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A Natural Way to Better Sleep

2015 March 5
by Emily Hill

We recently started sleeping on an intelliBED (you can read why we got rid of our Tempur-Pedic and made the switch here) and that’s made a world of difference when it comes to a good night’s rest. But no matter how amazing the mattress, if my mind is going 100 miles an hour when I climb into bed, it’s going to be a while before I fall asleep. Not wanting to pop an Ambien (my husband uses it on occasion and it kind of weirds me out), I’m all about natural, non habit-forming solutions for better sleep like RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts.

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RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts review
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RESCUE products help you stress less and stay calm, which is perfect for moms who seem to always be on the go and in charge of all the things. They were developed by a doctor so they’re gentle and safe—no side effects and not habit forming. RESCUE products have been trusted for generations and used by millions; I had no problem giving them a try. Just check out the ingredients on the back of the box.

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RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts review
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Even though I can’t pronounce half of them, I love what they provide:

  • Courage and presence of mind
  • Focus when ungrounded
  • Patience with problems and people (I need more of this virtue in my life)
  • Balanced mind when losing control
  • Relief from repetitive thoughts (this was the kicker for me)

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It’s hard to believe you can get all that from those teeny tiny liquid melts.

They are rather adorable, aren’t they?

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RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts review

RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts review
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But do they work? I tried them one night when I knew my thoughts would keep me from falling asleep as quickly as I’d like and while a single dose of RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts helped, I probably should have taken two to really seal the deal. But I did sense a calming effect, which helped me settle down and relax instead of staying keyed up like so often happens.

I’ll be sharing RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts with my teenage girls because they have more than the occasional sleepless night due to things like ACT tests, midterms and dumb boys (really, REALLY dumb boys).

If you’d like to give RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts a any other RESCUE product, download the BOGO coupon here: http://clvr.li/1GcF5jS. You can find RESCUE products at CVS, Walgreens, Whole Foods, Sprouts and wherever you find natural products.

What are your tips and tricks to help relieve stress?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Lucky Charms Cookies

2015 March 4
by Emily Hill

Apparently there’s no end to the number of ways you can utilize my favorite recipe for pudding cookies. This is a good thing because I just bought a bunch of my favorite candy bars and pudding flavors for more mix-and-match fun.

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Lucky Charms Cookies - magically delicious, especially hot from the oven. You will not be able to eat just one!

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Of course, you don’t have to stick to candy bars, chocolate chips and other common mix-ins. These Lucky Charms cookies are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day…and perfectly delicious if you eat them fresh from the oven.

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Lucky Charms Cookies - magically delicious, especially hot from the oven. You will not be able to eat just one!

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These Lucky Charms cookies combine Lucky Charms marshmallows, white chocolate chips and my favorite pudding cookie recipe. The marshmallows may not be pretty when they come out of the oven but the colors are such fun and the taste is rather addictive.

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Lucky Charms Cookies - magically delicious, especially hot from the oven. You will not be able to eat just one!

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I think these would make awesome Easter cookies too because the colors are reminiscent of all things springtime.

I love any excuse to make them multiple times a year.

Printable recipe for Lucky Charms cookies below. Enjoy!
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Lucky Charms Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
These Lucky Charms pudding cookies are perfect for St. Patrick's Day or any day. Super easy and super addictive!
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (3.4-oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cups Lucky Charms marshmallows
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream together butter and sugars in a large bowl. Beat in instant pudding mix until blended. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Add chocolate chips. Gently fold in marshmallows.
  5. Place rounded tablespoonfuls of dough on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are set. Let cool 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
Be very gentle when folding in the marshmallows and then when scooping the dough. Those fancy mallows break easily!

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You might also want to try these pudding cookies…

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Salted Dark Chocolate Pistachio Puddnig Cookies -- the combination of salt, dark chocolate and hint of pistachio flavor makes these pudding cookies irresistible!


Salted Dark Chocolate Pistachio Pudding Cookies

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Mounds Pudding Cookies


Mounds Pudding Cookies

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Red Velvet Pudding Cookies - soft, chewy and completely irresistible.


Red Velvet Pudding Cookies

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Chocolate peanut butter pudding cookies


Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies

If you’re looking for more yummy cookies, you should browse my desserts {cookies} Pinterest board.

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Follow Emily Hill’s board desserts {cookies} on Pinterest.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Do Us a Flavor: Homegrown Flavor Inspiration

2015 March 2
by Emily Hill


“Homegrown” may be a bit of a stretch if we’re talking the Lay’s “Do Us A Flavor” contest, but I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to talk about my favorite flavors.

I have two.

Sweet.

And Italian.

Okay, so those aren’t flavors per se, but there’s not better way to describe where I find my flavor inspiration. I blame my love of desserts on a serious sweet tooth since birth. Maybe that’s why 7 of my Top 10 Recipes of 2014 were on the sweeter side.

