Health Warrior Chia Bar Review

Health Warrior Chia Bar Review | The Slender Student Earlier this summer, I was sent a box of products from Health Warrior to try out. It included a bag of white chia seeds (with which I made these patriotic parfaits) and a selection of their Chia Bars. Needless to say, I was suuuper excited to have a new snack bar to try. Since I’m on campus a lot, it’s nice to have grab-and-go options as part of my meal prep. These did not disappoint.

Health Warrior Chia Bar Review | The Slender Student

At just 100-110 calories, each of these bars satisfy in both taste and nutrition. Their unique flavors really come through without tasting at all artificial, as many bars tend to. Plus the combo chewy/crunchy texture from the chia seeds is something I always love. These little snacks offer good fat, fiber, and even a smidge of protein, so they really work to tide you over between meals without putting much of a dent in your calorie bank for the day. Not sold yet? Check this out:

The bars are all-natural, vegan, dairy- and soy-free. As the only bar on the market boasting chia seeds as its #1 ingredient, Health Warrior Chia Bars have 1000 mg Omega 3’s, 16% DV of fiber and only 5g of sugar.

Chia seeds pack a mighty punch in a small package: 1⁄4 the size of a grain of rice, pound for pound, Chia has more Omega 3 fatty acids than salmon, more fiber than oatmeal, more protein than tofu, more calcium than milk, and more magnesium than broccoli.

Health Warrior Chia Bar Review | The Slender Student

If you’re ready to become a Health Warrior yourself, see where they’re sold in your area here!

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Meatless Monday: Amy’s Kitchen Light & Lean Spaghetti Italiano Bowl

You’ve probably already noticed, but I’m not real big on frozen dinners. Most days, I’m pretty willing to put forth the bit of foresight and planning in order to prepare fresh, homemade meals for myself… And then there are the times when I’m being a human and things don’t go as planned, or I have to make time for things that are more important than my budding domesticity.

Enter: the frozen meal.

A Slender Student review of Amy's Kitchen: Light & Lean Spaghetti Italiano Bowl | The Slender Student I picked out this little guy at Central Market in the beginning of my Meatless Monday adventure. I had a feeling that there would come a moment when Monday evening just wasn’t the most opportune time to be experimenting with foreign proteins like tofu and tempeh.

Of course I didn’t blindly choose this box. Word to the wise, never purchase any processed or pre-prepared food without checking out the nutrition label. I flipped this frozen find over and noted that it had 240 calories, 5 grams of fat, 38 grams of carbohydrate (5 of which are from fiber), and 11 grams of (vegan) protein. Into my cart it went with the Slender Student seal of approval.
A Slender Student review of Amy's Kitchen: Light & Lean Spaghetti Italiano Bowl | The Slender Student

The best part about finally ripping into this bad boy was realizing that our microwave was broken just as I was ready to heat it up. Fortunately, there were oven directions and I wasn’t quite starving (yet). I popped it in the oven at 375º for 35 minutes. While that was baking, I quickly sautéed some frozen broccoli and asparagus with baby kale to have on the side. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, I sprinkled a tablespoon of fresh Parmesan cheese over top and let it brown a bit.

A Slender Student review of Amy's Kitchen: Light & Lean Spaghetti Italiano Bowl | The Slender Student

Overall, this was a pretty satisfactory frozen dinner. The tomato sauce tasted fresh, not fakey. The meatballs had a hearty texture and their flavor was slightly reminiscent of falafel. I was disappointed by their number and size, but for less than 250 calories, I’ll take it. The noodles were mushy, but that might’ve been because of the whole oven situation. Now, I’d be lying to you if I told you this low calorie meal held me over until bed, but its moderate protein content made it the perfect pre-game for my chocolate Greek froyo so I’m really not complaining.

I’ll definitely be trying more of Amy’s Kitchen Light & Lean meals and with finals coming up, you can bet my freezer is stocked.

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Snap Kitchen Clean Start Review

Snap Kitchen Clean Start: liquid nutrition review | The Slender Student

Yesterday I was given the opportunity to try Snap Kitchen’s Clean Start juice program for a day. Clean Start involves six 16-ounce bottles of juice that you drink each 2-3 hours. You can juice for as few or as many days (within reason) as you’d like. I get asked a lot of questions about juice cleanses and though I’m normally a skeptic about most food trends, I figured I should give it a shot in order to give people answers backed by experience. Plus it’s fun being your own guinea pig.

