Monthly Archives: March 2016

Year of the Pulses!

Food trend analysts keep tossing around the concept of this being the “year of the pulses.” Now, if you’re anything like me, I had no idea what a pulse was (other than related to heart rate!) So, here’s how I learned (thanks Pulse Canada!):

I was reading the buzz about pulses on the heels of the Expo West coverage (definitely a bucket list item to attend!) and was fortunate to receive some pulse-based snacks from Saffron Road. I had previously had their simmer sauces (absolutely delicious, by the way) but had no idea they had a whole snack line!

I was sent lentil crackers, baked lentil chips, and a huge resealable bag of crunchy chickpeas (sea salt flavor, but many others are available). Of course, I dove into the crunchy chickpeas out of complete curiosity!

They are absolutely amazing. I’m in love. Definitely a new favorite snack!

I’m looking forward to trying many more Saffron Road products; I am yet to be dissapointed!

I expect there will be plenty in the pulse trend at the GFAF Expo Chicago (actually Schaumburg) this year on May 14th and 15th–you should come check it out PLUS you’ll find me there! I’m excited to announce I am a sponsored blogger for the expo this year and cannot wait to meet many of you in person as I hit the expo floor with an empty stomach and a full insulin cartridge 🙂

And, even more exciting for ADSG readers–I’ll be giving away tickets to the expo! Keep your eyes out for the giveaway in an upcoming post.

If you aren’t following me on Twitter and Instagram yet, please stop on by and give me a quick follow (breezygfreezy). I promise you’ll get some funny rants, unusual happenings, and photos/recipes/ideas for quick meals.

Take it easy, but take it.

Brianna

PS- Don’t want to chance it on winning a ticket and want to buy yours now? 30% off with code: EARLYBIRD until 4/13 happening now! Buy tickets here: 

 

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Low Carb Snacking with Rhythm Superfoods

There are always unique lessons to be learned from previous relationships. One I learned from my most recent has really stuck with me and comes up in my life often.

I learned how to make kale chips. Yes, kale chips. And no, I hadn’t made them ever before. And yes, I’m obsessed. A rather tedious process, baked kale chips have become part of my low carb snack life over the last year or so, and they are the perfect salty, crunchy low carb replacement for those pesky, blood sugar spiking kettle chips (which are worth it once in a while, of course).

When a company called Rhythm Superfoods asked me to try out their kale chips, I couldn’t resist! They kale chips are air-crisped, triple washed, and loaded with fun seeds/veggies/juices/herbs/spices to make them the perfect crunchy bite every single time. Half of the big bag is 12g of carbs and only 150 calories.

They make multiple kale chip flavors, as well as other products I couldn’t try due to my personal food restrictions, though all are certified gluten free (including beet chips, roasted kale, and “broccoli bites”).

I tried their original flavor (trying not to eat through the bags they sent me in one sitting!) and they are absolutely delightful! Definitely different from my homemade kale chips, as they have all those fun flavor bursts (even in the original version!) and I’ll be munching on these for a long time to come. Plus, they save me from getting covered in olive oil and spices and hanging around the oven flipping my delicate little kale pieces for an hour every time I want a batch!

Rhythm Superfoods has allowed me to be lazy, and in this one aspect of my life, laziness feels (and tastes!) darn good.

Take it easy, but take it.

Brianna

PS- I loved the instructions on the back: “Open, Eat, Enjoy, Repeat. Close bag tightly to preserve the crunchy goodness.” How adorable is that?!

When An Omnivore Loves a Veggie Burger

The by-line of this post’s title is something along the lines of “A love story between an omnivore girl and her favorite vegetarian brand.”

Hilary’s Eat Well changed my perception of veggie burgers with one bite. Previously, I’d looked at veggie so-called “burgers,” furrowed my brow, and asked how a) anyone would want to bite into such a thing and b) on what planet is that considered a meal?! Now, of course as a T1D living the low carb/high fat lifestyle, I didn’t think about stacking the veggie burger on a full bun with fries on the side, but still.

