Monday, August 31, 2020

The Sampling Boxes Keep Coming

With things so slow in the travel industry right now, I’m receiving more samples than ever and many are quite unusual. I especially love when I have ingredients to create recipes with and am trying to do at least one of those a month.

Cocktail in a bottle…

It’s always nice to keep it simple in the summertime. There are times when I like to fuss with cocktails when sitting outside with friends, but most of the time I just want to pour a drink. Alize has a selection of fruit vodkas, a few of which I’ve tried before.

The latest is Alize Mango. Forget the words “flavored vodka,” Alize makes it taste more like fruit with vodka. The mango is subtle and I almost taste a little peach in there. It’s fruity without any phony or super sweet taste.

This is a bottle you want to keep in the fridge and, depending on how strong you like it, just add a little ice, water, or soda. If you want to fuss a little more, put it in a blender with the ice and you’ve got an instant frozen drink.

SOS your thirst…

Keeping hydrated is especially important in the warmer months. SOS Hydration was conceived by a team that consisted of a doctor, retired military medical officer and two former athletes, who wanted to an optimum product for rehydration. The result is a product that quenches your thirst, and fills your body’s needs as much as an IV drip (according to the company), without loading you up with things you don’t, such as sugar.

I received a selection of packet flavors (they have berry, mango, citrus, and watermelon). They are very convenient and already measured for a bottle of water. I found them to be tasty, with the watermelon definitely my favorite.

SOS Hydration is keto friendly and gluten-free. The company also gives back donations to hospitals. You can purchase them on Amazon

Let’s not forget antioxidants…

Hydration isn’t the only thing we can add to our water. Pure Innovations has a selection of infusions that can provide you with additional benefits in delicious flavors.

Although I have a highly compromised immune system, I am leery of taking vitamins and supplements because there are just too many unnecessary fillers. I quickly became a huge fan of the Antioxidant Superfruit Blend. All this contains are healthy fruits I wouldn’t think twice about eating: cranberry, elderberry, red raspberry, LoHan, and licorice. There is a bit of stevia in it. It’s great to put in smoothies too. Purchase it here. 

Pure Innovations has a whole selection of other infusions, such as blueberry and white tea, and hibiscus flower, as well as coconut infusions. For those like me who have heard the benefits of coconut water but can’t quite stomach it, the Coconut Infusion drops are perfect to control the amount for tasty water (or protein shakes) without an overpowering taste or after taste.


Keep track of your fitness…

You’ll need all your replenishing waters during your fitness time, and you’ll want to keep track of that fitness. I was able to try out two fitness watches from YAMAY this month. Both are great buys – and under $50.

YAMAY fitness watches work well with various both IOS and Android smart phones through the (free) Very Fit Pro App. I have an iPhone so I can even connect this information to Apple Health.

The first one I tried was the YAMAY IP68 Waterproof Digital Watch. I think it is a great deal for the $35 price (check Amazon for exact current price). It’s got a very large display so you can see it from everywhere. The charging is quick and easy. I love the khaki band, and there are many more to chose from.

My favorite attribute is the Relax option. It helps you to slow down your breathing and relax. It’s good to help to get to sleep or just for a relaxing break during the day.

I then went to the newer model, the YAMAY IP68 2020. I think it’s well worth the additional $10 to get not only the benefits of the first watch, but it also has the ability to take blood pressure and oxygen. I also found the battery to be very long lasting – I haven’t charged it in four days. You can get that model here.


PBFit makes the perfect treats…

I can never get enough PBFit, so when I receive a jar in the mail, I’m ready to start making something! This time it was Peanut Butter Treat Bars, that take Rice Krispy Treats to a whole new level. You can find the recipe here.


Flax for gluten…

Flax4Life sent me a box of their bakery items, all full of fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and protein, while remaining gluten-free. I’ll post about the ones I like, which right now is definitely the Mint Chocolate Brownies. These satisfy my sweet tooth while giving me two grams of protein (per brownie) and 689 mg of Omega 3 fat.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Food and Drinks You’ll Want for Summer Fun

This is the first July in a long time where I’m not featuring tequila. With July 24th officially National Tequila Day, as well as my birthday, it’s been a standard column.

