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Peanut Butter & Co.'s Dark Chocolate Dreams and The Bees Knees

Tasty Peanut Butter and Eating 30g of Protein Within 30 Minutes of Waking Up

Since January, I’ve been pretty disciplined about eating a hearty breakfast every morning. Since reading this blog post (based on Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour Body) on eating 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up, I thought I’d try it out. The overarching principles of this “slow carb” diet include the following:

  • Avoid “white carbohydrates”: bread, rice, potatoes, cereal, and any other carbs in these categories
  • Eat the same few meals over and over again
  • Don’t drink calories: stick mostly to water and unsweetened tea/coffee
  • Don’t eat fruit (I like this because I’m allergic to most)
  • Take one day off per week (eat whatever)

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The only Blue Apron review you need to read: How three years of subscribing saved me time and money *Updated October 2016


From Amateur Cook to Well-Fed Amateur Cook

***Update 3***

Hi there! Welcome to our site and Blue Apron review which you probably saw on Facebook. We’re all out of free week trials and since there are 30+ people on my list already and I’m unlikely to get more than a few free trials to give out a month, I’m now closing the list. However, Blue Apron customer service was nice enough to send over this link for $30 off your first order (which is 50% off for the two person kit). Enjoy!

***Update 2***

Ok, so this Blue Apron review may have gotten a bit more popular than we intended. We went from about double digit organic views to over a thousand views (5/16 update: 17,000+ and counting!) in the last three days. So as a result, I’m all out of free trials to give away.

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Science on Swole: BCAAs (A skeptic’s guide to supplementation and training)

As the resident meathead in most of my friend circles, I’ve gotten more than a few questions about supplements. As a skeptic/sort of surgeon/sometime scientist, I’m going to explain my rationale.

The baseline rules:

  1. Primum non nocere – is the supplement going to kill me or make me poop myself? (I’m looking at you Jack3d and NO-Xplode)
  2. Efficiency – Is it cost/time beneficial versus anything else?
  3. Efficacy – Does it do what is advertised?

For the last few years I’ve been traveling to different locations in monthly blocks. Since carrying tubs of protein is space inefficient and often accompanied by some derisive bro-related remarks, I usually end up running to the local shop and grabbing something. My go to is Scivation’s Xtend BCAAs for drinking while I’m training.

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Probar Base Protein Bar

PROBAR BASE Protein Bars: Pretty Tasty Stuff

I saw that someone at work had a box of PROBAR BASE protein bars on his desk. I asked him about it and he told me that he liked the taste. The flavor was Cookie Dough. I hung around his desk for a tad bit longer hoping he would offer me a bar to try, but he said nothing, so I went back and looked it up on Amazon.

I’ve never been much of a protein bar eater. In fact, protein bars remind me of high school when the PowerBar was all the rage (remember 36-pack boxes from CostCo?). They were pretty nasty and I only ate them when I was deathly hungry before football or track practice.

PROBAR BASE protein bars appealed to me because they’re coated with chocolate. I’m a sucker for chocolate, and I was also in the market for something healthier than a Snickers bar. The other limitation for me was that I can’t eat almonds (I have oral allergy syndrome), which rules out a good number of healthy snack bars out there. PROBAR BASE does have traces of almonds, which makes my mouth a tad bit itchy, but after eating over a dozen bars, I don’t even feel it anymore. The 20 grams of protein that the bar proudly advertises on its packaging comes from soybeans.

I started off with a 4 Flavor Variety Pack from Amazon to see which flavors I would like best. It turned out that I liked Mint Chocolate, Brownie Crisp, and Peanut Butter Chocolate but rather disliked the Cookie Dough. I found the bars to be the tastiest protein bars I could remember. They’re on the sweet side (14-17 grams of sugar per bar, which I think is on the high end) and the texture is not too mealy or crumbly like other bars. At $31.99 for the 12-count variety pack, they’re a bit on the pricey side at $2.67 per bar, but I find myself enjoying it rather than seeing it as a fuel-only snack.

I do my toughest workout of the week on Mondays, so I make sure to eat a bar a couple hours before I go to the gym. I also pack a few bars with me whenever I go golfing. Rather than buying a pack of M&Ms from the cart girl, I find that a PROBAR does a good job in keeping my hunger in check. A couple of downsides:

  • The flax seeds get stuck in my teeth sometimes, so you might spot black flecks if I flash a smile.
  • The chocolate coating might melt a bit if you leave it in a warm place. I had a bar in my jersey pocket when I went for a long bike ride and the chocolate was starting to melt when I took it out to eat.

I’m game to try other protein bars, but I like that I’ve found one that appeals to my sweet tooth and gets the job done in giving me an energy boost.

In case it matters to you, the PROBAR BASE protein bar is non-GMO, organic, and gluten-free, as evidenced by this graphic on their website:

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 9.48.06 PM

Nutrition info and ingredients can be found at the PROBAR website.

Smuttynose Hayseed: A Simple Farmhouse Ale

I got home after a long day at work and wanted an easy-drinking beer. I went across the street to the corner bodega and browsed their beer selection– a Smuttynose Hayseed caught my eye.

I’ve always been a fan of Smuttynose, a New Hampshire based brewery. I’ve grown to dislike IPAs in recent years, but if I had to choose one, their Finestkind IPA would be near the top of my list. This past winter, I found myself repeatedly getting their Winter Ale, an amber ale that has fruity and spice-laden aromas.

Today, I came across Hayseed, which they describe as “a country table beer.” Whenever the weather gets a bit warmer in the springtime, a nice saison / farmhouse ale always gets me in a good mood. This one, with a low 3.8% ABV seemed like a good choice. I paid $2.25 for it. They ran out of quarters, so I was handed a bunch of dimes. All good.

I drank it while eating soba noodles and avocado. The beer was light, refreshing, and quickly gone.