Friday, August 27, 2010

Better and Better

Friday's are looking better and better each week...
I mean, don'tcha think? When work rolls around Friday morning and the end will look like this...produce bliss; it definitely makes for a great day!

I even started the morning off on the right foot....well, on a bike to be exact ; ) I went to my first 5:45 am rpm class this AM. After 8 months of my gym membership, I have finally taken advantage of the before-work group fitness schedule. I wore my Polar Heart Rate Monitor [per usual] to track my progress and hard work...I walked out of class this morning and had already burned a sweaty 600 calories before 6:30am!
Now if that isn't something to be proud about...I don't know what is!

I haven't mentioned rpm in a blog in awhile however, I still do it about 4-5 times a week, to keep my cardiovascular and muscle endurance in check. But man did I used to mention it A here, or here, and here! You probably thought I was addicted or something ; )

So, back to the produce! Here's how I used some of the peaches...
Farm fresh peaches with whatever's on-hand:

  • Strawberries

  • Bananas

  • Apples

  • Splash of Agave Nectar

  • 1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

  • Drizzle of Lemon Juice
Oh and that white eggplant!? I had never seen one; word on the street- their sweeter than their purple cousins! Stay tuned to see how it works out...

Thursday, August 26, 2010


New product to rant and rave about! Grabbed these chips in the lunch aisle the other day...seen them before?
Gluten Free. All Natural. Trans Fat/ Cholesterol Free. Good Source of Dietary Fiber...sounds like gosh darn good food to me!
The not so skinny: 210 cal, 11 gm fat, 1.5 gm sat fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 26 gm carbohydrate, 4 gm fiber, 2 gm sugar, 4 gm protein, interesting enough...6% calcium and iron
Now I call it the "not so skinny" because it is a pretty dense little cracker wanna-be! Afterall, the second ingredient is OIL! It may be all natural but it is pretty high in fat for a chip with a cracker consistency! It's no wonder, because the flavor profile is all there....cheesey (but not that fake cheese taste, phew!), crisp, satisfying and just like it's tortilla chip counter-part....once you start munchin' you can't stop : ) Made with great grains like quinoa, oat bran, brown rice, flaxseeds and many more whole grains. Sounds like a fiber party and everyones invited!

Although they may be slightly calorie heavy, I would definitely buy them least to try them in a different flavor! Did you see how many they have!? 
I think next time I will try Sweet Potato; I can't turn down anything that has sweet potato in it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Guest Blog

Hey guys, I would like to introduce to you, my friend Ashley Bailey, she too is an RD-candidate; she was so kind to share one of her new finds with me and I thought it'd be a nice treat and change if she'd go ahead and share with you too! Check it out...

Product: Buddy Fruits…Pure Blended Fruit to Go!
Buddy Fruits are a cool new find on the grocery store shelves. Marketed towards on-the-go eating, this all natural, no sugar added fruit is a true treat! Great for kids and adults alike, this new innovation makes meeting your 5-a-Day fruit and vegetable serving goal a lot easier! It has a re-sealable screw top, making it ideal for lunch boxes, car trips, and eating on the run. No refrigeration needed either (except after opening)!! It comes in several different fruit combination flavors and has no preservatives, additives, colorings, or anything else artificial and unnecessarily added.
I tried the Apple & Strawberry Buddy Fruits and was pleasantly surprised!! After getting over the fact that I was eating my applesauce out of a squeeze tube, it was tasty and fun! I think this would be perfect for kids and something a little different for everyone to try. The combination of apples and strawberries gives it a sweet, but tart flavor. It was a lot of fun to eat!!
Nutritionally, each pouch contains one serving of fruit and just 60 calories. No fat, very little sodium, and 15 grams of carbs, this snack really adds up! Ingredient list: apple, strawberry, blackcurrant juice, and concentrated apple juice---hard to find products like these on the shelves these days! This particular pouch was $0.89 at Harris Teeter. There was also a 4 pack available for $2.50.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Dish on [vegetarian] Diets

As your Smart Snacker, I am here to help navigate you through the chaotic would of let me do my job and give you the dish on vegetarian diets! Afterall, there are COUNTLESS diets out there and these days it's hard to decipher the differences.