Before we get into the review, let me clarify what I mean when I use the word cleanseI mean that the juices are all I had for the day. To cleanse is not to starve yourself of nutrients, and that’s what I liked about Snap Kitchen’s Clean Start program. To quote Snap’s dietitian, Andrea Hinsdale, “We believe in balanced nutrition and want to make sure that with approximately 1,200 calories per day, our juices will still give people enough energy to get to the gym and carry on with their busy lives. Our cold-pressed juices are just simple combinations of fruits and vegetables to help people reset and simplify with a day’s worth of nutrient-packed juices.” Because of that, I didn’t have the fear of being undernourished. If you’re a nutrition major like me, or if you’re just really into health, you know that such dilemmas can verge on becoming moral ones.

Snap Kitchen Clean Start review -- Super Greens | The Slender Student

Super Greens: (1.5 pounds of nutrient dense greens) I started my day by going green in a major way. This juice is not joking around with the veggie flavor. The cucumber is the most notable ingredient, making the entire bottle taste very fresh. I drank this around 9 am, which left me feeling sluggish before my 11:30 class at CYC. Probably should’ve timed that one a little better.

Snap Kitchen Clean Start review -- Energy Boost | The Slender Student

Energy Boost: (110% of your daily vitamin C) downed this when I got home after CYC for a much needed energy boost. This one’s definitely sweeter and more fruity than the first juice, but still had that cucumber flavor… Not sure where that comes from. I liked the minty after taste I was left with following each sip.

Snap Kitchen Clean Start review -- Energy Boost | The Slender Student

Antioxidant: (over 1000% of your daily need of the antioxidant beta-carotene) I guess the Energy Boost juice didn’t pack the punch I thought it would because I needed a nap after drinking it. Luckily, I was able to wake up to this zinger of a drink. After reading the ingredients on the front of this juice (apples, carrots, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, red beets, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper), I was expecting a less fun version of a Bloody Mary, but that wasn’t it at all. The juice is somewhere between savory and sweet, leaving you with a little burn. To my surprise, it was my favorite juice of the first three.

Snap Kitchen Clean Start review -- Carrot Ginger Elixir | The Slender Student

Carrot Ginger Elixir: (1.5 pounds of carrots and apples) this juice tastes like something that should be served alongside a spicy tuna roll, though that might just be the cleanse talking. The fresh ginger flavor definitely comes through the sweet drink.

Snap Kitchen Clean Start review -- Spicy Basil Lemonade | The Slender Student

Spicy Basil Lemonade: (metabolism boosting cayenne and detoxifying lemon) I can’t say much more about this juice than its name already does. It’s not spicy enough to send you running for a bottle of water, but it does pack a little heat. It sent me down memory lane to the basil cocktail from Benjy’s in Houston so, if all else fails, add vodka. I was too full to finish the entire bottle, though it’s definitely the lightest of all the drinks.

Snap Kitchen Clean Start review -- Cashew Protein Shake | The Slender Student

Cashew Protein Shake: (11 grams of heart healthy fat) I was feeling hungry for the first time all day by the time I opened this bottle. And once I had my first sip, it was no surprise that this was my favorite drink. Its flavor is rich and nutty, with a slightly gritty texture due to the cinnamon. I would love to freeze this into ice cubes and then blend it up for a frozen treat. For those of you who can’t stomach food first thing in the morning, check this one out for a breakfast alternative.

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Overall, the day of juice wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. My main concern going in was that I’d be uncomfortably hungry all day, but that never happened. (However, if you decide to have a go with Clean Start, Andrea says it’s ok to munch on some raw veggies between juices, should you feel the urge to chew something.)  To my surprise, sometimes I even felt a little overly full due to the sheer volume of juice I was taking in. So while this wasn’t the painful experience as I feared it might be, I think I’ll be sticking with food from here on out. I don’t know if y’all can tell, but I kinda like it.

As far as getting back into food goes, then, I should tell you my plan. Today I’ll be eating according to my Spring Break Slender Down rest day plan, but with an added twist. For post-Clean Start purposes (and as part of an assignment for one of my classes…nutrition majors, go figure), tomorrow will be my first Meatless Monday. The purpose of ditching the beef after a day (or more) of juice is to ease your body back into usual digestion. Animal proteins require a lot of metabolic work, so taking it one step at a time and starting with all vegetarian protein sources is a good way to get back to normalcy without losing all of the previous day’s progress.

