Freshly Review

Freshly

Posts have been lacking on the blog for a while now. The reason being is that my family has been growing pretty rapidly over the last few years. I feel like I just wrote this post when we had our second daughter. Now my wife and I just had our third daughter! So it’s without saying that our hands have been pretty full lately! Now, we planned pretty well this time for when we had our daughter to have enough food in the house for easy meals but family wanted to help out in providing food for us, specifically my Mom. My Mom wanted to help us out someway by providing food and making our hands less full. So recently I’ve been considering subscription models for meat or vegetables – but all those still required cooking, which was what I was trying to avoid for the past month or so while we were trying to figure out how to feed 3 kids and ourselves!

Freshly
So my wife brought up maybe having my Mom put money towards Freshly. I immediately went over to their site to check out their meals and how they worked. Turns out the price is pretty reasonable if you have a coupon code and the ingredients are pretty spot on for accommodating our primal meal tastes. Now I will get into later how these aren’t exactly Primal compliant but the alternative was us going out to eat or picking up something else with worse ingredients – and one can only eat so much Chipotle or In N Out protein style burgers before going insane. It’s all about balance.

Freshly

So you may be wondering what the heck Freshly even is? So the basic idea is described on their website as follows:

  1. You choose your meals from Freshly’s constantly rotating weekly menu of over 30 different gluten-free options.
  2. Freshly cooks and delivers all of your meals that are prepared and cooked by Freshly chefs and delivered fresh – never frozen.
  3. Then you enjoy the fully prepared, healthy meals that are ready in under 3 minutes. The only thing you need to do is enjoy.

So I still want to treat this like a product review because that’s what Freshly is – a product. That means I want to look at the three typical categories: Nutritional Profile, Affordability and Taste.

Nutritional Profile

Freshly
There’s a bunch of different meals you get to choose from and have delivered each week, but for the sake of this review I’ll just mention a few. Overall though, their meals are described as “gluten free, packed with protein, free from refined sugars and all natural”. Let’s look at the nutritional profile of one my favorites:

Braised Rosemary Pork with Sautéed Kale and Roasted Red Potatoes
Total Fat: 24g
Total Carbohydrate: 32g (Dietary Fiber 5g, Sugars 7g)
Protein: 33g
Ingredients: Pork (Pork, Pork Glace (Water, Pork Bones, Carrots, Celery, Onions, Tomato Paste, Spices) Sea Salt, Black Pepper), Carrots, Potatoes, Kale, Tomatoes (Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid), Water, Onion, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Chablis, Chicken Stock (Chicken Broth, Natural Flavors, Mirepoix Stock (Carrot, Onion and Celery Juices), Gelatin, White Wine), Celery, Tomato Paste (Tomatoes, Citric Acid), Garlic, Bacon (Pork, Water, Salt, Sugar, Celery Powder, Natural Flavor), Chicken Fat, Cassava Flour, Sea Salt, Spices, Rice Flour, Nutritional Yeast.

Icons

Looking at the listing of this meal on their site they also have these cool little icons that indicate that the meal is: Low Carb, High Protein, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Soy Free (and occasionally they’ll have some meals listed as Paleo). This one probably isn’t indicated as “Paleo” because it has potatoes in it, even though Potatoes are pretty much Paleo and Whole30 now adays.

Now a quick breeze over all these ingredients in this meal look pretty spot on and honestly this meal is near perfect. I could virtually live off of these meals indefinitely if I could afford it consistently. However there is one main ingredient in pretty much every one of their meals, including the ones labeled as Paleo. What ingredient is that: Expeller Pressed Canola Oil. Apart from this one ingredient these meals are perfectly primal and paleo. What’s wrong with canola oil you ask? Well I could write a whole post on it but I’d rather just have you read this article and this article and this article. The gist of it is that it’s a highly processed oil derived from rapeseed that goes through a bunch of weird processes like being degummed, bleached and deodorized. You can watch the process of it in this youtube video.

Ok but that’s what’s wrong with regular canola oil, but these meals contain expeller pressed canola oil. What’s the difference? Well expeller pressed means it doesn’t go through all those weird chemical processes, it’s just pressed (put simply). But that doesn’t change the fact that this oil is high in “heart healthy (omega–6) fats” aka polyunsaturated fats, which means it’s more susceptible to oxidation than say saturated fat. That’s why saturated fat is good for you because it has less of an opportunity to oxidize – saturated fat is more stable.

Ok but what does that mean for these meals and why am I still eating them you ask? Because. Everything else about these meals is perfect and a little expeller pressed canola oil is better than the alternative. It’s a worthy trade off for the convenience. The alternative is that I go out to eat Chipotle or In N out or … Pizza Hut. Seriously, a little canola oil in these meals won’t kill me – I have more of a chance of dying in a car accident than a little canola oil in these amazing convenient tasty meals.

