Low-Carb product Review For April, 2014

I’ve been a re-dedicated low-carber since January of 2011 now. It’s been three years of mostly staying on the straight and narrow. At times, I have to retool and retrain myself, because I fall off the wagon , usually through slow little slips in the wrong direction over time. I have learned that I cannot eat more than 30 grams of net carbohydrate per day , even with working out, and lose weight. And, I cannot exceed 50 for more than a couple of days a week without gaining, and quickly. I get bored on my low-carb diet, and I am always on the lookout for low-carb substitutes to make it all more tolerable. Thanks to Viva Low-carb for coming to my rescue. I ordered some new things this time, and a few old favorites. A few of my selections were quite deliciously surprising!

Always a dream of mine- a good low-carb cookie. Nutritious Creations of Bay Shore, NY makes a delicious, giant oatmeal cookie that’s worth the 2.49 I paid for it, because it is a real cookie. At only 1 net gram of carbs, plenty of fiber, a nice soft chew, and great flavor, this is the only and best low-carb cookie I have ever tasted. Apparently it’s available also at http://www.snacksforlife.com . I have not been paid or comped for any of these reviews. I don’t mind giving raves and business to companies who are succeeding in supplying a market that is perhaps small, but persistent and growing. We are having a hard time finding anything in our home towns other than Atkins’ bars and diabetic, limited items full of fructose. Well, yay that fructose is natural, but it’s not low-carb, really, and makes me a giant bag of agonized gas… Anyway, A+ on the cookies.
Next on the A-listers is the Lily’s stevia sweetened dark chocolate. Great taste, texture, and flavor. It tasted like the real thing, and I highly enjoy the stevia as opposed to sucralose, which I am trying to ditch. By the way, the cookies I mentioned are sweetened with sucralose (Splenda), and while really tasty, more evidence is coming in that sucralose is not safe for long-term use, and may be causing its current users problems now.
Both brands of the low carb bagels are good, but I think the Healthwise brand edges out Great Low-carb bread company for softness, chew, and size.
The Dixie mix carrot muffins…well, my past experience with Dixie has not been great, at all- but I am giving them one last chance. Typically, their products leave a strange bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

I bought some great bread. It’s California Lifestyle Soy and Flax bread. I like it. $6.99, but only 1 gram per slice?! Outrageously nice bite, full of fiber and good grains. Sometimes, though not often, I want bread.

Proto-toast. A strange chocolate crisp bread, slightly sweet, that would make a good holder for cream cheese or butter or peanut/almond butter.

Hi-Low Cereal with strawberries. A true low-carb cereal, with only 7.4 net carb grams per half cup. I had a cup at least. Portion sizes could be a problem, here. I really wanted cereal. I got this collection today, and have already deeply sampled a lot of it. I probably blew the 30 grams thing since I already had 15 grams of carbs at breakfast with my fruit smoothie (Shakeology).

And there you have it, the product review! Head over to http://www.vivalowcarb.com and see what catches your eye. They’re running a discount code that I used and shipping was fast! RMN20, and you can find more at retailmenot.com Also, Low-Carb U has some interesting looking goodies at their site as well. Enjoy!

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Low-Carb Product Reviews of the Month

I ordered some more products from Viva Low Carb, and am still enjoying most of them. I polished off the very tasty peanut butter cookies first!

