REVIEW: Sierra Mist Undercover Orange

Summer is a time for hot temperatures, trips to Disneyland, tight short shorts, armpit sweat stains, and of course, summer blockbuster movies, and just like you can expect Dane Cook to use the word “bro” in everything he will ever appear in, you can expect each summer blockbuster to have a product tie-in. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has the Snickers Adventure Bar, Iron Man has the AMP Energy Freeze Slurpee, the new Harold & Kumar movie has skull bongs, and Get Smart has the Sierra Mist Undercover Orange.

For those of you who did not watch Nick at Nite in the early 1990s and/or watch television in the 1960s because your parents were afraid of the radiation coming out of the “picture radio,” Get Smart was a James Bond parody that followed the adventures of Maxwell Smart, an agent of CONTROL, a secret U.S. government agency. His task was to thwart KAOS, an evil organization with the same penchant for the caps lock key as CONTROL.

The Sierra Mist Undercover Orange is a 7-Up/Sprite wannabe lemon-lime soda with a splash of mandarin orange flavor. If your inner botanist believes a mandarin orange is a tangerine, then it does have a mandarin orange flavor. Personally, my inner botanist has had its fair share of canned Asian mandarin oranges in heavy syrup over the years to raise my fruit intake, so I have a pretty good idea of what mandarin oranges taste like and I have to say that I don’t think a mandarin orange is a tangerine. Therefore, I believe this soda tastes more like a tangerine.

Either way, the orange flavor in this soda isn’t like Sunkist or any of the generic brand orange sodas out there. I kind of prefer the flavor of the Sierra Mist Undercover Orange because it tastes a little more natural than most orange sodas because it’s less sweet and more sour, thanks to the Sierra Mist lemon and lime flavor.

The Sierra Mist Undercover Orange isn’t bad for a carbonated citrus beverage and summer blockbuster tie-in. It’s a limited edition beverage so once it’s gone, it’s gone…unless it’s really popular, then it will come back in the future, most likely with another movie tie-in. For now, it makes a great soda to wash away the taste of the trailer for the movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bottle – 240 calories, 0 grams of fat, 55 milligrams of sodium, 65 grams of carbohydrates, 65 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of caffeine, and 0 grams of box office gold.)

Item: Sierra Mist Undercover Orange
Price: $1.25 (20 ounces)
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: It’s clear. Tastes like a tangerine (according to my inner botanist). Low sodium. Has a more natural taste than most orange sodas. Iron Man. Nick at Nite.
Cons: No fucking caffeine. High fructose corn syrup. A lot of sugar per bottle. Armpit sweat stains. Spelling the word “night” as “nite.” The despair you’ll feel after watching the trailer for Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

Sunkist Float

Americans love a lot of things: pornography, violence, and worshipping false idols. But most of all we love food. Not just good, classic food, but superfluous and extravagant treats that go far beyond the realm of reasonable. We’re the country that balked at Britain’s attempt at a deep fried Mars bar and invented deep fried pizza. It’s only fitting that one of our classic desserts consists of taking a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream and dumping it into a carbonated beverage that somehow contains more sugar than actual sugar.

Yes, the ice cream float has always had a mysterious hold over the imaginations of everyone who’s ever eaten at a diner. Whether it’s the furious bubbling of the concoction or the smooth consistency of ice cream mixed with your favorite soda, it’s hard to resist what basically boils down to an ice cream sauce that you drink. The people at the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (sounds like an awesome law firm) have taken this idea and released “floats” in Sunkist and A&W root beer flavors, selling them at the premium price of $4.99 for a box of four bottles.

I chose the Sunkist version because I have a Keenan and Kel-like affinity towards orange soda which has been the source of much ridicule in the past. It’s made with real skim milk, making it a low-fat option for those craving an ice cream float. The sugar content, however, is still disturbing. I’m writing this right now as I’m slipping in and out of a diabetic coma because this stuff has 63 grams of sugar in an 11.5 ounce bottle, which is nearly twice as much as regular soda. How they managed to do this is head-explodingly troubling.

The float is absolutely awful when it’s lukewarm, which is to be expected, but is pleasant and refreshing when well-chilled. It tastes very similar to a lot of orange cream sodas that are already on the market, except it is a bit milkier. Also of note is that it has no carbonation at all, which I found odd because a little bit would have made it more interesting on the palate.

You won’t feel great about yourself while you’re drinking this because you can taste every single gram of sugar in each sip. There’s a lot of advertising these days about guilt-free snacks, but this isn’t one of them. At the end of the day, this stuff is way too sweet to be drunk on a regular basis. Of course, I thought the same thing about Lindsay Lohan as well and it didn’t stop her from being a big success. We’ll have to wait and see with the Sunkist Float.

(Nutritional Facts – 1 bottle – 260 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 5 mg of cholesterol, 20mg sodium, 64 grams of carbs, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 63 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein, and 4% Calcium)

Item: Sunkist Float
Price: $4.99 (box of 4)
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Tastes pretty good when it’s ultra-chilled. Low on fat while still having a milky flavor. Ice cream sauce that you drink. Deep fried pizza.
Cons: Extremely sweet and horrible for you. No carbonation. A little pricey for what you’re getting.

