HEALTHY FOOD BITES TO GO: These Are a Few of My Favorite (Healthy) Things
It’s easy these days to feel our lives are out of balance. The brain’s constant craving for stimulation beyond tasks on our to-do list can feel unquenchable. This unsatisfied need may result in a compulsion to check cell phone status updates, self-medicate with food, drugs, or other escapist activities. It has dampened our ability to boost mood or productivity naturally. It has become particularly difficult to thrive in the modern world these days. The grind is taking its toll.
A lack of motivation and concentration making for inevitable procrastination can hijack energy. These ignite a consuming desire for sugar and caffeine, stimulants to just get through a day.
Sugar’s boost, much like caffeine, is only temporary. Sugar, more drug-like than food-like, sabotages sustained energy, ironically, the very thing we so desperately seek. But there is good news ahead. You can climb out of this candy-coated conundrum with delicious and nutritious alternatives, favorite food ‘swaps’.
Consider these new-fangled food finds as functional foods or food with a health-supportive purpose and nutritional punch. Whole food, plant-based swaps invite the body to work most efficiently. They fuel vitality that’s lasting.
QUIRKY MUSHROOM JERKY
Jerky is the hottest trend right now. The meat industry owned the category for a while, but according to the Specialty Food Association, the plant-forward jerky business is mushrooming! Pan’s Mushroom Jerky joins the booming jerky snack category with a meat-free spin, utilizing meaty Shitake mushrooms – a natural source of protein, dietary fiber and antioxidants. This Malaysian-inspired family recipe really brings the ‘umami’ ~ a meaty layer of savory flavor which mushrooms deliver in spades. Pan’s indescribably delicious jerky is vegan, gluten-free and paleo-friendly. Available in 4 flavors: Zesty Thai, Applewood BBQ,
Original and Sea Salt & Pepper. www.MushroomJerky.com
FIRESIDE FEELING BY-THE-CUP
Pumpkin Spice season is officially here! The variety of pumpkin-flavored seasonal offerings decorating market shelves this year is massive. This includes: cookies, toaster pastries, bagels, cereal, energy bars, marshmallows, chocolates, ice cream, butter, yogurt and hummus, to name a slew. The revered Pumpkin Spice latte and pumpkin pie-inspired creamer, rings in the spirit of autumn and warmth for cool, crisp days ahead. It should become a basic part of the culture. This treat, traditionally laden with sugar and artificial ingredients, is available now without sugar and includes all natural ingredients. Califia Farms Better Half-N-Half is a rich and creamy, dairy-free Pumpkin Spice ‘creamer’ made with coconut cream and almond milk, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. It’s the perfect guilt-free seasonal treat. Currently available at ShopRite stores and at www.CalifiaFarms.com
ONE COOL COOKIE
The Dalai Lama once said to “Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.” I spy Rule Breaker® Snacks harnessing the power of garbanzo beans. Each bar is 40% chickpeas. That’s a rule breaker! These are gently sweetened, plant-based and free of top allergens – dairy (milk and eggs), tree nuts, peanuts, wheat gluten and soy. The four “defiantly delicious” flavors include: Chocolate Chunk Blondies, Deep Chocolate Brownies, P’Nutter Chocolate Chip Cookies and Birthday Cake Cookies. Packed with fiber and protein, these are the perfect sustainable study snack and real food on-the-go treat. Cool beans. Available at Green Organic Market on Central Ave., Hartsdale and at www.RuleBreakerSnacks.com
Seeds are a potent superfood providing a concentrated source of nutrition. Naturally Nutty has created an award-winning, Organic Pepita Sun Seed Butter, bringing together pumpkin seeds (also called ‘Pepitas’ and known for their antidepressant and mood benefits,) sunflower seeds, flax, hemp and chia seeds with a dash of spice – so nice. Loaded with quality protein, fiber, healthy fats and immune-boosting nutrients, enjoy this super seedy spread slathered on baked sweet potatoes or toast, in smoothies and in oatmeal bowls. Seed butter might just become your jam. www.NaturallyNutty.com
Add this recovery snack to your arsenal:
NO-BAKE CARAMEL ENERGY BITES
1 cup Pepita Sun Seed Butter
¼ cup extra-virgin coconut oil
10- 12 drops caramel liquid Stevia
Pinch of sea salt
Method: Melt the butter and coconut oil in a bowl. Add caramel Stevia drops and salt.
Pour mixture into a bowl and chill, covered. Scoop individual bites with a melon-baller. Store in fridge or freezer.
Let these road-tested, plant-strong feel-good finds add a welcome boost for FALL-ing into busy days.