What’s in the mail {giveaway}

by Kim on May 23, 2013

I think there’s an unwritten rule that all healthy living bloggers must, at some point, proclaim their love for coconut water.

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But before I tell you how I feel about the stuff, I have a gripe to share with you.

There’s this book I read to Mason before bed. It’s called:

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Normally, I’m not one to sit around critiquing baby board books (although, honestly, some of the plotlines are pretty thin) but I have a real beef with this one.

In the beginning of the book, the animals are getting ready for bed. They take a bath and put their pajamas on, and it’s all kosher until THIS PART:

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What?? Right after taking a bath, putting their PJs on, and brushing their teeth, they exercise?? And then go straight to bed?

Now, if they were doing yoga, that would be one thing. But the moose is clearly doing clean and presses, the lion is running, the bear is doing push-ups (with very poor form), and the hippo…I don’t know, is that Zumba?

I just don’t understand the author’s thinking on this one. I realize that “exercise” rhymes with “rise” and everything, but there has to be something more logical they could do. I mean, they don’t even read a bedtime story, and you’d think the author of a bedtime story would think of that.

Ok. Phew. Thank you for letting me get that off my chest.

Now, on to coconut water!

The first time I tried the stuff, about a year or so ago, I was not impressed.

I’d been drinking coconut milk for awhile, and I think I expected it to taste similar. (If anyone else out there might be thinking the same thing, let me spare you the shock: it does not.)

So when the nice people at Zola offered to send over some of their coconutty products, I was wary. But I’ve also heard that the brand of coconut water you get is very important, which led me to reason that maybe I’d just picked wrong the first time. (I honestly don’t remember what brand I tried, but it wasn’t Zola.) I also thought that I might have a better experience if I didn’t go into it expecting it to taste like a melted Almond Joy.

Ultimately, after several lengthy conversations with my agent (yeah right), I decided to give Zola the nod and coconut water one more chance.

Now, what I did NOT know is that they’d be sending me these amazing green shades too.

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Yes, ma’am.

Mason loved them too—for about 12 seconds, until he poked himself in the eye.

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Another day, another questionable parenting decision…

Anyway, here’s the full spread of goodies Zola sent me:

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I know—you’re distracted by the incredible eyewear. Ok. Here’s a closer look at the actual drinks:

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Total honesty here: When I took my first sip of the original (blue can), I had the same reaction as before—something along the lines of, “GAAH, what IS this?” Isn’t it supposed to taste like a pina colada?

But no. No, it’s not. It’s supposed to taste like a real coconut. Per the can, drinking it is like “cracking a fresh coconut and sticking in a straw.” (Also per the can, it boasts 5 essential electrolytes and more potassium than a banana, which makes it a solid recovery drink. But it’s pretty dang hard to compete with chocolate milk…)

By the time I got about 1/4 of the way down the can, I was used to the taste, and I actually, surprisingly, started warming up to it. Then, each time I went for another sip, I liked it a little bit more.

For the record: I was 100% planning to come on here and tell you it’s just not for me if I still hated it. But it’s actually pretty decent. I won’t be running to the store to buy more or anything, but it’s better than I thought. I’d call it an acquired taste.

I had a pretty similar experience with the Acai juice—initial impression: no thank you. A couple sips in: not bad!

Another thing I got in the mail recently is a greens supplement drink called Genesis, made by a company called Prograde. Prograde sent me a free box of drink packets to try in exchange for my honest review.

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Now, when it comes to supplements and fancy nutrition drinks, I’m just as skeptical as the next guy.

The million dollar questions are: Aren’t I already getting all this in my food, and aren’t companies just banking on their ability to convince me that I need to cover my bases with some all-encompassing (and expensive) power drink?

Maybe, and maybe.

But if you’re self-conscious about your less-than-stellar veggie intake, or you’d like to add more fiber/probiotics to your diet without popping more pills, a greens drink doesn’t hurt, assuming it’s a good one.

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When I first checked out Prograde’s site, I was skeptical. The site felt gimmicky, like an infomercial.

However, the product itself looked very promising. Genesis is an all-natural mix that includes berries, fruits, and veggies—simple stuff like acai, kale, asparagus, and green bell pepper—a mushroom blend (meant to support the immune system), a fiber blend, and a probiotic blend.

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The main goals of Genesis are to:

  • Reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Keep blood sugar and insulin function stable.
  • Soothe the digestive tract.
  • Help the immune system function at its best.

The probiotic blend itself is pretty impressive, when compared to the standard probiotic pills I have: there are 100 million lactobacillus acidophilus (a “friendly” bacteria) in my pills vs. 2 billion in the drink. The drink also includes 2 other kinds of probiotic bacteria and contains 65 mg of bacteria total, versus the measly 1 mg in my pills.

But most importantly: how does it taste?

Not terrific. But tolerable. It has a strong lemon-lime flavor, which isn’t typically my favorite thing, but I could see myself getting used to it.

