Written by Renee Schnuerle
UPDATE: WINNER ANNOUNCED!!
And the winner is…
She said her biggest enemy is Mountain Dew.
Jess – email me – [email protected] to claim your prize!!
Do you often scratch your head when it comes to knowing the difference in what is healthy for you and what is not? Not sure what it means when someone says whole grain versus whole wheat (choose whole grain)? and what the heck is Greek yogurt? Look, you aren’t alone because if you are trying to make healthier food choices, the food industry makes it so confusing for anyone to have a clear understanding of what is good for us. Since I am frequently asked about the types of foods you would find in my pantry, I thought this would be a great time to share a few of the items I pick for my family and why.
Steel Cut Oats vs Regular Instant Oatmeal
Breakfast, specifically oatmeal is one of my FAVORITE meals to get my day started right. For the past year I have been using a product called Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats instead of regular ole Instant Oatmeal. I won’t go into great details about the differences in the two but here is why I prefer the steel cut (or also called Irish) oats. Steel cut oats are less processed and more hearty than instant oatmeal. Steel cut oats are higher in protein, fiber and have less of an impact on your blood sugar meaning you will stay fuller; longer! (low-glycemic). Steel cut oats take more time to cook (about 15-20 minutes) but they are so tasty! I usually cook them in a rice cooker but when I know I won’t have time the next day here is a
TIP: Boil your water, add the oats and I usually throw in some dates, raisins or other diced fruit and remove it from the heat. Cover and let sit overnight and your oats will be perfect in the morning!
Quinoa vs Brown Rice
I absolutely love quinoa (KEEN-wa). It has become my new favorite ingredient in things like stir-fry, salads, and even breakfast! It is higher in protein and dietary fiber than brown rice. Quinoa is chewier and nuttier than brown rice but it also takes less time to digest meaning you will stay fuller longer. Quinoa has more calories (220 vs 215) but it also has 3 more grams of protein and 1.5 grams more fiber than brown rice. You can find one of my favorite quinoa salad recipes on my Facebook page.
Natural Peanut Butter vs PB2
PB2 (powdered-peanut butter) is quite a popular product these days because it has less calories than regular peanut butter. PB2 is basically a result of pressing all the fat out of peanuts and you get a powered product. It is much less calorie dense (45 calories vs. 180 calories in regular) but you also lose a lot of the healthy fats that you get in regular natural peanut butter. I do use PB2 in a recipe for some healthy no-bake cookies in conjunction with natural peanut butter but it will never take place of my go to snack of apples and peanut butter!
Greek Yogurt (Plain) vs Regular/Flavored
Plain Greek yogurt has more protein and far less sugar than the cute little fruit-flavored yogurt cups. Dress it up by adding your own, chopped fresh fruit, honey or stevia. My favorite brands of Greek yogurt is #1 Fage and #2 Chobani plain yogurt.
Homemade Dressing vs Store Bought Dressing
Who knew you could make your own dressings?! A simple vinaigrette dressing that I use is: -1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tsp Himalayan (pink) salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp unfiltered honey or raw agave, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, and optional: 2 tsp fresh herbs: basic, oregano, parsley, or dill. Mix all ingredients. Serves 8. So simple, tasty and nutritious!
Shakeology: The Healthiest Meal of the Day
This is a STAPLE in my pantry and will always be because even the most health conscious person has nutritional gaps that need to be filled in their diet. The truth is that our food today really just isn’t as nutritionally dense as it once was due to the chemicals in the air, in the water, and in the soil. To help me fill in those gaps I started using a product called Shakeology 4 years ago. I use it as a daily as a meal replacement mostly to help me with cravings and energy (not an energy drink) but do use it also as a post-workout supplement as well. I did my research before I started taking it because I have been fooled a time or two with other products. What I found was awesome and trust the integrity of the ingredients put into Shakeology by the company Beachbody (P90X, Insanity, T25). Many other products that I looked into have nasty artificial ingredients like sweeteners, additives/preservatives, soy lechitin, etc. All I can say is do YOUR research and find what works for you; not someone else! Take a look for yourself and if you have any questions or want more information please check out this site.
I believe in Shakeology so much that I am going to be giving away a 5-day trial of Shakeology! See information below on how you can enter and win!
For more tips and helpful resources, check out my Facebook page!
Enter to Win Shakeolgy!
Here’s what you do:
1. Comment below to ask Renee your healthy living questions
2. “Like” Renee’s facebook page (linked above)
We’ll choose our winner randomly on Friday!