How To Eat Well While Traveling 

Who’s says you have to eat junk when taking road trips or quick getaways?  Seriously if you have time-  wait. My bad.  I mean, if you make time to prep before traveling, you won’t get stuck eating sh** then feeling like sh**.  

Instead of relying on horrible and packaged rest stop or airport food that ultimately leave you feeling sluggish, lethargic, and Sleepy, take control with a trip to the market before leaving. 

Slice your food if necessary, then wash and dry them. 

Yeah, you’ll need to invest a little time, but I promise, you’ll be glad that you did. ūüôā

Pick your favorite fruits and veggies and have fun with packing. I forgot the carrots and celery but I have plenty of natural sugar and vitamins.  Slice and peel the oranges so there’s no mess in the car, train, bus, airplane, or even the beach. 

A great way to monitor your portions is to pick up a box of portion pack snack bags from Walmart.  Mmm- blueberries! 

Don’t forget to wash the appples too. Put them in sandwich bags or gallon size freezer bags. Again, all the hard work is done in advance. 

For a refreshing treat, mix the blueberries or strawberries with some granola. Yummy! 


Then enjoy your trip! ūüôā

Enjoy your holiday weekend. 

Good Things Really Do Come In Small Packages

When you are a fanatic about living a healthy and fit lifestyle, you become a prowler for healthy treats. New and exotic fruits, enticing vegetables, or an appetizing sweet treat is good things that you just cannot get enough of.

The Vitamin Store is one of my go tos for organic loose leaf tea, my protein powder, and a few other items. ¬†Today, like no other day, while at the register, I did a quick scan of the shelf by the cash register. Look what I found! ¬†:). ¬†Yeah I know, coconut is high in fat, but in small portions, it’s all good.

The first thing I always do is READ THE LABEL. ¬†No matter how delectable and pretty the package is, I¬†always read the label. ¬†This package is so darn small, I couldn’t see sh** on the label. ¬† Ugh! My glasses were in the car. ¬† Hehe! ¬†A few weeks ago, ¬†¬†I got scammed on a green tea latte.

I asked the cashier to read the nutrition facts. Only three (3) grams of sugar. Nice. I’m all smiling now. ¬†60 Calories for one treat, not bad. ¬†Zero¬†grams of sodium. I CAN do this. ¬† One last check; the ingredients.¬†It’s a real gem. ¬†I’m humming The Pointer Sister’s tune, “I’m so excited! ¬†And I just can’t hide it..”

For real. ¬†I get excited over stuff like this. Friends often shake their heads and wonder why I get so happy and energized when I talk about working out or eating healthy. ¬†It’s hilarious, but I can’t help myself. ¬†This stuff is fun. ūüôā

You might laugh at me. ¬† This treat is only a half an ounce, but I don’t need to eat an entire bag of candy to satisfy my appetite for a sweet tooth. ¬†Okay. ¬†you’re gonna die laughing when you see the size of this amazing treat, but trust me, it did the trick.

The key to indulging in your treats is to sit down. ¬†Eat mindfully slow. ¬†Don’t talk on the phone. Avoid distractions like FaceBook or other social networks. ¬†If you have kids, please, wait until they are in bed. ¬†Don’t even read. ¬†Just take small bites and savor every bite. ¬†ūüôā ¬† ¬† Think about Janet Jackson’s old song,¬†Control. ¬† ¬†Trust me, you’ll get better with practice, but you have to want to control yourself.

I’m glad I tried it. It delicious and I highly recommend it. Oh, I bought six and I only ate one. ¬†:). ¬†They are sold in individual packets. ¬†Oh and by the way, unlike the green tea latte, this treat really is lightly sweetened. ¬†

What are some of your favorite healthy treats? ¬†I’d love to add some more goodies to my stash.

Thanks for stopping by.

Make your day magical. ¬†ūüôā ¬†Smooches!

It Was Good While It Lasted

The decision to give up coffee was kind of spontaneous.  Nearly two months have passed since I gave up my freshly brewed java.    Fresh coffee was a nice early morning treat and part of my morning ritual.

The decision to give up coffee was sudden and random. ¬†One day I just noticed that I didn’t ¬†feel like myself. ¬†The feeling was more than the typical jitters from too much caffeine. ¬†Aside from the increase in hot flashes, ¬†I felt sick from it. ¬†The taste changed too. ¬†It was nasty. ¬† That’s not supposed to happen. What the heck is going on? ¬†Hormones I suppose. ¬†Or maybe it’s my body’s way of telling me it’s time to give it up.

