Selecting the Best Coconut Water

Coconut water natural supports hydration. It is my favorite drink to rejuvenate me after a long weekend or after a hard workout. Due to the high potassium levels coconut water can reduce blood pressure because it lessens the effects of sodium.

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Again coconut water is a great drink choice because:

  • Significantly lower in calories than most sports drinks
  • Naturally fat- and cholesterol free
  • More potassium than 4 bananas
  • Super Hydrating

How do I choose the right coconut water?
With so many coconut waters appearing on the market this can be overwhelming. Obviously the best choice is to buy all organic coconut water that is raw and organic such as the one from Juice Press. Although, I’m balling on a budget so I am going to have to settle for something more affordable. Below you will find how to differentiate between the good and bad.

Plain Coconut Water:
Plain coconut water? So this must always be jus straight up coconut water? That isn’t always the case. The ZICO brand coconut water is just coconut water while the Vita Coco version has a tiny bit of sugar. The difference in sugar grams between the two is only 2g which is very minimal. So I am assuming that 2g is the only amount of added sugar in the Vita Coco. Another plain coconut water without added sugar is O.N.E .

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Flavored Coconut Waters:
Watch out for coconut waters with sugar listed in the ingredients. Ideally look for one’s with natural flavors and sweetened with stevia not concentrate or sugar if you are looking for a low carb option. ZICO Watermelon Raspberry Flavored Coconut Water is a good option because it is sweetened only with stevia. Taste wise my favorite is Vita Coco’s Peach and Mango coconut water. The ingredients are only fruit purees and coconut water so although this is higher in carbs than the stevia flavored one at least the carbs are not coming from refined sugars.

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ZICO Coconut Water Line Review:

ZICO coconut water like most contains as much potassium as a banana and contains 5 electrolytes. ZICO coconut water is also a non-GMO product.

ZICO Chocolate Flavored Coconut Water:

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This is a truly unique coconut water. Unlike any I have ever tried. This coconut water is so creamy it is pretty hard to believe it contains no dairy. It is a tasty blend of 80% coconut water, chocolate flavor and coconut cream. Lets not forget it also contains 5 electrolytes! I think this one is my favorite although some of the other flavors are lighter and more refreshing.

ZICO Watermelon Raspberry Flavored Coconut Water:

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I like that the fruit flavors here are not from concentrate. They are of natural origin and there is no sugar added in this product. The sweetness of it comes from natural Stevia extract without refined sugar. This flavor is sweet but definitely a refreshing change from water. This would make an ideal poolside drink.

ZICO Pineapple Flavored Coconut Water:

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I liked the pineapple flavored coconut water but it was not as sweet as other varieties I’ve tried. I tend to like the sweeter pineapple coconut waters because I feel like they taste more reminiscent of a piña colada.

ZICO Natural Coconut Water:

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I am not normally a fan of plain coconut water but this one is pretty good. I still prefer to mix it into all fruit smoothies however. Although you can rest assured that it contains only one ingredient, coconut water!

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VBURST Product Review

VBURST are portable vitamin shots. They are easily processed by the body and contain only natural ingredients, no fillers and are sweetened with monk fruit. I like that these are so portable and can be taken with you anywhere you go. They are in a leak proof container too so they won’t end up spilling in your bag. It is also nice to not have to worry about taking a pill.

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Strawberry Lemonade (Fitness Blend):
This flavor is the fitness blend that contains vitamins as well as an amino acid blend with Branch Chained Amino Acids (BCAAs), L-Glutamine, and L-Proline. This was my favorite one flavor wise as well as for content. L-Glutamine has a similar effect on the body as probiotics but it can also be used to curb sugar and carb cravings and preserve muscle tissue. L-Proline keeps muscles and joints flexible and skin wrinkle-free. It is very important to take BCAAs when you weight train so that you can recover faster and with less delayed onset muscle soreness so you can train just as hard the next day.

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Orange Lime (Antioxidant Blend):
This one and the Tropical Mango VBURST are both antioxidant blends. I will elaborate on some of the supplements found in this beverage. Magnesium Citrate can help reduce anxiety and increase your energy. Green Tea Extract has antioxidants as well as can help you lose fat by jump starting your metabolism. Grape seed extract can help lower cholesterol and poor circulation. Panax Ginseng Extract can be used to prevent muscle damage and reduce anxiety. This also has a lot of the vitamins you’ll find in a multivitamin.

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Tropical Mango (Antioxidant Blend):
This flavor has the exact same active ingredients as the Orange Lime variety. This one was just a tad too intensely flavored and sweet for my liking. Although I would probably drink it anyways.

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Overall, I recommend these vitamin shots to anyone who has trouble swallowing pills or anyone looking to get the most out of their fitness journey in a safe manner.

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Cake Batter Party Protein Bars

These bars are soft, tasty and can be made without vitafiber! I honestly think these taste a hell of a lot better too because they are less chewy and more soft like a fudge. I love this birthday cake protein powder too, it’s so tasty in treats and on its own to sip. You can adjust the sweetness by adding more or less honey. Remember more sprinkles = more fun!

