QuestBar — Finally a True Low-Carb Protein Bar!

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Someone on the Livin-LaVida Low-Carb Forum recently posted a link to receive 2 free QuestBars, a new low-carb protein bar.  I went to the QuestBar website and signed up for their trial bars and received them in a few days.  I’m always on the lookout for top-notch low-carb products.  I’ve always liked the idea of a really true low-carb protein bar which would be suitable for on-the-go snack and meal substitutes.  Sometimes I need something that packs easily and that I won’t have to worry about spoiling.  Problem is that most so-called protein bars are loaded with sugar and carbs and are just as unhealthy as eating a candy bar.  I have used the Atkins bars on occasion but was never a huge fan of them.

Fact:  There is no healthy protein bar, low-carb or otherwise, that tastes as good as a Snickers, PayDay, KitKat or whatever your favorite candy bar might be!  That is an unrealistic expectation.  So does that mean you’re trying to prepare me for another poor tasting protein bar?  No, not at all, matter of fact both myself and my wife really liked the taste of the QuestBars.  I’m just wanting you to know they don’t taste like a candy bar, they taste like a healthy, natural protein bar should taste.

We halved both the Vanilla Almond Crunch and the Peanut Butter Supreme and ate them on the same day so we could compare notes.  They both had a very pleasant flavor and a nice firm, chewy texture.  My wife liked the Peanut Butter Supreme the best.  She expected that I would like the Vanilla Almond Crunch the best since I’m a vanilla fan-boy and not a huge fan of peanut butter.  Surprise:  I actually gave the Peanut Butter Supreme a slight edge in taste over the Vanilla Almond Crunch.  They both have a very good flavor and I would not turn down either one!  Right now these are the only two flavors available but I have heard that other flavors are being developed.

The other thing I really like about these bars is what they DON’T contain!  Their ingredient list is probably 1/3 of conventional protein bars and I can actually pronounce all the ingredients.  Wow!  They are sweetened with Sucralose, which I don’t have a problem with, while some folks may not particularly like this sweetener.  What really excites me is there are NO sugar alcohols!  So that means no worry of digestive distress!

The bars have a great protein/fat/fiber balance and I felt like they kept me satiated for quite a long time.   I wouldn’t use these on a daily basis, but for a quick out-the-door breakfast or a lunch-on-the-go, I think they’d fit the bill nicely.

The cost is about $1.99 each and they are only sold online.  That may sound like a lot for a protein bar, but keep in mind these are true high quality, low-carb, protein bars with natural ingredients.  So, in my opinion, the extra cost is worth it…just for what you aren’t getting….chemical conglomerations full of sugar!

Now, just so you know, I don’t work for QuestBar, nor am I in any way financially benefited by reviewing their products.  The two bars were free but that in no way effected the opinions I have expressed about QuestBars.

There Really is Life Without Donuts

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

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Former Donut Junkie Endorses Krystal 4 Carb Breakfast Scrambler!

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I’ve talked about how I go out for breakfast most mornings at The Krystal. A little fast-food chain similar to White Castle. They have a 4-Carb Scrambler that I eat every morning, which is simply 2 scrambled eggs, a slice of cheese and 2 sausage patties. And of course I have a couple of cups of Krystal coffee.

I blogged a review of the Krystal 4-Carb Scrambler recently and just this week Krystal picked up on it and now has it posted on the Krystalist, their company blog. Former Donut Junkie Endorses Krystal’s 4 Carb Breakfast Scrambler.

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Krystal, My Low-Carb Breakfast Friend!

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Since I gave up Dunkin’ Donuts better than a year-and-a-half ago, I had to find me another place to hang out for breakfast. I am a breakfast person and I love going out for breakfast. I tried Hardees, but for some strange reason, I’m just not crazy about their Low-Carb bowl. I think it’s the fake tasting bacon bits that I have an aversion for. And their coffee is, well, more accurately described as a ‘coffee-like-substance’. I do like my coffee in the mornings, but I can get coffee better than this at the gas station, and that ain’t sayin’ much.

Enter KRYSTAL! You know, the fast food joint with the little square burgers, little being the keyword. Little on the burger, big on the bread! One little Krystal burger has 17g of carbs! Wow! Well anyhow, I discovered their 4 Carb Scrambler in July 2007 and I’ve been going there at least 3 to 5 days a week ever since. And their coffee is pretty good as well, especially when it’s fresh. It has that unique ‘nutty’ little flavor to it while it’s hot and fresh.  Krystal is one of the best kept secrets for breakfast so far as I’m concerned, especially for low-carbers.

The 4 Carb Scrambler comes in a little bowl, with 2 scrambled eggs, a slice of cheese, then topped with either a couple of sausage patties or a nice little pile of bacon. The 4 Carb Scrambler with coffee is only $3.81 [tax included]. What a deal for a cheap breakfast on the go!

And just look at the nutrition breakdown. What a great way to start the day.

Bacon Scrambler [5.5 oz] — 370 calories, 29g fat, 4g carbs, 1g fiber and 24g protein.
Sausage Scrambler [7.5 oz] — 600 calories, 51g fat, 3g carbs, 2g fiber and 32g protein.

One of these things easily keeps me going strong until after noon. You may not have a Krystal in your area, but if you do, I highly recommend stopping by and giving their 4 Carb Scrambler a whirl. They’re one of the few fast food joints with a low-carb item on their menu.

And, if you don’t like the Scrambler, they’ll cook you a custom breakfast. They will fry or scramble you some eggs, with some bacon or sausage.  Just tell ’em to “Hold the toast!”

