Almond Milk Yogurt VS Coconut Milk Yogurt. Which is Better?

Hi Guys!

Today I am comparing So Delicious Coconut Milk Dairy Free Yogurt with Almond Dream Almond Milk Dairy Free Yogurt. (You can read the reason I have chosen to go dairy free (well mostly dairy free) in this blog.)

ad vs sd

 I went into this taste test expecting to have a tough time choosing one over the other… Boy was I was wrong! There was a clear winner from the very first bite!

First let’s look at the stats

The Pros and Cons

Unfortunately, So Delicious (SD) decided to base their nutrition facts on a 4 oz serving which is a little less than what’s is actually in the container. I have no idea why they would do that. I doubt anyone is ever going to eat just 4 oz and put away 1 oz!

SD Nutrition factsAD nutrition facts

Anyway, I ended up “ballparking” everything based on the grams listed for each one. According to the SD label 4 oz equals 113 grams and the whole container of Almond Dream (AD) is 170 grams so I just added a little bit more of each nutrient to the SD panel.

*Note: No I did not calculate everything correctly. Please do not leave me comments regarding my decision not to calculate. Thank you in advance!! Oh and sorry for the poor quality of the nutrition facts. I had to screen shot them both.

Fat and Calories

Right off the bat I noticed the SD has about the same amount of calories but more fat than the AD. Now you might think this is a negative thing but it is actually a very good thing. Since the SD has higher fat content it will be more filling/satisfying than the AD.

Carbohydrates and Sugar

When it comes to carbs and sugar the SD blows the AD out of the water! The AD has more than double the carbs AND sugar than the SD. That is pretty significant.

If you are not allergic to coconut I would recommend you go with the SD over the AD based on this fact alone.

GMO and Organic

One good thing is both of products are GMO free. But here again the SD has a leg up on the competition because it is also organic while the AD is not.

Consistency and Taste

I preferred the SD to the AD way before I analyzed their nutrition facts because of its taste and consistency. The AD tastes a bit “off” (not gross, just has a taste that makes your brain say “that doesn’t belong in here.”) while the SD has a very smooth taste.

The SD is also much thicker than the AD. Before I opened them I shook them both and the AD sounded like a true liquid while the SD sounded like it had more substance.

If you do not like thick yogurt the AD will be good for you.

Based on its taste and nutritional profile, the winner is… So Delicious Coconut Yogurt!

SD the winner

Hope you found that helpful!  If you have any questions please feel free to leave them below.

xoxoxo

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Battle of the Butters: Organic vs Grass Fed

Hello!

Sorry for the delay in getting this post out. We had some technical difficulties but are back up and running today!

So a lot of people have been asking me why I decided to do a taste test on, of all things, butter. I mean how different can one butter be from another right?

I think you might be surprised to find out!

Why Butter?

About a month ago I went to a health and wellness conference where they were serving a coffee I had never heard of called bulletproof. Bulletproof coffee is made in a very unique way. After it is brewed coconut oil and butter are blended into it.

If you have never had bulletproof before I am sure this concept sounds crazy to you! I was definitely a little weary of drinking oil and butter! What sold me was Bulletproof’s story.

It is the purest form of coffee you can drink, in other words, all the toxins are removed. For this reason there are no side-effects (no jittery feeling or tummy aches) and you cannot become addicted to it.

The butter and coconut oil offer tons of health benefits and many of their clients have lost a ton of weight drinking it. I encourage you to go to their website http://www.bulletproofexec.com/ to read the full story.

For the record… the coffee is so good! You really can tell a difference between it and “regular” coffee.

I had the pleasure of having breakfast with Dave Asprey founder and creator of Bulletproof and his lovely wife one morning. What I found intriguing was the couple had traveled all the way from the west coast of Canada to Florida carrying their own stash of Kerrygold butter!

Since I know the Asprey’s take their butter seriously I knew right then and there a taste test had to happen!

A Bit on Butter

Some of you might be wondering why a health and fitness person, like myself, would be encouraging people to use butter. Well the truth is, butter has gotten a bad rep over the last few years.

Believe it or not, butter is much much MUCH better for you than all the other “spreads” and butter substitutes out there.

