Green Giant Keeping Healthy Food Fun, Functional, And Convenient

If veggies had a number one fan, it would be me. Yes, hands down, I’d be the one with the glitter and pompoms up front. That, or I’d be threatening someone in effort to secure some…

I’m the one with the hair dryer…

I’m not necessarily partial to brands when it comes to vegetables, though – I do prefer fresh, but for convenience (and a more likely guarantee of peak freshness) I tend to hoard the frozen kind. (“Hoard” is not an exaggeration, however slightly misleading (in that I consume them as feverishly as I amass my supply.))  

Anyway, I don’t have to have a certain name on the package, or even organic depending – it’s more about value in this case. That said, I do like the brands who innovate – frozen foods do not have to be unhealthy, number one… And number two, they can make life a whole helluvalot easier. Especially if you eat like a zoo animal (—-> ME.)

Although Green Giant is not alone in the pursuit, they were one of the first companies to make riced vegetables accessible. For those of us with limited counter space and / or those not wanting to clean the food processor every two minutes, these frozen, steamable packages are a godsend.

Green Giant launched the plain, riced cauliflower variety first, along with a basic, healthier take on tater tots, but have since added to the lineups. They also have a nice selection of roasted veggies, though I confess to not really caring for those as much. 

In addition to bulking up the options within each category, they have since come out with veggie spirals – not new if you like to cook or follow healthy eating trends…BUT…no one has come out with them for the freezer aisle until now. YAAHHSSSS!

I actually spotted – and purchased – the zucchini spirals recently (above.) Though I admittedly wasn’t a huge fan, I think it’s because I didn’t drain the water right away (which I would highly recommend doing.) Because I go through my veggie stashes so rapidly, I often steam them and leave them in the bag – for the riced variations, you’d be fine with that. For these guys, though…definitely drain.

What’s so great about all these seemingly fancy preparations? As I said earlier, the convenience can’t be beat. In addition to that, however, these are THE perfect way to bulk up your meal. If you love to eat, or enjoy larger portions (the brain *can* be tricked!), adding extra servings of vegetables is a healthy way to fill you up without adding too many calories. 

Now…all that said…keep in mind WHICH variety you choose – obviously the options with a sauce mixed in, or the comfort food remakes will have higher calorie counts in the nutritionals than the plain variants. Still, it’s better than housing french fries!

I applaud Green Giant for pioneering these ranges – I do buy other brands sometimes, and have seen a few come to market with newer options (such as a healthier stir fried rice option from Hanover, whose plain riced is good too.)  But Green Giant has the broadest mix, albeit not ALL the versions are as easy to find in every super market. Definitely worth trying for yourself if you haven’t yet!

Happy munching!


Health – The Freedom Of Having A Choice

This came my way this week and though it sounds a little harsh, it’s a very in-your-face truism that shouldn’t be ignored (hence, I’m sure, why it was phrased this way.)  


Everyone is different – nutritional requirements, for example, vary depending on a TON of factors, some of which are not in our control (age is a fine example.)  But at the end of the day, we all have a responsibility to take care of ourselves – we have one “vessel” this go around, and while it can take some beating…it isn’t impervious.

Not everyone can fit in a long-winded routine during the day – I’ve been there.  At one time it was 12 to 14 hour days, sometimes with only three hours of sleep (with a three-hour commute split in half on each side.)  At another, there were weeks of frequent overseas travel with 12 to 14 hour days, and a nonexistent gym (not that I would have had the energy anyway!)  And yet another, I was balancing a competitive sport with long days and total exhaustion – work, train, sleep…with a little bit of food in between. 

BUT…despite the timeline being against me most of the time, there were things I could do – whether walking to work, taking the stairs at the hotel, doing a quick routine in my room…something…ANYthing…to get a little movement in.  It matters.  The body is designed to move – not just take in fuel and do nothing with it..

On that latter point, clean eating – a component equally as vital – doesn’t mean you need follow the same diet as a body builder (you’d be amazed how much a body builder’s diet can vary from a figure competitor, or bikini competitor…forget about just a healthy, fit adult!) What it does mean, though, is caring about the fuel you put into your body so you feel – and function – your best.  You wouldn’t put low quality fuel into a Ferrari and expect it to hit it’s potential, right?  You’re the Ferrari!!!

Keeping in mind that everyone’s needs are unique, sticking to whole, real foods (ones nature produces) and less processed items is your best bet.  Your body needs calories, by the way – it needs protein, carbohydrates AND fats to function…not only optimally, but at all!  

