Healthy Food On The Go – Hummustir

For a long time the only hummus I could take on trips with me is Wild Garden’s – the only problem with them is that each container of hummus (a triangular package of sorts) is now combined with a small bag of chips…which I not only don’t want, but taste dreadful even in a pinch (I was reminded of First Communion and I have to say, I wasn’t happy about it!)  They *used* to sell just the hummus packages in one box – I guess it wasn’t working out financially for them. Ugh.

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Anyway, the benefits of the Wild Garden that did work were that it is portable, doesn’t need refrigeration and…protein! However, it’s become harder to track down and…aforemention chips scenario.

To my great delight I’ve recently been alerted to a newbie travel chickpea snackum (not sold in my area but it IS on Amazon!) called Hummustir. This snazzy portable hummus also goes unrefrigerated, and can be mixed any time you darn well please (or, as the company puts it, “on demand.”) 

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The hummus comes in four flavors – Original (that would be my pick), a habanero-d Blazin’, a lime-n-garlic Mediterranean, and a creamy garlic and cumin variety called Village. I also love the minimal ingredient list!

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To check if Hummustir is in your area, click here. If it isn’t…Amazon, Jet and HSN do carry it!

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!)

Nutrition – The Easy Way To Add Volume

I definitely need to eat “volume” – a small snack will never cut it for me, despite that I am constantly snagging something to munch on.  I need to feel satisfied not only because I don’t want to feel hungry, but because my body doesn’t react well without the appropriate, and fine-tuned, amount of fuel.

The easiest way to add volume – the most obvious, also, but for some reason not as often as looked to as you might expect – is to load up on veggies.  A few sites are good about recommending this simple, incredibly effective “trick” but I feel like people still neglect to use it.  

One of my favorite recipes is an enormous sauté of vegetables and ground chicken – I use my Curtis Stone pans, with which I don’t need to use a stitch of oil.  (Yes, oil IS good for you, so a dash of olive isn’t the end of the world, but I try to be mindful, and not use it all the time if I don’t need to.)

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I sauté diced onions for a few minutes so they brown, then I add in fresh mushrooms (and, often, peppers too – red, yellow, and orange preferably, since they are the sweetest!) I later add diced tomatoes to it to make kind of a “sauce” – one, mind you, that is more vegetables than sauce! In a separate pan, I sauté the chicken, with nothing more than himalayan pink salt and spices.

Separately, I steam – in a BPA free microwaveable container, of course! – diced (or pre-riced!) cauliflower.  If I don’t have pre-diced (sometimes it is hard to find), I steam cauliflower florets – when they are done, and nice and soft, I use a potato masher to make little “diced” or “riced” type pieces.  You can use a food processor to do the same thing – this just takes less time and clean up to use a masher. 🙂 

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I have everything going at the same time, and will reduce the “sauce” to a simmer if necessary.  Once the cauliflower is ready, I mix it – and the “sauce” – into the pan with the chicken. And that’s it!

It makes a HUGE amount a food, and because of the volume of vegetables, each serving is less calories than it would be with just chicken…not to mention, it lasts longer, so you get more meals out of it. 🙂  

Hope Foods

I only recently discovered this brand – as, fortunately, a local Whole Foods started to carry it!  I stumbled upon it looking for hummus, and was pleasantly excited by the options!  I have to avoid a lot of hummus brands because they contain safflower and / or sunflower oil (part of a plant family to which I am apparently allergic.)  

I also care that whatever hummus I get isn’t exorbitantly loaded with calories (which typically comes from unnecessary sources) – hummus is easy to overdo, particularly give the rate at which I DEVOUR my veggies.  But then it’s down to flavors…and while I LOVE roasted red pepper, I sometimes feel like something dashing and new.

Enter HOPE.  

The brand began in a backyard at the Boulder Farmers Market – I LOVE that! ❤ Hope was born out of a curiosity to create a new twist on hummus, while also maintaining a healthy profile with high quality, organic, and sustainable ingredients.  I don’t proselytize about what is, and isn’t right in the food industry – not my place, nor my profession (plus, everyone is different!)  But when it comes to what I eat personally, I prefer C L E A N.  

I don’t do sugar (which my body abhors!), and I do get results from a high amino supplement – in those cases, sucralose is probably my worst offender.  I am therefore far from perfect, but I do my best.  HOPE leaves junk and fillers to the waist side – the ingredients are clean…AND pronounceable!  I took one look at the label and brought the goodness home!