It doesn’t matter whether the package says that it is healthy because it is “made with yogurt” or “heart healthy” because it’s made with olive oil. None of this is true! All butter substitutes contain loads of harmful chemicals.

At first glance these butter imposters may appear to be better for you because they have less calories and fat but in actuality none of this really matters. Your body metabolizes real butter much quicker and easier than fake chemical ridden crap!

This means all the systems in your body (including the fat burning process) work more efficiently when you eat REAL butter or REAL anything for that matter.

The bottom line is, real is ALWAYS better than chemically processed, refined crap that’s made in a lab.

On to the Results!

I normally buy Publix Greenwise Organic Salted Butter Sticks. I have always been happy with it. Basically, it tastes just like butter is supposed to taste.

I had considered buying Kerrygold in the past but steered away from it simply because it does not come in stick form and I really like to keep my butter out of the fridge in my butter dish.

I realized if you cut the brick of Kerrygold right down the middle it is the exact same size as a regular stick of butter. You can see the before and after in the pictures below.

Kerrygold full block  Kerrygold half block

When I got it home I immediately cut the Kerrygold in half. I put half in the fridge and half in my butter dish. After cutting the block in half, there was butter left on the knife so I decided to go ahead and try it plain just to see if I could tell a difference.

Let me tell you… I was AMAZED by how much of a difference there was in the taste. I mean this butter is delicious! It was so good I actually wanted to eat it plain! I know that sounds weird but you’ll just have to try it yourself so you can see what I mean.

Just to find out if I was being delusional, I asked my business partner Jackie to taste it. She had the same reaction I did! And the next time she came over she put a tiny bit on her finger just to taste it again! I am telling you it is so good!

Why is it so Different?

The only difference between Kerrygold and the Greenwise version is that Kerrygold is made from the milk of grass-fed rather than grain-fed cows. That is it. Everything else is the same. You can see their description of this in the picture below:

Kerrygold grass fed lable

This makes a ton of sense because grass-fed meats taste MUCH better than grain-fed meats. Grass-fed meats are much healthier for you too.

Another thing that is a little different is the Kerrygold is more airy. It almost has a whipped consistencey. There are tiny air pockets in the stick that I have never seen in other butters before. I tried to capture it in the photo below.

Kerrygold whipped

Besides the airiness and the grain-fed cows everything else… fat, calories, and sodium are all the same.

So the winner is… KERRYGOLD by a landslide!! You seriously have to try it and let me know what you think! I am dying to find out if Jackie and I are just freaks or if this butter is indeed that much better than the rest!

Now head to out to the store and buy yourself a brick!

Xoxoxo

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Product Review: So Delicious Dairy Free French Vanilla Coconut Milk Creamer

Hi-ya,

Okay it is tasty Tuesday again and this week I decided to review So Delicious Dairy Free French Vanilla Coconut Milk Creamer.

First off… Why Dairy Free?

My diet is pretty much dairy free but I am not super strict about it. If I go to someone’s house for dinner and there’s cheese or milk in the meal I still eat it. However, I do not use milk, cheese or yogurt in my own cooking. For the record, I know there are plenty of people out there who drink milk and are perfectly healthy.

This is a personal preference. I feel better since cutting it out and I do not miss it at all.

I think the game changer for me was the day I realized we are the only animals on earth that drink another animal’s milk after being weaned off our mother’s milk.

Yes, deep I know. Let that marinate for a second.

And also the fact the poor mama cows have to continuously be impregnated in order to keep producing milk. This cannot be good for them or us! There is science behind it but I will save that for another blog. :)

On to the results!

photo (5)

So the short story is… I like it a lot! But of course there are pros and cons.

Pros First

It tastes really good! There is no weird aftertaste like some other non-dairy creamers.

It is organic. Yay!

The vanilla flavoring isn’t too strong. In other words it isn’t syrupy sweet and artificial tasting like the junk they pump into your cup at Starbucks (blasphemy! I know!)

It is dairy free AND soy free. Our food supply is completely “soyed” out. This is another subject that deserves its own blog post but trust me when I say it is true and it is not good. Go take a look at some of the ingredient lists in your cupboards… Soy soy soy soy soy.

It is GMO Free. Yet another subject for a separate blog but GMO’s are basically chemically engineered food. Gross!

