So you want to eat healthy and lose a few pounds but you don’t have time to really look things up and see how many calories in everything you eat. Well, I’m here to help. ALTHOUGH not looking up calories while on a “eating budget” is like writing checks without looking at a price tag, I can at least give you a few “good buys” for those times you just need a go-to quick and easy snack or meal.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.
One thing I know is if I don’t shop smart, I won’t eat smart. Although I’d love to cook fresh meals and snacks, that’s not always realistic. So, it’s important to keep your needs in mind and be prepared to fuel your body when life forces you to eat on the run. Here are a few items that are always on my shopping list so I have something quick when I’m crunched for time.
1.) Chobani Vanilla Yogurt with a sprinkle of Low Fat Granola
8oz, 200 calories, 22 gms of protein, 0gms of fat
This is an AMAZING amount of protein for a portable snack or meal. I also love the plain yogurt with honey, granola and blueberries as well as their fruit flavors for when I’m in a rush and on the run.
2.) Bolthouse Farms Protein PLUS Mango Smoothie
Bottle: 360 calories, 30 grams of protein and less than 2gms of fat
The flavor is fresh, smooth, fruity, sweet and tart – a great recovery drink right after a hot run or intense workout. You can’t even taste the protein and the texture is amazing. They offer various flavors but be sure to watch for the Protein PLUS label as not all their smoothies are high in protein.
3. Friendship Non-Fat Cottage Cheese and Pineapple
1 Cup: 220 calories, 24gms of protein, 0gms of fat
This is one of Steve’s favorite treats when dieting. It’s sweet, packed with protein and filling. If it doesn’t stick with you long enough, try switching to the 1% Low Fat version for 240 calories, 24gms of protein & 2 gms of fat. Fat typically helps foods stick with us longer, which keeps a dieter more content and tummy satisfied.
4. Dark Zone Perfect Bar, Dark Chocolate Strawberry
1 bar: 180 calories, 12gms of protein, 5gms of fat
When I’m in a total pinch and need something to throw in my purse, this is a great tasting bar that leaves me feeling satisfied to hold me over for a real meal. The great thing is this is available at most grocery stores so you don’t have to hunt down a nutrition store to get a decent snack bar. NOTE: This does not qualify as a protein bar. In my opinion, a protein bar should have at least 25gms of protein.
5. Toasted Berry Crumble GoLean Crisp with Simply Smart Fat Free Milk
3/4 cup of cereal with 1 cup milk: 270 calories, 19gms of protein and 3.5gms of fat
With 8gms of fiber, 18 whole grains, no high fructose corn syrup & 9gms of protein, you’ll feel fuller longer with this fun cereal with a nice berry kick. One thing I LOVE about Simply Smart Fat Free Milk is the expiration date is nearly two months away from the purchase date, which means less waste for people like me that don’t drink a lot of milk.
6. StarKist Tuna Creations Sweet & Spicy
Whole Pouch: 175 calories, 27.5gms of protein and 1.25gms of fat
This is a easy on-the-go way to throw together a great tasting sandwich or salad. I use a whole packet on mixed greens with onion, tomatoes and Roland balsamic vinegar, with a sprinkle of olive oil to make the salad stick with me. Also try it heated or try one of the StarKist recipes like the Sweet & Spicy Tuna Wrap.
7. NEW Smart Ones Steamer Bags
One meal: Approximately 360 calories, 25-30gms of protein and 7gms of fat
Of COURSE it’s always best to eat fresh meals but if you don’t have the time and you need something quick – this is one tasty, high-protein find! It’s 30% larger than most frozen diet meals and has DOUBLE the protein than most other pre-packaged meals. The flavors are good and it tastes pretty fresh as well. Not bad for frozen!
8. Sunrich Edamame in the Shell
150 calories, 12.5 gms of protein, 5gms of fiber and 6.25gms of fat
Edamame is an awesome side dish or snack. I love to steam it and sprinkle low-sodium soy sauce over it for a salty healthy snack. You can also add shelled edamame to salads and meals. Since they are a nice balance of fats, carbs and proteins, as well as packed with fiber, they keep you feeling full. My favorite part about them is it takes time to eat them when they are still in the shell so the snack entertains you longer.
9. Crunchmaster’s Multi-Grain Cracker
16 crackers: 120 calories, 2gms of protein, 3gms of fiber and 2gms of fat
Not only can you have 16 crackers for the same amount of calories for 6 stinkin’ Triskets, but these tasty crackers are all natural and Gluten Free. Since it doesn’t have MSG, which is normally added to boost flavors in flavored chips like Doritos, you are not only eating a healthier snack – you’ll likely eat less of them. MSG has been thought to make people want to eat more, so this is one snack you’re more likely to control. Try it with THIN slivers of low-fat pepper jack cheese and a few grapes for an awesome treat! TIP: Don’t eat them out of the bag – count them out and put them on a plate to help manage how many you eat.
10. Peanut Butter & Green Banana Wrap on Flatout Whole Grain Wrap
Calories for 1/2 of banana, 1TBS peanut butter & wrap: 250 calories, 13.5gm of protein, 7-9gms of fiber (depending on Flatout flavor) 10.8gms of fat
This is one quick, tasty and filling snack or light lunch. Add alfalfa sprouts for a fresh and unique added crunch. This wrap is PACKED with fiber, which keeps you feeling full but it also has another amazing benefit – it boost fat loss! Slightly green bananas have high amounts of resistant starch, which greatly reduce as the banana ripens. Resistant starches can’t be broken down like regular starches so your body treats it more like a fiber. In addition, experts believe they block the use of some carbohydrates, forcing our body to use stored fat as energy instead of what we ate. One Colorado University study concluded that replacing 5.7% of standard carbohydrates with resistant starches could boost fat lost over time – as much as 30%!
DON’T LIKE WATER? TRY THIS!
Mio Liquid Water Enhancer
0 Calories, 0 protein, 0 fat
For those of you who just can’t STAND the thought of guzzling large doses of water and you KNOW you need to increase your water intake, this may be your answer. I personally love water but Steve loves sweet drinks but keeping pitchers of Crystal Light can be a drag. Mio is easy and can be taken on the go. Squirt it in your water bottle or add it to your glass of water from you refrigerator door. It’s easy, it’s tasty and it’s totally customizable to YOUR liking!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAV FOODS!
Share some of your favorite foods by commenting below. The more you share, the more people we can all help!!
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