That was all true until Hilary’s came along with a fantastic box of products for me to try. As always, though the products were sent to me, my love is genuine and honest and completely my own opinion.

I’m still working on trying all the flavors of veggie burgers and the fun dressings that were sent to me, but I had a Hemp and Greens burger with avocado and used the Apple Fennel dressing to marinade some chicken, and both were true winners. I’ve never been so excited about a veggie burger!

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Chicken marinaded in Hilary’s Apple Fennel dressing with frozen corn+peas and onion, baked to perfection!

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello, beautiful green dinner!

 

All of Hilary’s Eat Well products follow the motto “Eating Well Made Easy,” and it couldn’t be more accurate. The products are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, corn free, nut free, and soy free! Additionally, they are minimally processed (certified B corporation) and vegan! Wow, wow, wow. I’m very anxious to to find the veggie bites–they are so darn adorable!

Whether you’re vegetarian, pescatarian, omnivore, carnivore, blahblahblah-ivore, you need to give Hilary’s products a try. Plus, they have those pulses that seem to be taking over the food scene this year!

What is your favorite vegetarian dish to make? Extra points for those that are low carb! Please share the recipe as a link or copied into the comments!

Take it easy, but take it!

Brianna

 

Priming My Tubing

If it is not grossly apparent, I tend to avoid specific blog posts about living with type 1 diabetes. There is an incredible community of bloggers that write about the physical and emotional highs and lows of living with T1D specifically (that have helped me through a lot of difficult times), but I prefer to write about it in a less direct manner–mostly because I personally balance a lot of chronic illness, and like to show you how it is woven into my daily experience (and because sometimes, T1D needs to give me a break, even if it means simply not showing up as every blog post topic). 

Anyhow, here we are. I’m diving in a bit here with a post about life and a bit of T1D this week. 

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My entrepreneurship business basics class meets in one of our business school buildings on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30am-10am. While I could write endlessly about my deep-seated disagreements with the self-centered and sexist nature of the professor (which could be a 100 post-long series), when we were discussing start-up marketing yesterday, the professor casually said the following (to the best of my memory):

“When you head to market with a new product, a new service, a new solution that has true value for each of your future adopters, you better prime your tubing. Because once you’re out there, there’s really no turning back.”

Prime my tubing, you say? Well, dang. Isn’t that just perfectly worded.

For those who may not know, I’ve been working on a new entrepreneurial venture for the last six-or-so months that promises to create big change in chronic medical condition management [unfortunately, due to legal concerns, can’t reveal the details or specifics yet, but stay with me!] I have the fortune (though I wouldn’t phrase it as such very often) of being a member of our target market and I can promise you, your voices have been and will continue to be heard throughout our development and roll-out.

Anyhow, it led me to take the class with the man who told me to prime my tubing. Here I am, two days away from my first big pitch where we have a chance at a $10,000 grant to continue developing our solution. My life with chronic illness is central to the pitch–and has been extraordinarily well-received in practice pitch sessions. The practice judges expect that we’ll be pushed through to the finals at the end of the afternoon.

Tonight, I’ll prime my tubing. The insulin will flow slowly through, I’ll check for air bubbles, I’ll pierce my skin, and hope my extremely allergic skin is effectively guarded by the Skin Tac I placed under the site.

Tonight, I’ll prime my tubing. I’ll run through my pitch slide deck for, what must be, the hundredth time to ensure I’ve proven our solution and our venture to the judges. I’ll try to heed the practice judges requests not to “over-practice my story, because the simple, unrehearsed presentation is what makes it.” I’ll try to keep it all together when I point out all my diabetes technology to a huge auditorium so people can begin to understand life with chronic illness.