It is naturally fat free. So not chemically altered to be fat free.

The Cons

You have to watch how much you use.

I like to drink lattes, so super strong coffee with lots of “milk” (in my case almond or coconut) so the first time I used the creamer I ended up pouring about a ¼ cup of it into my mug (which is huge but still!)

The serving size is only 1 tablespoon and I don’t know anyone who only uses a tablespoon of creamer! So it is really easy to pour way more than the suggested size.

One tablespoon of the creamer has 20 calories, 4 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein. So basically I added 80 calories and 16 grams of sugar to my coffee that day.

Mind you, this is still MUCH better than any of the drinks at Starbucks (yes, even the low-fat/low calorie options) but they are still just empty senseless calories and I knew I could do better.

The next day I added ¼ cup of my sugar free vanilla Almond Breeze Almond Milk and 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk creamer. One cup of this almond milk has 30 calories, 0 sugar, 1 gram of protein, and 1 gram of fiber. All of which is much better than the coconut milk creamer.

When it was all said and done my 2nd coffee had 47.5 calories and 8 grams of sugar.

So the winner is…

photo (4)

To Conclude: 

Overall I liked this product although it is not something I will keep stocked. It just has too many empty calories and sugars for me to justify drinking it every day, which is exactly what I would do if I had it all the time!

If you are looking for a non-dairy, fat free, healthier alternative to your usual creamer I say go for it.

Or if you are looking for a healthier option to replace your favorite drink at Starbucks, this creamer would be great for you as well.

Hope that helps!

FFS

xoxo

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Self Acceptance is Key to Happiness. Get as Much as You Give!

Hello,

*For the record, I wrote this last night. This is isn’t about any one person…it’s about all of them :) Carry on. Xoxo*

I am lying in bed thinking about the people in my life right now, the people who were there in the past, and the ones who are in between. Never really here but not really there either.

I have always aimed to please. I can remember cutting out little hearts for my 4th grade teacher. I was so careful. I tried so hard to make sure I cut right on the dotted line.

I wanted to do a good job because I wanted her to be happy. And she was.

Trying to make other people happy is something I continued to do throughout my life.

Young or old, nothing quite beats the feeling you get when someone praises you. This is perfectly normal and we should all enjoy putting a smile on someone’s face… To a point.

When outside praise and acceptance become your main source of validation, this is a problem. It becomes even more problematic when the people you seek acceptance & validation from are not kind, healthy, wise, or strong.

As horrible as it sounds there are people out there who actually want to see you fail. Who want to see you hurt. Gross!

You know who they are. They are the ones who are neither here nor there. They hang in the balance. Just at arms length.

There are people who deserve the best of you and there are people who don’t. And the latter don’t matter. (Rhyme completely unintentional!)

Spend your time and energy on the people who matter most. There is NO NEED to seek approval from anyone but yourself.

Once you do this, you will find yourself surrounded by people who give as much as they get. Who want to see you happy and want you to succeed.

You are good enough RIGHT NOW. And you do not have to worry about other people’s feelings or opinions of you or how comfortable & happy they are. That is THEIR job, not yours.

You just have to BE exactly who you are and that is enough. I promise.

When you realize this, you will be truly happy :)

I have been completely obsessed with quotes lately. These two are so fitting for my little session of reminiscing.

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That is all :) Happy Saturday

Factfindersteph

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Monk Fruit or Stevia? Which One Tastes Better?

The majority of sugar substitutes on the market are pretty much just a powdery concoction of chemicals. YUM! If chemicals don’t sound tasty to you, there are some natural options you can try like stevia and monk fruit.

You may have heard of stevia since it has been stocked in major grocery stores for several years now. But if you are anything like me, you might be thinking, “What the heck is monk fruit?”

I attended a conference last week along with about 100 other health and wellness gurus. The only type of sweetener available at the coffee/tea station was stevia which, to tell you the truth, I am not crazy about.

The only way I can describe the taste of stevia is “chemically.” Not everyone has the same experience and according to my sister (a reformed Splenda addict), the chemically taste goes away if you keep using it. I personally haven’t been able to make it past 2 days in my morning coffee before quitting but she swears the bad taste goes away after a week or two.

