Are Exotic Super Foods Worth the Money?

by on September 19, 2009

Rise and shine. It’s Saturday morning and here’s what I am eating:

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A bowl of Kashi go lean with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Simple, fast, and tasty.

I also want to share a scrumptious beverage I had yesterday for breakfast.

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Pineapple Maca Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon maca powder
  • 1/2 scoop french vanilla designer whey protein powder

Blend for about 30 seconds in a blender. If the mixture is too thick add some extra liquid (almond milk or water), if it’s too thin add some extra protein powder or frozen fruit. Enjoy!

Exotic super foods, including maca powder, cacao powder, chia seeds are all the rage right now, especially in blog world. I’ve tried a lot of them and have come to love a few. I wrote about maca about a year ago when I first found out about it and tried it, but never really started using it until I received superfood samples from Nuvitas Naturals. I’ve recently been adding it to smoothies, but not on a consistent basis. I’ve read plenty of information on it and believe that it does have some great benefits, including increased energy, stamina, hormonal balance, and libido.

Here’s a brief overview of Maca benefits:

Known for it’s ability to promote mental and physical vitality and increase libido in both men and women. Maca is often referred to as a natural hormone balancer, which can treat symptoms of menopause and sexual dysfunction in both men and women. Maca root may also help treat other conditions associated with hormone imbalance, such as depression, insomnia, fatigue, and acne. Research indicates that hormone-balancing maca also supports adrenal gland function, which is very important in times of stress when the adrenal glands produce large amounts of adrenaline.

All the benefits sound great, but as we all know, exotic super foods are expensive. Are they worth the extra money you ask? Honestly, I think you can eat a completely healthy diet on the cheap without having to buy expensive super food products. There are plenty of super foods that can be found at a normal grocery store and are reasonably priced like quinoa, sprouts, yogurt, blueberries, beans, oats, sweet potato, tomatoes, lentils.

I think it depends on the person as to whether the exotic super fruits are necessary and worth the extra money. At this point I don’t think I’ve used the maca powder regularly enough to see the results of incorporating it into my diet, but I do know that Isaac’s mom started putting a tablespoon into her daily smoothie and hasn’t had hot flashes since. Obviously for Isaac’s mom the maca works wonders and is totally worth the money. I still have yet to figure out if it’s worth it for me. I don’t LOVE the taste of the maca plain or even in smoothies (it’s tolerable) so I would really want to see some big results before purchasing more.

Some exotic super foods that I really enjoy and think are worth the money to me include chia seeds, goji berries, cacao nibs and mulberries.

What do you think? Have you tried exotic super foods, are they worth the extra money to you? What are your favorites?

On to the fun events of last night. As a preface to the content below- this is a healthy food/lifestyle blog so most of the time the food and beverages I choose to put in my body are healthy and delicious. Last night the beverages were delicious, but not the most nutritious. I strongly believe that moderation is the key to a healthy diet so on occasion I do consume alcohol and last night was one of those nights. :)

Before heading out with some friends, and by friends I mean the 5 guys that were sleeping at my house, and 3 other couples, my friend and I started the night our right with a delicious beer from the Southern Tier Brewing Company, Pumking.

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I’ve talked about this beer last year around this time. I actually just realized when I looked up the post that I drank it last year on September 18, 2008, exactly one year ago. Crazy. What I said last year sums up what I think about pumpking:

This beer is basically a liquid pumpkin pie, one might speculate that someone baked a pie, pureed it, added some hops and put it in a bottle. But don’t worry it also has a nice beer taste and although it’s hidden quite well, a good amount of alcohol (9%). As an added bonus, pumpkin puree is included in the ingredient list.

It’s delish- if you are looking for a seasonal beer I highly recommend trying it out.

After hanging out around the house for quite some time, we decided to get the party started and take our friends to the ultimate mojito spot- Havana 59, a Cuban restaurant in downtown Richmond aka Shockoe-Slip. They have a large variety of mojito flavors including guava, pineapple, mango, kiwi, passion fruit, peach, strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, and prickly pear.

I decided to stick with the ORIGINAL – Rum, Mint Leaves, Cane Sugar, Fresh Lime Juice, and Soda Water. Pretty much everyone at the table ordered a different flavor so I got to try lots of them. Pineapple was to die for!

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Refreshingly sweet!

There were many funny photos last night, but I thought I would share this one as it’s pretty hilarious.

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Too pretty ladies, one demented guy.

After leaving Havana we went to two other places and then cabbed it home. All and all I had a good night, and didn’t drink too much so I’m feeling a-okay this morning. However, I didn’t get to bed until 3:30AM- which is super late for me considering I turn into a pumpkin when the clock strikes midnight. I have a feeling I might want to go to bed at 8PM tonight.

Not sure what I’ll be up to today, probably the gym, the grocery store, and laundry (the normal weekend rituals).

