A Snack for Every Taste Bud

I was fortunate to be contacted by a rep for glenny’s . Truthfully, I had never heard of the company before, but I am always willing to try products and write about it on my blog.

glenny’s started back in 1979, and this is their pitch…”glenny’s low-fat, low-calorie, and high-fiber snacks are the perfect choice for any diet. They are specially formulated to provide you with energy and nutrition you need between meals. Simply put, our nutritious and delicious snacks will keep you satisfied, so you can eat less between meals, and stick to your diet plan! We offer a variety of snacks each with your enjoyment and nutrition needs in mind.”

One thing I know is that any time I’m ‘dieting’ or trying a new eating strategy, it’s nice to have snacky foods to munch on from time to time.

I received a big box of glenny’s snacks, and everyone in my family was ready to dive right in. Before we opened the snacks, I had my daughter create a spread sheet of sorts, so that any time someone took a taste of one of the snacks, their opinion had to be recorded. Not entirely scientific, but this plan worked for us. Even when my kids had friends over, they wouldn’t let them try a glenny’s unless they promised of an honest critique.

I will start with the Stars of the Show:

  1. The two best were Soy Crisp Barbeque and Soy Crisp Ranch. The adults loved the barbeque, and the kids wanted to make sure they got the ranch packed in their lunches, which in our house is a big deal.

    Barbeque

    Barbeque

  2. Next on the super yummy list was the Soy Chips Aged Yellow Cheddar. It received high marks and “delicious” from kids and adults. They were packed with cheddar flavor.
  3. The brownies were amazing. They tasted EXACTLY like a moist, chocolaty brownie. How is this only 100 calories? Best of all, it was a good size brownie. Not just a bite.
  4. My kids LOVE rice crispy treats, so when I gave them the glenny’s version, I was apprehensive. They are kind of Rice Cereal Treat aficionados. Glenny’s passed with flying colors. The texture wasn’t as dense, and it seemed a little sweeter, but all and all it was a great substitute.
  5. Another one of my favorites was the Whole Fruit and Nut Bars. If you like dried fruit, you will love this bar. It’s a dried fruit palooza packed with flavor. I wish the bar was slightly bigger, though.

    Fruit and Nut

    Fruit and Nut

Now for the Runner ups:

  1. The Easy Peasy barbeque had a much milder bbq flavor than the Soy Crisp, so this may be a good alternative for those who don’t like that ‘in your face’ barbeque flavor. One comment my husband had was that the chip should at least be a barbeque color.
  2. The Easy Peasy Parmesan and Olive Oil was a good cracker, but the flavor was a little too mild for most of us.

 

And the not so great flavors:

  1. Any of the Sea Salt versions were just plain blah. Not bad, but no taste to speak of.
  2. The Easy Peasy Chili Lime was kind of weird. The lime flavor hit first but tasted more like lime soap. This part was not good. But then the chili flavor hit with a POW of heat. This part was good, but very spicy.
  3. The Quinoa and Kale options were all graded bland at best.

So, there you have it. The thing I really like about glenny’s is that there is something for everyone and every taste bud. In addition, my family does not have any restrictions when it comes to diet. But for those families that do need to carefully select ingredients, glenny’s offers a wide range of “XXX Free” foods.

 

http://www.glennys.com/

7 Wonders of the Nutrition World

imagesCAQP8F7RWe all know which foods we should try to avoid, and despite the appeal of Thin Mints, Doritos, Mountain Dew or McAnything, processed foods provide little good and a whole lot of bad. But when it comes to the nutritious stuffwhat are the best foods to put into our bodies? While we need a variety of foods for a healthy diet, do you know which are the healthiest of the bunch? These are the top seven most nutrient dense foods around. I bet you will be able to incorporate at least one of these into your daily diet.

 

1. Spirulina: While the thought of eating river algae might gross you out a bit, spirulina is actually fairly tasty, especially blended into a smoothie or hidden in a chocolate bar. It has more antioxidants than any other food on earth and is loaded with protein and minerals making it the most nutrient dense food. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23544470

 

2. Kale: Kale packs a serious nutritious punch, loaded with minerals, vitamins, fiber and amino acids, as well as important antioxidants that reduce inflammation and can prevent cancer. It’s also delicious and an easy to prepare, versatile food. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23631258

 

3. Hemp Seeds: What do you get when you combine protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals? Hemp, of course. This easily digestible seed is versatile, easy to use and extremely tasty, too.

 

4. Broccoli: Your mom was right … Eat your vegetables. Broccoli especially if you want a healthy digestive system and you want to kick it up a notch… your health that is. Broccoli has a wide range of usefulness too, from soups to stir fry, or simply steamed or raw.

