Tag Archives: product review

gluten free product review: Good Greens Bars & Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods

As the gluten-free market expands, I am always learning about new GF products. I had the opportunity to try two new-to-me brands recently. First up: Good Greens Bars.

Good Greens Bars is a greater Cleveland based company “founded on the belief that good nutrition provides health, joy, energy and access to an extraordinary life.” Located in Shaker Heights, their products can be found in an array of CLE grocery stories including Marc’s, Heinen’s and Mustard Seed Market.

I initially received four of their full sized bars: one of the wildberry, one of the chocolate raspberry and two of the chocolate coconut:

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In addition, from a good friend, I received sample sizes of the chocolate peanut butter, the chocolate raspberry and the chocolate coconut:

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Their product pitch: A candy bar that’s good for you? No way! you say, but you better believe it- Good Greens has created a local and truly revolutionary product that everyone can love. Gluten free, vegan, low glycemic and dairy free, our bars are perfect for celiacs, vegans and diabetics, and anyone who wants a delicious healthy whole food bar.

MY THOUGHTS ON THE BARS:

  • I can’t say I’m a HUGE fan of the eat-this-candy-bar pitch, but it’s 100% true. It was hard to believe this had so many good-for-you ingredients when it felt like you were eating a candy bar!
  • The wildberry flavor was not covered in chocolate and had the texture of a softened LUNABAR. It made for a good on-the-go lighter lunch option when paired with a huge Gala apple on one busy Saturday.
  • PIP Mom – a huge coconut fan – tried one of the chocolate coconut bars and really enjoyed the taste.
  • The raspberry and coconut bars had little bits of each of those ingredients throughout the product. A great surprise with the coconut, but in the case of the raspberry, it meant getting seeds stuck in my teeth.
  • As a snack, power bars tend to not satisfy me on their own and unfortunately this was the same case with this bar. I did like using the samples as a sweet treat to finish off a meal. (Again with the bonus of the chocolate!)
  • Compared to other bars on the market, I would tend to buy Good Greens based on their taste & nutritionals – only 195 calories per each “normal” sized bar with a fair amount of protein (10 grams) in each as well.

Learn more about Good Greens Bars by visiting their website, follow them on Twitter and “like” them on Facebook.

Next up: Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods:

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About the company & its founder: As the founder and medical director of the nationally renowned McDougall Program, Dr. McDougall has helped thousands improve their health and their quality of life by teaching people about the benefits of a plant based, heart healthy diet rich in good starches like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, rice, pasta and legumes.

They have quite the array of products but I was interested in their organic and low sodium ready-to-serve soup selections. I received their Black Bean soup, Chili Bean soup, Lentil soup, Light Sodium Lentil soup…

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…Organic Vegetable soup, Organic Tortilla soup, Organic Lentil Vegetable soup and Organic Chunky Tomato soup.

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MY THOUGHTS ON THE SOUPS:

  • The heartiness of these soups was most impressive. Sometimes prepared soups just don’t have enough veggies, etc., but that wasn’t the case with these. The ratio of broth to veggies was superb.
  • The flavors themselves were great. Low sodium did not mean low on taste. I highly enjoyed the chunky tomato and the chili bean.
  • The actual cost to purchase a box is high. At Whole Foods, I noticed one box was more than three dollars. But in defense, it’s important to remember the quality of the product you’d be buying.
  • While I appreciate the type of material used in the packaging, opening the carton could have been a hot mess. I was afraid to try and open it by tearing thinking I would have lentil soup all over my kitchen walls. I busted out the scissors each time to stay safe from soup attacks.
  • Overall, I’d definitely considering buying their products in the future as I was impressed by the quality of these Dr. McDougall soups.

Learn more about Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods by visiting their website, follow them on Twitter and “like” them on Facebook.

Have you tried any new-to-you products that you really enjoyed?

Disclosure: I was offered free samples of these products in exchange for my review on the blog. As always, my thoughts and opinions on these products are 100% my own. Many thanks to Good Greens Bars and Dr. Mcdougall’s Right Foods for this opportunity.

gluten free product review: Attune Foods

You kids really like cereal, don’t you?! Many thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway from Tuesday. I’m excited to giveaway THREE of these Attune Foods’ fun packs!