Jack in the Box Strawberry Banana Real Fruit Smoothie

What are you doing, Jack in the Box? Are you going all healthy on us with your Jack in the Box Strawberry Banana Real Fruit Smoothie? Whatever you’re doing, stop it! Because it’s freakin’ me out!

It’s like I’m in an alternate universe where Jumbo Jacks, Big Macs and Whoppers are healthy, while vegetables and organic foods are bad for you. It is also a universe where Jared is still the spokesperson for Subway, except Subway makes sub sandwiches the size of actual submarines, and Jared weighs 700 pounds, doesn’t know where his penis is, looks like Jabba the Hutt, and hasn’t moved his ass off of his couch since 1999.

Actually, there weren’t any nutritional facts on the Jack in the Box website right now so it’s hard for me to know if they’re healthy or not. (Editor’s Note: Nutritional facts are down below) This worries me because fast food joints have the ability to turn something healthy into something that’s not, like salads and adults collecting kids meal toys. For all I know, this fast food smoothie might be the most unhealthiest thing on the face of the Earth and they deep fry the bastard when no one is looking. But what I do know for sure is that the Real Fruit Smoothies are made from Minute Maid fruit juice and non-fat frozen yogurt, which sounds somewhat healthy to me, but then again I believe I can get all my daily vegetable servings from eating a full sheet of carrot cake.

Don’t expect the Jack in the Box Real Fruit Smoothie to be like anything you would get from Jamba Juice or Robeks. Jack in the Box only uses fruit juices, while the two smoothie specialists uses a combination of real fruits, fruit juices, free boosts, and fancy smoothie names usually reserved for girly, fruity alcoholic beverages which I enjoy for a few sips, then pass out, and then either wake up pants-less in some stranger’s bed or pants-less in the middle of the orangutan exhibit at the zoo.

The Jack in the Box Strawberry Banana Real Fruit Smoothie had a fruit taste that didn’t seem natural, but then again the idea of a strawberry-banana juice seems unnatural. If I squeeze an orange, I’m going to get orange juice. If I squeeze a banana, I’m going to get baby food and stink eyes from monkeys. There was an artificial sweetener taste to it, so perhaps that’s where the unnatural taste came from.

Overall, the Jack in the Box Strawberry Banana Real Fruit Smoothie was decent and was what I expected from a fast food joint. It’s definitely not something I would get my daily servings of fruit from, because for that I would eat an entire apple pie, but I think that it’s probably healthier than a deep-fried Jack in the Box Oreo Shake.

(Nutrition Facts – 16 ounces – 290 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 210 milligrams of potassium, 73 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 57 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Jack in the Box Strawberry Banana Real Fruit Smoothie
Price: $3.89 (16 ounces)
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Decent tasting. Made with non-fat frozen yogurt. Enjoyed the satisfying crunch of the coarse ice crystals. Possibly healthier than a Jack in the Box Oreo Shake.
Cons: Had a slight artificial sweetener taste. Strawberry-banana juice seems unnatural. No nutritional facts on website. Getting stink eyes from monkeys, because flying poop is soon to follow. Waking up bottomless in the middle of a zoo exhibit spooning a primate. The power of fruity, girly alcoholic beverages.

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REVIEW: AMP Energy (Elevate, Overdrive, Relaunch, Traction)

Mountain Dew is the O.G. of carbonated caffeine goodness. With 50-something milligrams of caffeine per can it was the beverage of choice for gamers, procrastinators and sleep haters back when energy drinks were just a twinkle in the eye of beverage makers and I wore my baseball caps backwards, while wearing two Swatch watches on each arm. Today, Mountain Dew is lost among the hundreds of energy drinks out there. Its caffeine content seems miniscule compared with almost every single caffeine bomb energy drink.

What happened to Mountain Dew? It used to encourage young people to do extreme things that only professionals should do, like pull 360 tailwhips on a BMX bike or a goofy-footed backside McTwist on a skateboard. Now energy drinks, like Red Bull, have kids doing crazy things like race in airplanes, flugtag, and post videos on YouTube of themselves doing a Chicken McNuggets rap. Mountain Dew’s descent from the caffeine crown is kind of sad, like seeing a 51-year-old big-haired, tattooed mother of four shop at Forever 21.

Mountain Dew used to tell us to “Do the Dew,” but now the Dew is not dewy enough. It tried to keep up with more powerful energy drinks by changing flavors, colors, and by greeting everyone with the salutation, “Wassup, dogg,” while pounding its chest a couple of times. But it is not about colors, it is about caffeine. The Radioactive Green One may not be extreme enough for this generation, but AMP Energy, its younger, bigger, stronger, sexier, more potent, and porn star cock-sized successors are.