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Ingredients:
-(64g) 4 tbsp. natural almond butter
-2 servings Gold Standard Birthday Cake Whey
-1 tsp. Vanilla extract
-5-6 sprays of Spray butter
-(63g) 3 tbsp. honey
-(72g) ¾ cup of oat flour
-Sprinkles

Directions:
-Put all ingredients in food processor except sprinkles
-Mix until you get a dough like substance
-Roll the dough and add the sprinkles
-Press the dough into four evenly sized bars
-They should each weigh about 70g each
-Store the bars in the fridge for best results (they will have the same shelf life as the nut butter you used)

Macros: Fat (g): Carb (g): Protein (g): Calories:
Macros for 1 Bar 9g 20.5g 13g  215

*Makes 4 bars total*

Let me know what you think of the bars if you try them. Post your creation on Instagram and tag me so I can see @Eatingbrofood!

Birthday Cake Protein Shake

I’ve made this shake before with and without Funfetti cake mix. This one is the healthified version without the cake mix and I can barely tell the difference! The birthday cake protein is what really makes it on this one. I used regular plain yogurt but it would taste even better with low-fat Greek yogurt. Try to remember sprinkles make everything more fun!

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Birthday Cake Protein Shake Ingredients:
-50g plain yogurt (frozen into cubes)
-1 scoop Optimum Nutrition birthday cake whey protein powder
-60g banana frozen
-1 serving almond milk
-1 Truvia packet
-2 sprays spray butahh
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1-2 cubes of ice
-Spranks

Directions:
-Add all ingredients into blender
-Mix together until solid, add more ice as needed
-Serve with a straw and top with sprinkles

Macros: Fat (g): Carb (g): Protein (g): Calories:
Macros for 1 Shake 3g 28g 31g  263

*Makes 1 Shake*

Protes Product Review

ProTings recently rebranded to Protes chips. It seems they have discontinued the Sea Salt flavor and replaced it with Coconut. I would be interested in trying the new toasted coconut flavor. This one would be good paired with sweet dips or even protein fluff. These protein chips are better than those from iwon, as the flavors are stronger and they are less dry. I would recommend eating these chips with dips or cheeses. They generally cost 1.75 a bag, which isn’t too bad when comparing them to protein bar prices. The nutritional profile is great with the Zesty Nacho clocking in at 120 calories a bag (4g F/ 7g C/ 15g P).

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Below is a definitive foodie approved ranking of Protes chips:
1) Zesty Nacho
2) Tangy Southern BBQ
3) Chili Lime (Now Spicy Chili Lime)
4) Sea Salt (May be discontinued)

1) Zesty Nacho

This is my favorite flavor chip. They are super cheesy and pack a big crunch. I love pairing these with medium salsa or 100-calorie guacamole packs for an easy lunch snack.

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2) Tangy Southern BBQ

The BBQ flavor is pretty authentic but I struggle to find a dip for this chip that matches the flavor profile. I think I might try this with Laughing Cow swiss cheese wedges.

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3) Chili Lime (Now Spicy Chili Lime)

This chip is tasty and can be paired with any of the dips mentioned in the nacho cheese section. This would also be great broken up and put on top of a big Mexican taco salad.

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4) Sea Salt (May be discontinued)

The sea salt flavor may be a little too plain for my liking. It is good paired with seasoned tuna and or flavored hummus.

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Overall I would recommend these chips to anyone looking to still eat chips and consume less carbs or anyone looking to up their protein content on the go. This is a great find for those trying to eat more protein that may not necessarily have a sweet tooth like some of the rest of us! Savory lovers need gains too, right?

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Homemade Almond Butter Protein Bars

These simple 4 ingredient soft protein bars are hearty and will keep you going throughout the day. They can also make a pretty good on-the-go breakfast. Any nut butter can be used here so the sky is the limit! I tried to make a bar that was similar to the Bia Bar and I think I was pretty successful. Let me know what you think!

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Ingredients:
-(64g) 4 tbsp. natural almond butter
-2 servings True Nutrition Vanilla whey protein
-(84g) 4 tbsp. honey
-(72g) ¾ cup of oat flour
-1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Directions:
-Put all ingredients in food processor
-Mix until you get a dough like substance
-Roll the dough
-Press the dough into four evenly sized bars
-Store the bars in the fridge, they will have the same shelf life as the nut butter you used

Macros: Fat (g): Carb (g): Protein (g): Calories:
Macros for 1 bar 9g 22g 14g  225

*Makes 4 bars total*

Pumpkin Spice Protein Waffles

Channeling my inner white girl lately with these pumpkin spiced protein waffles. With just 4 ingredients these waffles are sure to be an easy and fool proof hit. In fact, you probably already have all the ingredients in your fridge and pantry right at this very moment! These waffles are super moist and get me feelin’ some type of wayyyy…Ready for fall, DUH.

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I wanted to mention that the toppings I used were frozen Truwhip, dark agave, spray butter and homemade pumpkin whipped topping. The pumpkin topping is just some extra pumpkin puree, non-fat greek yogurt, pumpkin pie spice and Truvia to taste. The toppings were not included in the macro calculations below.

Pumpkin Waffle Ingredients:
1/2 cup (100g) pumpkin
2 egg whites (92g)
1 & 1/2 scoop True Nutrition vanilla whey protein (Code Eatingbrofood, 5% off)
1/4 cup (25g) oat flour
1 tsp. Pumpkin pie spices

Directions:
-Mix all ingredients in a bowl
-Heat up and spray the waffle iron
-Bake until golden, about 3 minutes

Macros: Fat (g): Carb (g): Protein (g): Calories:
Macros for 1 whole waffle 1 g 12.5 g 25.5 g 161
Macros 2 whole waffles 2 g 25 g  51 g 322

*Makes 2 large Belgium waffles*