However, if someone at Freshly is reading this please take this to heart: please stop using canola oil and switch to something more healthy like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, lard, tallow or red palm oil.

The rest of their meals vary in carb/fat/protein content slightly but you can just find the meal that fits your macro goals. You’re able to select what your restrictions are and they will tell you what meals fit within your restrictions. All their meals are gluten free, but say you don’t like turkey (which my wife and I don’t) you can tell them that and they will indicate which meals have turkey in them.

Affordability

Freshly
Figuring out how much these cost is kind of weird because there are always promotions and deals. Like this one if you sign up with our referral link you can get 6 dinners for $39. Their standard prices can be found here and for the sake of this review I’ll review their standard prices since there are always promotions and it would be too hard to rate them off their promo price.

Their standard prices are as follows:

  • 4 Meals per week: $49.99 ($12.50/meal)
  • 6 Meals per week: $59.99 ($9.99/meal)
  • 9 Meals per week: $89.99 ($9.99/meal)
  • 12 Meals per week: $107.99 ($8.99/meal)

All the meals include free shipping so you don’t have to worry about that. So how do these stack up? You’re obviously paying for convenience – and in this season of our lives with a newborn and 2 other kids we needed the convince. Let’s take the 6 meals a week plan and compare because that’s the plan my wife and I use. 6 meals a week worked out for us because we do a bible study throughout the week where each one of us is left home with the kids for one night by ourselves so having this on those nights is especially helpful. That’s where 2 meals are used (4 for both of us) then the other 2 are eaten on Thursday or we freeze them for another day (you can freeze them and they will reheat just as well, you just have to add an extra minute). Then typically we make food or go out to eat the other times. Fridays or the weekends we like to make ribs or some other thing on the BBQ. Just a note, we don’t feed our kids these meals, it’s just enough portion size for us to eat and we normally feed them leftover meat, berries and pouches.

Compare $9.99 a meal to going out to eat. You can get a pizza for $10 and feed the whole family sure. But a better comparison would be to the alternative that we would eat if we didn’t have these meals. If we didn’t get a chance to cook and we needed something primal and fast we would go to the standard Paleo option: Chipotle. So how does my typical Chipotle order stack up against a $9.99 meal from Freshly?

Chipotle Bowl
2x Carnitas ($2.70 extra), White Rice, No Beans, Guacamole, Fresh Tomato Salsa, Sour Cream, Fajita Veggies, Cheese and Romaine Lettuce.
Total: $13.25

You could even take away the double meat and it would still come out to $10.34. Therefore I really think Freshly at their standard price of $9.99 a meal is a great deal. It’s good food with a great amount of convenience. Sure you could bust out a super cheap dinner for your family with some roasted veggies and carnitas or something – or heck even make a homemade chipotle bowl yourself and I’m sure it would come out cheaper that $9.99 (only by a little) – but that’s not convenient. I think $9.99 a meal is a great price for their convince of just having to warm them up and then sitting down and eating a meal in less than 5 minutes.

Taste

Freshly
Normally when you think of pre-made meals it conjures up ideas of gross frozen meals and lean cuisines – but know that Freshly is fresh not frozen and their not tasteless/saltless like the majority of precooked meals out there. My wife and I have tried several meals from Freshly now and to be honest all of them taste great! Let’s take a look at a few meals I’ve eaten and how they taste.


Photo courtesy of freshly.com
Braised Rosemary Pork with Sautéed Kale and Roasted Red Potatoes
Like I said this one is my favorite and the one I continue to order each week. The kale is steamed with some sort or tomatoes and bacon and such and it really makes a steamed leafy green approachable if you don’t normally eat them. The pork is hearty and full of flavor and goes great with the little bit of potatoes and carrots.


Photo courtesy of freshly.com
Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
This one was probably my least favorite. Normally I love spaghetti squash as a replacement for noodles. Even more than julienned zucchini as I’ve written about here. But this meal was my least favorite because I wish there was more sauce. There was only a little amount of sauce with this dish, almost like it was a mistake. The meatballs were great and gluten free – which normally doesn’t happen often. All together everything tasted great, I just with there was a little more sauce or maybe I just eat really large portion sizes normally.


Photo courtesy of freshly.com
Buffalo Chicken Breast with Loaded Cauliflower
This one was really cool to try, the flavor was really good with the buffalo sauce. The mashed cauliflower was amazing (if you do dairy, as there was a little dairy in the mixture I think). The only negative on this one for me was the gluten free breaded chicken – because you’re microwaving these and essentially steaming them, you can’t ever get a crispy texture on breading. So while the chicken was good, the breading texture wasn’t great.

