Ample Meal Shake (Review)

Hey All!

I just had the opportunity to try Ample Meal. Ample is a nutrient dense shake that can be a meal replacement. I agreed to try the product because I wanted the opportunity to provide awareness about an up and coming brand that is focused on using naturally derived ingredients. 
(They’re going to be phasing this particular bottle style out).

So at first, I had some trepidation. 

Depending on the day, I either get 45-55 grams of fat in my macros per day. These shakes are not your average 110 calorie protein shakes. At 400 cal, they are a little on the heavy side. I was concerned that I’d drink it, waste 22 of my allotted grams of fat, and then be hungry again in an hour. But alas, I decided to try. 

The directions say to use water or milk. For the first time, I used about 1/2 cup cashew milk, and about 1/2 cup water then shook.

This shake is thick!! Super thick. 

The flavor was interesting. There are no sweeteners. It reminded me of a bran or Special K cereal (if you remember those!) Maybe even a little nutty. It was unique. I liked it though.

So the test was to see how long it would keep me satisfied. Surprisingly, both times I felt satisfied (not quite full, but satisfied and NOT hungry) for over 4 hours. I think the heavy fat content had a lot to do with that. 

The 2nd time I tried the shake, I added about a teaspoon or two of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves). It imparted a slightly sweet taste to the neutral shake. 

So, in closing, I would definitely drink again. The flavor is NOT super sweet. It will not obliterate a sweet tooth. It is not fully of chocolatey artificial flavors. It will, however, keep you satisfied with quality ingredients on days that you need some convenience in a bottle. 

Ample will be launching an Indiegogo campaign in the next few weeks. Check out their website to stay on top of their campaign, and maybe give their website a browse. If you care about quality ingredients and are like most people and have a hectic schedules, it might be worth a look!

*Full disclosure. I was given four bottles of Ample to try. I did not receive financial compensation for this review.*

Paleo To-Go

No recipe tonight. When I started following a paleo diet, I was so concerned about how I would manage eating this way while at school, commuting to and from school, or with my busy schedule. It is so easy to let a busy schedule get in the way of your exercise schedule or your diet.

My average week looks like this:

Monday- No school, but I read or research from 7am-4pm then go to RC Crossfit, come home, shower, make dinner, eat/clean/do dishes, go to bed between 9-10 pm.

Tuesday: Wake up at 5:30 am to get to the train station before the 6:50am train takes off. I prefer to be early for all my obligations! I hate being rushed. I like to get to my classroom by 8:30am so I can set up everything leisurely, work out any IT mishaps, and just feel generally composed before class begins at 9:30. Class ends at 10:50, I have a short break to eat lunch or a snack, followed by my office hours. From 2pm-5pm I have class, then I go to LA Union Station. On a good day I can make the 5:32 train. On all other days, I’ll be on the 6:05 train before making it home between 7:30pm and 8pm. If I’m hungry I’ll eat dinner, if not, I go straight to bed.

Wednesday: I wake up at 5:15am so I can be at RC Crossfit before 6am. I do my workout, come home, eat, shower, pack my lunch, read or rest, then go to the train station to take the 10:21 train. Once I get to LA, I read or eat my lunch before my class starts at 2pm. Like on Tuesdays, I have class until 5pm then get home around 8pm. Generally, I’m exhausted and go straight to bed.

I love Thursdays! They’re my short days. I get up at 5:30, like on Tuesdays, then just teach my class. I’m always home by 2pm or 3pm. I read, then go to RC Crossfit, come home, shower, make dinner, eat/clean/do dishes/pack Friday’s lunch, then go to bed.

Friday: I get to sleep in until 6am!! I drive on Fridays. I leave at 7am (at the latest), then read/prep until I have to teach my 10am class. I have a break from 11-1pm so I can eat or read, then I teach from 1pm-2pm. I run to my car and try to get out of LA as quickly as possible! I generally get back in time to go straight to the 4:30pm class at RC Crossfit. Then I go home, shower, cook/clean/dishes, etc.

This actually isn’t that extensive. I do study, plan lessons, and spend time with my boyfriend within the work week. I also, however, try to stay on top of my schedule. When I’m making my dinner, I’m prepping the next day’s meals.

Some essentials for surviving paleo on a busy schedule:
-A schedule! Sounds crazy, but you need to schedule everything and follow it! I had to write my crossfit time into my schedule as time when I will not make other obligations. I’ve gotten better at not having to take 2-3 weeks off crossfit because of some paper or project. Every now and then I may have to take a day off (particularly the day before a paper or grades are due), but I’m no longer having to take 2-3 week long absences.

-Paleo snack essentials: Monday-Friday my lunches, or other on-the-go meals, are not that exciting. However, my food is my fuel. As long as I am satisfied or not hungry, I function well, don’t feel weighed down by bad food, and don’t care too much that I’m eating the same thing I had the night before.

Tuesday’s and Fridays I generally eat leftovers that I reheat, or salads since they’re easy to put together. Since I have longer breaks those two days, I generally eat actual meals. On Wednesdays, since I’m commuting and have class, I just generally pack snack foods to munch on when I feel hungry. Thursdays, I either eat snack foods (like Wednesdays), or I buy a paleo lunch somewhere.

What do I mean by paleo munchies/snack foods?
-Fresh berries (blueberries and strawberries are my favorites)
-Hard boiled eggs (2-3 depending on how long my day is; I cook a fresh batch every other night)
-Celery sticks and almond butter
-Carrot sticks and avocado or guacamole
-Leftover grilled or rotisserie chicken (I don’t mind eating it cold)
-Dried coconut
-Lots of water!! Stay hydrated.

Now, I’m not a nutritionist or paleo expert, but eating this stuff keeps me well within the paleo parameters, while keeping me thoroughly satisfied.

How do you do paleo in your busy schedule?