Anyways my current morning ritual now includes organic loose leaf green tea. And guess what? ¬† It’s working well. ¬†I actually feel better, more energized and I don’t get the dragging feeling after the caffeine boost. Yay!

So imagine my delight when I stumbled on a Green Tea Latte at Starbucks.

¬†ūüôā Aaaaaaaah! ¬†The heavenly gates opened up. ¬† I tried the latte and loooooooved it! ¬†Although I like the vibe of Starbucks, they’re too pricey for me. ¬†This day was an exception because I was on the road and ran in to get some oatmeal. ¬†I ended up with the oats and the green tea latte. ¬†I substituted regular milk for coconut milk.

Fast forward to my third one. ¬† ūüė¶

You know I had to know the nutritional content, so I went to the company’s website.

“Smooth and Creamy.” Yes.

“Lightly sweetened.” NOT!!

Check out the sugar content!! ¬†Oh my gosh! ¬†I was devastated then I realized the whopping 27 grams of sugar was for a Grande. ¬†Uh oh. I’ve been drinking the Venti, which is even larger. Ugh!

The Venti is loaded with even more sugar!  36 grams!!  This is ridiculous.  Starbucks has to do better. They got that one off on me.  This is yet another example of why we have to stay diligent in researching all that we eat and drink.  250 Calories. 9 grams of saturated fat. 90 calories from fat.  When I read the label, I became sad and angry. Who would think green tea would have so much sugar?  Yup. They tricked me.  

Whelp. ¬†It was good while it lasted. ¬†I just can’t and don’t consume sugar like that. Speaking of sugar, if you’re trying to lose weight or maybe trying to reduce your sugar intake, check out the video,¬†The Truth About Sugar¬†that I recently watched. It may change the way you think about your favorite sugary snack.

I’ve got a lot going on these days. ¬†When things settle down, I have tons of good stuff to share. ¬†So hang in there with me. ¬†If you like this post, please like, share and follow me.

Smooches! ¬†ūüôā

Not So Pretty in Pink

This Kellogg’s Special K Protein shake was gifted to me from the heart of a loving woman.

In my last post, I expressed a little attitude (my opinion) toward  food manufacturers and their attractive but deceptive advertising practices.

When I wrote the post, this shake is the type of food I had in mind. ¬†This package is dolled up like it’s a birthday gift or something. ¬†Lol!! ¬†There is no doubt in my mind that the target market is women whose goal is to lose weight and/or maintain a healthier lifestyle.

The pink is overkill and offensive to me. ¬†I could take this post to another level and compare the packing of a similar project to our male counterparts, but I won’t. Sigh!

With so much talk about “protein” in the fitness world, no wonder it is the focus of this product.

Come on ladies!!  Get your protein!  The woman who purchased this for me is aware of my fitness passion.  While her intentions were good; there is no way, I would drink this crap.

Of course Kellogg’s want you to believe that the protein in this beverage is going to “satisfy your hunger.” Yeah okay, right! Wink..wink. ¬†How the heck is a 10 ounce bottle of this stuff gonna satisfy my hunger before or after a workout?

While plant and animal based proteins are the most satisfying, I am certain that this 10 ounce beverage is not going to do it for you… ¬†That’s just my opinion.

Look at the label. 18 grams of sugar!!  Whoa!

Sugar is the devil and is linked to so many preventable illnesses.¬† Make sure you read Kristen Kirkpatrick‘s¬†article, 1o Things You Don’t Know About Sugar. ¬†I hope that it is an eye-opener for you.

Since I don’t know what some of the ingredients are, I ¬†decided to read up on a few.

1. ¬†Maltodextrin –¬†A popular used food additive, which is “derived from a plant,” is a highly processed starch. ¬†According to Healthline,

maltodextrin may come from corn, cornstarch, rice, or potato starch.  It can also come from wheat.  The starches are cooked then acids or enzymes are added to break it down further, before resulting in a white powder.

While the packing suggests the drink is gluten free,  relative to Malt0dextrin,

Someone with celiac disease should use caution when consuming maltodextrin and should consult their physician.  You should also know that this addictive is commonly found in nutritional drinks, sugar substitutes, granola, coffee, commercially baked goods, even those labeled gluten-free, pie fillings, sauces, puddings salad dressings, candy, chocolate, sugar substitutes, canned fruit (Eeeew), gelatin, and prepared soup products.  Read labels!

2.¬†Polydextrose – ¬†Two words: ¬†synthetic fiber. It was patented in 1973 and approved by the FDA in 1981. ¬†Although it is not grain fiber, the FDA¬†classifies¬† it as “soluble fiber.” ¬†Personally I would rather get my fiber from a natural source such as oatmeal (steel cut oats), beans, brown rice, brown rice and vegetables.