Happy Saturday!

- Brittany

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

K September 19, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Pumpkin puree is in the ingredients? I’m definitely looking into that beer! That sounds awesome! LOVE mojitos! Sounds like you guys had a fun time last night – love the picture :)

I have yet to try these super foods so I can’t really say my opinion on them but it’s good to know that Issac’s mom has seen some benefits!

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Allison (Balance in Bites) September 19, 2009 at 2:34 pm

That smoothie sounds great =)

I love your blog… I’m going to add you to my blogroll!

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Eating Bird Food September 20, 2009 at 9:42 am

Thanks so much Allison! I’ll be sure to check out your blog as well.

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Katharina September 19, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Wow that Pumking sounds amazing! Can I just get that at the grocery store??

Hmm.. I don’t think those exotic foods are worth it.. for me anyway. Especially because I know how dirt cheap they are in the countries they come from, and there it’s just the norm. I guess that’s why they’re called exotic over here haha. But yeah, sometimes whole foods get taken forgranted. It seems like so many things are “supplement this” “5 servings of fruit in one cup” type deal.

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Eating Bird Food September 20, 2009 at 9:44 am

Hey lady- the regular grocery store won’t have it, but I know they have it at Once Upon a Vine (Northside) and at River City Cellars (Carytown).

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Erin September 19, 2009 at 8:22 pm

That looks like such a blast girl! I love you in the middle, looking totally put together and hot! :) That’s a great question – I don’t know what to think about superfoods and all the exotic fruits (durian and stuff). I feel like they’re probably great and definitely have benefits but I guess at this point I’m not totally sold on most of them.

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Stephanie September 19, 2009 at 8:57 pm

That mojito looks fabulous! I need to go to Havana, never been before and always hear such wonderful things :) Cute group pic too – have a great rest of the weekend girl!

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Lizzy September 19, 2009 at 9:30 pm

interesting blend….i wonder if its available locally

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Rosey Rebecca September 20, 2009 at 12:05 am

I love mojitos! All of those flavors sound amazing!

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oatmeal September 20, 2009 at 11:16 am

Pineapple and banana together in one smoothie? Yum!

“This beer is basically a liquid pumpkin pie”

I’m sold!
And I don’t even drink beer~
Amazing what people come up with nowadays!

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Alison September 20, 2009 at 11:45 am

I don’t think superfoods are worth the money in general…except maybe for salmon. But I spend money on them b/c they’re fun to try. And if I don’t like them, I don’t feel bad about not spending anything more.

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Lori- pure2raw September 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Your breakfast smoothie looks heavenly. Well, I am a big fan of superfoods though I know some people do not think they are worth it. And that is fine, but I do. I use maca everyday – for many different reasons the main one is to get me back on track with my hormones due to me just recently going off the pill. I exercise regularly and feel maca and spirulina help my body recover better after putting so much stress on it during my exercise. I don’t think people have to have all the superfoods that are out there just incorporate some of them occasionally into your diet. I know they are expensive and that is unfortunate maybe one day that will change! I still believe eating more dark leafy Greens is the key… and fruits of course!!

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jessy September 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm

i have heard about maca, but i haven’t tried it out yet. i may pick some up sometime & give it a go to see how i like it/find it. the pumpkin brew sounds awesome, and hooray for a fun filled evening at havana 59! mojitos are so yummy – next time i visit havanah i may have to try the pineapple one! mmmmmmmmmm! hope you enjoyed the rest of your weekend, Brittany!

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24 carrot September 20, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Another great Richmond reminder – havana 59. We had a holiday party there once and I did not feel good in the morning!

I love the conversation you started about superfoods. For me, trying new foods that have a high amount of nutrients is a hobby. Just like some people spend an obscene amount of money on shoes, I like to spend money figuring out what will make my body and mind work best. So, yes, worth it, but if it doesn’t taste good..forget it.

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Jen (Running With Cake) September 20, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Pumpkin pie in a bottle! Oh, there are so many things I love about the Fall!

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Marianne September 25, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Oh, I definitely don’t think you need to reach around the glode to get in super foods – there are plenty grown & raised in your own backyard. I like to include some of them because it adds some fun & variety in my diet, but if I couldn’t afford them, all would not be lost.

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Samantha Shyla Romero April 22, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Taking Maca Powder over a year ago. This product really AMAZED me. I heard a lot of good benefits that Maca can do especially in our skin. My skin was clear and glowing.

Another great thing that I didn’t expect that my energy boost up. I just felt so clear-headed and stable and motivated. I get a lot done when I’m taking maca. It has a very strong taste like vanilla malt but it really taste better when I mix it into my chocolate smoothie every morning.

Visit to: http://www.hidalgofoods.com/organic-maca-powder-p-7.html

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