FruitFast: What’s It All About Anyway?

It’s easy to get caught up in – if not completely confused by – all of the food and beverage trends of today. Instead of making simple, wholesome choices when it comes to what we put in our mouths, we are sometimes quick to jump on the bandwagon of what science claims is the most recently beneficial product. It can become complicated and overwhelming enough to stay on top of health and nutritional research that we may lose sight of what is really important – eating and drinking for health. Sometimes, the answer is right before our very eyes, plain and simple.

Take for example, tart cherries. After years of being in the shadow of other fruits, tart cherries are quickly emerging as a super fruit of today and yet, they are homegrown and a rich part of America’s history (Source: Washington State University Tart Cherry Research). Cherries were first brought to America by ship with early settlers in the 1600’s. French colonists began planting down into the Great Lakes area as they established such cities as Detroit, Vincennes, and other Midwestern settlements. Cherry gardens were also cultivated in the Northwestern part of the United States.

And, the orchards are still producing today. Located in Northwest Michigan, Brownwood Acres and FruitFast are as much a part of the rolling orchards of today as the very fruit they use in their line of healthy fruit snacks, drinks and supplements. What began as a roadside fruit stand in 1945, has now developed an internationally recognized product line that is based in this regional area of harvest of Montmorency Tart Cherries.

I was recently given the opportunity to review Brownwood Acres’ CherryFlex Products, which is how I began learning more about cherries. 

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I had previously heard they were good for you because of their rich color as with many other fruits, but soon discovered tart cherries actually provide a multitude of health benefits:

  • Supports Cardiovascular Function*
  • Speeds Relief From Muscle Fatigue Post Exercise*
  • Supports Healthy Joint Function*
  • Helps Maintain a Healthy Sleep Cycle* (contains natural melatonin)
  • Supports a Healthy Immune System*

( * The FDA requires that CherryFlex put an asterisk next to those facts with the statement: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.)

So, what makes tart cherries so healthy? They contain a unique package of antioxidants and beneficial phytonutrients, including anthocyanins – the pigments that give cherries their bright red color.

You can definitely see the rich color in the CherryFlex FruitFast Fruit Supplement Bars:


These bars have 103 calories, 20 carbs, 6 grams of sugar and 18 grams of fiber.One bar provides two of your five recommended daily fruits. The ingredients are 100 percent fruit and no additives or extra sugars.

It took me a few times to get used to the bars. They are very tart and if you are expecting a sweet cherry (which apparently I was) the tartness will make you pucker. I especially like the texture – it reminds me of a condensed fruit rollup, but with a lot more flavor and slightly moist. I’ve been carrying them in my bag as a quick go-to snack that is healthy and provides great nutritional benefits.

And even though I am not training right now, I also tried the CherryFlex ProSport Shot, which is a Tart Cherry Gel. This product is my favorite as far as taste goes, and I only wish I could also test out how it makes me feel on a run. What I love about this gel (compared to others that I usually take, such as GU) is that it does not have a bunch of things I can’t pronounce added to it to preserve it. It contains Tart Cherries and glycerin. That’s it. It is 30 calories with only 3 grams of sugar and 7 carbs for one shot. I love the taste too. It is still tart, but I think I would find it completely refreshing on a run and not so overladen with sugar that I also feel like I have to guzzle a gallon of water to stomach it.

So, what exactly is CherryFlex and what makes it different than other cherry products that are currently available?

Per FruitFast, when they make their products they use a proprietary process that captures the goodness of the entire fruit. CherryFlex is a super-concentrated paste made the skin and pulp of tart cherries – which are both very good things for your body because it is where most of the nutrients are. It allows you to get your daily dose of cherries in a super convenient form, and is a much more cost-effective than having to drink Tart Cherry Concentrate every day.

CherryFlex Paste is the main ingredient in the Fruit Bars and ProSport Shots that I tried as well as the Softgels, Liquid Supplement, and CherryFlex Whole Fruit Gel, which are other products they offer as well. And, they carry Pomegranate and Blueberry supplements that they use the same process to make as CherryFlex to create a concentrated, all-natural, whole-fruit paste.

CherryFlex is different because:

  • CherryFlex use the whole fruit of the cherry –  skin and the pulp included.
  • Whole-fruit paste is easier for your body to digest than a powder pill
  •  It’s not a freeze-dried powder. Powder-filled capsules contain freeze dried bits of Cherries which are difficult for the body to digest before passing. They also contain additives such as silicon dioxide or magnesium stearate, both of which are known to be toxic.
  • 100% pure and all-natural
  • No artificial colors or flavorings
  • The fruit is not exposed to high temperatures that can deplete nutritional value
  • Only CherryFlex’s specialized process gets more nutritional value from the cherry
  • Made in (the U.S.A.!) Traverse City from Michigan Montmorency Tart Cherries

In addition, FruitFast provides a Certificate of Nutritional Analysis for their CherryFlex products, which some other companies don’t (or simply won’t) provide. I personally look for this kind of thing when I a shopping for new products because I want to know exactly what I am putting in my mouth. I am more inclined to pay a little more for good nutrition to know exactly what I am fueling my body with. The cost of the shots is comparable to GU and the bars run at about $14 for a box of eight. Don’t forget shipping too.

