Category Archives: WW: 4

Lifeway Kefir Probiotic Kefir Bars

Picture 331Little bugs are quickly taking over the world, and by little bugs, I mean probiotic bacteria that has been sprouting up all over the grocery market. Probiotics are naturally found in food items such as yogurt and kefir, but now companies are adding it wherever possible. The latest probiotic craze comes in the form of bars. Lifeway Kefir presents their newest Wellness bars in 3 flavors: Chocolate Crisp, Sweet n’ Salty Peanut, and Pomegranate. These bars are found in the refrigerated aisle (right next to their kefir) which ensures the live and active cultures are alive and well before it hits your tummy.

From the site:

Kefir is the cousin of yogurt and it’s roots can trace back more than 2000 years. Originating in the Caucasus Mountains of Europe where people live well past 100 years, the word Kefir is thought to have been derived from the Turkish word “Keif” for “good feeling”, probably due to the sense of well-being experienced after drinking it.

Now Lifeway Foods, America’s leader in Kefir, has taken the probiotic power found in traditional Kefir, and transformed it into a nutritious, convenient, on the go, snack bar. Lifeway’s Kefir Wellness Bar contains the essential daily probiotics your body needs, and the great taste you deserve.

The bars range from 190 to 240 calories each and are a good 50 gram size. Each bar has a white frosting type layer covering each bar. The snowy white reminds me of snow and Christmas. I think it is the kefir layer which contains all 10 of the live and active cultures. See what it looks like inside here.

Chocolate Crisp: Like the name suggests, it has rice crisps in them . Firm, yet chewy texture with the rice crisps. Visually the biggest bar of the 3. Maybe the crisps “bulks” it up a bit. Not as chocolaty as I would like, but I like the crisps in it. Reminds me of Jamfrakas. No chocolate chunks in there, the chocolate flavor is blended in.  Good balance of chocolate flavor, crunch and chew. This combination works and it taste good. Could be higher in the fiber department, but fairs a decent 11 grams of protein.

Sweet n’ Salty Peanut:  Real peanut butter flavor with bits of peanuts nuts inside. I like it and if you like peanut butter flavored things, you will like it too. Sweet and salty for sure. I like the crunch. Very good.  Highest in calories, but definitely the most delicious. My favorite flavor of the three.

Pomegranate: Softest texture of the bars. Like puree inside with bits of walnuts that seem out of place. Flattest of the 3 bars. Don’t really dig this flavor because I think I’ve been spoiled by the taste of POM Wonderful as far as pomegranate flavored things goes. It doesn’t really taste like pure pomegranate flavor to me. Lowest in the sodium content (70 mg), but highest in the sugar department (24g).

I like how the three varieties are drastically different in terms of taste, and texture so there is something for everyone. The Wellness bars contain all the 10 live and active cultures you find in the drinkable Lifeway Kefir so it makes it simple to get your daily dose of healthy bacteria. Great to pack along with your lunch. The bars taste like regular bars and does not even taste “kefir-ish” if that makes any sense. I suggest you try all 3 before you decide if you like these bars are not because the differ drastically in terms of taste and texture. What I did not like about these bars is the 3 – 4 grams of saturated fat per bar.

