Nutrimatix

The Badwater 135 race kicks off today… For those of you who are unaware of this unique torture, the race takes runners on a 135-mile journey through Death Valley in the heat of the summer. There’s a lot of different stuff happening this year compared to previous years after last year’s event couldn’t even go through the park as it usually did. Some of the significant changes this year are: a new night start instead of a morning start so runners are running through the night hours so runners are above 2000 feet elevation by 10 am (to avoid the highest heat), runners can only have one support vehicle and the event has to take place during a full moon. [Change details]

Another change this year is the addition of title sponsor Nutrimatix. And since I owe you (and Nutrimatix) a review of their product, I figured the timing to coincide with Badwater was as good of time as any!

Disclaimer: This means I was a sent a product for free to review.

Nutrimatix is a vitamin drink packet.

Packet of Nutrimatix drink mix

When combined with a glass of water, it turns into a tasty orange beverage. Kind of like Tang. (Mmmm…. Tang. Like the astronauts drink!) Okay, I haven’t had Tang to drink since sometime in the 1980’s… so this is based on my vague recollection of what Tang tasted like.

Orange Nutrimatix drink in a cup

That makes it sound so simple, huh? But it’s pretty much WAY MORE than that.

So while yes, Nutrimatix is a vitamin drink packet, it’s also a CUSTOM blend. And how is that blend determined?

The user downloads the Nutrimatix app. (iOS and Android) The first step it offers is to connect a tracker/platform/app to share your fitness habits with the app. This step can be skipped if there is no tracker available. But the services you can connect to as of this writing: Strava, RunKeeper, Dailymile, MapMyRun, Fitbit, Jawbone, MapMyRide, Withings.




Next step is to add your basic measurements of gender, age, height and weight.

Then we move onto a questionnaire. It asks about your dietary habits/preference. It asks about your smoking/alcohol/caffeine habits. Do you have joint discomfort? Are you training for an event? Sleep, mental energy, physical energy, stress, and more… The questionnaire covers a wide range of topics, but it’s very easy to answer as the interface is easy to use, and the answers are all multiple choice.

So after all this, it evaluates everything and spits out results just for you. The app even took into account my location to determine that I probably don’t have a Vitamin D deficiency due to my “location below the 37th parallel” and it adjusted my formula to account for that. It gives explanations for why the questions were asked and how that can play a role in your health. And it delivers a list of nutrients that are to be placed in your blend, complete with an explanation of why that item was included, uses, and possible side effects.

Partial list of recommended custom blend of nutrients from Nutrimatix.

Partial list of recommended nutrients. Add on several more above this and you’d see the complete picture. There were a lot of them.

 

Honestly, the whole thing fascinates me. Both the sports nutrition nut and the geek sides of me are satisfied with this experience. I mean… it’s a drink that uses an APP to make a blend that is designed for an individual. And that app ties into other apps to gather a more complete picture. That just really makes my inner-nerd-girl giddy!

Once you’ve got your blend, it comes time to order. The packets are dairy, soy, nut, artificial sweetener and artificial coloring free. They are made in a pharmaceutical-grade facility in the US. They’re vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free… pretty much everything people might look for.

The price? $48 for a 4 week supply. But the more weeks you buy, the more you can save. (12 week supply, you save 6%, 24 weeks = 12% savings, 48 weeks = 24% savings). Although, my shipment came in a fancy-pants box. If they could chop some of the price off by sending the packets to me just loose in a box, or shoved in a zip-top bag… I would be fine with that! The box loses its WOW factor after the first couple openings.

I’m very tempted to purchase more… but my inner cheapskate is fighting that. I’m sure if I add up all of the costs of taking supplements and replace it with this it would balance out or possibly be more cost-effective. Also, it seems that perhaps you wouldn’t want to order too many weeks in advance in case your goals changed. What if you were training for a marathon, but then in 3 months you were going to be done with that and wanted to focus on weights? I’m sure the nutrients it recommends would change.

That said, I’m fascinated by this approach, and they’ve done a great job with their app, as well as with their product. With their new title-sponsorship for the Badwater 135, it appears they’re moving up in the industry and want to make themselves known with endurance athletes, especially those tackling the BIG stuff.

Check them out, download the free app and play around with it. It’s fascinating to see what is recommended and why!

Final Disclosure: I was sent a box of Nutrimatix drink packets for free to review on the site. The words posted here are, as always, my own.

