Jul 11

Product Review: Emile Noel Organic Sunflower Oil Cooking Spray

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Founded in 1920, Emile Noël makes over 20 organic virgin vegetable oils including mild olive oil, robust olive oil, sesame oil, roasted sesame oil, sunflower oil, pumpkin seed oil, hazelnut oil, walnut oil, macadamia nut oil, and sweet almond oil. There’s a flavor for every palate and style of cooking – helping to ensure a varied and balanced diet. Emile Noel’s oils are organic, non-GMO, and Fair Trade, representing the essence of nature and sustainability. Click here to learn more about Emile Noël.

I’m sure you remember me writing about Emile Noël mild olive oil back in May. The oil was pure, natural, organic, and had superior quality. Sadly, I’ve used it all up cooking and baking during the last few months.

Lucky for me, I had another opportunity to work with Emile Noël again, and this time I got to try their Organic Cooking Spray made with Sunflower Oil. I use cooking spray oils ALL THE TIME. I mean, who doesn’t? So obviously, I was thrilled to be trying Emile Noël’s spray that is not only organic, but also farmed without chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, or GMOs, just like the rest of Emile Noel’s line of products.

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Most cooking oil sprays are convenient and easy to use, but are loaded with chemicals, propellants, and other artificial additives, not to mention the dozens of sprays that contain gluten. Whether choosing oils for frying, flavor, or grilling, Emile Noël’s sunflower oil spray is a great choice. The neutral-tasting sunflower oil won’t get in the way of the flavors of what you are cooking. I’ve used it for baking and cooking, and on raw vegetables and salads in place of marinades and dressings. It is so versatile and easy to use, and not to mention much healthier than most cooking sprays on store shelves.

Emile Noel artisan oils are available in the US at select Whole Foods Markets, Sprouts and various natural food stores. To find a retail location nearest you click here. A limited number of flavors are also available on Amazon.com in packs of 6, good for those who like to buy in bulk or want to give it as gifts.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

1 Comment

This entry was posted in oil, organic, Product Review and tagged , , on 11 July, 2014.

Jul 10

Teranga, Senegalese Dining in the heart of the South End

Teranga offers welcoming tastes of Senegal. Located in the heart of the South End, Teranga is Boston’s first Senegalese restaurant.

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Teranga literally means hospitality in Wolof, a Senegalese language. In Senegal, hospitality is more than an art and culture; it’s a way of life. Teranga is the spirit of camaraderie, tolerance, and acceptance of one another. In the Senegalese culture, they strongly believe in taking care of anyone who crosses their path, especially guests. At Teranga restaurant we they mirror the Senegalese culture and invite guests to do the same.

Senegalese cuisine is a melting pot of diverse cultures including French, Asian, Arabic, and African. The exposure to different cultures has allowed to harmoniously blend together all the varied tastes to create a unique cuisine. At Teranga restaurant, they revive the distinct qualities of Senegal’s cultural influences, adapting and incorporating local, regional, and international ingredients into authentic culinary creations.

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I first worked with Teranga’s owner and chef Marie-Claude on two big (100+ people) catering orders for my office in 2010. Although I coordinated both events I did not get to try the food, but wish I had as everybody raved about it for months. Since then I’ve been to Teranga twice, including my most recent visit for my birthday dinner.

Teranga’s menu is almost entirely gluten free. There are only three things on the menu that do contain gluten: Croquettes de poisson (pan fried fish cakes), Fataya (stuffed pastry), and the Moroccan couscous.

The menu makes great use of fish and lamb, cassava, sweet potatoes, onions and rice. There are also many vegetarian options available.

What I ate:

Vegetarian Nems ($6): Spring rolls stuffed with rice vermicelli, chopped green & red peppers, grated carrots, scallions, and dried mushrooms, served with nuoc mam dressing. Wrapped in rice paper, it’s fried so it’s still chewy but crisp on the edges. You can also order them filled with chicken and beef. The spring rolls are slightly sweeter than traditional Asian spring rolls.

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Salade de la Teranga ($7) with mixed greens, tomatoes, shredded carrots, and chopped mango served with a house made vinaigrette. The salad was light and fresh.

