Monday, May 1, 2006

Finding Nutrition at The Grocery Store: A Guided Tour

Here it is…some of our favorite items for your next grocery list. The sacred list revealed just for you.

The Breakfast Bundle:

  • Kashi GoLean Cereal – You’ve heard us boasting about this cereal again and again. You can’t get much better than 10 grams of fiber, 13g of protein and a mere 6g of sugar all for just 140 calories per cup. Toss in a few blueberries or strawberries, some skim milk, and you’ve got a champion breakfast that’s kind to your waistline and cholesterol. It’ll keep you satiated and energized throughout the morning. Skip over GoLean’s “Crunch” counterpart and save your sugar for a fresh piece of fruit instead! If you need to go easy on your digestive system, check the shelves for Kashi’s Heart to Heart cereal. Still low in sugar and calories it’s another healthful start to your morning.
  • McCanns Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal -- Oatmeal’s an excellent, nutrient-rich jumpstart to your morning. Steel cut oats in particular rise above the rest in whole grain content, containing more fiber, iron and B vitamins than standard types of rolled oats. With this hot cereal, a little goes a long way. Though the portion size is just ¼ cup of uncooked oats, the end product is a hearty bowl of steaming oatmeal – a great breakfast to fuel you first thing in the morning or as an energizing snack before hitting the gym or anytime.
  • Fage Total Greek Yogurt (0% or 2%) – So many of you can’t seem to stop raving about Fage yogurt, we just had to include it in our ‘best of’ list. Packed with 7 more grams of protein than most other plain low-fat yogurts, this container of Greek goodness is low in sugar and touts a deliciously creamy consistency. Pair with fresh fruit or a sprinkling of high-fiber cereal and you’ve got a calcium-rich, low-calorie breakfast or sprinkle with cinnamon for a satisfying snack. Stonyfield Farms Organic Low-fat Plain Yogurt and Horizon Organic Non-fat Plain Yogurt are also great choices.

Lovin’ the Lunch Crowd:

  • La Tortilla Wraps – A world of exciting lite lunch options awaits you with La Tortilla wraps. Why are these particular tortillas so darn special? With a mere 50 calories, 8 grams of dietary fiber and 2 grams of fat, you can’t beat the nutrition facts on this label. Most other wrap brands average between 130-250 calories and usually skimp on the fiber content (fiber is digested more slowly and helps us maintain satiety much longer). Choose from a variety of flavors and spice up lunchtime. Get creative with healthful ingredients such as grilled chicken strips, turkey slices, lite tuna salad, a rainbow of veggies, low-fat cheese, avocado slices and much more!
  • Applegate Farms Turkey Slices – No nitrates (chemical preservatives) or antibiotics, low in sodium and very versatile…we’re big fans of this brand name for deli meats. Great for sandwiches, wraps, to toss into salads or even just as a quick, filling snack on their own, test out these turkey slices, we’ll think you’ll be quite pleased.

Snack Attack (Go ahead, you’ve got the tools to handle it!):

  • Low-fat Laughing Cow Cheese – We’re bringing you back to your childhood with these fun circles of red-cased cheese. Low-fat Laughing Cow circles or wedges are super-easy to toss in your work/travel bag when you’re on-the-go or to keep on-hand in your fridge. Just 35 calories a pop and a good source of calcium, 1 or 2 pieces serve as great snacks alone or with high-fiber crackers or apple slices.
  • Glenny’s Soy Crisps – If you craving that ‘chippy’ crunch, we’ve got just the answer. Soy chips pack in crunch, flavor and a nice dose of protein to fill you up without all the extra-calories or hydrogenated fats found in many other chips. Reach for the 1.3oz – with 140 calories and 10 grams of soy protein per bag.
  • Lara Bars – A wholesome, all-natural snack, Lara Bars are made with organic fruits and nuts making them great sources of vitamin E, healthy omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, and fiber not to mention antioxidants and an array of other vitamins and minerals. Be mindful that these bars are slightly higher in calories and healthful fats -- excellent to keep around for when you get caught in a bind and hunger hits! They’re also great go-to items for travel, long runs or hikes, or simply running errands all weekend!
  • Gnu Bars – Relatively new to the market, Flavor & Fiber bars by Gnu Foods provide a powerful punch of fiber along with complex carbohydrates that will rev you up around the inevitable 4pm slump. At 130 calories, these are great organic option for an afternoon or pre-workout snack or a quick breakfast on-the-run. Bonus points, the kids will love ‘em too!

DeLITEful Dinners:

  • Amy’s Kitchen Organic Bowls – Can’t bear to think about making dinner after a long day? Skip the high-calorie Chinese take-out and reach into the freezer for an easy, flavorful meal by Amy’s Organics. Don’t fear, you can still go ethnic – high on flavor and healthful ingredients. Amy’s has a great line of vegetarian entrees that convey realistic portion sizes to the tee (amazing what a normal portion looks like isn’t it!). Our favorites happen to be loaded with veggies and protein. In particular, we love the Tofu Vegetable Lasagna, Low-Sodium Brown Rice, Vegetables & Tofu Bowl, Indian Palak Paneer, Indian Mattar Tofu, and Low-Sodium Black Bean Vegetable Enchiladas to name a few!
  • Shirataki Noodles – For all you pasta lovers out there, this favorite pick is for you! Shirataki noodles are a fabulous substitute for pasta or rice in a variety of dishes. Made from tofu, Shirataki noodles go well with any dish or flavoring, Italian, Asian, you name it. And yes, at 40 calories for the entire 8oz serving, you can have the whole bag!

Tasty Treats:

  • Stonyfield Farms Squeezers – Pop these organic yogurt tubes in the freezer for a fun, creamy evening treat for a skinny 60 calories and get a boost of your daily calcium need at the same time!
  • Tofutti Fudge Pop Treats – We’re big chocolate fans, and we know many of you are too! Yes, chocolate, in moderation, can fit into a healthful diet. Satisfying that craving with Tofutti Fudge Pops – rich flavor for only 30 calories!

Movie Theatre Munchies:

  • Smart Pop Mini Bags – Heading to the movie theatres is always a fun activity until you hit the snack bar…watch out for a high-calorie disaster zone! Bypass the movie popcorn, a small with butter is a whopping 580 calories and 47 grams of fat! Instead, bring your own – Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop Mini Bags are a tasty, healthful choice at 110 calories and 2 grams of fat per bag. What a difference, munch away! We also love Good Health Half Naked Popcorn with Olive Oil (but be sure to stick to the 4 cup portion size!)
  • Essence Water (by Glaceau)– Need something cold to go with your popcorn? Essence Water brings a little excitement to your good ol’ H20. Naturally flavored and zero calories, pick your favorite fruited flavor to sip on. Great for when you’re watching the big screen or anytime.

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