Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Flavor Your Life

It should be no surprise that the happiest moments in my day often include food.
Sure I love my family; most especially my children and husband...I love helping people, being a mentor, reading, and a host of other things. But really it just comes back to FOOD.
My love of food started when I was a young child. I honestly can't remember a time where I didn't love food. I love all of the variations that food comes in: sweet, salty, savory, cold, hot, warm and everything in-between. It flavors and sets the tone for my day, night and overall mood. Bad meal=bad mood...Good meal=good mood.
It's because of my relationship with food that at one point caused me to gain an unhealthy amount of weight. Now that I'm a fitness professional, I've turned my love of food to almost a scientific talent. I haven't stopped loving food. I've just found unique ways to use food to conform to my specific health goals. Now I enjoy researching, creating and experimenting with recipes. 
Once you open Pandora's box, you'll realize that they are hundreds of different healthy options for food. It's not only important what you eat but also how it's prepared. I've tried to limit the amount of processed and saturated oils I use so what I've turned to is coconut oil. However, I recently received a sample of  Farchioni European Olive Oil to try with my family and friends. (*Disclaimer: I received this product for free from MomsMeet, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.)

If you've made a trip to your local grocer when looking for olive oil, the choices can be daunting. The options and flavors are endless. There are so many factors that come into just producing the perfect olive oil...such as: variety of olives used, geographic location the olives were grown, the type of soil used, harvesting methods, length of harvesting time, time between harvesting and pressing, pressing techniques, storage methods, etc. So many options...so many ways to flavor your life. Who knew, right?!

The overall purpose of olive oil is to heighten and elevate the flavor of the food. Depending on the type of oil, you can use it to saute, for salads, to bake, to replace butter, to dip for artisan bread, for marinades, for drizzles over pasta or veggies, to help emulsify sauces. The possibilities are endless... a foodie's dream come true. Olive oil also has many health benefits associated with heart health, cholesterol, skin and nails...a health nut's dream come true.

So for our product review foodie week, we used Farchioni Olive Oil to saute vegetables, pan fry white fish, drizzle for baked salmon, pasta and as a finishing drizzle for popcorn. Absolute DELICIOUSNESS! I found it to have a light, smooth nutty taste. Nothing lingering and no acidic or left over greasy feeling.

Bonus is that it came with recipe cards. I'm sure I'll have to submit some modifications to have them conform to my pescatarian lifestyle...but that's the exciting part. 

How do you flavor your life?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Consumer Advisory Reports

So my husband has told me that I have an opinion about everything. Couple that with me liking to try new things and a Product Reviewer, Blogger, Vlogger, Restaurant and Event Reviewer, Taste Tester and all around Test Monkey is born.

I actually really like giving reviews on products, foods and services. Why?! Well, because I hate wasting my time and money. So before I buy something new or go somewhere new I like to look up reviews. I need to know: how was the experience, how did it work out, was it cheaply made, was it easy to find, was it easy to use, how long did it take, did it taste good, how was the service, was it worth it...was it a waste of time or money.
I figure if I like knowing those things, maybe others would too. Maybe I can save someone else from making a bad purchase

 or help them make a good one

So, for awhile now, I've been doing reviews on TripAdvisor, on my Youtube channel, and Instagram
I do reviews on just about every type of restaurant and product. A lot of products lately had been fitness related due to my increase in training for Spartan Races. However last week I needed a non-fitness related product as a result of my Spartan Race instead of for the training of it. 


It was the NeilMed Nasal Sinus Rinse. Why on earth would I need a nose squirter for a post-race recovery?!
This is why...

 Yea, Yuck...and More Yuck!

No, I'm not going to show you a picture of me using the nose squirter in my nose...it's bad enough you're seeing nasty, muddy water oozing from out of my nose. So just imagine that I used it properly. Here is the company's promo pic:

First off let me say that it was a bit daunting because of the huge size of the tip of the squirter. I mean I know I have a pretty big snout but wow! That being said it was pretty easy to use. The package comes with a saline powder solution that you mix with water...shake...and squirt. I suggest you take a deep breath and really mentally prepare yourself for what's about to happen. Unlike myself, who just kind of went for it and it totally freaked me out the first time. Which is weird and funny considering I have really bad sinuses so this is not the first time I've used a nasal spray. Anyways, I did it a couple of times in each nostril just to make sure I had gotten all of the yucky boo-boo water out of my nose. I could tell the difference right away. It didn't sting or burn like some other rinses. I suppose the big tip helped make sure the solution sprayed in the right place. NeilMed also sells A Nasal-Oral Aspirator for babies and kids which I'm strangely excited to try out as well. 
*Side note: 
Use "MOMSBLOG" for $3 off the purchase of a Naspira Nasal-Oral Aspirator at  www.neilmed.com
As an added BONUS, I'm giving away a NeilMed Naspira for 2 lucky people who follow my Youtube AND Instagram

So are you a Test Monkey like me

Or can you benefit from learning from others sweet finds or sour flunks

Or are you amazed that people actually do this

Am I the only weird one?