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/

Seven Tips That Make Dieting Strategies Work

1. Drink Your Water

It’s important to stay well hydrated on a diet. I often hear that people can mistake thirst for hunger. Is this true? The jury is still out, but the next time you get a hunger pang, drink a glass of water first. If you really are just thirsty…problem solved. If you are really hungry, the water will help to fill up some of your stomach space so you won’t scarf down a bag of chips. Tip: Water may be the most boring beverage on the planet, so add a bit of flavored carbonated water to jazz it up. I like La Croix.

2. Remove Sugar

If you want to lose weight, you have to remove the SUGAR. Sugar makes it easy for our bodies to store fat. Removing sugar out of your life is a tried and true way to shed and keep off the pounds. Tip: Sugar is found in many forms, so if you’re trying to reduce sugar intake you also have to stop eating the foods that act like sugar in our bodies. Whether you put a spoon full of table sugar in your mouth or chomp on a bagel, the effect is the same. For a complete list of these foods, http://www.olsonnd.com/what-foods-that-act-like-sugar/

3. Eat Smaller Portions

We love “super-size”! It makes sense, right? More food for your buck. When it comes to a good value maybe, but when it comes to good health, “super-size” is the enemy. Be mindful of the amount of food you consume at every sitting. Tip: use smaller bowls and plates for your portions. It will look like a lot of food, and it will be just the right amount. When possible, use a scale, and when eating out avoid anything with the words “all-you-can-eat” and never “super-size” anything unless you are going to share it with at least four or more people.

4. Eat Your Vegetables
Vegetables are superstar foods. Not only are they low in calories, they are high in fiber. Vegetables are a great replacement for rice, pasta and other starchy foods during weight loss. Non-starchy vegetables are the best selection for weight loss; they include asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumbers, field greens, spinach and more. Tip: Eat your veggies first to fill up most of the space in your stomach.

5. Get Enough Protein
Protein is the best fill-me-up food. It’s more satisfying than carbohydrates or fats because it keeps you feeling full for longer. Protein also helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning. Tip: Include healthy proteins like lean meat, sugar free yogurt, cheese, nuts, or beans into every meal and snack.  If your choice is a carb or a protein, go with the protein.

6. Limit Late Night Snacking
Dangerous snacking occurs most often after dinner, when you finally sit down and relax. Snacking while reading or watching TV is one of the easiest ways to throw your diet off course. If you are going to snack, make sure it is a low-calorie snack like fruit, low-fat cheese or a sugar free yogurt with a serving size of no more than 100 calories. Tip: Brush your teeth right after dinner. This is your signal that eating is done for the day.

7. Get Moving
Regular exercise is an important part of effective weight loss. It helps to control your weight by using excess calories that otherwise would be stored as fat.  Enjoy your exercise routine whatever it may be; sports, a trip to the gym, bike riding, walking, household activities, yard work, or work-related tasks — all are beneficial. Tip: Do some kind of movement EVERY SINGLE DAY, even if it’s just for 5 minutes while you are watching your favorite show. Make a game out of it. Every time your favorite character says his catch phrase do 10 jumping jacks, or 20 sit-ups, or 5 squats, or whatever.

Healthy Travel Tips – Eating Right on Vacation

images8HVDV0SASpring Break is right around the corner – from road trips to long flights, making healthy food choices can be tougher than it seems. But by doing a little bit of prep work and planning, you can easily make healthy choices on even the most exotic vacation.

Fill your suitcase The last thing you want to do when you first arrive is go shopping for healthy snacks. Instead, prepare snack-sized baggies that you can easily throw into your beach bag, backpack, or pocket. Keep all the small baggies together by storing them in a larger plastic storage bag. Some great choices include trail mix with dried fruits and nuts, individual packets of peanut butter crackers, dehydrated (kale) chips, dried coconut slices, and your favorite jerky. Even a can of sardines or tuna can be made into a quick meal in a pinch.