Conclusion

First off, thank you Mom for buying these for us! They most definitely came in handy when we needed them most and they fit our dietary restrictions (aside from the canola oil) and most importantly – they tasted great! We liked them so much that after my Mom gifted these to us, we’re still buying them ourselves to have on hand while my wife and I are in this busy season of our lives. It’s nice to have the convenience for a few days out of the week.

As I pointed out earlier as well, if someone at Freshly is reading this please take this to heart: please stop using canola oil and switch to something more healthy like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, lard, tallow or red palm oil.

I suggest everyone try them out even if you’re slightly intrigued and needing the convenience. Like I said if you sign up with our referral link you can get 6 dinners for $39. Check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!

Wilde Snack Bar Review

Wilde Snack Bars

If you’ve been around this blog for awhile now you’re probably aware that I’m always on the hunt for the perfect primal protein bar/snack. And I’d say we’ve come pretty close to some great primal bars out there, ones that are made of crickets, egg whites or straight up real meat. Today though I have another review of some really tasty and surely primal bars for you guys to check out called Wilde Snack Bars (not to be confused with the Wildway Granola I reviewed). For this Wilde Snack Bar Review we’re gonna take a look at how they stack up against other protein bars in regards to Nutritional Profile, Affordability and Taste.

Wilde Snack Bar Review

Wilde Snack Bars come out to be very similar to the Epic Bars that are out there since their protein source is real meat: turkey, beef, chicken, etc… – but Wilde’s unique blend of ingredients make these bars slightly sweeter and crunchier. I first saw them on someone’s Instagram and immediately reached out to Wilde to see if I can review some of their bars and they were more than willing to hook it up – and hook it up they did. They sent a giant box of all their flavors for me to review. So let’s get to it!

Wilde Snack Bars Nutrition

Nutritional profile

Since both Wilde and Epic make their protein bars with real meat, I think it’s only fitting to look at how the two stack up against one another. Epic has a lot of different flavors but I picked out the Bison, Bacon and Cranberry bar to compare with Wilde’s Maple Bacon Blueberry bar.

Wilde’s Maple Bacon Blueberry bar
Total Fat: 1.5g
Total Carbohydrate: 10g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 5g)
Protein: 11g
Ingredients: Free Range Turkey, Cane Sugar, Rice Syrup Solids, Uncured Bacon – No Nitrates Or Nitrites Added Except For Sea Salt And Celery Juice (Pork, Water, Sea Salt, Sugar, Natural Flavoring, Celery Juice, Lactic Acid Starter Culture), Date Paste, Organic Whole Grain Yellow Cornmeal, Vegetable Glycerin, Chia Seeds, Dried Blueberries, Ground Flaxseed, Sea Salt, Quinoa, Maple Syrup, Natural Flavors, Hickory Salt (Salt, Molasses, Natural Hickory Smoke Flavor)

Epic’s Bison, Bacon and Cranberry bar
Total Fat: 8g
Total Carbohydrate: 10g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 7g)
Protein: 8g
Ingredients: Bison, Uncured Bacon- – No Nitrates Added (Pork, Water, Brown Sugar, Salt, Vinegar, Celery Powder, Sea Salt), Dried Cranberries (Cranberries, Apple Juice Concentrate), Lactic Acid (Not from milk), Celery Powder, Sea Salt.

Wilde Snack Bar Nutrition

Woah, at first glance what do you see? Wilde has a bunch of ingredients and both are pretty low in fat more or less. Let’s focus on the ingredients first. These type of bars are really a take on Pemmican. What’s Pemmican you ask? According to Wikipedia it’s “a concentrated mixture of fat and protein used as a nutritious food. The specific ingredients used were usually whatever was available; the meat was often bison, deer, elk, or moose. Fruits such as cranberries and saskatoon berries were sometimes added. Blueberries, cherries, chokeberries, and currants were also used…”

So that’s pretty much what you see in the ingredients of both bars: Lean Protein, Fats and Dried Fruits. The only things that stick out to me in the ingredients of Wilde’s bars are the rice solid syrups, cornmeal and vegetable glycerin. Rice syrup is basically a glucose syrup like corn syrup, but it’s deprived from rice. Not a big deal, but it’s still a grain, and it definitely makes these bars sweet. Cornmeal, well corn is not a vegetable it’s a grain also, but cornmeal is basically a flour made from corn. Both ingredients still gluten free but not necessarily paleo or primal. Then we have vegetable glycerin which according to this is a “clear, odorless liquid produced from plant oils, typically palm oil, soy, or coconut oil”. I’m not sure what this one is derived from in this particular case, but the package doesn’t say contains coconut or soy so I don’t think it’s coconut oil or soybean oil. So it could be palm oil. Nevertheless the rice syrup and corn aren’t necessarily paleo, but their still gluten free in nature and shouldn’t be an issue because they’re probably such small amounts in each bar.