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Top 10 Recipes of 2014 from isthisreallymylife.com

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I blame my love of Italian food on last year’s trip to Italy to attend the Toscana Saporita Cooking School. (Who am I kidding? I’ve loved Italian food for forever.)

Someday I’ll get around to writing a recap of that amazing trip. *sigh*

While in Tuscany, we learned how to make homemade pasta. And then ate it by the bowlful.

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Homemade pasta
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We also tried our hand at gnocchi. And ate that spoonful after spoonful after spoonful.

Is there any other way to eat it?

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Homemade gnocchi
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We ate our fill of Italian food while there—panini, pizza, gelato. Lots of gelato. And lots and lots of pasta. Maybe that’s why one of my favorite recipes to make is Cajun chicken pasta. (The photo is from 2012; trust me, it tastes phenomenal. Maybe it’s time for a do-over!)

But let’s get back to that homegrown flavor inspiration. Do you ever buy those special edition Lay’s potato chips—you know, the ones from the Lay’s “Do Us A Flavor” contest? We love buying each year’s winning flavor, though I will admit, I left the sampling of Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger Lay’s to Nathan.

I think I’d like to turn this plain ol’ bag of Lay’s potato chips…

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Lays Do Us a Flavor Contest
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…into Lay’s Green Gelatin & Carrots. Hello, this is an iconic side dish…although it remains a mystery to me as to why anyone would actually eat it.

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Lays Do Us a Flavor Contest
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Even better, Lay’s Fry Sauce & Tots. I’m pretty sure this is the winning flavor, especially with fry sauce from Hires Big H, a local Utah company.

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Lays Do Us a Flavor Contest
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Ready to create your own taste of American in the Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” contest? It’s super easy and kinda fun. Plus you can check out all the flavor creations, including chicken & artichoke and maple & bacon. Mmm… For more information and official contest rules, please visit www.DoUsAFlavor.com.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. You’ll find me sharing my favorite recipes, crafts and projects from the Interweb.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Salted Dark Chocolate Pistachio Pudding Cookies

2015 February 26
by Emily Hill

I warned you when I posted those Mounds pudding cookies that I’d be back with more pudding cookie recipes. I’ve already tried chocolate peanut butter pudding cookies and red velvet pudding cookies, so why not try a pistachio pudding mix for some salted dark chocolate pistachio pudding cookies.

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Salted Dark Chocolate Pistachio Puddnig Cookies -- the combination of salt, dark chocolate and hint of pistachio flavor makes these pudding cookies irresistible!

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The name is a mouthful, but so are these cookies. In the best kind of way.

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Salted Dark Chocolate Pistachio Puddnig Cookies -- the combination of salt, dark chocolate and hint of pistachio flavor makes these pudding cookies irresistible!

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The pistachio pudding mix adds only the slightest hint of pistachio flavor, so if you prefer more pistachio, I’d toss in a cup or so of the chopped nuts. And if you want greener cookies, say, for St. Patrick’s Day, add a few drops of green food coloring. Or do both and see just how magical these cookies can be.

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Salted Dark Chocolate Pistachio Puddnig Cookies -- the combination of salt, dark chocolate and hint of pistachio flavor makes these pudding cookies irresistible!


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Printable recipe for salted dark chocolate pistachio pudding cookies below. Enjoy!
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Salted Dark Chocolate Pistachio Pudding Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
If you like a hint of pistachio flavor combined with sea salt and dark chocolate, you'll love these salted dark chocolate pistachio pudding cookies. Makes approximately 3½ dozen.
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (3.4-oz) package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pistachios (optional)
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream together butter and sugars in a large bowl. Beat in instant pudding mix until blended. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in chocolate chunks and pistachios.
  5. Place rounded tablespoonfuls of dough on ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are set. Let cool 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

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If you’re looking for more yummy cookies, you should browse my desserts {cookies} Pinterest board.

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Follow Emily Hill’s board desserts {cookies} on Pinterest.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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We Switched From Tempur-Pedic to intelliBED Faster Than You Can Say “Sweet Dreams”

2015 February 20
by Emily Hill

Disclosure: Though intelliBED provided us with a Relief Perfect bed, we purchased the Tempur-Pedic all by ourselves and regretted every minute of sleep on that thing. Post may include affiliate links.
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This is the first of a series of posts sharing why we switched from Tempur-Pedic to intelliBED and discovered how intelliBED is perfecting the science of sleep . . .
or the science sweet dreams.

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Tempurpedic vs intelliBED - why we switched to intelliBED faster than you can say Sweet Dreams
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After 14 years—and countless restless nights accompanied by countless aches and pains—it was time to replace our old-school pillow top mattress. But which mattress should we buy? I know! Let’s ask friends and family on Facebook. Crowdsourcing is perfect in this type of situation.

