It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a product but when I received an email offering a sample of these high protein Planetarians Sunflower Chips, my interest was peaked. The email noted, “Planetarians is developing high protein snacks for growing population from by-products of the food industry, without the need to grow more crops.”
I was like what? How does that work? I am always looking for a snack high in protein that doesn’t contain nuts so I asked for a sample.
Turns out, the chips are made from sunflower meal which is the by-product from the production of sunflower oil. It’s referred to as an oil cake, which contains both protein and fiber.
I’m kinda on this kick about how much food waste is in our country. Although, there is not much one can do once the food is delivered to the masses, founder Aleh Manchuliantsau explains on the Planetarians website, that using by-products from the production of products (how’s that for a tongue twister) is a good place to start. I like his approach and hope there are others that will follow in his footsteps.
Now, back to the chips. Planetarians Sunflower Chips come in three flavors. Firey Sriracha, Sweet and Smokey BBQ and Sweetly Cinnamon. I got two packages of each in my sample pack. I’ve tried all three flavors and have to say they are all pretty good.
The crunchy texture of these bite-sized squares are a little grainy, but I wouldn’t say its bad, just different. Especially if you are expecting it to be like a greasy potato chip. They are definitely thicker, which makes them a hearty little snack.
I love sunflower seeds and sunflower butter. I would say these have a hint of sunflower seed taste but with the flavoring added you taste mostly that. The flavoring of the Sweet and Smokey BBQ definitely reminded me of the GUYS brand barbecue potato chips, which I haven’t had for years! These were a real a treat that brought back some fun memories of my youth! The Sriracha was not that fiery but had a good spicy flavor. I would say the Sweetly Cinnamon reminded me of the cinnamon and sugar toast I used to eat as a kid.
I try to eat pretty good most of the time and am always looking for healthier snack that is easy to take on the go. They do have some sugar in the seasoning, but they also contain protein and fiber, which is a little hard to find in crunchy snacks these days. Each flavor differs and you can find all the ingredients and nutritional information here.
My bottom line on these would be that although, the texture is not quite that of a potato chip, it does satisfy when you are craving that crunch. The taste satisfies when you craving something salty with the Sweet and Smokey BBQ and Fiery Sriracha flavors, while the Sweetly Cinnamon can cure a sweet tooth.
I would also consider these a transitioning food/snack. By that I mean if you are trying to eat healthier but still like some junk food, replace you snack attack item with Planetarians. It will satisfy the crunch and flavor you are craving while giving you a little more nutrition. If you have some young children or even not so young, try substituting these in place of their other chips and snacks and see if they like them. The pre-portioned packets make them super easy to grab on the go or throw in a lunch box.
If you are interested in trying Planetarians Sunflower Chips for yourself or family, the company is offering 25% off the 1st purchase on Amazon using code: 25cycled
Feel free to comment below if you have tried these and how you liked them.
Moving at any age can be quite an adjustment as I have learned from personal experience. The end of this article will have few tips from me on how I am coping with my own personal move as an empty nester.
But first, for parents with children, Boston-area realtor, former educator, children’s book author, and parent, Julie Etter has some valuable advice for families to navigate process of moving. Below you can read about her new book, “You’ve Survived the Move . . . Now What?”
You’ve Survived the Move . . . Now What?
By Julie Etter
The house hunting is done, the boxes are all in, and you are in your new home! All is perfect, right? It will be, but may not be just yet! In reality, the next chapter has just begun, and you want to write it carefully. Settling into your new house can be an exciting experience, but don’t overlook the necessary steps to make it “HOME.” Here are a few quick steps to making that house a home to ensure everyone is on board with setting up the space to best accommodate your family.
- Let the children have a say in some décor—perhaps it’s a paint color for their room, or input on the wall where the couch will be positioned. Your children’s involvement will add a delightful personal touch. It’s now HOME.
- Offer some consistency. Yes, it’s a new house and fresh start, but did you have a staple painting in the last eating area? Was the snack cabinet set up a certain way? You will find there are natural things you do for your set-up (e.g., glasses go in the cabinet above the dishwasher), but don’t overlook the chance to create consistency in areas that are seemingly insignificant to you because they offer familiarity to the children.
- Be efficient and get settled as soon as possible. This is easier said than done. You are exhausted from the move. Oh, and you still have jobs and a family to take care of. However, the sooner the house is settled (you know, the “main” stuff . . . your box of high school trophies that has followed you for years can stay unpacked), the sooner the kids will acclimate. Children are resilient; the sooner they can depend on stability in their surroundings, the sooner they can get comfortable.