Air travel Make sure to eat a healthy, protein-packed meal right before leaving to cut down on the temptation of airport fast food, or take a light meal with you. Small frozen gel packs are great for keeping snacks cool for a few hours and usually have no trouble getting through security. Look for sets that are sold for diaper bags since they tend to be streamlined and don’t take up much space. Choose snacks that are nutrient-dense so you don’t need a large quantity to fill you up. Veggie sticks and cheese cubes, avocado slices, fresh coconut slices, and hard-boiled eggs are easy to eat without utensils. Apples and bananas are usually easy to find and make a great snack when paired with a packet of nut butter.

Road trips Investing in a small cooler will greatly reduce your chances of giving in to the drive-through window. Fill it with fresh fruit, veggie sticks, hard-boiled eggs, and healthy sandwiches. When making sandwiches, choose sprouted, or whole-grain bread – or wrap it all up in a lettuce leaf for a grain-free option. Look for deli meats that are free of nitrates and preservatives, add some lettuce and sliced avocado as a healthy fat instead of mayonnaise. Make sure you layer any condiments (pickles, mustard, and tomatoes) between the protein slices so the bread, or lettuce wrap, doesn’t get soggy. Homemade oatmeal cookies or granola bars made with a touch of honey and filled with dried fruits and nuts make a great kid-friendly snack on the go. If you get caught hungry at a gas station, choose high-protein snacks such as sunflower seeds, nuts, fruit and nut bars, or a banana.

Restaurants Of course you want to indulge on vacation, but indulging at every meal may make it harder to get back into your healthy routine when you get back home. Choose one meal a day, or every two days, as an indulgence, and skip the breadbasket so you’re not tempted to fill up on empty calories before the meal. Google your locations so you know what restaurants are near. Check the menus online before you go, so you know what to expect along with the healthy choices available. You know the drill…choose grilled, broiled, steamed, roasted, baked or poached for your proteins and ask for vegetables to be steamed so they don’t end up floating in oil. Try ordering a salad with olive oil and fresh lemon juice as an appetizer and choose an appetizer for a main course, or choose two appetizers (not the fried stuff) for your dinner. It’s a great way to try different things without going overboard.

Hotels Hotel breakfasts tend to offer a lot of high-sugar, high-carbohydrate items such as pancakes and processed cereals. Choose high-protein eggs instead and add veggies to your omelet if you can. Try finding a hotel with a fridge or request that the mini bar be emptied before you arrive so that you can use it during your stay. Stock it with perishables such as fresh veggie sticks, berries, organic full-fat yogurt, and cheese.

Oatmeal trick: Pack your own individual oatmeal breakfasts in plastic baggies. Add old-fashioned rolled oats, and whatever fillings you like – raisins, shredded coconut, dried fruit, slivered almonds, and even some whey protein. Pour the mixture into a bowl covered with water or coconut milk the night before, store it in the fridge and your breakfast will be waiting for you in the morning. Enjoy your trip!

Understanding Why Protein is Important to Weight Loss

Protein, protein, protein.  It seems like so much advice out there tells us to eat more protein if we want to lose weight.  This is actually great advice, but some of the articles make my eyes glaze over with all the technical reasons for WHY.

 I recently read an article on Fitbie.com that explained the ins and outs of protein, and you don’t have to have a masters in nutrition to understand it. 

 At any given moment, even at rest, your body is breaking down and building up protein, says Jeff Volek, PhD, RD, nutrition and exercise researcher. Substitute the word “muscle” for “protein,” and you quickly understand just how dynamic your body is, and how your muscle content can change considerably in the course of just a few weeks.

 Muscle doesn’t come just from pumping iron.  Muscle buildup is triggered by eating protein. In fact, every time you eat at least 10 to 15 grams of protein, you trigger a burst of protein synthesis. And when you eat at least 20 grams, that period of synthesis lasts about 3 hours—and that means even more muscle growth.

 Here’s a quick look at what those numbers translate into when they actually hit your plate.