Emerging research is showing that tart Cherries are good for us for other reasons besides the rich antioxidants and fruit-based nutrition they provide. There have been specific studies done about CherryFlex benefits for runners. CherryFlex supplementation used prior to and during eccentric exercise may have a protective effect on oxidative stress, inflammation, range of motion, contractile force loss, and perceived pain. This is especially interesting to me since not only do I have ongoing problems with my knee, but right now my body is battling inflammation in a major way. Part of diagnosing what is actually wrong with me is figuring out what I am experiencing all of this inflammation in my lungs. Sure, steroids are great for the short term because I can breath and get some sleep, but it is not a permanent solution. I would like to try the CherryFlex juices or soft gels as a regular supplement and see if I notice any changes in my body.

While FruitFast and Brownwood Acres may be internationally known, they still remain a family business today, which is more than evident in their customer service. I first got involved with FruitFast when they were hosting their Run Into Summer Giveaway of a Garmin 305. I was interested in their products then because I had heard about the health benefits of fruit, specifically dark fruits like cherries, and was thinking about trying it specifically for my knees. Now, I think it would be a good supplement to take for overall health joint and tissue health. I was more than impressed with the customer service I received when inquiring about the products  including prompt response times to my emails and detailed product information, some of which I have included in this review. I was also advised that I could call FruitFast anytime to ask more questions or request additional information for my review, which is something that has previously been unheard of to me when I given a product to review. Typically, I am given a specific set of information, which is helpful of course, but not much beyond that. I find the information provided to me by FruitFast is exactly what I needed to provide all of you with this review.

Please check out FruitFast on Facebook and Twitter too. I have had great interactions with them on these social medial platforms as well and find helpful running and nutritional information as well as customer comments through the FruitFast Twitter feed. The website is literally packed with information, easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing (like now I want to eat cherries) and I would highly recommend doing some of your own reading about these products. I have found myself going back to the website numerous times to find out more.

I hope you will consider FruitFast CherryFlex as an wholesome and alternative supplement to help your joints (and your body) get the nutritional and health benefits that each deserve.

Until the next mile marker,


*Please note, I was not compensated in any manner for this review. FruitFast Fruit Bars and ProSport Shots were given to me in exchange for my honest opinion. The views expressed in this review are solely my own.

Looking for Tasty AND Healthy Nutrition Bars? Try PureFit!

I was recently given the opportunity to review the All-Natural, Award-Winning PureFit Nutrition Bars. The good folks at PureFit were kind enough to send me a bar of each of their enticing flavors: Granola Crunch, Almond Crunch, Peanut Butter Crunch and Berry Almond Crunch. It all sounded good to me! Who doesn’t like peanut butter, chocolate, almonds, berries or some combination of them all?
I must admit, while I was excited to receive the bars (I didn’t expect one of each!) and test them out, I didn’t have high hopes for anything I viewed as “packaged food.” However, I was impressed by what I read on the information card PureFit sent to me.

PureFit Nutrition Bars:

  • Are high in protein
  • Made with non-GMO soy
  • All Natural
  • Kosher and Vegan
  • Nondairy
  • Low Glycemic
  • Have a 40/30/30 ratio –  (40%), fat (30%) and proteins (30%) for optimized nutrition.
  • Free of Gluten, wheat, artificial sweeteners, trans fatty acids and hydrogenated oils.

What you see is what you get with PureNutrition! I love the fact that they are all natural and don’t contain any artificial ingredients. I want to feel good about what I am putting in my body, especially when I am in a hurry. It is really easy to go for the crap, but with these bars, I can eat something last minute or on the go without having to worry about what it’s really made of. The ingredients list – something I always try to look at – is short compared to other nutrition bars, shakes and gels I have at home. Also, they do not melt in their packaging (so far mine haven’t) which makes them perfect to throw in my purse, gym bag or leave in my car for on-the-go snacking.

Today, I had the Almond Crunch PureFit Nutrition bar for breakfast with some grapes and my morning tea coffee.
What I like? The taste! It had just enough crunch to it, and I could really taste the almonds. I like “things” in my food! I could really see (and taste!) the pieces of almonds, which is a must for me! The Peanut Butter Crunch was my least favorite because there was not enough “crunch” to it for me. The Berry Almond Crunch was also good and perfect for morning.
See the almond pieces?
Breakfast is always a struggle for me. I don’t eat right away and then I get busy with work or with whatever I am doing and forget (or am too lazy) to eat something decent before lunchtime. When lunch rolls around, I am extremely hungry and sometimes grumpy, which makes it hard to make smart choices. I tend to overeat when I don’t eat breakfast. PureFit takes a huge step in helping me with this problem. I can keep a few at my desk or in my purse for those mornings when I’m not feeling inclined to eat healthy. I ate one today at about 7:45 a.m. and combined with the grapes, I was good until about 11:30 a.m. when I was hungry and ate lunch. I wouldn’t have lasted too much longer than those 4 hours.  

