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Sunday
Aug172014

Quest Protein Chips

Long known for providing the world with one of the highest-quality protein bars (using whey), at the same time supplying nice taste, Quest is now moving into whatever you want to call the snack/chip category. I wasn’t sure the world was asking for a protein chip. But now that one has arrived, let’s find out whether Quest knows chips like they do bars!

Quest Protein Chips exist in three flavors: BBQ, Sea Salt and Cheddar & Sour Cream. Anne and I taste-tested the three packets sent me, over the course of two evenings. Last night was before dinner, with chilled white wine. Tonight was after dinner, with cold beer (me alone; both of us last night). Certainly many CrossFit athletes aren’t going to wash their Protein Chips down with beer or wine, but the occasions do present themselves. Chips, wine and beer end up in the lives of many hard-working CrossFit athletes on occasion! Why not add some protein to that equation?

Last night we prepared fresh guacamole, thinking it would work well with the chips, but they proved better by themselves. White wine and beer both are fine with the protein chips; I favor them with wine, but I like wine with everything! First up was Sea Salt, and it proved to be the least satisfying. The initial hit to our taste buds was good, but the flavor disappeared while we were chewing, and what remained was unsatisfying (not bad at all, but not great) basic chip stuff in our mouths.

Cheddar & Sour Cream is good, surprisingly so, as this isn’t a flavor of chip I’d ever purchase. To some extent the taste remained longer and seemed imbedded rather than dusted on the chip. Could be imagination; we only had one small ( 1 1/8 oz) package of each flavor to work with.

BBQ is our favorite. In my world it’s hard to go against BBQ anything, actually, but Quest did a fine job with this protein chip. 

The big question I’m already getting, after posting on Facebook last night about doing this, regards whether these chips are a gimmick or possibly a real competitor in the potato chip arena. Of course, I’m not privy to the marketing meetings held at Quest determining this was a logical food market to move into, but let’s pretend we know the answers. I doubt Quest wants to go head-to-head with Doritos or Frito-Lay; that would be madness. But in the dollar-laden CrossFit world, there are no protein chips to compete with. The highly-competitive protein bar market is one Quest is comfortable and well-known in. Marketing and distribution and retail infrastructure is already in place.

And do CrossFit and Paleo and Zone people enjoy snacking! Yeah, they sure do. Witness all the Paleo/Zone cupcakes and cheescakes and cookies and other snacks; they are everywhere. Facebook is heavy with them. Whether all this crap is a good idea or not is a different discussion. But as a marketing move, in a niche field, a good Protein Chip from Quest seems to be a decision with vision.

So they taste pretty good. But what the hell is in a Quest Protein Chip? Protein is the first ingredient (it’s a blend, yes, of milk and whey isolate). Dried potatoes come next, followed by Corn Starch, with Sunflower Oil next in line. Nobody is trying to fool anyone here; there’s a laundry list of flavorings, extracts, cheese, salt, color in 2% of the contents. But the proportions allow the sweet 5 grams of carbs and 21 grams of protein in each 1 1/8 oz bag. For a chip that manages to taste good, this ratio is stunning.

I’m a long-time (3+ years) fan of Quest Protein Bars. They’re a standard part of my grocery shopping, and a life-saver at various odd times. I don’t often eat chips, and Tostitos Hint of Lime chips remain my every-six-weeks go-to, but Quest impresses me with their Protein Chips. I’d spend my money on them, and will on the occasions I see them at an event or in a retail store. 

As they do with their bars, Quest sells their Protein Chips by the box through their website. You can subscribe for regular shipments, as well. 

@QuestNutrition, @tostitos, 

Wednesday
Aug132014

Losing Bodyfat (hopefully) with Nutrex

Here's my next experiment upon myself; a trio of fat-loss supplements from Nutrex. A scoop of Lipo-6 Black, one caffeine capsule, one L-Carnitine cap. Yesterday I took the trio once; today and going forward I'll jump in twice daily.

Yesterday I noted an immediate energy kick, a sustained rise, lasting two or three hours. I'll estimate it took 30-45 minutes to kick in. One thing I tried but won't do again, was to add the little scoop of Lipo-6 Black to my coffee! Not a good taste combo!

This morning I had these first thing out of bed, on an empty stomach. No issues, no indigestion, no problems. Had a cup of coffee, and ate breakfast about a half hour later.

Will keep everyone posted on my unscientific results.

@Nutrex, @wamicarelle

Wednesday
Aug062014

Dirt on my Vegetables!

This afternoon I walked to the mid-week Farmer's Market. Picked up spinach, garlic, potatoes, broccoli, peppers. And guess what was on my red potatoes and garlic? Dirt! Wonderful, real-world, local grower, soil clinging, picked-today wonders. High summer has arrived when the fresh garlic arrives at the market. Picked two weeks ago and drying since then, I'll put it to use tonight.

Wednesday
Jul162014

fitmark's The Box - Carrying My Food Everywhere

I’ve been hauling shakes and meals and supplements to and from the gym and the job for many years. Pre-made meals have been a hallmark of my life forever, it seems. Various little coolers and backpacks have been pressed into service, but none have done the job as well as fitmark’s The Box.

My version contains four BPA-free meal boxes, and one 20 oz Smartshake shaker bottle. Attached to the bottom of the shaker are carriers for pills and powders; I like the removable divider for pills. Use it or don’t, but you have the option.

Each of the food holders is easily large enough for a good meal; I’ve had occasion (usually post-workout) to eat all the food in two of them, but most of the time one does the job just fine. Fill a small frying pan with some bacon, vegetables, a half dozen scrambled eggs or a couple of chicken breasts, and you’ll find all of it fits easily into one box. The lids seal nicely and remove easily; they go through the dishwasher just fine. I’ve experienced no seal or shape-changing issues.

Inside the top of The Box is a big mesh pocket set up for carrying silverware or napkins, keeping then dry. Two cool packs come with The Box; I added a third to keep my shake as cold as possible. An exterior pocket on the front is great for supplement packets, keys, wallet, cell phone, or any other small gadgets. The back of The Box has a large pocket running across, wonderful for everything from a spare t-shirt to your workout journal. One side has a small mesh pocket advertised for your water bottle; I find a full bottle to be tippy there, but the pocket is handy all the same. I use it for all kinds of small things.

I toss my Box in and out of my vehicle with no fear it’s going to break or rip. It goes to the gym every day; it’s in and out of the kitchen, of course. Rip-stop nylon is durable as hell. The adjustable carrying strap goes over my shoulder, but it can be tightened up. The handle on top is nice when The Box is empty; I wouldn’t carry it that way when loaded; I’m not certain the zipper would enjoy the stress.

If I told you I was in love with my fitmark Box I’d be gushing and over-stating my enjoyment. As a valuable tool in my professional life as a personal trainer, and my passionate life as an athlete, I call The Box essential.

My Box came from Nutrition Supply Company, my source for many supplements, training devices and even healthy foods. www.nutritionsupplycompany.com.

Retail is $59.99.

www.fitmarkbags.com

@fitmarkbags

Wednesday
Jul092014

Fast and Easy Protein / Kale Shakes

Tuesday night I arrived home from the gym at 9:00 pm. Tired. Needed to turnaround and be back with clients by 7:00 am the next morning. Last thing I wanted to do was prepare food. Knowing I had leftover chicken, pork chops, vegetables, sweet potatoes in the fridge, all I had to prepare was a couple of big meal shakes. I spent as much time pulling ingredients out of cupboards as I did blending. Do you keep all these items on hand? Five minutes and two shakes for the busy days ahead are made. Easy.

@progenexusa

@RealSpecies, @progenexusa

@progenexusa