Not your every-day Sesame Street… But…probably the real deal behind the scenes!
#youneverknow #cookiemonster #cleaneating
Word of this newbie just came my way (and honestly, I suppose it was only a matter of time, given the popularity of veggie stix, right?!) I personally love fresh fruit because they are LOADED with fiber and good ol’ H2O, making for a filling snack. But…sometimes you just want some crunch with your “sweet” and you don’t want to reach for a Nestle Crunch bar. . .
Enter these fry-shaped snacks, which come in three flavors:
The stats for Snack Factory’s Fruit Sticks are as follows (for 0.75 oz. (about 2/3 cup)):
While they aren’t a sub for fresh fruit, they are – at least – a better option than grabbing some candy. I am thrilled that companies are trying to be a little bit more health conscious these days, and offer more options for anyone wanting to proactively head off a craving. These are available in Walmart, Kroger, and Giant Eagle, among other retailers. You can also snag them on Amazon, which is always a great option when a product is new (and slowly making its way into stores!)
There’s something to be said for having breakfast in the morning. It doesn’t have to be sitting on your night table and devoured the moment your lids go up…but having a meal in the morning as you get going can set you up for a much better day.
My system is a little quirky – if I wake up early, before my usual (and more natural) time, I have to eat pronto. Not doing so lands me in a puffy and uncomfortable way – no one can explain it, it just is what it is. Same thing happens if I wait too long between meals or snacks! Frustrating but…I know it happens, so I’m able to be proactive and head it off! If I wake up at my usual time, a cup of coffee and a little time before eating works best. Everyone is different and there is nothing wrong with the way your morning routine is if it works for you!
I don’t vary a ton with my food in general – I could list my staples on one hand. So breakfast is either eggs and vegetables, or eggs and fruit. I don’t manage to get bored, remarkably (spices and sometimes even salsa or hot sauce can make a nice change!)
What I find, though, is that having a decent amount of protein, paired with high fiber and high water content foods sets me up to have more energy for the not just the morning, but the day. It kicks starts the metabolic burning process, and it often keeps me from devouring everything in sight later (that happens – for sure – when I don’t.)
Whatever mix of macronutrients works for you so that you feel your best, have the most energy, and feel satisfied, is what you should do! That might be toast with peanut butter and some fruit, or a big greek yogurt smoothie… Whatever it is, though, squeeze it in if you can. Breakfast is hugely important and will give you the support you need internally to start the day right.
There’s really no need to reach for candy – I know it’s delicious BUT…when you haven’t had it in a while, it truly becomes TOO sweet. It tastes unnatural and overboard, and never as good as it sounds. That said, cravings are notorious for overriding your best efforts and willpower from time to time… A great option? Nature’ sugar…!
Eating TONS of grapes or mounds of fresh fruit isn’t necessarily recommended…but generally you don’t need nearly that much to satisfy a sweet tooth. A small amount, a snack here or there…that WILL do it. Fresh fruit is also best (as opposed to dried, in which your sugar concentration is much higher) because it’s VOLUME – you get to eat a good amount of it. The water and fiber content will help to fill you up, and it will be more than a spoonful of the other stuff.
Give your body a healthy option first – you might be pleasantly surprised that the craving for something that will derail you actually disappears.
Other in the world of DELICIOUSness…
This really is my usual cast of characters, so it’s fair to say that MOST of my dining-out breakfast options look a lot like this (which, for me, is a good thing!) 🙂
There are always a lot of great options, though – you never have to have full fat milk in your cereal, or even milk at all, for example – most places offer skim (lots of protein, less calories and fat), or soy or almond options. You also can ask for greek yogurt in most establishments, in place of plain (less protein than greek, and often more sugar.)
You can absolutely ask for any condiments on the side, lest your dish come out drowning in something more caloric than you need. Fresh fruit and a tall glass of water are also great as they give some volume and a feeling of fullness…without being bad for you!
For me, the combination of healthy fats, protein, fiber and water content helps keep me satisfied a good while – I’m the kind of person who eats a LOT during the day, so consider that I probably need to eat more often than most. In this case, the fact that I am satisfied for a while indicates that the food items are doing their job nicely…withOUT being bad for me!
We have a fun Farmer’s Market in our City that runs on Sundays during the warmer months – while we aren’t there every weekend like some of my buddies, it’s a fun Sunday morning activity, and a nice way to stock up on healthy options for the week!
Generally I’m scoping out the veggie situation, as vegetables are the bulk of my diet. Fruits are great too, like melons and Fuji apples (when they are in season – hurry up, October!)
You can also pick up flowers, healthy greens, fun seasonal goodies like pumpkins and gourds (hello, Halloween!), grass-fed meat, fresh eggs, and even hummus and mead…
Since I’m not a sit-on-the-beach type, I love this summer activity option – it’s nice to get up and out and DO something…and it also makes food shopping and meal prep easier for the rest of the week.
For more Nutrition jazz…
A lot of my buddies are weight lifters, figure competitors, and all around athletes – they need healthy food, and in serious quantity! While I can’t say a restaurant-sized mayo is on my list (nor can I quite figure out who – OTHER than a restaurant could use it), there are so many great options at stores of the Costco ilk.
For families who need to feed a lot of mouths, you can count on these kinds of stores to carry gargantuan spices too – things you will need on a daily basis, such as salt, pepper, and seasonings (giant plus – and kudos – for having the mineral-rich Himalayan pink salt also! They were ahead of the curve on this one, and I’m psyched they still carry it!
It definitely can save you a penny – or several – over time, so any of the more basic items are worth snagging there if you can. They had a ton of organic fruit, and the fish, poultry, and meat sections are ENORMOUS (you can always freeze what you won’t consume right away!)
Of course there is a plethora of other stuff as well – frozen veggies, frozen chicken, salmon burgers, shrimp, cartoned egg whites and organic eggs – it’s score city if you have a solid appetite OR just need more than what the regular supermarket has on hand. They even have salsa, hummus, turkey slices which, generally, aren’t the unhealthier ones – nice!
You can also find large-scale holiday paraphernalia while you’re out stocking up on food – always a blast. I’m not necessarily coming home with these private skeletons but…way to go, Costco, busting out the Halloween so early! YAAAHhHHHssSS! (Happy little (protein-eating) goth girl!)
For more food-related deliciousness…