Photo Credit: Larry
So this was supposed to be a product giveaway post, which we sometimes have on Fridays. But I'm afraid we had some... technical difficulties. A major "technical difficulty" was of course my tiny little brain. One giveaway had to be postponed because I totally screwed up on logistics.
And then another possible giveaway didn't work out because the sponsor suddenly realized, after we'd traded about a dozen emails, that they didn't want to give out any more Free Things after all. Whoops!
However, the P.R. person wondered: would we still like to write a blog post about the fabulous product that they weren't willing to give us anymore?
Well, sure! We'll get right on that! And, um, in the meantime, could we please have some of whatever it is you're smoking?
Fortunately for giveaway fans: MizFit is in the Zone, so to speak, and has a great giveaway going. But since MizFit is the most inspiring and generous blogger on the planet, you've probably already been by there and know that already. Also, if you like the chance to win free stuff, don't forget that Healthbolt has a giveaway going every darn day in December.
So what have we got lined up here at Cranky Fitness? Well, we've got info on how to be a more successful blogger; a brief product review of something I actually liked; an item about a promising low-cal natural sweetener; some silly animals; and of course some totally tacky bathroom humor!
How could you possibly resist?
The Everyday Blogger
Our health blogger pal Steph from Back in Skinny Jeans and Noshtopia has started a new blog about... Blogging! Check out her newest venture, The Everyday Blogger.
For those of us who who blog and want to do a better job of it, or even Make Some Money One Day While Not Going Totally Insane In The Process, it's really nice to get some inside advice. Steph's been there, and has persevered, and she's not just "one of the boys" giving us advice that isn't geared towards our audience or our priorities. Her emphasis is "Lifestyle Blogging," which is not addressed much by most traditional techy "pro" bloggers.
And with absolutely no transition at all, let's talk about...
LightFull Satiety Smoothies!
Recently I got an offer to try some "Satiety Smoothies," and I thought, "what the heck."
There was something appealing about the idea of a little 90 calorie smoothie with 5 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and at least a few healthy ingredients in it like fruit puree and yogurt. Because the stuff has fiber and protein in it, it's supposed to keep you full for 2-3 hours.
It's not billed as meal replacement, just a snack. And there are times when I wouldn't mind having additional snack options--especially something sweet and convenient and not too evil. However, I figured there was a really good chance if it was a low-cal fiber enhanced protein smoothie, it would taste like crap.
But I liked the little guys! I'd actually buy them.
Warning: the first one I tried was the chocolate flavor, and frankly, blechhh. Too sweet and dark and syrupy. Would have been fine blended with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but wouldn't that kinda defeat the point?
But the strawberry, peach, mango, and latte flavors all tasted great! Some folks might not like the slightly sour yogurty flavor, or might find the smoothies too sweet, but to me the sweet/sour balance worked perfectly.
Now no 90 calorie snack can keep me full for 2-3 hours, so it failed on that count. But it did seem filling compared to most things I'd eat for less than 100 calories. And again, it's a convenience food, not a whole food, so just put it in your "convenience/compromise" allotment, if you have one, and enjoy it knowing it's got some good things going for it nutritionally.
LightFull smoothies are billed as "all natural." I'll let you guys be the judge of that: here's their nutritional information. At least it seems they made a sincere effort to limit the junk factor.
But I suppose that depends on what you think of their main sweetening ingredient, erythritol...
Erythritol, a Promising Sweetener?
I'm late to the party; I hadn't heard of this yet. Anyone have any experience with erythritol yet? It also goes by the brand name "Zerose". All I know is that it seemed to taste pretty darn good in the smoothie. According to Wikipedia, (sorry, no time to google extensively today) it's found naturally in fruit juices; it's about 70 percent as sweet as sugar; it has almost no calories; it's Generally Recognized as Safe; and it's OK for diabetics. Also, for whatever it's worth, the folks at Whole Foods have decided it's "natural" enough to sit on their hallowed shelves.
It's a sugar alcohol, but unlike most of them it's digested differently and so is not likely to cause "gastric distress" (i.e., gas and diarrhea). Apparently it does have some taste and texture issues, depending on what you use it with, but since it seemed to work pretty well in the smoothie, I'm finding myself curious to see where else I can use it.
If anyone has looked into this stuff or baked with it or put it in coffee or whatever, please let us know in the comments what you think!
Speaking of Fiber
So the LightFull Smoothies, like many products these days, brag that they have extra fiber. Silly me, I was totally taken in by the health/satiety angle and didn't even realize that "Fiber!" is often just a code word for "Laxative!"
I'm lucky enough not to have "regularity" issues, so the whole issue is just not on my radar. However, I got hip when I went to visit Charlotte at The Great Fitness Experiment. She has, as usual, a thoughtful and amusing take on the whole "adding fiber to your diet" question. I was surprised at how many women not only make the food-fiber-laxative connection, but then go on to use the laxative aspect to purge for weight control!
I feel so naive.
Do read Charlotte's post, because it's really fascinating. However, I'm going to steal the hilarious video she discovered and post it here too, because after all I promised some Friday Bathroom Humor and I am not above stealing from friends.
Animals Not Exercising.
At times in the past, we have run funny videos of animals exercising, trying to pretend that the "exercise" part lends some relevance to a health and fitness blog. But as Merry recently reminded us, sometimes sleep is more important for your health than exercise!
I don't know why this cracked me up.
Oh wait, maybe I do know why.
(Our energetic cat Maile ("the Moo") sends her regards and wishes you a Most Happy Friday. And yeah, I do know I've posted this picture at least three times now. I can't help it; it's makes me giggle. It's one of her favorite sleeping positions.)