Peanut Butter & Jelly Larabar

Bars.  There are so many out there how do you choose which ones to buy?  Do you look at the sugar, the protein, the carbs, the ingredient list?   When you start analyzing each ingredient list sometimes they look a little scary with so many ingredients and sugar alcohols and other weird names you may not have heard of.

Enter the larabar.

Larabar

Larabar’s philosophy is: Simple, Pure, Delicious.

What I love most about the larabar is the short ingredient list, and everything is in its whole state.  There are no additives or preservatives here.   Yes as a result the protein is lower than other bars, but I find these bars keep me just as full as the other higher protein bars.  Maybe it’s all the natural fiber or healthy fat, either way they’re a perfect snack.  I usually consider them “portion controlled trail mix.”

Larabar

Peanut Butter & Jelly Larabar – this is a new flavor and it totally blew me away!  It was amazing! I promise Larabar is not paying me to write this.  It really tastes like you have a spoonful of peanut butter and fresh jam in your mouth together at one time.  And guess what, they accomplish this with 4 ingredients:

Dates, Peanuts, Unsweetened Cherries, Salt

The nutritional facts are: 210 calories, 10 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 27 gram carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 6 grams protein.

I always recommend whole food over processed food, and even though larabars are packaged they are real food.

So if you’re getting bored by your current snacks, try the PB&J Larabar, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Have you tried the PB&J Larabar yet?  What did you think?

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Amazing Chocolate Biscotti!

I love chocolate, and there’s nothing wrong with indulging in some now and then.  I prefer having a small portion of the real thing, than larger portions of artificially sweetened “light” chocolaty foods.  The key to making this work is your portion size!

It’s a good idea to keep a limited amount of sweet treats at home; otherwise you may be tempted by all of them on any given day.  So have one or two choices for when your sweet tooth kicks in.

I recently tried Trader Joe’s mini chocolate hazelnut biscotti and they were absolutely incredible: slightly soft with a rich chocolaty taste and an abundance of crunchy hazelnuts.

biscotti

The ingredient list proves to be short and natural: enriched flour, cane sugar, eggs, butter, hazelnuts, dutch cocoa, chocolate chips, baking powder, and natural vanilla flavor.

Sounds like a recipe list I would use to bake myself.  This is the reason it’s so satisfying!

3 mini biscotti provide: 140 calories, 6 grams fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 19 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams protein.

Even though these are really small, I was usually able to limit my portion size to two at a time.  This serving size was perfect and left my sweet tooth satisfied!

chocolate biscotti

Do you have a favorite sweet treat?

Vegetable Fried Rice

Whenever I order Asian takeout I’m usually left with some extra brown rice.  Too many times the rice goes bad before I have a chance to use it.  This time I decided to make a healthy version of fried rice.

Fried RiceIngredients:

  • 3/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 minced clove garlic
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

Method:

  1. Head saute pan over medium heat and coat with cooking spray.  Add onion & carrots to pan and cook until softened.  Add broccoli and continue to cook vegetables.  Once all vegetables are cooked add garlic and ground ginger and cook for one minute.
  2. Heat brown rice in microwave.
  3. Whisk egg and egg white in bowl.
  4. Stir brown rice in with vegetables until combined.  Make a whole in the middle of the pan and add the egg.  Scramble the egg and then toss with the rice and vegetables.
  5. Season rice with soy sauce and sesame oil.

Nutrition Information: 367 calories, 11 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 52 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams fiber, 17 grams protein

Kashi Does it Again!

All my clients know how much I love Kashi products (and no I am not paid by them!).  I really enjoy their cereal, granola bars, pilaf, and frozen meals.  Whenever I see a new Kashi product on the shelves you know I’m going to try it out!

I recently noticed two new types of frozen meals, and quickly added them to my shopping cart.  While I don’t like to rely on frozen meals they are great in a pinch.  Kashi is better than a lot of brands out there, since the ingredient list is better, the sodium is more reasonable, the fiber is generally high, and there are usually vegetables!

