Saturday, July 25, 2015
I was recently sent two samples of TrueFood - chocolate and original- which are "superfood" powders that you can add to shakes, water, smoothies, and more. The TrueFood formula advertises that it is made with 75 ingredients including vegetables, fruits, herbs, probiotics, omega fatty acids, and more.
While I always advocated eating a healthy diet filled with TONS of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, lean proteins, and low-fat cultured dairy, to get your nutrients, products like TrueFood can be added as a supplement to get more of a diversity of phytonutrients and food compounds. I like that this product has fifteen strains of probiotics, and is a healthier way to flavor milks and other things without added sugars (it does use stevia however). See the supplement facts below:
Since I've received the samples, I have been adding TrueFood to various things, but primarily in shakes and my oat bran in the morning. This product is definitely "earthy" tasting, so you have to be the type of person that likes things that taste healthy... it adds a grittiness to shakes which I appreciate, but others may not. It does color your shakes and things you add it to green, but that is the wheatgrass, kelp, spriulina, kale, etc showing their true colors ;)
Below are pictures of the ways I have incorporated TrueFood into my diet:
This shake was made with cashew milk, 1/2 banana, and 1 scoop of TrueFood Chocolate. I blended with ice and it was a decent beverage to drink besides water all day long. I have also made very good shakes incorporating the TrueFood Chocolate, plain yogurt, and/or cottage cheese and PB2.
The next picture shows how I have added TrueFood original to my oat bran after it is cooked (you do not want to cook it with the TrueFood as it will kill the probiotics).
In conclusion, I am impressed with the diversity and quality of ingredients in TrueFood. I feel that this could be a good supplement to anyone's diet, though it does not replace the need to eat several cups of vegetables each day, real fruit, real yogurt/kefir, etc. If you are looking for something to add flavor and nutrition to your shakes I would say TrueFood is for you. If you are eating very healthy and choose just to drink water or green tea all day long, I would say that you do not need products like this in your diet to be healthy.
For more information or to purchase this product, visit the TrueFood link at: http://brightcorenutrition.com/product/truefood-chocolate-premium-superfood-formula-30-servings/
Disclaimer: I was sent 2 samples of TrueFood and was just asked to review the product. I was not given any guidelines on what I should say and given no other form of compensation besides the samples themselves. This is an honest review free of conflict of interest.
Picture Sources: 1st picture and nutrition facts source from Brightcore nutrition website.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
My tips for making healthy choices at restaurants. I recommend asking for foods without added butter, oil, and salt, ordering seafood since it's usually one of the healthiest options on the menu (depending on what it is served with, and assuming not fried!), getting dressing on the side, and avoiding/limiting cheese and cheese-based items.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
I am a big advocate for yogurt, and actually “mandate” that my clients consume 1 full cup (8 fl oz) of cultured dairy (i.e: dairy with probiotics like yogurt or kefir) each day. My rationale for this is that cultured dairy is an excellent source of probiotics, as well as protein, calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamin D, and other important nutrients. Yogurt is incredibly healthy and extremely versatile so there are many ways you can fit it into your diet even if you dislike the texture.
However, not all yogurts are healthy. Don’t be fooled by the fact that a yogurt advertises that it has probiotics. ALL yogurts have probiotics! I don’t recommend all yogurts, and actually, I recommend only a few specific types. The main danger with yogurt is the added sugar. For example, the new and improved Yoplait lowfat flavored yogurts have 25% less sugar than they did previously… that’s a whopping 2 grams fewer than Coca Cola cup for cup! Chobani 0% flavored has 22.6 g sugar per 8 oz, whereas Coca Cola has 26 g sugar. For some reason, many people believe vanilla yogurt to be low in sugar, though Dannon Vanilla Low fatyogurt has 33 g sugar per 8 oz, which is higher than Coca Cola! Granted, some of that sugar is naturally occurring through lactose, though that is only about 12 g out of the 33 g… I am by no means advocating you drink soda instead, but eating vanilla yogurt in the morning with fruit is definitely a high sugar way to start the day.
The yogurts I recommend are pretty much any brand of non fat or low fat plain yogurt- whether it’s Greek, regular, Icelandic, Indian, whatever- they are all made similarly with bacteria and have no added sugar. If you must go for a flavored yogurt, the brand I recommend the most is Siggi’s. On average, a 5.3 oz container of Siggi’s yogurt has just a few grams of added sugar for a total of 11 g/container (compared to almost double the added sugars with the other main stream Greek yogurts- keeping in mind some of the sugar is naturally occurring lactose… I’m talking about ADDED sugars). Many brands now have lighter versions of yogurts that have fairly basic ingredients and are sweetened with stevia instead of artificial sweeteners. I am okay with these, as long as you aren’t eating much stevia or artificial sweeteners elsewhere in your diet. There is research showing that the artificial sweeteners (4 different ones in the study) change the gut bacteria in mice and increase their risk of diabetes. Since the human GI tract is similar, the researchers suspect a comparable effect in humans. Stevia is a naturally occurring plant, though, since it is not metabolized much in the body, my guess is it goes to the gut just like artificial sweeteners and is metabolized similarly by gut bacteria as sucralose or aspartame.
My recommendations: Stick with plain non-fat or low-fat yogurt and kefir, then add your own fruit. If it isn’t sweet enough, add some cinnamon and maybe a teaspoon or two of pure honey, maple syrup, or agave. Try incorporating yogurt as a snack, in a smoothie, mix with salsa as a salad dressing, or make your own tzatziki sauce with cucumber and dill. Eat it with meals like many Indian populations by dunking your chicken, beans, and vegetables in it. Use in place of mayo or sour cream. There are so many options there is no reason not to eat yogurt unless you are allergic! Be sure to stick with organic yogurt if possible and made with real milk- yogurts made with soy, coconut, almond milk, etc. have too many additives, thickeners, and often added sugars that make it unhealthy. Plus, they have to fortify many of the nutrients that exist in natural milk yogurt.
Disclaimer: No, I am not given any source of compensation for recommending Siggi’s yogurt. They do send me coupons from time to time to hand out to clients which I do an greatly appreciate b/c this is a brand I have always recommended! However, other yogurt companies send me coupons too…
Pictures Sources: http://www.dannon.com/wp-content/themes/ultrasimpleRes/images/productos/brand-products/classic/flavors/2_1.png
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
My recommendations at the Magic Carpet and Ka' Chi Food trucks in the city of Philadelphia (click here)