Health Hit-Or-Miss Opinion Packaged Food

These Snacks Might Be Able To Replace Traditional Protein Bars

There is a portion of this world that likes to be super active, whether it’s going on a hike, climbing Mt. Everest, or just gettin’ down ‘n dirty in the gym every day. With my 2-3 gentle yoga classes per week and a total lack of stamina when it comes to most anything else, I wouldn’t even dare to place myself within this pristine group of humans, but I appreciate what they do. I like to show my support by being a cheerleader or by taking on the responsibility of making sure everyone gets fed – two things I excel at on a daily basis.

While I may be a gym noob, I do know the most important part of working out is what you eat afterwards to replenish your nutrients. Here’s where Caveman Foods comes in. This company, co-founded by the dude who made Muscle Milk, strives to create delicious snacks packed with protein to give you that perfect post-workout or post-scaling-Mount-Everest fuel.


Caveman Foods has three main products: Primal Bars, Bites, and Jerky. Most of these snacks are not for the faint of heart, and by faint of heart I mean vegans/vegetarians. All three of these products use chicken meat as their base, which provides for a high protein and low fat snack. However, while they aren’t advertised as much as these baseline products, Caveman Foods does make nutrition bars that are nut-based and meat-free.

Let’s talk about these meat snacks for a second, though. In all honesty, eating meat in this format was a new thing for me. I’m usually an eat-steak-hot-off-the-grill kind of gal, but I found myself getting into this. Here’s my rundown of the products:


Chicken Bites: These are such a great idea. First of all, they’re portable and bite-sized, which makes everything better in my book. Also, it’s pretty incredible that these have 10 grams of protein per serving. Second of all, they come in interesting flavors, like habanero & green chili, sun dried tomato & kale and applewood smoked BBQ. The BBQ was definitely my favorite, as its smokiness really shined through. The habanero and green chili, on the other hand, was super spicy. I could definitely imagine it being a good pick-me-up after the gym.


Primal Bars: The primal bars are essentially the chicken bites but in a larger format, except they have 18 grams of protein instead of *just* ten. If you ask me, this format is probably the most efficient way to regain what you lost at the gym. If you’re a fan of fruit flavors with your meat (weird thing to say, but some people aren’t), you’ll definitely be into the sweet cherry flavor. I would say it’s more tangy than sweet, which was a good flavor combo with the chicken. The smoked jalapeño was a winner. What can I say, I love smoked meats. The texture of these bars are somewhat precarious, since the chicken is cooked and then chopped and formed into the bars. It was just a new texture for me since I’ve never eaten anything like this before.


Jerky: I’ve been eating jerky for as long as I can remember. It was always my dad’s go-to snack whenever we were on the road. Caveman Foods has a pretty dope take on this classic snack. Again, their jerky is made with chicken, which provides you the most protein with the least amount of fat. The texture of this snack is what you’d expect with a good jerky. I was pretty sold on this, especially because I tried the buffalo flavor. I am obsessed with buffalo to the point where you could probably douse anything in buffalo sauce and I will eat it. Please don’t take that as a challenge because I will probably lose.


Nutrition Bars: Okay, these were LIT. I would eat one of these every single day if I could. These come in almond cashew and maple nut flavors, of which the maple nut was definitely my favorite. This bar kind of tasted like those Nature’s Valley sweet & salty peanut bars but a million times better (and better for you). A lot of nut bars can be difficult to eat because they’re overly chewy or the nuts aren’t roasted and sweetened enough, but there were none of those issues here. Each bite was deliciously chewy and sweet, but not overly so. Totally a home run on this one.

Long story short, Caveman Foods is one of the good guys out there. For those of you with dietary restrictions, most of their products are gluten-free, milk-free, peanut-free, and many are 100% paleo. They also use only all-natural chicken and refuse to put nitrates in any of their products. If you’re looking for the perfect snack to refuel, Caveman Foods has got your back.



Photos by: Analiese Trimber


The Paleo Diet Is Pretty Much Bullsh*t, According to New Study


For years now, The Paleo Diet supporters have stridently advocated to the wide-eyed health-conscious that emulating the meat and vegetable-heavy diets of our ancestors who lived in the Paleolithic Period (hence the diet’s name) just made so much darn sense.

Well, new research says The Paleo Diet isn’t actually all that Paleolithic.

A study from Georgia State University to be published in The Quarterly Review of Biology contends that early humans were dietary jacks-of-all-trades.

Ken Sayers, an anthropologist and lead author of the study, said:

“Based on evidence that’s been gathered over many decades, there’s very little evidence that any early hominids had very specialized diets or there were specific food categories that seemed particularly important, with only a few possible exceptions. Some earlier workers had suggested that the diets of bears and pigs—which have an omnivorous, eclectic feeding strategy that varies greatly based on local conditions—share much in common with those of our early ancestors. The data tend to support this view.”


Besides “cavemen” being opportunistic eaters with much broader diets than paleo diet subscribers often contend, the anthropology team behind the study also emphasizes that early humans’ diet varied heavily by region—hunter-gatherers in colder climates relied almost exclusively on animals for food, while their equator-based counterparts incorporated plant-based resources.

As well, Sayers says that characterizing our ancestors’ diet as “healthy” isn’t easy since their lifespans were much shorter and because the diseases associated with modern diets today might only be apparent because we’re living long enough to see their effects.