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Every entrée dish sounded delicious so making a decision was tough. We were told the michoui ($16), lamb shank, was the best dish on the menu and had to try it. So we did. The roasted shank with herbs, caramelized onions, and Moroccan couscous, which we subbed for rice, was absolutely delicious. The meat was tender and juicy and fell right off the bone. It was by far the best dish on the menu, and one of the best lamb dishes I’ve had in a long long time, at such a reasonable price too.

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Brochettes de Poulet ($15), grilled skewered cubes of tangy chicken breast served with fried sweet potatoes and onion and sriracha sauce. The flavors were incredibly, but the chicken was a bit dry.

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Thiebou Djeun (National Dish $13), herbed stuffed white fish cooked in tomato stew and served with cassava, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, and pumpkin. The rice is SUPER spicy, hence why it’s served with a lime.

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Since it was my birthday, Marie Claude was kind enough to make me gluten free dairy free plantain and cinnamon cakes with fresh fruit, along with three sangria shots, one for each of us.

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Drinks are also creative and delicious.

Teranga Supreme: Fresh ginger juice, lime, passion fruit, bissap, sake, and cana.

Teranga Supreme: Fresh ginger juice, lime, passion fruit, bissap, sake, and cana.

I highly recommend Teranga. You can’t find anything else like it in Boston. From the food and drink to the incredibly hospitality, you will surely have a great night!

 


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This entry was posted in African, Boston, Restaurant Review, South End and tagged , , , on 10 July, 2014.

Jul 09

Nature Made is giveawaying great products every day in July

Made in Nature – a Boulder, Colorado based organic foods company – has partnered with like-minded brands such as Noosa Yoghurt, Larabar, Celestial Seasonings and many other top-tier companies for the entire month of July to give away great summer-centric products every day.

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To enter, fans simply visit Made In Nature on Facebook and like, share or comment on that day’s post for a chance to win organic Made In Nature dried fruit plus the brand partner’s product, including Enjoy Life Foods, Larabar, Pacific Northwest Kale Chips, Annie’s, and so many more great companies!!

 

Made in Nature selects the freshest, finest organic fruit, picks them at the culinary peak, and dries them to pure perfection to capture the flavor you crave.  Made in Nature dose not use products that contain gluten or tree nuts. While some Made in Nature prepared foods – like the Organic Pizza products – may contain gluten, these foods are not made in the same facility as our gluten free products, like our delectable dried fruit.

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This entry was posted in Giveaway, nut free and tagged on 9 July, 2014.

Jul 08

B/SPOKE Studio // Boston’s Newest Indoor Cycling Studio

On July 9, Massachusetts’ entrepreneurs Ryan Olsen and Mark Partin will open a unique, high technology indoor cycling and lifestyle studio.

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Located in the heart of Boston’s Financial District, B/SPOKE Studios’ mission is to cater to riders’ mind, body, and spirit through their personalized, lifestyle-focused studio. Breaking the mold of traditional fitness models, B/SPOKE will provide an invigorating, low impact, full-body workout that physically challenges while also providing mental, spiritual and social stimulation through methods including an original online magazine component, “The Journal,” that promotes their model for overall wellness as it relates to the City of Boston. By employing B/SPOKE’s approach, the studio helps riders find a sustainable path to better health and personal growth while enjoying a revitalizing workout.

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Beginning July 9, B/SPOKE will be offering 20 complimentary classes to the public that can be reserved in advance on their website now: www.bspokestudios.com. The studio is equipped with 6 showers (four female and two male), a handicap bathroom, one private changing room, two separate changing areas, a purified water refilling station and coded lockers for day-time use.

Every ride comes with complimentary bottled water, heart rate monitors, towels and indoor cycling shoes.

New members can buy a one month unlimited pass for just $99. This is a one-time deal, good for only the first month. Individual classes cost $27. A 5-class package costs $125 ($25 per class), 10 classes costs $240 ($24 per class), 25 classes cost $550 ($22 per class), and 50 classes costs $1000 ($20 per class). The 25 and 50-class packages are valid for 12 months, while the 5-class package must be used within 3 months and the 10-class package is valid for 6 months.

