Archive for April, 2014

April 28, 2014

Nutrisystem for Vegetarians

by jem614

I finally did it, I signed up with the millions on Nutrisystem.  I know many of you are tut-tutting and shaking your head thinking I’ve gone off the deep end.  Before you judge me, let me give you a little background:

I’ve been curious about Nutrisystem for years and never jumped on board because I was afraid of spending $300 on something I would hate.  I also didn’t want to eat a bunch of prepackaged foods that were full of salt and crap for a month or more.  However, after researching it and after several people in my life have recently lost on NS, I was convinced I needed to at least try it. I don’t have hundreds of pounds to lose, just 15-20 lbs that I’ve been packing around since leaving New York (and travelling by car instead of walking around the city).

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The Positives:
A friend of mine lost her baby weight by doing NS and she liked it as a great way to get on track.  Our pastor at our church also recently signed up his family and the entire family has lost weight.  They look amazing, I think they are actually what sealed the deal because his wife is losing so much weight, it’s obvious.

Most of all, after reading a bunch on it, I realized that NS actually advocates healthier eating.  Yes, the foods are frozen or freeze dried and yes, they aren’t realistic to eat long term (though some do) but they encourage the food groups and you’re required to eat 4 servings of veggies a day, healthy protein sources, minimal fruit to cut down on the sugar habit and they even use stevia and monkfruit in some of their products.  I am seriously impressed because this company always seemed to be so unhealthy to me.

Nutrisystem also has a vegetarian plan, though most of it is pastas and pizza and lasagna, it is quite tasty.  I haven’t found one meal that I hate yet.  In just three days, I’ve already lost 3 lbs.

If you order now, you get the 28 days + the Fast Five and it comes out to less than $50/week average (if you have the right discounts, etc) for month 1- just remember if you choose auto ship, you will be charged a penalty if you choose to cancel after month 1.

For those of you that are worried about paying $200-300 right out of your pocket, there is the Bill Me Later option and you can pay as you go- no interest and no payments for six months (if that is still available).

The Negatives:
The portion sizes are really small.  I was excited to eat my muffins every morning but they are so tiny!  I seriously thought I was missing some of my breakfast.  The soups are so minuscule that I thought there must be a mistake.  Nope, not a mistake, amazingly I’m not craving crap though!

It comes all at once.  I have an incredibly huge box sitting behind my desk right now.  28 days + 7 days of the Fast 5 is a lot of food.  The benefit of this is that you can pick and choose what you have each day so you don’t get bored.

Your first week, you will be hungry (unless you’re used to eating very little).  My stomach is shrinking slowly but I’m still hungry on day 3 around 3pm and today, I forgot my veggies so I’ll have to starve till I get on the road and can get some veggies from the store.

But….
The most important thing- it’s Do-ABLE!  The portions are small but honestly, it kills your cravings because it’s tons of fiber and the shakes really take the edge off.  Be careful not to drink too much caffeine as it could impede your efforts.

If you are interested in joining, you can click on this link for more information.  I am looking forward to the next two months and will keep you all updated!

The Skinny on Pricing

As mentioned, you can do autoship and get the discount plus right now you can get the fast 5 and 28 days for $239.  If you choose my link below, I believe you can get $30 off the total cost of your shipment.  You can also check with Nutrisystem to see if they have a discount for your health insurance (mine did).  My first month came out to only about $44/week which is less than I spend in 5 days eating out.  For me, it’s actually more affordable than going to the grocery store but keep in mind you are still required to buy some of your own food.

Good luck if you try it- let me know how it goes.

http://online.nutrisystem.com/nsmembers/jsps/shop/all_plans.jsp

http://www.nutrisystem.com

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April 21, 2014

Date, Fig, Granola Energy Bars

by jem614

Have you ever made something and were so excited about it that you left off the main ingredient?  This site should be “follies of a veggie” because I do that quite often.  Thankfully, in this case, it wasn’t a bad result.

I saw someone post about this amazing nutrition bar recipe on their twitter feed a while back but because I am not a “paid” subscriber, I could not access the full site.  So, I took it upon myself to make up my own recipe and I have to say, though I left out one main ingredient, it still tasted delicious.

Handful of pitted dates
Handful of dried figs
1/4 cup flour (I used tapioca flour to make it GF)
Handful of Dried Apricots
1/4 cup oatmeal (*my missing ingredient)
small portion bag chopped walnuts
small portion bag chopped macadamia
small portion bag slivered almonds
Nutmeg
Cinnamon (to taste)
Honey or agave
Chia seeds (sprinkle them in)
Flax seeds (sprinkled)
and lest we not forget chocolate: Raw cacao nibs

All this goes into a large pot and toasted (try toasting the nuts first and then adding in the rest).  These aren’t exact measurements because as you probably have already surmised, I make this up on the go.

I didn’t bake them but you should probably do so to set them better.  Lay them out flat on a cookie sheet after getting it out of the pot.  Mine was enough for a small cookie sheet.

Enjoy- I can’t wait to go home and have another one (just remember these are high calorie so small bars are ideal if you’re needing to watch #’s).

