Try these instead of chips!

I found my substitute for potato chips! I introduce you to…

Z Crackers!

Z Crackers are thin and crisp crackers that are made in six different flavors. The Garlic & Basil are my favorite. Warning! Z Crackers are addictive. The only store that I have been able to find them in my area is Bonterra Market in Northfield. The crackers are also pricy and cost nearly $5 for an 8 oz. package. Since they are expensive, my family knows that they must give to the Z Cracker fund to eat them.  If they unwilling to contribute to the fund, then they are off-limits.

You can also spice them up with a spoonful of Top Crop Salsa Mango! OOOMMGG! This sauce is delicious and has a zesty kick! Made with fresh mangos, red onions, red peppers, and cilantro! The taste is surprisingly delightful. If you plan to be around people after eating the salsa, chew gum or eat a mint afterwards. The flavor and smell are strong.

I want you to see what the top label of the salsa.

You can clearly see the mango, red onions, and red peppers. Delicious!

I buy the Salsa Mango at Starns Shoprite. You can find it in the fresh produce section near the bagged salads. Since the salsa is fresh, you should eat it within a week of buying.  The mango will go bad.

Below are pictures of the nutritional labels for the Z Crackers and for a bag of chips. The serving size for each is about one ounce. The sodium count in the chips are more than two times the amount in the Z crackers.  What’s the big deal about sodium?  Sodium is known to increase blood pressure levels.  I make it a habit of reading labels, more so for sodium and  sugar levels. Since I started my eat clean journey, I eat less processed foods and more fresh foods, so labels aren’t as much as a concern anymore. I do however, read labels for any packaged snacks.

Serving size is 1 oz.

Hot and spicy potato chips

To avoid over indulging, I take my portion out and put the container away. If I leave the package out, I will eat more than I should and that’s not good. I also eat my snacks later in the evening and after dinner when the house is settled and folks are in bed. Which means, no interruptions from family and I can savory every single bite.  Lol!

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is habit-forming.

Like anything else that we do, our actions form habits. Some good. Some bad. It’s up to us to find a balance between the two. For me it means making smarter choices about nutrition and exercise.

The most motivated person still has weak moments and gives in to intense cravings for sugary sweets, salty treats, or tasty liquids that contain more sugar, calories, and fat than normally consumed.

Instead of trying to eliminate all my favorite treats from my diet, I do three things:

1. Find a healthy substitute that is equally appealing.

2. Learn how to cook a healthier version such as baking a delectable sweet potato pie made with ingredients that are natural, organic, unbleached, and contain less sugar, sodium, etc… (I’m still working on the pies…)

3. Indulge in the treat anyway, but LESS often and in SMALLER portions.

I don’t suggest emptying your refrigerator and kitchen cabinets all at once.  Instead try to slowly replace some of your processed foods with healthier choices.  Example?  Brown rice instead of white rice.  Whole wheat bread instead of white rice.  Water with fresh lemon instead of soda and/or fruit juices.  I can go on and on…

Anyway, you can find more information about Z Crackers by clicking on this link. I hope that you give the Z Crackers a try.  If you do try them, tell me what you think about them.

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A dessert that’s better than cake!

Don’t knock it until you try it! As I sit and compose this, I’m over indulging in tonight’s dessert! I’m eating a colorful, delicious, and delightful bowl of fruit. A blend of fresh strawberries, black seedless grapes, blue berries, and a side of unsalted cashew splits.

Some of my colleagues, friends, and family will probably cringe at this post, but I’m encouraging them and you to give it a try. It’s tastier than you think.

Fresh fruit, green leafy vegetables, and other natural foods, I’ve always enjoyed. And like any normal human species, I’m guilty of over indulging in processed foods as well. But I’m happy to report that I’m back on track. After all,

there are only 197 days until the official start of summer!

Of course, looking good in my swimsuit isn’t my only motivation to eat well. The real motivation is for an overall better quality of life. Mom snaps at me all the time, “You can’t live forever Tanya!” Lol! I know that! I simply enjoy looking well, feeling well, and having the energy to dance all night if I choose to.

It is also important for me to set a good example for my children. One has caught on already (the nine-year old), the other (22-year-old) is playing catch up, but I know that she will eventually get there.

In a earlier post, I mentioned, Eat Clean. This is one of the BEST books that I’ve read on how to keep up a healthy diet. If you’re trying to get back on track, Eat Clean by Tosca Reno is a practical must read.

So although it may be too late to switch up for tonight’s sweet treat, give it a try tomorrow.  You just might like it.