What do I love even more than the taste? The nutrition! The Almond Crunch Bar has 18 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat and 24 grams of carbs. I really need to watch the amount of carbs I ingest at one time and this bar falls perfectly within my guidelines for a snack/meal. Win-Win-Win. PureFit Nutrition Bars are good for a people with a variety of health and dietary restrictions. 
PureFit Nutrition Bars are reasonably priced ($34.35/box) and you can purchase them online or at a local retailer. You can also check their website for special offers. Give them a try, I think you would be pleasantly surprised too!
Until the next mile marker, 
*Please note, I was not compensated in any manner for this review. Five PureFit Nutrition Bars were given to me in exchange for my honest opinion. The views expressed in this review are solely my own. 

“Watchin’ the sun bake…” with Margaritaville Eyewear!

Several weeks ago, I was fortunate to be contacted my Margaritaville Eyewear to review a pair of sunglasses of my choosing.

I was more than excited about the opportunity, even though living in Ohio, you run the risk of seeing a lot of days that look exactly like this:
Welcome to my world – Is that a hint of blue sky?
Sometimes, there just isn’t a need for sunglasses. Still, I am most definitely always on the hunt for a good pair.
So, what makes a good (or great!) pair of sunglasses for me? It boils down to this: 
I wish I was back at Cinnamon Bay right NOW!
I want them to look cute; be affordable; stay on my face and block the sun, but not my perceptions; and I want them to stand up to a little abuse from time to time. They usually get thrown in my purse minus the case (if I bother to have one in the first place).
Margaritaville offers many stiles to choose from, but I didn’t have much trouble narrowing it down to the pair I wanted – Calypso. Check these beauties out:
One of the things I like about the style that Margaritaville shades offers is that not only can you pick your frame, but you have a wide variety of frame colors to choose from too. For example, the Calypso comes in Black, Navy Fade, Scarlett Fade, Toroise and White/Conch. Check them out here. I went with the Tortoise for the classic, simple look, although all of the colors were beautiful. And each pair of Margaritaville sunglasses are adorned with Island Style Details, such as these:
I love it! I put on and I am back on the beach “watchin’ the sun bake” in my mind. And, just in case I get a little off course, the Nautical detailing includes elements such as custom starboard (red) and port (green) screws. These get an A++ for style!
They also provide excellent functionality with MPT (Margaritaville Polarized Technology) nylon lenses, 100% UV A/B Protection, and SunGrip rubber nose pads and rubber temple tip insert. Have you ever tried Polarized lenses? Well, I had not before I received this pair of glasses and let me tell you, I did not know what I was missing! I was skeptical when I went here and tried out the interactive glasses, but when I actually received them, they really worked that way! The MPT technology is state of the art and not only works to block out damaging rays keeping your eyes safe in the harshest of conditions, but it allows you to see clearly and fight eye fatigue, blocking out 99.9% of blinding glare. The rubber inserts keep these glasses from going anywhere.
I finally got to try them out on a 10-mile bike ride with my husband this week, and they didn’t budge, even once my face got all sweaty. Plus, each pair comes with an Integrated (and detachable) Margaritaville Leash System so that I could have also secured them around my neck if the ride got rough. The polarized lenses allowed me to see clearly and vividly even in direct rays – no squinting, which almost always leads to a headache for me. They felt natural and lightweight, I honestly forgot I was wearing them in almost all of our pictures. For me, the functionality is perfect!

As far as I can tell, they are durable too. I have been wearing them around town this week and they have been tossed in my bag (minus the two very nice cases they came with) and are holding up just fine. I am, however, being really careful not to step on them or run them over or something like that. Each pair of glasses ships with a custom Margaritaville hard Case and microfiber cleaning bag – both are great for storing the glasses in. The case also has a clip so that you can conveniently clip it to your bag or your person and not risk losing them – especially if you were near the water.

In terms of price, they are slightly expensive (The Calypso retails at $159.95 regularly), however they are on sale right now for $79.95, which I think is totally worth it for a great pair of sunglasses with all of these features. Check it out for more information and to order your own pair! Shopping for the holidays? Take advantage of the current half off sale and give the gift of Margaritaville Eyewear!
Until the next mile marker, 

Please note, I was contacted by Margaritaville Eyewear to try a pair of glasses of my choice in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own and I was not compensated for my comments. Many thanks to Margaritaville Eyewear for this opportunity.