I see two things happen a lot in society – in the USA, at least, it’s become about convenience, and size.  If it’s easy to get, and / or the portions are enormous for the money, people flock to it without internalizing the longer-term effect.

(C) Randy Glassbergen

(C) Randy Glassbergen

I feel like if more time was spent either making food…or sitting down to savor it…and / or people ate smaller portions and let themselves digest a moment, that health would be less of a national concern.  Yes, it can be that simple. (Think I’m crazy?  The awareness is out there – example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4…yikes!  There are also, obviously, have been a ton of articles on the topic over the last few years.)

Given the time of year, as an aside, it’s helpful to remember that just because the calendar says it’s a holiday, doesn’t mean we have to go overboard – it doesn’t feel good to be overstuffed (I don’t know anyone who thinks so, honestly.) There is truly no need – most supermarkets carry holiday food items for a while before and after…so you don’t have to worry about getting it all in at once.  Smaller portions also allow you to enjoy everything, without that horrible, ruined-my-night-feeling-sick aftermath.  

There are a lot of factors going into determining our overall health – some, again, are ones we aren’t in charge of (wouldn’t it be nice if we were?!)  But there are A LOT of things we *CAN* do to take care of ourselves, to stay healthy, and in shape.  Neglecting ourselves is a quick route to sickness (and for you active people, that goes for us too – doing too much might be our trouble spot, landing us in overtraining drudgery.)  

One of many thoughts on the issue, this from Mike Adams

One of many thoughts on the issue, this from Mike Adams

We really DON’T get that many chances.  And honestly, no one wants to have to be in a precarious situation first to get the message that loving and taking care of our health is up to us, and a huge priority.

Shutter stock image

Shutter stock image

If you are new to it, DON’T WORRY!  Baby steps are a-okay. 🙂 There are a ton of resources out there to help you (like the snappy food portion visuals below.)  One day at a time always seems to be the best advice – for, ohhh, EVERYTHING!  Remember that you are in control – YOU get to choose – and that you deserve to feel your best every day. ❤



Hungry Girl also has a few HOLIDAY TIPS…

More on the food front

Nutrition Humor – Holiday Food Pyramids

No one seems to listen when a new Nutrition Pyramid comes out…except when the holidays roll around.  Then no one listens AND they make up their own…


Cartoonstock dre1099


Pleated Jeans



In comparison…my “boring” nutrition… 😉

Nutrition Humor – Carbs

You know when you go low carb…and then anytime you even SMELL a carb you morph into Pavlov’s dog?

Or a heady, raving lunatic who would propose to the next bagel you see?


Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 6.52.34 PM

Yeah…something like that.

Thankful For Healthy Options

I feel like there was a time – somewhere back in my childhood and teen years – when you couldn’t find healthy food choices as easily as you can in 2016.  The availability of clean options is something I am incredibly thankful for because sometimes you just don’t have time to pack a snack (and I am the QUEEN of snack packing!) 

I recently found myself at the ER for a loved one, and again at the hospital twice more for follow ups.  I remember visiting my grandmother many, many moons ago in a hospital in my hometown – it was a wonderful facility but there wasn’t much in the way of healthy foods.  You had a cafeteria with food selections, of course – but the options weren’t exactly health conscious.  Let’s keep in mind, the food for visitors is not the focus, nor should it be!  At the time, it wouldn’t have mattered an ounce!  I was a figure skater who couldn’t’ have kept pounds on me if I tried!

But at almost 38, I do my best to fuel my body with healthy, nutritious foods, staying mindful of my overall caloric intake (and calorie makeup, equally if not more important) because it WILL stick.  Though we may schedule well and prepare accordingly, Life sometimes changes things up…and it ISN’T the end of the world!

So here I am in an inner City hospital, waiting until I am allowed to head back to the recovery room – for me, that was all I cared about!  I was told I HAD to wait 40 minutes at the minimum so, as I was feeling a bit peckish, I ran upstairs to a little coffee outpost.  I was delighted to find hard-boiled eggs, an item I doubt I’d have seen even five years ago.  I recall first seeing these (with a skeptical sneer, admittedly) in an airport – since then I have made the plunge and given them a whirl (hard boiled eggs vs gigantic bagel?  Clear winner for me!)  They aren’t made ten minutes prior, necessarily, but they are fresh…and they are a WONDERFUL option.  Full amino profile in the yolk, plenty of protein, and some healthy fat to keep me satisfied for a while – good choice!


I was really thankful that there was something more than sugary muffins, and calorie-dense carbohydrates to choose from – when clean options are part of the the selection, it makes sticking to our goals and plan MUCH easier!

