Ample Review

Ample Review

My family and I went to the Zoo the other day with another family friend. In the middle of feeding parakeets and walking all the way to see the tigers, my buddy and I got into a conversation about meal replacement drinks (totally normal, right?). My buddy was telling me about one that he was going to try called Huel. I told him how funny because the other day I was thinking about Soylet and I wondered if there was some sort of Primal alternative to the Soylent type drink.

Zoo
Thanks to my Google Clips for capturing this moment

After we got home from the zoo I took a look at the one my buddy was talking about. Turns out it looks pretty good compared to Soylent, considering it’s not using soy for the protein source. Huel actually uses oats for it’s protein source. Now oats are definitely better than soy in terms of paleo/primal, but I wanted to look for something that truly caters to the paleo/primal crowd. After some googling I found this reddit post where people were talking about a product called Ample. I headed over to their site and read up on their ingredients and approach a little bit. As it turns out, Ample seems like the perfect paleo/primal option for a meal replacement type drink in the same vein as Soylent or Huel. So I reached out to the Ample team and they were more than willing to send me samples of their standard drink Ample and their Ample K geared towards Keto folks. So today we will be reviewing Ample and Ample K.

Ample Review

This review took some time (sorry Ample!) but I really wanted to approach both the Ample and Ample K as a true meal replacement and see how it fit into my daily routine. I’ll describe more below what I mean by that and compare this product to what I eat in a typical day. Therefore as always, we will be reviewing these drinks for: Nutritional Profile, Affordability and Taste. Let’s get to it!

Nutritional Profile

Ample Review
This product really reminds me of the guys that put together IQ Bars because the folks behind Ample really get nutrition and they put a ton of thought into their product. Ample started out on Indigogo in 2016 where they raised almost $400k to bring this dream into reality. They finished out as the #1 most funded Indiegogo food campaign of all time. Check out this video below describing how Ample came to be:

Now I could go on and list all their ingredients and whatnot but this other video they put together really tells the story on why they chose the ingredients they did for their product.

The ingredients Ample chose to use in their product are right in line with my primal goals. They use a real animal protein source, they aren’t afraid of fats and they keep the carbs relatively low – and even lower in their Ample K drink.

Ample Review

So how does this all actually fit in my lifestyle? A typical day day for me is as follows: I typically skip breakfast and carry over a fast from the night before until lunch around noon, then I eat dinner around 6:30–7pm. My first meal throughout the day is “lunch” (I put that in quotes because if I work from home that’s normally bacon and eggs – whereas when I’m in the office I don’t have the luxury of cooking bacon and eggs). My lunch at work though is normally a big salad tossed with olive oil and vinegar, a can of sardines, an avocado and some nori strips. So I wanted to compare the nutrition profile of my typical meal I eat at lunch with the Ample shake I’m replacing that meal with. Let’s take a look at how Ample compares to my typical lunch:

My Typical Lunch
Total Fat: 73g
Total Carbohydrate: 44g (Dietary Fiber 25g, Sugars 11g)
Protein: 35g
Ingredients: 1 container Wild Pacific Sardines In EVOO, 1 Avocado, 1 container Sweet Kale Salad No Dressing, 1 pack Roasted Seasoned Seaweed, 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Ample (400 Calorie)
Total Fat: 21g
Total Carbohydrate: 25g (Dietary Fiber 10g, Sugars 4g)
Protein: 27g
Ingredients: Grass-fed whey protein concentrate, coconut oil, tapioca dextrin, macadamia nut oil, pea protein, organic psyllium husk, grass-fed hydrolyzed collagen protein, dried honey, organic sweet potato powder, acacia fiber, sunflower lectin, chicory root fiber, Zuvii green banana powder, organic wheatgrass, sea salt, organic cocoa powder, organic barley grass, natural flavor, omega–3 Chia seed extract, lemon juice powder, probiotic blend (L. Acidophilus, L. Paracasei, B. Lactis, B. Infantis, L. Rhamnosus, Bacillus Coagulans), cinnamon, organic chlorella, monk fruit extract, Stevia extract

Now I’m totally assuming the myfitnesspal.com database has all those numbers for my lunch correct. I’ve never taken the time to add up my typical lunch so it’s kinda surprising that I basically eat a 1000 calorie lunch with 70g fat and 19g net carbs. Who knew?! So comparing what I typically eat to the Ample 400 calorie shake is surprising because I would probably feel more full if I did the 600 calorie shake, which is an option. For the purpose of this review I drank this shake instead of my typical lunch to see how hungry I felt by my typical dinner time and how I generally felt in the afternoon.