- Have a party! Big or small. Celebrate the new home. Regardless of why you moved and if this home is bigger, smaller, better or worse, it’s yours! Celebrate new beginnings. Also, make a specific point of paying attention to the things your kids point out to guests—you will find they will be very open while giving a tour. Take note of the positives you can further accentuate or the “negatives” you could improve based on their perception.
Finally, and most importantly, give yourself a pat on the back. You are on the other end of the move and despite the late nights, details, and boxes, you are in. Your kids know how hard you worked; time to enjoy with them . . . after you give yourself another cup of coffee!!
Julie Etter is a professional, national award-winning realtor and former middle-school teacher based in Wrentham, MA. She is the author of Lily and Andrew Are Moving (Hardcover, $14.95; Kindle, $11.99), published by JT Publications, LLC. For more information, visit www.treehousebuddies.com
I so wish there was adult version of this book. It would have been helpful in my case. My move came right at the same time both my kiddos who are only 13 months a part, left for college. I was a stay at home mom and all of the sudden found myself alone in a new city. I was a bit of hot mess and am still working on things. I am in no means an expert, and I am sure there could be material out there concerning this topic for adults. For some reason I never thought to look into something like this for adults until I got this information about the book.
Although, this book is geared toward children, I thought since we are addressing the topic there might be some adults expiring anxiety from moving like I did and still do from time to time. In the meantime, while I do some research on finding an adult version concerning moving, I thought I would share some things that have helped me in the in the four years we have been in our new home.
My husband travels quite a bit for work and being an empty nester, I tag along quite often. If this is an option for you, I highly recommend packing your bag and tagging along. Even if you will be stuck at a hotel all day, it is better than sitting home alone.
Join a gym, club or community center. I know you won’t feel like it, but exercise is key to get you out of the funk you may be in. We joined a country club that has a fitness facility and it has changed our lives. Not only can we work out, the club offers a variety of activities and social gatherings where we have met some great people.
Learn to play pickleball. I know this sounds silly but it is one of the best things I have ever gotten involved in. It is still a fairly new sport, but many community centers and parks around the US are catching pickleball fever. There are often mens, ladies and mixed groups that play on certain days and times. It’s a super easy sport to learn and a great way to make new friends and socialize. It is a combination of tennis and life-size ping pong. You can read more about the game here.
Try to find other people that are new to the area as well. We have made a few friends that were in the same situation as us and to have someone that is experiencing the same thing, definitely forms a bond of some sorts. I am so grateful for these new friends. We call ourselves a “framily” because you need people around you who are like family and can help each other out.
If it is relevant to your beliefs, find a church. We are still working on this one…..
Lastly, get yourself some help or medication if you need. I have done both, I can’t say the counseling helped me much. It almost made me sadder in a way talking about home and my kids. I tried Zoloft and did not like it. You can read about my experience with that here. I switched to Wellbutrin about a year and a half ago and have to say I feel much better on it.
Again, I am no expert but do know what it’s like to be in new city alone. If you find yourself in the same situation I hope some of these tips will help you out. Please feel free to comment or email me with any tips, questions, comments you have or just want a friendly shoulder to lean on.
Traveling with the HumX will ease the stress of driving whether you are headed out on the open road for some vacation time or just running around town. It will also ease the stress of parents now that school in full swing. The HumX is a great addition to any students car whether it’s a college student that will be traveling far from home or your high schooler who still needs to have some tabs kept on them. And with the holidays just around the corner, you will want to get a HumX before you take off over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house, for stress free holiday travel.
Verizon Wireless recently loaned me a HumX to try out. I found that this handy little device does the job of several devices and services all wrapped up in one little package.
Below is a list of all the cool things this device can do once it is installed and paired with the HumX app.
Bluetooth Speaker: You can pair this device with your phone and use the speaker for hands free calling. Although, most cars these days are already Bluetooth enabled there are still quite a few on the road that are not. Many of them include vehicles that our kids drive as they tend to purchase older vehicles since that is all that they can afford. Also with being younger drivers having the hands free calling helps to keep their hands on the wheels and eyes on the road.