But not this time. Our “crowd” told us Tempur-Pedic was the way to go.

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Tempurpedic vs intelliBED - why we switched to intelliBED faster than you can say Sweet Dreams
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And it so wasn’t. And I so posted this on Facebook the next morning:

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Tempurpedic vs intelliBED - why we switched to intelliBED faster than you can say Sweet Dreams
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Most of the replies were along the lines of “give it a few weeks” and “it can take about 30 days.” Funny story. The sales guy at the store even told us he had to rotate the mattress and sleep on his wife’s side for a few weeks as she was much lighter than he and needed help breaking it in.

Funny in a “we no longer own a Tempur-Pedic” kind of way.

But then I came across these comments:

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Tempurpedic vs intelliBED - why we switched to intelliBED faster than you can say Sweet Dreams
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I started to wonder if we’d chosen the wrong mattress. I was intrigued by this intelliBED with its magical intelli-GEL but figured we ought to give that Tempur-Pedic a couple more weeks . . . even though I have a firm belief it shouldn’t take more than a few days to get used to a new mattress.

Well into our second week we were wishing we had our old mattress back never mind its permanent valleys on either side. That’s when we decided it was time to learn more about intelliBED. The more we read, the more we felt buying an intelliBED mattress would be a genius move on our part. Why? Because intelliBED has lots of amazing features (you can read more about them here) but a few really sold me:

  • Completely non-toxic (google “memory foam off-gassing” for fun; you’ll see why in the second video I make a point of how uncool it was my pj’s and pillowcase smelled like memory foam)
  • Best pressure relief (great for my side sleeping)
  • Best back support (super important for Nathan)
  • 30-year warranty (YES, 30 YEARS!)
  • 60-day risk-free trial (how else can you tell if you like a mattress?)

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We were more than ready to switch, and because we thought there may be others out there feeling the same, we thought it would be fun to share a bit of our story.
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And even more fun (lots more fun!) to share the top 5 reasons we dislike Tempur-Pedic and the joy I experienced the day our intelliBED Relief Perfect mattress arrived.

Who knew American Authors would understand exactly how I felt?
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After three weeks on that Tempur-Pedic, this was the happiest thing to pull into my driveway since the UPS man delivered my red Italian leather boots.

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Tempurpedic vs intelliBED - why we switched to intelliBED faster than you can say Sweet Dreams
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And this was the happiest thing I’d seen in my office since Nathan set me up with two monitors.

Goodbye, Tempur-Pedic. Don’t let the door hit your box spring on the way out.

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Tempurpedic vs intelliBED - why we switched to intelliBED faster than you can say Sweet Dreams
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Stay tuned as we share more of our story  including our meeting with intelliBED founder Bob Rasmussen (he sheds some light on this whole “perfecting the science of sleep” thing) and what we really thought of our first couple weeks on that crazy awesome intelli-GEL.

Until then, you should probably switch out whatever mattress you have for an intelliBED, especially since I get to offer ITRML readers 10% OFF your intelliBED purchase. For reals. Plus if you buy a mattress by February 28th, you’ll get a set of Dream Fit Bamboo Cotton Quilted Sheets ($250 value) with your purchase. Talk about sweet dreams! Just click the image below or go to http://bit.ly/buyintelliBED and use code ISTHISREALLYMYLIFE.

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intelliBED coupon code for February
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Like the quote on that page says, buy an intelliBED. Now.

You can thank me later.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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V8 Makes a Tasty Move With New Protein Bars and Shakes + GIVEAWAY

2015 February 19
by Emily Hill

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of V8 Protein. All opinions are 100% mine.

Yep, I’m one of those who actually enjoyed drinking a can of the original V8—you know, the one that was fully loaded tomato juice. Then came their V8 Splash line and I was hooked on the Berry Blend. Now V8 has a new line of V8 Protein shakes and bars and I’m once again a fan.
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It’s kind of nice when you can curb those cravings and get a boost of energy from ingredients you’re familiar with like honey and brown rice. For example, V8 Protein Shakes blend dairy, soy, pea, brown rice and quinoa proteins with sweet honey and sugar for a great on-the-go (i.e., late-for-the-gym) breakfast. V8 Protein Bars blend soy protein, nuts, oats and spices so you have a delicious snack during those crazy busy hours between lunch and dinner. The protein shakes come in Chocolate, Vanilla and Chocolate Raspberry. They offer 12 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, a quarter cup of vegetables and as much calcium and Vitamin D as a glass of milk…all without high fructose corn syrup.