How Ultramarathoner Michelle Barton Trained for the Heat of Badwater

Las Vegas is hot. HOT. HOTTTTT….. We all know this, right?

Earlier this year I was introduced to SaltStick caps and I used them for my training in the Boston Marathon. That race was the exact opposite of hot, but the SaltStick caps still made such a huge difference in how I felt on all my training runs and during the race. I frequently have stomach troubles during races and I think these caps helped me avoid that. The stomach is, after all, a muscle and keeping your electrolytes in check helps prevent muscle cramping.

When I had the chance to partner with SaltStick during their #30SaltyDays campaign, I was happy to do so because a) I’m a salty sweater so I know the importance of replenishing that essential mineral in the body; b) They were going to provide information on how an ultrarunner had success in Badwater with their product; and c) it was a way for me to potentially pick up on some new information and share it with all of you! So…. without further ado, I present for your reading pleasure:


This post is part of our #30SaltyDays summer campaign, in which we hope to educate YOU about the benefits and science behind electrolytes. Follow the campaign with the hashtag #30SaltyDays on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram and the SaltStick blog. We’re offering our brand new product, SaltStick FASTCHEWS, as a giveaway for participants. More information here: http://bit.ly/1Rz0avu.

salt stick capsOn May 4, 2015, SaltStick-sponsored athlete Michelle Barton finished the Badwater Salton Sea ultramarathon, a 81-mile race through extreme heat, from below sea level at the shoreline of the Salton Sea, across, up, and over Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, to the top of Palomar Mountain, almost 5,500 feet above sea level. When she finished, Michelle had broken the female course record by several hours. Joining her was fellow elite ultrarunner Majo Srnik, and together, they took first place in mixed doubles (male and female) team.

Badwater Salton Sea is one of several Badwater-branded races, one of which is the Badwater 135, the infamous “World’s Toughest Foot Race,” through Death Valley, California (which Michelle has also run). The inaugural 2015 Salton Sea race took place in 2013.

*If you want to learn more about Michelle’s experience racing Salton Sea, check out this Endurance Planet podcast and this Tri*Tawn blog entry.

As any Badwater finisher will tell you, these races involve long distances through extreme heat. Thus, athletes need to change their training to accommodate for the tough conditions they’ll have to endure during the race. We asked Michelle to tell us how she prepared for Badwater and to share some advice for age-group athletes looking to compete in similar conditions.

Tip No. 1: Michelle dramatically increased running mileage:

After a steady amount of training at “only” 60 miles per week, Michelle began to up her weekly mileage after February, or three months out. By the time Badwater arrived, she was routinely running up to 150 miles per week.

“I was getting obsessed on Strava,” she says. (If you’re on Strava, you can see her training under ‘Michele Barton.’)

Michelle also reduced the amount of cross-training each week to make time for all those miles. During her 60-mile weeks, she would often mountain bike or swim to fit in more cardio and give her running legs a break, but in the weeks leading up to Badwater, she stuck to running.

“I rarely (if ever) take any days off training,” she says. “My body adapted great to the distance. In 15 years of running, I have never logged this kind of mileage in my life.”

The endless running paid off: “Typically I was a run, bike, swim kind of training the last 10 years,” Michelle says. “But I kept blowing up at mile 80 of my 100 mile races. This time my legs were solid. I wasn’t sore after the race.”

KEY TAKEAWAY: The best way to prepare for a race is to imitate race conditions as much as you can. Ultramarathons require long, slow training for hours at a time each week. You will not be racing fast (Michelle and Majo raced at a 10-minute-mile pace, and they are elites!), so you do not need to run fast in training. By slowing down, you’ll be able to incorporate more overall miles each week, which is the most important thing in preparing for an ultra.

train-hard-to-race-easy

Also, consider finding ways to train in a similar climate: “I recommend logging as many miles as possible and also to sauna train,” Michelle says. “Train hard to race easy. Get uncomfortable during training.”

Tip No. 2: Michelle changed her nutrition strategy to include more liquids and electrolytes:

Michelle routinely consumes all her calories from liquid, regardless the temperature and location of her race. However, to prepare for the heat, she altered her race nutrition to include more SaltStick than normal (she consumed 1 SaltStick Cap every 45 minutes; Majo consumed 2 per hour) and more water — especially ice water — to stay cool.