Customer Service: If you are having any difficulties on the road or your check engine light goes on, just press the customer service icon and call button on the HumX device and you will be connected to a Verizon Wireless representative. They will be able to put you in touch with a trained mechanic that can help diagnose your issue and get you information on how to get it fixed. Should you need roadside assistance, the customer service rep will be able to get that set up for you. If you are having trouble with the app or device itself, customer service can assist with that as well.
Emergency Assistance: Pushing the red cross icon and then the call button will put you in touch with an emergency services operator. The HumX app can tell of you were in an accident or collision.
Stolen Vehicle Assistance: If your vehicle gets stolen notify authorities immediately and fill out a police report. Give the case number to the customer service department and they can work with police on locating the vehicle using the location system.
Diagnostics and Service Reminders: The auto health feature on the app can communicate with your car and scan for any diagnostic issues as well as keep track of oil changes, tire rotations or any other maintenance issues desired.
GPS Location and Speed Alerts: These features are a great to keep tabs on those teenage drivers. The GPS locator allows you to know where the vehicle is even if you are not driving. It also allows you to set boundaries on how far the vehicle can travel and speed limits. The app will notify you if the vehicle has exceeded the speed limit set or if it is driven passed the desired intersection or location on the boundary setting. Although, the vehicle location feature will locate your car, setting a boundary could come in handy should your car get stolen. Having the notification of what time the car left a certain area could aid in filling out the police report.
Safety Score Rating: The HumX can keep track of accelerated speeds, hard braking, sharp turning and more which can indicate how safe of a driver you are.
Navigation: The HumX has a navigation map and is similar to Siri and Google and can give you directions to wherever you would like to go.
Wi-Fi Hot Spot: If you are a Verizon Wireless customer, you can add HumX to your data plan to pay for the 1 GB or more of data you get monthly with HumX. However, if you are not Verizon Wireless customer, you can still purchase HumX but will have to open up a Verizon Wireless account to pay for the monthly Wi-Fi service. The 4G LTE hot spot allows you to connect up to ten devices.
Some other tips about the HumX you will need to know.
The HumX is very easy to install using the vehicles OBD port. I know your thinking an OB what? At least that is what I said as I had not heard of that until now. Most OBD ports are under the drivers side dash. If you need help in locating your OBD port, you can visit www.hum.com/port.
Most vehicles manufactured after 1996 should have an OBD port. However, not all vehicles are compatible with the HumX. You will want to check the compatibly of your vehicle by visiting the HumX website before purchasing. We found that are 2011 Kia Sorento was not compatible but our 2014 GMC Acadia was. Our daughters car, a 2005 Honda CR-V was also compatible.
There are some different purchasing options for the HumX including a monthly payment, one time purchase with a contract or paying retail. All of which require and activation fee. Information on pricing, activation fees and purchasing options can be found on the Verizon Wireless website.
My take on the HumX is that is a good replacement to every feature and service you need all wrapped into one bill instead of hassling with multiple bills such as AAA, OnStar and wireless air card plans. I also like the emergency, mechanic and diagnostic features as well as the capability to pair with some older vehicles. It is also nice to open just one app to have access to Wi-Fi, navigation, maintenance reminders, roadside assistance and more. I loved having the Wi-Fi available and used the bluetooth speaker system while talking on the phone and it worked great. I had to contact customer service as I had some difficulties with the app and they were very friendly. The navigation system worked well and so did getting notifications when the set speed limit was exceeded.
I think this device is handy to have for every day travel and road trips especially if you have an older vehicle. It can save you money by consolidating multiple services into one bill. And if you have young teenage drivers on the road, it is essential! I would have definitely used it for when mine were at that stage, had I owned this device.
If you have any more questions about the HumX you can visit the HumX FAQ page.
Although I have been compensated for this post, all the opinions are my own.
With school now back in session and going full swing, these handy gadgets from Verizon Wireless will help both students and parents make their days easier and smarter.
Lets start with the Google Home. I love this thing and tested it out earlier this year which you can read about here.
Some features I did not mention in that post is what a handy homework helper it can be. Need to know the 16th President of the United States? How about the square root of 620? Ever wonder how many square feet are in an acre? Google knows all, just ask. The answers are Abraham Lincoln, 24.9 and 43,560. Unlike Siri, whom I have a love/hate relationship with and sometimes just says “Here is what I found on the web for….”, “Okay, check this out” or worst of all, “I don’t understand….” . I’ve found that the Google Home is a little better at giving me a straight forward answer.
