TGI-Thursday before a long weekend!!
So I’m very happy to introduce the first of many collaborations with my friend Kelly of NewlyMeds. NewlyMeds is a reality-blog of K’s adventures as a newlywed with her doctor-hubby (both Tulane alums!) in Dallas. And besides NewlyMeds being a adorably witty name, the blog is also refreshingly honest and funny.
So here’s Kelly in 10 words: “Hi, my name is Kelly and I love snack food.”, and here is Kelly in action with one of her vices:
Beyond gorgeous (if we ignore the whole mac and cheese problem), right?
Well the self-admitted snack-food-aholic gave me a list of her top 10 snack foods, and I helped her pick out 10 healthy alternatives. Kelly’s going to incorporate some of my recommendations over the next few weeks, and promises to follow up on her (HONEST!) thoughts about my replacements.
So, without further ado, 10 snack-aholic vices and their healthier alternatives:
Kraft mac & cheese–> I too have a soft spot for Kraft… but cheese should never be powderized. There’s no “easy” replacement for this, unfortunately; Annies organic mac & cheese is better but still not ideal. If you have your heart set on mac and cheese, try making a healthified homemade version like this from eatingwell.
Peanut Butter–> I love peanut butter and it shouldn’t disappear from your grocery list. But you want to buy the kind that separates, as annoying as it is to mix. Companies like Jif and Skippy use partially hydrogenated oils (ie trans fat), so you always want “natural” PB. I’m a big fan of DIY-grinders at Whole Foods and Trader Joes and pretty much any other health store. Peanut Butter & Co. and Justin’s nut butters are also great brands.
Goldfish –> If you can’t live without your goldfish, the whole wheat ones are the best option (and rainbow ones are the worst). If you’re ready to try something new, triscuits are my go-to cracker. If you are willing to completely sacrifice taste for super healthy and high fiber,give GG Brancrackers a try (But don’t say I didn’t warn you…).
Teddy Grahams –> Ok, in this case, Annie’s Homegrown Honey Bunny Grahams come out far ahead and taste good too… Teddy Grahams have good ol’ trans fat (even though the label says 0 grams, there is partially hydrogenated oil on the label… ick).
Cereal (like Oh’s and Golden Grahams) –> When it comes to navigating the cereal aisle we want more fiber and protein, less sugar and other crap. Try Kashi honey sunshine, Kashi go lean crunch, or Barbara’s Puffins… All are still completely addictingly delicious, but at least they’re better for you.
(From one of Kelly’s many fiestas)
Cheese in general –> Cheese is actually not the enemy; quanitity is. So if you can’t stick to a serving size (painfully 1 oz = 4 dice), you should consider low fat. But I’m the first to admit, low fat can have a pretty miserable rubbery texture. American cheese is very processed and high in sodium; PLEASE go with white (sans food dyes) if you can’t live without it. Guilt-free cheese: Horizon low fat cottage cheese & Horizon mozzarella string cheese.
Yoplait Yogurt –> Yogurt is so totally confusing — to the point that I’ve used dating as a metaphor for the yogurt aisle. Most you’d never bring home (w/o beer goggles…), many are dateable but nothing to brag about, and then we have the gems you’d love to become a NewlyMed with The babes of yogurt: Greek. (PS if you want to see another Greek babe, ladies, google Theo Theodoris…). So you want to skip all the sugary/fake-sugar crap when yogurt-shopping, which is about 96-97%. This includes those “lite” ones: something’s super low-cal it generally has lots of additives and wont keep you full. I love greek because it’s super high in protein and has little to no sugar. ALWAYS be in control of your own add-ins – fruit, nuts, cereal, cinnamon, even sugar/agave/honey are okay. >80 cal, >12g protein is ideal.
Ketchup –> Contrary to popular belief, ketchup is NOT just tomato! There’s lots of sugar and pretty minimal tomato. I prefer fresh salsa/pico de galo/tomato slices. If you can’t put down the condiments, mustard and sauerkraut are better options.
Skinny Cows Fudge Bars –> High fructose corn syrup and lots of other freaky additives to make these taste more like ice cream. Instead, try making your own popsicles!! It’s really not complicated. At foodtrainers, the interns made pina colada pops that rocked – all they used was fresh pineapple, a banana and unsweetened coconut flakes.
Processed turkey –> Many people are unaware that Boars Head turkey and pretty much all other meats in the deli counter window have a lot of ingredients besides turkey. Processed turkey is super high in sodium and often has added sugar/high fructose corn syrup. Ideally, go for the real thing: fresh turkey (or chicken) breast. Otherwise, I stick to Applegate or any other organic brand.
PS: I know it gets pricey, but when it comes to meat and dairy try to go organic when available. Without getting into the dirty details, it’s always worth it.
Looking forward to our NewlyMed follow up, and hope my rec’s are doable for both Kelly and her hubby Doctor J!
So what do you think: Any snack foods you’re addicted to? Any healthier replacements that you’ll try, or that I missed?