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Zone Perfect Nutrition Bar Review

On a journey to find something healthy, something quick, and something tasty, I have been started the daunting task of buying different nutrition/protein bars. Below is my review of Zone Perfect Nutrition Bar.

Let me first start off with information on the product as can be found on Amazon:

  • PROTEIN: ZonePerfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Nutrition Energy bars are packed with 10 grams of protein to keep you going through your day
  • VITAMINS: A good source of 18 vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants (Vitamins C, E, and Selenium) to help support your immune system
  • FLAVOR: Chunks of chocolate inside, drizzles of chocolate outside and the delicious doughy texture of cookie dough all throughout
  • INGREDIENTS: Our snack bars do not contain any artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols

Also, here is a list of their ingredients:

Brown Rice Syrup, Corn Syrup, Chocolate Drops (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla), Sodium Caseinate, Soy Protein Isolate, Sweet Cream Layer (Corn Syrup, Fructose, Palm Kernel Oil, Milk Protein Isolate, Natural Flavor, Salt, Soy Lecithin), Whey Protein Isolate, Brown Sugar, Pasteurized Whole Egg Powder, Fructose Syrup, Chocolate Flavored Coating (Sugar, Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa Powder [Processed with Alkali], Soy Lecithin, Nonfat Milk Powder, Vanilla), Glycerine, Less than 2% of the Following:, High Oleic Safflower Oil and/or High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Butter Powder (Butter [Cream, Salt], Nonfat Milk, Tocopherols, Ascorbyl Palmitate), Calcium Phosphate, Peanut Butter, Natural Flavor, Chocolate Powder (Natural Cocoa Powder, Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla), Salt, Vitamin & Mineral Blend (Calcium Phosphate, Ascorbic Acid [Vit. C], Magnesium Oxide, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate [Vit. E], Niacinamide [Vit. B3], Zinc Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate [Vit. B5], Ferrous Fumarate [Iron], Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vit. B6], Vitamin A Palmitate, Riboflavin [Vit. B2], Thiamine Mononitrate [Vit. B1], Folic Acid [Vit. B9], Chromium Chloride, Biotin [Vit. B7], Sodium Selenite, Sodium Molybdate, Cyanocobalamin [Vit. B12])


So now on to the actual review!

I bought these (thanks, Target) on a whim as I had heard of the Zone Diet and was intrigued that this came in several flavors including chocolate chip cookie dough and double dark chocolate. For those of you that do not know about the Zone Diet, you can click here for some information but essentially, like all diets, its mission is weight loss, its claim to fame is that you balance your hormone levels/blood sugar while staying “in the zone” and its process is complicated! I am definitely not advocating the Zone Diet, but I figured the bars were worth a try…

Now if you’ve ever had a meal replacement bar, a protein bar, or a “nutrition bar” you know those things can get hard like rocks, chewy like gum, or taste like chalk! Now, these bars actually taste good but my goodness are they sweet! Yes, I know I went for chocolate chip cookie dough but 18g of sugar in 1.58oz (45g) of a bar???? That’s 40% of the bar being nothing but sugar! How that adheres to the “zone diet” I have no idea because it must send your blood sugar levels through the roof! And yes, I know they say their bars “do not contain any artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols”. However, in the ingredients list has several syrups, sugars, oils, and butters which are definitely not good – plut the dreaded “natural flavor” is in there on repeat which is not good because it is essentially lab created but with “natural” components. Okay, let me say though that the bars do taste good overall and they are chewy without being rubbery!

Final thoughts – Would I buy these again? No. It’s not that they did not taste good but I do not feel full or sustainable after eating these. Typically a bar with 10-12g of protein should leave you feeling a bit more full than these do. Also, I am not one for sweets (I totally prefer savory snacks) so the fact that these are so sweet are a bit of a turnoff for me. I have also tried these pre- and post- workout and again, I do not feel satisfied so I am prone to eat again which is counterintuitive.

Cost – $15.99/12 bars (Amazon) or $8.99/10 (Target)

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First Impression…Very Impressed!

Normally when it comes to trying mascara, I am very hesitant because I have sensitive eyes and if the mascara flakes, my eyes will react very badly. However, I opted to give this one a real try because the L’Oreal brand has proven to be fairly reliable in the past. Well, when I first got it, the package did not do it justice because it looks like an old tube of mascara that just got re-packaged. Then I opened the tube and that brush looks like a medieval torture device especially if I was going to attempt my bottom lashes at all. Right out of the tube, the product was clumpy and did have a bit of a typical mascara smell but I still applied one coat to give it a fair chance.
As you can see by the photos below, the bottom shot (excuse my sleep deprived eyes) has no product and after ONE coat, my lashes look longer and fuller -even my bottom lashes! This product truly separated, curled, and added volume to my normally long but thin lash lines. You have to have a steady hand as the brush is not the most user-friendly. However, there was almost no fallout from the mascara even after 10 hours! It also removed easily without heavy makeup remover.
Overall, I would give this a very high 9 as I would like to give it a few more tries before making my final determination (especially to see what happens to the formula upon oxidation) but so far, as a first impression, this is amazing!image1

Online Health Food Markets – What Saves You More

With summer quickly approaching -and by summer I mean actual beach weather, people are dieting like crazy to be swimsuit ready. These diets tend to consist of healthier food options but the problem is how that all affects the wallet! Even if you go to your local grocery store, you rarely see a sale on fresh produce but you will almost always see a sale and half down the chips and soda aisle.