The Google Home can also help you get ready for the day and help you know if you are going to need that jacket, by answering all your weather related questions. You can also tell it to set reminders on those extra circular activities and who needs picked up when to keep you on track and much more.
The next gadget that will make your school day smarter is the gizmogadget. This super cool watch is perfect for those kiddos who are to young for a phone but still need a way to communicate. Parents can set this watch up through the app and have constant communication.
This touch screen watch is simple to use and has quite a few features that are perfect for staying in touch without the cost of another phone line.
It can keep your kids safer since there is no access to the internet and no way to call or receive calls from strangers. The app allows parents to add what numbers the gizmogadget can call or receive calls from. It also works the same with the text messaging feature.
There is no keyboard on the gizmogadget so the child can send or respond to texts using the voice to text feature, the pre installed responses like, “I’m at school” or “I’m on my way” or respond from a selection of emoji’s.
Through the app you can get notifications of messages received and see the location of where the watch is through the GPS locator.
Not only is this handy to keep track of where your child is but can help find it if the watch gets lost. The watch also features an activity tracker, compass, timer and stopwatch.
TILE SLIM and TILE MATE
While the gizmogadget may have a GPS locator on it, many things do not including wallets, purses, backpacks, notebooks, etc…
I am notorious for losing things. As a matter of fact, I have currently lost the spare key to my car and just went to the dealership to have one made because it is only going to be a matter of time before I loose my original set and then I would not have a key at all!
Now, there is a solution to that with tile slim and tile mate, which I am wishing I had earlier to put on that key I am now missing! Earlier this week my husbands misplaced his wallet and having a tile would have helped locating it much quicker!
The Tile Mate has a key ring hole and The Tile Slim slips easily into a purses, backpacks, wallets, luggage, etc.. These handy little bluetooth enabled tiles help you find what is lost. Just pair them with your phone through the app and select what tile is going to track what item such as your purse, keys, wallet, backpack, notebooks etc…
Having these tiles paired with a variety of school supplies will definetly relieve the headache of looking for lost items during that early morning rush of getting out the door.
Here is how it works. If you have lost your wallet open the app and select wallet from the list of tiles paired. That tile will then chime which will lead you into the direction to where the item is you are trying to find.
What if you lose your phone? Well, you can pair a tile to find your phone. Just double press the tile you have paired with your phone and your phone will then ring to lead you into the direction if it’s whereabouts.
To keep you from losing both your tile and your phone check out the tile website for a variety of accessories and adhesives to keep track of all your paired tiles.
I seriously lose everything and need about 20 tiles of these to attach and pair to all my things. I often tell people that when I die instead of finding out the meaning of life, I want to know where everything I lost went. Not that all that stuff is important because almost everything can be replaced, it just drives me crazy to not know where it is or what happened to it. I guess it is just a pet peeve of mine.
There are quite a few other features and answers you can find out about on the tile FAQ page. This page includes information on the re-tile program which allows you swap out the tiles after the batteries have worn out, how two devices can share one tile, the tiles range, etc…
MOPHIE POWERSTATION XL
Although, the gadgets mentioned above are certainly helpful for making life easier and smarter they are all useless if their batteries are not charged! That is where the Mophie Power Station XL comes in handy. This portable charging device works as an external battery giving power to what ever device is in need of charging. With up to 48 hours of extra battery life and 2 charge ports it is sure to keep you and your devices up and running. No more being tied to an outlet as this portable charger about the size of a deck of cards can go with you wherever you are.
The best way to keep your Mophie Powerstation up and running is to plug it in nightly so it can be at its full potential to keep your devices charged all day long. It’s 2.1 high output charge can give 10+ hours of extra battery life to a large tablet, 14+ hours to small tablets and 48+ hours to smartphones.
For more information on these gadgets or to purchase one of your own visit the Verizon Wireless website.
Before I send these gadgets back, I wish to thank Verizon Wireless for allowing me to test these items out and need to disclose that although I will be compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.
I promised I would send updates on my progress using the Pancakes and Push-Ups program by Sloane Davis. You can read about what I am doing here.
Things are going well and I am seeing results. My weight is fluctuating and somedays the scale says I have lost five pounds while other days it only looks like about two. I am okay with that because I can see some changes with how my clothes are fitting and in the mirror. My legs are still my focus area and still look quite wavy but I have lost a half inch off my thighs and a half inch off my hips.