“Stay on top of your electrolytes and hydration!” Michelle says. “Do NOT be lazy!”

stay-on-top-of-your-electrolytes

Michelle says the liquid calories kept her stomach from cramping: “I recommend staying with liquid nutrition. We never had any stomach issues whatsoever. Next time I would take SaltStick Caps PLUS [which include caffeine] later in the race because I was falling asleep on the final climb up Mt. Palomar from miles 70-81.”

KEY TAKEAWAY: It’s harder for your stomach to digest solid foods during a hot race because much of your blood is redirected away from your digestive system to your skin to help release excess heat. Obviously, you also sweat more when it’s hot, so you need greater amounts of water and electrolytes. The hotter the race, the more calories you’ll want to consume in liquid form.

Also, be sure to stay on top of replacing electrolytes. As we blogged about in February, most sports drinks do not contain a high enough sodium-to-water ratio to adequately replace electrolytes lost through sweat (otherwise your sports drink would taste like seawater). Also, a study published in March 2015 found that triathletes who supplemented sports drinks with SaltStick Caps finished a half Ironman (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run) an average of 26 minutes faster than the control group that only supplemented with sports drink.

Tip No. 3: Michelle adapted her pace to account for the heat:

While the overall pacing goal was 10k (6.2 miles) per hour (about 10-minute miles, which is very fast for an ultramarathon), Michelle and Majo intentionally slowed down for during the hottest part of the day.

Michelle also noticed training in the heat vs. training in the cold helped her in the race conditions: “Majo was training in the snow in Canada and not much heat training at all,” she says. “He did fantastic considering and once the sun went down, he was flying. I, on the other hand was awesome in the heat and once it got cold I felt like I slowed a bit. It was a perfect match because we helped each other a lot.”

KEY TAKEAWAY: Don’t overdo it when racing in the heat. Realize that your body will have to run more slowly, especially if you haven’t been training in hot conditions.

“It is important to train at your race pace in similar conditions (if possible) meaning, if the race is on pavement, train on pavement,” Michelle says. “If the race is in mountains, train on mountains. Seems simple, but people don’t always do what they need to do. They rely on talent or speed, and that doesn’t translate well in to a solid 81-mile finish.”

Conclusion:

Ultramarathons in the heat are one of the toughest racing challenges, but with adequate preparation, you can find success in a race similar to Badwater. As you’ve seen above, Michelle’s training isn’t rocket science. She puts in the miles, she stays on top of her nutrition, and she adapts her pace to the racing environment. You can use these tips as well to find success in your own racing. Good luck, and happy training!

What is Michelle up to next? Michelle is racing the infamous Badwater 135 on July 28, and she says she plans to join Majo again next year for the 2016 Badwater Salton Sea. She also plans to keep using SaltStick!

I seriously would be in trouble if I didnt use your product for the decade,Michelle told us. It is so automatic to use Saltstick, I dont have to wonder or worry because I know it always works perfect for me.


Each year I follow along as the Badwater 135 runners tackle the infamous course… so I’ll be cheering for Michelle!

 

USANA Health Sciences Product Sampling

A little while ago I got an email offering me the opportunity to try some products from USANA Health Sciences. I saw the email and immediately thought, “Where do I know that name from?” And then I remembered… “Oh yeah! I used to drive past their US offices every week on my way to work when I lived in Salt Lake City!” That was back in 1999-2001, so I’m granted a bit of a pass on temporary memory loss, okay? And even then, I saw the name USANA on the building and never knew exactly what it was. Now I know that USANA sells supplements, foods, and personal care products.

I was sent a box that contained two items to review. First up the Berry Nutty bar.

USANA Berry Nutty bar

These bars are built upon a foundation of cashews, almonds, cranberries and cherries. There are a few other ingredients involved (oats, flaxseed, coconut oil, agave, sea salt, etc.) but the ingredient list is pretty straightforward. Other things to note:

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Gluten free
  • Soy free
  • Dairy free
  • Low glycemic
  • No trans fats
  • Low sodium
  • Non-GMO
  • Prebiotic fiber

And if they are shipped to your house in Las Vegas during the hottest June on record… they kind of melt.

usana-berry-nutty-bar-unwrapped.jpg

They’re tasty bars and I liked having a snack that seemed pretty wholesome and satisfying. I didn’t like the super sticky wrapper after it had melted. Woe is me…

These bars sell for $43.95 for a box of 14 on their site.

