Egg-White MRM Protein Powder Update on Dairy Contamination

On June 28th, I wrote about how I got sick from MRM’s Vanilla Egg-White protein powder which claims to be dairy-free. I’m one of the rare individuals who is extremely allergic to the protein in dairy. When I spoke to MRM, they admitted it was made on shared equipment with their whey protein powder and said the product may contain trace amounts of dairy. MRM picked up my canister of protein powder and had it tested by a third party. MRM called me back with the results and said their dairy-free products do contain a small amount of dairy, typically 10 PPM (parts per million), but this particular batch had much more, at 26 PPM.

MRM said these amounts are very low and those allergic shouldn’t have a reaction. The thing is, I did feel ill with the batch contaminated with the higher amount of whey protein, and each subsequent time I made a fruit smoothie with this batch of protein powder, there was a quicker and stronger anaphylactic reaction.

I didn’t initially know what was making me sick since I’ve been consuming this protein powder for years. After several days of feeling ill after having my protein drink is when I put two and two together.

Now when I read a label and it says it’s dairy-free I also look to see if it’s made on shared equipment. Sometimes I take a risk, other times I let my woman’s intuition decide. It’s really unfortunate that manufacturing equipment is so expensive that companies have to make various products on the same machines. Or maybe the companies are too cheap and greedy. It’s a shame that we have to put our health on the line just so large corporations can fill their pockets.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

Remember when you were a kid and mom would make peanut butter cookies and you couldn’t wait to lick the batter? I came up with a healthier vegan and gluten-free version without the sugar, butter, flour or eggs.

1/3 cup quinoa flakes (toasted oats would probably work well too)

2 T unsweetened peanut butter

2 T honey

1 T coconut water (if mixture is too dry)

1 T salted chopped peanuts (optional)

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla protein powder

Pinch of cacao nibs or 1-2 teaspoons of chocolate chips

Mix all except cacao/chocolate until smooth. Divide dough into two portions. Top with cacao nibs or chocolate chips. Serves two. Approx 275 calories.

Snack Time: What to eat

sweet potato and walnuts

Between 2:30 and 3:00 every afternoon I’m hungry, but I don’t want a small meal because I don’t want to ruin my appetite since we eat an early dinner. I want to eat something healthy, but I want it to be quick. A bar is always easy, but I want variety. Today I opened a can of sweet potato puree, added some crushed walnuts and scooped it out with a spoon. Yummy! I also like hot, cooked mashed yams, sprinkled with cinnamon, and topped with toasted walnut pieces. The flavors are warm reminders of happy holidays.

How to make dumbbell chest flys easier and fun

Most people do dumbbell chest flys on a bench, but I don’t like it because my arms can go too far back and the last time I did chest flys on a bench my left arm bent backwards and the weight dropped to the floor. That hurt.

Now I do chest flys on a ball. It’s nice and cushy on my back. I can use heavier weights and I engage my glutes, hamstrings and abs. Sweet!

Roll back onto the ball with shoulders, head and neck onto the ball. You should be in bridge with feet about hip-width apart. My trainer has me doing five chest flys and then alternating chest flys which works balance and core too.

Now you have something to do on that ball that’s sitting in the corner collecting dust.

How often should I lift weights?

It’s best to lift weights three to four times a week and you want to do three to four sets for each muscle group you are working to get the best bang for your buck. For example, today I worked biceps and triceps. For my biceps workout I did four sets of hammer curls, four sets of dumbbell curls, and four sets of straight bar curls. That takes time.

A friend of mine goes to the gym twice a week and in that time he tries to get in everything in just two days. I told him that’s crazy.  You’d either be spending several hours each time you work out, or not getting in an effective workout.

Whatever you decide, make sure to give your muscles time off after a hard workout; a two-day rest is a good idea. If your legs are so tired that you have to climb up your stairs on your hands and knees like a newborn, then you need a break!

How often should I exercise?

Back when I was in high school I would go to the gym and jog on the treadmill every day. A senior male gym member told me that I shouldn’t exercise every day so I stopped going as often. I think back and wonder why I listed to him. He was overweight, didn’t work at the gym, and had no fitness-related certification that I was aware of. He was wrong! You should exercise EVERY day. The thing to realize is that what one person’s perception of exercise is, and what another’s person’s view of exercise is may be completely different. Someone may think of exercise as cleaning house or working in the garden, whereas an athlete may be thinking of a 3-hour hike.

What I’m referring to is movement. Everyone should move every day. You shouldn’t run every day or lift weights every day, but you definitely need to move for an hour every day. It’s not crazy or hard. If you have a dog, walk your canine 15 minutes, four times a day. Walk him in the morning, at lunch, midafternoon, and after dinner.

I wish I had a dog. I need to find a neighbor that will let me walk their dog, but then I’d want someone else to pick up the poop! Anyway, you can walk around the block, walk to the grocery store, garden, clean house…I don’t care…just make sure to move every day. Even on your days off from exercise, you want to be mobile. You’ll feel better and have more energy. Now move it!

How to lose 10 pounds in 30 minutes

Friday night I was watching 20/20 on TV and the topic of discussion was deception in weight-loss advertising which piqued my interest. Apparently, those before and after shots are taken the same day! How is it possible to look like you’ve lost weight in one day? The answer: lighting, a spray tan, and proper posture.

To replicate these results, the producers asked three men, who were fairly lean to begin with, to slouch and stick out their guts for the before photos. None of these men looked fat in the before photos, but they did look like they could lose a few pounds and tone up. Then the three men shaved their chests and got a professional spray tan. Next the men did sit ups and push ups to pump blood into their muscles to make them look more muscular. The men posed for the after shots, with perfect poses, stomachs sucked in, and arms flexed. It was amazing to see the transformation: from flabby to fit. Abdominal muscles were now apparent and strong biceps emerged.

This type of advertising is deceptive, but effective. To replicate these results, stand up straight with shoulders back and smile…you’ve now lost ten pounds!

Vegan Grape Icy Cooler


I’ve been making this refreshing vegan fruit smoothie all week so I thought you might like to make it too. It tastes like chilled honeydew in a glass. Yum!

1 cup chilled, washed green organic grapes

1 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)

3/4 scoop of sweetened vanilla protein powder

1/3 cup ice.

Mix all ingredients in blender except ice until blended. Add ice and mix again. That’s it!

Red Heads: what colors to wear

best clothing colors and make-up colors for red headsIf you’re a male or a female with red hair, you can make your skin look healthier and your eyes brighter by following the following clothing tips.

Don’t wear white, black, dark blue, red or pink shirts, scarves, glasses or hats (basically anything near your face and neck, since these colors clash with your completion). You can wear these colors as long as they are away from your face and hair; some examples are: pants, shoes, and belts.

Instead wear creams, browns, peaches (a perfect color for lipstick and shadow), turquoise, light blue, and magenta. You want to wear warm colors near your face since they will work with your skin color, instead of against it, and colors from the warm pallet will make your blue eyes pop!

Why you shouldn’t test your blood sugar during or right after exercise

I’ve found that blood sugars levels are inaccurate during exercise or right after exercise. The reason for this is if you are testing your blood sugar from drops of blood taken from your finger instead of from your arm (such as when a nurse draws your blood), there is a lag time when it comes to blood getting to your extremities. Because of this, for a diabetic, it’s important to check blood sugar BEFORE exercising. If you want to see what your blood sugar level is after your workout, give it an hour since it can take up to an hour for the blood sugar levels to normalize.

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