The Nutritionist Reviews

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Activia Challenge Reflection

This post is being sponsored by Activia for my participation in this campaign. All opinions are my own.

Dannon Activia Yogurt
**The winner to the last Activia giveaway was jacinth_amethyst. Congrats!

Prior to taking the Activia Challenge, I did not really have any digestive issues that were bothering me. I try to eat pretty healthy overall so this helps me to feel my best. I have always eaten one yogurt per day but this challenge has had me eating two per day. 

I have enjoyed eating two yogurts per day. It helps me make sure that I am getting my daily dose of calcium in and also helps to meet my protein needs which I think that I am sometimes lacking in. Also, by having Activia yogurt for one of my snacks, this has been a healthier option than some of the other things that I could have such as cookies, ice cream or chips. 

Dannon Activia Yogurt
Through the challenge, I mainly stuck with having the Greek varieties of Activia which are my favorite. They are thicker than the regular Activia and have more protein which helps to keep you fuller. I have been having an Activia Greek yogurt daily for breakfast and have enjoyed trying the different flavors. My favorite flavors are vanilla (with add-ins such as fruit, cereal and chia seeds), peach or strawberry.

For people with digestive issues such as feeling uncomfortable, bloated, gassy, or rumbling, I know that this challenge has been helpful in helping to eliminate and manage some of these issues.
Dannon Activia Yogurt
Now that the challenge is over, I would still buy some of the Activia yogurts to keep on hand for a healthy breakfast or snack.

Also, if you didn't try the challenge already, there is still time! The challenge promotion ends 11/30/14. Just go to your local grocery store, buy Activia, try them (two times per day for two weeks) and if it does not help your issues, you can get your money back. 

I enjoyed taking the Activia challenge and working with Activia. 

Giveaway Terms
August 25, 2014 – September 28, 2014. Administrator: Mom It Forward; Sponsor: Legend PR. The Dannon Company, Inc. is included in rights granted hereunder. No purchase necessary to enter. No more than one entry per person via each of the methods listed in the Giveaway details.  The odds of winning a Giveaway depend on the number of eligible entries.  Winners will be selected randomly by Mom It Forward using as a selection tool. All decisions of Mom It Forward are final.  Employees of Mom It Forward and the Giveaway sponsor are not eligible to participate. All entries received after the Giveaway closing date and time will not be considered. Entries that do not follow all of the entry requirements will not be considered. Winners will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to confirm receipt of the e-mail. If the winner does not reply within 24 hours, another winner will be selected. Open to participants in the US (excluding the following states: NJ, CA, TN, NV, ND and LA)  and Canada who are 18 years and older. Void where prohibited. Taxes on Giveaways are solely the responsibility of the winner.  Winner agrees to permit Mom It Forward and the Giveaway Sponsor to use her or his name, voice, photo, or likeness for reasonable promotional and marketing purposes for up to 90 days after the end of the Giveaway.  Mom It Forward and Sponsor are not liable for late or misdirected entries, entry errors, or transmission problems. Mom It Forward reserves the right to terminate the Giveaway in the event of technical problems, or to correct typographical or technical errors, or to amend these rules. All participants should review the Mom It Forward disclosure and privacy policies. By entering, participants agree to release and hold harmless Mom It Forward, Sponsor, The Dannon Company, Inc., and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all liability or any injuries, loss, or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with a Giveaway. Mom It Forward will provide the name of the winner for any Giveaway, upon request via email to Mom It Forward, for 90 days after that Giveaway’s entry period ends. Unless otherwise provided by the Sponsor, no substitution, transfer, or assignment of prizes is permitted.  Non-winning entries from one Giveaway are not carried forward to future Giveaways.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Spicy Minestrone Soup

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SauceOn #CollectiveBias

Spicy Minestrone Soup
Starting at the end of my pregnancy, I began to love soup. I never was such a fan before but for the last month or two, I have been wanting it like crazy. I recently had some great minestrone soup at an Italian restaurant and wanted to recreate a similar recipe at home. I recently picked up some El Yucateco Black Label Reserve chile habanero hot sauce and made a homemade spicy minestrone soup using it.

Spicy Minestrone Soup
The soup turned out excellent and I enjoyed the use of this flavorful hot sauce. This particular Black Label Reserve sauce is sold exclusively at Walmart. I was able to find it in the international section under hispanic foods. I was shocked that this sauce is actually black colored. I have never seen a hot sauce that was this color before. I think that it would be neat in a halloween recipe for this reason.

