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April 25, 2015
by Lauren Mueller
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Exo Protein

Exo Protein:

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(Information provided by the Exo website About Us section)

They arrived in two shoebox-sized containers. And they were very, very loud. We wanted to find out if we could make a food product using insects that actually tasted good. Armed with Google research, a vague recipe for cricket flour, an oven, and a blender, it was time to walk the walk…

Gabi had created a basic protein bar recipe while on his own quest to make a snack both healthy and delicious, prompted by his frustration at the nutrition-taste tradeoff marring everything commercially available. The idea to add insects came when Greg, one of Gabi’s five college roommates, attended a conference at MIT on the breakdown of global systems that sparked a conversation about insects’ tremendous environmental benefits relative to other food sources. He intuitively understood that only by combining insects with something more familiar—protein bars, for example—could people here be convinced to eat them.

After the rather noisy order arrived, we got busy with our Vitamix and oven to make cricket flour—losing only a few escape artists in the process. We nailed a recipe pretty quickly; it had respectable nutritionals and tasted damn good. Eager for some unbiased feedback, we took samples to a local CrossFit gym. When one of the trainers yelled to the rest of the class that the bars were

“not good—they [were] f**king great,” we knew we had something special: a product with tremendous social value that people actually wanted.

We graduated in May ‘13 and immediately moved to New York City, determined to make that product a reality. Growing awareness of the advantages of insect food sources—like a 200-page United Nations Report detailing the environmental, social and nutritional benefits—legitimized the idea with the popular media.

We teamed up with a rock star chef who used to head up research and development at The Fat Duck Restaurant, considered one of the best and most progressive restaurants in the world. To prove that there was indeed a market for insect-based foods, we launched a Kickstarter in late July; within 72 hours, we had reached our $20,000 goal. By the end of the month, we had raised almost $55,000 from over 1,000 individuals who believed in our vision.

And so here we are. After countless double-takes and I just don’t think you can do its, we’re doing it. Gabi turned down a job at a hedge fund. Greg deferred grad school. All because we believe that insect protein has an awesome role to play in the future of our food. Now we just have to convince everyone else.

— Greg and Gabi

Four Bar Sampler Pack Review:

This is the last leg of my protein products journey for my husband, you can check out my other reviews for About Time and Fuel For Fire by clicking on their names in this sentence (lol). We’ve tried the pancakes from About Time and snacked on the on the go pouches from Fuel For Fire but for Exo Protein bars this is something totally different. I mean all three of these companies product amazing products but each company is so different in their own right. When I say different I mean it, Exo uses insects as an ingredient in their proteins bars. Yes, even now that I have tried it I still feel like saying “ewww” because well it’s a bug! I don’t mind getting muddy, getting sweaty or dirty in general but throw a bug my way and I will scream, well like a girl (haha) so I can never imagine eating them. At first when I learned of that fact I was a little reserved but my curiosity like normal helped me proceed to finding out more and trying these protein bars. Even though the products I have gotten are for my husband while he gets back on track with the gym and eating right for himself and his career I of course had to have a bite or two for review purposes. Okay, maybe like 1 or 2 bars I ate half but I still shared with the man even if I didn’t want too (lol).

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I didn’t tell him what was in the bars from Exo all I said was “Hunny theres protein bars in the fridge” and yes I put them in the fridge because the package was in the hot Florida sun for a bit. I left them in there for a couple hours to get cold but took them out, by time my husband got to have one before his work out he asked if I could stick the others back in the fridge and he also was confused because I had said they were in the refrigerator (haha). We both prefer the bars to be chilled, they taste more refreshing I guess you could say. In the Four Bar Sample Pack you will get Cacao Nut, PB&J, Blueberry Vanilla and Apple Cinnamon. The first bar to be eaten was the Apple Cinnamon, my husband I didn’t get to try it but he said it was really good. As he was eating it he was reading the package and goes “Crickets? There’s crickets in this??” so I reply with a simple yup with a smile. He then goes on to say that it’s pretty good for having bugs in the mix and he would’ve thought it would taste bad. Now, even though he thought Apple Cinnamon tasted good I was still reserved about taking a bite of one of the other bars. I mean he thought some MRE’s were really good, you know the ones from the military (lol) so now you can understand while I was still iffy about trying it. Regardless I journeyed on and did, I tried the Cacao Nut and oh my goodness it was amazing. It was that flavor and PB&J that I ate half the bars of, both were my favorites. The Blueberry Vanilla was good too but I still have my favorites.