On today’s goal of balancing a diet vs. our ancestors’ diets that were based on survival, Sayers said:

“Throughout the vast majority of our evolutionary history, balancing the diet was not a big issue. They were simply acquiring enough calories to survive and reproduce. Everyone would agree that ancestral diets didn’t include Twinkies, but I’m sure our ancestors would have eaten them if they grew on trees.”

So, one fad diet down, 1,000,000 more to go?

Written by NextShark‘s Alan Van 

Health Hit-Or-Miss

2014 in Food: Top 10 Fad Diets We All Googled This Year

According to Google, these are the diets you thought were interesting this year. Some of them actually work!

1. Paleo Diet


For the second year in a row, the Paleo diet has been the most Googled nutrition guideline. The diet claims to benefit its followers by limiting their meals to include ingredients available during the prehistoric era. The obvious problem with this is that people are following a diet with limited historic evidence. The British Dietetic Association considers the Paleo Diet to be one of the worst fad diets, just barely better than the urine diet.

2. Atkins Diet


A laundry list of celebrities and athletes has attributed this diet to substantial weight loss. Don’t worry, the reason the co-author of Atkins Diabetes Revolution was sentenced to 41 months in jail has nothing to do with the validity of the Atkins program. In fact, it’s one of the few popular diets to yield significant weight loss results.

3. Gluten-Free Diet

Even though there hasn’t been a rise in gluten allergies or the prevalence of celiac disease, increasing numbers of people are living a gluten-free lifestyle. People have WebMD-ed themselves into believing they have a gluten sensitivity of some kind and have caused a 68 percent spike in gluten-free food sales. While this particular diet is incredibly beneficial to those with celiac disease, it can cause serious nutritional deficiencies if not supplemented appropriately.

4. Mediterranean Diet

This diet is one of the few on this list actually supported by medical professionals. The protein and olive oil-filled diet has been consistently linked to health benefits and a recent study revealed that this way of eating protects your chromosomes from deteriorating.

5. DASH Diet

Considering that 67 million Americans have hypertension (high blood pressure) and only about half have their condition under control, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension is unsurprisingly nestled in the center of the list. This diet is rare in its universality of application from doctors and nutritionists alike. The diet functions as a way for those afflicted with hypertension to lower their sodium intake as well as their cholesterol.

6. Military Diet


This is actually a form of intermittent fasting. Participants lose weight by eating less than 1,000 calories for three days, followed by four days off (though it’s encouraged to limit calorie intake to 1,500). On this diet, you can eat a spectacular feast consisting of cheese, crackers, bananas, more crackers, tuna and even more crackers. You can only drink unsweetened tea and water, but can cheat with black coffee.


7. HCG Diet


Easily the most dangerous diet on this list, this diet consists of taking over-the-counter HCG supplements (the fertility hormone can only be legally administered by a health professional) and taking in 500 to 800 calories a day. The HCG component is largely a gimmick and unapproved by the FDA, but eating so little will result in unhealthy, short-term weight loss.

8. South Beach Diet


This diet plan also offers a fitness regimen and three stages. Health professionals recommend skipping the first stage, which is highly restrictive and typically results in the rapid loss of 13 pounds, and following the balanced second stage to achieve weight loss goals. The third stage simply gives tips to maintain your ideal weight.

9. Super Shred Diet


This is one of those too-good-to-be-true, lose 20 pounds in four weeks diet…that apparently works. Dr. Ian Smith created the Shred program, then decided to amp it up to a month of well-timed portion control. Moderation is key and you can enjoy things like coffee and bacon without feeling guilty.

10. The Doctor’s Diet


Dr. Travis Stork is adorable. He gives out food prescriptions for another jump-start-styled diet that has three stages lasting 14 days each. The Doctors co-host’s plan has been primarily reported on from an anecdotal context due to its vague, unsubstantiated content.


Samoa Donuts

Paleo Caramel picmonkey5-003

Recipe: Urban Poser

Packaged Food

Sriracha-Lime & Korean BBQ Beef Jerky Are Not Your Average Gas Station Fare


This is not your average gas station, so-so beef jerky. It’s the real deal crafted by Angeleno Matt Lauster of Dried and True — an “artisan” jerky company of sorts.

After swooping up a commercial dehydrator, Lauster began making his own homemade jerky — finding a local meat supplier to provide him with up to eight pounds of roast. He then would undergo the process of cutting the fat and gristle off the meat, slicing it into thin pieces, and finally marinating each slice in his custom sauces.

Thus, Sriracha-lime, Balsamic Vinegar, Garlic Habanero and Korean BBQ jerky flavors were born (with the Sriracha being homemade as well, of course). Other, more subdued flavors like original and peppered were also created and Lauster is still crafting new concontions, like the lemon pepper marinade that is currently in its early developmental stages.


“I’m already doing jerky in a different way that’s kind of unique, but I think the flavors as well are a big contributor in the attention it has received,” Lauster told LA Weekly. “They’re not flavors that you’re used to hearing. They have some flair and a little more personality.”

Although, while Dried and True’s jerky gets kudos for being void of nitrates and MSG, this means it has a much shorter shelf life than its mass-market  competition. This makes it difficult for Lauster to sell his product to big-name retailers like Bristol Farms and Whole Foods. Luckily, the Sriracha-lime flavored jerky seems to be on a good path; it sold out at its debut at the Abbot-Kinney Festival and seems to be popular with those of us tired of stale, ho-hum jerky.

H/T LA Weekly