Monday, June 30, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Bars come in handy because they're convenient and if you're lucky, fairly healthful, but that doesn't mean they're your go-to meal of choice (sorry, fresh fruits and vegetables aren't off the hook!). The right bar can be a great, satisfying and energizing snack or an occasional quick breakfast or lunch when you're traveling or seriously strapped for time.
So what you should ideally be looking for in the "perfect bar"...and hopefully this isn't as taxing as trying to find the "perfect mate".
- Skip chocolate-coated bars -- they make encourage you to crave more sweets; when you're dying for real-deal chocolate, have a small amount and make it REALLY freakin good!
- Check the nutrition label -- the calories in some heavy duty energy bars can rack up to a small meal rather than a light, nutrient-rich snack. Stick with bars that boast an average of 150-225 calories.
- The fewer the ingredients the better -- keep it simple and look for bars with ingredients you actually recognize. I've found some of the most-satisfying bars only have 3 or 4 ingredients...and they're all-natural!
So what are my top 5 favorite granola/energy bars you ask? Drum roll....(these are listed in random order.
- Kashi TLC Bars - your basic, no-nonsense granola bar in flavors like Cherry Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Roasted Almond Crunch (140 calories, 5 grams fat, 7 grams protein)
- Larabar -- simple unsweetened fruit and nut ingredients keeping it real. I love the Ginger Snap, Pecan Pie and Coconut Cream Pie flavors. (220 calories, 14 grams fat *healthy fat from the nuts!, 5 grams protein) *Bonus, they're gluten-free.
- Clif Nectar -- another unsweetened (this one's organic) fruit and nut bar with some amazingly delicious chocolate/cacao flavors -- just the way I like it (no worries, they're not coated in chocolate). Cranberry, Apricot, Almond or Dark Chocolate Mocha flavors...among others. (150 calories, 5 grams fat, 3 grams protein) *Bonus, they're gluten-free.
- GNU Flavor & Fiber Bars - LOADED with fiber (12 grams - ie. half your day's worth!), this bar is crazy filling and will keep your digestive system feeling just fine. Banana Walnut, Orange Cranberry, Peanut Butter flavors and more. (130 calories, 3 grams fat, 3 grams protein, 12 grams dietary fiber!)
- Clif Bar - while they're made with 70% organic ingredients and have some added soy protein thrown into the mix, these bars are a bit more on the hefty side, read: more calories and a little more protein, but they can come in handy when traveling or a for more satisfying breakfast on-the-run. And the guys seem to really dig them. The one downfall I must point out, it's my professional duty -- the first ingredient is 'organic brown rice syrup' (ie. a natural sweetener -- even if it's organic, it's still a sweetener). Spiced Pumpkin Pie, Cranbery Apple Cherry, Peanut Toffee Buzz, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut to name just a few. (240 calories, 5 grams fat, 10 grams protein).
There's a number of other good bars out there (Weil Pure Fruit & Nut, Odwalla, KIND Bar, to name a few). You can even custom-build your own energy or granola bar that meet your dietary specifications and taste preferences -- check out http://www.youbars.com/. Stick to basics and you can't go wrong. What's your favorite bar?thanks for the sample T.H.!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Margarita Shapes Up
Surviving summertime happy hours
Hi, guys! I'm taking a get-my-life-together day off today (that's what personal days are for, right?!) and lucky for you, my nutritionist friend, Marissa Lippert, a registered dietitian, is guest blogging. See you on Friday! xo
With summer heating up full-speed ahead, I figured what better time to guest blog about summertime cocktails and alcoholic drinks--the perfect topic for a nutritionist, right? Actually, it is! I'm a firm believer in the "everything in moderation" motto (even indulgences) and when the temperature starts rising, dewy glasses of refreshing white or rosé wine start dancing through my head. What screams summertime more than hanging out with friends and coworkers while sipping a frosty beverage? One beverage can easily multiply, however, posing a slight roadblock when you're trying to stay on track with healthy-weight goals. A few things I try to keep in mind: Take it slow and enjoy (rather than guzzle) what you're drinking; stay well-hydrated, particularly in hot weather, and have a glass of water or seltzer between drinks (this also serves as a sneaky tip to curb the amount of alcohol and excess calories you're knocking back); be smart about the type of cocktails and coolers you're choosing--3 or 4 light beers are equivalent to that 400-calorie frozen mango margarita that's loaded with excess sugar.
Here's my top 5 list of summer's 'heavy-hitter' drinks along with some sly-and-slim cocktail picks:
Frozen margarita - 300-500 calories (depending on brand and amount)
Daiquiri and pina colada - 449 calories
Long Island iced tea - 276 calories
Margarita on the rocks - 170 calories
Vodka tonic - 169 calories
Mojito and sangria - 149 calories
White or rose wine - 110 calories
Corona light with lime - 99 calories
Vodka and club soda - 97 calories
Wine spritzer - 40 calories (2 ounces of wine + 4 ounces seltzer)
*calorie amounts above are per serving
We all have one...what's your favorite calorie-smart summertime cocktail?
Wine: Jupiter Images
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
- the antioxidant compounds in wine, reservatol and flavonoids, can help prevent against heart disease, high-blood and cancer. red wine contains higher levels of reservatol than white. wine has also been shown to lessen the risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and according to a recent study reported in the NY Times yesterday, it may also protect against liver disease.
- the key to remember is indeed moderation. to achieve wine's health benefits men should stick to 2 glasses or fewer per day, and females to 1 glass or less daily. anything above and beyond, you run a greater risk of turning the 'good-health tide' in the opposite direction.
- a serving of wine is just 5 oz, that's less than half of a typical wine glass. you're likely over-served at most restaurants where the common pour tops off around 8 oz. that could be a welcome bonus for your wallet, but potentionally not for the scale.
- to follow-up the above bullet point...thankfully the rumors you've heard about champagne are true. among wine varieties and cocktails, it trumps most in being the least caloric, love the bubbles. at 80-90 calories per serving, your skinny jeans can afford a few extra sips.
Whatever your wine of choice may be (in the heat of summer, I always fallback on a cold glass of rose`), imbibe and enjoy smartly and slowly...AND follow it up with a glass of water or seltzer. You knew that tip was coming. Cheers!