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I’m taking a class tomorrow night, I can’t wait to check it out! I will update you after the class and let you know what I think!

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This entry was posted in Boston, Financial District, fitness and tagged , , on 8 July, 2014.

Jul 07

Beauty Care Choices – EVOLVh Gluten Free UltraShine Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner Review & Giveaway

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Since 2004 Beauty Care Choices (formerly Hair Care Choices) has been the online resource for shoppers looking for their favorite salon products and having them conveniently shipped to their home or business. Beauty Care Choices expanded their selection from professional hair care items to now carrying skincare, cosmetics, nail care, and many other specialty items for all your beauty needs.

The thing I like most about Beauty Care Choices, besides the number of products available, is how easy it is to search by ingredients. Rather than having to check out each items ingredient list to make sure it’s sage, you can search specifically for gluten items. You can also search by: Alcohol Free, Fragrance Free, Organic, Paraben Free, Sodium-Chloride Free, Sulfate Free and Vegan.

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I recently tried UltraShine Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner buy EVOLVh. UltraShine is a gentle, luxurious cleanser that is ideal for color-treated and virgin hair. It cleanses gently while infusing moisture and nutrients, leaving your hair feeling lustrous and nourished.

Ultrashine is perfect for all hair types as the formula is lightweight. It is not only gluten free but also free of any harsh sulfates and potentially toxic preservatives and parabens. It has a wonderful smell; I really haven’t been able to stop sniffing my hair. I love it!

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The conditioner is the perfect pairing to the UltraShine shampoo, and is also ideal for all hair types. It is highly nourishing and restorative, yet still lightweight. My hair has more shine and feels healthier than it did just last week. It has a new softness and manageability.

UltraShine Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner retail for $24.99 each for an 8.5 oz. bottle. Free shipping is available for all orders over $49. I love this, I can do all my beauty shopping online and have it delivered to my door for free!

Use promo code jessica10 to save 10% off your order! The code is good until July 22, 2014.

One lucky reader is going to win UltraShine Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner! To enter, simply use the rafflecopter below.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on July 14, 2014 t 11:59pm. Open to U.S. Residents only.

Disclaimer: I received these products for free to sample and review for my blog.  I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

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This entry was posted in Giveaway, hair, Product Review and tagged , , on 7 July, 2014.

Jul 06

UrthBox Gluten Free Monthly Subscription Box Review // Discover A Healthier You

Urthbox is a monthly subscription box of healthy new foods, beverages, snacks and more delivered to your door every month. With 4 options available— classic, gluten free, vegan, and diet— you’ll receive foods that fit your dietary needs; it’s a great way to discover new foods. All products are non-GMO, organic, and all natural.

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Starting at just $19 a month, Urthbox is a filled with full-size healthy treats. Every month Urthbox helps you discover safe, healthy, and natural products from trustworthy brands that you can purchase at your local stores or at the UrthBox shop.

How it works:

Choose a Box:

o   Select a box from the Classic, Gluten Free, Vegan or Diet box options.

o   Select a box size:

o   Choose from a one month, three month, or six month subscription.

The lower prices apply when you subscribe for multiple months at a time.

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Shipment: Each month your UrthBox will ship at the same time. You’ll receive an email once your box is ready to ship. Shipping is free on all boxes shipped in the US.

I love that Urthbox offers a gluten free option, and that their emphasis is on healthy non-GMO, organic, and all natural products. I received the June box that contained a combination of food, beverages, and snacks.

This box was filled with great products, some favorites and some new products. I liked the variety or products I received and the amount; I didn’t feel short handed. And it’s even better that each snack is full-size, not sample size!

Inside Urthbox:

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Home Free Vanilla Cookies ($4.19) – Free of the 8 most common food allergens and certified gluten free. They also are low sodium, low glycemic, and have no trans fat or cholesterol. Certified a good source of whole grain, certified kosher pareve, certified vegan, and certified organic (70% organic ingredients).