Ample Review

What were the results? Well I started out the first week with the regular Ample, then I switched to the Ample K the following week. The first week with the regular Ample instead of my typical lunch was completely normal and fine. It kept me full on the days I swam in the morning before work and on the days I didn’t swim and did strength training instead. The only difference was on the days I swam I found myself hungry around 5pm and was ready to start cooking dinner. Whereas typically I eat around 6–7pm but only because my family needs to eat – not particularly because I’m starving.

The following week when I used Ample K (K for Keto) it kept me full just the same or maybe even fuller. I typically eat pretty high fat so the higher fat in the keto drink helped me out a bit. My diet swings from low carb primal to keto every now and then with the variation being that I eat more protein some days and other days not – the only constant is that I always eat high fat and low carb. So the only effect these very specific keto drinks had on me was that I found myself hungry around 6–7pm probably because of the keto amount of lowish protein. Just a theory and no data behind that since I swing with more protein some days and lower protein other days. Overall though the regular Ample and the Ample K sustained me through my normal morning fast, to being my lunch then all the way to dinner.

All in all the ingredients and nutritional profile of these shakes are pretty great. They contain quality animal proteins, low carbs, high fat, probiotics and prebiotics and just the right amount of sweetness. I really do like these shakes as an optional meal replacement, whatever meal that might be for you. I would just recommend that you take a look at what you typically eat to see if the 400 calorie or 600 calorie is right for you – and what’s better for your diet goals: the Ample or Ample K.

Affordability

Ample Review
This is where things get a little interesting. Why? because I’m not quite sure what to compare this to. Do you compare the affordability to my typical meal or to the other shakes or to McDonalds? Really it comes down to what you’re using Ample for. Are you trying to save money by drinking these instead of packing your own lunch everyday? Are you trying to use Ample as a convenience so you don’t have to make your lunch? The reason you’re using Ample will determine how affordable you think the product actually is. So let’s look at those two reasons: saving money and convenience.

My Typical Lunch
1 container Wild Pacific Sardines In EVOO ($1.88), 1 Avocado ($1), 1 container Sweet Kale Salad No Dressing ($1.50), 1 pack Roasted Seasoned Seaweed ($.75), 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($.25), 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar ($.25)
Estimated Total: $5.63

Ample (400 Calorie)
Price per bottle: $5.26 (subscription)
Price per 30 bottle quantity: $157.95 (subscription)
Link

Soylent Drink (400 Calorie)
Price per bottle: $2.69 (subscription)
Price per 36 bottles: $111.15 (subscription)
Link

Huel Powder (500 Calorie)
Price per meal: $2.12 (subscription)
Price per 28 meals (2 pouches): $59.40 (subscription)
Link

Drumroll! Let’s take a look at the results. At first glance of these numbers it’s like any price comparison I do between junk ingredients and real ingredients. Cheap ingredients mean a cheaper product (nutritionally and cost) and quality ingredients mean a more expensive product. Therefore, it should be of no surprise that my real food typical lunch and Ample are roughly the same cost, but drastically more expensive to products that are made with oats and soy. Why such a big price difference? Soy and oats are cheap to produce – and I should probably add that the fat these alternatives are using are cheap to produce too: sunflower oil and canola oil. Compare that to Ample where they use real animal protein and macadamia nut oil and coconut oil! It’s no wonder why Soylent is cheap and why Ample is almost $6.

Now the question comes down to like I said earlier: Are you trying to save money or are you trying to use Ample as a convenience? In my situation I wouldn’t be saving money by switching to Ample instead of my typical lunch – but I would be switching for convenience. Since I know I’m paying roughly the same amount for these bottles, albeit only 400 kcal compared to my typical lunch of 1000 kcal, I could see myself using Ample on those days that I’m literally too lazy to eat or if I’m too busy to eat my typical lunch. Totally an option that I would consider, however I would probably jump for the 600 kcal bottle so that it’s a little more in line with what I eat in a typical day.

