Wednesday, December 9, 2015

In LOVE with LOVE GROWN ((Product Review))

Beans for breakfast? Skip those sugary "O's and flakes" and try these healthy cereals made with some powerful ingredients and a lot of ... LOVE! 

Hey Fit Fam,

While up late one evening scrolling the "explore" section of Instagram (I know you are guilty too, lol)  I saw a foodie post of what looked like a beautifully presented bowl of Cheerios. But what caught my attention was the box sitting next to the bowl. It said "Power O's". Hmm .. the words power and cereal in one picture? I was curious!!

I clicked on the picture and saw that she stated they were not only gluten free but made with a very unexpected ingredient ... BEANS! I'm not a big cereal eater for MANY reasons. The main one being cereal just never fills me up and if you are one of my SnapChat followers then you know I"m all about keeping my belly full and happy! But more than that, most cereal is either made up of grains I can't have (due to having Celiac Disease) or is so full of empty carbs/sugars that I might as well have some candy! I mean if I"m going to have food that is NOT nutrient dense .. I want it to be worth it, lol! So when I saw a HEALTHY gluten free cereal that looked super delicious ... I had to know more!

I went to the Love Grown Foods webpage. That is where I discovered that they not only have a WIDE variety of cereals (ummm ... hello .... a healthy version of CHOCOLATE "frosted flakes") but also a wide variety of probably my favorite carb -- oats!!

Oats are a staple in my "diet" (oh how I hate that word .. but you know what I mean.) I have them at least once a day and sometimes as many as three! I usually grind them and put them in my mug cakes but I often eat a bowl of them mixed with a variety of yummy ingredients -- protein powder, flax, nut butters, cottage cheese, fruits, spices, pumpkin, zucchini, cauliflower .. only to name a FEW. I also got on that "overnight oat" kick for a little bit. My favorite version tastes just like my mamas No Bake Cookies!!! I'm going to be posting a ton of new recipes once things slow down some for me, including some of my favorite new oat bowl creations .. so stay tuned!

I usually buy Trader Joe's Gluten Free Oats. However before I became obsessed with Trader Joe's ... I simply bought regular old fashion quaker brand (or even kroger brand) and ate them with no problem (there is much controversy on if oats are gluten free, but I personally never had any problems with pure oats of any kind and I do have actual CELIAC disease not a gluten allergy or intolerance.) But now I have a new favorite -- POWER OATS!!! I don't know what it is about them .. but they make a heartier/creamier bowl of oat goodness. And the taste .. OMG! I usually have to put quite a bit of stevia and cinnamon in mine if I"m choosing to eat them basic and not in some amazing creation (as mentioned above) ... but not with Power Oats. I didn't have to use nearly as many extras for some reason! So it's safe to say that I give their oats two thumbs up for sure! They will be a staple in my pantry forever and ever .. amen :)

In addition to the bags of power oats, they also have single serving pouches (regular and yummy flavors like brown sugar, apple cinnamon and blueberry) and these little "hot oat" cups in a variety of flavors (the peach almond vanilla and strawberry raspberry were my fave !) These are great for "on the go" (I have used them at the airport and also keep one in my purse and bag) because all you do is ask for some hot water somewhere, add it to the container and BOOM ... oats :) I would personally add at least a 1/2 serving of 1st Phorm protein (Level one or Phormula 1 pending when you are having them) in order to get some added protein and make it a more balanced/filling meal! But because of the added chia and quinoa ... Love Grown Oats already have some protein in them. So the macros may already be perfect for you.  **You may need to add a little more water if you add in the protein or they will be super thick**

Moving on to the original item that caught my eye -- the cereal!! The first one I tried was the Strawberry Power O's. I then tried every other flavor as well as all flavors of their Mighty Flakes. I had each of them with 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, a little stevia and sometimes a little sliced fruit on top. O M G!! Every single flavor/variety was DELICIOUS!!! I can't say which was my favorite because they were all amazing! However when I buy my next box .. I'll probably end up getting the Strawberry Power O's and Chocolate Mighty Flakes :) Now the big question. Was it filling? Well ... I of course didn't only have a bowl of cereal because (to me) that is not a complete meal. The cereals have virtually no protein. So I can't say for sure if the cereal itself was filling or not. BUT I will say that all I did was replace the cereal with the carbs I would normally have (oats, mug cake, gf toast, etc.) and I was JUST as full as usual!! I've treated myself with sugary cereals in the past and that was NOT the case. I was starving 10 minuets later even with my side of protein. So I think it's safe to say they ARE more filling than your typical cereal! I guess it's those magic beans :)

Last but not least ... the Oat Clusters. I will admit I have only had these twice because I just can't justify the macros most the time. But boy are they worth it! As with ANYTHING you eat .. you don't have to have the serving size listed on the label. Have whatever YOU can personally fit in your own macros! So I use like 1/8 or 1/4 of a serving and then sprinkle on my mug cakes, nice cream, oats, etc! They are A M A Z I N G!!!! I've personally tried the Sweet Cranberry Pecan and Cocoa Goodness. I can't wait to try the other flavors! You could make these into a bowl of granola cereal, eat right out of the bag (careful you will want the entire darn thing) or do like I did and add them for a bit of flavor and crunch! Even though I may not be able to justify the macros most days .. I feel great eating them because as with ALL their products .. the ingredients are GOOD for you and overall very nutrient dense!

I found several Love Grown Foods products at both of my Kroger locations in the "health" food section! If your grocery store doesn't have them .. you can print and give the manager one of these forms! But how about trying them ... for FREE?!?! That's right .. I'm teaming up with Love Grown to SPREAD THE LOVE and GIVE AWAY some of my personal favorites!!

All you have to do to receive a box similar to this in the mail is follow me and also follow Love Grown foods on Instagram! Then like the post in MY feed and tag at least one friend in the comments section that may also want to enter to win some LOVE GROWN GOODNESS! I will randomly select one lucky winner soon! Good luck!!

Eat Clean. Train Dirty.

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