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    Archive for the ‘gnu bars’ Category

    Price Check

    Recent newspaper articles have referred to Whole Foods beginning to earn a bit of a bad reputation as an elitist supermarket, thereby earning the monicker “Whole Paycheck.”

    Hogwash! I wholeheartedly challenge that simplistic label — and I come prepared with proof.

    Yesterday afternoon I stopped by a local (New York City) Whole Foods to purchase a few dinner ingredients.

    Upon scanning my receipt, I was actually surprised at the good deals I got — on items that weren’t even on sale!

    Let’s start with a 16 oz (1 lb.) bag of Whole Foods’ 365 brand whole wheat fusilli.

    Name brands sell their 16 oz. boxes for anywhere from $2.49 to $3.99, even at conventional supermarkets.

    This particular product? $1.49! Certainly one of the most affordable prices for whole wheat fusilli I have come across in MONTHS.

    Lara bars, meanwhile, are a delicious staple of mine that can be rather costly if you buy them at the wrong store.

    I have been charged as much as $2.49 for one of these bars in the past (upon learning of that price, my thoughts screamed out “Hell to the no!” and I promptly returned the bar to its display case) .

    Whole Foods sells each one for $1.29.

    That’s actually forty cents cheaper than what Lara herself charges on her website (where a 16-bar box retails for $27.00, thereby making each bar worth $1.67)!

    One of my other favorite snack bars is Gnu Food’s Flavor & Fiber bars, which the manufacturer — and most other stores — sells for $1.99.

    Well, today at Whole Foods I bought several 5-count at $6.99 per box.

    Some simple division reveals that, thereby, each individual bar cost me $1.40.

    I also bought fresh broccoli that was available for $1.99/pound.

    Conventional supermarkets in New York City are selling that same amount of the flowery vegetable for $2.99.

    If anything, my trip to Whole Foods proved to be a money saver.

    Of course, there are some items at Whole Foods — mainly cuts of meat — that are certainly pricier than at other grocery stores, but this notion that they do not provide any affordable choices is ludicrous.

    For more “nutriconomic” information, I highly recommend you take a look at this link, which shows how prices have changed for a variety of common foods — and fuel! — between July 2007 and July 2008 (NOTE: The left-hand column displays U.S. city averages, while the right-hand column particularly focuses on the Midwest region of the country.)

    Some of the standouts:

    White flour increased 54.1%
    Long-grain white rice increased 45.3%
    Eggs have shot up 33.9%
    Sweet peppers rose 34.6%

    If these increases don’t make sense to you, scroll down to the very bottom and look at what has happened to fuel costs in the past 12 months.


    You Ask, I Answer: Fiber

    I eat fresh veggies and hardly any processed food, whole wheat bread, fruit, salad, etc.

    Since logging my food intake daily on the Daily Plate.com, I see I am significantly under my daily requirements for fiber.

    How can I increase fiber without adding a lot of extra calories? I already know about eating brown rice, whole grains, etc. I also eat steel cut oatmeal often as well too.

    — Laura Lafata
    Miami Beach, FL

    Since fiber is free of calories, replacing low-fiber carbohydrates with ones higher in fiber will not increase your caloric intake up.

    I am not sure what your totals are, but I will say that if your diet is low in calories, you will find it difficult to reach your fiber goals.

    However, here are some tips on increasing your daily fiber intake.

    If you are a cereal person, grab one that provides 4 or 5 grams of fiber per serving.

    When it comes to bread (whether it’s for toast or a sandwich), always go for whole grain varieties offering at least 3 grams of fiber per slice.

    For quick on-the-go snacks, try out Lara, Clif Nectar, Pure, or Gnu bars (Gnu bars offer 12 grams of fiber; this may be too much at once for some people, so you can try having half a bar with breakfast and the other half after lunch.)

    Beans and legumes are great sources of fiber. If you’re having soup, opt for black bean or lentil rather than minestrone, tomato, or chicken noodle.

    Similarly, add half a cup of chickpeas or kidney beans to salads and wraps.

    For an extra fiber boost throughout the day, sprinkle ground flaxseed on soups, salads, yogurt, smoothies, and cereal.

    Two tablespoons provide 4 grams of fiber and more than a day’s worth of Omega -3 Alpha Linolenic Fatty Acids in a 70-calorie package.