They turned out delicious and nutty.  You could add more oatmeal to make the nuts less dense and it would probably be just as delicious.

April 16, 2014

Sweet Earth – Curry Tiger (Rarrrrr)

by jem614

Sometimes I just get tired of shelling out $5 for an Amy’s frozen entree.  I actually am kind of tired of cooked foods in general lately, seriously considering going raw but I think I might be too lazy for that (and too cheap).  So, I settled for something new, the “Curry Tiger” burrito from Sweet Earth.

Something about eating a burrito with the name Tiger in it that makes me excited to consume it.  I also may feel a twinge of “crouching tiger” oozing out of my skin!  This burrito was not overwhelmingly curry-ish, if I was looking for something that tasted truly Indian I would not choose this again but if I wanted something tasty and fulfilling, ABSOLUTELY!  I’m definitely adding this to my list of favorites and so glad my local Nutrition S’Mart has it!

They also seem like a really great company, with organic ingredients though not every ingredient is organic.  They do claim to be GMO free and are made in California.  Plus, that Sesame Chocolate bar is now on my list of “need to find NOW”.

http://www.sweetearthfoods.com/

April 7, 2014

Plated, In The Mail!

by jem614

Hey, it’s Jess again.  It’s been a long weekend, the cookie is getting so big and he’s talking up a storm.  I seriously think that he’s an alien sometimes because I can’t understand what he’s saying but he is definitely communicating something.  If ever there is an alien invasion, just give us a call and we’ll do some peace talks!

Anyway, with so much time spent with him and the hubs, I long for easy to cook meals that I don’t have to think about the ingredients.  This past week I found this deal on Facebook for Plated, a company that sends you all the ingredients and great recipes in the mail.  Doing all the hard work so you don’t have to.  The promotion was $20 for four meals the first time you order (I don’t believe it’s available anymore but please ask!), otherwise it’s $12.99/meal with $20 delivery fee (four meals).

I received an email on Friday with my FedEx info and waited around early Saturday afternoon for the delivery.  It came in this large box packed with two huge ice packs and foil cooler lining.
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I couldn’t help it, I was so excited about trying something new and different.  I ordered the “shakshuka” for myself and  a chicken dish for my  hubs (he loved the chicken but not the soba noodles).

Ashley has made the dish before and written about it here and because she liked it, I wanted to try it for myself.  There are other vegetarian options as well.

Every single ingredient, except the eggs, were packed (maybe because they could break too easily?) and mailed.  The box comes with a nice recipe on a 8×10 card stock page.  It’s laid out step-by-step and tells you exactly how to do everything.  Ingredients are labeled and sauces and spices come in little packets, these people could make a chef out of a chimp, honestly.

I’m completely in love with this concept and think it would be great for people that are on a diet- the recipes are fresh and healthy and it’s perfectly portioned.

My shakshuka was cooking beautifully in the oven on broil and then the worst thing happened.  My husband asked me to watch a youtube video of something funny and I forgot all about my little cookspiration!  It toasted a bit too long, if only they had included a timer in their box!

 

ShakshukaIt wasn’t completely ruined but it certainly didn’t look as pretty.  Plus the eggs were supposed to be lightly cooked instead of completely dry and hard.  It was still delicious and so much fun to make without having to worry if I got the ingredients right.  I will definitely keep the three free months of plated service I have been signed up for and possibly order another meal or two at home.  Just note that you are also required to pay a $10/month fee for membership.  You are not required to do the auto delivery but it is available for convenience.  It’s definitely not a cheap service and you could probably eat out for less but it’s fun and convenient.  Plus you can impress your friends with an incredible meal that you can say you cooked!

 

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Such a great concept and the recipes are amazingly simple and delicious.  Thank you Plated for making a chef out of me!

For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/theplated or their website, https://www.plated.com/invites/1d455f

 

 

April 2, 2014

Velu: Dare I Say, Tasty In The Same Sentence As Wheat Grass?

by jem614

Velu asked us to try out their Wheat Grass drinks a while back and I finally forked out the three and a half dollars to try it the other day, preparing myself to guzzle it down quickly so that I had to taste as little as possible.

Then I noticed the “apple and lemon juice” label on the bottom- aha!  It’s not a brutal “pinch your nose and throw it back” drink and it’s full of healthy goodness!  I think I might be able to drink this. I’m not a huge advocate of using fruit juices to disguise the taste of good foods but in this case, I will make an exception.  It’s fresh and though you can taste some of the wheat grass, it’s not overpowering.

I do encourage you to drink it straight out of the refrigerator as it’s best consumed cold.  It’s a drink full of nutritional goodness and I felt a burst of energy and was inspired to eat healthier for the rest of the day.  The more goodness you pour into your body, the better you feel!

You can find Velu at most health food stores in South Florida and at http://www.lovevelu.com/ (what a great website name!).  You definitely want to check out their FAQ page to find out more about this great company and how they grow their products.

Let us know if you’ve tried them!  We’re looking forward to more options flavor-wise, in the future.

 

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