Chocolate Crisp: Serving Size: One (50g per serving) Amount Per Serving: Calories 200, Fat Cal 50, Total Fat 6g (9% DV), Sat Fat 3.5g (18% DV), Trans Fat 0g (0%), Cholest 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 190mg (8%), Total Carb 27g (9% DV), Fiber 1g (4%), Sugars 15g, Sugar Alcohol 0g, Protein 11g (22% DV), Vitamin A (0% DV), Vitamin C (0% DV), Calcium (4% DV), Iron (15% DV), *Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Sweet n’ Salty Peanut: Serving Size: One (50g per serving)  Amount Per Serving: Calories 240, Fat Cal 120, Total Fat 13g (20% DV), Sat Fat 4g (20% DV), Trans Fat 0g (0%), Cholest 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 200mg (8%), Total Carb 25g (8% DV), Fiber 3g (12%), Sugars 12g, Protein 7g, Vitamin A (0% DV), Vitamin C (0% DV), Calcium (2% DV), Iron (6% DV), *Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Pomegranate: Serving Size: One (50g per serving)  Amount Per Serving: Calories 190, Fat Cal 45, Total Fat 5g (8% DV), Sat Fat 3g (15% DV), Trans Fat 0g (0%), Cholest 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 70mg (3%), Total Carb 32g (11% DV), Fiber 4g (16%), Sugars 24g, Protein 5g, Vitamin A (0% DV), Vitamin C (0% DV), Calcium (2% DV), Iron (8% DV), *Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Retails: $2.00 each @ Lifeway Foods Online Store
My Cost: Free (from Lifeway Kefir Representative)
Calories: 190 to 240 each
WW: 3-5

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Filed under Bars, Probiotic, Snacks, Whole Foods, WW: 3, WW: 4, WW: 5

True North Pecan Almond Peanut Cluster

TrueNorthClusterAnother brand of delicious nut clusters. Nuts are the way to go if you want a substantial snack that satisfies. Nothing like some good old healthy fats to keep the hunger monster at bay. I like that these are not that sweet. This particle combination is the Pecan Almond Peanut Cluster. The clusters are small little cubes. A little bit “dusty” from the nuts. Brown syrup holds the nut combination together, but does not glisten with syrup like other brands I’ve tried. Not overly sweet so the fresh flavors of the nuts can really be tasted. Love the combination of peanuts and almonds in here. The pecan flavor was lacking a bit in my opinion. The bag is supposedly resealable like a zip-lock bag, but maybe my bag is defective, because it does not close properly. True North cluster comes in a few varieties,  Pecan Almond Peanut, Almonds, Apple Cinnamon and Citrus Burst nut cluster. Aside from nut clusters, True North also makes Nut Crisps and have a line of whole nut snacks as well. Delicious and healthy. Two thumbs up.

These crunchy nut clusters combine roasted pecans, almonds and peanuts with a surprising hint of sweetness.

100% natural, no preservatives, no artificial flavors, no added clusters, and good source of protein.

One serving (28 grams) is 170 calories, 4 WW, 13 grams of fat (2 gram saturated, 3 grams PUFA & 8 grams MUFA), no cholesterol, 75 milligram of sodium, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 5 grams of sugar and 5 grams of protein.

Ingredients: Peanuts, Almonds, Brown Rice Syrup, Pecans, Organic Sugar and Sea Salt.

Don’t you love it when ingredient lists are nice and simple? Check out a $1.00 off coupon of their site if you are interest.

Retails: MSRP: $3.29 per 5.5 ounce bag
My Cost: Free (won Slim Shoppin’ giveaway)
Calories: 170 per ounce
WW: 4

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101th post

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Filed under Nuts, WW: 4

Kashi Fiery Fiesta Pilaf

hero Kashi had had their 7 Whole Grain Pilaf out for a while, but it was only until recently I had a chance to try the Kashi Fiery Fiesta Pilaf. Other varieties include the Original (no sodium) and the Moroccan Curry. The instant Kashi Pilafs are getting harder and harder to find. I think it is because Kashi is about to discontinue it and my local Whole Foods just dropped them too. The guy told me because it wasn’t selling well enough to keep on the shelves. I think it has something to do with the $2.99 price tag for a mere 2 servings, but for $1.00 I’m all about trying them. The package has some very simple instructions to follow. Simply cut the bag and nuke in the microwave for 60 seconds with 1 tablespoon of water. For safe measure, I nuked it for 2 minutes and skipped the water because I was going to add it into another dish. This is the rice pilaf that I find in some of my beloved Kashi frozen meals. The pilaf is already flavored, but it is not “marinated” in sauce. I bulked it up with some veggies to make my portion look bigger, but with the added ingredients, I was afraid it would make the meal taste bland so I did add some Tasty Bite Tikki Marsala sauce to my whole concoction. Before I added anything into the pilaf, I did do a taste test.