    Due to the presence of these polyunsaturated fats, be sure to keep ground flaxseed meal in the refrigerator to slow down rancidity.


    You Ask, I Answer: Fiber

    I’ve recently been drinking Naked Juice because I love the taste of it.

    I know full well (from my last question) that it isn’t a replacement for healthy eating, so I still try to round out my diet.

    However, fiber seems like something I still probably am not getting enough of, and I would love to add, like, 10 grams a day mixed into my juice.

    Do you know if any of those pure “green” juices include fiber?

    If not, do you know of any powdered fiber supplement that isn’t marketed as a laxative?

    I know it shouldn’t stop me, but as a healthy 21 year-old, I can’t bring myself to go buy Metamucil.

    Until I can afford to drop $500 on a crazy blender that blends whole fruits, I’m hoping adding some powdered fiber to a juice will help.

    — Andrew Carney
    Richland, WA

    If your goal is to increase fiber consumption, skip the powders and liquids and go for a much tastier and plentiful source — food.

    I personally don’t understand the decision behind taking Metamucil as a fiber supplement.

    It has an unpleasant taste and texture, doesn’t offer more fiber than food (one serving offers 3 grams — as much as six Triscuit crackers,) and doesn’t provide the naturally-occurring nutrients and phytochemicals in fiber-rich foods.

    So, if 10 grams is what you seek, enjoy your juices as they are and consider the following instead:

    Snack on one Gnu Flavor & Fiber, Lara, Pure, or Clif Nectar bar every day.

    Add a half cup of legumes (chickepas, kidney beans, lentils) to a meal. Some easy options? Heat up some lentil soup or add legumes to a salad, wrap, or burrito.

    Complement your breakfast with a cup of whole grain cereal or two slices of whole (or sprouted) grain toast. For an extra fiber boost, start off your morning with fruit as well (a medium banana provides 3 grams of fiber).

    If you’re making smoothies at home, add two tablespoons of ground flaxseed. You’ll get Omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and 4 grams of fiber in a 70 calorie package.  Another great option?  One tablespoon of psyllium husks is a wonderful way to add soluble fiber to your day.

    Like pasta? Next time you make some, mix a regular variety with a whole wheat one.
    A cup of cooked whole wheat pasta packs in 5 grams.

    By all means, try to get your fiber from food first.

    There’s no reason why anyone — young or old — should be spending money on fiber supplements.


    Numbers Game: Answer

    A standard large popcorn and large soda combo at the nation’s largest multiplex theaters provides 1,900 calories, 275 percent of the daily saturated fat limit, and 13 tablespoons of added sugar.

    Yikes! That’s a day’s worth of calories for the average adult.

    The popcorn alone is calorically equivalent to THREE Big Mac’s.

    What’s truly a shame is that movie popcorn tends to give the whole grain an unfairly bad reputation.

    When air popped and sprinkled with a little salt, popcorn is a healthy, low-calorie snack.

    Why, then, is the stuff in the oversized buckets such a nutrition disaster? It’s all about the oil it is popped in.

    The large majority of movie theaters use coconut oil, which is chock-full of unhealthy saturated fat.

    This is the fat that raises total and LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol.

    The practice of then drenching this popcorn in liquid butter also does not help.

    Theater managers be damned, I like to bring my own healthy snacks to movies (yes, I throw out all my wrappers on my way out).

    Some good ones? A small bag of trail mix, a food bar (i.e.: Lara, Clif Nectar, gnu, Pure), an apple, whole grain crackers, and your best weapon against mindless snacking — gum!


    FIber in a Flash

    In the past, I have expressed my distaste at popular energy/protein bars, blasting their high levels of saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars (not to mention all the unnecessary extra calories they add to your day!)

    Conversely, I have sung the praises of deliciously nutrition real food bars like Lara, Pure, and Clif Nectar.

    I am now happy to grant the “Small Bites Seal of Approval” to gnu High Fiber Bars!

    Apart from an impressive twelve grams of fiber, gnu bars provide 130-150 calories, 3 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated and trans fats, and a practically non-existent 65 milligrams of sodium.

    While being extremely pleasing to the palate certainly helps, they are also free of high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and nasty-tasting sugar alcohols.

    PS: Their brand-new peanut butter flavor is my favorite!


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