 20-30 Grams of Protein

1 4-ounce ground beef patty

1 large chicken breast

1 4-ounce sirloin steak

1 large egg vegetable omelet with 3 strips bacon

20 large peel-and-eat wild shrimp

1 haddock fillet

1 6-ounce pork chop

1 6-ounce serving tempeh

10 to 15 Grams of Protein

1 fruit-and-yogurt parfait with granola

2 medium carrots with 1/2 cup hummus

3/4 cup chili con carne

1 serving spaghetti with meat sauce (10 ounces)

1 pouch chunk light tuna

1/2 cup oatmeal with 1 cup 2% milk

12 ounces low fat chocolate milk

6 ounces Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp peanut butter on whole wheat

 Most people end up eating the majority of their protein at dinner. That means you might be fueling muscle growth for only a few hours a day, probably watching TV before you go to bed. The rest of the day, you’re breaking down muscle because you don’t have enough protein in your system.

The single most important diet upgrade for people who want to lose weight is to eat protein for breakfast.  More on that in my next post.

Your FIT Plan

Eat protein at all three meals, which can include meats and eggs or other options such as cheese and milk. If you can boost your protein intake to between 0.5 and 1.0 gram per pound of body weight, this will preserve your calorie burning muscle mass. That means aiming for approximately 20 grams of protein at your main meals, with options like a chicken breast, a hamburger, or a fillet of fish. For each snack, eat at least 10 to 15 grams of protein, such as two hard-boiled eggs, an order of rice and beans, or even a classic peanut butter sandwich on wheat bread. And when in doubt, reach for milk or cheese.

 When it comes to snacks, we don’t usually carry around a grilled chicken breast, and the best sources of protein—fish, meat, dairy, and beans—aren’t quick and convenient to eat. When you’re on the go or too busy to cook, reach for one of these great “grab and go” protein snacks: 

Jerky

Raw Almonds

Protein Powder

Hard Boiled Eggs

String Cheese

Yogurt

Cottage Cheese

 Make a commitment to include protein in EVERY SINGLE MEAL, and you will start to really preserve your calorie burning muscle mass.

IMPROVED COMPLIANCE

I recently met a woman who was following, or trying to follow a low fat diet. She was asking me if I thought low fat diets really work. Like most of us, she has been googling diet and fitness with a somewhat confusing result. So here is my two cents.

Low fat diets have been extremely popular. But recently there has been a trend to reduce carbohydrate consumption and increase fats and proteins. This newer diet strategy has shown to be extremely effective in improving overall health, body composition, and performance.

There is definitely confusion regarding low fat diets, because there is still ongoing research that examines the efficacy of low fat/high carbohydrate diets for weight loss. A lot of the confusion stems from the fact that low fat diets work when it comes to weight loss. But keep reading, there is more to this story.

The reason low fat diets work is because anytime you decrease a person’s caloric intake to a level significantly below their energy expenditure they will lose weight. It isn’t rocket science just simple math. The question should not be if low fat diets work but if they work the best?

From my own experience, the answer to that is NO. And trust me, I have been on some crazy low fat diets. Low fat diets usually include high carbohydrates. But lowering your carbohydrate consumption and increasing your fat and protein intake leads to a diet that is more effective at reducing fat, preserving and building lean body mass, and improving health.

I used to be “afraid” of fat. I would never eat anything with over 2 or 3 grams of fat. What a bore! Then as I started to learn more about the effects of high carbs and the math game (calories in v.s calories out), I realized I would not gain weight if I ate more fat here and there. I actually noticed my physique looking better and healthier after tweaking the fat consumption in my diet. When you can eat more than 4 grams of fat, it opens up a world of new and delicious foods!

The math game is most important when you are dealing with dietary numbers (calories in v.s. calories out), so once you have your math under control look for balance. A balanced carbohydrate/protein/fat diet is key to increase your level of satiety (you feel full longer), increase blood sugar control (yielding better weight loss), and improved compliance. Improved compliance is by far the most important aspect of a successful “diet”. The more you stick to your plan, the better your plan will work.

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