Whole grains you can see with black beans and corn.  Not mushy. Came out dry like what pilaf should be, but I did not add the 1 tablespoon of water as instructed to. Visible whole ingredients like whole grains, wheat berries, brown rice, black beans, corn, and some bay leaves to add flavor. Tasted a little SPICY and a little on the BLAND side. I think it makes a great base for a meal, but I would not eat this alone without adding more ingredients  and spicing it up. The pouch contains mostly grains, minimal corn and black beans. With most canned and pouched foods, sodium is the thing to look out for. Around 400 milligram of sodium for my meal is something I can accept. I made sure I did not salt anything else when I stir fried my vegetables to bulk my meal up. A good item to have around the house. I really like the 7 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein content in here. It really filled me up. Best eaten when freshly made, because it gets soggy and mushy as a leftover. Twitpic of my creation here. One serving of 1 cup (140 grams) is 210 calories, 4 WW, 5 grams of fat (0.5 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 400 grams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

Retails: $2.99 per pouch @ Whole Foods
My Cost: $1.00 on clearance
Calories: 210 per cup
WW: 4

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Filed under Fiber, Kashi, Pilaf, Whole Foods, WW: 4

Wildwoods Organics Shiitake Tofu Veggie Burger

IMG_0612Wildwood Organics has tons of great items. I was excited to try their sproutofu veggie burgers since they boast the “live soy advantage.” Supposedly, they are easier to digest because the soybeans are sprouted. Each Wildwoods Organic Sproutofu Veggie burgers come in a vacuumed package with 2 ready-to-eat patties. The patties are ready to eat, but I nuked it in the microwave for a quick hot meal in the form of a burger (twitpic here). The bowl was pretty oily afterward which was a little disappointing. Not very good shiitake flavor. The patty is a melody of vegetables and sprouted tofu and tasted chewy like real meat. Don’t over cook it or else it will get hard.

The second time around, I got smarter and microwaved it for a shorter period of time with a paper towel on the bottom to soak up some of the excess oil. It came out pretty oily and even more oil came out after I pressed the patty with the paper towel. I ended up just eating the inside of the patty and peeled off the outer layer which left me with pretty much next to nothing to eat. So much oil leads me to think that these veggie burgers are fried. I think it will be much better if they were baked. The shiitake flavor is faint, the texture chewy, but on the oily side.

One patty is 170 calories, 4 WW, 11 grams of fat (1.5 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 240 milligram of sodium, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein. Despite the not so high fiber and protein content for these kinds of veggie burgers, it was quite filling. Other Sproutofu flavor includes Original & Southwest. I like most of the Wildwood Organics products, but I will have to pass on their tofu burgers because of the oil factor. Tons of Wildwood Organic coupons here.

Authentic – The “True Original”
Made with Only Sprouted Soybeans for Enhanced Nutrition
#1 Selling Fresh Burger in the US – Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth
25% Organic Vegetables – Gluten Free – Easier to Digest


Retails: $3.99 per package @ Whole Foods
My Cost: Free
Calories: 170 per patty
WW: 4

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Filed under Fresh & Easy, Veggie Burger, Whole Foods, WW: 4

Breyers’ YoCrunch Yogurt

Halloween_3Dimage72dpiHalloween is creeping on us and that means its going to be candy season soon. Don’t throw away your wrappers because you can send them in for a FREE COUPON for one YoCrunch yogurts with mix-ins built in on the lid.

For up to two weeks following Halloween (which this year falls on Saturday, October 31), you can send any candy wrappers which their kids have earned trick or treating (limit one submission per household) to us, and in turn rewarded with a YoCrunch product coupon.

To participate, consumers can send candy wrappers to the following address: Shaina Zalma, YoCrunch, 9507 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 300, Bevelry Hills, CA 90210.

Now I haven’t tried any YoCrunch products myself personally, but they do look very promising as a TREAT. Besides the Fun Crunch line (candy mix ins), YoCrunch also has a Granola Crunch line, Light Line and a 100 Calories  line.  For those who have tried them, do leave comments and tell us what you think about them.


