Guiltless snacking with Healthy Options
Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Part of my marathon training was to have a nutritionist to guide us participants in losing weight but still taking into consideration the grueling preparations for a 42.2km run. It was during that time I realized how important snacking was. I’ve always had this misconception that eating snacks in between meals can make you fat (or fatter for that matter), but lo and behold, it was actually the snacks that helped me lose around 20 pounds within six months. I became less prone to overeating during meals, which, most often than not, usually happened whenever I got too hungry before lunch or dinner.

Hold on though… When I say “snacks,” I don’t mean junk food and stuffing yourself like there’s no more tomorrow. As much as possible, I limit my snacks to healthy stuff: fruits, veggies, low-fat and low-sugar biscuits, and the like. But I’m no saint. Chocolate and chips will always be my weakness (I think this is pretty much evident in the previous post hehe).

I give in to the temptation every once in a while so I don’t crave for them too often. But what if you can have snacks and still be within the “healthy eating range”?

I’ve always thought that Healthy Options only sold vitamins and supplements, so I never really paid any attention to their stores. But about a week ago, my husband Marc and I were given the opportunity to try out a few products of Healthy Options — healthy drinks and snacks.

Marc loves drinking milk — which I honestly can’t relate to — so the first we downed were the drinks. The only “milk” I’m able to drink is Yakult (if that even counts) and chocolate-flavored milk, so I let Marc have the Pacific Natural Foods Enriched Soymilk (Vanilla flavor). He downed it in just a few gulps, but I didn’t complain since it was healthy anyway :P

Mine was the Pacific Natural Foods All Natural Hazelnut beverage (Chocolate). You see, I’m a huge Nutella fan, but snacking on Nutella would probably earn me a mouthful of sermon from my nutritionist. This Hazelnut beverage is made of win — I can drink it without feeling guilty! It had the chocolate-hazelnut flavor I’ve always loved, but minus the sugar. This beverage isn’t too sweet — folks who aren’t fond of less sugar probably won’t appreciate it — but that’s how I liked my drink. To be honest, I always opt for water instead of juice (carbonated drinks are no longer part of my choices, I don’t like what it does to my tummy), but this hazelnut drink is something I’ll probably drink once in a while. After all, it’s not everyday you get to “drink Nutella without the guilt.”

Marc and I usually spend weekend nights watching movies on TV, and tried the PopCorners Cheesy Jalapeno during one of those bonding times. Unlike most corn chips, you can actually taste the corn ingredients in PopCorners. It’s quite addictive too. It had the right amount of cheese, just the way I liked it. Be warned though… The spice of the jalapeno can be unnoticeable at first, but before long you’d be grabbing for a glass of water! I know I did, and to think I have an above-average tolerance for spicy food. :D

Among all these snacks we tried, the box of Late July Organic Mini Milk Chocolate Bite Size Sandwich Cookies is my favorite. A box has about 5 servings — each serving is 10 little cookies at 130 calories. This box of cookies stayed beside my work computer, and believe it or not, I didn’t eat more than five little cookies every afternoon. I don’t know why, but just 3-5 pieces of this (drinking water on the side, of course) were enough to keep me happy until dinner. Don’t get me wrong, the chocolate sandwich cookies were yummy and healthy at the same time (each cookie is actually a good source of calcium and whole grain). I found each serving very filling — perfect as a pre-dinner snack.

As I usually tell my friends who asked me about how I lost weight, I always tell them that healthy eating is a choice. You can be surrounded by so many unhealthy food, but it’s just you who decides what to eat and put into your stomach. It takes a balance of letting go and self-discipline, and knowing when to stop. Moderation, as they say. With Healthy Options, you can get food beneficial to your body, not the usual junk we normally take in. Some organic food and snacks may taste different at first, but the long-term effects on your health will make it worth getting used to.

Find out what’s the Healthy Options outlet nearest you by visiting their official website and/or liking their Facebook page.

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