So what options do we have when we need to eat healthier AND manage our crazy schedules? I have scouted 2 online retailers to compare their prices on a few items and see which one came out on top. The 2 online retailers are Thrive Market and Amazon. Ready?

Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo – 12 oz jar
Thrive Market – $7.45
Amazon – $14.28

Calbee Non-GMO Lightly Salted Snapea Crisps Snacks
Thrive Market – $1.45 (3.3 oz bag)
Amazon – $17.99 (6 x 3.3 oz = $2.99/bag)

Mavuno Harvest Organic Dried Jackfruit
Thrive Market – $6.95 (6 oz bag)
Amazon – $26.45 (6 x 2.0 oz = $13.23/bag)

Lundberg Farms Rice Chips – Fiesta Lime
Thrive Market – $2.45 (6 oz bag)
Amazon – $26.62 (24 x 1.5 oz = ~$4.44/bag)

KETTLE & FIRE GRASS-FED BEEF BONE BROTH
Thrive Market – $8.95 (17.6 oz package)
Amazon – $15.95 (17.6 oz package)

ANNIE’S HOMEGROWN ORGANIC MACARONI AND CHEESE
Thrive Market – $2.25 (6 oz box)
Amazon – $36.34 (12 x 6 oz = ~$3.03/box)

Now keep in mind that Amazon’s prices do change frequently AND they offer 2-day shipping to Prime members so that is important to keep in mind. Also, Amazon is well known for their price-matching should the item you bought change in price within a couple of days.

Additionally, and this is key, Thrive Market does require a membership similar to Sam’s Club, BJ’s or Costco which needs to be paid annually. Also, your order has to be over $49 to qualify for free shipping so buying items one at a time is not cost effective. Lastly, Thrive Market DOES offer a free 30-day trial period and a free grocery item (mine was a jar of coconut oil).

End result? Thrive Market is the clear winner. I have purchased items from them previously and have been very happy with their selection, delivery, and packaging. One item I bought was in a glass jar so it was wrapped with bubble wrap, saran wrap, paper filling, and carefully sorted among the other items so it wouldn’t crack. This key to detail far surpasses other online retailers I have worked with in the past.

Lastly, I wanted to note that this is NOT a sponsored post and I am not in any way affiliated with Thrive Market other than having been a customer on my own journey to healthier food selections.

Waist trainers – Worthwhile or a waste?

We have been hearing about these devices for the past few months, even years, like it is a new concept and has miraculous results. So…even though the Kardashians, and other actresses, swear by it, is a waist trainer worthwhile or just a waste?

For those of you that are not 100% sure what a waist trainer is, please just take 2 minutes, go to Google.com and search the term. I’ll wait. Got it? Okay, so now that we are on the same page to what this is I will confirm your first suspicion -yes, it looks like a torture device and yes, this is exactly what you remember Shakespearean actors being tied up in back in the day.

So that leads to me next point – these waist trainers are essentially corsets and bustiers that are on steroids. The concept of these waist trainers are exactly what their predecessors were made for -cinch the waist, enhance the cleavage, and make the woman appear like an anatomical fluke. The waist trainers of today claim that by wearing these for extended period of time, your body will actually morph -not through any exercise, diet, or surgery but only by wearing this contraption, into an hourglass shape that will be permanent.

So…this post is to scour the research and confirm if any of these claims are true or if these devices are just fads.

Waist trainers are meant to only be worn for a couple of hours a day and not during vigorous exercise. Why? Physicians and health care professionals are going on blast stating that cinching your waist beyond healthy parameters is actually putting pressure on organs which can cause long term damage. Dr. Caroline Apovian, of Boston University School of Medicine, reported to Health.com that “there’s no evidence” that these devices even do anything once you take off the super tight bandage. Additionally, these are hazardous to your health as it causes discomfort when it is too tight which can disrupt breathing or lead to heartburn if the stomach is pushed up beyond the diaphragm (MacMillan, 2015). Less severe that putting pressure on the rib cage, lungs, stomach, and diaphragm would be the damage that these kind of devices cause to your skin. Think of it like this – if you were to wrap your stomach with an bandage to enhance sweating and drop a couple of inches of water weight repeatedly, your skin would suffer and eventually cause a rash, acne, or other irritations that could get infected. Lastly, these trainers are meant to cinch the waist and give an hourglass figure but if you workout in these, real trainers and health care providers have stated that the core is actually weakened as it is not used properly which can also damage the spine (MacMillian, 2015; Ross, 2015).

So…waist trainer… Does it give you a temporary new figure? Yep. Should you wear it if you need that extra boost of confidence for a photo shoot or even a special occasion? Perhaps. However, wearing these long term can cause a lot of irritation and problematic health conditions. So is it really worth the look or should you invest a little extra time at the gym? In my opinion, this is a fad that needs to be put to rest. Our ancestors from the 1500s were not fans and neither am I. Cut the latex and spandex for a little more effort.