Guilt-Free Chocolate…

 

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…THAT’S GOOD FOR YOU TOO!

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, chocolate is the best way to indulge. Dark chocolate has particular health benefits, as a rich source of antioxidants and minerals, beneficial for the cardiovascular system as well. Maybe you’re trying to go cold turkey after a sugar filled holiday season, but here are a few of our favorite chocolates we give you permission to try… but please consume responsibly!

ROW 1: QUEST FUDGEY BROWNIE BAR. Quest is best known for their protein bars, but have introduced a line of ridiculously delicious candy bars with just 4g net carbs, 1g sugar, 9g fiber, and 12g protein too.

SKINNY DIPPED SUPER DARK & SEA SALT ALMONDS. Take omega-6 rich almonds, dip them in extra dark vegan chocolate, and your day just got a whole lot sweeter – even with less sugar added! 1 serving of 16 almonds has 130 calories, 13g of healthy fats, 4g sugar, and 5g protein. Also try Skinny Dipped Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

HU SIMPLE DARK CHOCOLATE. USDA Certified Organic, Paleo, vegan and dairy-free, Hu 70% cocoa dark chocolate bars are made with the simplest of ingredients and sweetened with unrefined, fiber rich, coconut sugar. 1/2 bar has 180 calories with 13g healthy fats, 13g carbs, and 3g fiber. Check out delicious Hu Hunks chocolate covered almonds too! Read More

 

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice

 

 

‘Tis the season… for Pumpkin and Spice! Right now this cozy fall flavor can be found in all your favorite foods — healthy ones too — adding a festive touch to everyday eats and drinks. These seasonal flavors are available for a limited time only, so get ’em before they’re gone!

 
ROW 1: PROTEIN BARS: KINDBAR Caramel Almond Pumpkin Spice, PERFECT BAR Pumpkin Pie, RX BAR Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter; HALOTOP Pumpkin Pie (just 360 calories per carton!); HU Pumpkin Spice Dark Chocolate (certified organic & paleo with no dairy or refined sugars)

ROW 2: TRADER JOE’S PUMPKIN BUTTER; BEER: SAMUEL ADAMS Jack-O Pumpkin Ale, BLUE MOON Harvest Pumpkin Ale, SHIPYARD Pumpkinhead; STARBUCKS Pumpkin Spice

ROW 3: GREEK YOGURT (lower sugar): SIGGI’S Pumpkin & Spice, CHOBANI Pumpkin Spice; THE REPUBLIC OF TEA Pumpkin Spice; COFFEE CREAMERS: ALKAMIND ACID-KICKING COFFEE ALKALIZER Pumpkin Spice, LAIRD SUPERFOOD CREAMER Pumpkin Spice

 

Free-Range, Grass-Fed: What Food Labels Really Mean

 

 

Cage-free, non-GMO, gluten-free… when it comes to grocery shopping these days there are so many labels stamped on a product it can be overwhelming. While all are there to tell you how healthy a product is, these labels can sometimes be misleading too. “Farm fresh”, “whole grain”, “all-natural” may sound good, but you need to look closer to know what’s really inside the packaging.

Even the health food store can be a minefield when shopping. Take eggs for example: there are a plethora of cage-free and free-range choices, but neither label means those chickens were not raised in a cage, and it can get quite complicated when you really get into each category of food.

The key, says our resident health and nutrition expert Sarah Wragge, is understanding the “sourcing” of all these foods. That’s how you know what to look for and what to avoid. On the basest level she has two non-negotiables:

Rule number 1 is a product must be Certified Organic. This goes for all food groups. Says Sarah, “When you buy something that is not organic, you are consuming pesticides, you’re consuming hormones, you’re consuming antibiotics.” The Certified 100% Organic stamp guarantees fruits, vegetables, and all the ingredients in a product have been grown or raised according to the USDA’s strict organic standards. For meat and poultry, that includes the provision that the animals must be raised exclusively on organic feed, have access to the outdoors, and cannot be given antimicrobial drugs or hormones. Read More

 

Power Brews

 

 

With the popularity of intermittent fasting, a nutritional tool that can help your body burn fat, that first cup of coffee is often the break-fast meal. For those who prefer training in the morning, while in a fasting state, fueling their workouts can be a challenge. Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts have conditioned their bodies to use fat for energy — as opposed to carbs which were once the norm — and have turned their morning brew into nutritional, fat-burning fuel.

Bulletproof coffee was one of the first fat-packed recipes to gain popularity: essentially black coffee with a scoop of grass-fed butter or ghee, and MCT or coconut oil. The added fat slows down caffeine absorption for more sustained energy. The theory is by adding fat to a cup of black coffee, you can transform it into an energy-boosting, brain-fueling, fat-burning meal. Grass-fed butter or ghee adds high-quality fats and essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids; fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K; and antioxidants. MCT Oil, which is derived from coconut oil, is said to help to increase energy levels, improve cognitive performance, regulate blood sugar, and boost fat burning. Bulletproof manufactures its own MCT oil called Brain Octane FuelRead More

 

Have Your Carbs & Eat Them Too!

