Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Top 5 List: Best Store Bought Foods You Can Put in Your Belly

This is a week that's going to be a list of 'favorites', because, quite simply, I love talking about things that I love ;)  I mean, Oprah has her episode of favorite things, I figured I could have a whole week of it!

Today, I wanted to talk about my favorite (and healthiest) foods that I buy at the grocery store that I put in my belly.  Cooking and baking is definitely something that I love to do, but you know, sometimes you just ain't got time fo' dat' (I think that's how you spell that phrase out?  Who knows, really.)

So, here are my 'go tos', what I love about each of these items is that the ingredients list is FILLED with plants and whole, clean foods that I actually KNOW what they are!  That, to me, is how I measure if this a legit product.  You can have ALL the fancy schmancy labeling that you want claiming that something is 'natural', but if you've got some crazy chemical list in your ingredients, well, that's where the truth often is at.

So, here it is, in all it's glory!

1. Nature's Path Coconut Chia Granola: Seriously, even if I wasn't eating healthy (which is often I gauge taste), I would eat this.  For a really long time I have shied away from cereal and opted for eggs, or a quick shake, but my husband actually bought this on a whim, and I was the one who ended up eating the whole box!  I eat it with a little bit of almond milk, and you really don't need that much to fill you up because it's pretty dense...but not like, fruitcake dense.  The coconut in it gives a slightly sweet taste, and it's filled with lots of chia goodness too.  I found this at my local grocery store (Kroger), in the organic section!

2. Nature's Path Buckwheat Wildberry Waffles: I'll admit...there's a lot of things about these waffles that would scare me away. 'Gluten free'. 'Buckwheat'. Gross.  But for some reason, I was in an adventurous mood and bought them.  I was really looking for a way to change up my breakfast and thought I would give them a shot.  Holy. Moly. Goodness.  I am the sugar queen, and I don't even eat these with syrup.  The wildberry in them makes them plenty sweet enough, and I have actually included them in with my 21 Day Fix plan (you're allowed WAFFLES, yum!).  I add a tsp. of almond butter, and eat it like toast.  These are SO good.  My only problem is that they can be hard to find!  They used to sell them at my local grocery store, but, they are no longer I have to venture all the way out to Whole Foods. No problem-o, I'll just buy 5 boxes when I go, seriously.  They are that good.  

3. Chobani Greek Yogurt: I kind of hesitated to put this one on here, because, in my opinion, there are better brands of yogurt that you can get...but this is the best one at the grocery store closer to my house.  I should say, I really like Brown Cow, or, Stonyfield too!  However, Chobani is still a good one!  And honestly, ANY flavor that I have tried has been pretty amazing.  What's nice about Greek Yogurt is that it's completely non-fat, so, if you are on a stricter meal plan, or, just trying to be more healthy, you can easily use it as a way to replace sour cream (use the plain version, no added fruit is needed, and also, may taste strange with your tacos, ha!), and get your fat from a better source (like an avocado!).  Or, if you want to eat it plain, I have added my own fruit, and a teeny bit of honey and that, I have to say, is a pretty tasty treat!

4. Almond Butter and Coconut Oil: I know this is two items, but hey, I make the rules, it's my blog ;)  But I wanted to give you a quick look at the condiments that I use.  The biggest thing when choosing an almond butter is again, look at the ingredients.  For example, this one says 'roasted almonds', and that's it!  That, in my opinion is what you want to see.  Some may say that there is sugar added or, things like that, and to me, the whole point in eating healthy is trying to actually EAT healthy...not just trick ourselves into thinking that we are are.  So flip it over, and check the ingredients list!  I use almond butter on my toast, waffles, in my shakes, it is just so good, and a very healthy fat!

Coconut Oil is quickly becoming a go to for a lot of things in my house.  I haven't ventured this far with it, but I know that you can use it for your hair and skin, it's just kind of a cool little thing to have in your house.  I have been replacing it with vegetable oil.  One, because it actually benefits me (it's a much healthier fat, like almond butter), and, it's actually CLEAN. and it makes things tasty really good!  Again, if you flip over the back of your vegetable oil, ask yourself if you actually KNOW what those words ARE, let alone what they mean.  With coconut oil, it says 'mechanically pressed organic coconut oil'.  Which is perfect.

5. Shakeology, Any Flavor!: I could I NOT include this?  Now, I will say, the ingredients list is LONG on the back...however, you will quickly notice, that they are ALL plants.  I didn't know what they all were or did, so I looked them up like a big nerd, and couldn't believe all of the goodness I was putting into my body!  My personal favorite is Vegan Chocolate, I just LOVE the taste of it, but you really can't go wrong with any of them...Vanilla, Chocolate, Greenberry, Strawberry, Vegan Tropical Strawberry, they are all pretty awesome in their own way.  My husband and I have been drinking Shakeology for two years, and yes, I do sell it, but it's because I BELIEVE in it, and use it myself.  From someone who has never sold anything in their life (aside from cookies at a bake sale for my church!), there is a reason I feel so strongly about it.  So, if you have questions about it, I am here, and I can answer them!  I am not a nutritionist or specialist of any kind, I'm just a girl who realized that casseroles weren't really all that healthy ;)  

Good luck on your journey to eating healthier foods!  It's a long one, and often times bumpy, but my rule of thumb is, and will probably always remain, the more plant based the ingredients are on the BACK of the label, the better off you'll be.  Eating healthy does NOT need to be complicated, it actually is a lot more simple ;)  Thanks for reading!


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