Fitness Humor – The Magic Pill

There’s definitely some humor in this at first glance, but the quote also suggests that nutrition is vital to our health – what we take in to fuel our bodies matters, and it’s almost amazing that it isn’t one of the first things many doctors look into for chronic illness.  

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I think a lot of folks assume “clean eating” is bland, boring, and flat-out awful…but it ISN’T.  I’ve never heard someone say that they tried eating healthier foods and found themselves to be more lethargic, or that they suddenly were getting sick all the time, or that they gained weight… It has always been the TOTAL opposite – people have more energy, they feel refreshed and stronger physically, they sleep better, get sick less, have more mental clarity…and they often lose some stubborn pounds while they’re at it.

Sautéing your spinach in a cup of olive oil isn’t going to help…but let’s say you added a dash of oil (healthy fats) and some salt and pepper.  You’d be amazed how great that can taste!  Veggies, fruits, lean proteins…they’re absolutely DELICIOUS and they certainly don’t have to be devoid of flavor.  Spices can make a marked difference, and what’s really great is that no sauce = you can actually taste THE FOOD.  

If, however, we just reach for sugar, products with more ingredients that you can’t pronounce than you can, fried foods (the list goes on), it may taste and feel good in the short term…but it will kick your butt later.  You might find that you are dragging a lot, or that your skin has become dull or temperamental.  It may be that you are even feeling more depressed than normal, heading to the doctor more frequently, or that your clothes have started to feel too snug.  The side effects of a poor diet are doing as much damage to your internal organs too – they heart, brain, blood, ALL of you, needs clean sources of fuel to keep it functioning optimally.  Imagine putting the lowest-end fuel in the Ferrari – it’s not going to do what it is capable of, period.

Challenge yourself – even if in small doses, or for a short, manageable time frame – to try more whole foods, and start to lessen the processed ones.  Being creative with cooking isn’t hard these days with all of the apps and recipes you can find online.  There are also tons of recommendations out there about spices to use, or lower-calorie condiments if necessary, to keep your meals tasting as delicious as you deserve them to be.  

Cutting out the junky stuff might be tricky at first – withdrawal is a real phenomenon.  But stick it through and give your body a chance to adjust – you will find that you had the “magic pill” all along.  Caring about what you put in your fuel tank can make ALL the difference.

Nutrition – 100 Calorie Snack Packs

Hard to beat!

Fresh fruit is a great (and easy!) snack to tote along – high fiber, low calorie, full of nutrients, pre-portioned…and no hard-to-pronounce ingredients on the list!

Krave Bars

I was pretty psyched to see these new Krave Bars – they are available in-store and online, and come from a popular jerky snack brand, Krave. 

When trying to stay clean on trips, it’s always a struggle to find non-refrigerated protein options.  It isn’t at all impossible, mind you, it just requires forethought.  The great thing about these bars is that they offer savory flavors, and a dose of protein for minimal calories minus the need to have a cooler.

Stats range from:

  • 1 bar: 110 – 120 calories
  • 1.5 – 4g total fat (0 – 1.5g sat fat)
  • 240 – 290mg sodium
  • 12 – 13g carbs
  • 0 – 1g fiber
  • 6 – 11g sugars
  • 8 – 10g protein

There is a bit of sugar in there, so keep that in mind if you need to steer clear.  That said, sometimes a snack like this is better than wheat you’ll find at rest stops!  It’s also smart to have healthy snacks on hand so you don’t end up going hungry, and eating more than you’d like to later.

For those of you who don’t do red meat, the turkey one sounds pretty delicious, and very Thanksgiving-ish. 🙂 

The other thing?  There isn’t much IN these, which is always nice. AND…you can pronounce all the ingredients.  Refreshing!

  • Turkey, Cranberries, Quinoa Flour, Candied Orange Peel, Granulated Sugar, Sea Salt. 
  • Contains 2% or less of the Following: Thyme, Sage, Granulated Garlic, Onion Powder, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Black Pepper, Celery Powder. 

Healthy Dining Out

No matter what your goals, or what your needs, it is possible to go out and have a filling meal.  It doesn’t mean it’s a perfect cinch all the time, but it is possible (there are times when I do feel badly about wanting basic, clean options – but none of us should have to feel that way – establishments are there to provide a service and it IS okay to ask for what we want.  That’s the point!)

I like to eat volume, and I like to eat frequently – most restaurants don’t offer the kind of portions I need (sometimes leaving to order two sides of steamed veggies!) But…that’s always a possibility, right?  

Asian cuisines seem to be one of the easier options for those looking for more volume because often they do give larger portions (or at least will ask you if you want a full dish, or a smaller size…especially with takeout.) So Chinese or Japanese is often a good pick for me.

