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Sustaining Energy

To say I need energy to work and take care of kids (not that either one on their own isn’t exhausting) is an understatement. From interrupted sleep to demanding time commitments, I’m always looking for a new way to boost energy that doesn’t include caffeine (or a nap). I’ve found that energy bars and granola have a few things in common including protein and healthy fats for sustained fuel and carbs for an immediate energy boost. Fiber is key to satiety and curbing the hunger cravings later on. Granola and bars also provide the ability to be eaten anywhere, from sitting at your desk to taking a quick walk – which also helps boost energy. I’ve been looking for products that not only use nuts, but also use grains other than oatmeal to add variety in flavor, texture and nutrition. One day I would love to make granola or a bar for myself, but until then, I have no problem outsourcing.

 

Purely Elizabeth

Purely Elizabeth 1Thank you to the folks at Purely Elizabeth who were kind enough to volunteer some samples of their delicious granola! From nutty to sweet, to salty, to sweet and salty, there is something to satisfy every craving. Out of the ones I sampled, my favorites are the Chocolate Sea Salt and the Maple Brown Sugar, both of which carry a special probiotic blend for an extra boost towards healthy gut flora and overall health!  All of the Purely Elizabeth granola is made with non- GMO ingredients and are gluten free. With 130 calories, 3g of protein and 2g of fiber per 1/3 cup serving the pieces are perfect on yogurt, cereal or as I prefer, just by themselves.

Be sure to check out their grain-free granola line, especially the Original version.

Kashi

2114_PackShotThe Kashi brand is overall inspired by heath and their GOLEAN Plant-Powered bars don’t disappoint. I was lucky enough to receive samples of these bars containing various whole grains, seeds and nuts. With 8g of protein, 4g of fiber and 200 calories per bar, they are perfect for a pick me up that will keep me satisfied all afternoon. All of the bars are non-GMO and many are vegan. I can’t decide if my favorite is Salted Dark Chocolate and Nuts or Peanut Hemp Crunch. Or the Dark Chocolate Cashew Chia. Or the Pecan Baklava. My only complaint is that they aren’t sold closer to my apt.

(picture from Kashi website)

Nature’s Path

The Sunny Hemp bars are full of sunflower seeds, hemp and raisins and are a little sweeter than some bars, but me and my son are not complaining. The bar is soft which also makes it a good choice for younger kids. With ALA omega-3 fats, 3g of fiber, 3g of protein and 140 calories per bar, it’s a good choice any time of the day.

 

 

 

MadeGood

MadeGood Granola bars and minis are are perfect to pack with lunch and are made in a facility free of all the major allergens, including nuts, so they are safe to take to school. We haven’t tried all of the flavors yet, but the Chocolate Banana Granola Minis are a kid friendly 90 calories per pouch and a hit with family members of all ages!

Fitness Magazine

Are you wondering where I’ve been? You can find me on Fitness Magazine online! Every week I’m writing about the latest research or hot topic in nutrition and heath. Check my bio for my latest topic.

Some of my most popular articles are:

Your Body Wants More of These Anti-Inflammatory Foods

The Best Vegetarian Protein Sources for Athletes

The Best Foods to Eat for a Healthy Gut

Trying to Lose Weight? Keep These “Health” Foods in Check

Why You Should be Eating more Pulses

The Surprising Reason You’re Always Craving Salt

Mindful Eating

Your yearly weight loss resolution may be long forgotten, but it’s never too late to think about ‘eating mindfully’. It can easily reduce stress around food decisions and help with weight loss. Here are my ideas of how to do it:

Think about your food. Is the most important thing that your food is organic? Or your meat is antibiotic free? Or your fish is sustainable? The answer doesn’t have to be yes to all of these, but it’s important to understand the language on food labels and make informed decisions about how to spend your money.

Set aside time to eat. You’ll inevitably rush through some meals, but whenever possible, focus on the act of eating, the food, the flavors and who you’re with or the environment. Not only will you enjoy the meal more, but you may also end up eating less.

Break out the nice dishes. It doesn’t have to be your anniversary to use your special tableware. An ordinary meal after a stressful day or for an in-home date night will feel more meaningful with fancy dishes and silverware.

Practice portion control. This will allow you to focus more on the elements of your meal (maybe you’re treating yourself to better quality ingredients), and you can enjoy favorite foods and dessert guilt free in smaller amounts.

Reduce food waste. Everyone feels a little guilty about throwing away rotten vegetables or leftovers that have been in the fridge too long. Help prevent this by planning your meals for the week ahead of time and freezing leftovers immediately after dinner. Not only will you save money on groceries, you will also save space in our landfills.

My Sweet Valentine

Ginger snap 1This Valentine’s Day, my only idea is to give a gift that will last until Spring- a cookie of the month subscription from Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery! I first discovered this for the holidays and since then we have enjoyed Chocolate Chip, Ginger Snap (pictured) and Butter Pecan Shortbread. I hope to make it to the bakery itself to try out their other scrumptious looking pastries, but until then I’ll have to settle for cookies. Unless I get their sampler. Hmmmm… Hopefully I can make this decision by Sunday!

5 Tips to Avoid 5lbs this Holiday Season

With the holiday season in full swing it’s easy to overindulge on the delicious meals and desserts in your (very) near future. Help yourself avoid extra holiday pounds with these simple tips.

1. Eat before you go

If you’re starving when you arrive to your event you’re more likely to overeat. Help prevent this with a small snack or meal before you walk out the door.
2. Watch what you drink

Wine, beer and all of those artisanal house drinks come with a side of hefty calories. Intersperse sparkling water with lemon to keep your calories (and hangover) in check.
3. Keep up with your exercise routine

It’s easy to cancel your spin class for another holiday party, but good decisions lead to more good decisions and exercise will help burn calories and give you the energy you need for that extra party.
4. Step away from the cheese plate

And the other appetizers for that matter. Take a plate of apps, walk away and enjoy some conversation. You won’t mindlessly nibble and won’t be given dirty looks for cornering the area for yourself.
5. Indulge but don’t over indulge 

Let’s face it, you’re going to try many amazing dishes, but keep in mind that after 3-4 bites of a food it typically loses some appeal. So, enjoy all of your favorites, but say “no” to the second helping or the biggest piece of pie.