Clif Bar | Energy Bar Chocolate Almond Fudge & White Chocolate Macadamia Nut
With our new road bikes, Peter and I have been quite the active couple chasing KOM/QOM’s* on Strava. Fortunately, I’m the only female cyclist on Strava in my town/area, so I basically hit QOM’s all the time and focusing on breaking my own PB LOL It’s a bit distracting, because it gives me a false sense that I’m actually good, when I probably am not. But in a sense, I’m probably doing better in not having any competition.
Nonetheless, with all that effort put in on trying to compete with the guys instead, it’s good to recharge the glucose storage. The bars that have become my favorite fuel – after fruit of course – is Clif Bars!
We went with the Chocolate Almond Fudge and the most delicious snack in the world, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut. Like, anything that says “white chocolate” just wins me over! You can’t fail with that.
When you eat these bars you question if they are really that healthy. They probably aren’t unless you’re burning the calories. And that’s why I enjoy being active, you get to enjoy so much more without guilt or shame.
So far my least favorite is the Chocolate Almond Fudge. Don’t get me wrong, they are still good! But compared to the Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch we bought last time and the white chocolate-ones, they aren’t simply that good. A good way to find new favorites is to buy a variety pack, like this one at Amazon.
I recently came across Lärabars (not a Swedish company as it may seem) that’s got pretty interesting flavor sets that I want to trying out next! Someone was asking for gluten-free bars, and Clif Bars are unfortunately not gluten-free though the majority of the line is vegan. However, I believe most if not all of the Lärabars are gluten-free, dairy free, soy free and vegan!
Also, buy at Amazon
*Glossary: KOM = King of the Mountain; QOM = Queen of the Mountain; PB = Personal Best.
Peanut Butter & Co. | Mighty Nut Powdered Peanut Butter Original
What can I say, PB2 was out of stock, and we thought why not try another brand just to compare?
This powdered peanut butter is very similar to the original PB2, only it feels a bit sweeter. It also is sweeter, with one whole extra gram of sugar compared to the other!
Don’t ask me how I could feel that 1 extra gram of sugar, I just could. While I personally like the PB2 better, in all honesty, the difference isn’t as highly noticeable when you blend it into a smoothie like I do. I’ll choose PB2 though only because it’s slightly cheaper. I also don’t think peanut butter should be sweet, you rather mix it with something sweet.
However, Peanut Butter & Co offers a little more variety of flavors like vanilla and added Flax & Chia seeds; you can buy a variety pack at Amazon.
iHerb Goods | Grocery Tote Bag
This was on trial price for only €0.45! So I put it into my shopping cart as it wouldn’t take up much space or weight in my parcel. It’s a decent size for groceries, just a tiny bit more narrow than our regular shopping bags. But you can fit a lot of bananas in it!
Garden of Life | MyKind Organics B12 Organic Spray Raspberry
When we first adjusted our diet we didn’t take any supplements. Mostly due to the fact that we still, very rarely but occasionally, included some eggs, goat cheese, and smoked salmon. We stopped with all of that 2015, and now a year later after doing some more research, we concluded that maybe taking B12 might be a good idea.
I’ve seen people who just have such fucked up digestions that they seem to become B12 deficient within a month of a vegan diet – which basically meant that they were already having trouble absorbing/producing their own even on a diet including animal sources. Nor Peter or I felt any symptoms of a B12 deficiency during the year we went 100% plant-based, but then again, it can take years to develop a deficiency. But it felt good to know that we weren’t that sick.
We then read in the Starch Solution that, unless you have a chronic deficiency, 500mcg once a week is enough as a maintenance for a healthy person.
As we want to be some kind of exemplary vegans*, we went with the Garden of Life B12 spray that we take one spray, under the tongue, 1-2 a week. It tastes good and lasts a long time for two people if you’re just using it like we do.
Also, buy at Amazon
OBS! – There’s a recent study that links too much B12 with acne flare-ups. They found that vitamin B12 changed the gene expression of the skin’s bacteria, which then may lead to acne-promoting inflammation. But only 1 out of 10 broke out in pimples from B12.
This is the only brand I’ve used and haven’t noticed my acne getting worse because of it. But try being observant when introducing B12 into your supplement regime. If you want to be super careful, you can even look into who manufacturers your supplement of choice. Finding out that yours come from superior manufacturing can be a big relief, as you then know the route it took and have accountability you can rely on.
* It’s sad that media likes to shame veganism for B12 deficiency like it’s not a sustainable diet because of it, while meat eaters are the biggest consumers of supplements overall. Who is eating an unsuitable and deficient diet? The person who needs to supplement with one or two ingredients, or the person who fills its cabin with multivitamins and protein powders? Not to mention that it’s advised that people over 50 years old start supplementing with B12 no matter what diet you eat. While vegans and vegetarians do fall in the higher risk group, but even many people who do Paleo diets do also get B12 deficiency! Many doctors/meat eaters like to say that “B12 is ONLY found in meat”, but a study found that at least the seaweed Nori has actually active B12 that could be included in one’s diet as a source for B12. But if you don’t like seaweed, there’s a simple way to supplement. But either way, you are not what you eat, you are what you can absorb. So make sure your gut is functioning properly before anyone goes and blames your diet. Not to mention that the animals are supplemented with B12!