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Seaweed Love All Natural Roasted Seaweed ($1.50) – roasted seaweed is a healthy and tasty treat, low in calories and fat, and packed with vitamins and minerals.

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Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas, Bombay Spice ($5.19) – Colorful, bold and exotic. A guilt-free snack that’s a good source of protein. Take a bite—you’ve never tasted anything like it before.

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Peeled Snacks Apple Clusters($1.92) – This snack provides a great source of vitamins, minerals and a full serving of fruit with no added sugar. Apple Clusters are diced organic apples pieces, rolled into tasty clusters for a new crunchy snack bursting with natural flavor.

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Missy J’s Coconut, Almond, and Sea Salt Truffley Treats ($2.99) Vegan chocolate. No caffeine, refined sugar, gluten or dairy.

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Katapult Tomato Basil Flax ($6.50) – Flavors of fresh basil mixed with powerful tomato and filled with crunchy flax.

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Smooch Fruit Snack, Strawberry, Blueberry and Banana($3.05) The consistency is thicker than juice but not as thick as apple sauce. I added this to my morning smoothie (spinach, pineapple, berries, and carrots).

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Natural Sins Crispy Thins Pineapple ($3.08) – 100% natural, baked dried fruit. NO Preservatives, Fat-free, sodium-free, GMO-free, Dye-free, low calorie, and rich in fiber.


Ground-Based Nutrition Superfood Protein Smoothie, Strawberry Creme ($3.99) – A convenient, all-in-one nutritional shake that contains a blend of plant-based proteins, greens, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and digestive enzymes, and zero grams of sugar. This product is 100% natural and contains no artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, dyes, or man-made synthetic chemicals. Superfood Protein Smoothie is vegan friendly, gluten free, soy free, whey free and dairy free.

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Most products are available for purchase through the Urthbox online store. I’ve seen some of the products in my local grocery stores, and you can also purchase many of the items on Amazon.

You’ll also earn loyalty points for every subscription month, for referring friends, and for every purchase you make at the UrthBox Ship. You can easily redeem your points for even bigger discounts.

UrthBox is a great way to discover and try new products. I love trying new products, and what better way then being able to try one portion size before investing tons of money into a product I’m not sure I will like. I’m not the only one who’s shelled out $8 -$12 for a package of cookies, crackers, or other gluten free food, just to find out I don’t like it. It’s one of the worst feelings ever!

Urthbox Coupon: Want to try out Urthbox for less? “Use code “crunchweek” at checkout and you’ll get $10 off your first Urthbox!

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This entry was posted in organic, Product Review, subscription and tagged , , on 6 July, 2014.

Jul 04

Product Review: Propresser Stainless Steel Garlic Press

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Unlike many of the garlic pressers on the market that are made from cheap zinc alloy, the Propresser Garlic Press is fashioned from 100% stainless steel. It won’t rust, won’t weaken at the joint, and won’t break. The Propresser Garlic Press was designed to serve you for years and decades to come. It’s heavy duty, and quality construction, but it weighs in at a svelte 9.3 oz. so anyone can use it effortlessly.

It was also designed with ease of use in mind. To use, hold the Propresser Garlic Press in your hand. Right away I noticed the thickness of the handles and how comfortably my fingers wrapped around them. With a clove of garlic nestled in the basket the handles are the ideal distance apart to maximize leverage. Gently squeeze the handles together. I was delighted at how easily and how effortlessly the Propresser Garlic Press produces perfectly minced garlic. The basket was pretty large too, larger than some of the other garlic presses I’ve owned throughout the years.

And clean up is a breeze! To clean the the Propresser Garlic Press, simply flip up the basket, rinse it under the faucet, and you’re done! Yes it’s really that simple. You can enjoy the flavor and health benefits of garlic instantly without the hassle of messy cleanup.

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When I first took the Propresser Garlic Press out of its box, I marveled at the way light dances over the stainless steel handles and glides over the curves of its ergonomic design. This is such a beautiful complement to my kitchen’s décor.

And the price is incredibly. You can purchase the Propresser Garlic Press on Amazon for 70% off! That’s right this $69.99 garlic press is available for only $16.99! It is such a steal. It looks and feels expense, and you will surely impress your guests with Propresser Garlic Press. And it also makes for a wonderful gift for anyone who likes to cook.