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On a side note, I really am digging on Attune Foods’ tagline: What matters most is what’s inside:

  • What’s inside the box: Simple, pure ingredients that help you feel your best every day.
  • What’s inside you: Something different in each of us – something worth celebrating.
  • What’s inside our company: A team dedicated to improving the way we eat at home, in our community,
    in our nation and someday on the planet.

…and I love that they have folks like Annelies out amongst their constituents spreading their message and the healthy living love. So before the big announcement of who won my giveaway, here’s what Annelies kindly provided to me and what Team PIP thought on each of those cereals:

Skinner’s Raisin Bran Cereal:

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Ingredients include whole wheat kernels, raisins, salt, barley malt.

Hans’ thoughts: Hans was a bit thrown off by the smaller sized flakes, but as he dug into the bowl, he enjoyed the flavor more and more. He’s a big fan of tons of raisins in his raisin brans and wished for a few more in his bowl. Overall, he said he would consider buying this brand when buying this type of cereal.

Uncle Sam Honey Almond Cereal: 

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Ingredients include toasted whole wheat berry flake (whole wheat kernels, salt, barley malt), sliced almonds, flax seed, evaporated cane juice, honey, natural flavor.

Hans’ thoughts: Almonds are Hans’ favorite nut, so I wasn’t surprised when his eyebrows perked and he said “mmmmmm” when chopping on the first few bites. He liked the sweet flavor that first hit his palate, but said he appreciated that it didn’t over take he mouth with too much sweetness. This one got two big thumbs up from the Director of Husbandry.

Erewhon Strawberry Crisp Cereal:

(picture c/o Attune’s website)

Ingredients include organic brown rice, organic corn meal, organic evaporated cane juice, freeze dried strawberries, sea salt, natural flavor.

My thoughts: I might have been so excited about receiving this that I might have eaten the entire box over the course of a week – forgetting to take photos. Sorry kids. This gluten free treat was uber yummy and is the perfect sub for someone looking for a GF “Special K” alternative. I could have used more strawberries because they were so good, but the distribution of them was fair overall. I’m just being a strawberry hoarder.

Erewhon Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice Cereal:

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Ingredients include organic brown rice, organic evaporated cane juice, organic brown rice syrup, organic cocoa powder (processed with alkali), natural flavors, organic caramel color, sea salt, organic cocoa butter.

My thoughts: As a child, you know when you had a bowl of Cocoa Puffs with milk and the best part was the suddenly formed chocolate milk in the bottom that you got to slurp at the end? I had that childhood experience all over again – and it was uber tasty! While having the chocolate flavor you expect, I didn’t find it overpowering. I want another box of these to make a version of Rice Krispie treats. I didn’t think I’d love a chocolate cereal as an adult, but I am sold on this gluten free one.

New Morning Oatios Cereal:

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Ingredients include organic whole oat flour, organic brown rice flour, organic dried cane juice, organic oat bran, sea salt, natural Vitamin E (to preserve freshness).

My thoughts: This product is labeled as “wheat free”, but isn’t considered gluten free because of the use of oats. I, however, don’t have an issue with that ingredient, so I dug right in. I felt like this product was much air-ier than its similarly shaped competitor, which I really liked. Can cereal be fluffy? The Oatios had a nice, simple flavor that could be matched with an array of products: fruit, yogurt, etc. I would definitely purchase these to amp up my Chobani obsession.

LONG STORY SHORT: Overall, we enjoyed all five cereals, but what I really liked were the ingredient listings – specifically their emphasis on simplicity and organic goods. I also appreciated Attune Foods’ providing a nice assortment of gluten free breakfast options. Giving up cereals was a bummer due to my gluten intolerance, but I’m now happy to know that I have some solid options to depend on!

It’s time to announce our three winners from Tuesday’s giveaway! We go to random.org with our 58 entries:

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…and comments 50, 41 and 18 belonged to:

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CONGRATS to Eunice from Food 4 Fitness, Holly from Rust Belt Runner and Denise from Lotta Latte!! Please email me at poiseinparma (at) gmail (dot) com to redeem your prize! Now, where’s my breakfast?!

