Bytes of Love

Working mommy. Startup daddy. Rascal toddlers.

Category: Health Nut Food Faves (Page 2 of 2)

Health Nut Food Faves of the Month – May

Here’s my favorite drink and grocery item this month!

Quorn – Naked Chik’n Cutlets

What I love: If you’re a vegetarian or simply want to be a little greener, Quorn products in general are a great way to add high quality, soy-free protein to your diet. The best part is that these naked chik’n cutlets are very easy to prepare and substitute great for chicken. Stay tuned for a nice and spicy Indian quorn & spinach recipe that I’ll be posting shortly! And, for those of you who are wondering: no, there’s no corn in it. Not sure where the name came from, to be honest.

What I don’t like: The price. These cutlets and Quorn products in general are pricy, but if you consider they’re in the range of organic chicken prices, you might not mind the price so much. I have yet to try all Quorn products to see how they measure up to the cutlets.

The verdict: As a great source of protein and having 25% less fat than skinless chicken breast, these cutlets will soon be a common staple in our freezer. If you’re tired of tofu, tempeh, or other soy-based products and need some variety in your meals, definitely try these out. Let me know what creative recipes you come up with!

 

Almond Breeze Almond Milk

What I love: I started drinking almond milk a few years ago and although I also drink skim or 1% milk on a regular basis (gotta keep those bones strong!), I frequently pick up almond milk because of its silky smooth taste, excellent source of vitamin A, and Calcium. I prefer the regular, unsweetened kind because it doesn’t have an aftertaste and doesn’t give you “milk breath”. Gotta love that.

What I don’t like: There’s really nothing  to like dislike, although I’m going to guess that almond milk might not substitute evenly when baking or using the almond milk in certain dishes. I have yet to try this and will let you know what I find out the next time I try to make a vegan dish.

The Verdict: If you’re living with a lactose intolerant person, chances are that you have already given this a try. But, if not, branch out a bit and see how you like the Almond Breeze brand. You can purchase either the refrigerator packs or the ones on the grocery shelves, but I tend to like them both better than other brands I’ve tried. My favorite way to drink this: chilled, in a tall glass, with 2 tablespoons of Ovaltine Rich Chocolate powder mixed in. Yum!

Health Nut Food Fave of the Month – March

Because we have a family member who has Asperger’s, a form of autism, my family often prepares gluten-free dishes. A gluten-free diet can help autistic people focus better and generally helps them overall health-wise. When my family came to visit over the holidays last year, I decided to try making waffles using gluten free Bisquick mix for brunch one day. This month, I decided to use it again. Here’s why:

Bisquick Gluten Free

What I love: Gluten free Bisquick mix is made primarily from rice flour. Because of this, the foods made from this mix don’t feel nearly as heavy as foods made from regular pancake / biscuit / waffle mix. The waffles made with this mix come out nice and crispy on the outside, and really light and fluffy on the inside. I would say that they come out even better with gluten free Bisquick mix compared to regular Bisquick mix!

What I don’t like: The only problem with this mix is the fact that it is quite pricey, compared to regular Bisquick mix. It also comes in a 16 oz box, instead of the regular 40 oz box that the other Bisquick mixes come in, which means that you’ll need to replace  it rather quickly as well.

The verdict: If you want to eat lighter without losing taste, texture, or flavor, I would highly recommend using gluten free Bisquick for your next batch of pancakes or waffles. I promise that you’ll brunch will feel a lot less heavy and you’ll feel a bit healthier as well.

Health Nut Food Faves of the Month – February

Here are my favorite food and drink of the month!

Get Clean – Herb Tea for Detoxing

What I love: This caffeine-free red tea is fantastic for detoxing your body. It’s an herbal tea that stimulates your kidney and really does feel like it cleanses out your system. You can drink it pretty much anytime of the day and feel great after you’ve had a heavy meal. The best part is that it tastes great as well! It’s got a slightly sweet taste to it, so you don’t even have to add sugar.

What I don’t like: Although I love everything about the product, including the packaging, it is a bit pricey and definitely more expensive than other teas. Because of this, I don’t drink it every day, but definitely reach out for it on days when I feel like I could use something warm and refreshing at the same time.

The Verdict: Definitely give this a try the next time you’re looking for an herbal tea. I bought this at my local Fresh Market, but it can also be found at other grocery stores. Although I haven’t tried it yet, this tea could possibly make for an excellent iced tea as well – perfect for spring and summer!