Vegetarianism is a diet that is comprised of mainly plant foods and thus lacks animal proteins which is then replaced with vegetable protein sources ( A vegetarian diet does not include fish, a major source of omega-3 fatty acids, though some plant-based sources of it exist such as soy, hempseed, pumpkin seeds. canola oil and especially, walnuts and flaxseeds (click to see how to eat them).
Then you've got your...
Lacto-vegetarian: those who do not eat meat or eggs but do consume dairy products.
Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: those who do not eat meat but do consume dairy products and eggs.
Ovo-vegetarian: those who do not eat meat or dairy but do eat eggs.
Veganism: those who avoid eating any animal products including eggs, milk, cheese and sometimes honey, are known specifically as dietary vegans. Most also avoid using animal products such as leather and some cosmetics, and are called vegans.
Raw foodist: a raw food diet involves food (usually vegan) that is not heated above 116F; it may be warmed slightly or raw, but never cooked. Raw foodists argue that cooking destroys enzmyes and/or portions of each nutrient

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fresh Friday

Today was one Freeesh Friday!
It was a fresh one simply because the end of my work day looked like this...
Yes, I was pratically swimming in fresh fruits and vegetables!
Look at all the great colors and varieties of peppers and eggplant.
Peaches, blueberries, apples, pears, cucumber, pickling cucumber, an assortment of peppers, melons, okra and tomatoes. Ugh, hello, variety!
I love having opportunities like this to buy all different sorts of fruits and vegetables. New options to try and of course, a chance to stock up on some of my old favs.

Smart Snacker Soap-box: I really believe that if you have a variety of colors on your plate during your meals you not only have a more appealing dish but more importantly, you are getting a wide-range of nutrients that are otherwise supplemented.
Make a rainbow on your plate- blue/purple, green, white/brown, yellow, orange and red; You won't have any trouble getting your recommended servings of fruits/vegetables for the day.

Why eat more fruits and vegetables? Well, because I said so! They can make great additions to meals, are low calorie, fiber filled snacks, may fight some diseases, quick, convenient, contain vitamins and minerals and most importantly, are all natural!

Check out our current dietary guidelines for Americans providing our recommended daily servings of major food groups. These will be replaced with the 2010 recommendations once published!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Keeping an Eye on the Industry

The food industry is growing at a rapid rate to push new food items/ products out that meet the consumers needs/ wants and the fads of today's diets.

Keep an eye on your grocery store shelf for some of these finds...

Needs? Sara Lee is debuting a lower sodium deli meat- ranging from 25-32% less sodium then the USDA standards for similar non-reduced deli meats. The meats come in four varities: two kinds of turkey and two hams!

Wants? Chick breast bacon! A new way to enjoy your classic breakfast meat; Murray's Chicken has introduced a bacon product made from anti-biotic-free chickens. The skinny on this bacon bird: 35 calories and 1 gm of fat for a 1 oz serving

Fads? General Mills is giving Total cereal, a total makeover! Total Plus with Omega-3s, Honey Almond Flax Cereal, now that's a mouthful! This cereal will provide 160 milligrams per serving of Omega-3s (about 10% of the recommended daily value)!

Information adapted from ADATIMES, a publication for members of the American Dietetic Association

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What the Buzz

So...if you haven't heard yet I have gone sans caffeine for a full week (this is huge) and I plan to keep on truckin'...

I decided to fore-go my obsession love for caffeine meaning coffee, coke zero (yeah, terrible, I KNOW), tea and my vice !! You must think I am crazy and originally, I thought I was too, but it is a revelation! I have never felt so good, slept so good and well, looked so good ; )

Caffeine is such a funny thing. Your probably wondering why I even bothered with this little experiment? Well, first and foremost I think it will help with my anxiety. For most people, the amount of caffeine in two to four cups of coffee a day is not harmful but I was doing way more than this! What the Buzz!

Caffeine is a natural stimulant to the central nervous system, and too much of it can cause you to be anxious, irritable and restless. It may also keep you from sleeping well and cause headaches, abnormal heart rhythms or other problems. It's such a freaaaaky thing that if you stop using caffeine, you could get withdrawal symptoms..whaaaaat!? That just isn't right! Hello, headaches!

 My little cup of decaf

Carrying a water bottle with you during the day
has been proven to help remind you to drink more water!

So now what am I doing? I am drinking tons of water and a cup or two of decaf in the morning simply because I love the taste of coffee! Who would have thought I could function at 7am at work without a cup of regular Joe!? - I am even nice to my coworkers still ; ) I am not against drinking caffeine because I do love it, however I am just choosing not to drink it merely because of a self experiment!

Have you ever cut something out of your diet for self experiment?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

NC vs Childhood Obesity

Hey guys! While interval training on the treadmill this morning I caught some of the morning news! I love watching the morning news [when there's time]; it keeps me on top of the latest nutrition trends, news and always changing guidelines! I like to think that I can deliever my viewers the most current news before anyone else! Check out the latest and greatest...especially interesting  for those of you who reside in the great state on North Carolina : )

North Carolina is cracking down on nutrition guidelines in child care centers in hopes to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic. Some of the newly appointed guidelines include:
- Limiting/ prohibiting sweetened beverages
- Limiting/ prohibiting whole milk (children 2 years of age and older)
- Limiting/ prohibiting  more than 6 oz. juice (recommended serving size is 4 oz)
- Limiting/ prohibiting juice from a bottle

For more, see the link below:
NC vs Childhood Obesity

Sunday, August 8, 2010

100% Pure [love] and Natural Granola

Newest product...

