Being relatively new to the blogging game, or at least being new to having more than 1 person read my blog, I often sit in envy of my friends who get lots of samples from companies. Free stuff to try, sent to me instead of being grabbed at an expo, how cool is that? I mean, other than them wanting you to write great things about the product?
Anyway, I recently received my first ever product sample and it took absolutely no arm twisting on the part of anyone to get me to rave about it.
I need to rewind a bit and give you a summary of my average week. This isn’t to get a “whomp whomp” from you, just give you an idea. My day generally starts with a rush to get going (more on that later) 8-9 hours at work, an hour drive to rehearsal, at rehearsal until 10, an hour drive home, grabbing a bite to eat, falling into bed and trying to unwind enough to fall asleep hopefully by midnight. If I don’t have rehearsal, I get a workout in for an hour or so (after cool down and stretching it tends to be a or so”) and I get home around 8 – 8:30 to do script work, work on this, work on my (still to come) website, look up auditions, etc, etc, etc. I love my life, I love being busy, but **whew**. This is what I do to follow my dream of becoming a professional actress/performer/model/superhero. Since I don’t tend to get home until late, my “go to” meal for dinner tends to be a protein shake in some way/shape/form. But finding good protein is not always easy, especially when you want to start cutting down on dairy and don’t like the grit of hemp. Plus Vega and Goat Whey just taste weird.
So fast forward a bit, and I see people tweeting about Nutra Summa. I express an interest in learning more and a couple of weeks later I receive a package with a weeks worth of the Chocolate Pea Protein Powder and their Summa Lean Supplement.
Ok, let me just say right off the bat the Chocolate Protein powder is YUM! It was tasty, but I actually found it to be too sweet. Since I wasn’t too sure how to contact anyone from the company, I got on Twitter to question the inclusion of Cane Sugar, which gave the powder 3g of Sugar. At 20g of protein, it was matching up nicely with Tara’s Whey and had more than the Whole Paycheck Whey that made me sick (dang “made in a shared facility.”)(I know I should know better. And stop having conversations with myself.) ANYWAY, they said that it was how they got the yummy chocolate flavor, and when I compared the sugar with the other brands I have used, I discovered that they all have about 3g of sugar. I’m thinking it was something else that made the sweet pop for me. The amount of protein in a serving was on the high end, and that is the most important part. All in all, it was tasty and if I had a chocolate craving, this would be what I would want to reach for to help curb it.
The other sample they sent me was the Summa Lean. Before my samples were sent, I was asked if I was having trouble with fatigue and energy. The answer to both was yes. These pills helped! Taken twice a day, in the morning and afternoon, these pills claim to “Mobilize stored fat so it can be used as fuel, promotes healthy thyroid function” and many other claims. Here was my experience. My sweet cravings dropped to an almost all time low. I felt like I had a bit more pep. I didn’t want to snack. Not exactly the scientific language they use to promote, but I’ve never been one for technical terms. In a nutshell – they worked! The pills themselves are about the same size as the multivitamin I take daily, so they are not insanely huge and you actually feel they are a size to give you your money’s worth.
So, what’s my verdict? Well, I am buying a bottle of Summa Lean when I get paid and I am going to try the unflavored pea protein to see if it is less sweet. Again, the chocolate tastes great and chocolate-y, but it was a bit on the sweet side for me. But when it comes to giving me what I need out of a protein powder, it is a total 10 out of 10!
As an added bonus, all of these products are Gluten Free and made in a dedicated facility, so no risk of cross-contamination. WIN!
And here is my recipe for Chocolate Elvis
3 scoops Nutra Summa Chocolate Protein Powder
1/2 cup Chocolate flavored Milk or Milk Substitute (I use Almond Milk)
1/2 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter (or 2 Tablespoons PB2 if using a shaker cup)
6 ice cubes
Holy Crow People!
Is it just me, or did July fly by like a bat outta hell?? Granted, for the most part this summer has felt like an extended fall, but is it really August already!?! YEESH! I felt like it was just last week that I woke up and looked at what my July had in store and thought, “Bring It.”
Let me tell you, July heard my challenge and Brought. It.
The month started off with 3 days on the set of a major motion picture that was filming in town. Let me just say that film sets are not the place to be when you are an extra on a special needs diet. Thankfully I thought ahead and brought food, for the most part. While lunch was covered, the first day I discovered there was no hot water for oatmeal, so that made for an extra long day. I also failed in the bringing of enough snacks. Thankfully there was lots and lots of fresh fruit available for me to nosh on.
It was a fun couple of days where I got to see, but not interact, with some pretty famous people. I have no clue if I will make it into the finished film, but I will know I was there and a part of something magical that ignited a spark that had been a bit dormant.
After that, rehearsals started picking up for my summer show. This year I was thrilled to be a part of the Chicago Community Theatre premier of SHREK: THE MUSICAL. Now, before you get all eye-rollie with me, the script is by the same gentleman who brought us the brilliantly touching RABBIT HOLE. Shrek is actually one of my favorite newer musicals because the story is one I relate to and there are several songs that I absolutely adore! But it also involved 2 weeks of rehearsal every night with no internet connection to fill the time between. This is when my amazing cast shone. This was probably one of the closest casts I have worked with, and there was so little internal drama that it was heavenly.
So those two events filled a bunch of time. One Saturday of the month saw me attending both an open background call for TRANSFORMERS 4 and then doing background work on an Exxon commercial. I was paid to look at the Chicago skyline and get color on what was the hottest day of the year. Granted, if you have been in Chicago you know that it is not too hot and we have had very, very few warm days, so it actually got me a little bit of color!
This month also saw Brandy Wendler returning to Chicago for the 2013 Mrs. International Pageant. When she got into town we met at the headquarters of ENJOY LIFE FOODS for a tour. This was a fantastic visit a) because they sponsored Brandy in her pageant, and b) they are an awesome company that is free of the top 8 allergens. If you have not tried their food, I highly recommend you pick something up. Brandy and I have a fondness for the Plentils, and I am also a big fan of the Decadent bars. After some talking and getting us suited up in our white coats and pretty pink hairnets, it was time for the tour. All I am going to say is “WOW.” Wow that this company still packages things by hand, wow that they do so much in so little space, wow at the steps they take to ensure the food is safe, wow, wow, wow. The Marketing Manager, Kasey, was an absolute joy to have as a tour guide and somewhere she has a picture of Brandy and I climbing Mount Plentil.
Brandy was in town to compete in the Mrs. International pageant. While I could not afford a ticket, I was dying to see her in her finery and bring her some celebratory cupcakes, as I was that confident she would do well. So, on Friday I got in touch with the fantastic FrannyCakes and we decided that it would be fun and go “crash” the pageant. Ok, I should probably define that. By crash we meant go hang out in the lobby, get the results, see Brandy and her handsome hubby after the show. So…we met up for dinner of a cupcake each at Swirlz Cupcakes before heading up to Skokie to hang out at the mall before it was time to hang out in the lobby. Granted, by hang out at the mall, I really mean go to Barnes & Noble, get tea, read magazines.
After a bit of light reading, we headed over to the venue to hang out in the lobby and see how she did. Sadly, we forgot that the first night they only announced who won Most Photogenic and not the Top 10. Oh well. We still got to see Brandy and JR, as well as Andrea and her new beau who had come in to cheer.
What else did I do?? New headshots were taken, I worked on a commercial for Exxon by lying around a park all day, stood in line for an extra cattle call for the next Transformers movie, attended a holiday party, and I got together with friends to feed our SYTYCD addiction. It was a crazy busy month, but boy, did I have a LOT of fun!
In other news, it is now mid-August and I am late posting this because I have been cast in yet ANOTHER show. My goal is to get at least one post up a week, as I juggle rehearsal, work, exercise, lessons, and all the other craziness that is my life. If I miss, please bear with me, I am not done with y’all yet!