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My “usual” is miso soup, and steamed veggies and protein – lately I’ve gone the seafood route with shrimp and scallops, but steamed or boiled chicken works too.  The only sauce I use is soy, though when I can see the label in a store, I might buy dumpling or teriyaki sauce (Asian sauces can vary dramatically in nutritional stats and ingredients so with my sensitive system, I’d rather have the option to check.)

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Aside from being great for your digestive system, miso soup is healthier, and filling starter – it definitely takes the edge of a hungry raptor (me 😉 ) So much so that I ended up taking some of my dinner home with me – having some left is impressive!

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ZenBunni

I of course took note of this dairy-free chocolate company, Zenbunni, as soon as I spotted the name – having been dubbed “Bunny” from an early age, I was lured in by the utter cuteness the moniker. And, of course…chocolate without dairy. ❤ 

Per the site, Zenibunni is. . .

ARTISANAL STONE GROUND BIODYNAMIC CACAO

EACH ZENBUNNI BAR IS HANDCRAFTED USING A WIDE OPEN RANGE OF CERTIFIED BIODYNAMIC, ORGANIC, AND WILD FORAGED HEIRLOOM SPICES, HERBS, LEAVES, FLOWERS, NUTS, OILS, SALTS AND MINERALS TO SOOTHE, INSPIRE, AMAZE, DELIGHT, HEAL, AND NURTURE YOU, ALL GRACIOUSLY PROVIDED BY MOTHER NATURE.

The Company – who seems to have an overarching sense of “higher-vibration” going on – offers a variety of goodieseverything from chocolate bars, to coffees, to “coconache” (a blend of chocolate and coconut  butter…um, yes!) and drinking chocolate. Delicious, nature-loving, and energy-elevating? I like it. 🙂  

Locations are few and far between, sadly – while you can order online, bummer that you can’t just see sizing, and maybe snag one as a trial, in person. The bars seem to be pretty tiny, too, but at least the caloric profile isn’t outrageous…so it’s still a good option when a real craving hits. 

So while I wish I could just get one to see if I even liked it, I’m still psyched to see a yummy, dairy free option out there (available, at least, online), as cute and as creative as can be…

(PS, they have a Rabbit Report too, if you feel like signing up for updates!)

Campbell’s Well Yes! Soup

Wintertime is always perfect soup weather – I’ve been favoring the incredibly delicious, stew-like version my husband makes in the crock pot, but sometimes connivence trumps making something more involved.

Campbell’s has come out with a new line – Well Yes! – whose 7 flavors steer clear of preservatives, MSG, and BPA (nice!), as well as artificial colors, flavors, and ingredients.

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Beyond those points, and saying they are “nutritious and deliciously crafted” I’m not sure these boast anything spectacular…but they do have a selection of flavors with a lot less of the un-pronouncables on the label (that, actually, goes a long way.)

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So if you are feeling the chill, these are a nice way to stay toasty, full, and healthy at the same time. (If you are sodium sensitive, do mind the label!)

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Wholly Guacamole…Verde!

Oh YAY!  A new addition to Wholly Guacamole’s lineup came out, Avocado Verde Dip!

Avocados are GREAT for you, don’t get me wrong – they are, yes indeed, the “good fats.”  But sometimes they feel too heavy for me – I’m not the biggest fan of it in large slices (sushi doses work better for me)  But, I love that because of the fat, avocados help with satiety (among many other lovely benefits.)  This awesome little dip doesn’t have a ton of fat per serving, but for the lower calorie count, I think that’s okay – if you had two servings *not hard to do* you’re up to 5 grams of (good) fat for only 70 calories.

Mind you, I am not suggesting anyone be obsessive over calories – I’ve been down that eating-disorder-road, and it was severe, unpleasant, and flat-out debilitating.  As in, I was 45 lbs lighter with some serious health ramifications!  So, while the onset of my two (anorexia and exercise bulimia) wasn’t at all because I felt the need to get skinnier (rather, from PTSD), I knew how many calories were in EVERYTHING.  Nightmare.

That said, I have a ton of friends who do figure competition…so for them, macros, calories…it all matters.  For the rest of us just trying to be healthy, I think it is helpful to be mindful, but NOT something we should go bananas about.  We all have different goals and needs so it will be entirely situational.

Now then…why I like that this has 35 calories a servings IS

I can enjoy avocado without going overboard.  With those good fats – peanut butter, olive oil, nuts, avocado – going overboard is way too easy to do!  Enter Wholly Guacamole’s Verde Dip and problem solved.  Provided you aren’t going to house several containers in one sitting, this is a less calorically-hefty portion in comparison to the full-fat, full-fruit (yes, it is a fruit…and also, kind of, a berry!) mix.

There isn’t much IN this product…which is something I LOVE.  Nine ingredients isn’t horrific, let’s be honest (have you SEEN labels in the last decade?!) So I don’t know about you but I am going to see if I can find it over in the produce area…I think it would be a nice alternate to my hummus from time to time!