What is it about free food that turns a relatively stable person into a ransacking hungry barbarian? This dietitian should know better. Like most warm-blooded Americans I love the idea of a food sample and eating food in bite size pieces out of tiny little cups. I love mini everything: jars of mayonnaise, protein bar bites, packages of peanut butter etc. I love free (healthy) food. Maybe I already said that.
At FNCE, The Food Nutrition Conference and Expo, put on by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the food expo did not disappoint. When placed into a giant expo hall filled with hundreds of vendors sampling their goods suddenly lunch becomes:
· 5 protein bars
· 2 yogurts
· Countless prunes and prune products (I love prunes)
· Many bites of different peanut and nut butters
· A few handfuls of chips/crackers
· A few bites of seasoned Quinoa
· Dairy free ice cream
Here are some of my favorite finds:
88 Acres Chocolate and Sea Salt Seed Bar
What makes this bar special is that it is a non-GMO and nut free protein/nutrition bar that tastes great. If you or a family member need to avoid nuts due to allergy or sensitivity or are looking to rotate different nutrients into your breakfast or snack-this bar is for you. Named after the 88 acre organic farm the co-founder grew up on, this Boston based company makes snacks by hand in small batches to ensure safety for food allergen sufferers. 88acres.com.
Enlightened Roasted Broad Beans
You’ve tried roasted edamame and roasted chickpeas. New to the snacking game- Roasted Broad Beans also called Fava Beans. Gluten free, a good source of protein and high in fiber (we love you fiber!) these snacks come in a variety of favors such as Mesquite BBQ and Sweet Cinnamon. For a light snack pre-workout, in trail mixes with your favorite nuts and seeds or as a dipper for hummus, beans are awesome! Eatenlightened.com.
Sunsweet Amaz!n Berry Blend
Move over fruit snacks. Try these sweet morsels of 100% dried fruits (plums, cranberries, cherries and blueberries) when you want to feel like a kid or simply want a yummy fruity dessert. Speaking of kids, add these single serving packages to lunch boxes for a nutritional upgrade. Prunes or dried plums are delicious. A good source of potassium, magnesium and vitamin K, prunes help build stronger bones and have been shown in studies to prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women. Dried plums are also excellent for digestive health. They contain a special type of prebiotic fiber called Sorbitol that nourishes the good bacteria in our gut. Enjoy them refrigerated. Sunsweet.com.
Gaia Turmeric Boost & Lipton Matcha Green Tea
Drink tea. The research is strong for the anti-cancer and numerous health benefits that come with adding this drink to your daily diet. Matcha is a chlorophyll-rich leaf linked to enhancing focus and alertness. Combined with green tea and mint or ginger it makes for an excellent 3pm mug of healthy comfort that may benefit your productivity the rest of the day. Liptontea.com.
If you don’t fancy tea or are looking for a new health drink check out Gaia Herbs Turmeric Boost drink. This Vanilla and Chai spiced turmeric extract pairs well with warm or cold almond or coconut milk. Or rice milk or oat milk or flax milk or grass-fed cow’s milk. You get the idea. Turmeric is a potent antioxidant and has been linked to reducing inflammation and protecting against Alzheimer’s disease.
In improved health,