 

5.Spinach: Popeye was onto something with that spinach fixation. But skip the canned stuff and stick with fresh or frozen for an antioxidant, protein and fiber-rich burst of healthy goodness. Fresh or cooked, spinach’s sweet and hardy flavor brightens any meal.

 

6. Chia: The Aztecs may have died out, but their legacy is alive and strong in the chia seed. This ancient favorite is loaded with omega fats, protein and fiber. It can be a better choice than flax because chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid.http://fitchicktricks.com/nutrition/dangerfood-or-superfood/chia-the-food-not-the-pet/

 

7. Berries: Unlike other fruit, berries tend to be less sugary and full of vital vitamins, minerals and those free-radical avenging antioxidants. Wild berries are always a great choice, especially black rassberries

The Tricks – Tried and True

imagesCANWR0EASo I don’t call my web site Fit Chick Tricks for nothing. Here is a list of my favorite tricks that I use almost every single day.

 ** Fit girls don’t drink their calories. If you want a sweet beverage, don’t go for a soda, juice, or sports drink. They are loaded with calories, usually 100-200 calories per serving. Water should be your number one choice. If you need something sweet, try a flavored sparkling water, iced tea/green tea with lemon or as a last result even a diet soda if you must.

** Fit girls don’t eat chips with their salsa. Carrots are a great alternative to the tortilla chip. Carrots add the crunch without the calories and fat, and you still get the great taste of the salsa.

**

(a) When you know you will be going to a specific restaurant on a specific day, plan ahead. After you have had a meal, and you are feeling full, go online and look up the restaurant’s website and menu. In the privacy of your own home, on your own time, you can really read the food options and decide on the best choices. You can take all the time you need, and since you have a full stomach, you won’t be influenced by hunger. Make your choice for the next time you are dining out… and stick with it. Don’t even open the menu when you are at the restaurant.

(b)If the restaurant doesn’t have a website, or you don’t have time to look it up, when you do have to open the menu, look to see if they have heart healthy options. Most places have a little symbol that they place next to the healthy choices. Only look at those options. Don’t read through all the yummy appetizer descriptions; don’t read through all the yummy pasta dishes, etc. Choose only from the heart healthy menu items.

** Fit girls don’t eat in their car. Stop eating major meals in your car like it’s a restaurant on wheels. Skinny girls will eat things like a health bar or some fruit, but no eating burritos, sandwiches, and pizza. How much can you really enjoy your food and pay attention to your portions if you are driving around and paying attention to 10 other things. Also, because skinny girls don’t eat meals in the car, there is no need to go through any kind of drive through which typically belongs to fast food joints.

** Fit girls stop eating before they are full. This is a big one. By taking a few minutes before you feel full, you can cut serious calories from your diet without feeling deprived. You must really pay attention to how your stomach is feeling, and stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly. (I started doing this, and it has worked every time. I am always amazed that even though I don’t feel full, if I stop eating, within a few minutes I feel full and sometimes stuffed. ) Eating just enough to satisfy your hunger will help you to feel your best, rather than stuffing yourself into a “food coma”!

** Fit girls eat a meal or snack before going to the grocery store. Grocery shopping can sabotage any healthy diet, as there are yummy temptations at every turn. If you go to the grocery while hungry, it can lead to crazy, unhealthy purchases, and in some cases, binge eating when you get home.

** Fit girls don’t eat salads at fast food restaurants. We all think of salads as being healthy, but his can be very misleading, especially at fast food joints. Most Wendy’s salads have over 600 calories each. A grilled chicken breast sandwich open face (remove one of the buns) or a bowl of chili is a much better option at less than 500 calories each. Salads can be a great choice because they are filled with veggies and fiber, but once you add the restaurant dressing (even the fat free option) it can put your calories way over the top. Don’t mistakenly make salad your “healthy” default menu option, because most times there are healthier, lower calorie, higher protein options. My favorite is a broiled chicken breast sandwich. I take off the side of the bun that has the mayo, and eat it as an open faced sandwich with a knife and fork.  Trust me, as a mom with kids who love fast food, I can tell you that almost every single fast food place has a broiled chicken breast in some form or another.

** Fit girls avoid food products that make healthy claims. Generally speaking, a health claim on a food product is a strong indication that it is not really a food but a food-like substance that has been scientifically engineered. You can find any type of junk food that will have a healthy claim tied to it, but just because a bag of potato chips has “no trans fats” doesn’t mean that it is healthy or low in calories.

Food Traps – 3 “Diet” Foods To Avoid

Have you ever heard the saying “No good deed goes unpunished?”  Sometimes trying to eat healthy can be like navigating a land mine of good vs. bad food, only to find out what we thought was a good choice turns out to be, well, crap. If you are making the effort to eat better in an attempt to get healthy and or lose weight, beware of these three traps that can sabotage the best efforts. The reason I chose these three is because I have been punished by these so called good deeds.