Wilde Snack Bars Card Back

Compared to Epic bar, their list of ingredients is a lot smaller but contains a similar nutritional profile. Epic’s has a little more fat per bar than Wilde – However I would like to see these bars have much more fat per bar since we know fat is the body’s preferred source of fuel. Once again that’s why I love the nutritional profile of Exo bars because it has such a high fat content therefore sustaining you longer.

All in all both bars are great bars and we’ll get into this in the taste section but it would come down to if you want a bar that is sweeter or saltier. If sweeter – then the unique blend of ingredients in Wilde’s are probably your best bet but if you want a saltier/meatier tasting bar I’d go with Epic’s.

Wilde Snack Bars

Affordability

As we know by now, food that’s good for you is always expensive. Every affordability comparison I do of these bars comes out way more than a nutrigrain bar I know. But we are’t concerned with those junk bars. We are looking for a nutritious primal protein bar that will sustain us through whatever our day throws at us! So let’s see what it’ll cost us to get our hands (and teeth) on these bars.

Wilde’s Maple Bacon Blueberry bar
Price per bar: $2.96
Price per 15 bar box: $44.53
Buy on Amazon

Epic’s Bison, Bacon and Cranberry bar
Price per bar: $2.35
Price per 12 bar box: $28.31
Buy on Amazon

Both of these bars are up there in price, around $2-$3 per bar. The Epic bars are a little cheaper per bar and may even be cheaper in stores if you see them. I think they are in a lot of grocery stores now. I’m not sure yet how widely Wilde’s bars are distributed so they come out to be a little more expensive. But you are paying for quality ingredients made from a real protein source – lean meat. They are pretty similar in price though to RXBARs or Exo bars. All in all they’re still a great option, price wise, for a quick on the go snack that is made from real food – you’re just going to have to pay for the quality and convenience.

Wilde Snack Bars Taste

Taste

Now onto taste! The four bars that were sent to me are listed below and I made some notes about how each tasted. I do believe my favorite was the Maple Bacon Blueberry Bar. All of the bars, however, are very tasty and very moist. Very easy to eat and as I mentioned earlier they all tend to be on the sweeter side so if you like sweet snacks then these are a great option for you, but if you’re a salty snack kinda person I would say check out the Epic bars.

Maple Bacon Blueberry bar
Just the right amount of sweetness and smokiness. It’s a pretty good bar. Not too chewy just the right amount of moisture.

Turkey Cranberry Bar
Really soft and I could taste the peppery and slight sage. Just the right amount of sweetness. Not overpowering.

Peach BBQ bar
Super soft. Perfect flavor. Reminds me of the softness of Krave jerky but even softer. Not overly sweet. Just a little hint of sweet peachy flavor. This one was really good.

Sweet Thai Basil Bar
Once again very soft and sweet. This one has a little kick to it and a nice little touch with the basil. I love the taste of basil and you can pick it up a little in this.

Wilde Snack Bars Card

Conclusion

Thank you Wilde Snacks for sending me these amazing bars. These are all definitely up there on my go-to primal protein bar list as they use a real protein source, they actually taste pretty darn good and they don’t taste like anything out there on the market right now. So be sure to check them out. You can order some online in the links below or their site says they’re available at these stores: Alfalfa’s, Natural Grocers, Bristol Farms, Lucky’s Market, Whole Foods, Earth Fare, Market of Choice and Sprouts. Thanks for reading!

Buy some for yourself:
Amazon

Wildway Granola & Instant Hot Cereal Review

Wildway Granola

By now you know I’m a sucker for some good granola. Especially the kind that doesn’t have oats, which is pretty much every granola out there. I already found a really great granola, Paleonola, but browsing instagram one day I came across another contender in the Paleo granola market – Wildway. Which is great because the more companies, means the more competition to make great Paleo granola – and more flavors.

Wildway Instant Hot Cereal

Not only did I find some cool new Paleo granola, Wildway, I saw that they made a new product that I haven’t seen done before – basically a replacement for instant oatmeal! They call it instant hot cereal. It’s basically a ground up nut/seed mixture with dried dates and all you do is add hot water (hence the correlation to instant oatmeal) and voila – breakfast!