This wasn't necessarily a new find; I had tried Bear Naked Granola a couple of years ago (Pre-Smart Snacker time), we went out separate way and now we have rejoined and it's 100% pure [love] and natural granola!

The Skinny: 1/4 cup: 120 calories, 2.5 gm fat, 10 mg sodium, 22 gm carbohydrates, 2 gm fiber, 4 gm sugar, 4 gm protein

This Vanilla Almond Crunch Bear Naked Fit is a great find! It is low in calories, sugar and sodium which are all factors I like to take into account when purchasing my granola. Often times, I find myself hesitant to even buy granola's because they are as high in sugar as a candy bar! If you have been a frequent follower you know I have even gone as far as making my own grain-ola! Well, I think I have found a faithful product this time folks. So I think they have the right to boast about it's wounderful accomplishments...
- No artificial flavors
- No cholesterol
- No hydrogenated oils
- No high fructose corn syrup
- No artifical preservatives
- No trans fat

Granola lovers rejoice! In several different flavors and types (from flax, protein and fit to trail mix, granola bars and one size serving on-the-go packets) you can find the right one for you and your lifestyle!

I like to have mine with yogurt and berries, sprinkled on oatmeal for an added crunch and natural vanilla flavor and/or as a snack all by it's naked self!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It's a Revolution!

I found this new yogurt at Fresh Market...Cultural Revolution.

I love the name! It's so hip! I couldn't turn it down, the container, the name, the explanation...just irresistible!
Read for promises...
is organic yogurt that's naturally sweet and creamy without all the sugar, carbs, calories and sodium like most other yogurts. How is this possible you ask? It's made exclusively of organic whole milk and rich, creamy butterfat that contains vitamins A and D and is gently processed however, never homogenized.
The Skinny: 1-6 oz container: 72 calories, 3 g fat, 2 g satfat, 27 mg of sodium, 9 g carb, 7 g sugar, 2 g protein. 22% Calcium and 2% iron...hiyyo!

I brought it to work originally as my breakfast but it turned into a snack this afternoon. I had 1/3 of the yogurt with fresh strawberries and my [other new item] granola (more on that later).

I was so ready to dive into this yogurt but as soon as I peeled back the lid I got a little turned off. The cream was sitting right on top which hey, that's okay but then it WOULD NOT blend in, I have issues. It mentions on the container enjoy the cream off the top or blend it in- either way it's a pure and natural treat; well as I mentioned, it would not blend! I decided to grin and bear it and just pour some onto my fruit and...I'm still alive (okay, a little dramatic, but seriously)!
So, let's get down to business...FLAVOR PROFILE:
It is a very subtle vanilla flavor (did I mention, I got vanilla?) and tastes very natural which is nice (as opposed to oversweetened with added sugars)...without the fruit and granola I don't think I could just chow down...but obviously, one container will last a while, so it's wallet friendly, waist friendly, it tastes friendly and mixes well with others ; )

Want to read more? go ahead and indulge here 

Monday, August 2, 2010

"Chill it. Don't Spill it."

have I mentioned how much I love this stuffffffff...

Vitacoco Coconut water!! It's all the rage today and if you have been a frequent follower of Smart Snacker, you [and I both] are already aware of this coconut water craze! So, have you tried it since my last post?

Well, if your like me and have trouble finding it or are too busy to get to a speciality market (Fresh Market, EarthFare, etc) than you obviously, haven't tried it let me relieve your pain by telling you that today I FOUND THE TIME and went ahead and bought it again...this time I am trying a NEW flavor Vitacoco's Coconut Water with Tangerine and will be sure to report my findings!

I have almost tried the whole line up ; )

The tangerine counterpart to the always faithful and delicious acai & pom was a kick to my taste buds! It was exceptionally refreshing and of course, a great way to hydrate naturally. It is a taste that I grew to love more and more as I gulped it down! It doesn't have the same acidity as your orange juice but it still has the strong tangerine taste that overpowers the coconut, slightly. I really enjoyed this one, but if I HAD TO chose I would still pick acai & pom over tangerine!

Tangerine, like it's acai & pom friend, has 2 times the potassium of a chiquita  and an abundance of other great vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium! Boasting above the rest with it's claims of keeping your body properly hydrated and preventing muscle cramping (thanks to it's surplus of potassium) and of course, it's 100% natural!

I am drinking this to rehydrate after cardio and strength training workouts or even sometimes to give me a little pick me up during the day!

The skinny (8.5 fl oz) serving size of 2: 50 calories, 560 mg potassium, 13 gm carbohydrates, and 13 gm of naturally occuring sugar
(to account for the 2 servings, if enjoying the entire tetra pak just multiply each nutrient by 2)!

So, go on and "Chill it. Don't Spill it." -Vitacoco