Taste

Ample Review
Now onto how these powdered drinks taste. Drinking your lunch may not sound that appetizing but both of these Ample drinks tasted great overall and the experience was not that big of a deal. If you’re used to drinking protein shakes then you’ll have no problem drinking these – they’re just slightly thinker than a typical scoop of Primal Fuel.

Ample
I mixed this with water. It was slightly sweet and nutty. The sweetness I sense comes from the stevia. I described this to my friend that it sorta tastes like pancake batter. I know that sounds funny but it’s thick, sweet and kinda grainy. Overall it’s a pleasant taste though. I don’t mind drinking it and it’s not something that’s hard to drink because it tastes bad. With all the ingredients in this I give the makers props for making something that’s palatable to drink.

Ample K
Tastes pretty much the same as the regular Ample but slightly less sweet – understandably. It tastes a little more cinnamon flavored too. But again this is super easy to drink and isn’t nasty tasting. You don’t have to force yourself to drink it either. It’s just a super thick and foamy shake and also kinda tastes milky even though I’m not using milk.

Conclusion

I’m super stoked I found these guys and I really look forward to seeing this company grow and compete with the likes of Soylent and Huel. I love seeing products out there that use real animal protein and real fats – so thank you Ample for making such a great primal/paleo meal replacement drink!

Click here to order some Ample drinks for yourself

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

Epic Review

Epic Review

When I first went Primal, I was always on the lookout for Primal snacks. It was tough shifting from burning carbs for energy to burning fat for energy at first. I would get super hungry between lunch and dinner on the way home from work. So I searched online for what would be a good Primal snack. As it turns out, jerky and nuts are a great source of protein and fat to hold you over until dinner. During that time I came across something called Pemmican. I so badly wanted to try making some but I was just too lazy. Then I came across Epic. They were basically a modern take on Pemmican, they had meat, berries and fat in the form of nuts. I had to order some.

I ordered a box of the Turkey Almond Cranberry bars and they were the perfect snack for in between meals, or hikes or camping. Perfectly Primal. Then not too long after that I noticed that Epic started branching out to jerky and trail mix packs. First of all, I was super interested to check out these new jerky and nut packs because they just looked so cool. Once again, being that I’m a designer by trade, I got enticed with all this amazing branding and package design. So I reached out to Epic to see if I could review some of their newer products since I was already familiar with their Pemmican-esque bars that you can check out here. Epic was kind enough to send me some of their Bites and one of their Hunt & Harvest packs. So as with any review I wanted to check out the three main categories: Nutritional Profile, Affordability and Taste.

Nutritional Profile

Epic has a bunch of different products and they just keep expanding. So Like I said I started with their bars, then they created some bites and bits, trail mix packs – and now they’re branching out to selling pastured cooking fats and bone broth. What we’re looking at today is their Bites and their Hunt & Harvest packs.

Epic Bacon Bites
Bacon Bites
Total Fat: 7g
Total Carbohydrate: 0g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 0g)
Protein: 10g
Ingredients: Uncured Bacon (Pork, Water, Sea Salt, Vinegar, Celery Powder), Natural Pork

What? Zero Carbs? Whats not to love about the nutritional profile of these. The way they get away with that is because there is no sugar used for curing or added sugar after the jerky is made. If you’re looking for a perfectly Primal snack, you can’t go wrong with these. Packing some fat and protein and zero carbs. You’re on your way to becoming a fat burning beast.

Chicken Sesame BBQ
Chicken Sesame BBQ Bites
Total Fat: 2.5g
Total Carbohydrate: 8g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 6g)
Protein: 9g
Ingredients: Natural Chicken, Organic Currants, Sea Salt, Garlic, Onion, Sesame Seeds, Sesame Oil, Ginger, Black Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Red Pepper

This chicken jerky comes in with a little more carbs and less fat, but it’s still a low sugar snack and perfectly Primal.

Epic Honest Harvest
Honest Harvest
Total Fat: 8g
Total Carbohydrate: 4g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 3g)
Protein: 9g
Ingredients: Jerky (grass fed organic beef, wildflower honey, water, salt, organic apple cider vinegar, yeast extract, organic black pepper, celery powder, organic garlic powder). Nut Mix (roasted almonds, roasted pecans, roasted Brazil nuts, pistachios).

