build it better: yogurt & granola

Spring is finally here, although it is currently snowing in Minnesota. I’m ignoring it and moving on with Spring. :)

I’ve been ready for warm weather meals like yogurt & granola, cereal and smoothies for the last few months (or maybe I’ve just been longing for warm sun) but they often leave me hungry by 10am. Luckily there are a couple of ways to make these breakfasts last the entire morning:

  • Yogurt: Use Greek yogurt or Skyrr as it has a lot more protein than regular yogurt (and it is worth the extra $)
  • Cereal or Granola: Should be whole grain, high fiber and extra points for protein and good fats (Uncle Sam Cereal or Kashi Go Lean are great ones)
  • Good Fats: Will add staying power to your meal – chopped nuts or nut butter are great, easy additions
  • Fresh Fruit: For flavor, sweetness, something fresh and some natural beauty ;)

Your typical yogurt and granola is probably full of added sugars and lacking in protein, fiber and good fats. Make a few of the changes I’ve suggested and you’re starting your day in a great way.

Nutrition Stats: 428 calories, 13 g fat, 30 g protein, 17 g fiber (Using 1 cup 2% Fage Greek Yogurt, 3/4 cup Uncle Sams Cereal, 1/4 oz almonds (about 6), 3/4 cup raspberries)


What do you add to breakfast so that it stays with you until lunch?

review: rokit fuel

I was a little hesitant to try out Rokit Fuel cereals because I do not consider myself to be an endurance athlete and I had gotten the feeling that is who Rokit Fuel is geared towards. (I’m much more yogi than runner :) ) And while some may think 370 calories for oatmeal is a lot, it sounds just about right calorie-wise for breakfast – endurance athlete or not!

I know oatmeal is really easy to make, but in an effort to slow down (and not be preparing food at 11 pm), I am accepting the fact that not everything will be made from scratch.  So when a day came along that I had nothing ready for breakfast? This little container of Rokit Fuel came in very handy. :)

They also have these energy packets (these are really geared towards on-the-go athletes) that only require some water and they are ready to squirt! No spoon required. I especially love that they offer the “Ugly Bag” – no fancy packaging, or single servings, which in addition to being pretty eco-friendly, also brings the price down significantly.

Fan Of:

  • High Protein – 9 grams
  • High Fiber – 6 grams
  • Performance Ingredients like bee pollen, gotu kola, maca root
  • Nuts, Seeds and Dried Fruit like flax, dates, raisins, cherries, sunflower seeds, pecans, almonds, walnuts
  • So convieneint! It was nice to not have to prep anything for breakfast and just add water. It would be perfect to take traveling.

 

Wished:

  • There wasn’t sugar in it – I really don’t like to start my morning with sugar and with the other dried fruits, it isn’t necessary! (I think people can add their own sugars if they need it) With that said, it didn’t taste overly sweet.
  • Wasn’t so expensive, BUT, I will say that it comes out to about $3/serving which is how much you would pay at Starbucks, etc. except I haven’t seen oatmeal with bee pollen, flax, etc at a coffee shop yet. Because I work in the food industry, I know ingredients like those are very expensive, and I appreciate them continuing to use them instead of just eliminating them.

 

Where to Buy: Specialty Bike/Cycle Stores, Search for a store in your area, Order online (FREE Shipping!)

Disclosure Statement: Rokit Fuel sent me samples to review free of charge. The opinions are entirely my own.

in the news: national nutrition month

March is National Nutrition Month and I love the American Dietetic Association’s (ADA) message this year – Eat Right with Color.

I really believe in focusing on what we should be eating instead of what we shouldn’t be eating. Color is a great place to start. The ADA recommends:

To get the most nutrition out of your calories, choose foods packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients—and lower in calories. Pick fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat dairy more often. Be aware of portion sizes. Even low-calorie foods can add up when portions are larger than you need.

My translation? Make sure you are eating different types and colors of fruits and vegetables. (Notice how whole grains are typically varying colors, as well?) Salads are a great way to get a lot of veggies – both type and color – in at one sitting. Start with dark leafy greens. My favorites are spinach, herb salad mix and romaine. Then add as many other vegetables as you can. Think cucumbers; broccoli; red, orange or yellow peppers;  shredded purple cabbage; sliced carrots; tomatoes; squash;  zucchini;  sprouts and you’ve got a range of colors and a good portion of your veggie quota in for the day. Not a fan of raw veggies? Try a huge stir-fry!

Add another veggie or two at dinner, some fruit at breakfast and dessert and dessert and keep those fruits and you’ll easily surpass the measly 5 cups of fruit and vegetables recommended per day. I’d recommend more like 7-8 cups of fruit and vegetables per day and the easiest way to get them in is to make sure they are accessible  – cleaned and ready to eat! Now go, eat your colors!

Visit the ADA site for resources, quizzes, games and recipe ideas to promote National Nutrition Month.

thanksgiving 2010: spinach salad

Along with the heavy sides of stuffing and mashed potatoes, a light and healthy spinach salad is welcomed on any Thanksgiving spread. The combination is a classic one, and ever since my boss recently made it, I knew it needed a place on my table. And soon. Couldn’t your Thanksgiving plate use a little something healthy?

I’ve never prepared an entire Thanksgiving meal (and that’s probably a good thing) but I can only imagine that if you do, some of the dishes need to come together without much prep and come together quickly. So this salad is everything you want for a hectic, calorie-laden day: easy to make, a healthy dose of greens and delicious to boot!

Spinach Salad - 4 servings

  • 1 – 5 oz bag of Organic Baby Spinach
  • 1/8 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Brianna’s Poppyseed Dressing

Toss together spinach, onion, strawberries and dressing. Sprinkle walnuts on top and serve.