Now Foods | Probiotic-10 25 Billion 100 Veggie Caps
After trying the 50 billion – which I thought were really good – I went down to try 25 Billion as a maintenance as they come at a good value price. However, I can’t say that these were or are as effective. In a sense, probiotics have become quite ineffective on me and I believe it’s just not what my body needs right now – even my Naturopath confirmed me on that note. I know most people promote a daily supplementation of probiotics, but I feel to take a more holistic approach to supplements: to take them only when necessary. Or like I’ve been doing in the past: a cure once a year. If you’re going through stress: take’em. If it’s winter and people around you are starting to get sick: take’em. If you’re going on a vacation or traveling much: take’em. If you’re on antibiotics: take’em. But if everything is pretty balanced in your life, and they’re not helping you much, then your body just don’t need them right now. So don’t waste your money on something your body doesn’t want.
I still wouldn’t say that these are not any good, they [probiotics] are just not working for me at this point in my life. Nonetheless, they come at a good price and would be perfect to take with if your traveling.
Buy at Amazon
Natural Factors | Betaine HCL with Fenugreek 500mg 180 Veggie Caps
A few months ago Derek from Unconventional Living set me on the track to investigate if my persistent acne could be due to leaky gut/low stomach acid. I’ve been having trouble digesting certain protein and fiber-rich foods like broccoli, cauliflower and beans and legumes. And for the past years avoided eating them because they screw up my system.
There are a test and all that you can do, and let’s just say that I do not have extremely low stomach acid, but surely it helps a lot with my digestion, especially together with Digestive Enzymes.
Since I started taking them I’ve been able to cut down to only taking them occasionally to stop discomfort when eating broccoli. I take 2caps and 1 caps Digestive Enzymes together with my first bite of food, and everything runs very smoothly, flat stomach after a meal and hardly any gases.
Also, buy at Amazon
Rainbow Light | Advanced Enzyme System Rapid Release Formula 180 Veggie Caps
Like I said, I take these with the Betaine HCL because on their own I feel like they do completely nothing. I’ve tried taking two, or one before a meal and one after didn’t really make a difference for me. But of course, everyone’s different, and you need to figure out for yourself the best way to take them or if you need to take them in combination with something else like I have to.
I bought this particular brand after reading that Kimberly Snyder recommends it and takes it too. It seemed like a good brand. But I got a bit disappointed that it didn’t affect me on its own.
I really want to try Global Healing Center’s VeganZyme next, but it’s difficult to come by in Sweden. You can only get it from their website, and the shipping is pricey. The only Swedish webshop that carries GHC is ClearLife, which I emailed and requested they stock up on this.
They said they would try, this was months ago, and they still don’t carry this specific product. Update: The now stock it! I’ve tried their parasite cleansing Paratrex, which contains their VeganZyme blend, but because of the other parasite killing herbs, it has kind of given me the opposite effect and has not worked well with my body. Which is too bad.
Digestive enzymes are good for you, not only to relieve you from gas and bloating after a meal but to boost absorption so you actually absorb all the nutrients you put into your body.
Also, buy at Amazon
Usually, you would take this if you’re constipated or have other digestive issues. In a sense, I didn’t feel like it was necessary for me to take it as I go to the bathroom 2-5 times a day (and yes, speaking about #2 and no, it’s not diarrhea, sorry for the TMI). But I wanted to test it out and do her diet “by the book”. Snyder also speaks about how she regularly takes it a few times a week as maintenance and when she travels, she takes it every day.
I was going to go with GHC Oxy-Powder Colon Cleanser (you can buy a test here) which has more Magnesium Oxygen. However, after some reconsideration I concluded that I didn’t need to take such a strong dose of Mag 07; like I said, I already go to the bathroom quite regularly. Not to mention it’s twice(!) as expensive as the Pure Vegan Mag07.
I built the dosage up and found my sweet spot which is about 2-3 caps before bedtime. I took this in combination with the GHC’s 7-Day Oxygen Colon Cleanse. While I didn’t feel like it did much for my skin, I felt definitely “flushed” and for some reason, the blues in my eye just got brighter and clearer. But I could just be imagining stuff…
Overall, I do take them once in a while as a maintenance to “add more oxygen in the body” (probably some pseudoscience). But I take them, especially when traveling or when I have a change of scenery so to speak, as that always gets me constipated. I also wish I had taken them that summer when I started with raw food and green smoothies and I was practically constipated in over 1 month lol THIS would’ve greatly helped to flush me out from the start!
So if you’re transitioning your diet to a more fiber-rich one, be sure to take a few capsules of Mag07 to help the “cleansing” process if you feel that you get jammed from all the fibers. However, do not forget to compliment with a dose of high-quality probiotics the morning after!
You can read more about Mag07 in my post about Tools for Detox.