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More than just garlic – it’s also good for pressing garlic. You know how hard it is to cut ginger into tiny pieces for cooking – problem solved!


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

2 Comments

This entry was posted in Product Review and tagged on 4 July, 2014.

Jul 03

Gluten Free Product Review: Beanfields Bean and Rice Chips

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Beanfields Bean and Rice Chips are a delicious, healthy snack that can replace those plain old corn chip. Plus, they are perfect for people with food allergies. Beanfields chips are made from beans and rice, not corn. Not only are they free of corn but, they are cholesterol free, trans fat free, and free of the FDA’s eight most common food allergens!

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Yes, that’s right! Beanfields are not only gluten free but they are also dairy free, corn free, soy free, egg free, nut free, and vegan!

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Made with beans instead of corn or potatoes, Beanfields are rich in nutrients and minerals. One serving has 4g of fiber, twice as much as corn or potato chips, 4g of complete protein, also twice as much as most corn or potato chips, 30% less fat and one third less sodium than most corn tortilla chips.

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Beanfield Chips are made with all natural, non-GMO ingredients. You won’t find any gums, fillers or binders, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors in these chips.

Beanfields chips are first and foremost a great tasting snack. Available in 7 flavors, Beanfields distinctive crunch and delicious flavors will make these your anytime, go-to chip.

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I love bean chips, so I jumped at the opportunity to try Beanfields Bean and Rice Chips. With black beans being the first ingredient, I just knew I was going to enjoy these chips.

All of the nutritional benefits really don’t matter unless the product actually tastes good, right? Well luckily Beanfields taste great! I had the chance to try all seven flavors and I was not disappointed. Of course I liked some better than others, but there wasn’t one flavor I did not like.

Sea Salt has always been one of my favorites. Although I don’t tend to eat salty foods, when it comes to chips sea salt is on the top of my list. Beanfields Sea Salt Chips have just the right amount of salt without being too salty. The salt really enhances the natural rice and bean flavor of the chips.

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The Unsalted chips are great for those on a low salt or salt free diet. This was my least favorite of the bunch. I would eat them again, but these would not be my first choice.

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The Salt N Pepper had a strong black pepper taste, which a zing that I could feel long after the chip was swallowed. If you like the taste of black pepper, these are for you. If you don’t then I recommend sticking to the other flavors.

Pico De Gallo – it was like eating chips and salsa without the salsa. A great flavor, no salsa or dip needed.

Nacho- I’ve never been a nacho flavored chip person. What I liked about Beanfields Nacho chips was that the flavor was not too overpowering, there wasn’t a strong cheese taste, and I could still taste the beans.

The Ranch remind me of Doritos Cool Ranch Chips.  I’m not a huge Ranch fan, and Jeremy didn’t really enjoy this flavor either.

Theblack beans and long grain rice mixes with the natural smoky barbecue flavoring when you’re chewing each chip, giving the The Barbeque flavor a unique taste.

The only thing I don’t like about Beanfields is that some of the flavors – Ranch, Barbeque, Pico de Gallo, and Nacho – contain yeast. I try not to eat yeast. I eat something containing yeast about once a month, so unfortunately I won’t be eating these flavors very often.

Beanfields Bean and Rice chips have a wonderful crunchy texture, just what you would expect from a corn tortilla chip.

Beanfields is family owned company that cares about what goes into their snacks, your body, and how it all impacts the planet. They take pride in farming and producing their products in the U.S.A. They care about their employees by dedicating a portion of their profits to employee profit sharing. They also help contribute non-profit efforts to help farmers grow more sustainable crops. After all, better farmed crops mean better products for us.

Beanfields Bean and Rice Chips are sold at dozens of retail locations in and around Boston. You can also purchase Beanfields Chips on Amazon.

Disclaimer: I received these products for free to sample and review for my blog.  I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

 

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This entry was posted in dairy free, nut free, Product Review, Snack, Soy free, Vegan and tagged , , , , , on 3 July, 2014.