After sharing my opinion of stevia with fellow attendee and health nut Dr. Shiroko Sokitch she said, “I don’t like stevia either! That’s why I use monk fruit now.”

I immediately knew a taste test had to happen!

Stevia VS Monk Fruit! Ding Ding!

Stevia VS Monk Fruit! Ding Ding!

What is Monk Fruit?

Until recently, monk fruit was only grown in small family run orchards, so there weren’t enough around to sell to everyday consumers. Now there are more and more farms popping up. It is believed the fruit is named after the Buddhist monks who first grew them 800 years ago. That is when their ability to sweeten was discovered.

What is Stevia?

Stevia is a plant native to southern China and northern Thailand where it has been used as a sweetener for hundreds of years. The “sweetness” is found in the leaves of the stevia plant. This is why it is sometimes called sweet leaf.

So Which One is Better?

I feel a little bad because this taste test ended pretty uneventfully… I didn’t really like either of them!

Why?

For starters, neither one of these products are organic or RAW! And both contain added dextrose. For some reason I didn’t read the ingredients list on either package (which I never do!) I think because I bought them from Wholefoods and sugar in the raw is pure I just assumed these two products would be too.

Welp… I was wrong! Not sure why I thought they were organic. I can only blame myself for that one!

Aside from the fact neither sweetener was pure or raw neither one tasted very good either. I was hoping monk fruit would taste better than stevia but it tasted almost exactly the same.

I tried both in coffee. When I took my first sip of the monk fruit coffee I got excited because I thought it tasted better. But by the second sip I was certain that it did not taste better. So monk fruit might have a slightly less chemically taste but it is only slight.

With that said, I am going to have to do this taste test again with an organic brand that doesn’t contain additives.

Sorry I didn’t have better news!! Until next time!

Xoxox

FactFinderSteph

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Who is Fact Finder Steph? Fitness, Nutrition, Health, Art, Love, Poetry….

Hi Everyone!

It is now 2014… That statement is a little crazy dontcha think?

When I began this blog 2 (more??) years ago it was because certain people thought I should. I let other people’s ideas decide where my path should lead. The ironic thing is that it led me to abandon my blog all together.

It is hard to be what other people want you to be. So hard in fact, failure is inevitable. And that why we shouldn’t do it!

Funny how that works.

I plan to spend the beginning of 2014 figuring out who @factfindersteph is and how she wants to impact the world.

What is true:

  • I am passionate about health, wellness, fitness, nutrition, and the science of positive psychology.
  • I am an artist.
  • I am a writer.
  • My science brain and my artist brain or equally important to me.
  • I cannot be myself without honoring both sides of my brain. I just can’t.

That’s all I have for now :)

Thank you to all the (2) people who have continued to follow me over the years. I will keep you guys up to date on the latest as it unfolds.

2014 will be the year I finally follow my own dreams and believe in my own ideas and that feels pretty darn good.

Much Love,

Steph

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Remember The Positive Forget About The Negative

Happy Sunday y’all!

Today I am reminded how important it is to force my mind to focus on positive thoughts and memories rather than negative thoughts and memories.

I use the word “force” purposefully because it has been scientifically proven negative memories carry more weight and take up more “room” in the brain.

To give you an example, let’s say you give a presentation to 15 coworkers. When you are done 14 of your coworkers give you positive feedback but 1 person gives you negative feedback.

The vast majority of the time it is the 1 negative comment we will remember.

Negative thoughts cause us to feel negative emotions. In other words, we experience the same emotions we did at the time of the event. These negative emotions cause undue stress on the body and brain.

This causes the release of stress hormones like cortisol. Cortisol causes inflammation in the body. Chronic Inflammation is associated with all kinds things like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, dementia…. The list goes on and on!

Do yourself a favor. Change your thoughts!

When you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, stop yourself and replace it with something positive. At first you will have to force yourself and it might feel tough but I promise you… It gets easier!

Think happy thoughts today! You deserve it!

Negative thoughts only hurt YOU! Same goes for negative emotions like anger.

Stephanie Matos

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I am still here!

I have been absent from my blog for over a year now. Still in the health and wellness blogging space… just for other people! I am a ghost writer for several people in the industry.
Once I started writing full time I stopped writing for myself at all. No bueno!