Uh, no I don’t work for Krystal, nor am I associated with them in any way, other than to be a fan of their low-carb breakfast scrambler. However, when I find something that helps me to stay on plan, I like to share it with all my low-carb friends.

P.S. — I almost forgot to tell you all how I eat my Scrambler.  I remove the two sausage patties, leaving the cheese covered eggs in the little bowl.  I then sprinkle some black pepper on the cheesy eggs, squirt a little single serving package of yellow mustard on that, then for the real flavor dowse it all with some Tabasco Habanero Sauce.  I then put one sausage patty back on the cheesy eggs and dig in.  When I finish with that I eat the other sausage patty by itself.  Then I normally drink two cups of Krystal coffee.  Breakfast over!!!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Product Review: Almond Breeze…Non-Dairy Beverage

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One thing I really miss on low-carb is an occasional glass of cold milk, but an eight ounce glass of whole milk has 13 carbs, way too many during Induction or OWL [Ongoing Weight Loss] and even more than I’d care to consume during maintenance.  Granted, heavy whipping cream is allowed on low-carb and it has only 3 carbs/8oz but not many people care to drink a whole cup of heavy whipping cream.  In addition, heavy whipping cream has been known to cause weight loss stalls in some people.  So what’s a person to do when you get a craving for ‘something dairy’?  Well, I’ve discovered a product that satisfies my dairy craving and is extremely low-carb friendly.  It’s called Almond Breeze and it is produced by the Blue Diamond Almond Growers headquartered in Sacramento, California.

What is Almond Breeze? Here’s the description from the Almond Breeze website.

Almond Breeze® is a non-dairy beverage made from real almonds, all natural, smooth and creamy with a hint of almonds. Almond Breeze® is a great tasting non-dairy beverage without the thin, chalky after taste of rice and soy beverages.

Almond Breeze® won the 2004 Best Taste Award from the prestigious American Culinary Institute (ACI). ACI is an independent, chef based judging organization.

Enjoy Almond Breeze® chilled by the glass and on your cereal. You will love how it froths in coffee drinks, enhances fruit smoothies, and blends cup for cup in your favorite recipes.

Besides being lactose and gluten free, Almond Breeze® contains no cholesterol, animal ingredients or hormones, saturated fat, or added oils. Almond Breeze® is low in sodium and enriched with Calcium and Vitamins D and E, contains a high level of unique phytonutrients, and is a good source of Vitamin A.

Nutrition Information

Almond Breeze is available in Sweetened and Unsweetened versions.  My review is limited to the Unsweetened version. The Unsweetened version is available in 3 Flavors:  Original, Vanilla and Chocolate.  Eight ounces of the Original or Vanilla has 40 calories, 3g fat, 2g carbohydrates, 1g fiber and 1g protein, thus 1g net carbs.  Eight ounces of the Chocolate has 45 calories, 3.5g fat, 3g carbohydrates, 1g fiber and 2g protein, thus 2g net carbs.  Any way you look at it, one or two net carbs for an eight ounce cup makes an excellent low-carb, non-dairy beverage that tastes a whole lot like milk.  And this stuff is lactose and gluten free which is a real plus for many.

Taste & Smell

If you’ve noticed I haven’t called Almond Breeze milk!  Blue Diamond doesn’t call it milk either, but it tastes a whole lot like milk to me.  Matter of fact, I like it as well or better than milk with its ever so slight hint of nutty flavor.  I normally drink my cup of Almond Breeze cold with one pack of Splenda.  I can drink it straight but the Splenda turns it into a nice little taste treat that I truly enjoy and look forward to.  One could just as well add a little Stevia or other sweetener of your choice if you don’t like it plain.  Almond Breeze tastes great over some fresh berries or over some low-carb flax based cereal as well.  I’ve never tried Soy Milk or Rice Milk so I can’t really give you a taste comparison between them.

I’ve tried all three flavors but my personal preference is the Vanilla.  See, I’m a Vanilla Fan-Boy.  Maybe your a Chocolate Fan-Boy or Fan-Girl.  Not a problem since they’re all delicious and low-carb friendly.

Texture

Almond Breeze has a texture that feels a whole lot like milk when you’re drinking it.  There is no gritty or chalky stuff going on with it.  It’s a smooth, creamy texture and about the same thickness as milk.  Poured into a glass beside a glass of milk you’ll notice the Almond Breeze has more of an off-white color than the milk.

Price

I pick mine up at Earth Fare Grocery for $2.00 to $2.50 per quart box, depending if it’s on sale or not.  Yes, the price is high in comparison to milk, but I’ve found I don’t use it in the amounts I used milk, and I’m reducing my carb intake to a fraction of the carbs in milk.  So, I personally see it as a great low-carb value.

Cooking with Almond Breeze

I have not used Almond Breeze in any recipes that required cooking, but I’ve read of those who have used it successfully in cooking, and the Almond Breeze website recommends its use in cooking.  Hopefully, some of you can chime in with your Almond Breeze experiences and share them with the rest of us.

Conclusion

Check out the Almond Breeze website and get the complete low-down on this low-carb friendly product.  Got milk?  The answer is NO if your a low-carber.  But now you can have the next best thing…Almond Milk.  Try it, you just might like it.  And hey, if you don’t like it you’re only out a couple bucks, and who knows, your cat might like it!

Disclaimer

No, I don’t work for Almond Breeze, Blue Diamond or the almond industry, and I am not associated with them in any way.  I have NO financial interest whatsoever in writing this review; I don’t sell it or receive any commissions from its sale.  This is a totally unsolicited, therefore unbiased, review of a product I just happened to like and wanted to share it with my low-carb friends.  When I find something that works, I like to spread the news.

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie