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
I have said it before and I will say it again: I am not a cook. My kitchen and I do not get along very well. To be completely honest, I have one outlet in my kitchen I can get to and my microwave is hooked up to it. So, I do not own a hand mixer, let alone a stand mixer. When I mix anything, it is by hand and it is always a bit of a prayer that my gas oven gets to the right temperature.
That being said, I have always enjoyed playing around with light baking. If the recipe is simple, I am your girl. If it is a box mix, well, that is just an added bonus. I don’t bake often though, because I live alone and am always on a diet.
At the Chicago GFAF Expo, I was a lucky recipient of a box of the Snickerdoodle Cupcake Mix from two-time(!) CUPCAKE WARS Champion, Kyra Bussanich. I met Kyra a year ago, after her first victory but before the 2nd, and was super excited to try out this mix. It had to be for the right reason and a friend in town from California followed by a birthday celebration for Frannycakes certainly qualified in my book!
The texture of the mix is super fine. It actually required a bit of shaking of the bag to make sure I had it all out. This excited me because it was different from what I am used to with gluten-filled cake mixes and the thick, clumpy mix. Not this! After I whipped some butter by hand for 2 Kelly Clarkson songs (or 6-8 minutes according to the directions), I accidentally skipped a step in the instructions and added the wet ingredients to the mix.
So other than making a baker cringe when I mentioned skipping a step, I think a full-on body twitch occurred when I told her I mixed the batter with a fork, as I find it helps eliminate clumps better than a spoon. You are all allowed to yell at me. Anyway, there was a minor panic attack when I discovered my lack of a cupcake pan and the presence of mini cupcake cups. Thank goodness for some ingenuity on my part.
After some playing with my rarely used oven and figuring out baking time, this is what the mix produced:
Since I used Earth Balance as my butter, they did not rise that much. But even with all my kitchen foibles, these cupcakes were AMAZING!!! At the party multiple people went back for 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, 10ths. They were a hit with everyone telling me that they could not believe they were Gluten Free.
I am really hoping that these get into stores soon, as this is going to be my go-to mix brand whenever I have to make something. If you are not adventurous enough to try the Snickerdoodle, these are also available in Chocolate and Vanilla. Easy, tasty, and passing the non-GF taste test equals something that I highly recommend you seek out.