Product Name SKU Price Qty Subtotal
Subtotal $38.95
Shipping & Handling $10.95
Grand Total $49.90
MiRico – Cinnamon Bagels – Pack of 6
643737201014
$7.99
Ordered: 1
Shipped: 1
$7.99
MiRico – Hot Dog Buns
643737201083
$7.99
Ordered: 1
Shipped: 1
$7.99
Health Express – S/F – Gluten Free- Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies
643737501343
$6.99
Ordered: 1
Shipped: 1
$6.99
Ed’s of Maine – Sour Cream and Onion Kale Chips
649164892368
$7.99
Ordered: 1
Shipped: 1
$7.99
Great Low Carb Bread Company – Everything Bagels
757901707193
$7.99
Ordered: 1
Shipped: 1
$7.99
So, here is the invoice sheet. You can clearly see the prices, and exact items I purchased.
First, the Cinnamon Bagels by MiRico. These come in at a net carb gram count of 8. This is probably due to their sweeter constitution than the Everything  bagel, but I don’t know why that should be so. Obviously, any sugars could have been replaced by any number of the usual sweeteners for these type things- malitol, mannitol, xylitol, Sucralose, brown beet sugar, etc. Even stevia. Speaking of stevia, it seems to not be in favor as a sweetener with any of the low-carb or sugar-free baked goods available. I am not sure why that is.
The bagels are soft, tasty, and satisfying. However, today I am attempting to get back into ketosis, and I am not eating the cinnamon type for the next few days. It’s a good deal, and I had a free shipping code for Viva Low Carb . I don’t always have free shipping, so  I really wish that local grocers would carry low-carb breads. There are enough diabetics to support the sales, and they already carry low-carb tortillas, one of my mainstays, and so it wouldn’t be such a big jump. Meanwhile, there are a lot of online vendors for these, and the prices are acceptable.
The Everything Bagels by Great American Bread Company are also chewy, delicious, and have a bite like a real bagel. They also only come in at a net of 2 grams of carbs. Slather one up with cream cheese or butter, and it’s a great snack, breakfast, or other light meal. Thoroughly enjoyable, with no silly manufacturer attempts to plump it up with added protein powder or some gritty flour substitute.
The Health Express Sugar and gluten free peanut butter cookies were really quite yummy. I  finished those off much faster than I should have. But that just speaks to their quality- Ok, and my sweet tooth! They have a crispy start that melts into a chewy finish, with no artificial sweetener aftertaste or bitter bite. I really need to get some more of those. I would have appreciated a larger ounce size on those for the money. All my attempts to make something like this at home have been dismal failures. On the other hand, I really should spend more time at the http://www.Ibreatheimhungy.com website, Mellissa has some wonderful recipes and great ideas!
The Mi Rico hot dog buns. Well, my batch was a bit over-browned. The bite is very chewy and screams “Hearty grains”, and would have made  a great recipe for a toasting or eating bread, but was too overpowering for a hot-dog bun. They are very fiber-rich and somewhat seedy and again- not the greatest for a hot dog bun. I would have liked a softer chew, and less hearty richness. How could that be done? Well, the Everything bagel dough would have been perfect, sans seeds, shaped into a bun. Let’s just say that. The one good quality of the buns though is that at least they don’t have that ‘full- of- cellulose- because -we- didn’t- know -what else- to- do- to -make- them- taste- like -bread” chew to them. So again, they DID taste a lot like real bread. Just too hearty for a hot dog bun.
The KALE chips. This was my first try of any kale chip, packaged or otherwise. I can only say that the ‘sour cream and onion’ concentrate powdered flavoring all over them was way too much. It gave the entire thing a fake, sour flavor that was NOT enjoyable. I think homemade kale chips with just a bit of salt and spice would have been preferable. I left the majority of them in the break room for the staff, and there seemed to be no takers.
So, there’s the review from Viva Low Carb. I am always looking to find not just reasonable substitutes, but preferable ones in my low-carb lifestyle.
One honorable mention: On a previous order, that I did not review here, I ordered several Desserts of Distinction mini-cheesecakes from Viva Low Carb. They are excellent. I’ve had them before, and they are always really good. They are a bit pricey, but small and freezer-ready, so you can always have them on hand. At 2 grams of of carbs per cake, they are satisfying and worth the  money for the occasional order. I am ready to try some new products, and am looking for companies who want to pay me in product to review those items on my blog.  I will be honest, and if I don’t like something, I will tell it like it is, as I have been doing.
Let me know what your favorite low-carb products are, and please share!