I’ll always prime my tubing. As a celiac, I’m constantly preparing for the next meal. As a diabetic, well, you get it. As a future entrepreneur, I’ll always prepare myself for the next great opportunity to prove myself and my solution. As a young woman who just faced sexism in the hiring process for an engineering position (which, indeed, I did not get), I’ll continue to prime my personal tubing with all of my strengths and know that someday, women will not face this archaic problem.

For now, I look forward to sharing more of my venture with all of you.  I know I’ll feel your virtual support and presence Thursday night at 5PM EST when my chronic illness life takes the spotlight, with my tube fully primed.

Take it easy, but TAKE IT.

Brianna

Almond Butter Round-Up!

Alas, the long-awaited almond butter round-up review is here! I’ve been talking about posting this for a long while, and apologize for the delay–I was awaiting generous samples from the Barney Butter, Wild Friends Foods, and Yumbutter. While the samples were provided for this round-up, all opinions (as always) are mine.

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So, here it goes!

In order to taste the almond butter, I began with all samples at room temperature, and put a tablespoon of each on a spoon [love being home for my final college spring break with endless beautiful ways to photograph food!]. I then tasted each, and made notes immediately after tasting. This is truly an almond butter taste test–no other products were eaten (i.e. crackers, etc.) I compared their visual appearance, texture, and taste and have crowned my winner–read on!

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Wild Friends Foods Classic Creamy Almond Butter

Founded by 2 college students at the University of Oregon! 

  • Price: $18.99/16 oz. jar on Amazon
  • Visual Appearance: After opening the jar, as the label warned, there was a significant amount of natural oil to mix in. Can see nice almond flecks throughout.
  • Texture: Medium thickness; not overly thick nor oily (despite original oil impression)
  • Taste: Great saltiness; overall very tasty. Would be great with jelly.
  • Miscellaneous: Peanut-free facility, but not certified gluten free; non-GMO, kosher, and mostly organic products; no refrigeration needed

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Yumbutter Superfood Almond Butter (with Chia, Hemp Seeds, & Goji)

Founded by 2 real adventurers who “run on nut butters.” Two-fold social mission: “Holistic Responsibility™” led the company to become a certified B corporation, a carbon-free company, and the leading socially-conscious nut butter company; BuyOne:FeedOne™ = partnership with Primeros Pasos in Guatemala to provide a pouch/jar of nut butter to a malnourished child and/or their mothers for EVERY SINGLE POUCH/JAR PURCHASED. 

  • Price: $5-7/7 oz. pouch on Yumbutter website/Thrive Market
  • Visual Appearance: Dark brown; unremarkable appearance
  • Texture: Very liquid like, despite kneading pouch; much more of a spread than an eat-alone-on-a-spoon type of nut butter
  • Taste: Overwhelming taste of goji/chia seeds, less taste of almonds
  • Miscellaneous: 3 new flavors about to come out! Pouches do not need refrigeration and are easily thrown in a bag and will not burst

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Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter

Environmentally-conscious company that believes in “leaving things better than we found them.” 100% of almonds are from local growers and all jars are from recycled plastics. Large supporters of Xerces Society (specifically for the honeybees). Uses #SpoonWorthy and motto “Spread the Love”

  • Price: $9.99/16 oz jar on Barney website
  • Visual Appearance: Looks very much like peanut butter!
  • Texture: Very thick and smooth (not liquid-y from oil, nor grainy)
  • Taste: Simply that of almonds and a great touch of salt.
  • Miscellaneous: Certified gluten free, peanut free, kosher, and most flavors non-GMO. Come in jars and single-serve packs.

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Congratulations to the winner…

BARNEY BUTTER ALMOND BUTTER!

As a standout in taste and texture, BB took the crown in my personal review. I look forward to tasting the other flavors.

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So, what’s your favorite nut butter brand? Prefer sunbutter? Peanut butter? Cashew butter? Share in the comments!

Take it easy, but take it (with lots of almond butter on top!)

Brianna