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These protein bars from Exo are amazing and you will never even know there are crickets in there. My husband loved every one of them and would happily eat them again without sharing. This is definitely a company to check out and keep your eye on. They are doing big things and I feel with continue to explore with their ingredients. Simply put this is a great, creative company who have an amazing vision and products. You can’t go wrong with Exo protein bars!

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April 25, 2015
by Lauren Mueller
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Fuel For Fire

Fuel For Fire:

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(Information provided by the Fuel For Fire website Our Story section)

Cindy Berg was a busy, working mom, desperately trying to eat a clean, real food diet. Tired of chalky protein bars and gooey gels, Cindy started eating her kids’ applesauce pouches before and after her workouts. The only problem was those pouches completely lacked protein. After months of waiting to see a clean protein pouch on the market, Cindy approached her friend Rob Gilfeather—an Ironman triathlete and professional chef—to develop some recipes. He worked his magic, combining all natural ingredients and protein with flavors that put kid pouches to shame. And so the “Fuel Pack” was born.

Fuel Packs:

If you have read my About Time review then you already know my reasoning for being interested in protein products, if you haven’t read it then you can just click here and it will take you to that review. Being a Mother I’ve bought those on the go pureed foods for my kids but this is the first time I’ve seen a company who promotes fitness and wellness to offer such a product.  We’ve all seen/tried protein powders for shakes, foods or have seen/tried protein bars online or in stores. For me this who protein products world is new to me but for my husbands in been in this world for a good long while yet he couldn’t even think of a company who offers the products that Fuel For Fire do. Their all fruit and protein packed on the go pouches are something all there own and awesome!

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I got to try out Fuel For Fire’s four flavors which are Tropical, Triple Berry, Banana Cocoa and Sweet Potato Apple. Even though my husband was eating them more I of course had to get the first taste. I liked them all and thought they all tasted great but my favorites were Banana Cocoa and Tropical. My children got to have tastes on them too they both preferred the Sweet Potato Apple while my husband had no favorites and liked them all. These products fit great into my husbands busy lifestyle, he can put it in his lunchbox on the way to work and eat them whenever.  You can eat them at room temperature but we all prefer them to be cold, they taste way better like that we feel.

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Each pouch contains real food and protein, these can be eaten by the whole family but for our house we all just tried a little of them and left the majority to my husband. I never realized how could protein products can be until my recent time of trying different kinds. If you are looking for something good to add to your work out routine or something that isn’t your typical pureed pouches that you can find in your local grocer then I highly suggest checking out Fuel For Fire!

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April 25, 2015
by Lauren Mueller
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About Time

About Time:

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(Information provided by the About Time websites About Us section)

Passionate About Protein

In 2008, fitness professional Sean Marszalek and food science expert Devenee Schumacher looked around at the growing number of protein supplement products, and didn’t like what they saw. Too many artificial ingredients, artificial sweeteners, inferior protein concentrates, and very few options for people with certain dietary restrictions such as diabetes. Frankly, Sean couldn’t find anything in the market that he could recommend to his health-conscious clients.

That’s when they decided, it’s About Time.

Sean and Devenee formed SDC Nutrition and launched the About Time brand of high quality whey protein isolate products. Through perseverance, refinement, and a fanatical belief in providing superior protein supplements for a healthy lifestyle, they have built a passionate and growing customer base across the world.

RETAILERS:

If you are interested in carrying About Time products, or a fitness professional who wants to provide your clients with superior whey protein, click here to get started.

