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Protein Bars: Reading Beyond the Labels

Most folks will look at an ingredient label and immediately gravitate over to the “Fats, Carbs & Protein” categories to compare. While that is a great start, those numbers only tell a small portion of the story.

For those of you wanting to level up your nutrition sophistication, I’ll share what ELSE to look for and WHY.

Protein Bars Healthy Comparison

PROTEIN 101:


Most folks don’t realize that as a society, we are more deficient in fiber and nutrients than we are in protein. Which makes it super ironic we are all in search of more protein sources in foods, shakes and bars. When in reality, we desperately need more fiber and nutrients per calorie.

Do you know how much protein you need each day? The average for a sedentary man is 56g and for the average sedentary woman…..46 grams per day. The more active you are, the more you should consume, but I’m guessing the majority of us are just fine with our daily protein consumption.

Also, protein isn’t just found in animals. Many plants, nuts, and legumes contain protein. In some cases, even more than animal products. Plant based proteins are beneficial because they contain more vitamins, minerals and fiber than animal protein. Calorie for calorie, plant based protein packs way more of a protein power punch in its nutrition profile.

Where companies cheat with protein…is with processed SOY. Not only is processed soy very similar to its GMO-franken-food cousin corn, processed soy is also very, very cheap for food companies to manufacture, which increases their profit margin.

Nutritionally, processed soy, also known as soy protein isolate, has none of the carbs, fat or fiber that makes natural soy so healthy. What it does have is a high concentration of isoflavones, which can increase human estrogen levels. The studies go back and forth on the saftey of soy. The concern is that the increased estrogen levels may increase/exacerbate breast cancer, thyroid problems, and dementia. Because soy is so cheap to manufacture in food, like corn, it is found in many sources of food you may not even realize. Personally, I prefer to choose companies and products that avoid processed soy and choose a cleaner plant protein source.


CARBS/ FIBER 101:

Not all carbs are created equal.

In fact, we need FIBER carbs! The minimum ratio is for every 10 carbs there should be at least 1 gram of Fiber on the label. The more fiber/ carb, the better!

The average man requires a minimum of 35 grams, and woman, 25 grams of fiber per day. On average, we consume 5-6/ day. Personally, I shoot for 50-60 grams of fiber per day.

Why the fuss with fiber?

One, fiber is an appetite suppressant.

Two, it keeps your bowels moving.

Three, its acts as a “scrub brush” cleaning out the processed trash that gets lodged in our GI tract.

Four, nutritionally, high amounts of daily fiber has been shown to reduce cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Many fibers, are packed with nutrients/minerals and vitamins as well as….PROTEIN.

Here’s a list of fiber packed foods, and all the additional benefits of consuming fiber.

If you have ever done a low carb diet before, you have heard “Deduct the fiber from the total carbs for your net carbs”. Fiber isn’t digested. It goes THROUGH you, not IN you. So the carbs from fiber don’t get absorbed.

Bottom line when it comes to carbs, the more fiber…the better, baby! The higher the ratio, the stronger the product!


SALT 101:

Like carbs, fats and proteins, not all salts are created equal either. Himalayan salt’s unique process of crystalization aides in the elcotrolites opening the cell walls to aide in you absorbing minerals. Unlike cheap iodized table salts, Himalayan salts have a list of health benefits.


So back to the “protein bar” comparison. There is much more nutritional quality & balance in the Beach bars. The fiber/ carb ratio, the protien source and the salt source, specifically.

Are they more expensive? Well…yes. They weren’t designed to be cheap. They were designed for the nutitional geeks that know how to read beyond the basics & happily pay for that sophisticated quality.

Consuming a snack like this is ideal, because like any of the best quality foods, you ideally want to get the most nutrition per packed calorie, possible. The beach bars make it super simple and ridiculiusly delicious.

There are many choices of bars on the market. I hope after reading this that you too are more savvy in reading beyond all the labels in making the best choice for you, without being duped by what these companies are hoping, you don’t know!

Cheers to great health & sustained vitality!

Seay

Certified Holistic health Coach, IIN



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Tastey Tuesday and Artificial Flavors ⚗️

TASTEY TUESDAY!!!
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Hey Loves :-)
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By now as we near an end of this group you've hopefully found some pretty amazing recipes that TASTE fabulous!
Taste is such a HUGE part of satiation and I wanted to share what many food companies do to foods, drinks and candies and sauces do to "Cheat" or "heighten" the taste of their products. 
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If you've ever thought "Eh...heathy food tastes BORING" that's because your taste buds have been duped into thinking food is supposed to taste like a chemically made "blueberry" flavor. 
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ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS are cleverly added to it to create that "POP" of flavor in your mouth, and keep you coming back for more. Its been cleverly, DESIGNED that way.

The GOOD news is that you can retrain your taste buds to know what real food tastes like, by phasing out the artificial flavors, resulting in more of an appreciation and desire for the real thing. If you've ever done a natural food cleanse, you'd find that the natural foods you eat actually start BURSTING with flavor. :-)
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Now for the science dork, nutritionist, prior pharmaceutical rep and health advocate in me to chime in so this may only be of interest to some of you -and that is Ok :-)
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You may think, "WHO CARES that my food has artificial flavors!!! Im not concerned about knowing what real vanilla or strawberry tastes like!" That's understandable, but maybe some of the health problems RELATED to these artificial flavors may an interest or explain a few symptoms to you and your littles. 
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Artificial flavor chemicals can cause different allergies and conditions such as hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Disorder in people who are sensitive to specific chemicals. Foods containing these additives can cause asthma, hay fever and certain reactions such as rashes, vomiting, headache, tight chest, hives and worsening of eczema. 
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They may affect RNA, thyroid, and enzymes (affecting RNA can cause tumor growth). I know that part feels alarming but most have NOT been studied for safety or toxicity.

Artificial flavors are synthesized chemicals that don't even have common names. Most artificial flavorings are derived from petroleum and contain many chemical ingredients, not just one. Unfortunately, many of those chemicals can be volatile to our health.
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Here's the take-a-way: Its not likely you will be able to eliminate all artificial flavors in your food choices. 
I don't. 
But you can be way more STRATEGIC and reduce them in your family's food, candy, cereals and drink. :-) And you will notice, with the right ingredients and spices, REAL food will DAZZLE your taste buds and keep you rockin your YOUTHFUL HEALTHY VITALITY :-)
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PS- Remember that all natural superfood shake I keep raving about??? Yep- NO artificial flavors ;-)
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Happy HEALTH and TASTEY Tuesday <3

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Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

This sinfully delicious Spaghetti Squash Lasagna is made with all-natural marinara, part-skim ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and healthy spaghetti squash.

 

 Prep Time 15 mins

 Cook Time 1 hr 17 mins

 Total Time 1 hr 32 mins

 Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 small spaghetti squash (approx. 3½ to 4 lbs.)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 cups all-natural marinara sauce
  • 3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups lean meat of choice
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

  2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

  3. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and membrane. 

  4. Place spaghetti squash, cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until tender.   I like to drain it so its not so watery after baking.

  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350º F.

  6. Scrape spaghetti squash flesh into stringy noodles.

  7. Lightly coat 4-quart baking dish with spray. 

  8. Evenly layer half spaghetti squash, half marinara sauce, and half ricotta cheese in baking dish. Repeat with second layer.

  9. Evenly top with Parmesan cheese.  

  10. Bake for 30 to 32 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

  11. Garnish with basil (if desired).  

Spaghetti Squash
2B mindset Portion Fix Lasagna
Seay Stanford

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