Monday, September 20, 2010

I won something!

So awhile ago I won this from Another Lunch! I love this blog, she has some super creative lunch ideas that make it a little more fun to pack the kids school lunches, which I am trying to do more this year since the food the school serves is processed and full of sugar/additives and so on. She was so kind to host this giveaway and I was super excited to win it, I haven't won anything is a LONG time:)

Well, it came in the mail today! I was so excited. I should give a disclaimer to my reviews -- I am a HUGE fan of the Earths Best brand, I buy their products for the kids all the time, we love the Crunchin' Crackers and many other things they make.  We buy Organic and Natural products for 90% of our groceries and do not buy a lot of processed foods.  I do love Lara Bars and my kids love Clif Bars and the world would be a very sad place if I couldn't get chocolate.  But our sugar intake is minimal. In the last few years I have worked super hard and lost 70 pounds, with 50 more to go.  I have recently hit a plateau, some because I have gotten so tired of working so hard and some because I really need to change up my work outs and do them more often!  I have tried the Peanut Butter we got before, I regularly drink Almond Milk, just another brand, but the rest I have not tried ever.  I was given these products free and I don't think they expected me to review them, but I am going to:)

I got a bag of Garden of Eatin' Popped Tortillas, a box of Almond Dream,  a box of Health Valley Organic Granola Bars, a jar of MaraNatha No Stir Peanut Butter, Earths Best Organic Snackin' Fruit Hearts -- blueberry flavor, a coupon for a free Earths Best Frozen Entree and a $25 gift Card to Sports Authority.

I have not tried the Almond Dream, it is in the fridge chilling right now, but I do typically buy Almond milk for myself to use on my oatmeal and cream of wheat.  Looking at the nutrition facts, it has twice as many calories and LOTS more added sugar than the brand I normally buy.  I normally buy unsweetened original flavor Almond Breeze by Blue Diamond.  The only reason I buy Almond Breeze is it was the first to make it and the only brand I could find in our area for a long time. Now I have seen the Almond Dream and another one by Pacific, neither of which I have tried.

The first thing we opened to try was the Popped Tortillas -- not a fan! Neither my husband or I like them.  They have a funky taste to them. They smell funny. That is about all I can say. They nutritional facts are not bad for a chip product. But, we don't like them.

Then I opened the Granola Bars, wow! Talk about sugar.  There is 11 grams of sugar in a 29 gram bar! WOW! and you could totally taste it.  It was overwhelmingly sweet, I could not finish my bar, never mind the fakey fruity taste. After I tasted the sugar level of the bar I looked at the ingredients list -- 1. Organic Whole Grains (they then list a blend of grains like rice flour, oats etc).  2. Organic Brown Rice Syrup (Sugar). 3. Organic White Chocolate Coating (first ingredient of that -- Sugar) 4. Organic Evaporated Cain Juice (Sugar again!)  a couple more ingredients -- cranberries and such and then ..... Organic Rice Syrup Solids -- more sugar.  too much sugar for me. The hubby tried -- too sweet, the kids tried, Princess didn't like them and the boy loved them -- he has a major sweet tooth.  For comparison sake, I pulled out our fav bars to eat.  Z Bars are the kids favorite -- 36 gram bar has 10 grams of sugar and sugar is the 4th ingredient on the list in the form of brown rice sugar.  Kashi TLC Cereal Bars, Blackberry, a 35 gram bar has 9 grams of sugar and Sugar is the 3rd ingredient on the list, again rice syrup.  And, Larabar, Pecan Pie is a 45 gram bar with 18 grams of sugar, but the ingredients are Dates, Pecans and Almonds -- no added sugar!

Now the Peanut Butter, we have bought this brand before, but stopped because of the added SUGAR!!! Seriously, in peanut butter there is no need for added sugar. I had forgotten that until I pulled the jar out of the box and read the label:)

Um, oh the Earths Best Snackin Hearts, Blueberry Flavor.  Again Earths Best Brand is a favorite in this house and I like these too, a little more sugar in them than I would normally buy, but they are a yummy treat and the blueberry tastes like real blueberry instead of fake flavoring.  In a 20g serving there is only 5g of sugar, much better than many of the other products sent to us.

All in all, I think Hain Celestial Group, the makers of all these products, want us to think we are buying healthy products, but in all actuality, we are buying sugar filled products with the words health, natural and organic on the packaging.  Another time to point out to READ FOOD LABELS!!! they can tell you very important stuff.  I will continue to buy Earths Best Products, but I will stay away from the other brands in this group.

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