This year, I feel that I’ve been doing a lot of tequila year long and have been receiving a lot of other yummy products to try. I guarantee you’ll be thirsty and hungry by the time you are done reading this!


Speaking of my birthday…

Baked Cravings is a bakery in New York City that is peanut and tree nut free. They ship some of their treats nationally, including their Cupcakes in a Jar.

Their feature flavor is Cookies & Cream and it arrived at my door in time for my birthday breakfast. I am never one to turn down cake for breakfast and this one was utterly amazing. Although cookies & cream would not have been my first choice, this one was perfect. The chocolate cake was deep and rich and the cream was sweetened just enough.

Baked Cravings has many other flavors of their Cupcakes in a Jar. You can order on their website.  


A fun way to mix up cocktails…

I tried Shots Box when they first started and it was a bit different then. It was a subscription service to allow you to try different spirits every month in small shot-sized bottles.

Shots Box has expanded quite a bit since then, now offering delivery of full bottles. They still have shot boxes, and also have kits for those who love a single spirit – or want to experiment with cocktails.

I got the perfect summer set, a Rum Box. It came with 10 different rums, as well as a recipe for each one. I had a good time mixing up cocktails (which we split up so each of my friends could taste). Our favorites among them were: Sea Monster Mai Thai with Kracken White Label Black Spiced Rum; Sammy’s Rum-A-Rita with Sammy’s Beach Bar White Rum; and Classico Sparkling Mojito with Classico No. 2 White Rum Superior.

Visit the Shots Box website to see their current offerings and get a box for your next get together.


Protein bars you want to try…

I always have protein bars in the house, in my pocketbook, and in my car. I’m notorious for getting involved in something and forgetting to eat. I was excited to try UNiTE Bars and they didn’t disappoint.

First, I give a shoutout to the unusual flavors of UNiTE: Churro, Mexican Hot Chocolate, and PB&J. They were all quite good. I loved the dark chocolate with hints of spicy cinnamon in the Mexican Hot Chocolate. The Churro was not overly sweet like one would expect, but flavorful. The PB&J turned out to be too good and natural as I got carried away and didn’t realize it was real strawberry, which I’m allergic to! Fortunately, it is a mild allergy.

The bars are all-natural and gluten-free, with 10 grams of protein and limited to 10 grams of sugar. You can purchase them online here.

Spiritless Cocktails?

Whether you are a designated driver, not in the mood to drink, or not able to because of a medical condition or prescription, I think we’ve all had a time where we were abstaining from alcohol. Usually that means you are sipping water or soda. Spiritless is another option: a tasty bourbon with no alcohol.

Kentucky 74 is crafted and barrel-aged to taste just like bourbon without affecting your mind or body. It’s made to mix into cocktails just the way you would use regular bourbon.

I received a Spiritless cocktail kit with the ingredients (except the mint, which I got at my local market) to make Mint Juleps and New Fashions. They tasted just look their alcoholic counterparts. 

It worked out great for my get together, where the drivers were able to indulge in as many as they wanted without worrying, while a friend not driving had the same exact cocktails we did with regular bourbon. You can order Spiritless Kentucky 74 on their website.

A serum you’ll love…

I started trying Vitabrid skin care last month when my daughter gave me some samples. I liked the mask, but I absolutely love the Vitabrid Vitamin C12 Dual Drop Serum. I have never seen such a dramatic difference in my skin in less than a week. My skin was smoother, yet not stiff or dry.

Vitabrid Vitamin C12 Dual Drop Serum is available to buy on Amazon.  


More from Plant Junkie…

I’m still experimenting with the products I received from Plant Junkie, makers of natural plant-based products. This month, I decided to give their Plant Junkie Thai Peanut Vinaigrette a try and it made a simple and delicious salmon salad – perfect for a hot day!

Thai Peanut Salmon salad
1 lb. cooked rotini
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumbers, diced
2 cups cooked salmon chunks
½ bottle Plant Junkie Thai Peanut Vinaigrette

Put all ingredients in a large bowl, cover, and chill!

Plant Junkie products are available on Amazon.