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Freshology brings “fine dieting” to your door

January 14th, 2010

logo_freshologyI’m not really one for dieting. A few years back (pre George and Livi) I tried my hand at modeling and had the time, energy and incentive to stay in shape. I watched what I ate, worked out and would do some sort of dieting before a photo shoot. (The photo shoot was then followed by a cheeseburger, fries and Diet Coke.) But since giving birth to my last two I’ve found less time and definitely less energy for sticking to my previous super healthy, exercise-filled lifestyle.

And I’m okay with that. Don’t get me wrong, I still watch what I eat and hit the gym when I can but when life hits full force, especially around the holidays, I tend to skip the gym for a little more sleep and indulge in all the artichoke dips and Christmas cookies I can. You only live once, right? You also should only have to diet once if dieting is one of you New Year’s resolutions. For some, dieting is a cinch: simply eat better and exercise more. But for many it’s not an easy thing, especially when it comes to food. You want healthy food that tastes good in portions perfect for a serious dieter. Does that exist? In fact, it does.

bottom3Freshology believes “weight loss is an important step in maintaining a healthy balance of body and spirit, not to mention fitting into that bikini this summer!” That’s my kind of philosophy—a mix of mind, body and bikini. The company offers clients pre-made meals that are quite possible the healthiest, most gourmet on the market. Freshology also believes the environment’s health is as important as its clients:

Whenever and wherever possible, we purchase our ingredients from local growers-minimizing the environmental costs of transportation-and from farms dedicated to practicing sustainable agriculture. Our meal packaging is re-used whenever possible, and is fully bio-degradable, for minimal environmental impact. At Freshology, we are constantly seeking new ways to reduce our carbon footprint, and value the health of our planet as passionately as we value the health of our customers.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard those “other” companies who offer pre-packaged meals for dieters say anything like that.

Though Freshology offer a variety of plans from family meals to specialized nutrition for before and after pregnancy, their newest GETSLIM program is the subject of this review since it is the only national program they offer so far. Trust me, I wish I could try their FRESHDINING since that would mean I lived within delivery distance (i.e. SoCal). {deep sigh}

Freshology sent me four days’ worth of meals from the GETSLIM program. Here are the details on this home-delivery service that provides you diet-friendly (and palate-friendly) meals:

  • Hand-crafted, chef-developed meals prepared in Freshology kitchens that are nutritionally balanced

  • 100% fresh meals delivered to your door twice a week via FedEx

  • Non-frozen, non-shrink-wrapped, non-pre-packaged, non-dehydrated and non-processed food. Oh, and there are no preservatives. (Whew! That’s a lot of “nons.”)

  • Lean protein, seasonal vegetables, fresh meats and whole fruit for optimal taste, natural texture and greater nutritional benefit.

What I haven’t told you yet is the price for these gourmet, scale-friendly meals: a whopping $42.95 a day. Yes, that’s $40 per day totaling about $1,200 a month. That’s about three times what my family of six spends on groceries a month. Of course I’m not fixing broccoli, mushroom & cheese frittata for breakfast, roasted vegetable salad with pork tenderloin for lunch, and poached salmon with citrus sauce for dinner. Those are just a few of the mouth-watering names given Freshology’s GETSLIM meals. But how do they taste?

Freshology’s GETSLIM meals taste, well, fresh for one. You can tell they use high-quality ingredients and test their recipes before sending them to the masses. I actually double checked the ingredient lists thinking there just had to be some sort of preservative or funky “how the heck do I pronounce that?” ingredient but there was nothing. Take the ingredients for their Lemon Bar (butter, lemon zest & juice, sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder) or Roasted Vegetable Scramble (50% whole & 50% white egg liquid, lactaid, olive oil, canola oil, zucchini, crimini mushroom, red onion, grilled eggplant, thyme, olive oil). It’s not called Freshology for nothing.

Overall the meals were hit and miss. I did have my favorites (Roasted Vegetable Frittata, Marbled Banana & Chocolate Muffin, Manhattan Clam Chowder and Open Faced Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich) and a few meals I wouldn’t re-order (according to my husband, the Salmon with Citrus Glaze was “quite possibly the worst salmon he’s ever tasted” and the pork was a bit chewy). You can see the meals for yourself in the slideshow below:..


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Freshology excels in offering a huge selection of meals—something for everyone—so I didn’t get bored. The variety was a nice change from my typical can of soup or PB&J sandwich. Plus Freshology is pretty faithful about sticking to a 1,400-calorie diet plan, which is great for serious dieters, but for me it just wasn’t quite enough. I’m actually on the low end of the BMI for my height and weight, so I only do the 1,400-calorie thing if I absolutely must (e.g., Caribbean cruise). While the breakfasts were usually filling enough to last me until an early lunch, the afternoon meal didn’t cut it for me so I supplemented with a few snacks in the afternoon. And of course I didn’t count those calories. (If you don’t count them, they don’t exist, right?)