The other item I was sent was their probiotic. These are delivered via a little packet of powder (like those “to go” drinks come packaged) but the difference is these have no flavor. No flavor, no calories, no anything… except a bunch of little bacteria ready to be ingested. (Hey… that’s what probiotics are!) I’ve seen other powdered probiotics that require refrigeration. These ones are shelf-stable and last for up to a year.

usana-probiotic.jpg

They have foreign characters on the packet. I don’t know what those say. I’m not even sure what language they are, but I know it’s not Japanese because I can totally read Japanese. Or…. at least recognize it somewhat after studying Japanese for two years in high school.

I really can’t taste this when added to a drink, so you can pretty much add these to any COLD drink you may want. I’m not a scientist, but it does seem counterintuitive to add these live active bacteria things to a scalding hot drink and put them to death before consuming them.

These cost $28.55 for a box of 14.

Both products are of good quality, but they seem kind of expensive. I’m not sure that the bars are worth that price when there are other bars that have solid, whole food nutrition for less cost and easier accessibility. But a probiotic… if you find one that really helps you feel better then I guess it’s worth the price. I only tried these a couple of times so far, not long enough or consecutive enough to experiment to see if they help me feel better in any way.

I know they have some kind of sponsor/seller program for people who want to sell USANA products/make that their career or whatever. I am not interested in that so I didn’t look into that information. I also saw that USANA is a partner of the Dr. Oz show and that guy kind of seems like a nut to me, but I guess that could be overlooked if the products were life changing.

Disclosure: I was sent these products free for the purpose of review. All thoughts posted are always my own.

Yummari Bars

Bars… nuggets… whatever you want to call these little things I received to review. I’ll call them tasty. That’s what Yummari is: tasty.

yummari-bars.jpg

So here’s the story behind the bars: Founder Catherine Walsh was diagnosed with Celiac disease. She started training for a half marathon, read the book Born to Run and learned (as so many of us who read the book did) about the wonders of the chia seed. She had wanted something to fuel her training that was made from more natural ingredients and finally just created her own. Thus Yummari came to life. (That’s the extremely condensed-in-a-nutshell synopsis! You can learn more at their site.) These three-bite nuggets are built upon a foundation of hemp and chia seeds, superfoods that can help fuel an endurance athlete for the long haul.

I’ve been on the lookout for a new pre-long-run fuel that will last. I used a different product for my Boston Marathon training, but I’m at the point where I can’t even choke that stuff down anymore. So learning of Yummari came at the right time for my current needs. I ate one of these things before my 10-miler this past weekend and I felt great the whole time. Appropriately energized without feeling weighed down.

yummari-unwrapped.jpg

They come in 5 flavors, I had the cranberry before my long run and I ate a coconut one before a #runch (lunch run) and both times they tasted great and set well in my finicky stomach.

Other important details: Organic, Non-GMO, gluten-free and peanut-free.

Right now they are crowdfunding to bring their product to a wider audience. You can support their campaign at many different reward levels. There’s even a reward level that could get the person supporting the campaign a big discount on Newton running shoes. (And if you’re a fan of those… you know they aren’t cheap!)

yummari-coconut.jpg

Overall, I’m impressed. I will try a different flavor again this weekend and probably before my August 1 half. But I really wanted to get this post out there to help promote their fundraising.

I was sent some bars for free to review, but the thoughts/opinions here are all my own.

Protein Up! with Silk Soymilk

Throughout marathon training I had a real problem with runger. I just felt hungry all… the… time! I thought it was due to the big miles I was running, and that probably contributed. But I’m still feeling pretty ravenous and I haven’t run since the race. My body needs fuel to heal and rebuild all the little microtearing that happens from running a marathon, but also to just function in daily life. And here’s what I’m realizing… I’m still skimping on protein! I need to increase that more, it will help me feel fuller and more satisfied.

I used to be really good about making meals that were “balanced” and contained a wide variety of food groups and nutrients. And then I got busier. Life happens! Work obligations, being a mom, taking care of a household… And with time limited I got in the habit of shoveling a bowl of cereal in my face each morning. Cereal is great, but just making a simple switch from an almond/cashew milk to soy milk on my cereal each morning I’m introducing more protein with hardly any effort.

Silk Soymilk has 8 grams of plant-protein per serving, the same as dairy milk! Since it comes from plants, there is no cholesterol and it is low in saturated fat. Plus it just tastes good!