Disclosure: After attending Fitbloggin 2011, I was offered samples of Attune Foods’ products. I asked to giveaway the cereal bowls, spoons and coupons to three lucky readers to be selected randomly via random.org. As always, my thoughts and opinions on these products are 100% my own.

GIVEAWAY & gluten free product review: popchips

Looking for “ten things this tuesday”? You won’t find them here today - instead, you’ll find them over at Healthy Heddleston! Make sure to read my guest post on Katie’s blog on why she should STAY in Cleveland!

Speaking of my blog partner-in-crime, was Fitbloggin’ seriously almost two months ago? It feels like we were just taking this photo:

It was this box on my porch when I arrived home from California that reminded me about the case of Fitbloggin’ inspired popchips that had arrived right before we left:

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I completely forgot that I won a giveaway on Elina’s blog – Healthy and Sane – awhile back! Now PIP Headquarters is well stocked with a plethora of popchips!

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I’ve enjoyed popchips for quite awhile now. While others have had difficulty finding them around Cleveland, I manage to always snag them at Target and Whole Foods over time. Here’s what I’ve always loved about them:

  • they are gluten-free!
  • they aren’t fried. they aren’t even baked. they are POPPED – like popcorn!
  • they use natural ingredients: no fake colors, no fake flavors, no preservatives
  • they come in a snack size bag (providing the perfect amount for a satisfying snack) and a larger bag (for those of us with more restraint)
  • the humor and joy in their product promotion – check out their snackers’ credo

While these mock potato chips are excellent on their own, I’ve been finding creative ways to eat them:

  • as a dipper with salsas and hummus – popchip selection depends on your dip of choice
  • as a crouton on salads – who needs shredded cheese when you have cheddar popchips?
  • as a spoon while eating soup – rocked the salt & pepper variety with a zucchini & spinach soup
  • as an extra crunch on a variety of dishes – my fav being the sour cream and onion flavor on top of a baked potato (yes, potato on potato action for the win!)

As a Fitbloggin’ attendee, popchips offered to send me a case of their product so I could try out the full spectrum of available flavors. Here’s my ranking of flavors from favorite to least favorite:

  1. salt & pepper potato: the sea salt with the fresh ground pepper – holy yum.
  2. barbeque potato: spot on tangy flavor – I thought Al “Bubba” Baker rolled in and snacked me up
  3. sour cream & onion potato: always my favorite variety, these don’t disappoint
  4. original potato: can’t beat the original flavor – just like a “regular” potato chip!
  5. sea salt & vinegar potato: personally still warming up to the vinegar flavoring on my chips
  6. cheddar potato: this is the only flavor I didn’t adore – but I didn’t hate it either.

I still need to try their new parmesan garlic and the jalapeno varieties. Don’t those sound amazing? If I see them around CLE, I’ll let you know! But my new favorite thing about this gluten free goodie? popchips has agreed to send one lucky PIP reader their own case of their product!

SO… HOW DO YOU WIN A CASE OF POPCHIPS?

1) Mandatory first entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me which popchips flavor you love or want to try the most. It’s that easy!

2) Follow @poiseinparma on Twitter. Please let me know if you do by commenting on this post!

3) Twitter users can get an extra entry each day for tweeting: “I want to win a case of @popchips & snack it up with @poiseinparma! http://wp.me/p1303r-15b”. Make sure to leave a comment on this post letting me know each time you did this!

4) Facebook users can “like” Poise in Parma for an extra entry by checking out the Facebook page here. Please let me know if you “like” me by commenting on this post!

5) Facebook users can also “like” popchips on Facebook. Please let me know if you “like” them by commenting on this post!

6) Add my blog to your Google Reader. Please let me know by commenting on this post.

You have until tomorrow – Wednesday, July 13th – at 11:59PM to enter. Make sure to leave a separate entry for each one of these that you accomplish! Here’s your chance to win a fun summer snack! I will announce the winner the morning of Thursday the 14th, so enter today! EDITED on 7/14: our winner is Jolene from Determined to Be!! CONGRATS!

Disclosure: After attending Fitbloggin 2011, I was offered a case of popchips to sample & review. In addition, I asked popchips to consider a giveaway of a case of their product to a lucky reader to be selected randomly via random.org. As always, my thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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