Wildway Instant Hot Cereal

So once I saw both of these products on their site I reached out to them to see if I could get my hands on their beautifully packaged products and they were more than happy to send me some samples of their granola and instant hot cereal.

As always with our product reviews, we will review the: Nutritional Profile, Affordability and Taste. Let’s get to it!

Nutritional Profile

Let’s take a look at their granola and instant hot cereal. First up their granola.

Wildway Granola

Wildway Apple Cinnamon
Total Fat: 10g
Total Carbohydrate: 12g (Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 8g)
Protein: 4g
Ingredients: Organic dates, apples, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dry roasted cashews (cashews, sea salt), pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean.

Paleonola Apple Pie
Total Fat: 15g
Total Carbohydrate: 7g (Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 4g)
Protein: 4g
Ingredients: Almonds, Pecans, Pepitas, Honey, Walnuts, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Seeds, Flax Seeds, Dried Apple, Dried Coconut, Spices, Vanilla Extract. *Denotes Organic Ingredient

Nature’s Path Hemp Plus Granola
Total Fat: 3g
Total Carbohydrate: 10g (Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 4g)
Protein: 2g
Ingredients: Rolled oats, evaporated cane juice, soy oil, brown rice flour, flax seeds, hemp seeds, oat syrup solids* (oat syrup solids, tocopherols), sea salt, molasses. *Organic.

These two granolas, Paleonola and Wildway, are two different approaches to granola. Paleonola seems to roast their granola with coconut oil and such therefore giving way to a little more fat per serving than Wildway. There are slightly more carbs in Wildway’s granola than Paleonola, but that’s most likely due to the dates. Dates are pretty high in sugar. Both granolas though are much better options than the low fat high carb granolas like Nature’s path. Wildway fills you up and leaves you satisfied, while I could see myself downing a whole box of Nature’s Path and then feeling hungry in an hour.

I do like that Wildway and Paleonola take different approaches to sweetening their granolas. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other, just different. Some people may not do well with honey or dates so it’s a good thing we have options.

Now these hot cereals are something I’ve never seen so I had to google paleo instant oatmeal and I found this on Amazon. So here’s how the competition breaks down:

Wildway Instant Hot Cereal Nutrition Facts

Wildway Cinnamon Roll Instant Hot Cereal
Total Fat: 19g
Total Carbohydrate: 15g (Dietary Fiber 7g, Sugars 4g)
Protein: 7g
Ingredients: Walnuts, ground flaxseed, cashews, coconut flour, pecans, cinnamon, dried dates, vanilla bean.

Pure Traditions Instant Hot Cereal
Total Fat: 26g
Total Carbohydrate: 14g (Dietary Fiber 6g, Sugars 6g)
Protein: 14g
Ingredients: Hulled Hemp Seed, Almond, Organic Coconut, Organic Chia Seed, Organic Coconut Sugar, Konjac Root, Organic Cinnamon, Himalayan Pink Salt.

Quaker Apple & Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal
Total Fat: 2g
Total Carbohydrate: 33g (Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 12g)
Protein: 4g
Ingredients: Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Sugar, Dehydrated Apples (Treated With Sodium Sulfite To Promote Color Retention), Natural And Artificial Flavor, Salt, Cinnamon, Calcium Carbonate, Citric Acid, Guar Gum, Malic Acid, Niacinamide, Reduced Iron, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Folic Acid*, Caramel Color

As you can see Quaker is obviously insane on carbs and offered little sustenance with only 2g of fat. I would feel sluggish and hungry after eating this instant oatmeal. So the real contender is between Wildway’s instant hot cereal and this one I had to look up from Pure Traditions (the serving size is a little larger for Pure Traditions, so the numbers are slightly inflated). Both take different approaches to sweetening and fat, which again is nice to have both options. One uses dates for the sweetener, and the other coconut sugar for the sweetener. One uses walnuts and cashews and the other uses hemp seeds and almonds. Both are still pretty high in fat, low on sugar and will offer a quick breakfast on the go. The Pure Traditions instant hot cereal does have double the protein which is pretty impressive, but this is probably attributed to the hemp seeds. You could do the same by throwing some hemp seeds on top of the Wildway instant hot cereal – which I normally keep on hand anyway for salads.

I never knew such a thing existed but it’s really a great replacement nutritionally to instant oatmeal packets, especially since their aren’t 10 different ingredients that I can’t pronounce, and the carbs are relatively low. These Wildway instant breakfast packets are definitely something I’m gonna need to have on hand in the office.