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V8 Protein Shakes review
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Let’s take a closer look at all that V8 goodness…

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V8 Protein Shakes review

V8 Protein Shakes review
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Did you catch that part about as much fiber as a cup of kale? I would SO much rather get my fiber via a delicious chocolate protein shake (and the chocolate is definitely my favorite) than a cup of kale, but maybe that’s just me. Now for those V8 Protein bars. Those babies come in Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Pomegranate and Oatmeal Raisin. They provide 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and a quarter cup of vegetables and taste great without the addition of high fructose corn syrup.

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V8 Protein Bars review
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Let’s zoom in a bit…

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V8 Protein Bars review

V8 Protein Bars review
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The Oatmeal Raisin was for sure my favorite. It tasted just like a frosted oatmeal cookie but slightly less decadent. I find it the perfect snack between breakfast and lunch on spin class days. It helps battle crazy snack cravings, which is good because my freezer always seems to have a batch of cookies hidden in its depths. It would be worth your time to learn more about V8 Protein bars and shakes. They just may be the energy you’ve been looking for. Nothing but good stuff in those bars and shakes. V8 Protein Bars and shakes can be purchased online on Amazon (Buy now!). You can also find them in your local store’s health and beauty aisles.
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Visit Sponsors Site

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Now it’s time to give you the chance to taste the delicious new V8 Protein bars and shakes!
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One (1) lucky ITRML reader will win a V8 Protein package that includes samples of their new shakes and bars!

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You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Isopure: Whey Protein Isolate Never Tasted So Good

2015 February 16
by Emily Hill

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Isopure.

We all know protein is used to build up, keep up, and replace the tissues in your body. But it’s not just for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. Your muscles, your organs, and some of your hormones are mostly protein. We have been fans of whey protein for years. Considered better for muscle building and recovery than its soy counterpart, it makes a great pre- or post-workout drink. It also makes a quick-and-easy (and healthy) breakfast option when running late for work. Just ask my husband.

But whey protein contains lactose, so if you’re sensitive to milk proteins, this can make for some serious discomfort during your workout. That’s why many people, even those who aren’t lactose intolerant, prefer whey protein isolate. And if you’re doing the isolate thing, you’ll want to do Isopure. Their products use 100% whey protein isolate, which offers the highest absorption rate, is lactose-free, low calorie and has little or no fat, impurities or carbs.

Of course there’s your whey protein isolate powders and Isopure has a plethora of options in a variety of flavors. You’ve got your Zero Carb (11 flavors), Original (3 flavors), Endurance, Mass (for the bulker-uppers) and Unflavored. They even have a Portable (20-packet boxes).

We tested the Isopure Zero Carb in Creamy Vanilla and I will say this, for a whey protein isolate that mixes with water (not my first choice), it wasn’t too bad.

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Isopure Zero Carb Whey Protein Isolate Creamy Vanilla
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To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite whey protein powder (I’m more of a “peanut butter chocolate with a bit of carbs so it’s sweeter” kinda gal) but it wasn’t bad. For a gluten-, lactose- and aspartame-free powdered protein that boasts 50 grams of protein per serving, I’d say it’s fairly impressive.

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Isopure Zero Carb Whey Protein Isolate Creamy Vanilla
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We tried making a bit of a shake with the Zero Carb Creamy Vanilla. We took:

  • 12 ounces of almond milk
  • 2 scoops of the whey protein isolate
  • 1 cup of frozen peaches
  • A dollop of strawberry jam (for my sweet tooth)

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Isopure Zero Carb Whey Protein Isolate in Creamy Vanilla
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If we’d thrown in in a handful of ice, it would have been perfect. And I think Isopure’s Zero Carb Creamy Vanilla would make the perfect addition to any vanilla-flavored smoothie.

But by far my favorite Isopure product is Cocotein. What is Cocotein? It’s coconut water + Isopure protein. And it’s delicious.

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Isopure Cocotein Coconut Water Protein Drink
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Isopure Cocotein Coconut Water Protein Drink has an impressive 20 grams of protein per serving, is made with 21% juice and that same 100% pure whey protein isolate and is gluten free, lactose free and sugar free. All that and just 100 calories per bottle.

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Isopure Cocotein Coconut Water Protein Drink
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Cocotein comes in Tropical, Fruit Punch and Original Flavors. While each flavor is refreshing, I’m a huge fan of the Tropical. Just make sure you drink ‘em cold. They’re not bad room temperature, but they’re twice as refreshing when chilled.

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Isopure Cocotein Coconut Water Protein Drink
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Fridays are my double workout days (Pilates and Zumba) and soon I’ll be throwing some swimming into my weekly workouts. I don’t get nearly enough protein as it is, so I’ll for sure be adding Isopure Cocotein to my post workout recovery…along with a large Diet Coke around 2:00 p.m.

If you want to learn more about Isopure and their products, visit TheIsopureCompany.com. You can also find Isopure on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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