El Yucateco Hot Sauce
I also tried the other hot sauces from El Yucateco which I had not tried before. We had tacos with shredded steak and used the chile habanero sauce which added a good flavor and spice. I do not use hot sauce all that often but my husband who is half Mexican loves hot sauce on all different kinds of foods. My entire family is obsessed with trying different hot sauces and enjoyed this one.
Chopped Vegetables

Spicy Minestrone Soup

Makes a huge pot, can cut in half if you want less. Makes great leftovers and freezes well. This meal is very healthy and tastes great!

8 large carrots
1 large summer squash
1 large zucchini
1 1/2 red onions
5 stalks celery
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tablespoon dried chopped garlic
2 cans dark red kidney beans
3 cups no-salt added chicken stock
1-28 oz can of no-salt added diced tomatoes
1-28 oz can no-salt added crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups your choice of grain (I used wheatberries, can also use pasta, rice, etc.)
2 tablespoons El Yucateco Black Label Reserve chile habanero hot sauce

1. Chop all vegetables into small bite sized pieces.
2. Add to a large pot and add about 2 cups of water. Cook over high heat.
3. Once vegetables start to become tender, turn heat down to medium and add basil, black pepper and garlic.
4. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, cook grains according to directions. Cook until slightly firm.
5. Cook until vegetables are 90% cooked and then add chicken stock, kidney beans, wheatberries (or other grain), hot sauce, diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes.
6. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until flavors are melded and all food is thoroughly cooked.

Spicy Minestrone Soup
The minestrone can be served immediately or is even better the next day.

Hot sauce

I enjoyed using El Yucateco hot sauces and thought that it was a great addition to my soup. Check out these sites for recipes using El Yucateco sauces.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Luna Lullaby Review

Luna Lullaby Nursing Pillow
Luna Lullaby is a company that makes different products for baby including nursing pillows, blankets, tummy time pillows and more. They have the cutest patterns including chevron and damask which are my two very favorite patterns!

The Lil Something pillow is great for on the go. It is small at only 20" and has a v-shape that can be used for nursing on the go. It can also be used for tummy time for baby. It has a soft, plush removable cover that can be washed which is nice in case baby spits up on the pillow. I think that this would be perfect to store in the car and use for nursing on a trip.

Luna Lullaby Chevron Blanket
I was sent this awesome chevron blanket to review. It is extremely soft and perfect for baby. I can't wait to lay her out on this blanket for some tummy time! From what I read, babies love different patterns and designs so I love that these may be visually stimulating to her eyes.

The nursing pillows retail for $54 and come in all different colors and patterns. It creates the "perfect position for mother to raise the baby to breast level" which helps with the latching process. It can fit all different shapes and sizes of women.

Luna Lullaby Bosom Baby
It can also be used as a maternity sleeping pillow. Unfortunately, I received this too late in my pregnancy to be used as a maternity pillow but it would have been nice to take on trips to use for this function when my other maternity pillow was too large to pack. It comes with a very soft cover which is different than some other nursing pillows.

I love the look of the Luna Lullaby products and look forward to using them with our baby.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

NAR Gourmet Review

NAR Gourmet vinegar and oils
I love cooking with different vinegars and oils and recently had the opportunity to try out some delicious ones from NAR Gourmet. NAR Gourmet also sells ground spices, jams and other yummy food items.

I was sent some olive oil, hazelnut oil, garlic olive oil and apple vinegar to try. The first recipe that I made with these oils was a dressing for my farmer's market fresh salad:
-extra virgin olive oil
-apple vinegar
-black pepper
-garlic powder

I shook up all the ingredients and it made a delicious dressing. You can tell that the NAR Gourmet products are good quality as they had a lot of flavor.

NAR Gourmet jam
I was also sent some orange jam and raspberry jam to try. I really liked the raspberry jam which tasted very fresh and flavorful. It is awesome on an open faced peanut butter and jelly sandwhich- one of my biggest pregnancy cravings. Actually, I love these year round.

NAR Gourmet organic spices
Finally, I was able to try some NAR Gourmet spices including oregano, ground dried tomato and basil. These come in the cutest little containers and are organic. With these spices, I decided to make a huge pan of baked spaghetti. With Troy being back at work as a teacher, the work week is busier and it is awesome to have food on hand.

Here is what went into our baked spaghetti:
-A huge chopped zucchini
-A can of no-added salt diced tomatoes
-1 jar spaghetti sauce
-1 box whole wheat spaghetti
-1 tablespoon NAR Gourmet organic basil
-1 tablespoon NAR Gourmet organic oregano
-3 diced garlic cloves
-1 teaspoon onion powder
-Topped with 2% mozzarella cheese

The flavors of these NAR Gourmet herbs really came out and provided a delicious and fresh flavor in this dish. My husband loved it and we have yummy leftovers to have during the week.

All of these NAR Gourmet products are tasty and add a lot of flavor to foods! I enjoyed trying them.
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