Thursday, July 25, 2013

Which Bar is Right for Me?

Many customers are regularly asking me in the grocery store which bar is healthiest or which bars to avoid.  Many so-called natural or healthy bars can be packed with sugar.  So here are some suggestions for picking a healthy bar. 
First thing is to look at the ingredient list.  When the list goes on and on, it is probably loaded with a lot of extra ingredients that are processed or unnatural.  In addition, this may also be a red flag for added sugars and saturated fats.  Yogurt bars are also quite deceiving, and is not real yogurt but added sugar or a saturated fat.  So, checking to make sure the first ingredient is a wholesome ingredient like oats, instead of sugar.
Fiber is also important to be included in a bar, at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.  This will increase long-term energy to help fuel your workouts.  However, be sure to avoid eating a high fiber bar right before the workout, to allow adequate digestion.
A healthy bar should have around 200 calories, 15 grams of protein and low added sugars. 

Here are my top favorites.. :-)

      FREE Sample of Good Greens Bar
Not a bar person? The best recovery drink after a workout or moderate activity is a glass of chocolate milk! Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Nutrition as Fuel

Are you a big runner or athlete or simply partake in regular physical activity or extracurricular sports?  If so, nutrition plays a significant role in these activities.   Not only is healthy food used as pre-fuel, but it may also be necessary during the performance and especially after the race or big event.  Here are some high-performance snacks that will give you a good boost of energy!

Low-fat string cheese and baked whole grain chips
Trail mix made with nuts, whole grainn cereal and dried fruit
Smoothie made with low-fat milk, yogurt and frozen berries
Oatmeal with almonds, strawberries and low-fat yogurt
Whole-grain wrap with turkey, spinach, tomato and pesto
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of low-fat milk
Whole-grain crackers and low-fat cottage cheese topped with fruit
English muffin with an egg, sliced tomato, lettuce and avocado

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Summer Treats - FRUIT

My daughter, Avery, is now 10 months old and LOVES her fruit.  Vegetables she does fine with but she absolutely loves any type of berry and now her favorite is grape chunks I cut up for her.  Introducing healthy foods to infants and children is one of the most important steps in establishing lifelong healthy eating choices.  Sometimes we do need to encourage children to eat healthy choices, especially when unhealthy, convenient choices are flooded in our environment.  Studies show that the consumption of fruit and vegetables increase when a dip is provided with a fruit or vegetables.  Midwest Dairy Council has a very tasty fruit dipper that I encourage you to try out and see if your kids eat more fruits.  Every now and then these easy recipes offer a fun way to eat fruits.  I hope you enjoy it!

Creamy Caramel Dip for Fruit
8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
3/4 cup (about 3 scoops) unflavored or vanilla-flavored whey protein powder
1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1/2 cup brown sugar (use less if desired to lower added sugar)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.  Serve immediately with your favorite fruits.

Makes 2 cups

170 calories, 12 g protein (including 8 g whey protein), 16 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 7 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 200 mg sodium

Also contains: calcium