I wouldn’t necessarily have found myself seeking out a snack had I not be told I had to sit and wait…but since I didn’t have the choice, it was a treat to find some snacks I could enjoy.  They ALSO had soy milk – not in a carafe, but to buy – which I use for coffee.  That was pretty awesome too. 🙂

Healthy options EVERYwhere.


For more of my goodies, click here!

Nutrition Humor – The Traps and Pitfalls

I was discussing this phenomenon recently with someone – that problem when you think you are getting a healthy meal, but instead you are inadvertently adding to your waistline.  It happens rather often because not everyone is educated about nutrition – some items sound so healthy, which is why looking more closely at what has gone INTO those items is crucial.

I’ve heard people say they are trying to lose a few pounds, but who can’t understand why, with all the hard work they put in at the gym, that they aren’t seeing results.  There could be a very simple reason, and it may very well be nutrition.

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 7.52.44 AM

(c) Sara Zimmerman, 2013

In my own mind, I kind of like that the recommendation from the medical field(s) at large is NOT “you need spend two hours a day at the gym” – I mean, who has that kind of time?!  I’d RATHER hear “you need to focus on, and make better nutritional choices” more so, because that feels more achievable.

Now that doesn’t mean “easy” necessarily, but it does mean that we can manage the change.  The tweaks we make to our daily food intake don’t always have to be monumental in order that we see monumental results.  It could be as easy as switching to a low-fat milk, instead of whole (which adults don’t really need, by the way), or asking for dressing on the side and just dipping your fork before snatching up your mouthful of salad.

But it may also be that you just need to be AWARE of what you are having, because inevitably there is room to adjust, giving you a higher chance of success in the weight loss endeavor.  You may not even realize there are culprits working against you, until you take a step back.

Salads are a GREAT example.  Ordering the salad is the healthy option, right?  

Uh…Not so fast…!

There are countless salad fixins and toppers  that may be packing a very serious caloric punch…one you aren’t even aware of.  There are a ton of articles on the very topic, because it happens frequently.  Sometimes that protein source is encrusted with highly caloric ingredients (tuna caked with sesame seeds, chicken encrusted with pecans etc…)  Then there are add-ins like shredded cheese, bacon bits, carb-heavy croutons (that have no other real nutritional value, frankly!)  What you thought was a great option may add up to our entire daily intake!  NIGHTMARE!

So, what can you do?

  1. Ask for lean…and CLEAN…sources of protein.  Yes, you can ask plain grilled chicken!  If that’s not your thing, ask about grilled shrimp, chopped hard boiled egg, or plain grilled fish (without oil and marinade, please!)
  2. Have the kitchen hold some of those calorie-boasting bad guys, such as bacon, cheese, candied nuts, fatty meats like ham, dried fruit…
  3. Ask for your dressing on the side!  You will have much better control over how much you use – keep in mind a serving is generally 1 or 2 tablespoons only.  Often they provide half a cup or more!
  4. You can always ask for extra veggies to add volume with out going crazy with calories.  Cucumbers, carrots, cherry tomatoes, even onion in moderation (sometimes those are too much because they are raw.)

Salads don’t have to be boring, but it is also important that they aren’t considered “healthy” by default – if we care about our weight, or even just our internal health and mechanics, we do have to be mindful of this trap.  Many salads come dripping with oil and fatty dressings, as well as calorie-dense toss-ins.  You can absolutely control what the salad comes with, and you aren’t going to stand out by asking – people ask all the time!  You are buying the meal so…you are allowed!

It’s an easy trap to fall into – how bad can lettuce be for you really?  Well, as you see above, the base of the meal may not always the problem – it’s everything else that gets tossed in WITH it.  The kitchen sink is probably not so great for you either, as it turns out! 😉 

I’ve got a couple of examples of my salad options here… 

Nutrition Humor – Secondhand Carbohydrates

This gave me a giggle – I do try to eat really clean, but I also make a point not to make a fuss over other people’s choices.  It is NONE of my business!

I used to work in an office where people would constantly comment on my healthier choices.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I didn’t see what was so wrong about yogurt, oatmeal, chicken, what the big deal was, or why it was of any interest anyway – I was practically chained to my desk so I was in my own darn space bothering NO one! *insert disgruntled face here*

But…it was as if they couldn’t help themselves.  It truly was almost every day!  I never pointed out the fries or chicken wings, so it felt out of balance to me…and, to be honest, a bit annoying!

In any case, this cartoon is where the tables turn – I’m relatively certain that despite that carbs don’t love me, I wouldn’t say this, but I do have some fitness buds who might!  

(c) Randy Glasbergen

(c) Randy Glasbergen

For more of my Nutritional Jazz