The original AMP Energy is based on original Mountain Dew and recently AMP Energy added to its lineup the new Elevate, Overdrive, Relaunch, and Traction flavors, most of which aren’t really new if you did the different Dews over the last half-decade. Overdrive, which has been out longer than the other flavors, is very similar in taste to the cherry-flavored Mountain Dew Code Red, Relaunch is like the orange-flavored Mountain Dew LiveWire, Traction tastes like the grape-flavored Mountain Dew Pitch Black, and Elevate has a mixed berry flavor. All of them were easy to drink because they tasted more like a soda, than an energy drink, which usually can have a slight medicine-ish taste.

Like members of a boy band, each flavor has certain characteristics and has been given a particular label that describes them. Overdrive is the bad boy of the group and the energetic yerba mate it has gives it a turbo boost. Elevate is the smart one and the L-theanine in it helps it to focus. Relaunch is the cute one and the electrolytes and B vitamins it has gives it the energy to revive to satisfy all the groupies. Finally, Traction is the one everyone thinks could be gay and the maltodextrin and D-ribose it contains helps it sustain its secret. Each flavor did give me a boost of energy, but I didn’t notice any differences with their special ingredients.

Overall, I enjoyed all of the flavors, especially the grape-ish Traction, which let me remember Mountain Dew Pitch Black — my favorite Dew I liked to do. It is nice to see almost all the Dew flavors end up in energy drink form because I am a fan of Mountain Dew. Now that I have my caffeine bomb, all I need now are some Cheetos, an original Playstation, the game Twisted Metal, and I’m good to go.

(Supplement Facts – 8 fl. oz. – 110 calories, 29 grams carbs, 29 grams sugar, 1.5 milligrams riboflavin, 20 milligrams niacin, 10 milligrams pantothenic acid, 20 milligrams phosphorus, 148 milligrams taurine, 124 milligrams of guarana extract, 80 milligrams caffeine, and 20 percent increase in heart rate.)

Item: AMP Energy (Elevate, Overdrive, Relaunch, Traction)
Price: FREE (16 ounces)
Purchased at: Given by nice PR people
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Enjoyed all the flavors, which are similar to Mountain Dew flavors. Tastes more like a soda, than an energy drink. Easy to drink. 160 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine per can. Twisted Metal.
Cons: High fructose corn syrup. Added ingredients didn’t seem to do anything. If you hate sweet, you’ll hate these. Still can’t get my hands on a fucking Nintendo Wii. 51-years-olds who shop at Forever 21.

REVIEW: Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola Cereal

Right now, I am staring at my ass in the mirror because I am waiting for a rainbow to shine out of it.

All this time I’ve been afraid of the intense healthiness found in each super-powered Kashi product, which is so natural and healthy that I heard rumors it is a hippie aphrodisiac and it causes rainbows to shine out of your ass. Hence, here I am looking at my derriere in the mirror.

Until minutes ago, I was a perky Kashi Virgin, which is as unsexy as it sounds. But eventually I gave in and I lost my virginity to the new Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola cereal.

I guess I have some trepidation about foods that claim to be natural and healthy because I have been burned badly by them in the past. They usually taste like what I imagine rainbows that come out of my ass would taste like. However, there are people out there who adore all Kashi products and would marry them if it were legal or would bathe in Kashi’s famous 7 Whole Grains, if it did not get stuck in places it should not and did not itch so badly.

The Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola cereal consists of almonds, coconut, cocoa-infused clusters, and of course, Kashi’s 7 Whole Grains. Despite living on a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I am not a big fan of coconut, so I thought I would not enjoy this cereal very much. While trying this cereal, I could easily see the shreds of coconut in it, but could not taste the coconut. The cocoa flavor wasn’t like the chocolate flavor you might taste with the sugary cereals out there, it was better. The almonds and granola gave the cereal a nice crunch, even after spending a few minutes in milk.

With all the granola, almonds and coconut shreds, the cereal seemed really dense, like a stripper who doesn’t strip to pay for their college tuition. After eating a big bowl of it, my jaw was tired from all the chewing. The denseness was also the reason why this cereal comes in a box that is about one-third smaller than most other cereal boxes.

The Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola cereal is probably the healthiest food I’ve eaten in the last few years. One serving of this cereal has one-fourth of my daily fiber needs, two-thirds of my daily needs of whole grains, 400 milligrams of ALA Omega-3 and it is all natural, but most importantly it tastes really good.

So did a rainbow shine out of my ass? No, not yet, but I still have time to look since I’m preparing a tub filled with Kashi cereal and soy milk to bathe in.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 230 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 4.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 150 milligrams of potassium, 33 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, 16 grams of other carbs, 6 grams of protein, and Kashi’s 7 Whole Grain Goodness.)

Item: Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola Cereal
Price: $5.29 (14.3 ounces)
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Tastes really good. Fiber up and out the wazoo. 400 milligrams of ALA Omega-3. All around healthy. Whole grains. Despite not liking coconut, I didn’t mind the coconut in this cereal.
Cons: Makes my jaw hurt when I chew. Small box. Getting Kashi’s 7 Whole Grains stuck in between the body’s cracks and crevices. The movie Baby Mama.