3. Natural & Artificial Flavors – The FDA describes artificial favors as a substance that ¬†“… NOT derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, leaf or similar plant material, meat, fish poultry, eggs, dairy products….” ¬†Do you see strawberries listed anywhere in the ingredients? ¬†Nope! ¬†But lovely images of strawberries are plastered all over the the product. Really?!?

4.¬†Gellan Gum¬†– This is a microbiological gelling agent that serves the purpose of thickening or “anti-settling agent. It does not alter taste but is commonly used in soups and sauces. ” You can read about the effects of Gellan gum in humans here.

5. Potassium Citrate – Livestrong reports that PC can be found naturally in foods, but is also used as a food additive to stabilize foods and to regulate their acidity levels. ¬†For a list of foods that naturally contain potassium, click¬†Here.¬† Potassium Citrate is also used as a prescription medication used for several medical conditions, including kidney stones. Learn more ¬†about potassium at one of my favorite sites,¬†The world’s healthiest foods.

6. Cellulose Gum – ¬†Oh boy, this one is a real winner! ¬†Of course, it’s an addictive. But guess what? ¬†It comes from¬†Wood pulp or cotton lint. ¬†The FDA approved this drug and reports that the drug is safe for human consumption. ¬†Hmm…

7. Carrageenan –¬†Another food stabilizer and thickening additictive. It keeps yogurt smooth and creamy and is commonly used in dairy and meat products. ¬†It is said to have a strong binding ability. There are articles that are pro and con carrageenan, but this is one ingredient that I have been avoiding for over year now.

Carrageenan appears to be natural because it is actually extracted from seaweed; however, it is in the processing that changes into a “degraded”carrageenan. ¬†Stay with me here. ¬†In some experiments it has been linked to inflammation. The International Agency for Research on Cancer list degraded carrageenan as a possible carcinogen. ¬†Lab studies have also shown that it can induce inflammation.

Carrageenan can also be found in many organic foods.  I was disappointed and shock to read from Cornucopia Institute that:

carrageenan may be present in the final product but not listed on the ingredients label when it is used as a processing agent.

Yikes!! ¬†You don’t have to take my word for it, do your own research and decide for yourself. ūüôā

8. Red 3, Yellow 6, Blue 1 – Food coloring.¬† Ugh.. The Dyes!!¬†¬†This really needs to be post of its own. ūüė¶ reports that,

 Fifteen million pounds of food dyes are sold every year in the US.

Food dyes are used to make food visually more appealing to consumers. Reds are brighter, greens are greener, etc… And in the case of this strawberry protein shake, which does not have any strawberries in it, the dye deceptively ¬†gives it a pink color which tricks you into believing that the beverage contain strawberries. ¬†Smh!

There is a plethora of controversy over food dyes.

Red #1, #2, and #4 all have been banned, but #3 is still used today. Multiple studies suggest food dyes are linked to ADHD, certain types of cancer and other illnesses.

Yellow #5  and #6 are also of concern, especially to parents of young children.  Studies have shown increased hyperactivity in children who are exposed to the dyes.

When our son was younger, I witnessed the effects of food dyes on his behavior, and decided to limit his exposure. ¬†Hence, he was no longer permitted to eat any foods before school that had any traces of food coloring. ¬†This decision helped him to focus better in school. Hubby wasn’t convinced until he witnessed the effects one day during football practice.

It was our son’s birthday, so earlier in the day, he enjoyed cake and cupcakes that were slathered in red and blue icing. Later during football practice, it was obvious that he had trouble controlling himself.

He aimlessly and recklessly tackled teammates when he was instructed not to. We watched him repeatedly roll around on the field like he was on fire or something. With his arms high in the air, the coach who was very frustrated, walked over to us and asked, “What the hell??”

I laughed. ¬†I apologized. ¬†Then I explained the reasons for his behavior. It was so uncharacteristic behavior of our son that the coach was literally scratching his head. ¬†I remember looking at my husband and asking him, “Now do you believe me?” ¬†LOL!! ¬†I think it was at that moment that he understood the affects of sugar and food coloring on our son.

Blue #1 and #2 are listed as another food coloring of concern. In addition to asthma, ADHD comes up again.  There is a pattern linking ADHD to various food coloring.

Although there is so much to say about¬†this beverage and other foods, I think you get my point… READ LABELS.

The more informed you are, the better choices you can make for you and your family.

Thanks for dropping in and Happy Tuesday!