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Clean Fuel for Your Workout

3 Aug

Clean Fuel for Your Workout

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was paid to represent the brands featured in the blog post and the associated TV segment.

We are less than 2 weeks away from the 38th running of the America’s Finest City Half Marathon. Over 8,000 runners are getting geared up to complete the scenic 13.1 mile course throughout San Diego.

If you’re training for the AFC half – or any distance athletic event – you need to fuel your workout and recovery properly. Here are a few of my tips for filling up with clean fuel:

Pre-Workout Routine with Carb & Protein

  • The key to fueling your pre-workout meals and snacks is to combine carbohydrate for fuel with a little protein for your endurance
  • I love combining a banana and LARABAR as a great pre workout snack. LARABARs are a convenient and simple fuel perfect for any lifestyle: they’re gluten-free, paleo, vegan, non-GMO, whole…you name it!
  • LARA fruit and nut bars come in 20 flavors, all of which have 9 ingredients or less. My personal favorite is the Peanut Butter Cookie flavor which has just 3 ingredients: dates, peanuts, and sea salt – that’s it
  • You can pick up LARABARS at most health-minded retailers, or from their online store at larabar.com.

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Hydrating the Healthy Way

  • We can’t talk about summer running without mentioning hydration. I’m not a huge fan of straight water all the time, so I’m always on the lookout for tasty, healthier sports drinks
  • BODYARMOR is one of my current favorites – it’s a new, natural sports drink that has more potassium-packed electrolytes and vitamins than any other sports drink; plus it contains coconut water for an added kick
  • There’s no artificial ingredients in BODYARMOR, which makes it a great option for younger athletes who don’t need all of the extra sodium and artificial ingredients found in other sports drink
  • You can find BODYARMOR in 7 delicious flavors at local retailers or online at shop.drinkbodyarmor.com

 

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DIY Recovery Smoothie

  • For recovery, timing is key. You want to get your body refueled ASAP to help replenish vital nutrients and energy lost during your workout. A good goal is to aim to consume at least 300 calories within 30 minutes of completing your run
  • Another rule of thumb is to combine carbohydrate (for glycogen replenishment) with protein (for muscle repair) in a 4:1 ratio for your recovery snack
  • I love to make my own recovery smoothie – check out this easy recipe that fits the 300 calorie, 4:1 ratio

DIY Berry Banana Recovery Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 2 oz nonfat berry-flavored Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 frozen banana

Directions

  • Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until desired consistency

Nutrition Information

  • 290 calories
  • 60 grams carbohydrate
  • 15 grams protein
  • 1 g fat
  • 6.5 g dietary fiber
  • 135 mg sodium

For more information on clean fuel for your workout, check out my segment on San Diego Living today.

Nutrient Boosting the Way Better Way

5 May

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I am compensated for my work as a nutrition ambassador with Way Better Snacks; thoughts contained in this post are my own.

When it comes to nutrient packed snacks, Way Better is doing it way better!

As a nutrition ambassador for Way Better Snacks, I was delighted to receive a recent sample package of their new line of sprouted barley crackers.

 

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Barley is unbeatable when it comes to whole grain fiber finds. Barley helps promote satiety, and in some studies it has been shown to aid in blood glucose management and blood pressure control.

The Way Better Snacks sprouted barley crackers all have 2-3 grams of fiber per serving and some very unique flavor combinations. My personal favorite was the mustard & cheddar variety. I’m a huge fan of Indian and Nepalese food (where mustard seeds and mustard oil are abundant) and you don’t usually find this nutrition powerhouse in domestic snack products.

There are 4 flavors of Way Better Snacks sprouted barley crackers available:

  • Mustard & Cheddar Way Better
  • Back in Black Bean & Salsa
  • Beyond the Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper
  • Rosemarry Me & Olive Oil

So, now, why would you want your crackers to be sprouted?

Sprouting is a nutrient boosting process that increases the bioavailability of the nutrients and makes them easier for your body to absorb. Some research even suggests that sprouting can increase the fiber content of whole grains and make them less allergenic.

If you’re looking for a nutrient boost, I’m definitely a fiber fan of the Way Better Snacks sprouted barley crackers. They make the grade when it comes to nutrient profile and flavor combinations: fiber friendly and tasty to boot!

Snack Hacks to Avoid the Fat Trap

14 Apr

Snack Hacks to Avoid the Fat Trap

More than half of all Americans now snack 3 or more times per day. And about 25% of our daily calories are now coming from snacks instead of meals.

But is your snack making you fat? Here are 3 snack hacks to help you avoid the fat trap!

Thin is In!

Have you noticed the proliferation of thinned-out foods? There’s thin bagels, thin breads and now even thin crackers.