NewTree Dark Milk 51% Cocoa Chocolate

What I love: Ok, so everyone knows that eating too much chocolate too frequently can’t be good for our health. But, eating a square of dark chocolate a day might actually be beneficial to your health since dark chocolate contains a good amount of antioxidants. Although NewTree’s dark milk chocolate probably doesn’t have enough cocoa to really be able to claim antioxidant benefits, it does claim to have 3 times more fiber and 30% less sugar than regular milk chocolate. But, the best part to me is still the taste – it’s absolutely delicious and a square or two of this chocolate equals the perfect dessert to me.

What I don’t like: As with any chocolate, you’re still taking in a bunch of calories and fats, so there is a need to watch how much of this you’re taking in. As with any candy, you do need to eat this chocolate in moderation.

The Verdict: Definitely check this chocolate out if you’re looking for something different. It’s not only delicious, but is certified 100% CO2 neutral and the company also contributes to the Amazon Rainforest. If you need one more reason to be convinced, I’ll give you another one: it’s Belgian chocolate 😉

Health Nut Food Fave of the Month – December

This month’s food fave was recommended to me by my mom. She has been drinking acai berry juice for quite a while now and even though I have generally not been a fan, I do like this particular one she bought for me: Genesis Today Acai Light with Coconut Water. I don’t think there’s anything that special about the acai (pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”) berry, but I love the fact this juice is rich in antioxidants and vitamins.

What I love: This juice is low on sugar and calories, due to the fact that it’s mixed with coconut water. This also causes it to be a bit thinner than regular acai berry juice and makes it easier to drink. It’s got a good dose of vitamins B6, B12, Folate, and Biotin, which most of us don’t get enough of on a daily basis. It’s also got your full daily dose of vitamin C. Can’t get much healthier!

What I don’t like: You might have to get used to taste of this juice. If you’ve never had acai berry juice before, you’ll notice that it can be slightly bitter and a bit thicker than regular fruit juices. However, this particular brand does a good job of making it more drinkable. The taste will most likely still have to grow on you, though.

The verdict: Give this a try if you like to drink your key vitamins. I can’t guarantee that you’ll love the taste, but your body will thank you for the boost of antioxidants and vitamins that you’ll get out of this. A lot of people swear by acai berry juice in the morning since they claim that it gives them a ton of energy. I have not been drinking this for long enough to confirm this, but will let you know when I do!

Health Nut Food Faves of the Month – October

It’s finally fall and is starting to feel a bit more like it as well in my area. With cooler weather, here’s what I absolutely love this month!

Trader Joe’s Mulling Spices

If you’re looking for a warm, fat free dessert, this is going to be one of your new fall favorites!

What I love: These mulling spices lend the perfect amount of sweetness, warmth, and flavor and can turn either apple cider, apple juice, or red wine into warm (or cold, if you prefer that) fall treat. I heated these spices in warm apple juice and they were just amazing. The apple juice was not only very soothing, but made the entire house smell fantastic as well. I want another mug just thinking about it!

What I don’t like: There’s really nothing to like here. If you don’t have a muslin bag or cloth, you will have to add the spices to your drink, which means that some of them will float, some of them will hang out at the bottom of your mug or cup, and you might accidentally bite into a clove, which has a very strong flavor. However, I actually enjoyed chewing on the small pieces of lemon and orange peel, so did not mind this at all.

The verdict: If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, you must look for these in the tea section! With autumn flavors such as lemon and orange peel, cinnamon, all spice, and cloves, you can’t go wrong. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, you can always try making this yourself or trying the mulling spices at other grocery stores. I believe Williams-Sonoma has these as well. Give it a try, I promise you’ll love it =).

Health Nut Food Faves of the Month – August

Here are two favorites that I’ve been downing this month!

Van’s Waffles

Who doesn’t like a warm, slightly crispy on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside waffle? If you’re an Eggo fan, keep reading! I recently discovered Van’s and might not go back. These frozen waffles are ready in less than 5 minutes (in the toaster) and super quick and easy to consume, even when on the go.

What I love: These waffles (I buy the “Lite” version) are fairly small, but big on taste! They also 97% fat free, made with whole grains, contain no artificial ingredients, and at 70 calories per waffle, you can easily eat 3 for a nutritious and satisfying breakfast.

What I don’t like: They can be addicting! Especially when you eat them with some peanut butter and jelly on top. Keep in mind that these are a little pricier than regular waffles, but well worth the chemical-free ingredients that they’re made of.

The Verdict: Try them for breakfast with some fruit or maple syrup on top. Then, let me know if you’re still missing your Eggos J.

Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt

This new line of Greek yogurt by StonyField Farms is definitely one of my new favorite foods! Yogurt really makes for a fantastic snack anytime of the day, and girls, if you don’t like drinking milk, yogurt is a great alternative to get your daily dose of Calcium in.

What I love: This Greek yogurt is much creamier and richer than regular yogurt. It also has 0% fat, less carbs, and about twice the protein of regular yogurt. It tastes great, is quite filling and because it’s organic, there’s no worry about hormones or chemicals in your yogurt either!

What I don’t like: It’s quite pricey, up to $1 more compared to regular Stonyfield Farms yogurt. I wouldn’t mind paying a little less J.

The Verdict: Definitely give this a try and compare it to regular yogurt to see which one you like better. My favorite flavor is the regular Greek yogurt with honey on the bottom – simply divine!

Health Nut Food Faves of the Month – July

Here’s what I’ve been munching on this month!

Smucker’s Organic Peanut Butter

Ok, who does not have a peanut butter craving from time to time? Lately, I’ve definitely been on a peanut butter kick. My favorite way to consume peanut butter is on a pure, plain, and simply peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Nothing beats it. Nothing.

What I love: Smucker’s Organic Peanut Butter (I buy the creamy kind) has just two ingredients: peanuts & salt. If you take any of the regular peanut butter types, you can be stuck with high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, hydrogenated oils, and other ingredients which simply take away from the goodness and flavor of natural of organic peanut butter. I love the fact that this peanut butter is creamy, not too salty, and perfectly natural.

What I don’t like: The fat and calorie content still tends to be quite high, which is true for just about any peanut butter you’re eating. Stick to a tablespoon or two a day and you’re in the clear.

The Verdict: Have some real, natural, organic peanut butter and get a good dose of monosaturated fats (the kind that lower the “bad” cholesterol LDL), antioxidants, and protein as an added side benefit!

Trader Joe’s Sesame Soba Noodles

This is an excellent example of a great, wonderful, and nutritious lunch or other meal-on-the-go. All you need is a microwave and you’ve got yourself a tangy, aromatic Asian meal.

What I love: These noodles are so delicious and filling! They literally keep me full for hours after I eat them. Soba noodles tend to be low in calories as well and this dish doesn’t contain more than 250 of them! The noodles, tofu, and veggies have a wonderful, tangy, sesame flavor that I definitely crave from time to time.

What I don’t like: The only drawback here would be that one bowl of these noodles does contain 25% of your daily sodium allotment. In addition, it is a frozen, not fresh meal, so as addictive as these may be, try to switch things up and eat some fresh foods as part of your meal as well.

The Verdict: Definitely give these a try! As I mentioned, you can find them at your local Trader Joe’s, in the freezer section. They are decently priced as well (under $3.00, I believe), so this makes for a great, cheap, and tasty lunch when you’re on-the-go.

Kashi Dark Chocolate Coconut Bar

If you’re looking for a quick and easy dessert, look no further! These bars are a great way to keep calories in check while satisfying your sweet tooth.

What I love: CHOCOLATE! I’ll eat pretty much anything even remotely related to chocolate, but the down side of that is that the calories tend to pile up quickly. This Kashi fruit & grain bar contains only 120 calories in addition to 4g of fiber and 4g of protein. It’s also free of preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors.

What I don’t like: I can’t believe I’m typing this, but sometimes these can get a little TOO much in terms of sweetness. One of them is definitely enough, but that’s probably a good thing anyway =).

The Verdict: Toss one in your lunch bag or have one for dessert. It’s a lot more satisfying and definitely healthier than some of the other desserts you could be having. Once in a while, you’ve got to indulge, but Kashi makes it easy to do so, even when it feels like you’re being bad. Check out some of their other (less dessert-like) flavors as well.

Health Nut Food Faves of the Month – May

Here’s what I’ve been eating (and drinking) this month!

Breakstone’s Cottage Cheese & Fruit

Cottage cheese is very versatile and can be used to make anything from lasagna to tuna salad. It’s also a really convenient snack and even serve as a light breakfast or lunch with some extra fruit.

What I love: I often eat the Breakstone’s cottage cheese & fruit for breakfast because it keeps me full for a while, plus it’s low in fat and calories and give you 15% of your daily dose of Calcium. My favorite flavors? Pineapple and strawberry!

What I don’t like: The taste of cottage cheese takes some getting used to. It also has its share of sodium so it’s a bit on the salty side, which is why I think the fruit goes well with it. If you eat this for a few weeks in a row, you might get a bit tired of it.

The Verdict: Grab some in the dairy isle and try having this for breakfast with some extra fruit, juice, or tea on the side. It’s a great way to start your day.