Jul 02

ICONIC All Natural Gluten Free Protein Drink Review & Giveaway

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ICONIC is an all-natural protein drink that offers a convenient low-calorie breakfast or snack for on-the-go consumers.  Packed with 20 grams of high quality protein to satisfy hunger, but only 130 calories and 3 grams of sugar—awesome.

ICONIC is available in two flavors: Chocolate Truffle and Pure Vanilla Bean. Both are gluten free, lactose free, soy free, and contain no artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect since the drink only contains 3 grams of sugar an no lactose (lactose is what gives milk it’s sweet taste). And I was surprised how sweet it did taste! It wasn’t too sweet that I couldn’t drink these in the morning.

I liked the chocolate truffle; it reminded me of drinking chocolate milk as a kid, but without the thick consistency and coating it can leave in your mouth. And I loved the pure vanilla bean!

Not only does ICONIC have 20 grams of protein per serving, it is also loaded with vitamins and minerals including sodium, potassium, calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Phosphorus, and Magnesium.

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The 20 grams of protein and 4g of fiber kept me full all morning and the extra boost of energy from the B12 kept me alert and on top of my game all morning at work.

The delicious and smooth taste, along with the premium natural ingredients, set ICONIC apart from competition in the market.

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ICONIC was so generous to offer one my lucky readers to win a bottle of each flavor! To enter, simply click on the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to U.S. residents only. This giveaway ends on July 16, 2014.

ICONIC hasn’t made its way into stores in MA yet, but you can order cases (12 pack) online for $36.

 

Allergen info: ICONIC contains milk.

 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

5 Comments

This entry was posted in Beverage, Giveaway, Product Review, Soy free and tagged , , , on 2 July, 2014.

Jul 02

Café Don Pablo Signature Blend Gourmet Coffee Review and Giveaway

As many of you know, I love coffee. I drink coffee everyday, religiously. So when the chance to try a new coffee was presented to me, I didn’t think twice.

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The idea to produce a better cup of coffee through Café Don Pablo was conceived over two decades ago after traveling throughout Latin America and discovering how delicious, and different, the coffee was. Over the years they have developed a love for Latin American culture and a taste for great coffee. They have learned from the best and forged mutually beneficial relationships with farmers, roasters, importers, and especially the customers.

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At Café Don Pablo they feel that their coffee is the finest available. They use only the largest, most desirable Arabica beans, grown in nutrient-rich volcanic soil in the lush mountainous terrain of the world’s coffee growing regions. These are award-winning beans that were cultivated by skilled farmers whose methods, knowledge, and passion for coffee have been handed down from generation to generation since the very first seed was planted.

As soon as my package arrived I could smell the coffee. When I opened the bag, the aroma of fresh coffee filled my kitchen. It was divine. I could not get over how strong and how fresh the coffee smelled. I couldn’t wait to try it! Also, can we note how big this 2 lb bag is!!

Café Don Pablo’s Signature Blend Coffee is a medium-dark roast made with coffee beans from Colombia, Guatemala, and Brazil. Blended for taste, each of these coffees have distinct body characters and levels of acidity, making the coffee more complex in the cup than a single origin varietal. The beans are slow roasted in small batches to ensure they reach optimum flavor and freshness.

 

A sweetly intense, balanced aroma with milk chocolate, cedar and ripe tomato notes. The acidity is sweet and well integrated and the body medium to full. The finish is cocoa-toned and very smooth.

I appreciate a really great cup of rich, aromatic, eye-opening coffee. I can really taste the difference between a fresh, just roasted product, and others that are roasted by the metric ton and sold by huge corporations. Café Don Pablo knows how to roast coffee.

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Now for the good part! I’m sure all you coffee lovers out there are really going to like this; one lucky reader is going to win a bag of Café Don Pablo’s Signature Blend Coffee! To enter, simply click on the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

This giveaway will end on July 7, 2014 at 11:59pm.

 

You can purchase Café Don Pablo’s Signature Blend Coffee for $12.99 on Amazon.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

13 Comments

This entry was posted in Beverage, Giveaway, Product Review and tagged , , , on 2 July, 2014.