Affordability

Wildway Granola

Wildway Apple Cinnamon
10oz $7.99

Paleonola Apple Pie
10oz $8.99

Nature’s Path Hemp Plus Granola
11.5oz $3.69

Wildway and Paleonola both are drastically more expensive than the Nature’s Path, but that’s something I already addressed here. But in short it’s because nuts are expensive and oats are not. You’ll have to pay a little more for quality and for something that will sustain you and not leave you hungry in an hour.

Wildway Instant Hot Cereal

Wildway Cinnamon Roll Instant Hot Cereal
Price per packet: $1.50
Price per 4 pack (7oz): $5.99

Pure Traditions Instant Hot Cereal
Price per 8oz: $9.00

Quaker Apple & Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal
Price per packet: $0.25
Price per 4 pack: $2.50

It’s insane how cheap instant oatmeal packets are. Once again – oats are cheap – but just cause they’re cheap doesn’t mean you should be eating them. The Wildway packets break down to a pretty reasonable price for a quick breakfast on the go. They’re great options. The Pure traditions instant hot cereal is a little more and it doesn’t come in individual packets which I think is a huge downfall. I loved that I could grab the packets with my lunch – pour it in a paper cup at work and go to the hot water machine and boom – breakfast is served.

Someone could argue that the alternative is that I purchase all the ingredients used in Wildway’s instant hot cereal and grind it down myself, but let’s face it – no one has time for that, and I’m not sure if that would even be cheaper. I will choose for convenience and I will be coming back to Wildway for more instant host cereal packets.

Taste

The overall arching theme of Wildway’s granola and instant hot cereals, for me, was that they were not overly sweet, which I loved because it was like they didn’t force you to eat the carbs via sugar if you didn’t want to. You could always go back and add some honey or maple syrup if you wanted.

Now I took my time testing all these flavors because I really wanted to get a grasp of if I really liked them and if I would be coming back for more. Let’s see how they turned out:

Wildway Granola

Wildway Grain-free Granola: Apple Cinnamon
Super cinnamon tasting. More chewy than the other granola. Dates are more evenly chopped and dispersed than the other granolas as well. The chopped up apples are a nice texture as well.

Wildway Grain-free Granola: Banana Nut
Soft and chewy. Very much tastes like banana bread. Pretty strong cinnamon flavor too. Nice texture from the dried bananas. Just the right amount of sweet.

Wildway Grain-free Granola: Coconut Cashew
Nice coconut flavor. Soft and chewy, not sticky or crunchy. The dates are in big chunks and not chopped up. Would be nice if they were smaller so the sweetness was more even throughout.

Wildway Grain-free Granola: Vanilla Bean Espresso
Very strong coffee flavor! Soft and chewy. Not sweet by itself but tastes amazing with yogurt. Unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before. This was by far my favorite!

Wildway Instant Hot Cereal

Wildway Grain-free Instant Hot Cereal: Blueberry Flax
I really like this one. Nice texture and blueberry flavor. Though it has no added sweetener it doesn’t really need it like some of the others. I would literally eat this all the time for breakfast at work.

Wildway Grain-free Instant Hot Cereal: Cinnamon Roll
Very cinnamon tasting. Not really sweet but I don’t think it needs more sweetness. Nice texture. Just the right amount of sweetness. If you like cinnamon tasting things you’ll love this one. Very oatmeal like and reminds me of the packets I used to eat pre-Primal.

Wildway Grain-free Instant Hot Cereal: Java Chip
Very coffee flavored. Not sweet at all, could use a little more sweetness. Very filling. Nice cocoa flavor and crunch from the coffee and cocoa nibs.

Wildway Grain-free Instant Hot Cereal: Original
Real good normal instant oatmeal replacement. Just the right amount of sweetness actually. Nice texture, smooth. Would be nice to add berries on top. No need to add sweetener. Noticeably pleasant vanilla flavor.

Wildway Grain-free Instant Hot Cereal: Toasted Coconut
Not very sweet, could use some more. Very filling. I would use less water with this one. It has a very oatmeal-like texture. It takes some getting used to since most instant oatmeal is super sweet.

So will I be coming back for more? Yes. Overall my favorite of both were the Vanilla Bean Espresso Granola and the Blueberry Flax Instant Hot Cereal. All the different flavors would appear to different people so it’s nice to see the variety Wildway has to offer.


Conclusion

Again, thank you Wildway for sending me your products to review. Y’all were more than generous. For all the readers I suggest you check out some of their granola and instant hot cereal because both are definitely nice to have on hand for when you don’t have time to cook up some bacon and eggs or if you’re looking for an after dinner snack. Thanks for reading!