Veggie Chana Masala

Indian

Red Curry Chicken

Curry

Let’s first talk about the Veggie Chana Masala:

Chana Masala

Kashi describes it as:  “Chickpeas, red peppers, fire-roasted eggplant, carrots & edamame. Served over Kashi 7 Whole Grains & Sesame® pilaf and topped with zesty Garam Masala sauce.”

If you enjoy Indian flavored foods, you will love this!  At least I did.  It was incredibly flavorful and wholesome.  I loved all the chickpeas, the chewiness from the kashi pilaf, and the slight creaminess from the coconut there must have only been a little.

This dish clocks in at 310 calories, 9 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated fat), 44 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams fiber, 11 grams protein, and 690 mg sodium.   Pretty good for a vegetarian frozen meal.

310 calories is a bit low for a meal, so I would recommend adding something to it.  Depending on your calorie needs you may need one or more than one of the following:

  • side salad
  • fruit
  • yogurt
  • whole wheat naan

Next up: Red Curry Chicken

Curry ChickenKashi describes this one as:  “Chicken breast with fire-roasted sweet potato, bok choy, red peppers, bamboo shoots & kale. Served over Kashi 7 Whole Grains & Sesame® pilaf and topped with zesty Thai red curry sauce.”

I enjoyed the Indian Chana Masala more than this one, but if you love Thai Curries I’m sure you will enjoy this.  There are strong flavors from the coconut, curry, ginger, and lemongrass.  If you don’t like ginger I wouldn’t try this!  Vegetables were a little lacking in my opinion, and it seemed smaller than other frozen meals to me, so I would definitely add a side of vegetables.  All in all this makes a good alternative to take out thai curry!

This dish contains 300 calories, 9 grams fat (3.5 grams saturated fat), 40 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 18 grams protein, and 490 mg sodium.  As you see saturated fat is a little higher due to the coconut milk, but I can assure you a takeout meal with coconut milk would be much higher in saturated fat!  The sodium is surprising low for a frozen meal.  Even though the meal appeared small to me, the 18 grams of protein filled me right up and I was surprised by how long it kept me full.

To this meal I would add one or more than one of the following:

  • steamed vegetables
  • papaya salad
  • extra brown rice (if you require more carbohydrates)
  • fruit salad for dessert

Have you tried these Kashi meals before?  Did you like them?

Moderation, Variety, Balance & Adequacy

So the title of my blog is Nutrition by Eve: Moderation, Balance & Variety. Do you know what these words mean?  You’re probably saying “of course!” I mean we hear them ALL the time.  But have you ever thought about what they actually are and how they translate into a healthy diet.

Turns out a healthy and nutritious diet is comprised of 4 Parts:

  1. Moderation
  2. Balance
  3. Variety
  4. Adequacy

Moderation:

  • You probably hear it all the time, it’s ok to have a cookie, but in moderation.  Or fast food is ok, in moderation.
  • Moderation is really eating the right amounts of foods while meeting your nutritional needs and maintaining a proper weight.
  • It’s not overdoing anything and setting limits of fat, sugar and sodium for proper health.
  • An example: a diet should be less than 30% fat…so there’s room for an ice cream sundae if you wish but maybe you shouldn’t have this on the day you had a burger and fries for dinner.

Variety:

  • Eating different foods from day to day.
  • It’s easy to rely on the same foods, and get into food ruts, but even if you’re eating the same “healthy” foods you may be missing out on important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that are in others.
  • Some foods are higher in chemicals, mercury, pesticides, etc and by varying your diet you will be exposed to these toxins less.

Balance:

  • Providing a diet that has many types of foods so that the foods rich in certain nutrients don’t take over the needs of others and proper nutrient intake is obtained.
  • Foods contain a wide range of micronutrients, it’s important to make sure you are meeting your needs of all of them and not just concentrating on one or two since then you may miss out on others.

Adequacy:

  • A diet that provides all the proper essential nutrients to maintain a healthy body weight.
  • It’s possible to have a diet that’s adequate in protein and fat but inadequate in fiber.