I love the dark chocolate spread, and I am currently using the curry lentil dip on my steamed veggies – DELISH!  The curry lentil tastes exactly as you would expect it to – both flavors come through, remarkably (we all know that doesn’t happen with overly processed goodies!)

 

The dark chocolate spread, I find, to be quite good.  I don’t drink but I did have chocolate liqueur when I was much younger – it reminds me of that, for some reason.  It’s worth a whirl if you love healthy foods (and I say that for all the obvious reasons, but also because “health foods” often taste more like the REAL thing.  If you eat clean, you are used to that – many folks are used to filler and processed, so they likely don’t have the same gustatory perception. Yep. I said it!)

My brother and his wife love healthy options also and found a different variety at their market than I saw here.  I’m hoping we get more of the flavors as well, though it seems our Whole Foods has a solid assortment (happy they introduced it at all!)  Definitely worth checking out if you are into dipping veggies or healthy crisps of some kind or another!

Traveling Nutrition Part II

I had to take a trip to Denver with my father last week for some hot rod related work…and as soon as we landed, we had to be in a car for another three hours…for an hour-long top in Nebraska.  We started traveling at 5:30 a.m., and basically continued our “en route” for a good 14 or 15 hours out of the entire 30 or less that we were in (or around) Colorado, which always makes healthy eating a necessary forethought (at least for moi!)

Gorgeous '32!

Gorgeous ’32!

I packed a whole bunch of snacks in my bag (an Oakley backpack carry-on) so I’d say 50% of it was food.  Important stuff!  I brought extra so we could both have something on the journey – apples, snap peas, baby carrots, tuna packs, 100 calorie packs of almonds, some almond butter packs and a few sugar-free chocolates.  All that didn’t stop me from getting MORE food at the airport for the plane, though!  4.5 hours in a seat meant I’d be hungry so I snagged a gluten-free high protein wrap (which I shared with my father), a coffee (necessary!), and two hard-boiled eggs.  Protein is a perfect go-to because it is filling for the longer-term, and none of it was particularly caloric (which I personally consider because I am inactive and sitting for so long!)

From the airport for the flight to Denver

From the airport for the flight to Denver

When we were ON the road, a lot of people think finding healthy options is impossible…  Well, if I can find something, I can assure you it is NOT impossible! *lol*  I am not only incredibly picky and “clean,” but we also had very limited, and only “fast food” choices!  After snagging the rental car, we hopped off for some lunch.  Subway was our best bet.  I was THRILLED to see they had baby spinach – much more packed with nutrients than iceberg!  I’d like to avoid deli meats because of nitrates (when I buy them for myself, I opt for brands free of gluten, nitrates, and other added “junk.”  But, at Subway, I knew I didn’t have a choice in the matter.  So…I ordered baby spinach, two chicken breasts and sliced turkey…a few tomatoes and cucumbers, and had them chop it up.  It didn’t LOOK incredibly appetizing but it was perfect – loaded with protein and vitamins, it kept me full for a long while, and I knew I was at least having something reasonably healthy (no dressing, by the way, just salt and pepper for me.)

Subway spinach, turkey and "double chicken"

Subway spinach, turkey and “double chicken”

The hotel later in the even was great – I ordered more spinach, grilled and seasoned chicken, and a ton of steamed carrots (the veggie they had for the day.)  They brought me an ample amount of all those things and most certainly didn’t mind me asking for something “modified” off the menu – nothing complicated here!

Dinner at the hotel!

Dinner at the hotel!

Dinner at the hotel!

Dinner at the hotel!

The next morning I had poached eggs (I always ask for medium boiled, eat one or two and have the remaining whites) and took some fruit salad and an apple for the road – delicious, and filling because of the protein, fiber and water content.

Hotel breakfast take out...for the car rides!

Hotel breakfast take out…for the car rides!

At the airport on the way back, I busted out my tuna and crackers (I only ate one cracker!) and I got a spinach and chicken salad with cucumbers at the Wolfgang Puck at the food court.  It was actually SUCH a large portion, I didn’t eat it all!  I did manage to polish off my snap peas with my father though!

Brought along for the airport...

Brought along for the airport…

Wolfgang Puck's at the airport

Wolfgang Puck’s at the airport

Plane snack!

Plane snack!

So it is actually not impossible to eat well…or reasonably so…when on the go.  Just ASK.  Don’t be embarrassed, and don’t worry about modifying or explaining.  If you want plain and simple, just say so! 😀