Product Review: Bariwise Hot Chocolate (Cinnamon)

Good morning everyone.  Today could be described very easily as “frigid” here in South Dakota.   The high is 0, the low is -11, with windchill varying between -30 and -40 Fahrenheit.

I woke up this morning and it was so cold out, I decided to break in my new box of DietDirect product, in this case, the Cinnamon flavored Hot Chocolate made by Bariwise.  It’s cooling next to me while I write this intro…

Fast forward 10 minutes while I wrote the rest of the packaging information, and it’s time for my first sip.  The cinnamon is really apparent, it’s the cinnamon flavor that’s similar to the syrup form of cinnamon (like what you get at coffee shops), rather than the ground cinnamon flavor.  The chocolate is definitely there, no weird aftertaste so far.  Sip # 2: OK, there are still “clumps” in the hot chocolate, very possible I didn’t stir it enough (I tend to rush things).  So next time, I’ll throw this badboy in my Magic Bullet and see how it comes out.  I will admit that I added 6 ounces of water (heated in the microwave to boiling, then let it cool a few seconds) mixed with 2 ounces of milk, to add some creaminess to this drink.  Overall I’d say that this drink mix is definitely a keeper, and

Here’s  the nutritional information:

Calories: 80
Fat: <1g
Sodium: 210mg
Potassium: 170mg
Total Carbohydrate: 5g
Dietary Fiber: <1g
Sugars: 2g
Protein: 15g


Now, for the “how to” portion of this review. If you’ve ever tried to make hot chocolate out of a pudding/shake mix, or out of GNC Amp 60, you’ll know what chances you’re taking by adding hot water to the mix, literally.  Typically, I’d use my Magic Bullet personal blender to make frothy coffee/amp combinations, but if I ever tried to let it be hot, the mix never dissolved and became chunky, chalky, and so gross there was no way that I could drink the stuff.  Now enters the beauty of the “Hot Drinks“.  These puppies are made to get hot, literally.  Simply throw the mix in a cup, add 6-8 ounces hot (not boiling) water, and voila, hot cocoa!

Now I’ll take a look at this compared to my favorite: Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa (you know, the powdered packet of its own!)

Calories: 90
Fat: 2g
Saturated: 2g
Sodium: 150g
Potassium: 270mg
Total Carbohydrates: 16g
Dietary Fiber: 0
Sugars: 8g
Protein: 1g

So, what I end up with is: 10 fewer calories, basically 2g less of fat, more sodium, less potassium, fewer carbs, more fiber, less sugar and way more protein.  Now, compared to what I NORMALLY do to my hot cocoa, which includes replacing all the water with milk, and *cough* doubling up on the packets, it’s obviously significantly fewer calories.

I’m excited to continue reviewing more DietDirect products.  Tonight is going to be the Cinnamon Crisp Meal Replacement Bar, created by WonderSlim (I already know I love it, but will focus on the review for it).

~As always, if you’re curious about trying the hot cocoa from DietDirect, now is the time to get 20% off all hot drinks, the sale is done this upcoming Sunday I believe (February 3?)  And if you’re on the fence, you can use my $10 discount on your first order, so you get the cocoa for free (after the discount it’s like $9.80 or something).

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Thank You to my Referral Buddies!

I’d like to pass along this sincere THANK YOU to those who have so far taken advantage of the $10 discount for their first order to DietDirect.  By doing this, you are also helping me earn “Referral Points” so I can get more products to try out and review on my blog.  For those of you on the fence about ordering from DietDirect, here’s the link for the discount.  You’ll still pay shipping if the order total is under $49, so please be aware of that.  My shipping total last time was $4.99 and my products arrived in 4 business days.

DietDirect does offer a money back guarantee, so if you ever try a product and it is horrendous, you can return it for a refund as well.

Just putting that out there for the world.

Horrified at Stomach Pumping Machine

So I happened upon a link to ABCNews a few days ago, and meant to write about this, but ran out of motivation unfortunately.

The Aspire Assist

This is the AspireAssist, a tube that goes directly from your stomach (like, the organ), out of your abdominal muscle/skin and is attached manually to a pump about 20 minutes after eating.  At this point, 30% of the ingested food will be sucked out by the pump and dumped into a toilet.

Here’s the video that I watched on ABC’s News site:

A few things to get straight:  This is not FDA approved, so it’s not available to us in the US.  Next, this is considered for long term weight management.  That means, you keep this tube for as long as you like, and don’t need to learn to eat better, exercise, moderate portion sizes, or any of those other “pesky” weight loss “gimmicks” (please read the sarcasm here).  When I was in highschool, girls who had eating disorders were scorned, mocked, degraded, and sure, maybe envied for their willowesque figures.