Buy some for yourself:

Simplifying Paleo So it Sticks in the New Year

Simplifying Paleo So it Sticks in the New Year

It’s a new year and the internets are rampant with new diets and exercise regimes to jump into in hopes of losing weight and getting healthier. Depending on where you’re at in your health journey you can start a whole30 today, or you can start a 21 day challenge or if you’re already a veteran Paleo check out these 10 lessons learned from Russ Crandall. Whatever you do starting this new year you have to start somewhere and that’s where I think it can be overwhelming for some. There is just so much out there and it can be difficult determining where to start so here is a template for simplifying Paleo so it sticks in the new year.

So I want to propose something easy to swallow. A foundation for eating. Basically providing a template on where you can base your meals for breakfast, lunch & dinner. The reason for this is because so many people start diets and sign up for gyms at the beginning of the new year and end up falling off the wagon shortly after. So my goal is to simplify Paleo so that it sticks. I don’t want to provide specific recipes because if you’re just starting Paleo or already a veteran; recipes can be overwhelming or not needed.

Why start with food and not a template for exercise? Well, while exercise is necessary for health, all health starts first with what you eat. Weight loss and health doesn’t start with exercise. Weight loss and health starts with what we eat and put in your body. So if you’re looking to lose weight or just be overall healthier – start here with what you should eat for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Remember this is just a starting point not an end point. You can start here for your meals and expand on them for what works best for you and your family. Starting out here is great for losing weight and seeing how you do then when you reach your ideal weight you can add in more starches like white potatoes and white rice.

Though it’s already the new year maybe plan your grocery trip before the start of the week and begin this template Monday. Review the basics of Primal here if this is all new to you and you’re trying to figure out what’s Paleo/Primal. But for now let’s check out a simple and easy template for your daily meals:

Breakfast – Bacon & Eggs

 

A photo posted by Kristi Creasey (@hikristi) on

Breakfast couldn’t be easier to figure out. It’s dead simple and it’s exactly what we need for the morning – protein. Get yourself some eggs and bacon from the store. Cook the bacon first then use the bacon fat for your eggs and boom – Primal breakfast done. Note: I started out this way on Primal a few years ago but now I normally fast for breakfast throughout the week and just eat lunch around 11:30am. So depending on if you’re hungry in the morning, you can always fast and just go straight to lunch.


Lunch – Salad

 

#lunch

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Get yourself some organic mixed greens or whatever salad mix you like and throw it in a bowl with olive oil and vinegar or some Tessemae’s dressing. Add in whatever veggies, seeds or nuts you like. Then add in some protein in the form of leftovers from the night before or cans of fish i.e. tuna, sardines or salmon.


Dinner – Meat & Roasted Veggies

 

I love this Cacao-Rubbed Steak recipe by @thedomesticman. Link to it in the profile. #dinner

A photo posted by That’s So Primal (@thatssoprimal) on

Dinner doesn’t have to be hard. Throw some protein on the grill or in a crockpot and use your oven and some baking trays to roast some veggies in the fat of your choice: lard, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, duck fat, tallow, etc… You don’t even need to follow a recipe for this really. Just make sure to use seasonings and fat to make the veggies tasty. This is a good post to check out if you’ve never roasted veggies before or check out my roasted broccoli that has become a staple in our house.

Remember these meals are just a template and a base to start from. Some days may look completely different. Don’t expect perfection. Expect that some days you might eat a doughnut or nachos but know that your foundation for eating 80% of the time should be based around these types of meals listed above. Then leave the 20% of things you eat for times that planning meals may be out of your control: office parties, birthdays, Disneyland or just because you’re craving ice cream. As Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo says think of Paleo as the main highway and expect to take slight detours every so often.

Vitamins & Supplements

Vitamins & Supplements

Do hunter gatherers take supplements? Probably not. Why? Well, they don’t have access to amazon.com. Just kidding, that’s not why they don’t need supplements. A hunter gatherer lifestyle naturally consists of all the things a body needs: antioxidants, proper omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, good bacteria in the gut, mineral water, ample amounts of protein and plenty of sunlight.

Since I live in a box, drive in a box on wheels, to work in a box – all to just return to my box and to pay for my box. Getting all the things listed above is pretty difficult – even when you’re eating healthy and exercising. So, my family and I use certain staple supplements to offset the fact that I can’t hunt all day and eat local gathered fruits and vegetables all day. Below are the staples that we include in our diet and these are just suggestions so be sure to consult your doctor before taking any of these, especially if you’re pregnant (which my wife is but we chose to ignore the doctor regarding our 5000 IU intake of Vitamin D).

