Good morning friends!!!

WOW! 100 Tuesdays of new things… I never imagined I’d be carrying on this weekly tradition for so long but it just goes to show that there are endless possibilities for new experiences out there! This week’s new things were a lot of fun, and I’m pumped to tell you about them today. Starting with…

1. Recipe of the Week. I don’t normally post recipes for condiments, but as a salsa fan, I feel that everyone needs a good salsa recipe. Ever since I discovered how sodium-loaded the ones on the shelves at the grocery stores are, I’ve been playing with making my own. I’m not sure about you, but our weather has been absolutely fan-freaking-tastic this week, and this has led to some mad cravings for grilled fish and tropical fruits. I hope you like pineapple!

This salsa is a simple one, made from only a few basic yet delicious ingredients.

Chopped up and mixed together, you’ve got yourself a Sweet n Spicy Pineapple Salsa, fit for grilled meats, fish, nachos, or scooping directly into your mouth with a spoon.

Friends, this one is failproof. There’s no cooking involved. No gadgets except for a knife and a cutting board. And best of all, you can whip up your own in about 10 minutes flat. This leaves you more time to sit outside with a cold bevvy and let those pasty legs soak up some vitamin D. Who’s in?

2. A new spin class accessory. Ok, I did have to cheat a little bit with this one. I only teach spin on Mondays and Wednesdays, so I had to experience this new thing in my Monday morning class. Want a little motivation to get your butt to the gym? How about these babies?

Behold, my new Diadora spin shoes. Aren’t they beauts?

My old shoes were trail shoes, and as you probably guessed from the name, they were designed for riding on outdoor trails as opposed to indoor bikes. Their sole was thick and made of rubber, and they were much heavier than a road shoe model. Heavy shoes = usable, but not ideal on an indoor bike!

The sole of a trail shoe is more flexible than a road shoe because riders ideally need to be able to get off their bikes and walk around obstacles during parts of their ride. By contrast, road cycling shoes have a very stiff sole because there’s no real need to get off of the bike when you’re cycling on a paved road or in a cycling studio. These two types of shoes do share one commonality though, and that is the clip style.

As I mentioned ages ago in my Cues and Shoes post (about the basics of cycling shoes), most indoor cycling bikes are created for use with shoes that have an SPD cleat. This looks like the metal bit you see in the photo above, and the cleat clips into the pedals of the bike. There are different kinds of cleats and some shoes have several holes so that you can change the style if necessary, but SPD seems to be the most common. Lucky for me, my Diadora shoes are SPD compatible so I just had to take the cleat out of my old ones and screw it into the new ones.

And how did they fare? Absolutely amazing! I loved the light feeling during my ride on Monday, and wore them again for my class this morning. It’s amazing how much faster my legs seemed to go with the same amount of effort, and no, the resistance on my bike wasn’t just abnormally low!

3. The newly re-formulated Vega One. A couple of weeks ago I tested out the new Vega Sport Performance Protein, and loved the taste of it in my morning green smoothie. For the past year or so, I’ve also been a HUGE fan of the Whole Food Health Optimizer (vanilla chai is the best!) and was a little sad to hear that it was going to be discontinued and replaced. I love this product dearly, and the only thing that put me off of using it regularly in the past was the high price tag. A couple of weeks ago, I found a sale at a local health food store, which offered 2 large tubs for about $70. That’s about the equivalent of 1 tub at regular price! In addition to my fabulous find, I also bought a sample pouch of Vega One to see what all the fuss was about.

Looking into it a little further, I soon learned that Vega One was created as a superior product. Just check out this lovely little graphic from the Vega website:

Source: Vega

I apologize for the slight blur, but here’s a brief look at the stats:

  • 50% daily intake of vitamins and minerals
  • 15 g protein – a blend of high quality plant based proteins (from peas, sacha inchi seeds, sprouted brown rice, and hemp) that deliver all essential amino acids.
  • 6 g fibre – 24% of your daily recommended intake, to be precise. Fiber helps us to feel full, encourages good bowel health, and also keeps our blood sugar levels on an even keel.
  • 1.5 g Omega-3 – as much as a 6oz piece of salmon! These essential fats come from chia seeds, hemp, and whole flax seeds.
  • Antioxidants
  • Probiotics
  • Greens

Like me, you’re probably wondering what’s so great about Vega One in comparison to the Whole Food Health Optimizer. In short, the scoop for Vega One is 14% larger, but this allows the company to pack in more protein, more omega-3s, and a higher concentration of antioxidants. The protein is also more digestible, meaning that our bodies can better absorb all of the nutrients it has to offer. All good, right?

Vega also claims that the new product’s taste is better than the Optimizer, and that it’s now more palatable when mixed with water only (as opposed to in a smoothie). Did I try Vega One straight-up mixed with water? No. I thought that the fairest test would be to prepare it the same way that I’d usually enjoy the Whole Food Health Optimizer, which is like this:

  • a big handful of mixed greens (usually kale and spinach)
  • 1 scoop vanilla chai Whole Food Health Optimizer (or in this case, Vega One)
  • 1 packet of stevia
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • heaps of cinnamon
  • about 1/2 tsp guar gum (to get things nice and creamy)
  • ice

Yep – not a whole lot in there other than greens but to be honest, I really don’t mind the taste of the vanilla chai Optimizer. My new smoothie looked like this:

And tastewise, I’ll admit that it really was better than the previous version! The main difference I detected was more sweetness. Looking at the labels, the half serving (one scoop) of Optimizer that I’d been drinking contained 1g of sugar, and a full serving (1 scoop) of Vega One contains 1.7g sugar. Yes, that’s obviously an increase, but I don’t think 1.7 grams is anything to be concerned about since it’s an extremely low-sugar product to begin with!

So tell me…

  • Did you do anything new to celebrate Try Something New Tuesday 100?
  • Have you tried Vega One yet? If so, did you think it tasted better than the Whole Food Health Optimizer?

Alrighty, I’m off to work and to get a very long-overdue hair cut. Have a fantastic day! 🙂