Monday, February 18, 2019

Products to Make Eating Right a Bit Easier

Every year, millions of us go on diets, claiming to lose a few pounds, get fit, or transform our lives. But it's difficult to stick with bland diet programs and sheer hell to keep a gym schedule. (Me, I'm more into dancing than treadmills.) There's not a one of us who doesn't get what I call, "snacky," a condition that often leads to a diet downfall. The rest of the time, we might just have a hard time finding the right substitutions for products we can no longer eat on whatever plan we're on at the time.

Personally, I'd love a diet that consisted entirely of coffee, cheese, chocolate, and sugar. Ok, so that is my regular diet. But I can't lose weight that way. Whole30 does work for me, albeit slowly, and it really works for Mr Minx. The following food products are great for fellow Whole30 adherents; they're delicious too, which is the most important thing.
I discovered this product and the next while perusing the many delight-filled aisles at last year's Fancy Food Show in NY. First there's Tio Gazpacho. I must admit I’m a bit of a gazpachoholic and can eat it every day, but I’m not into washing the blender on a daily basis. Enter Tio, a bottled chilled soup that owes its deliciousness to chef and humanitarian José Andrés, who crafted each flavor. Tio Gazpacho is made from real ingredients like carrots, tomatoes, sherry vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil, and is certified organic, non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free, plus four of the five flavors are Whole30 approved. I love that I can tuck a bottle into my lunch bag and enjoy my fave soup every day.

In another aisle, as I was attempting to shovel a sample of chamomile tea-flavored ice cream into my mouth, I was interrupted by a group of French guys hawking mayonnaise made with microalgae. It’s hard to find non-soy (soy being a no-no on Whole30) mayo that tastes good. I’ve tried the ones with avocado oil and nuh-uh, they don’t work for me; let’s say I was skeptical about the algae stuff. But after a few spoonfuls, I was convinced. I swear it tastes like homemade mayo, yet it contains no eggs. No eggs means less fat, but that also makes it vegan. Who knew lowly microalgae could be transformed into something that doesn’t taste like, well, algae? The Good Spoon Mayonnaise comes in classic, curry, garlic & herbs, and smoky spicy flavors, all great in everything from potato salad to a turkey sandwich.

A Whole30-friendly product I found on my own is Nutpods. There are squillions of non-dairy milks out there, but dairy-free creamers that aren’t full of sugar are as rare as hen’s teeth. You might think: why not just use plain unsweetened almond milk? Have you tried doing that? It takes far more “milk” to adequately lighten a cup of coffee or tea to the same degree as a few teaspoons of cow-based half-and-half. All that liquid also makes hot coffee cold. That’s why I was excited to find Nutpods. Made from coconut and almonds, it only takes a tablespoon or so to make my coffee as light as I like. It also comes in flavors, all of which are unsweetened. Vanilla is tasty year ‘round, but the holiday season will bring Pumpkin Spice and Peppermint Mocha, too.

Last but not least are two snack bars that we use as meal replacements, though that's not quite in the "spirit of the diet." But when I am trying to lose a pound or ten and embark on some new eating plan that requires me to give up my three favorite food groups (sugar, grains, and dairy), I find breakfast and lunch a bit hard to deal with. I can’t have oatmeal or cereal, but I can have eggs if I don’t eat toast. Doughnuts or bagels are verboten. What I find myself relying on, especially during the work week, are RX Bars and Larabars. They’re both made with fruit and nuts, with natural sweetness provided by dates. RX Bars have a chewier texture, thanks to the addition of egg whites, while Larabars are softer. Each has 200-ish calories, which is plenty to keep me going for a few hours. I think they taste great, and eat one for either breakfast or lunch most days.

Anything that doesn't break the rules and keeps me sane are good things, right?

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

Posted on