1. Multivitamin

There has been a lot of stuff in the news about how multivitamins have been shown to be useless or not that beneficial. The study they cite is normally using this data, but that same data was used in another study and found that multivitamins help to prevent cancer in men. Without going too much into it, I still take a high quality multivitamin and my wife takes a high quality prenatal vitamin. Sure, the best way to get all these vitamins is from real food which we try to do, but we can’t always get these in our diet daily – so for that reason we use a multivitamin.
Buy – Rainbow Light Multivitamin

2. Vitamin D

You’re probably Vitamin D deficient. That’s just the reality. We don’t spend as much time in the sun as we need to. If you’re unsure or want to check you can go to your doctor and ask for your 25(OH)D levels tested. The first time I got my test I was just barely in the range of not being deficient (36 ng/mL), and I was already making an attempt to get in the sun more. I then realized that I needed to supplement vitamin D orally to get my levels higher. Sure you can get vitamin D from fish, pastured eggs and raw milk – but it’s still not enough. You need sun to have your body synthesize the vitamin or you take a supplement. I now take 5000 IU daily, as does my pregnant wife, and my levels are now at 74 ng/mL. The Vitamin D Council recommends a range between 50 – 80 ng/ml, therefore I aim for that.
Buy – NOW Foods Vitamin D3 5000 IU

3. Fish Oil

This one isn’t really controversial. We all should be taking fish oil, it’s even one that my pregnant wife’s doctors are ok telling her to take in high doses. Fish oil is important because we should be shooting for an omega3/6 ratio of 1:1. That ratio gets thrown off from things like industrial seed oils and grain fed cattle. That’s why we should be cooking in butter, coconut oil, lard, olive oil, etc… and consuming grass fed meats. The standard american diet’s omega 3/6 ratio is about 1:30! Getting our ratio to 1:1 is pretty difficult but worth it as it reduces overall inflammation, reduces our risk of cancer, lowers our risk for heart disease and many other health benefits that you can google. How much do we need? Mark Sisson suggests that 1–3 grams of fish oil each day is a good way to restore balance.
Buy – Now Foods Ultra Omega 3

4. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is good for boosting your immune system, therefore when I feel like I’m getting sick I take a good amount of vitamin C (2000IU). To keep my immune system boosted, I normally take a slow release 1000IU every day. According to this cancer.gov site there have been lab studies that have shown that high doses of vitamin C may slow the growth and spread of prostate, pancreatic, liver, colon, and other types of cancer cells. Granted those higher doses of vitamin C are way beyond 2000 IU, they’re administered through IV and in the 100,000 IU range. Nevertheless vitamin c is a powerful vitamin that I find essential for my health.
Buy – NOW Foods Vitamin C-1000

5. Probiotics

Maintaining gut flora is essential for health. Now I could get the proper bacteria in my gut by eating dirt but that’s not really an option. I’m never really around dirt to get the benefits of good bacteria present in the dirt and I’m normally around Purell dispensers and antibacterial soap all day. For that reason I take a probiotic supplement daily. Sure you could get some good bacteria from some yogurt, kefir or kombucha but I like to get a good amount of bacteria in my gut from a probiotic supplement to counterbalance the 20 trillion colony forming units (CFU). The probiotic I take is about 25 billion CFU which is only a fraction of what’s already in the gut but it sure is better than the measly 1 billion CFU in the one you probably see on TV most often.
Buy – NOW Foods Probiotic-10 25 Billion

6. Mineral Drops

The purified water we drink typically has the minerals removed. Especially the water from the tap or refrigerator. Therefore I find it essential to add back in the minerals with these drops. I think it makes the water even taste better but you also get the benefit of adding back in the minerals that they normally take out. Things like calcium in drinking water have been associated with reduced risks of kidney cancer. Once again it would be ideal to get these trace minerals from inadvertently consuming dirt from foraging or something, but the produce in my grocery store is sparkling clean. However when I do use herbs from my garden I tend to leave some dirt on there just for good measure.
Buy – Trace Minerals

7. Protein Powder

This one is something the whole family uses and comes in real handy for our almost 2yr old daughter. She needs protein but she really only likes chicken and I can only eat so much chicken before I go crazy. Therefore we have been making this chia flax pudding for her that I wrote about here and we add in Primal Fuel. Primal Fuel is great because it has protein and fat. If you just pick up some other whey protein powder it’s most likely got a bunch of other junk in it and probably “low fat”. Whey protein is a great way to add extra protein in your diet and it’s animal based protein therefore it has a higher bioavailability than say pea protein or brown rice protein. If whey doesn’t work for you, you can always use cricket flour.
Buy – Primal Fuel


The 7 vitamins & supplements listed above are just some ways our family makes up for the fact that we can’t hunt and gather all day and be truly primal 24/7. These things help us get one step closer to living a more primal healthy life. What are some other vitamins and supplements you or your family use to close that primal/modern world gap?