Product Review: Vega One Nutrition Bar

I few months back I talked about the Thrive Forward Series presented by Brendan Brazier and Vega. In this free online series I learned a lot about plant-based nutrition and eating food to give you the most bang for your buck (the most nutrition from the food you eat). Until I did this series, I would not have believed you if you told me I could get my complete protein from only plants – I would have told you that you were crazy! Now I know that as long as you balance the meals you actually can do it and I am eating even more plant-based meals because of it. I am still eating meat but I don’t have to eat a piece of cheese to get great protein. But how do you make eating clean more convenient? I do try hard to pre-plan the family meals and prep food on Sundays for the week ahead but sometimes I just want something that I can grab and not worry about whether it tastes good and is good for me (remember my post last week when I discovered hidden ingredients in some convenient veggie burgers?).

Vega kindly sent over some of the new Vega One Nutrition Bars for me to taste and let you guys know what I thought about them. As you know, I am not the type of blogger that will tell its readers about a product unless it actually does what it says and tastes good. I always hesitate with pre-made bars because in the past they taste much too “protein” heavy and the texture is often gritty. In the past I have even made some of my own energy bars since the pre-packaged ones are often a disappointment.

But guess what? These bars taste good. And not just a “these will make do” kind of good. I mean a “Holy crap!!!! I can’t believe these are good for me and taste like eating a rich creamy chocolate bar?!” kind of good! I actually had to read the ingredient list several times to believe it! I kept saying “Really!?!? Really!?!?! Amazing!”.

These bars have the nutritional profile of the Vega One Nutritional Shake (like this one here) and comes in three chocolate flavoured on-the-go bars. Gluten-free, plant-based supplements with a serving of greens AND 1 billion pro-biotic culture.  There are no artificial anything added to it. Like I say “no crap added” product. Take a look at this:

• 15 g protein
• 6 g fibre, 24% daily intake
• 1.5 g omega 3
• Antioxidants
• 1 billion probiotics culture
• 1 servings of greens

All I can say is AWESOME. Texture is soft and chewy and it did not taste like I was eating a processed protein bar. My absolute favourite flavour is the Chocolate Almond but the Chocolate Cherry and the Double Chocolate were also very good. I know these will be great for traveling and my husband has found them especially good these past couple of weeks as he adjusts to a new work schedule. Can’t wait to get my hands on some more of these!

 

This post was written by me and sponsored by Vega. These are my personal opinions and text. I was not influence to write a positive review for this post and took it upon myself to tell you about this product!

Kale Salad with Dijon Lemon Dressing

I have to tell you something. Last night I discovered that I am no longer cool.

Yes, it’s true.

Remember when you were a pre-teen? You had begun puberty and you no longer thought your parents were cute when they kissed each other. Remember going to a family wedding or gathering and the dance party would begin with all the old people? You would be sitting there, with your feathered hair – cut (by your mother) too short for others to decide your gender (didn’t help that you were flat as a board), your fluorescent barrette holding your crooked bangs in place. Perhaps you are wearing a green dress with white lace accents (again made by your mother) with your matching white tights – which of course you have uncomfortably adjusted all night after hours of speeches by relatives you’d never seen before.  You watched as your Aunt Bertha got CRAZY on the dance floor (probably from too much wine) with her outdated moves – flapping her arms around, an awkward off beat side step and finger-pointing disco mania?!?!

You would be sitting there thinking “She’s CRAZY! Is she related to me?! Oh wait, god, she is! Like, is she like, for real? Like? Like!” (I know you all used the adjective ‘like’ more then you should have…). And you would solemnly swear at that moment NEVER to look like Aunt Bertha on the dance floor. You would always keep up to date with your moves, with dance music and pop culture – you would always have cool clothes and great hair. And you would always keep up with technology and the latest trends.

Flash to now. Your child turns on the radio and starts blasting the dance music asking you to dance with him. You, of course, accept the offer to shake your booty – every momma likes a spontaneous work out that fits into her day! Your toddler has somehow managed to learn to break dance with all the cool moves. ‘Uh? My kid is only two? That’s cool.’ You think. You are busting a move, admiring your child’s rhythm. Suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, you see yourself in the bedroom mirror. You are shocked! Is it true?!?! Have you inherited Aunt Bertha’s dance moves without even knowing it? The flapping wing-like arms, the off-beat two-step, the unknown position of your hands as they flop around in front of you – eventually settling in a fist position! OH GAWD HOW COULD THIS BEEEEEEE?!?!? You can’t stop dancing because you are with your child and they are having a blast! ‘He can’t tell the difference. Not yet anyway. Right?’ The thought comes to your mind – you are not that cool mom who can dance like J LO on the dance floor as you had envisioned as a pre-teen. It is true. You are no longer cool.

That was my moment.

I have to say – at least the moment came at a time when I was with someone who loves my uncool moves, laughed sincerely at the goofiness and high-fived me with enthusiasm. As oppose to being in the middle of a club, with pants that are too tight (camel-toe anyone?), way too much lipstick and surround by complete and utter strangers.

Will I dance again? Yes.

Perhaps I will restrain myself if I am at a family gathering and have had too much wine? Perhaps. Although I can’t promise that one.

I made this salad for Christmas dinner when I was back home. I thought that no one out of my 16 family members would eat it this super healthy salad and that I would get to horde in on my plate. Little did I know that my family actually liked kale! What?!?! We never had it growing up so I had no idea! This salad was gone in NO time. In fact, it was such a hit that I made it almost every single day that we were there…I think it was close to 6 times in the end. I’ve been informed by my brother and sister that they have recreated this salad at home on their own. YAY! You can make this salad really simple with just kale, walnuts and dried cranberries. Or you can add a little more colour (and fiber) and add some shaved carrots & purple cabbage. I was inspired by lesson 2 in the Clean Eating section of Thrive Forward to make this look more like a rainbow, so I went with the latter. Either way, this salad is a great way to get this amazing dark leafy green into your meals – this is a true power food people! Remember my tip about massaging the kale with the oil. For salads like this, I would suggest choosing a high quality olive oil or oil blend (I used Vega Antioxidant Omega Oil Blend) – just spend the few extra bucks on a better oil! Honestly, you will use less because the quality tastes so much better.

Kale Salad with Dijon Lemon Dressing
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of kale, destemmed & torn into pieces
  • 1 -2 tbsp high quality oil (more or less depending on your kale bunch size)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 carrot, shaved
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, shaved
  • ¾ cup raw walnuts (or any raw nut/seed)
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (could also use dried cherries or goji berries)
  • Juice from 1 whole lemon
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp coconut sugar (optional)
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. For the salad - rinse the kale thoroughly and spin or shake dry. Place in bowl and drizzle with oil and salt. Massage the kale until it becomes a little softer and the oil has soaked in. Add in carrots, cabbage, walnuts and cranberries. Place on table or in fridge until ready to serve.
  2. For the dressing - in a small glass jar, combine lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, coconut sugar & pepper. Shake & use desired amount on top of salad. Any leftover can be placed in fridge and used up to 1 week.

What kind of rainbow salad have you made lately? Share by leaving a comment!

*Please note that Aunt Bertha is a fictional character who may or may NOT be based on one of my relatives. This post is meant in good humor and not meant to hurt or offend my current or past relatives. Now, eat some salad, would you? ;)