Retails: SRP $0.99 to $1.19 per YoCrunch
SRP $3.19 per 100 Calories 4 cup pack

My Cost: N/A
Calories: 180 to 200 per cup (w/ treat)
WW: 4

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Filed under WW: 4, Yogurt

POMx Iced Coffee

IMG_0337The wonderful people over at POM Wonderful just launched their new healthy buzz POMx Ice Coffee Lines and sent a couple of bottle for me to try. Their line includes flavors such as: Cafe Au Lait, Chocolate and Vanilla.

POMx Cafe Au Lait: Cute bottle as always with Pom Wonderful products. Milky tasting coffee. Similar to an iced latte you would get from Starbucks only it is pre-sweeten. The shot of antioxidants in not detectable, but good to know it is there. As with a lot of sweeten products, it is generally aimed to capture the taste of the general public, but can either be too sweet for some or not sweet enough for others. Judging by the palette of a person that does not add sugar to her coffee, of course I think it is sweet, but not as sweet tasting as other ready to drink coffees out there. Taste like something you can get at Starbucks. One bottle (10.5 oz) is 170 calories, 4 WW, 3 grams of fat (2 grams saturated), 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, no fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein. Good choice for a supermarket coffee. Ingredients include: reduced-fat milk, brewed Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee (water, coffee), POMx (POM Wonderful Antioxidant Extract — patent pending), organic cane sugar, natural caffeine.

POMx Chocolate: I was expecting some sort of mocha tasting drink, but I was surprise that it felt like I was just drinking chocolate milk — something I have not done in a long time. Then, upon closer taste testing, I found that there is a light residual coffee taste that lingers in your mouth after you sip it. Very chocolaty and delicious, but the coffee taste is masked by the strong chocolate flavor. One bottle (10.5 oz) is 190 calories, 4 WW, no fat, zero cholesterol, 160 milligram of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 30 grams of sugar, 10 grams of sugar alcohol, and 10 grams of protein. Ingredients include: non-fat milk, organic cane sugar, PomX (POM Wonderful Antioxidant Extract — patent pending), brewed Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee (water, coffee), erythritol (natural sweetener), cocoa, natural flavors, natural caffeine, carrageenan.

Overall, I think POMx iced coffee taste pretty good. The Cafe Au Lait has good strong coffee taste and the chocolate one tasted very indulgent and chocolatey with a coffee aftertaste, but the sugar in these are too much for me to handle, especially the Chocolate and Vanilla ones which has 30 grams of sugar plus 10 grams of sugar alcohol in the bottle. Scaling down the 10.5 ounce bottle back down to a normal 8 ounce serving, you are looking at about 133 to 145 calories per 8 ounce drink so it is similar to a can of regular soda. Although made by the POM Wonderful company, these coffee do not have any fruity pomegranate taste in them, just the extra boost of POMx antioxidants.

Retails: $2.99 per 10.5 oz bottle @ Whole Foods
My Cost: Free
Calories: 170 to 190 per bottle
WW: 4

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Filed under Drinks, WW: 4

Nutland Foods

IMG_0260Hope you guys were able to sign up for a free sample on Nutland Foods‘ website before they ran out. After reviewing the 3 bite sample they sent over (signed up online), the kind people over at Nutland Foods sent over their other varieties for me to try out too.

Berries and Cherries Crunch: Love the combination of nuts. The berries stuck to my teeth and molars which made them a little annoying to eat. The sweetness in here makes me like to end my meals with it. A nice nutty and sweet end. Visually, I see mostly almonds, then cashews, pistachios and then the dried fruits (cherries, cranberries, and blueberries). The cherries add a bit of a tart taste to the whole combination. Previous review here.

Cashews: Love the cashew goodness. The sugar flavor was pretty prominent, but not as much as the varieties with mix nut in it. The buttery-ness of the cashews shone through easily. My favorite variety of the bunch.