About Time is the flagship brand of SDC Nutrition, based in Pittsburgh, PA. SDC Nutrition was founded by food and fitness experts Sean Marszalek and Devenee Schumacher
Protein Pancake Mix:
This review and a couple others I will be writing are about companies who provide protein supplement products. As many of you know I haven’t ever done these types of reviews. This is a little out of the box for me as I don’t normal write about said products but I couldn’t be happier to be doing this. The main reason for my interest in these kinds of products is because of my husband and trying to help him. Being out of the Army for sometime now he has gotten used to home life and relaxing. While he was in the Army if he wasn’t doing is job he was working out, on more then one occasion he went to the gym multiple times a day. Now that life has somewhat slowed down for him, he isn’t as fit or looking how he wants anymore. His current job is in Law Enforcement so he looking to better improve himself psychically for his job as well as himself. I mean he says its for me but he knows I love him just how is, there’s no surprise that my husband is a big guy. But lately he went from being solid to well not so solid and I can see he hates it so when started talking about going to the gym again I wanted to show my support in some way. I started changing the way I cooked and other things but I wanted to do more. I remembered back when he would send me a list of things to ship him on the occasion it would be protein items (bars, drink mix etc). I had no idea what they were or what they did but I would get them for him, granted he would have to send me a picture of exactly what he wanted because a couple times I would get/send the wrong thing (haha).
Now that is back at the gym I figured why not try some companies who offer these types of items. I began doing my research and found a few cool ones. I’m super stoked to be working with About Time and being able to try their Protein Pancakes. There is no denying that I was a little worried about eating them because well has anyone ever smelled some of the protein powders out there? They don’t smell all to appetizing but none the less I wait for it to arrive so I could give it a go, I knew my husband would love it because he’s has products in this category before.  Well the day came when they showed up at my front door as I walked the package to my kitchen I knew I was going to have to make these pancakes today prior to him going to the gym. When I opened the box I got a sweet super comfortable About Time tshirt (hubby is jealous lol), an About Time spatula and of course the About Time Protein Pancakes in Chocolate Chip & Cinnamon Spice blends. I’m all about anything that has chocolate in it so that made me trying it a little easier so I decided to make that one first. The directions are super easy to follow but I will say that it does say to use a griddle and I extremely highly recommend you do!
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Being me and thinking that even though a direction says to use this I feel why not try the other alternative. In the About Time Protein Pancakes directions it says to use a griddle well me being me I said to myself “ehhh a pan will work, I regular pancakes that way so whats the difference?”. Yeah, don’t..just don’t do it in a pan. Use a griddle everyone don’t try making them in a pan. The first time I made them they came out horrible and it was all my fault, I mean my husband ate them but he even agreed this wasn’t one of my shining cooking moments. I was on a mission now to do it the right way by using the preferred cooking option About Time says to do. Here we go the second time, I get my griddle put it to the temperature it says and was hoping for the best. Using the griddle made a HUGE difference, my pancakes looked better and more importantly tasted amazing. I of course used the chocolate chip mix, I didn’t tell my kids these were different kinds of pancakes just said I was making them. When it was time to eat, everyone was loving them and not a single pancake was left. Being a chocolate lover myself I think there could have been some more chips in it but my husband said it was a good amount. We did try the cinnamon spice a couple days later and those were just as great.
Breakfast for my husband isn’t always in the morning, sometimes it’s before he leaves for work or during work. When he brings them during work I make them prior to and all he has to do is heat them up. These protein pancakes from About Time have become a staple in my husbands breakfast or snack time. These whole grain protein pancake mixes aren’t limited to just being made and served. Have fun with what you can put on it, we loved have fresh fruit on them and even a little powdered sugar (kids). So happy that my family and I could try these products, they taste amazing and are super simple to make. Not to mention my husband thinks I’m awesome and his buddies are jealous I get to work with amazing companies like this one!
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April 19, 2015
by Nikki
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Beessential Skincare Review

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About (taken from website): My family and I produce a full line of natural products – lip balm, soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion – that help our customers keep their skin and hair healthy the natural way. All products are made in the USA! But being a good corporate citizen isn’t just about using the Earth’s products wisely. So in addition to drawing from the world to make our natural skincare and hair products, we give back through our charitable arm, SweetYear.org.

Review: This amazing company is local to my hometown.  This natural skincare is all natural from a family farm out of Cleveland Ohio. Beessential is free of harsh chemicals like parabens, PEG and sulphatesand are also cruelty free. We got three products from Beessential; Body Wash, Foaming Hand Soap, and Hand and Body Cream. The body wash we received was moisturizing Lavender with Bergamot. This body wash soothes skin and senses, moisturizes, balances and calms, and it’s gentle. This body wash can be used either in the morning to start off peacefully or at night to wind down your day. When I get home from school or work, I’m always stressed out so I’ll use this body wash when I shower and the stress just washes away. I’ve had so much going on with my senior year, It’s extremely hard to find things to calm me down. This body wash really calms me down more than anything I’ve tried.

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The Foaming Hand Soap is also Lavender and Bergamot. Not only does it have a fresh scent, it also softens hands and gently cleanses. I put this in my bathroom and use it before I put in my contacts and whenever I need to wash my hands. Lastly, the Hand and Body Cream which keeps your skin radiant and soft. The silk proteins and beeswax seal in moisture with a non irritating all natural honey cream. After I shower, I use this cream and I feel so much better after being outside in the heat. The Beessential products are absolutely amazing and hydrating and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. You won’t regret getting these products.

Written by: Sierra Adams