Good morning friends!
How are you doing today? I have some interesting new things to tell you about this morning, so let’s get right into it, shall we?
1. Recipe of the Week: If you happened to be a’Twittering this weekend, you might have seen this tweet:
Oh were there ever. On my self-imposed long weekend, I had a chance to relax on the couch with a couple of magazines. A number of ideas flooded my head for this week’s recipe, and after making a couple of adaptations to a salad I found in Chatelaine, I came up with this beauty, a Fennel, Apple, and Walnut Salad with Creamy Tarragon Dressing.
I first tried fennel back here, and sorta liked it, sorta didn’t. I couldn’t really make up my mind at the time, but I sure enjoyed it in this salad. If you’re new to fennel, it’s a rather interesting looking breed of vegetable and is also commonly labeled as anise (although this source says they’re different plants). I’ll talk more about fennel on Friday, but for now, just know that it makes an unbelievably tasty addition to this salad and should not be left out!
Don’t forget the dressing – it’s pretty amazing too!
My new things for this week were all provided by Arbonne, a company that originated in Switzerland and now operates around the world. The company’s offerings range from skin care products (think cleansers, moisturizers, toners, and anti-aging lotions and potions) to protein powders, teas, immunity boosters and vitamin chews.
According to the Canadian website,
Arbonne is committed to the development of unparalleled products free of harmful ingredients, using a combination of botanical principles and scientific discovery. Our commitment begins with research and testing to ensure that each of our ingredients meets or exceeds industry standards for purity.
Arbonne products are Vegan certified: Our formulas are never tested on animals and do not contain animal derived ingredients or animal by-products. We firmly believe that consumers have a fundamental right to know every ingredient in our products, and we will continue to offer full disclosure through our published materials.
I was recently contacted by an Arbonne consultant who graciously gave me the opportunity to try out some of the company’s products. After reading a bit about them, I figured why not? I’ll try anything once, especially on Tuesday. Here’s how it went:
2. Arbonne Essentials Immunity Booster
The description: A delicious 3 fl. oz. drink shot containing juices from pomegranate, blueberry, acai, grape, cranberry and other known superfruits; infused with powerful antioxidant and immunity ingredients as well as ingredients for energy.
Key Ingredients: Sacchromyces cerevisiae (a clinically proven ingredient that supports immune health), milk thistle, elderberry, green tea
I wish I had this about a month ago so that I could have tested it when I was trying to recover from my 4-week long cold! I usually take Phytoberry in the morning to get my daily antioxidant boost, but yesterday I swapped it out in favour of this product.
Each shot contains Arbonne’s Antioxidant and Immunity Booster Blend (includes extracts from milk thistle, basil, olive leaf, elderberry, and turmeric), an Energy Booster Blend, as well as water and juice from white grapes, apples, pears, concord grapes, acai berries, blueberries, pomegranates, cranberries, acerola, purple carrots, and black carrots (never seen one of those before!). All of that in a little 3 fl oz bottle! According to the little booklet that came in the post with my Arbonne goodies, you’d need to eat 3 apricots, 5 zucchinis, 1 kiwi, 1 cup of watermelon, and 1 cup of cucumber to get the same antioxidant levels provided in 1 shot.
The first taste I noticed was the grape juice. I don’t drink a whole lot of straight up, full-strength fruit juices so this was sweet, but the flavour was quite nice. Since I began taking Phytoberry every morning back in November, I haven’t had coffee because it provides enough of an energizing effect. My main reason for doing so was in attempt to maintain better hydration (and coffee is a diuretic, so that wasn’t helping the situation). Yesterday morning I felt just as awake as a Phytoberry morning, so this little shot seems to be good at doing the same job. And if it’s boosting my immunity, then I suppose that’s a good thing too!
3. Arbonne Essentials Vanilla Protein Shake Mix
The description: Shake up your daily routine with a delicious chocolate or vanilla shake that delivers 20 grams of vegan protein, plus 20 essential vitamins and minerals per serving.
Key Ingredients: Vegan Protein Blend, Co Q10, alfalfa, ginseng, flax seed
Rather than doing the Green Monster test that I usually do with new protein powders, I decided to switch things up and use some of the vanilla vegan protein mix in my oats at breakfast. It occurred to me that I haven’t had Carrot Cake Oatmeal in far too long, so I made a slight variation of my original recipe. Into the mix went:
- 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill 5-Grain Rolled Cereal
- 2/3 cup unsweetened Almond Breeze
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 pouch of Arbonne Essentials vanilla protein shake mix
- 1 packet stevia
- 1 cup grated carrot
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Arbonne’s protein powders are made up of a special “Protein Matrix Blend”, which contains pea protein (one of the most easily-digested types), cranberry protein, and rice protein. There are 20g of protein per packet and they come in vanilla and chocolate. The vanilla flavour was certainly noticeable in my carrot cake oats – much more so than in last week’s Sun Warrior trial. However, Arbonne’s protein doesn’t have the stellar nutrition profile that Sun Warrior’s does – I’m not sure I know of a brand that does! The oats could have done without the packet of stevia because this protein added enough sweetness on its own (9g of sugar per 42g pouch). On the whole, it wasn’t quite as great as my usual Promasil, but it was a very tasty addition to breakfast!
4. Arbonne Essentials Energy Fizz Tabs
The description: High-energy fizz tabs help boost and sustain energy. Contains natural ingredients to help control hunger and appetite. Clinically proven ingredients help increase metabolism.
Key Ingredients: Green tea, ginseng, guarana, taurine and rhodiola
I was quite intrigued by these tablets because they claim to boost energy without any artificial ingredients, colours, flavours or sweeteners. It’s a good job I read the label before using one because it says the water has to be at room temperature in order to let the natural ingredients do their thing properly. They are also supposed to be left for 4-5 minutes to dissolve, which doesn’t surprise me because the tablets are rather enormous.
This baby went into a huge glass of water (probably 2 cups as opposed to the recommended 1 on the package) at around 2:00 when I was starting to sense a bit of an afternoon slump in energy. I watched it fizz away, just like a kid fascinated by watching bath bombs fizz in the tub. The flavour was pretty intense, and I’m on the fence as to whether or not I actually enjoyed it. While it was drinkable, I’m not sure I’d really want to have one of these every day.
5. Arbonne Essentials Detox Tea
The description: A delicious, mild, decaffeinated herbal tea with 9 botanicals that support the liver and kidneys for overall health.
Key Ingredients: Milk thistle, couch grass, sarsaparilla, peppermint, dandelion
In effort to squeeze one more Arbonne product into my day, I made a mug of the Herbal Detox Tea after dinner. I usually end my meals with a cup of tea, and since the booklet suggested this product would be “a great way to end my day”, I figured why not?
The taste of the tea reminded me a bit of chamomile, but I was surprised to learn that it wasn’t an ingredient. It actually contains sarsaparilla, which I wasn’t familiar with yet. According to this source, sarsaparilla is a prickly vine plant that “may be used to aid proper functioning of the body as a whole and in the correction of such diffuse systemic problems as skin and rheumatic conditions. It is particularly useful in scaling skin conditions such as psoriasis, especially where there is much irritation.” It looks like this:
I was also curious as to what exactly couch grass is, and I found out about it here. (Check it out if you’re interested – I don’t want to make this a marathon-length post!) I’m not typically a huge herbal tea person, but I actually quite enjoyed this cup and I’m glad I’ve got a few tea bags left!
Alright bloggies, I’m out! I’ll leave you with my questions for today:
- Have you tried any Arbonne products before? What did you think?
- Do you take any antioxidant supplements? Which ones?
- Did you try anything new yesterday?