Being on a fitness journey means you are constantly learning. Even this personal trainer is constantly learning new techniques for training and finding new ways to make eating clean a little easier. I love to be the guinea big. I experiment on myself before I pass it on to my clients.
No one makes sampling new foods and supplements easier than my local Mama Jean’s Natural Market. While I may occasionally bemoan the fact that we don’t have a Trader Joes’s, my heart does truly belong to Mama Jean’s. The owners, Diana Hicks and Susie Farber, are honestly two of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. The turn out at the grand opening of their newest (and largest store) is a testament to how much their customers and community love them. They are THE hub for local food and all things good for you.
At the aforementioned grand opening there were plenty of opportunities to sample all variety of teas, shakes and foods – both local and national brands. I tried Yerba Mate tea iced (still a bit bitter) and got a great bag of natural beauty products (yah for nail polish!). I was also pleasantly surprised to make two new food discoveries.
I had my first opportunity to tried Kombucha. I had heard of it before but always thought it quite odd. I don’t like kimchi and I don’t like sauerkraut. The idea of a fermented drink sounded less than appetizing. But as someone who avoids yogurt, the idea of a vegan source of probiotics made me grab a Dixie cup and down the shot sized sample. I was surprised at the fizz tickling my nose and the pleasant taste. I am sure the fact it included strawberry puree helped. At only 35 calories per serving I really liked that I wouldn’t be drinking a lot of calories to get the digestive benefits. Doing my research after the fact, I learned it was made from tea! How could this not be a good thing? If you haven’t tried it, I say go for it for and reap the benefits to your digestive and immune systems.
Then I found a product totally brand new to Mama Jean’s – a raw bar called 5th Element. The bars are made in Arkansas, so I do consider them local. I had the opportunity try all 7 flavors but I only took home one, the vegan Luscious Lemon Coconut Blast. Normally I am not a lemon fan but in this bar it was not an overwhelming flavor. It was more of an accent to the almond butter, almonds, cashews and coconut. They are relatively low in sugar (sweetened with xylitol) and have plenty of protein (as much as 22 g for the Alive & Kicking bar). Even my vegan choice had 15 g of protein. The bars are also organic and gluten free making them a better choice than your average energy or granola bar. Don’t worry if you don’t live in Missouri or Arkansas, they do ship the bars.
Want to try out 5th Element bars for yourself? Sylvia at 5th Element has agreed to send a bar 4 pack to one lucky reader!!
There are two ways to enter:
- Tell me in the comments to this post how the foods you eat today are different than what you ate 10 years ago? Tell me products, foods or recipes have made your eat clean evolution possible.
- For another entry, follow me on Twitter (@ThriveFit) and share this post on Twitter using the hashtag #5thElement.
All entries must be posted by 10 pm CT Friday July 19, 2013. A winner will be selected at random. Open to US residents only. Good luck!