"Sex Drive" Harnesses the Power of Horny Goat Weed

Categories: Product Reviews

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Mountain Screw
Man has ingested all manner of disgusting things hoping they might put the gusto back in his thrust-o: Tiger penis, dead chicken embryos, ambergris (an intestinal secretion of sperm whales). Why not an energy drink, which some consider the equivalent of drinking sweetened battery acid?

Sex Drive Energy Drink is the elixir that aims to keep you up, in both senses of the word.

"Turn on your drink!" the can reads.

Gut Check could've done better than that. "Sex Drive: Get Your Motor Running." "The Dew That Helps You Screw!" Or "The Fizz That Makes You ..." Well, anyway.


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The IceHuggy Cometh: A Frozen Treat Koozie That Protects Hands, Wastes Money

Categories: Product Reviews

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IceHuggies in action.
To Gut Check, frozen treats made of water and sugar packaged in simple plastic tubes such as Fla-Vor-Ice and Otter Pops are summer staples. These sticky, slippery sugar sticks have always been bargain-bin cheap at the grocery store or dollar store, and they can be purchased in large quantities on the cheap: 100 pops cost about $6. Inexpensive, plentiful and sugar-high inducing, they are the things that Gut Check's childhood dreams were made of. Or, as the rich kid who used to live down the street liked to put it, they are the "poor man's Popsicle." Hey, any day now Mom is going to buy us a bike radio, and when she does we're smashing yours with our remaining 99 Otter Pops.

Imagine our glee, then, when recently we received a press release at Gut Check HQ promoting a product called the IceHuggy, "the Flip-Fold-Fasten sleeve that stretches to wrap around your frozen ice treats" Yes, this is technology akin to a beer koozie applied to cheap-ass Otter Pops. Naturally, we had to have a pair of IceHuggies ASAP.

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Juiced Up: Gut Check's Spring Cleaning Cleanse, Day Three

Categories: Product Reviews

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Evan C. Jones
The final day of the juice cleanse has arrived, and Gut Check is eagerly anticipating chewing solid food once again. For the most part day one felt like smooth sailing, but day two ended with quite the stomach rumblings, so we tried to keep our heads down and focused for the last day of the Blue Print Cleanse. Unfortunately, a busy day means shuttling juice around and hoping to avoid some of the light-headed feelings from yesterday. The last day of the cleanse also means that everything is running smoothly (no pun) and the body should be in prime condition.

7:15 a.m.

Sitting at an auto dealership getting some work done on our shiny new whip. The scent of fresh brewed coffee and doughnuts drifts through the air. No fear, Gut Check has the refrigerator bag with a green juice breakfast! It still counts if we crush a doughnut up into the green juice, right? Sadly, we fought the urge to do so and moved on.

8:00 a.m.

With tensions high and hunger pangs hitting hard, we finally cracked open the green juice for breakfast. Surprise: It tastes the same as it did the last two days, which is to say, not like a chocolate glazed doughnut.

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Juiced Up: Gut Check's Spring Cleaning Cleanse, Day Two

Categories: Product Reviews

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Evan C. Jones
Gut Check's first day on Blue Print Cleanse's detox juice cleanse was definitely an adjustment. But how does one approach their daily routine on the cleanse and stay active while constantly needing to grab a new bottle of produce from the refrigerator? Never fear, health nerds. In addition to the juices, the cleanse comes with a refrigeration bag with long release ice packs. Gut Check's mission today was to retain a normal schedule with the cleanse and see how well we'd do.

9:15 a.m.
Up bright and early for breakfast* this morning. Unlike yesterday, we're actually looking forward to the stuff. A quick weigh-in reveals five pounds have evaporated after day one of the cleanse -- too bad we're too old for prom season, right? Today, everything seems to be coming up roses, so much so that even our spring allergy-triggered sneezes are sounding incredibly healthy.

*green juice

11:00 a.m.
Aside from the decadently delicious cashew milk "dessert" drink, the "gold" juice made with pineapple, apple and mint clocks in as a close second as one of our favorite drinks thus far. It's not the most traditional combination, but it's damn good.

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Juiced Up: Gut Check's Spring Cleaning Cleanse, Day One

Categories: Product Reviews

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Evan C. Jones
Gut Check is constantly sampling the best, worst and most confusing foods floating around the St. Louis area, but sometimes -- especially when it's 75 degrees Fahrenheit in March and feels like summer -- it can begin to weigh us down. We began to think: Is there such a thing as spring cleaning for the body? Enter Blue Print Cleanse (BPC), a New York-based company that specializes in cold-pressed, raw, unpasteurized juice cleanses. The process is simple: After choosing your cleanse level, BPC delivers the bottled juice, numbered one through six, and provides a diet plan.

