Category Archives: Reviews

Review: Kmart/Homemaker Mini Blender

Kmart Mini Blender

Kmart Mini Blender

Photo: Kmart

For a long time now, I’ve wanted a Magic Bullet. I received a juicer as a gift for Christmas, and while I absolutely love it, cleaning it in a hurry is almost impossible. A few weeks ago we discovered Kmart has a very similar product to the Magic Bullet which they call a “mini blender”. I have to say at first I was skeptical. As great as Kmart is, the quality you would get for AU$29 would be pretty bad compared to the AU$120 Magic Bullet, right? Well, maybe. Without ever handling a Magic Bullet I can’t really make that comparison, but this thing gets the job done at a quarter of the price of the Magic Bullet. It’s a little cheap feeling around the power button, but it works fine and comes with a one year warranty, so even if it does break/fail you can send it back.

There’s not many downsides I can come up with for the price, really. The shaker-style lids are a bit useless as the mouthpiece is tiny, but you can just unscrew the lid and use it like a cup. The plastic feel doesn’t seem like much of a downside as you wouldn’t really expect anything more for $29.

Update: I’ve had the mini blender for a few months now and have had a chance to really give it a whirl. Let’s just say, if you’re looking to buy one of these as a mini juicer, you’re out of luck. Unless you’re juicing super soft fruits like oranges, the mini blender struggles to blend vegetables/fruits to even a pulp, let a lone a juice-type texture.

To sum it up – if you’re thinking about getting a Magic Bullet or similar product, try this first. For a quarter of the price, you won’t be disappointed. Unless you’re trying to make juice.

Rating: 9/10.

Where to buy: Kmart

The first image above is of the machine and my freshly made Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie. You’ll have to excuse the bad photo – I was still half asleep!

 

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Review: Muscle Milk Cake Batter RTD

I have wanted to try Muscle Milk for a very long time. I had planned to go for a simple flavour like chocolate or vanilla but my sweet tooth got the better of me and I wound up with a cake batter flavour ready-to-drink shake.

The taste? Yuck. Easily one of the worst protein shakes I’ve tried. I can’t even fathom how this flavour made it out of the testing department as CytoSport. I’ll admit that the after-taste was a little bit like cake batter, but overall it was the strongest, foulest chemical taste I’ve come across in a protein. It was so bad I couldn’t drink it.

Another point that’s possibly worth mentioning – there’s actually two servings per container in the RTD’s. I’m pretty sure a lot of people wouldn’t take notice of this and would drink the whole thing (if the flavour was better). The container is insulated though so I guess you could probably keep the second serving reasonably cool without a fridge for a short period of time.

Overall score: 2/10

I am totally disappointed. Apparently the chocolate and banana flavours are good, so maybe I’ll try them one day.

Review – PhD Wired Pre-workout Powder

Sometime last week, Flush Fitness sent me a whole bunch of supplement samples for doing a survey for them. So, I thought I’d review them as I use them.

PhD Wired ‘super concentrated pre-workout powder’ review

PhD Wired - Watermelon - Review

Taste: I had the Watermelon flavour, and I’ve got to say I wasn’t a fan. I’ve tried some pretty bad tasting supplements, but this one of the worst I’ve had. I made it as the sachet said, but the flavour was so strong it was almost undrinkable. Not sure if it would have been better with more water (I was driving and couldn’t add more) but it was pretty much a case of mind over matter and drinking it as fast as I could.

Effectiveness: I’ve been taking Beast Mode at the moment so I guess I’ve got some kind of tolerance for energy supplements, but I still felt a bit of a buzz from Wired. It wasn’t the intense kind of pump that leaves you drowning in a pool of your own sweat, but it was enough to keep me going for just over an hour for leg day.

Mixability: No problems at all with mixing in ‘ice cold’ water as the packet instructed.