Breakfast: Snap Kitchen Maple Roasted Banana Oatmeal; 2 eggs

Lunch: homemade teriyaki tofu sushi; edamame; and blackberries

Snack: Fage 2% Greek yogurt and Fiber One

Dinner: Boca Original Vegan Burger with goat cheese and avocado; quinoa; edamame; steamed asparagus; baked eggplant

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for photos and details of today’s meals, as well as other healthy meal inspiration. If you have any questions regarding the cleanse, leave a question in the comments or call Snap Kitchen and get it from the horse’s mouth! Tell ‘em I sent ya.

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Pro(tein)/Con: Gnu Foods Flavor & Fiber

It’s been a minute since my last Pro(tein)/Con review, mostly due to the fact that by the end of last semester, I only snacked on Oatmega 3 bars. Over the break, however, a reader named Melissa e-mailed me recommending the Gnu Foods Flavor & Fiber bar, so I thought I should give it a shot for the sake of my admittedly bored taste buds. Now, to label this bar as a “protein bar” would be a misnomer. There isn’t a significant amount of protein in these, nor does Gnu Foods make any such claims… I just can’t give up a clever series title. Sorry.

Snack bar reviews! | The Slender Student

Flavor & Fiber Chocolate Brownie Bar
 Calories: 140 | Fat: 4 g (Sat Fat: 1 g) | Carbohydrate: 30 g | Fiber: 12 g| Protein: 4 g

where you can find it: I’ve seen these bars at Snap Kitchen and Central Market here in Austin. Check out the Gnu Foods website to see where you can pick one up in your area.

the good: I’ve now had two flavors of Gnu bars– cinnamon raisin and chocolate brownie. The cinnamon raisin version was tasty, but a pretty tough. While that texture kept me from gobbling the bar down in about .3 seconds, it also wore my jaw out. The chocolate brownie bar, on the other hand, was soft and rich and chocolaty and didn’t taste healthy at all. There are little grains throughout that keep it chewy without making it difficult to get through. I definitely preferred the chocolate.

Nutritionally, I’m pretty impressed with this bar. Normally I look for high levels of protein to keep me full, but since I’ve been recording my intake with My Fitness Pal, I’ve noticed that my protein intake is usually too high. Most days this doesn’t concern me, but when I’m not working out, I just don’t need that extra protein. This is where the fiber comes in. Fiber is every slender student’s friend because it’ll keep ya regular and slow down your digestion without adding extra calories. Awesome. This bar also has 4 grams of unsaturated (good) fat, a parameter I’ve been trying to increase in my diet. Fat also helps keep you full, FYI. Additionally, I wasn’t scared or confused when I read through the list of ingredients, which is always a plus.

the bad: Because you can really only find these bars at specialty stores, they’re a bit on the pricey side. If you want a dupe, try Fiber One bars. They have a little less fiber and healthy fat for the same amount of calories. They’re somewhere in between a Chewy bar and a candy bar in flavor and are easily found at any grocery store.

repeat? Because of the price and how difficult they can be to find, I don’t think I’ll be adopting Gnu bars as my daily snack. Should I find myself becoming bored, though, I might pick one up occasionally as a special treat. I really want to try the carrot cake, espresso chip, and blondie flavor. Yurm.

Thanks again to Melissa for recommending the Gnu Foods bar! If you have any suggestions, please send them in! Also, keep submitting your nutrition/fitness/random questions AND let me know how your sorority keeps it slender!

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Quick + Easy

My favorites at My Fit Foods & Snap Kitchen | The Slender Student

I swear that being in college is just an extended test over my time management abilities. And, most of the time, I pass. I can take a heinous number of hours per semester, write a blog, prepare healthy meals, work out regularly, be social, end genocide, call my grandparents, cure cancer, go back in time & reinvent the iPhone, plant a sustainable garden, craft DIY gifts, deconstruct the meaning of life, and be incredible at shopping at Forever 21, all at the same time. It’s just about balance, ya know?

But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have my off days. And I just couldn’t lie to you all. So how do I make it work on those off days? I take a break from doing work in the kitchen and stop by My Fit Foods or Snap Kitchen for some pre-prepared, microwaveable, healthy meals. They’re not cheap, so I try to only splurge on an as-needed basis. If any of this sounds enticing to you, I’ll let you in on some of my favorites.

My favorite picks from My Fit Foods | The Slender Student

My favorite picks from Snap Kitchen | The Slender Student

What’s your go to when you don’t have the time to prep a slender meal?

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