The power of recommendations

Jar of Jif Peanut ButterI love peanut butter. It’s rich and smooth and fatty, with lots of protein, and tastes so yummy on a sandwich or toast or apples or even celery, which I admit that I despise plain. But peanut butter is one of my “red light” foods – I can’t have it in the house because I know I can’t control portions or just picking up a jar and dipping a finger in it for “one scoop.” (Since I live alone, no one else is around to have problems with finger-dipped PB.)

So I was delighted when Hungry Girl announced the first all natural lower-fat and calories kind: Better’n Peanut Butter. It’s expensive and hard to find but I was so happy to read about a product that could help me have some things I missed and wasn’t sure I could get back into my life safely.

I didn’t like it. That was a bummer for me, because usually the Hungry Girl recommendations are pretty spot-on, and I try to add one new food or recipe every week to give me additional variety. I still have the jar in my fridge but it didn’t do the trick. The quest continues.

Hungry Girl came through again with a recommendation for what she called “freakishly awesome” PB2, a brand new product described this way:

There’s a company in Georgia called Bell Plantation.And they make cool, unconventional peanut stuff.Well, they have found a way to extract practically all of the oil and fat from peanuts when they roast and grind ’em down. The result is a fine, insanely delicious-smelling, peanut butterlicious powder that is EXTREMELY versatile.You can add water to it and essentially turn it into low-cal, low-fat peanut butter (2 tbsp. of the stuff has just 54 calories and less than 3g of fat).OR you can use it cleverly in recipes and make peanut buttery smoothies, cakes, hot cocoa, ice cream sundae toppings, etc.

PB2 powdered peanut butterHow could I not want this stuff? It’s not sold in stores so I almost immediately hopped on the web and ordered 6 jars (the minimum order was 4 and I’d thought of people I could give this to because, well, I’m like that). The order process was easy, paying through PayPal. But the PB2 hasn’t arrived.

Last night I got an email from the company and it was reassuring that the order was still in process. Their system was simply not able to handle the flood of orders that resulted from a single Hungry Girl mention:

Before Hungry Girl wrote about us in her newsletter she made the best understated comment I have ever heard. She told us that we might see a bump in demand. Wow, what an understatement, we have over 190,000 hits on our website, over 6000 phone calls and thousands of emails, a slight bump. Hungry Girl has quite a following.

There you have it. I am one of the thousands who ordered because of her recommendation. I buy other things, too, from frozen meals to different vegetables I haven’t tried before. Just think of the changes that stores would have to make if we all recommended healthy products widely – on our blogs, to friends in email or conversations, in the store to managers. Why should all the word of mouth be about stuff like cookies and candy?

We want and need certain foods to accomplish our goals of eating healthy, losing or maintaining weight loss, having energy to be active. What do you recommend?