This is such a great little package. Packing just the right amount of fat and protein for a snack or on the go meal. Low sugar and real whole ingredients with grass fed beef.

All of these products have an impressive nutritional profile. Epic really focuses on high quality ingredients, pastured raised meats leading to high omega–3 & CLA, gluten free, soy free and low glycemic, paleo friendly snacks. So it’s without a doubt that not just these but any of Epic’s products have an amazing nutritional profile. With their products you don’t have to worry about high fructose corn syrup or other weird ingredients that you don’t know how to pronounce. It’s all real ingredients, not something some scientist invented in a lab.

Affordability

Now this is where things get a little dicey. I love Epics products, but they can be a little pricey. It’s all about comparison though. If you compare this chicken or pork jerky with other jerky you find in the grocery store or gas station it will be filled with sugar and soy – cheap ingredients no doubt. So what happens when you remove the cheap ingredients and use high quality pastured raised meats? The product becomes more expensive, thus we have Epic coming in as follows:

Bacon & Chicken Bites
Price per pack: $6.25
Price per box of 8: $50

Honest Harvest
Price per pack: $3.88
Price per box of 8: $31

Oberto Bacon Jerky
Price per pack: $4.68

Now I put the price of a sorta comparable Oberto Bacon Jerky up there to compare and see that yea Epic is slightly more expensive for a comparable product and size (2.5 oz bag) but the difference is in the ingredients. Oberto’s Bacon Jerky is cured pork with sugar, unlike Epic’s which is uncured. So if uncured pork is a big thing for you, I would say Epic is the way to go if you’re willing to pay the extra money, otherwise Oberto isn’t necessarily a bad option if you’re not concerned with the quality of your protein, as I assume Oberto’s pork is CAFO.

Finding a comparable product for the Hunt & Harvest pack is kinda difficult as there really isn’t any other product out there marketed like this. Sure you could go buy some grass fed jerky yourself and some nuts and come in less expensive, but you’re paying for convenience with this pack. It’s about having a nice little snack for when a craving hits or when you’re on the go – hiking, camping, running from meeting to meeting. For the price I think it’s a great deal to have for when that craving hits.

Taste

I’ve never really been a fan of sweet jerky or really tough jerky and that’s where Epics jerky really shines. They’re all low sugar and very moist so win win. Let’s take a closer look at all the flavors they sent me:

Epic Bacon Bites
Bacon Bites
Soft. Salty. Pork. Expect nothing else and expect nothing more. If you like salty you’ll love this. I really liked these bacon bites. Not tough at all and not sweet at all which is what I like. Pretty great.

Epic Chicken Sesame BBQ Bites
Chicken Sesame BBQ Bites
I normally am not a fan of chicken jerky but I really liked this one. It was just the right amount of sweet from the currants and has a pleasant sesame taste to the jerky. Both of these jerkys aren’t just straight dehydrated muscle meat. They’re sorta ground up and turned into strips and cut up. Sounds gross but it actually works for both of these jerkys.

Epic Honest Harvest
Honest Harvest
Now this is a cool little idea. There are two sides to this pack that have jerky on one side and mixed nuts on the other side. When you open the ziplock you open the divider as well and mix it all together.

Epic Hunt Harvest
Jerky and nuts separated for freshness

Mix Contents
Instructions on how to mix after you open up the bag

Mixed together
Voila, you have a nice little grass fed trail mix

The jerky is traditional grass fed muscle meat dehydrated and the nuts are simply mixed dry roasted nuts. Both of these together had a great trail mix salty taste. The jerky is much tougher than the other stuff but the flavor is nice and salty and peppery. Not sweet at all. I really like the idea of this pack and suggest having a few on hand just for emergency hikes or if you’re strapped for time and need some quick protein and fat.


Conclusion

Epic is onto some great things. They’re a promising company with some pretty amazing products and I look forward to trying out all their new stuff like their cooking fats and bone broth. I’m glad there are companies like Epic out there dedicated to making whole food snacks, with fat and high quality protein. Feel free to share in the comments what your favorite Epic products are. Thanks for reading.

Buy some for yourself:

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?

