What 200 Calories Costs! And Favorite Fit Finds Installment #2!
At some point in your grocery shopping endeavors you’ve probably had a sudden realization while standing in the middle of the produce section that eating healthy can be expensive. I have this realization every time I pick out my Fuji apples for the week (have you seen the prices of those juicy babies?!) and I hear it a lot from people who are trying to eat healthy and still be money mindful. I always think of it this way: Yes, it costs a lot to eat healthy…but think of the money you’ll save in medical bills down the road because you won’t have to visit a cardiologist, dietician, physical therapist, chiropractor, etc. When you think of it in terms of healthcare and adding years to your life (and life to your years), shelling out the bills to eat healthy is money well spent! But unfortunately it seems so much easier on the pocket book to eat like, well, crap. Anyone who has spent a millisecond of their time at a fast food joint can tell you that – you can get a whole lot’a food for not a lot’a benjamins.
So exactly what are we getting for our money? I was recently sent this interesting article on what 200 calories looks like and costs. Notice, the more the price per weight goes up, the healthier the food gets. Yet pay close attention to what the cheaper items are made of (sugar, processed and refined flours, sugar, fat, *ahem*, sugar…) and, how if we continue living by the excuse that it just costs too much to eat healthier, these foods will ultimately end up costing us more money in the long run. A little food for thought, eh? Consider this your Economics 101 dose for today!
Now…insert drum roll here…it’s that time again – another installment of my Favorite Fit Finds! Since we’re on the topic of foods worth buying (and none of these will break the bank, believe me I would know), I thought it would be appropriate to share with you some of my most recent healthy discoveries. So here you are, there’s bound to be something for everyone. Give ‘em a try and let me know what you think!
Now I’m not one that likes to rely too much on caffeine or anything that’s going to mess with my body’s natural energy levels, so know that if I’m going to recommend a drink to give you energy that means it’s downright amazing! Notice I did not call it an “energy drink,” but rather a drink that gives you energy. Huh? Here’s the spiel: FRS is actually an “antioxidant health drink” made of green tea catechins and quercetin (a flavonoid and antioxidant) to increase your metabolic rate and help burn carbs and fat more efficiently. It’s natural and LOADED with antioxidants, did I mention that part yet? So loaded that it’s equivalent to 3 servings of blueberries, 7 servings of red onions, or 8 servings of raspberries. Note: You’re not going to feel a sudden burst of energy like you would (or would claim to) from drinking a Red Bull, Monster or Rockstar, but rather it’ll give you sustainable energy to fuel a workout or just increase your overall mental focus. I recommend the low-cal chews and the low-cal concentrates but they also come in powdered drink mixes as well if you’re a fan of adding flavor to your water (I like to stick to the real deal). Click here for a free trial of the great stuff!
Fiber Gourmet Pasta
For pasta lovers everywhere, this stuff is GENIOUS! I’m already a fan of whole wheat pasta, but the folks at Fiber Gourmet have made it absolutely impossible to feel guilty about inhaling the stuff. Sold in whole wheat, spinach, garlic parsley, tomato and classic flavors, this pasta has 40% fewer calories (130 cals for one serving vs. 210 in most other brands) than standard pasta AND it tastes good! SCORE! I haven’t yet tried the tomato but I can absolutely vouch for the spinach and whole wheat flavors – they’re my fave. The classic and garlic parsley are good, but if you like your pasta just a bit on the chewy side then you will love the spinach and whole wheat varieties. Just remember you don’t need to cook this stuff as long – 7-8 minutes seems to be about right. Any longer and it’ll get soggy (bleh!). Add some shrimp, garlic and lime juice and you’ve got yourself a healthy and scrumptious dinner! Point your clicker here for the noodley goodness!
Baja Fresh Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos
Many of you may have already caught on to these Tacos From Heaven, but in case you aren’t familiar with Baja Fresh, these used to only come battered and fried. Thankfully Baja Fresh has pulled it together and now offers GRILLED Mahi Mahi tacos, and if you’re going to eat fast-food then these are a pretty great option. Each taco has just 230 cals, 9 g. fat (1.5 saturated), 26 carbs, 12 g. protein and 4 g. fiber. Request them without the complimentary chips and you’ll save yourself 210 cals and an additional 9 g. fat. Order yourself 2 tacos and feel good about resisting the fast food blues!
Sweet Potato Crisps
Ah, the sweet potato. One of the best sources of Vitamin A and C and it’s not just reserved for Thanksgiving. Although they’re naturally sweet, they taste great with…well just about everything you would put on a normal baked potato, really. My favorite way to eat these is as homemade potato chips. They’re super-easy and super-tasty. Try the recipe below and tweak it to your liking as needed!
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Slice the sweet potatoes by hand in very thin slices.
3. In a large bowl carefully toss the sweet potato slices by hand in a little oil (I use olive oil because it’s wonderful) to coat the chips lightly. Lay the slices in a single layer on the baking sheet.
4. Bake the chips for 15 minutes. Turn each piece over with a spatula and bake for 5 more minutes. Chips should be dry and slightly crisp. If not, bake up to 3 more minutes, checking every minute so the chips won't burn. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Serving size: About 7 chips. Each serving has approximately 37 cals, 0.5 g. protein, 0.9 g. total fat (0.7 g. unsaturated, 0.1 g. saturated). 6.9 g. carbs, 0 mg. cholesterol, 0.9 g. fiber, 3 mg. sodium, 8 mg. calcium.
True Lemon and True Lime
Love lemons and limes but don’t always have them on-hand to throw in your water or use in recipes? Enter True Lemon and True Lime packets! With 0 cals and no carbs, this stuff can be used anywhere you would normally use the real deal and it tastes just the same. I don’t think this is something I would have normally picked up at the store, but I actually got a free sample of the stuff (it’s great what kind of free things you can get sent to you when you’re looking for it) and now I’m a fan! I mostly use it in my water since I’m always driving back and forth between the studio, appointments, the gym, and my house. Remember when I mentioned above that I don’t like to add powdered mixes to my water? This is about the only exception! Get your own here! You can also find True Lemon and Lime at most grocery stores.
Crum Creak Almond Biscuties
I have always been a bit partial to almond biscotti but usually resist the urge to indulge…that is, until I discovered Crum Creek’s delectable Almond Biscuties! They’re a bit more like cookies in the shape of mini-biscottis, but they taste awesome and you can eat 4 of them and still only consume 137 calories, 4.5 g. fat (0 g. saturated), 2 g. fiber and 5 g. soy protein! I think it’s the texture of these I like more than anything – made with real almonds (opposed to…fake almonds, I guess?) and raisins – a little bit crunchy and a little bit chewy. Also, if you’re in need of finding ways to get soy protein in your diet but hate the taste of the stuff, you’d never know it but that’s exactly what’s in these. Visit www.crumcreek.com to buy them!
In the meantime, I’ll be adding more Fit Finds to The List for Installment #3! See you next week!