Other points: I always drink at least a litre of water during workouts, but even with that my mouth felt really dry when I used Wired. Not a huge problem since I stay pretty well hydrated anyway, but worth noting.

Overall score: 6.5/10

This review is a matter of personal opinion. Different people may have different experiences and reactions using these products – this it just an overview of my experience.

Review – Shortcut To Shred

Anyone who follows my Facebook or Instagram (and this blog) would know that I’ve just finished Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut To Shred program. I really enjoyed it so thought I’d do a quick overview for anyone looking to do it too.

Anyone with an ectomorph body type like me would know how much if a struggle it can be to lose weight. I am naturally very curvy and I also have short legs meaning a model-type body is never going to be much of a realistic option for me. This program was great in that it was like doing a HIIT workout, but without having to so sprints on the treadmill or elliptical. I get bored easily with cardio so it was awesome to get my cardio in my rest time and be able to get in and out of the gym quicker.

I was a bit worried going in to the program that I would struggle as it was labeled as ‘expert’ on bodybuilding.com and it seemed to be mostly targeted towards men. I’ll admit, they were the hardest workouts I’ve ever done. But they were also the most rewarding. As for diet, I let myself down and didn’t apply myself to the nutrition side of the program as much as I should have, and that’s why I’m planning on redoing it in a few weeks time (not to mention I am now a cardio acceleration convert).

At first I was a little hesitant as I tend to care a lot what people think of me. Well after 6 weeks of people looking at me wondering what I was doing in between sets, it’s safe to say I care a lot less! For the most part, I did running on the spot and sprints up and down the gym (when it was empty) for my cardio acceleration. I know the plan had a variety of exercises, but for me, running gets my heart beating the hardest and requires a lot less coordination than something like bench step ups.

The variety of exercises and routines was something I also really enjoyed. I don’t really have a gym partner which made low rep/high weight days a bit hard, but luckily most exercises can be done with a smith machine.

Though my dieting willpower/skills/time management let me down, I’ve still seen awesome results for fat loss and muscle gain. I can’t wait to redo the program and give the diet 100%.

I’d definitely recommend the program to anyone who has a fairly solid knowledge of gym machines and exercises. I probably wouldn’t launch straight into it if you’re just starting out with free weights though. I love that Jim Stoppani uses science as the basis of the entire program and teaches you new things along the way.

I have proper before and after photos on my computer but I’m on my phone at the moment so this one will have to do for now. It doesn’t look like a huge change but I have noticed big changes in my arms and muscle mass on my legs (what was fat is now muscle).

tl;dr – the 6 weeks of people staring at me like I was a maniac were totally worth it. 10/10.

My next round of Shortcut To Shred starts on the 16th of June 2014. Stay tuned!

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Review: Evolve WPI – Tropical flavour

Almost a year ago, before I really knew much about protein and supplements, I headed to my local ASN store to pick up some protein powder. I had done some research about types of protein (WPI, casein etc.) but hadn’t really considered flavours. I’ve never been able to digest protein shakes very well because of their texture – it reminds me of very very watery milk, which for some reason, I can’t stand. Anyway, I’d tried a few samples and brands if chocolate flavoured powders and decided I didn’t want chocolate for this textural reason. After all, chocolate water doesn’t sound appealing at all.

So I decided to get tropical flavoured powder thinking it would be more like juice and less like milk (of course these days I know better). Fast forward a year, and I still have over half a 1.25kg tub of the powder that I can barely stomach. No one would ever buy tropical flavoured milk, so why make tropical flavoured protein?

I might be alone in my dislike for this flavour, and overall I do like the quality of the powder. It mixes well and gives me enough fuel to power through my day.

tl;dr version: Evolve WPI itself is worth the money, just don’t buy it in tropical flavour if you have any tastebuds, at all (speaking subjectively, of course).

Where to buy: ASN

Last minute update: According to the ASN site, the tropical flavour is “discontinued limited stock”. Guess it wasn’t just my tastebuds!!

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