If you follow me on social media, you might have noticed that I was completely stoked to be chosen as a ShiftCon Love recipient. In case you’ve never heard of it, ShiftCon is an eco-wellness influencer conference focusing on food, wellness, health, sustainability and platform growth. The Love program allows influencers to try out some of the participating brands after the conference is over. So during the rest of this month, keep an eye out here and on my Instagram for my thoughts on everything from probiotics and vitamins to soaps and even a water filtering system. Obviously, I’ve gotten these products as samples but all opinions are strictly my own.
Today I’m going to focus on the food items I’ve received. Because food is one of my favorite things, next to ridiculous shoes and Hercule Poirot.
My philosophy on healthy, all-natural foods is kind of complicated. I prefer to eat things that are good for my body and good for the environment. Yet life is short and I also want things that taste amazing. Plus, I feel like so many of the brands riding the natural food craze aren’t actually healthy or natural at all. I feel like the ShiftCon people have done their homework, though, and are dedicated to finding truly trustworthy brands.
The first one I tested out is SeaSnax. They make a variety of snack foods from seaweed. Yes, seaweed. I’m not going to lie, my first thought was great googly moogly, what won’t I try for you people? But I decided to dive right in like a brave little cephalopod. And you know what? They’re actually really freaking good! Their tagline is “Strangely addictive” and I could not think of a more apt description.
The ones I loved were the Lime SeaSnax Sheets, which are basically paper-thin sheets of roasted seaweed seasoned with a bit of olive oil, lime and sea salt. They are certified organic, gluten-free, paleo and gmo-free. The sheets look almost like feather-light panes of stained glass. They dissolve instantly in your mouth. The taste they leave behind is the star here. It’s hard to describe…earthy, briny, tangy. It’s just delicious and it’s one of those tastes you can recall with perfect clarity hours later, making you crave it again.
The one problem with the SeaSnax sheets is that they aren’t even slightly filling. Which is, I’m certain, the reason they made the Chomperz, which are seaweed wrapped in crisp rice puffs. I tried the Original flavor of these, and I have to say I didn’t love them nearly as much as the sheets. On the plus side, they are satisfyingly crunchy and make for a more filling choice. To me, though, they just tasted like rice cakes- the flavor punch of the seaweed sheets was lost.
I decided the most brilliant plan would be to eat a Chomperz followed by a SeaSnax sheet so you get both the crunch and the flavor!
We eat a ton of peanut butter around here, but I’ve actually never tried almond butter before. This definitely has that smoother almond flavor, a little more sophisticated than the peanut. I also found the consistency to be somewhat thinner than peanut butter, even after I had re-mixed it. No, I didn’t throw it on the turntable and lay down a funky chunky beat. The oil in the almond butter just tends to separate naturally and needs to be mixed together before using.
The chia seeds give it a satisfying texture and the all-natural ingredients really shine through- including honey and pink Himalayan salt. The almond butter is gluten-free and very good. At $14.99 a jar, it does have a gourmet price that I’m not sure I would be able to afford all of the time, but it’s worth it as a special treat. The company also offers peanut, seed and cashew butter- the latter of which I find intriguing and may try soon.
Last but not least in our new food adventures, we have Cybele’s Free to Eat Rotini. These are lentil-based pasta, free from the top eight food allergens. Plus, they’re packed full of protein and vitamins. These are super easy to make- if you can boil water, you’ve got this. And you can add any kind of sauce you prefer. Me, I like a little olive oil and Parmesan, perhaps mixed in with sliced mushrooms and fire-blistered cherry tomatoes.
The Red Superfood Rotini features red lentils, beets, sweet potatoes and carrots. The Green Superfood is made with green lentils, kale, broccoli and spinach. Of the two, I think I preferred the green. For those who can’t enjoy regular pasta, these will be a revelation. And for others who just want a healthier version of dishes they already love, I feel like these are a good replacement. They don’t leave you feeling like you’re missing out on something better- the flavor and consistency are good. And they do bring a gorgeous color to your meals.
I feel like I lucked out with these three brands. Each of them found a way to put a healthy yet tasty new twist on old favorites. Sometimes healthy and natural really doesn’t have to mean bland and unsatisfying!