The million-dollar question is whether Freshology’s GETSLIM meal plan is worth $40 a day. Yes and no. If you’re a Hollywood star, and plenty of them are Freshology clients (just check out their press page), then definitely yes. Those with $1,200 a month to spend on a diet plan should totally go for it. The food is fabulous and healthy, the portions are perfect, and not having to think about what you’re going to eat is totally worth it—if you can afford it. And for some, finding a healthier lifestyle that works—and not having to cook—is worth any investment. But if you’re like me, a mom of four who hits the local rec center since it’s cheaper than a “real” gym and is okay with non-gourmet foods three meals a day (as long as she can get one at a fancy restaurant once in a while), Freshology is a pie-in-the-sky diet dream, albeit a healthy pie.

P.S. The Freshology website offers a lot more information, including great little videos, about their meals if you want to learn more.

P.P.S. You can find Freshology on both Facebook and Twitter.—Emily

* Promotion! Freshology is offering Daily Dish readers 10% off their GETSLIM meal plan (14-, 21- or 28-day plans available) AND a free Freshology tote! Enter code BTQ2010 at checkout to receive your discount and “fresh” tote. Hurry and get healthy—this offer expires January 31, 2010.

What are your Words to Sweat By? {giveaway}

January 7th, 2010

WordstoSweatBy_logo
It’s January, 2010 and many men and women have already braved the barbells at the gym (hopefully more than once). With New Year’s comes New Year’s resolutions, one of the most common being exercise more and eat less. (In my case it’s exercise the same and drink more—water, not caffeine.) But as so many resolution makers know, it’s can be slow going turning the desire to get fit into a permanent lifestyle. After a couple weeks it’s easy to slip back into bed and back into old habits.

il_155x125.113189861So how do you stay motivated to get fit when your favorite sitcom (or favorite Barcalounger) is calling your name? You grab a workout towel from Words to Sweat By and, well, break a sweat! Whimsical Walney, a good Twitter friend of mine, recently launched a wonderful line of motivational workout towels “with attitude.” Sayings include: “No jiggle in the wiggle;” “’C’ is for crunches not cookies;” and “Strength. Compassion. Peace.”  Yes, Words to Sweat By might be just what the personal trainer ordered!

WordstoSweatBy3

Whimsical Walney sent me the “Healthy. Strong. Happy.” workout towel to review on the Daily Dish. It arrived in a cute organza bag complete with “Cherish” charm attached. The charm lasted two seconds on the bag before it was permanently attached to my purse and then moved to my cell phone so I could see it all the time. I was motivated already and hadn’t even opened the towel! The 100% cotton towel was a good gym size at 16”x24” and had a simple yet perfect applique on the front. I wanted to make sure the towel was washer and dryer friendly so I immediately threw it in the wash with some other towels to test its durability. It came out crisp and clean, no bleeding, no fraying.

We have a treadmill at home which I use when I don’t hit the gym so I hung the towel over one of the arm rails with the mantra facing me so I could glance at it while doing a 10% incline at 4.2 MPH. That incline really sucks when it’s your third time doing it in a 30-minute time frame. And believe me, I also used that towel to mop up plenty of sweat (Words to Sweat By is completely accurate). I’d have taken a picture to prove it but I think my husband used my favorite workout towel to blow his nose at some point; trust me, you wouldn’t want me to take a picture of the towel in its current state! The only thing I wish is for the towels to be a bit thicker and softer since I tend to sweat A LOT.

WordstoSweatBy1Along with her Words to Sweat By workout towels on Etsy, Whimsical Walney has a Words to Sweat By blog with health and fitness tips and tricks to keep you wiggling that jiggling away. Though it’s too late to stuff these great little motivational towels in stockings for the holidays, they do make a fun gift for friends and family who have set that New Year’s resolution to get and stay fit in 2010. Just remember, “Practice makes practice!”

*** Whimsical Walney is helping you pay it—or rather motivate it—forward by giving two (2) Words to Sweat By towels to each of two (2) winners! Those winners will get to keep one towel and pass along the second towel to a friend or family member. Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway; please leave a separate comment for each one you do:

•   Leave a comment telling us your least favorite exercise.
•   Visit the Words to Sweat By Etsy shop and leave a comment telling us your favorite workout towel.
•   Become a fan of Whimsical Walney on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you’re her newest fan.
•   Follow Whimsical Walney on Twitter and leave a comment telling is you’re her newest follower.
•   Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet.
•   Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL to your blog post.