Low-fat Foods

Food labeling can be very deceptive when it comes to food geared for weight loss. Low-fat foods are one of the products to be careful about. Just because the food says “low fat,” does not mean the food is low calorie. In fact, they contain the same or more calories than there “full fat” counterparts. Fat = flavor, so when fat is left out, other stuff is added in (like sugar and names of ingredients we can’t pronounce). Be sure to check the label and see how many calories are typically in the product. Most people associate low-fat foods with lower calories, so they tend to eat more. My advice – if it says low fat, DO NOT Buy it.

Smoothies

Normally, smoothies are associated with healthy eating. If we make them at home, they can include skim milk, fruit, some hidden veggies maybe, and or yogurt, so they are considered a great, healthy food. Some commercial smoothies, however, have many hidden calories from extra sugar. Smoothies bought at your local smoothie shop may also be made with ice cream, so you end up ballooning sugar, fat, and calorie content. Most of the time, the fruit in store-bought smoothies is mostly fruit juice, which eliminates the fiber that is found in the skin of most fruits. My advice – makes your smoothies at home. If you buy a smoothie make sure it is designated a treat and not a healthy snack!

Diet Soda

I must admit, I drink diet soda, but way less than what I used to drink.  It is tricky because it has no calories, so it is almost considered a non-food, a non-issue for weight loss.  But here is the thing. Your body will do whatever it must to maintain its delicate internal acid/alkaline balance (pH balance). Your blood alkalinity level (pH) must be in the range 7.360 – 7.370 ALL THE TIME or you will die! When you drink acidic liquids (like diet soda), you throw off this pH balance. So, to save your life, one of the first things your body will do is to park away the acids somewhere where they can’t damage your body. Where do you think is the best place to park poisonous acids? FAT CELLS! So while you’re enjoying your diet soda, you’re actually making yourself create and fill up more fat cells!!! The more acidic your drink, the more you will aggravate this situation. Just to compare, pure water is neutral and soda (regular and sugar free) is 50,000 times more acidic.

Choosing healthy food can be confusing, especially with some ingenious marketing and shiny packaging. Read on to learn about three danger foods to avoid. There are many more than these three danger foods out there, so take the time to read labels so that your good deeds lead to good health!

Maintaining Nutrients In Your Body For Peak Performance

Nutrients are needed as spare parts for the repair of cellular tissues, and to ensure your cells operate correctly. When your nutrient levels are low for a particular one that your body needs, it starts to malfunction. As you can imagine, this leads to a host of issues from feeling sluggish to weight gain to poor health.

There are two important concepts for nourishing your body:

  1. Variety of Food
  2. Nutrient Denseness of Food

Variety of Food

No single food contains all the nutrients the body needs. It’s easy to get in a food rut, but if you get in the habit of eating only a few foods, it is virtually guaranteed that you will run low in certain nutrients. So, embrace your inner Andrew Zimmern and mix up your diet, try new foods, and do a winter, spring, summer, and fall rotation with the foods you eat by EATING WHAT IS IN SEASON.

Nutrient-Dense Food

We should try to focus on foods that contribute to our health, by having at least some discipline to not eat foods that undermine it.

Nutrient-empty foods aren’t worth eating unless they taste so good to you that your happiness is very positively affected… and even then, unless you are willing to sacrifice good health for the pleasures that these foods bring to the moment, try to save these celebration foods for “rare occasions”.

I recently read an article that categorized foods like this:

  1. Celebration Foods
  2. Fuel Foods
  3. Nutrient Dense Foods.

Celebration Foods should not be eaten frequently, but should be reserved for parties and special occasions:

  • Processed grain products, white flour products (cakes, pastries, and noodles), white-rice, etc.
  • Sugary foods such as ice cream, candy, soda pop, syrups, etc.
  • Yep – all the sweet, yummy, good stuff

Fuel Foods are nutritious and important to provide energy for activity and exercise. But here’s the thing – if you are completely sedentary, they actually provide more calories for the amount of nutrients provided. So make sure that you are doing some kind of physical activity to get the benefits from Fuel Foods.

  • Grains (whole grain bread, whole grain rice, etc.)
  • Fruits

Nutrient Dense Foods should be eaten daily and by everyone:

  • Vegetables
  • Raw nuts
  • Fish
  • Good fat foods such as Avocados and Olives
  • Uncooked oil extracts (extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil, cold pressed oils for example)
  • Lean meats
  • Eggs

Don’t underestimate the power of nutrients. Keep your engine running at peak performance by focusing on nutrient dense foods as part of every meal.

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