But now, as adults, we understand that eating disorders are not healthy.  So how is this any different than say, bulimia? Sure, you aren’t ripping apart your esophagus with stomach acid, nor are you eroding your teeth, but you are still controlling the aftermath of eating, rather than controlling the eating in the first place.   This has been done so far in a few countries in Europe, including Sweden (if I remember correctly) and here are some things that patients and doctors have mentioned.

“Some people manage to lose weight on a diet, but the kinds of changes you need to make to keep it off are probably not sustainable for many,” she said. “There’s a lot to be said for people being in the driver’s seat with their own body, with their own health. This allows a patient to do that while under the care of a physician.” ~ Katherine D. Crothall, president and CEO of Aspire Bariatrics, the maker of the AspireAssist

Really?  So the problem is that we can’t maintain our weight loss?  No kidding!  That’s not news, that’s life.

From Wall-E in the year 2805

But, Crothall believes that this pump can help us keep our weight managed (without the irritation of being responsible for our actions, rather we just deal with the consequences more efficiently).

“People often wish they could just eat and make the calories go away. It was only a matter of time before someone came up with this. This is an enabling device, not a helping device ,it doesn’t do anything to make someone change their relationship with food. Once you put this in someone, they’re never going to want it taken out.” ~ Keith Ayoob, an associate clinical professor of nutrition at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City

Oh thank God, someone with some sense, and even a PHD!

Now here’s the funniest part.  This is supposed to be a “temporary” solution, because surgery is long-term and pretty much unchangeable without additional surgery, right?

Crothall (creator and CEO) said that her company hadn’t looked at how weight loss is maintained once the device is removed but was marketing the device for long-term use. She said that trial participants were offered counseling to help them modify their eating habits, but there was only anecdotal evidence that any of them made changes.

Cederhag said he’d eventually like to get to the point where he no longer needed the pump, but if he couldn’t maintain his lower weight without it, he’d be fine with keeping the AspireAssist in indefinitely.

So…back to square one.  We are now turning into the people in Wall-E.  We’ll be relying on machines to do the work so we don’t have to.

My mind is still reeling, I’m just hoping that this doesn’t become a solution for many, as it is clearly designed to be.  I can understand if someone is “morbidly” obese then any method to help them lose weight would be better than nothing (right? Maybe not?  I just never know anymore), and if this would be the only way they could get down to a weight that they could even consider starting to exercise at, then maybe it’s not so bad?  I’m being my own devil’s advocate here, and my brain is really having a hard time justifying the insanity of this.

What are your thoughts?  Would you have a tube in your abdomen to help you lose weight?  Why or why not?

Don’t Give in to Cravings

So, last night was a particular horrendous night for me, diet-speaking.  I haven’t been following any particular plan, but cooking at home from scratch tends to lend itself towards healthier eating in general.  However, after having my pork tenderloin and home made mashed potatoe (yes, just one small red potato) I was left less than satisfied.  I managed to make it over two hours before I started mindlessly eating…and it was the worst possible option: peanut butter and chocolate chips.  The reason behind the choice?  It’s the only relatively sweet thing that is in my house right now (scary, right?).

The major problem was that as I lifted the spoonfull of peanut butter (with chocolate chips dropped on top) to my mouth, my husband looks over at me and says “Really?”  I stopped, looked down at the spoon of peanut butter and chocolate and promptly shoved it in my mouth.  After one bite, however, the guilt won out against the sweets craving and I put the rest back in the cupboard (I had scooped the peanut butter out into a custard cup).

This morning I woke up, still wanting the same thing.  I got past it with some Frosted Mini Wheats – Bitesized – Cinnamon Roll flavored cereal in heated milk.  Basically it has the consistency of like, oatmeal, but tastes like a cinnamon roll.  Not bad if you’re in a pinch for something sweet, I decided.

I’m not sure what the deal is with the cravings, could be hormonal, could be life in general.  All I know, is that last night the cravings were akin to those I had when I was on Ideal Protein, not an ounce better, at all.

This morning I’m feeling more in control, albeit not as much as I’d like, but today I am going to make healthy decisions, go to the gym, and feel good about myself.  At least, that is the plan.  Well, I’m off to start my day, hopefully on the right side of the bed this time, pack my gym bag and get ready to go.

Have a great day, everyone!