For my upcoming half marathon training, I’m going to try to get back into the habit of consuming more smoothies to get a range of nutrients from fruits & veggies and to increase my protein intake. While I usually like yogurt in them, I do prefer a plant-based “milk” for the liquid. Soy milk is awesome for boosting the protein and creaminess factor in a smoothie.

But smoothies do take a little more time to make, so that’s why just incorporating it in simple ways will make a difference too. Topping my cereal with Soymilk is a fast and effortless change and I feel like every second counts these days, especially in the mornings! I’m trying to re-bank some of the sleep I lost over the past several months! (Wishful thinking!)

However, this is deliciousness worth a few extra minutes:

  • orange juice
  • banana
  • ​Silk Soymilk
  • blueberries
  • yogurt and/or plant-based protein powder
  • optional add-ins: spinach, any fruit you can think of, carrots, chia seeds, oats

And it’s easy to sip while sitting at a desk… or maybe if you’re commuting to work or school… or just sitting on the couch and watching TV!

Whether you’re already a fan of Silk Soymilk or looking to try it, I encourage you to visit silk.com/lovesoymilk for a coupon to save on your next purchase.

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Clif Organic Energy Food

So… a little while back I was sent some pouches of the latest and greatest(?) from Clif – their Organic Energy Food pouches.

clif-energy-food.jpg

The ingredient list impressed me… nice simple food ingredients. The flavors intrigued me… the fruit ones sounded decent enough and well… Pizza Margherita is definitely unique and deserves some kind of attention, right?

Let’s get to the fruit ones first, okay? I thought those were great. They tasted wonderful, they went down easily and they stayed down. The problem is the size of the pouch. It’s actually convenient so you can carry it and sip on it a little bit while running without worrying about it getting all over as much as a gel pouch might. But… it’s just big. And the cap is big. And the whole thing makes for a bulky bit of cargo. And it would be really annoying to try to haul multiple packs in a waist belt. (And seeing as how I’m running Boston soon and no back packs are allowed on course, I had to stick with a waist pack.)

This was consumed on my run today, I REALLY liked it! @clifbarcompany #organicenergyfood

A photo posted by Jill (@jillwillrun) on

So onto the other flavors… I admit, I was both excited and terrified to try these. The positive: they contain nice ingredients.

Now for the negatives… The pouch is even bigger than the fruit flavors. They contain a lot of fat which could be harder to digest, provided you get them down. Which I didn’t. On two separate long runs I took one of the savory flavors with me. On each occasion I tried them around the 15-mile mark. Each time I got one sip (bite) and promptly spat it into the rocks.

Soooooooo baaaaaaaaaad…….

I’m sorry Clif. I love you, I think you’re swell and I like many of your products. My daughter thinks your Clif Kids Zfruit+Veggie are candy. But these Clif Organic Energy Food pouches… I can’t even! (That’s what they say these days right? “I can’t even!”)

Apparently NPR can’t even either.

 

No Cow Bars

I was really excited when I was offered the chance to try these new No Cow bars by D’s Naturals.

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Reasons to be impressed:

  • Things that are not included: Dairy, GMOs, Gluten, Sugars, Artificial Sweeteners, Soy
  • Fun Flavors: Peanut Butter Cookie Dough: Mint Chocolate Chip, Blueberry Cobbler, Chocolate Pecan Pie
  • High protein: 20 or 21g of protein per bar
  • A story: The founder/CEO is an 18-year-old … that is pretty remarkable!

I was very intrigued when I read most of those stats… and when I got the bars I was pleased when the first bite had really good flavor for most flavors. The blueberry was kind of “meh” for me.

So… are you getting the impression that there is a BUT here? Cause there is one small caveat. But it’s also kind of a big caveat too.

The texture.

Even with a good flavor, I found the texture undesirable. It just felt dry and laborious to muster a will to want to keep chewing.

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I prefer my food-in-bar-form to remind me of actual food. I like seeing visual cues of familiar items like nuts and fruits and oats. So overall, these were not a success for me.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Marathon Training Last Week

My training for the Boston Marathon last week was powered hindered diminished by:

Mucinex Mucus character

That’s that creepy little Mucinex character from commercials… I never knew mucus needed a cartooning, but that’s handy for a blog post. So…. thanks Mucinex, for that ugly little cretin that describes the problem and for the handy-dandy meds that help one find relief.