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winners from the comments and contact them via email. Deadline: January 14, 2009 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Melissa and Cassie M., the winners of the Words to Sweat By giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

What Beckons you?

July 28th, 2009

I don’t usually use a company’s tagline as the title of a review but this one was too intriguing not to put it front and center. Beckons is a line of organic yoga clothing that is comfortable, flattering, colorful, comfortable, eco-friendly, stylish and comfortable. Did I mention Beckons clothing is comfortable? Here are some things I loved most about the company when I read more about them:

We maintain a strong commitment to the triple bottom line, where profit is equally as important as our impact on the planet and it’s people. ... From the very beginning, Beckons has embraced the yogic philosophy of kindness to the planet. We use only organic cotton and sustainable fibers in our clothing. ... We believe the little things we do, to ensure that women feel special while wearing our clothing, differentiate our brand. For example, we discretely sew into each Beckons® garment an empowering intention tag with words such as wisdom, courage, love, grace, integrity, and strength.

I’d love for you to go through your closet right now and see if any of current clothing has an empowering intention tag—and I’m not talking about something purchased from Anthropologie. Beckons sent me the strength cami in deep purple, strength t-shirt in black and wisdom roll-up capris in charcoal so my yoga wear now includes three “empowering” items. Oh, and they’re extremely comfortable empowering items as well.

I do enjoy yoga though I don’t do it as often as I should, so the strength tee and wisdom capris have become more of a lounge wear outfit than a fitness one, and I am so okay with that. Becky, one of the owners, told me those capris would become my new favorite pants, and I am 110% serious when I tell you they have. I wear those things at least three times a week if not more. They are my go-to pair of pants when I get home from a long day of errands or if it’s one of those days where I’m not planning to go anywhere. (Yes, I do take them off long enough to wash them!) They are stretchy, soft, comfy and flattering and guess what? They’re great for yoga too. I wore them on a recent visit to Bodhi Yoga with my SassyScoops.com group; you can catch them in action in this video:
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The tee and cami are comfy too, though I have yet to see the cami in action. It’s not that it isn’t comfortable but rather I don’t fill it out as much as I’d like for it to give me the support I need. (Was that TMI? Sorry!) But the tee is going to be my go-to shirt for our long drive to California and you know those capris will be in my suitcase. I can’t imagine a week going by without my wearing them at least a half dozen times!

I also love Beckons’ Grace Hemp Skirt and Grace Hemp Dress, plus they even have a a few men’s items and some fabulous lavender eye pillows. But my Beckons Wisdom capris are what beckon me; what “beckons” you?—Emily

ENDfootwear is the end to all running shoes

March 24th, 2009

ENDfootwearAnyone that knows me knows I am a walker. I don’t run. I walk. But, anyone that has seen me this past week…has seen me RUN.

Reason being is I received a pair of ENDfootwear PBnJ running shoes and with the shoes on my feet I pretty much now like running, which is reason alone for me to love these shoes.

I am an avid walker. I walk 5 days a week, but, sometimes I wish I were a runner. I like the way running makes you feel. You lose your breath. You sweat. You get tired. All the things that indicate you are really working out. Running really conditions my heart. So, for all those reasons I try to do the walk/run thing occasionally, but, I always seem to end up walking.

Turns out my shoes may have been the problem (yeah I am sure it is ALL that…nothing to do with my lack of determination or anything;) But, really I do think the shoes were a bigger problem than I ever realized. I buy Nike’s-always have. I usually buy whatever is on sale. For the most part, I like what I buy. They fit me well and they look good. But, sometimes you don’t know what you are missing until you experience something different.

ENDfootwear sent me a pair of PBnJ running shoes and now I know what I have been missing! They really are onto something. Minimalist construction that streamlines mesh webbing and supportive lining make it a light-weight shoe that gives you a skip in your step. The shoes feel drastically different from my other running shoes. They support my arches but feel light in all the other areas of the shoe.

The construction of the shoe is made with natural materials like bamboo-infused linings and non-toxic glues eliminating all unnecessary plastics and components to make it a very light running shoe.

And let’s not forget to talk about the looks of the shoe…
It is a simple design with rich colors. Ranging in 3 colors in the PBnJ women style: sapphire and white, celery and white or white and grapefruit. I like the simplicity of having one main color along with an accent color. Nothing too loud or obnoxious down below. Just a simple running shoe that is very streamlined in the color and design. Environmental Neutral Design shoes might be just the thing to get you running.

Available at R.E.I or online at ENDfootwear.com.

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