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 don’t know about you, but I have been having one of those weeks. You know, the ones that for some reason start off rough and just continue along that path. Not as bad as what some are experiencing, but still bad enough to take you off your game and make you feel blah. If I had a better word to describe the feeling, I would use that.
When I am feeling in a manner that can only be described as “blue,” I have 3 treats that I turn to that help lift my spirits.
The first is PB&J on a cracker. I can almost hear y’all asking, “But Mel, why don’t you just put it on a piece of bread?” Maybe it is the playful and portable nature of the cracker, or that it reminds me of my childhood, or maybe it is the crunch. Whatever it is, I love to smear creamy peanut butter on a Ener-G cracker with a dollop of jam. For this treat, I always use the Ener-G brand crackers because they are firmer and will hold up to the pressure of the peanut butter being spread. A couple of these crackers, and I tend to have the hole in my belly filled and get the start of a smile.
When my tummy hurts, the one comfort food I crave is not a food at all. It is a beverage created in Detroit, is very much a Midwest thing, and sometimes I feel like it is primarily a Michigan thing. When my stomach hurts or I want a taste of home, I look for the green Vernors label. Vernors is a ginger ale that is aged in barrels giving it a different taste profile than other ginger ales on the market. I wish I could describe the flavor accurately, but since I have known the flavor all of my life it is pretty impossible to do. All I know is that no other ginger ale feels like a warm hug from a loved one. Which is the ultimate purpose behind comfort foods, right?
I was fortunate enough to know one set of my Great-Grandparents. And not just know them in a vague sense, know them in we would road trip a couple of times each year to see them, they were alive throughout most of my high school life, and my Great-Grandmother passed after I graduated from HS. So I have very specific memories of visiting them. The TV remote on a wire, my Great-Grandfather in his chair, the fully decorated fake Christmas tree residing in their basement inside a garbage bag. But most of all, I remember the treats my Great-Grandmother Mynette would have for us. The trip never felt complete if I did not have at least 1 graham cracker frosting sandwich. It is what it sounds like: 2 graham crackers with a dollop of homemade frosting between them. When I was first diagnosed, these were the things that I mourned the most. Granted, I never made homemade frosting but grabbed a can of Betty Crocker when I had a craving or need of home, but still. It was the lost that hurt the deepest. Then my mom found the Schar Honey Grahams and I could have that taste of memory again. The Schar grahams are almost perfect, as they do not break too easily, and they have that graham cracker taste that I love. When I am having a rough week like this one, I am glad that the grocery store is not far away and that I stashed a box of Schar Honey Grahams in the back of my cupboard as an emergency pick me up.
The only downside about comfort foods is that they do not seem to be too good for you, or your waist line. But that is the thing about comfort, it is supposed to make you feel better, pounds be damned!
What about you? What is your favorite comfort food?