Since Gut Check is new to the cleansing scene, and the green-juice-heavy "Excavation" cleanse sounds painful, the introductory three-day "Renovation" cleanse is the one for us. Leading up to the cleanse required some preparation, such as phasing out solid food for maximum results and to insure one's body is adjusted for a detoxifying juice cleanse. Until the delivery happens, water with lemon is the drink suggested by BPC to start alkalizing the body. On an unrelated note, it's 8:34 a.m. on day one, and a giant stack of pancakes sounds amazing.

Day One


10:28 a.m.

FedEx delivers the cleanse, tightly packed into a refrigeration bag filled with ice packs. A card filled with cheat foods falls out, causing seconds of joy. Alas, the cheat options are miniscule: small portions of vegetables such as cucumber and avocado are a few of the only options. After refrigerating the bulk of the bottles, it's time to break into the first juice.


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The St. Louis Food Lover's Gift Guide: Edible Stocking Stuffers

Categories: Product Reviews

With a little planning and a couple of cocktails the holidays can go down smoother than a pint of spiked egg nog. Gut Check's assembled a series of guides to help find the perfect present for the food lover in your life while maintaining sanity and investing in your community... and, okay, maybe picking up a thing or two for yourself along the way.

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Chrissy Wilmes
Decadent pumpkin truffles from Kakao.
Great things come in small packages: chocolate, gift certificates, jewelry (if you're into that kinda thing). Skip the boring, mass-produced candy canes and Hershey's Kisses this year and go straight for the good stuff (read: locally made chocolate and booze).

- Handmade caramels from the Caramel House are gooey and decadent, and they come in flavors infused with other locally made products like Schlafly Beer, Gus' Pretzels and Lochhead Vanilla. Order them through the Caramel House website or buy them at one of these local retail shops. ($5 for a three-piece "snack bag")


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The St. Louis Food Lover's Gift Guide: Handmade Kitchen Accessories

Categories: Product Reviews

With a little planning and a couple of cocktails the holidays can go down smoother than a pint of spiked egg nog. Gut Check's assembled a series of guides to help find the perfect present for the food lover in your life while maintaining sanity and investing in your community... and, okay, maybe picking up a thing or two for yourself along the way.

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Chrissy Wilmes
So you're shopping for the food nerd that has everything? Adding a little something new to a room changes its whole feng shui for the better. They're not in the mood to cook? They will be once you hand them a beautiful, handmade cutting board or light the wood wick on a new farmers' market scented candle. How about an exotic extract or beautiful bowl for inspiration? Spruce up the kitchen that houses those cookbooks and Pampered Chef baking stones with some accessories that anyone could use.


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The St. Louis Food Lover's Gift Guide: Books

Categories: Product Reviews

With a little planning and a couple of cocktails the holidays can go down smoother than a pint of spiked egg nog. Gut Check's assembled a series of guides to help find the perfect present for the food lover in your life while maintaining sanity and investing in your community... and, okay, maybe picking up a thing or two for yourself along the way.

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Finally, a cookbook for beginners.
Is there anything better than curling up with a good book on a cold, dreary day? Why, yes. There is -- curling up with a good book that inspires you to whip up some hearty chili or simmer some mulled wine.

Give the gift of warmth this season with a locally produced and locally focused book. Not only will the recipes, memories or chronicles of beer lore lead to inspiration and (we hope!) toasty, delicious eats for you and your loved ones, your purchase from a local author or book shop is like a giant, cozy bear hug for your community. A really good one, too. One that maybe goes on just a few seconds longer than it should.


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The St. Louis Food Lover's Gift Guide: Culinary Classes

Categories: Product Reviews

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Class is in session at the Kitchen Conservatory
With a little planning and a couple of cocktails the holidays can go down smoother than a pint of spiked egg nog. Gut Check's assembled a series of guides to help find the perfect present for the food lover in your life while maintaining sanity and investing in your community...and, OK, maybe picking up a thing or two for yourself along the way.

You know the old saying: Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you'll both have salmon risotto for life.

And the best part? You don't even have to do the work! There are plenty of places to hone the culinary skills of your family and friends, whether you're shopping for a instant-ramen-only cook or someone who fancies herself a home chef.


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The St. Louis Food Lover's Gift Guide: Aprons

Categories: Product Reviews

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One of Gingerly Garnished's handmade aprons.
‚ÄčWith a little planning and a couple of cocktails the holidays can go down smoother than a pint of spiked egg nog. Gut Check's assembled a series of guides to help find the perfect present for the food lover in your life while maintaining sanity and investing in your community...and, OK, maybe picking up a thing or two for yourself along the way.

Every home cook needs a fabulous apron. Aside from the obvious practicality of having a shield between your brand-new reindeer sweater and butter jumping out of a frying pan, an adorable apron makes you look as legit as you feel when you're bakin' and bastin'.

Plus, looking good builds confidence, and confidence means performance. That's right --logically, a fantastic apron will make the chef in your life even more awesome, and who's really benefiting from that?

Luckily, there are several local apron options for the fashionable foodie:


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