Exo Savory Bars Review

Exo Savory Bars Review

What would you do if you got an email from your favorite cricket bar company telling you that they’ve made some new flavors that have less sugar, are more savory and still have tons of crickets? You order a whole box of course. Well, I’m not sure you would do that but that’s what I did. Now I’ve already written a bunch about these bars in the past and even compared them to other protein bars so this review won’t be as in depth because these bars still contain all the goodness of their original flavors, nutritionally speaking, but have slightly different ingredients. You can read my other review here.

I do love that Exo went down this road because it really was the only way to improve an already amazing protein bar. In the past we already discovered that they had a good amount of fat, which is great, a good amount of protein, which is also great, but they still had about as much carbs as a banana – which isn’t bad but if you’re looking for a low carb protein bar solution for your morning, their existing flavors might of not suited you. Well, these new savory flavors should suit any person following a Paleo low carb diet. With only 5g–6g of sugar, these bars fit the bill perfectly. Now let’s get into the 3 categories: Nutritional Profile, Affordability and Taste.

Exo Savory Bars Review

Nutritional Profile

Let’s just take a look at my favorite of their new flavors: Mango Curry. All of their new flavors only have 5g–6g of sugar and 11g of protein. They are all more or less the same fat/carb/protein ratios.

Exo Mango Curry
Total Fat: 17g
Total Carbohydrate: 22g (Dietary Fiber 12g, Sugars 6g)
Protein: 11g
Ingredients: Almonds, Chicory Root Fiber, Cricket Flour (Acheta Domestics, Gryllodes sigillatus), Tahini, Coconut, Mango, Prunes, Puffed Rice, Coconut Milk Powder, Tamarind, Sea Salt, Natural Mango Flavor, Spices.

As we can see there is still a good amount of fat and protein and they slimmed down the sugar from 13g (Cocoa Nut) to 6g. This is great especially if you’re trying to avoid a glucose spike after one of these bars, though I doubt the alternative of 16g sugar will give that to you. Nevertheless it’s nice to have an option of less sugar in one of these bars especially when their competitor Chapul has 25g sugar!

This bar is the only one of their new flavors that has puffed rice, which isn’t a problem for me digestive wise. I occasionally eat white rice so rice isn’t a problem. The puffed rice does add a slight crunch to the bar which is a nice texture addition.

Affordability

Right now you can get a variety pack for $36 that contains 12 bars, 4 of each new flavor.

Exo Savory Variety Box
Price per bar: $3
Price per 12 bar box: $36.00

These bars are still brand new and they may be refining the flavors before they put these in their regular store. So there is no subscription option yet. I’m sure there will be a subscription option when they nail these down as final flavors. But even at $3 a bar, that’s not that bad for a whole food bar that’s low in sugar and high in fat. Perfect for sustaining you through a day at Disneyland or picking you up in the morning after or before a workout.

Taste

Now this is where things went a little south for me. I wanted to love every one of these bars because by nature I love salty things over sweet things. So the idea of these bars sounded really good. As I kept trying each flavor though, I began to dislike each one and always compared it to the one I actually did like which was the Mango Curry. Let me explain.

Exo Mango Curry
Mango Curry
This was the first one I tried and I loved it. The texture was great and the saltiness and slight sweetness was spot on. It had a very distinct meaty flavor. I don’t know how else to describe it other than that. It was just a taste that was almost beef jerky like in taste. This bar was a win in my book.

Exo Mediterranean
Mediterranean
This was the next bar I tried and I didn’t love it as much as the Mango Curry. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad tasting or anything – It just wasn’t as good as the Mango Curry. It was almost too subtle in flavor. Still contained that meaty flavor but lacked the texture and slight spiciness of the Mango Curry.

Exo Barbecue
Barbecue
This was the last one I ate, and I have to be honest – It was terrible. Not because of the crickets, but because of the actual barbecue flavor. It was almost overwhelmingly barbecued flavored. It was a nice flavor of barbecue but it was just too much of it. I literally had a hard time finishing the bar, which was a bummer because this was the one bar that I wanted to love. It just sounded so perfect – barbecue crickets. Hopefully they can dial in this flavor before it hits prime time.

Conclusion

So I know I didn’t love all the bars, but that’s ok because all I needed to love was just one flavor, like how I love the Cocoa Nut one so much. Now I have the perfect low sugar companion to my Cocoa Nut bar – Mango Curry. Once again, thank you Exo for making great protein bars with real food.

Buy some for yourself:
Exo Savory Variety Box