Horizon organic milk

Organic milk is something that’s fairly new to me, as I previously purchased regular 1% milk. However, it’s becoming more common and the variety of brands is slowly increasing, so I hope that this also means that the number of organic farms are increasing, which will increase supply and hopefully lower prices as well.

What I love: The taste!! Organic milk just tastes much better than regular milk to me. In addition, it has a longer shelf (refrigerator shelf, that is) life since it is pasteurized. I drink a small glass every night to get an extra dose of Calcium in. The great thing about this milk is that it also comes in very convenient on-the-go packages, which are great for you or the kids when you’re on the road.

What I don’t like: Organic milk is still a bit pricey…as much as $1.20 more for half a gallon. However, I think this is a small price to pay for helping out organic farmers, your health, and the environment.

The Verdict: You don’t completely have to move over to the “green” side, but try switching out your regular milk for organic one week and see what you think!

Bigelow Organic Pomegranate Acai Berry Tea

This is one of my favorite new teas! Bigelow is a brand that you can find at almost any grocery store, so this shouldn’t be too hard to find.

What I love: The tea itself provides a good amount of mellow sweetness, so you might not even need sugar in this. Plus, it provides a good amount of antioxidants.

What I don’t like: Not much, really! Don’t try drinking this tea if you need a hefty dose of caffeine, though, it won’t provide it.

The Verdict: Try this as a nice, fruity, and refreshing substitute for green tea. You’ll love it!

Health Nut Food Faves of the Month

I think now is about the time when diets and new year’s resolutions start waning. If this isn’t the case for you, congrats! For me, on the other hand, this is the time when I’m getting really busy, and between work, travel, and social events, I end up eating more on-the-go food and definitely have less time to throw together a healthy, nutricious meal. This prompted me to review some of my favorite health-nut foods, that I absolutely love because they allow me to stay on track on-the-go, and / or don’t take a lot of time to prepare.

I reviewed some of these foods below, and also commented on anything I didn’t like about them, so you get a fair, balanced opinion. Look for a new Health Nut Food Faves blog entry every month!

Stonyfield Farms Organic Yogurts

What I love: These fat-free or low-fat yogurts provide you with a good amount of Calcium (20% or more) and make an excellent snack that keeps you full for a while.

What I don’t like: Some of them, such as the Chocolate Underground flavor, are loaded with as many as 35 grams of sugar.

The verdict: A wonderful, low-fat snack, but be weary of the sugar amounts. Find out more at http://stonyfieldfarms.com/.

Cascadian Farms Organic Granola Bars

What I love: They’re delicious! Most of them provide a good amount of fiber, if you get the ones with the “Fiber Right” sign on the box. They tend to be pretty low-fat as well.

What I don’t like: You do have to carefully read the boxes, because some types of bars, like the “Almond Butter Crunchy” granola bars come with 2 bars in one package. If you end up eating both, you’re looking at about 180 calories, which is a bit on the high side for me, as I tend to eat these as a small snack.

The verdict: Great tasting and decently priced for a granola bar, especially considering the fact that it’s organic. Sign up for a $1.00 off coupon on their site: http://cascadianfarm.com/coupons/default.aspx?WT.srch=1

Trader Joe’s Cage-Free Eggs

What I love: The price! Whether you’re looking for cage free, vegetarian fed, or completely organic eggs, Trader Joe’s has a great selection of eggs at very reasonable prices. In addition, since 2005, all Trader Joe’s branded eggs come from cage-free hens. In my opinion, happier hens produce better eggs – up for debate.

What I don’t like: Not much not to like here! Sometimes they run out of the eggs I like to purchase, but in general, I’m able to find what I’m looking for.

The verdict: Great value and quality eggs. If you’re not blessed with a Trader Joe’s in your area, let them know by sending a location request: http://traderjoes.com/static/contact_us.html

Luna Bars

What I love: Everything! These bars are loaded with vitamins and minerals, are super tasty, and will give you a good dose of folic acid and biotin, which I bet most girls don’t get enough of. They are specifically designed for women, but I’ve seen some men devour them as well.

What I don’t like: You’ll get a moderate amount of fat and sugar in these, so you probably want to stay away from downing a few a day…(not that you couldn’t…they’re THAT good!).

The verdict: These are great for breakfast, with a cup of tea, so definitely check them out. My favorite flavors are Caramel Nut Brownie, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Peanut Butter Cookie (not too peanut buttery at all!), and Nutz over Chocolate…are you starting to see a trend here? The Lemon Zest flavors is also very refreshing with a cup of green tea.

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