Saturday, October 29, 2011

New Medifast Food Reviews: Pancakes, Syrup, and Bites

It's been awhile since these "new" Medifast foods have been released (August, I think), so I figured I'd do a review for those interested.

First, we have Spiced Pancakes and Sugar-Free Syrup:


Like other Medifast products, they come 7 packets to a box. The Spiced Pancakes are just like the Original and Chocolate Chip Pancakes; you add water to the powder, shake it up, and cook it in a nonstick pan to get 3 small or 1 large pancake. The syrup comes in little packets that you open and pour over your pancakes, like so:


The texture is the same as the other Medifast pancakes, but the flavor is even better! I had made "spiced" pancakes before by adding cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the Original Pancake mix, but these are much tastier and you don't have to count the spices as condiments, either. They also make the best mug muffins (recipe on my tips page).

Now about the syrup. I had been using Vermont Sugar Free Syrup that I buy at WalMart on my pancakes. It tastes about the same as the Medifast Syrup, both are sweetened with sucralose and have almost identical ingredients, and nutrition stats are about the same (4 calories and 1.25 g carb/Tbsp for Vermont, 2.5 calories and 1 g carb/Tbsp for Medifast). One Tbsp of either counts as 1 condiment. So the deciding factors are: cost and convenience.

Cost:
Medifast syrup is $4.50/box of 7 packets, which totals 7 oz syrup. This is 64 cents an ounce.
Vermont syrup is about $3/bottle at Walmart for 12 ounces. On Amazon , it is 22 cents an ounce.

Convenience:
Medifast syrup is in packets, which is more convenient for travel or taking to work. However, each packet contains 2 Tbsp syrup, which is 2 condiments. Since I only use 1 Tbsp on my pancakes, what do I do with the rest? The packets do not reseal and are hard to save. I dump the rest in my Vermont syrup bottle to save for later. Vermont syrup is just in a typical syrup bottle, easy to measure out any amount you want.

So thumbs up on the pancakes, thumbs down on the syrup because of cost and ease of use.

Now the new Bites. They come in BBQ and Cheese Pizza flavors:


They come in little bags, one meal per bag, 7 bags per box, like other Medifast meals. Here you can see the Cheese Pizza Bites poured into a bowl. The BBQ Bites look almost exactly the same. They have the same crunchy texture as well. The Bites are crunchier and more dense than the Medifast puffs are. They are also a little drier in the mouth, and make you drink a lot of water with them.

I have mixed feelings on these Bites. Sometimes when I start to eat them I think they aren't very good, but after eating a few they grow on me. Other times, I start eating them and think they taste yummy, and after a few, I really do not want the rest. Actually, the first time I had them I thought "nope, not going to eat these!" and put the rest of the bag away and had something else. Those were the BBQ variety; I am still not a fan of those, but a lot of people do like them. The BBQ ones are a little sweet. The pizza bites are very pizza-ey and better tasting to me, but still not as good as the Puffs. I don't plan on ordering any more Bites of either variety. I prefer the Puffs.

That's all for now. Medifast will be releasing three more NEW foods in November and I will review those here as well. You can see more of my Medifast reviews via the links on this page.

*FTC-required disclosure: Medifast provided me with its products for my personal use for free. I am not paid or compensated in any other way for mentioning their products.*

7 comments:

Karen said...

Thanks for your review.

I've saved my MF syrup packets for when I travel to my folks house and need some SF syrup.

My go to syrup is Walden Farms- blueberry or regular.

Great photos of the food. :) I'm really looking forward to the chocolate chip cookie coming out in November.

I may have to wait until Dec to try, since I need my order before Thanksgiving. Time will tell.

Has anyone tried the chocolate chip cookie yet?

Anonymous said...

I recently tried these, i liked the pizza flavor but not the bites themself. If they made pizza flavored puffs, i would be happy :)

Anonymous said...

A transition suggestion...

First, I know nothing about medifast beyond skimming what you've written about in this blog.

It seems that this medifast plan is low carb and low calorie, which is great for weight loss but may be challenging to transition out of at the end of the journey. One thing I noticed was that you like to modify recipes. Have you given any thought to begin, when you're ready, to add high fiber carbs slowly back into your home-made, healthy meals? One thing I've been using over the last 6 months (35 lbs loss) is beans. Higher in carbs and fats than your cauliflower soup, for example, BUT also high in fiber, which is good for helping my cravings. I've been trying to invent my own 'autopilot plans'. For example, I make a large batch of bean, veggie, and the healthies ground turkey I can purchase, and I have a few cups of this (~300 calories) with perhaps 2% cheese for a few lunches or dinners per week, and I freeze the rest for later use. I've also been using similar recipes with pasta (though only a modest amount of whole grain noodles per the amount of home-made, veggie and turkey-laden sauce). I make a similar type of pasta salad - loaded with veggies - but this doesn't freeze well. 'Naked' burritos and home-made soups and stews are another wonderful vehicle for beans, lean meats, and organic veggies. Anyway, by making bulk recipes for myself that are spiced to my taste, and freezing recipes so that I only have to make a giant batch of one recipe per week, I find that this enables me to have some variety, some stability, and the ability to plan ahead to have fiber and lean protein laden foods. I am combining this with calorie counting - if I am having a steady selection of healthy breakfasts and lunches (or dinners) that I can plug into my calorie-counting program, I can easily substitute in healthy snacks daily/weekly and worry about one new meal each day if I am craving variety. If all I really have to worry about for variety is one meal per day (during busy weeks this will end up being sandwiches or salads), then I find it a lot easier to worry just about counting those calories and varying the amount of calories I eat in that meal (or snack, if needed) with my exercise schedule. (For example, if I walk for 4 miles, I eat more calories so that I do not feel hungry, counting on the exercise mostly to help raise my metabolism slightly rather than burn extra calories).

For me, this type of plan has allowed me to comfortably net about 1500 calories per day without cravings. (I have issues with insulin resistance, so this is necessary for me, anyway, but may be helpful to those working on weight loss?)

Another thing I heard (have done no reading of medical research here) is that it may be a good idea to weave a few higher calorie days (with healthier foods) into your dieting, so that your metabolism doesn't get too entrenched in 'conservation of energy' mode. Not sure if this is legit, but it's something I've been doing. When I go out to a sushi restaurant, for example, I don't worry about fitting in my calorie budget, and instead enjoy much too much edamame, avacado, rice and fish...

Anyway, it sounds like re-acclimating to a whole food diet may be a few months away for you, but perhaps it will be a good idea for you to really plan for what you're eating will look like on maintenance mode...

Best of luck!

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

Thank you! Those are some good tips for me to use when I transition and into maintenance. I have heard of other people on Medifast who calorie/carb cycle within the guidelines (up or down 200 cals/20 carb grams) to break out of plateaus. I think that is something I will try, too.

:)

Joshua said...

I'm hungry now. ;)

Shrink to Fit said...

Thanks for the reviews, Lyn. I am especially glad to know about the syrup :)

Julie said...

Love the retro plate with the little green flowers!