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Honestly, the fact that it doesn’t taste like a chocolate milkshake actually makes me trust it a little bit more. This is a “real” green drink. (I mean, they obviously could have added a bunch of sugar if they wanted to, right?)

The texture is kind of strange, too: it’s very gritty at first, but the company warned me about that specifically. As they told me, if you wait a few minutes, the mixture starts to firm up a bit and “suspend” the grittiness, resulting in a pretty creamy final texture.

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Giveaway!

Prograde would like to offer a free box of Genesis drink packets (a $79.95 value) to one lucky HN reader. To enter the contest, mention in a comment below what appeals to you most about the idea of a greens drink. (Getting your daily veggie servings in? Probiotics? Fiber?)

The contest closes Monday, May 27, and I’ll announce the winner shortly after.

Do you like coconut water?

Have you ever tried a greens supplement drink?

Do you take probiotics?

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Kammie @ Sensual Appeal May 27, 2013 at 11:02 am

What appeals to me the most is that it’s easier to get my veggies in! So I want to try this product. I think if I used it in a smoothie with some fruit and ice, it could taste good!
Kammie @ Sensual Appeal recently posted…Is the “Social Academy” worth it? My review of the program – the ending might surprise you! (Sweaty Betties & BexLife)My Profile

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Debbie @ Healthy Running Mom May 27, 2013 at 6:30 am

I love the fact that I get all of the above; my veggies, probiotics & fiber.
Can’t beat any of that in one drink & you’re done! That’s the best!
Debbie @ Healthy Running Mom recently posted…Meatless MondayMy Profile

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MrsB May 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I take probiotics religiously every day but coconut water – yuck! :) It was yuck first time I tried it out of a coconut in Mexico 17 years ago and it’s still yuck now after having tried a few brands. Oh well. I love everything else made from coconut.
MrsB recently posted…Staying away from dairy: WHY and HOW and WHAT ABOUT MY BONES??My Profile

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Kim May 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Agreed!! I’m obsessed with most things coconut, but this just isn’t one of them.

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emma May 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I do drink coconut water…the chocolate flavored kind! So good. Kinda like chocolate milk. :)
I would love to enter the contest but the supplements have wheat in them so I can’t- boo. Gluten intolerant here. :/
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Kim May 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I didn’t know there was chocolate flavored coconut water!! That changes everything!!

Sorry about the no-go on the contest! :(

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Kim May 23, 2013 at 1:06 pm

I have never tried coconut water (weird, I know!).
Funny – a friend and I had a big discussion on that book for the same reason it bugged you! Clearly the author has never put small children to bed.
Kim recently posted…Day 250 = 250 Minute Run turned into a 200 Minute RunMy Profile

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Carrie H May 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm

I have a tough time getting all my greens much less half my meals with running the kids to and fro.
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Katie @ running4cupcakes May 23, 2013 at 9:41 am

I think the same thing about the going to bedtime book! Luke loves it, so we read it, but really as a aerobics instructor, I feel like I have to fix the bear’s pushup form everytime! And Luke wears sunglasses for about 30 seconds before we are at risk for losing an eye. . . oh well, I think he would look pretty cool with an eye patch – is that bad parenting?? ;)

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Kim May 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

Haha–I’m afraid almost everything is bad parenting, Katie…or that’s how I feel sometimes, anyway. :)

I’m so glad to hear that someone else has been perplexed by the same book! Ha!

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Becky @ TheBexFactor May 23, 2013 at 9:35 am

I love the shades! I just can’t get on board with coconut water. I’ve tried a few different brands and flavours but just can’t do it

I like the fact that the even drink has probiotics in. I need to incorporate those daily but I never remember to take pills. The extra veggies doesn’t hurt either!

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Kim May 23, 2013 at 11:25 am

I think I’m with you on the coconut water, Becky. Finally, a fad I’m actually not obsessed with!

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Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate May 23, 2013 at 8:59 am

Sweet shades! I think what appeals to me most about green drinks (besides all of the great health benefits) is the fact that I have never honestly tried one before!

As for coconut water, I was always apprehensive in trying it out until I tried drinking out of an actual coconut and tasting the water. I find it pretty tasty now!

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Kim May 23, 2013 at 11:25 am

See, I always expected that to taste like a pina colada. It’s all about expectations. :)

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Meredith N. May 23, 2013 at 8:47 am

I love that the Prograde packets aren’t your typical supplements. I always have high hopes that shakes will taste amazing and I’m usually just setting myself up for disappointment. The fact that they aid in soothing the digestive tract is definitely a plus for my sensitive stomach!

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Kim May 23, 2013 at 11:30 am

Well, like I said, this is no sugary chocolate shake! But it’s not atrocious either. I was thinking about experimenting with mixing the powder into a smoothie–or maybe even a chocolate shake. :)

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