I’m truly thankful for all food. .
Even though I strive to base my diet around simple, unprocessed foods, I also like to buy some things that I couldn’t make in my own kitchen. Cheese? Yogurt? Chocolate? Technically, yes I could make these, but– I don’t. When I’m buying a product that’s not a one-ingredient, whole food item (like an apple, a sweet potato or a piece of fish), I always check the list of ingredients. Most packaged foods don’t provide many nutrients the way whole foods naturally do. This is because of additions like: sugar, high fructose corn syrup, flours and highly processed oils like soybean, canola and cottonseed.
Perfection does not and should not exist, but we all want to make the best decisions we can… because we want to be healthy. Most of us have choices when it comes to what we eat– this is something to be extremely grateful for. Looking at the ingredient list will help you determine if you want to eat it, how much of it you want to eat and how often you want to eat it. Not much will harm you in the short-term, but remember that your food choices add up over the days, months and years. So, be choosy.
Let’s get down to some of the products I’ve been loving lately and why. Maybe you’ll find something new to try!
In my opinion, the Triple Cream is the best. It’s got the most fat, it’s the creamiest and it’s the most delicious. They also offer lower-fat flavors, many of which I’ve tried for variety and they are all great choices.
Why? Two big things to look for with yogurts are the quality of the dairy and the amount of added sugar. One more thing: watch out for artificial sweeteners many companies sneak in.
Siggi’s uses milk from grass-fed cows. Sugars are only 8g in most of the flavors (some have 11g). No artificial sweeteners. No artificial colorings. (Note that these are thick yogurts.)
Seasonal flavors are always fun. Especially when there is pumpkin involved!
Other yogurts I love: Stonyfield, Narragansett Creamery and Maple Hill Creamery.
For a treat (sugar is on the high side), I really like Noosa:
Pumpkin was amazing. Apple was equally delicious. You’ll feel like you are eating a decadent dessert. Treat it like a treat.
Spindrift Sparkling Water
Water without corn syrup and without chemical sweeteners is the way to go. Your basic flavored carbonated waters by Poland Springs, Polar and La Croix do this just fine with the addition of “natural flavors.”
But sometimes, don’t you want something just a little bit… different…?
Spindrift has managed to create a product that is mainly just carbonated water but with a squeeze of fruit.
If you’re willing to spare about 13 calories per can (that’s nothing, you’re burning that off reading this!) in exchange for a little variety and added flavor to your water, then you’re going to love these.
Equal Exchange 80% Dark Chocolate
These are always at the check-out at Dave’s and more often than not I grab one last minute. Very good quality organic, fair-trade chocolate with not a lot of sugar. And we’ve all seen the research indicating that cacao has health benefits! Still, this doesn’t mean you should eat the whole bar at once.
Trader Joe’s Just Beets
There’s been some research indicating that compounds found in beets may help with athletic performance. Hey, I’ll try anything to run faster and have more endurance! Regardless of setting any new speed records, beets are tasty and just plain good for you. Try these in place of your potato chip habit.
Silk Cashew Milk- Unsweetened
If you’re trying to drink fewer calories, this cashew milk is perfect. Only 25 calories per cup. It’s great in coffee too. I find it thicker and creamier than almond milk. Beware of the sweetened versions which can have way too much added sugar.
I’m not promoting alcohol consumption, but it does make for a lighter version of a Grasshopper.
When I’m not drinking Grasshoppers I like to drink cashew milk with my Amazing Grass Greens Drink powder…
Amazing Grass Green Superfood Energy Lemon Lime
I have been drinking this greens powder for years. It hydrates me in the morning, gives me a touch of caffeine and it just makes me feel good. They make non-caffeinated flavors too– chocolate is my second favorite after this one.
Lots of healthy ingredients in here like: wheat grass, alfalfa, spirulina, chlorella, matcha green tea extract… and it supports digestion with probiotics and digestive enzymes.
MegaFood Daily Turmeric
This is meant to be a nutrient booster for smoothies or shakes, but it’s pretty good on its own mixed with cashew milk.
Turmeric is known for its ant-inflammatory properties and unless you eat a lot of curries it’s a bit of a challenge to get it into your diet. This powder is enhanced with other beneficial goodies like Holy Basil Leaf, Tart Cherry, Black Raspberry, Wild Blueberry and Cranberry.
Kerrygold Cheese Wedges
Kerrygold is fantastic because they make their cheeses and butters with dairy from grass-fed cows. These cheese triangles are super creamy and individually wrapped for a perfect portion size. Pair with a pear or some grapes and you’ve got a decadent and satisfying snack.
And finally, as if Thanksgiving and pumpkin-spice flavored everything didn’t get here fast enough– Christmas, winter, snow, cold and holiday flavors like peppermint and gingerbread will be everywhere soon…
These fun products recently caught my eye at Whole Foods:
Califia Farms Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew Coffee and Theo Chocolates
Definitely not dietary staples but tasty and fun to eat in moderation. I know everyone hates that word– moderation. It’s such a dietitian word. But would products like this be as special if they weren’t meant to be consumed in moderation?
Be thankful for all the wonderful food choices we have! We are so fortunate.
While it’s easy to practice gratitude on Thanksgiving Day, do you feel thankful for your food every single time you eat? If not, try it! Could this enrich your life? Could it make you a happier, more compassionate, more peaceful person? I think…YES!