Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Wendy's Great Eight for May 2023 #wendysgreateight #bestbites #favoritefood #healthyfoodfavorites

 After a hiatus while I overhauled my nutrition...and lost 10o monthly Wendy's Great Eight column is back! Going forward, this monthly column will focus on my favorite healthy food and beverages -- along with kitchen gadgets that support my new healthy eating goals. I hope you'll find some healthy ideas that will help you meet your personal health goals too! Let's get started...

(1) Like Air Baked Puffcorn. If you enjoy eating crunchy snacks...but not their excess fat and calories...baked puffcorn is a great snacking alternative! I've really been enjoying Like Air Baked Puffcorn recently. These all natural, gluten-free baked puffs are literally light as air. And? They come in great traditional popcorn flavors like Butter & Salt and American Cheddar. They also have two sweet flavors: maple-flavored Pancake, and Cinnamon Bun. Each generous 3-cup serving of Like Air has just 150 calories, 9 grams fat, and 15-17 carbs. All four flavors are delicious...but I have a bit of a soft spot for the Pancake. Like Air Puffcorn can be found at major retailers, including Sam's Club, Kroger, ShopRite, Fairway, Price Rite, Kings Food Market, and Balducci's. They can also be purchased via Amazon.

(2) Barebells Protein Bars. My weight loss and maintenance center on eating more protein and fewer carbs. One way I accomplish this goal is to eat protein bars. I'm picky, though! I prefer bars with around 200 calories, along with zero sugar/low carbs, and plenty of satisfying protein. I really enjoy Barebells Protein bars, because they meet these requirements and taste AMAZING! I've tried three flavors so far: Cookies & Cream, Creamy Crisp, and Caramel Cashew. These flavors have 200 calories, 20 grams of protein, and zero added sugar per substantial 1.9-oz bar. Carbs range from 18-20 grams, depending on the flavor. I sometimes cut a Barebell bar in half if I'm running low on available carbs at the end of the day. Barebells can be found at major retailers nationwide...and they can be purchased direct from their online store.

(3) Jordan's Skinny Syrups Naturally Sweetened Sugar Free Syrups. I start my day with a protein coffee shake nearly every morning...and I love using Jordan's Skinny Syrups to provide a pop of sugar-free flavor to my creations. I was excited when they introduced a line of naturally sweetened syrups with stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol. Sugar free...without artificial a winner to me! This naturally sweetened line comes in Salted Caramel, Vanilla Bean, Chocolate Mocha, and Cinnamon Dolce. Each 2-tablesoon serving has zero calories and just 6 carbs. The Naturally Sweetened line is currently available for purchase at Target, as well as via the Jordan's Skinny Syrup online shop.

(4) Chike Coffee Protein. As the weather heats up, I enjoy iced coffee to beat the heat. With Texas-based Chike? I can help meet my daily protein macros too! Chike's high-protein coffee shakes contain two shots of real espresso and whey protein isolate. All natural flavors include Chai Latte, Mocha, Caramel, Vanilla, Original Iced Coffee, Chocolate Caramel, Cinnamon, and Chocolate Peanut Butter. Simply add 10 ounces water or unsweetened almond milk, shake, and pour over ice. Each delicious Chike iced protein coffee has 120 calories, 20 grams of whey protein, 4 carbs, and just 1 gram of sugar. Chike is sweetened with sucralose, the same sweetener used in Splenda. Chike is available at retailers nationwide, and via the Chike online store. Especially convenient is their single-serve Sampler Pack for $14.95 -- which lets you try five popular flavors to find your favorite! My personal favorite is the chocolate Mocha.

(5) ONE Crunch Protein Bars.
I eat quite a few protein bars, because they're convenient, taste great, and are a great way to meet my daily protein goals. I've been enjoying ONE Crunch Protein Bars the past couple of weeks. There are three great flavors -- Cinnamon French Toast, Marshmallow Treat, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. These bars have a chewy/crunchy texture and taste great! Each ONE Crunch has 140-160 calories, 12 grams of protein, and just 1 gram of sugar. I love to eat these tasty bars with a container of zero sugar Greek yogurt for a late-afternoon snack...or a protein-rich bedtime snack.

(6) Pop & Bottle Oat Milk Latte.
I love grabbing a cold brew latte for a quick afternoon pick-me-up...but most options are high in fat, sugar, and carbs. But? Pop & Bottle's organic oat milk lattes are a great option if you're a latte lover! Their ready-to-drink coffee is plant based and sweetened naturally with dates. Flavors in the Pop & Bottle oat latte collection include: 
  • Classic + Coffee Berry (antioxidant)
  • Vanilla + Collagen
  • Mocha + Adaptogens (ashwagandha + maca)
  • Caramel + Lion's Mane & Reishi (functional mushrooms)
  • Matcha Green Tea + Reishi & Maitake (functional mushrooms)
My favorite flavor is the Vanilla + Collagen. It's creamy and lightly sweet...with just 100 calories, 2.5 grams fat, and 16 carbs. Pop & Bottle products can be purchased nationally at popular retailers like Whole Foods, Target, and Walmart; from Amazon; and directly from their website.

(7) Dave's Killer Bread Organic Snack Bars.
I'm a long-time fan of Dave's Killer Bread's high-fiber whole grain I was excited to try their new line of organic snack bars. These fiber-rich whole grain bars come in a trio of fun flavors: Cocoa Brownie Blitz, fruity Trail Mix Crumble, and Oat-Ragious Honey Almond (my personal favorite). These healthy and tasty bars contain 200-21o calories and 5-6 grams of fiber. I love to chop these bars up and use them to top zero sugar yogurt...a healthy snack with tons of protein and fiber. To locate these organic snack bars near you, check out the Dave's Killer Bread online Store Locator. They can also be purchased online via Amazon Fresh.

(8) NOCCO Performance Energy Drink.
These days, I like to drink beverages that keep me hydrated...and provide additional health benefits. NOCCO -- No Carb Company -- carbonated energy beverages are a great option with zero sugar and carbs! Fizzy 10-calorie NOCCO contains 180 mg caffeine and Vitamins B6/B12. What makes NOCCO unique is its 4:1:1 branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) -- an essential amino acid involved in the body's production of protein. NOCCO comes in seven fruit-forward flavors. I've tried three: Miami Strawberry, Caribbean Pineapple, and Tropical. They're fizzy and super refreshing -- perfect for an energy boost after a workout...or to power through an active day. My Texas readers can find NOCCO at their H-E-B grocery store. NOCCO can also be purchased online for shipment from their website.

Disclosure: The companies featured in this month's Wendy's Great Eight column provided me product samples to facilitate inclusion..and to help ensure my opinions were based on personal experience. All opinions shared are solely my own.

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