Weekend Free For Alls

When it comes to healthy eating, a lot of people do great during the week and seem to lose it on the weekend, only to say “I will start over again on Monday.”  This cycle leads to many unhealthy habits, and prevents you from reaching your goals.

The reasons healthy eating is usually sabotaged on the weekends is due to:

  • lack of schedule
  • lack of planning
  • dinners out
  • holidays
  • birthday parties
  • traveling
  • and other social obligations

If you are having trouble staying on track during the weekends try these tips:

  1. Exercise! Make sure to squeeze it in, look at your schedule and see when you can get some activity in.  Whether it’s a trip to the gym, walking in a new city, playing ball with your kids, hiking or biking – get off the couch and do something active!
  2. Drink Water. Dehydration is often mistaken for hunger — don’t let this happen to you.
  3. Plan Meals & Snacks. If you’re going to be out doing errands all day make sure you plan for your meals while out.  This may be packing a lunch to take with you, or throwing a fruit and nuts in your bag for a snack.  The worst thing is being hungry and overdoing it at the next meal or snack.
  4. Decide Where to Indulge. It’s ok to have a meal where you indulge, just don’t make it every meal of the weekend.  If you know you have a special occasion during the weekend, make sure to eat healthfully at all your other meals and it will fit in perfectly.
  5. Prevent Boredom Eating. If you are likely to eat when bored, make a plan!  Acknowledge the fact that you are bored and do something instead of eating.  Make sure you eat properly throughout the day, and do something if else you feel the need to nosh but aren’t actually hungry.
  6. Alcohol. Limit your alcohol, it adds tons of extra calories, and usually leads to some pretty unhealthy food choices.  Choose wine, light beer, or alcohol mixed with soda water.  Alternate water with drinks, and make sure to drink slowly!
  7. Keep your Food Journal. A lot of people keep food journals during the week but slack off on the weekends because they don’t want to acknowledge what they ate.  This is a bad idea!  You need to take ownership for what you do and learn from your mistakes.  If you felt like you overate at a party, write it down along with your feelings and then you can re-read it and make different choices next time.
  8. Define your Weaknesses. Figure out where your pitfalls are…is it boredom eating, not planning for meals, too much alcohol, too many meals out?   Come up with a game plan on ways to tackle the obstacle so you can feel better in the future.

Enjoy Your Weekend…Healthfully of Course 🙂

Blackened Tilapia

Easy weekday night meals are always on my mind for me and my clients!  Clients often complain to me that their fish is always bland, and they don’t know how to make it flavorful.  All I can tell you is that blackened fish is so tasty!  This meal is incredibly simple and takes less than 15 minutes – gotta love that.

I present to you: Blacked Tilapia with Coleslaw & Brown Rice

Blackened TilapiaBlackened Tilapia

I used this recipe from All Recipes for Blackened Tilapia, however, I cut back on the salt (1/4 tsp for 4 servings is plenty), and I left out on the white bread.

You simply make the blackening mixture (paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, cayenne, oregano, thyme, celery seed and salt).  Rub the seasoning on the fish and sauté each fish fillet in 1 tsp vegetable oil for approximately 2-3 minutes per side.

Sweet & Sour Coleslaw

I used a recipe from cooking light for the coleslaw, that was really amazing!  I added in green pepper and tomatoes to pump up the vegetable content.

Brown Rice

Since brown rice can take a long time to cook, it’s nice to have some ready made ones for the evenings you want dinner in a snap.  This packet of pre-cooked Seeds of Change brown rice was the perfect solution.  Kashi and Seeds of Change make lots of great ready made rice that you reheat in your microwave; they are full of fiber and make a perfect side dish to a quick dinner.

Brown Rice

Nutrition Tidbit:  Easy Dinners

  • When making a complete dinner at home – strive for 3 components:  lean protein, high-fiber carbohydrate, and vegetables.  This will ensure you have a balanced meal.
  • For the protein you can try chicken breast, fish, lean beef or even tofu.
  • For the carbohydrate try a sweet potato, brown rice or quinoa.
  • Don’t forget the vegetables!  Fresh or frozen are both great options.