Almond: Lots of almonds– duh. About 5-6 almonds per bite. Yum. Fresh tasting like all the other varieties.

Pistachio Crunch: Pure pistachio goodness. I counted about 10 pistachios molded together per little square crunch. A tad sweet, but nevertheless, really good. The nuts are fresh  and each bite is pure pistachio goodness.

Pecans: Pecans are naturally higher in fat content than other nuts so I was not surprised to see that 6 pieces came out to be 170 calories. Each bite has about 4 dry roasted pecans molded together. The pecans tasted really fresh with sweetness added to it. I swear I could taste a faint hint of cinnamon in there too, but cinnamon was not on the ingredients list. Maybe it is hidden under “spices”. Not as sweet as candied pecans, but I think these will serve well on top of salads to add your healthy fats.

Trail Mix: If I did not look at the bag, I thought I was eating the Berries and Cherries Crunch variety. Those two are very similar, but the Trail Mix lacks a little tartness the cherries provide. This and the Berries and Cherries variety are noticeable sweeter than the other single nut varieties. Also, maybe because those varieties are “stickier”, the pieces tend to stick to each other, but you can easily break them apart. The sugar gloss that molds the nuts and berries together are clearly visible. Sweet, but not sickeningly so. Did not even noticed the pecan in here until I looked at the ingredients list.

Overall, Nutland Foods are very tasty snacks that are easy to take along with you in their resealable packaging. I wouldn’t be afraid of the fat content since we all know nuts are good for all their MUFA which I find helps satisfy the body a lot longer than a fat-free/low fat diet. What I would be mindful about is the sugar content. If you enjoy snacks like Mareblu Naturals and Mrs. May Trio nut snacks, you will find these enjoyably. Comparing the three brands, I find that the individual nuts as well as the “nugget” size in Nutland Foods are bigger. Maybe it is because they do not mold the nuts together as tightly as the other brands.

Berries and Cherries Crunch: One serving 1 oz (28g/about 6 pieces), is 140 calories, 3 WW, 9 grams of fat (1.5 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 95 milligram of sodium, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein. Ingredients list: dry roasted cashews, dry roasted almonds, evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, dry roasted pecans, dried sweetened cranberries (cranberries, sugar, sunflower oil), dry roasted pistachios, dried sweetened cherries (cherries, sugar, sunflower oil), dried sweetened blueberries (blueberries, sugar, sunflower oil), sea salt, natural flavor.

Cashew: One serving 1 oz (28g/about 6 pieces) is 140 calories, 3 WW, 10 grams of fat (2 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 100 milligram of sodium, 12 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein. Ingredients: dry roasted cashews, evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, sea salt, natural flavor.

Almond: One serving 1 oz (28g/about 6 pieces) is 150 calories, 3 WW, 11 grams of fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 95 milligram of sodium, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Ingredients: dry roasted almonds, evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, sea salt.

Pistachio: One serving 1 oz (28g/about 6 pieces), is 140 calories, 3 WW, 10 grams of fat (1 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 95 milligram of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrates, 2 gram of dietary fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein. Ingredients: dry roasted pistachios,evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, sea salt.

Pecan Crunch: One Serving of 1 oz (28g/about 6 pieces) is 170 calories, 4 WW, 16 grams of fat (1.5 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 95 milligram of sodium, 8 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Ingredients: dry roasted pecans, evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, sea salt, spice.Trail Mix: One Serving of 1 oz (28g/about 6 pieces), is 140 calories, 3 WW, 9 grams of fat (1.5 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 95 milligram of sodium, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein. Ingredients: Dry Roasted cashews, dry roasted almonds, evaporated cane juice, dried sweetened cranberries (cranberries, sugar, sunflower oil, brown rice syrup, dry roasted pecans, dry roasted pistachios, sea salt, natural flavor.

Retails: $3.99 per 5 oz bag @ Whole Foods
My Cost: Free
Calories: 140 to 170 per serving
WW: 3-4

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Filed under Nuts, Whole Foods, WW: 3, WW: 4