, then select the subcategory of sweet dessert recipes and then choose any of the sub-categories under that for cakes, cookies, pies and more. We at David’s Way believe that a sweet treat on occasion is perfectly fine as long as it does not derail you from your weight loss efforts. Our recipes, when followed to the letter will fill that bill for you.