 

 

Fat free, low carb, high protein… every few years a new diet trend comes along, eliminating one major food group while promoting another, touting the miracle health and weight loss results. What goes around comes around, and the cyclical nature of what to eat and what not to eat can get very confusing. The diet and nutritional trends we feature on STYLE of SPORT are a trickle-down from elite athletes and what they eat for sport performance. Carbohydrates used to be considered the go-to fuel source, but in recent years that has shifted to fat, which as it turns out is great for weight loss too. But the latest trend lets you have it all!

Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred fuel source, generally because that’s what we feed it. The body converts carbs into glucose for fuel. What it doesn’t use, it stores as glycogen. But there is a limited capacity to how much glycogen it can store, 2400 calories in fact, and after that the excess glucose is stored as fat. Carbs are easier to access for fuel than fat, and what the body will turn to first for energy. “Carbo loading” used be the norm for endurance athletes, with bowls of pasta consumed the night before a long race, and sugary gels during the race.

When carbohydrates are not available however, the body will tap into other fuel sources, namely fat. If you think of your metabolism like a fire, carbs are the kindling. But kindling burns fast, as opposed to those slow burning logs underneath which you can compare to fat. As such, many endurance athletes have discovered that fat is actually a better source of energy, and trained their bodies to be fat burners instead of sugar burners. The low-carb, high-fat Keto diet is a popular reflection of that trend. Gone are the bowls of pasta before a race, replaced the body’s own supply of fat, something many of us have handily stored in places we don’t want it.  Read More

 

The Healthy Crunch

 

 

For many people now working from home, the delineation between breakfast, lunch, and dinner has blurred. Wandering into the kitchen for a break or distraction — the snack break is the new coffee break. While we could lecture on the extra calories this is adding to your daily intake, we’re providing some healthy options instead. So toss those Lays, Doritos, and Triscuits and try these tasty and nutritious whole food chips and crackers!

 

SIETE GRAIN FREE TORTILLA CHIPS. Available in savory flavors like Sal y Limon, Nacho, and Ranch — you’d never know these tortilla chips are grain, gluten, and dairy-free! Siete tortilla chips are made with the mineral rich root vegetable cassava, along with a superfood blend of coconut flour and ground chia seeds, and cooked in healthy avocado and coconut oil. They’re perfect for those on a plant-based and Paleo diet — and so tasty anyone will enjoy!

FROM THE GROUND UP CAULIFLOWER STALKS. From The Ground Up makes an assortment of plant-based crunchy snacks like chips, crackers, pretzels, and these Cauliflower stalks — all made with a blend of cauliflower, whole grain rice, and cassava flour. They’re available in such flavors as Lime, Cheddar, and Sea Salt. Also available are a variety of Butternut Squash snacks. Read More

 

Sweetened with Monk Fruit

 

 

Move over stevia… there’s a new all-natural, calorie-free sweetener in town! Monk fruit, or lo han guo, is a small gourd-like melon native to parts of China and Thailand, named after the monks who first cultivated it centuries ago. The health benefits of the fruit have been well-known in Traditional Chinese Medicine for decades, but its sweet little secret is finally making it into the wellness mainstream.

Monk fruit sweetener is derived from the extract of the dried fruit, and processed into crystal form. It is 150-250 times sweeter than table sugar, due primarily to naturally occurring antioxidants known as mogrosides, which give it a cleaner and more intense sweetness, with no bitter aftertaste. Monk fruit has zero calories and carbs, and does not raise blood glucose levels — making it a good choice for diabetics and popular with the Keto community.

Sweeten your coffee, sprinkle on oatmeal, or mix into cocktails (Swoon simple syrup), monk fruit is stable at cold or hot temperatures, and can be used in baked goods too. Just be sure the monk fruit sweetener you buy has no other sugar additives, as some do.

With no known side effects, and generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration, Monk Fruit is the new sweetener of choice for the weight-watching, health-conscious, and wellness set.

 

Are These Beers Your New Sport Drink?

 

10 POPULAR NON-ALCOHOLIC BEERS

 
Runners take your mark, get set, go, HAVE A BEER! Turns out your favorite brew might be the best sports drink around — but before you start getting hammered after your workouts, we are talking non-alcoholic beer here…

Beer, as post workout beverage, has been marketed as of late to fitness enthusiasts — with craft brews like Sufferfest, whose tagline is “Will Sweat for Beer”, and Samuel Adams’ Boston 26.2 Brew, targeting athletes and weekend warriors. They are still alcoholic beverages, however, and not exactly healthy. Non-alcoholic beers are changing that, and gaining in popularity as a sports performance and recovery drink — thanks in large part to one of the active ingredients, malt.

Traditionally non-alcoholic beers have paled in flavor, compared to their alcoholic counterparts. Stripping the alcohol removes that beer flavor, and adding malt is what brings it back — along with all sorts of additional health benefits. Malt extract is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Some of you will remember Ovaltine — the healthy malted milk beverage that was a staple of our childhoods — which is still widely consumed in Europe by both adults and children. Read More

 
 

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