While the ship has sailed on the paltry 100-calorie packs, I recently sampled Nonni’s Mango Coconut Almond Thins. Their generous serving of seriously delicious real fruit and California almond-laden crackers comes in individual serving sizes which are great for snacking on the go.

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Get Serious About Seaweed

The tide is turning in snack foods and seaweed is rising to the top!

Annie Chun’s makes a delicious roasted seaweed snack that comes in 4 great flavors. At just 50 calories per package and 25% of your daily value of vitamin C, these seaweed snacks go a long way to fueling you between meals!

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Make a Mini Meal

Snacks don’t have to be elaborate undertakings. In fact, some of the best snacks are just mini meals.

I’m a big fan of KIND Healthy Snacks and love their KIND Maple Quinoa Clusters with Chia Seeds. Pair this gluten free, hearty granola (packing 4 grams of fiber) with some nonfat plain, Greek yogurt and fresh berries, and you’re good to go on the mini meal fiber front.

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For more tips on hacking your snacks, check out my segment on NBC 7 San Diego Mid Day.

Sponsored Post Disclosure: I was compensated for product mention in this post & TV segment – thoughts & opinions are my own.

Popchips’ Fiber Finally Poppin’ Off

13 Feb

Popchips’ Fiber Finally Poppin’ Off

I’ve always liked the idea of popchips – an un-fried potato product with “nothing fake or phony” – but I do admit I wasn’t a fan of their low fiber count.

The original popchips had just 1g fiber per 120 calorie serving. And while the ingredient list was clean, the starches consisted of potatoes, rice, and potato starch (white on white on white carb crime)… so the OG ones weren’t really a snack food worth a fiber fan’s time.

But I recently got my hands on a bag of the new veggie popchips. They caught my eye because they boast a better fiber profile. I bought the sea salt flavor, which this time around has 3g fiber in 120 calories.

The reason for the change? Popchips has wised up to the power of legume flour.

The ingredient list still starts with dried potato, but it goes on to include chickpea flour, navy bean flour, tapioca starch, beet powder, spinach powder, pumpkin powder, pea fiber, tomato powder, red bell pepper powder and kale powder.

In addition to the fiber pump, I think these veggie popchips also have a better, more nuanced flavor than the original popchips. They still stick a little too much to my teeth, and like all potato starch products, the texture is still slightly chalky.

Regardless, I would recommend the veggie popchips over the original popchips based on taste, fiber, and ingredient list alone. You can eat 1/3 of the bag (23 chips) for 120 calories & 3g fiber – and at 200 mg, the sodium count isn’t half bad either.

Now, you have to remember: if it looks like a chip and it tastes like a chip, it’s still a chip…and certainly not the same thing as eating real vegetables. You’re missing out on valuable nutrients like potassium and vitamin C there. But in a pinch, if you gotta grab a chip, I say the veggie popchips are a pretty good product.

 

Sneaky Healthy Super Bowl

1 Feb

Sneaky Healthy Super Bowl

If you’re the average American, the Calorie Control Council says you’re gearing up to wolf down 2,400 calories this Super Bowl Sunday.

To keep your feeding frenzy in check, try out some of these sneaky healthy Super Bowl tricks:

Be Choosy About Your Chips

  • Americans will eat over 11 million pounds of chips this Super Bowl Sunday
  • Be choosy when you choose your chips, and look for those that  have 3 grams of fiber or more and at least 3 grams of protein per serving
  • I love Way Better Snacks, a line of whole grain, sprouted grain chips that are great tasting and better-for-you – they all have 3 g fiber or more and pack flavor and nutrition in a hearty, healthy bite

Get Wise to Leaner Wings

  • Wings are king on Super Bowl Sunday! Americans are poised to eat more than 1.25 billion wings this SBS
  • If you love wings but want to skimp on the fat, try baking your wings instead of frying. I love the Serious Eats approach to crispy baked wings: toss in baking powder & salt before sticking in the oven
  • To give your wings some serious kick without the calories, toss in lighter sauces. I’ve been playing around with Lee Kum Kee’s new Sriracha Chili Ketchup which makes a great wing sauce

Finish Line Favorites

  • Ain’t no party like a Super Bowl Party and you have to have dessert!
  • Serve your guests decadent treats in bite size portions that will satisfy without all the sugar
  • This year I’m serving up LEVEL Life Peanut Butter Cups - with only 3 grams sugar per 2 PB cup serving, these guys go all the way with 80% less sugar than your standard peanut butter cup

For these and other sneaky healthy super bowl tips, check out my segment on NBC 7 San Diego.

Sponsored Post Disclosure: I was compensated for product mention in this post & TV segment – thoughts & opinions are my own.