On a more positive side… my life was fueled by:

I’ve got new @clifbarcompany bar flavors! #NutsAndSeeds #BerryPomegranateChia

A photo posted by Jill (@jillwillrun) on

For a couple of days I was hanging out very close to the kiddo to catch any upchuck. She wanted to eat, but I didn’t want more food to come up all over… so we were both kind of avoiding regular meals. Me – because I didn’t want her to feel bad as I ate and she – because she didn’t need to have more in her stomach to spew. These new Clif bars were easy for me to grab and eat (too) quickly so I had energy to continue with my mom duties.

(Dear Clif… I’m sorry I talked about your delicious new flavors in a post about disgusting stuff. But thank you for these new flavors… they are now going to be my new go-to flavor for Clif bar consumption before races. I greatly prefer flavors without chocolate for pre-race, usually sticking to the blueberry. But I really liked these ones! I think I will eat one of these and a banana the morning of the Boston Marathon and then drink some Generation UCAN about 45 minutes before race start.)

The good news is that today… I’m feeling pretty decent. Not perfect, but much better than the past 5 days. I’m hopeful that I will be able to pick up my training tomorrow with a lunch hour run. And #AwesomeA is great too! She’s been feeling better for a few days, aside from a little bit of overly dramatic toddler reactions to random things at random times lately. But if that’s an illness… well, every kid that age is afflicted and apparently they outgrow it.

Sweet Calcium

Taking a supplement in pill form seems so passé these days. You can get so many in a gummy format these days, even fiber… which seems very odd to me. But you know what is an even better way to get it? In chocolate form.

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I was sent a couple of bags of Adora calcium supplements to try and I decided it’s kind of fun to get calcium in a chocolate flavor… and not in those chewy, faux-chocolate chunks like other varieties. These even come in a milk or dark chocolate variety depending upon your tastes.

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I think I actually preferred the dark flavor over the milk chocolate, although both were good. These aren’t going to be knock-your-socks-off, “Did you visit a chocolatier for these?” morsels, but they’re tasty and make a nice post-meal treat. If you’re a real chocolate connaisseur, you’ll still want your splurge favorites. (BTW – got a favorite kind of fancy chocolate?)

Plus, it’s nice to know you’re getting some additional nutrients in with them. An average adult would need 2-3 disks a day to get the RDA and they also contain Vitamin D3 to help the body absorb the calcium. Each disk is 30 calories with 2g fat and 2-3g carbs, depending on the variety. They’re non-GMO, gluten-free, and made with Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa.

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You can pick these up via Amazon, the Adora store, or look for a retailer near you.

The one issue I have with the candification* of supplements/meds is that it makes them seem like treats and something to snack on more than some kind of specific fuel for your body when you may be lacking in a nutrient due to dietary difficulties/deficiencies. And it makes kids want to snack on them more… back in the day the kids vitamins were made to be flavored, but there was still a medicinal aspect to them.

* I totally made up the word candification, but I kind of like it!

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Egg White Chips – Protein snack food

Remember I said I was going to try to eat more protein this year? (If you don’t, it doesn’t matter… here’s an update: I’d like to try eating more protein this year.) Anywho… I was excited about the possibility of trying a chip made out of egg whites. Sounds kind of weird, huh? But that’s exactly what ips All Natural chips are made from! (ips = rhymes with chips = intelligent protein snacks)

ips All Natural Chips

These egg white chips come in four flavors and each bag has 130 calories and 6 grams of protein. They don’t have much fiber, all of them have less than one gram. They are non-gmo, preservative/artificial color-free and gluten-free.

I liked the story about how they came to be: The founder, Sean Olson, makes breakfast for his kids and they always liked the crispy edges of fried eggs.  So he thought he would try to make a healthy snack that incorporated that good source of protein.

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All of those aspects made me want to love them… but I didn’t love every flavor. I found the Sea Salt and Black Pepper flavor to be too peppery for my taste buds. And the cheese flavor was just so-so. My daughter ate a couple of those and then stopped and told me to “Put them away.” The BBQ is decent and the Cinnamon Sugar flavor was my favorite. And even though they have “sugar” in the flavor name, there are only 3g of sugar so it’s not like they’re super sugary.

You can look for them in a store near you (they’re at a lot of Vitamin Shoppe stores in Vegas) or you can order online.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.