I am a little discouraged as I think a lot of the waviness is loose skin from being heavier and then loosing weight. I am hoping they will tighten up.
With seeing some physical changes but my weight not drastically changing, I am hoping I am putting on some muscle. I will probably go in for a DEXA scan soon to see what has changed since my last one.
The food on the program is measured in macronutrients, The My Fitness Pal App allows you to see your macronutrients in grams so it is fairly easy to track.
I have gotten a little stricter with my eating, although the fats get me in trouble, even though they are good fats! I love avocados and nuts. I am trying to eat less meat so getting enough protein has been tricky. I don’t do much dairy but I do love cheese, especially goat and feta which can get me in trouble if I eat too much.
Most of my protein is coming from egg whites, protein powder, nuts, quinoa, a collagen supplement and some chicken once a week. I have cut out most grains but get carbs from fruits, veggies and some beans and lentils.
My favorite breakfast is egg whites with some avocados and veggies.
I recently made a vegetarian stir fry and mixed in cauliflower rice instead of a grain.
My favorite smoothie is my PB&J. You can find the recipe here.
Peanut Butter and Strawberry Smoothie
I would say my biggest vice is the weekend by the pool and social events where the wine and cocktails are flowing. I try to only have one or two drinks and will not eat any fruit on the days when I know I will have something to drink.
I mean how can you not have a drink at the pool when you have a floatmingo! I do want to make a disclaimer that I really was drinking water at the time this photo was taken but will admit I did have wine that night!
I’ve got a good friend and we have made up our own eating plan that we are calling the Slow 30. It is much like the Whole 30 way of eating except we get to have wine on the weekend and a few no foods (like beans, cheese and quinoa) a couple times a week.
My workouts are consistent. I’ve got a group I train with 3 days a week and every session is different much like a cross fit type work. While I am already out I will go lift the weights listed on the program.
Since the pool is open, I have been throwing in some water aerobics a couple times a week. I am learning how to play pickle ball and have lessons twice a week.
I have a good friend that I meet with once a week and we climb 10 sets of stadium stairs at Wichita State University and then take 4 laps around the track.
So needless to say there is not much time for blogging, hence the sporadic posts.
It is a grueling workout but always feels good when it’s done, although my calves are sore for a few days after!
I’m thinking with all this exercise and my weight not drastically dropping that I am putting on some muscle! At least I hope that is the case! I need to get someone to take some more pictures so I can compare the progress. Hopefully I will get that done soon and share them in my next progress update.
Thanks for sharing this journey with me. Please feel free to email me or comment below if you have any questions about my workouts or diet.
This fat burning mocktail with apple cider vinegar will get your morning off to a great start and make your digestion system happy too.
I have been hearing a lot lately about apple cider vinegar (ACV) and how it can help with weight loss and gut health. I was just shooting it strait in a shot glass, until I went on Tosca Reno’s Wellness Retreat. That is where I learned about Wetter Water. The ACV contains potassium which is an electrolyte as well as the salt. The lemon or lime juice makes it quite a bit more palatable and helps add some vitamin C into your diet.
I have been trying to drink this consistently for the past month along with eating pretty clean and it has help me shed about 5 pounds. My girlfriend and I are following a plan we are calling the Slow 30. It is a program we made up that follows the Whole 30 way of eating with the addition of having a cocktail or wine on the weekend. I have also been lifting heavier weights using a program by Pancakes and Pushups.
Speaking of weights, wetter water is a great post workout recovery drink as it can replace the electrolytes lost during your work out as well as help rehydrate you. Instead of reaching for that Gatorade, make yourself some wetter water!
I have finally got my husband drinking it and he is dropping weight as well. He loves cocktails so I have named this drink the Wetter Water Margarita. Fresh lemons or limes are best when available but you could certainly use bottled juice. Just make sure there is no sugar in it. I have a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge and throw a shot of that in the concotion when I am out of fruit. Be sure and buy the apple cider vinegar that says “with the mother” on the label. The amount of water in the recipe is just a recommended amount. I can drink it pretty strong and like to get down so I only use about a half cup of water. If that seems to strong for you, feel free to dilute it your liking by adding more water.
If you want to shed a few pounds adding a Wetter Water Margarita to your daily regimen of healthy eating and exercise will help.
fresh lemon or lime, juiced
course sea salt
apple cider vinegar with the mother
Combine all ingredients in glass of choice. Mix well and drink.