I am back now. Hope to see you around once again :)

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EMPOWERING YOU! A Lesson on the “Spotlight Effect”

Happy Thankful for Thursday Y’all!

Once upon a time not long ago lived a girl who was not so fit and kind of unhappy about it!  One fateful day she decided to attack this problem with bruit force!  She purchased a gym membership, got educated and kicked that fat’s butt with EXERCISE and HEALTHY EATING! Ha!  

Well it didn’t happen as dramatically or as FAST as that but it is true, this fact finder was not always fit and healthy.  I think sometimes (No… I KNOW) people believe I was born this way or that I have good genetics (or that they have particularly bad ones) but the truth is NOPE!  I had to work my butt off (pun intended) be where I am today and while it was not a walk in the park but sooooooooo worth it!  (More on the specifics of that journey another day.. that is unless you post questions of course!)

I read an article today on “the spotlight effect” that made me think of the way I felt the FIRST time I set foot in a gym.  I was embarrassed and felt like EVERYONE was STARING at me!   Furthermore, since this  was before I started working towards my degree in exercise physiology, I had NO CLUE what I was doing or how any of the machines worked.  I was just sure that every time I touched a weight or machine people were thinking, “Oh my gosh! Look at her! She has NO IDEA what she is doing! What a dummy!”   Since I really didn’t feel comfortable using anything in the “big scary weight room” I took lots of group fitness classes.  I really loved them and felt more comfortable but even then I felt the spotlight effect!  I remember getting there early so I could get my spot in the rear, right hand corner, far away from the windows b/c I was certain people where judging me, “wow, here butt is huge! Did you see her mess up that step! Haha! I think that girl just tripped! What is she wearing?” 

Have any of you ever felt that way?  Like there is a HUGE SPOTLIGHT shining right on you?

Well according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, by Tom Gilovich & colleagues were able to determine that most of us considerably OVERESTIMATE how much attention or “spotlighting” people are placing on us.  This is thought to be because since we are the center of OUR OWN worlds, we PRECEIVE OUR OWN actions, thoughts, and words to loom much larger than other people’s actions, thoughts, and words.  In this study the researchers were able to determine that when placed in an “embarrassing” context participants overestimated how many people were looking, laughing, and pointing by more than 50%!

The study found the following to be true:
We overestimate how many people are staring at us at any given moment.
This overestimate goes up when the moment happens to be embarrassing to us.
We overestimate how many people in the group notice our brilliant contributions.
Luckily we also overestimate how many people in the group notice when we stick our foot in our mouths!

Haha! I wasted so much time worrying about looking stupid, fat, and ugly in the gym! Funny thing is the people I thought were judging me where probably too busy worrying about how fat, ugly, stupid they might look that they weren’t paying any attention to me!!

Moral of the story:  Don’t be embarrassed! Just be YOU!  9 out of 10 times nobody is judging anything you say or do!  Most people are stuck in their own heads worrying about who is spotlighting them to really care much about you anyway! haha!

That is so EMPOWERING if you think about it!  NO MORE WORRY!  Next time you feel embarrassed remember the SPOTLIGHT EFFECT!

xoxo

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Disney Helps to Fight Childhood Obesity

Howdy!

I heard the most spectacular announcement on my drive home from work today! Disney’s CEO Bob Iger announced that the Walt Disney Co has chosen to BAN junk-food advertisements from its programming!  This is a pretty big deal since this includes ABC, Disney XD, Disney Channel, AND all of its child focused websites.  Disney plans to use  what they are calling a  ”Mickey Check” in order to determine which foods will make the cut.  According to an article on Reuters, the “Mickey Check” label will also be included on certain foods that meet the established parameters sold in stores, online, and in it’s parks and resorts.  (I did a quick search and couldn’t find the exact numbers associated with Disney’s guidelines but as soon as I do ya’ll will be the first to know!)

Iger said, “The emotional connection kids have to our characters and stories gives us a unique opportunity to continue to inspire and encourage them to lead healthier lives,”

How awesome is that??

Unfortunately, Disney has to wait until 2015 to fully roll out this new initiative (they have contractual agreements which make launching it sooner impossible), however, better late than never right?!

Way to step it up Disney!

xoxo

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