Sunday, November 13, 2005


Healthy food review: Health is Wealth Spinach Munchees

Health is Wealth is an all-natural foods company that can be found in most supermarkets (either in the frozen foods or natural foods section). Their Spinach Munchees (whole wheat finger food pockets full of spinach and soy cheese) are excellent for the healthy eater for several reasons:

1. Spinach Munchees are low fat -- 2.5 grams of fat per serving. Even if you double the serving from 2 to 4 munchees, as I usually do, 5 grams of fat isn't terrible.
2. Vitamin A -- the spinach in Spinach Munchees provides 15% of your daily requirement for Vitamin A. Once again, if you double the serving size, that's 30%. Vitamin A is key for keeping healthy eyes as well as healthy respiratory, urinary, and intestinal systems.
3. Dairy free -- if you're lactose intolerant, vegetarian, or observing kosher rules, these little bundles of heaven contain absolutely no dairy whatsoever.
4. Size -- their sizes makes for a perfect finger food appetizer, side dish, or snack.
5. The most important reason: they're delicious! They're perfectly crispy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside, with a great soy cheese sauce coating the spinach.

I love to eat them as a side along with soup or a meat dish! If you have a toaster oven at work, you can even bring them to the office.

Just don't eat the whole box at once!


When you work late...

Working late means even less energy to go to the gym, if you prefer going after rather than before work! As for me, I can't get myself up at 6AM to get to the gym, workout, shower, and eat breakfast, so I typically go when I leave work at 5:30-6:00. But then there are those nights when you're stuck late at work and really just don't feel like working out. There are several problems with this, however:

1. After a long day at work, you're less likely to stick with your health plan
2. You'll guilt yourself once you're at home and not enjoy your time out of the office
3. If you're anything like me, you'll be incredibly snarky to your SO/family/friends/roommates

So, when I had a long run of late nights last Spring, I came up with a system to help with this problem. Pick an end point in time after which you simply will NOT have time to work out. For me, this was 9PM. Then, if you work late, subtract the hour you leave work from your end hour. For instance, if I worked late til 7:00, that's a difference of 2 hours. Take tha number and apply it to whatever particular workout makes you feel good. In the previous example, I would run for 2 miles because I had left two hours before my end point. You could also decide to do 2 rounds of a circuit routine, 2 sets of x number of pool laps, or any other activity you enjoy. You'll come home feeling great about the fact you got yourself to the gym, you won't feel as tempted to binge on the junk food, and since exercise raises endorphin levels, you won't scare off the people you live with!


Satisfy yourself longer with higher quality food

I have a tendency to binge on the foods I really crave often, such as cookies, chips, or cheese. However, one thing that seems to work particularly well is to buy a small amount of a higher quality product (such as an imported cheese rather than the cheaper brands). The benefits of this are multiple:

1. The higher price will dissuade you from buying too much or too often
2. The price will also prevent you from wanting to eat it all so fast!
3. Higher quality products tend to be more satisfying in general. For instance, a high quality chocolate has better flavor than a candy bar out of the checkout lanes.

So if the $5.00 box of truffles is tastier AND keeps you from gorging yourself on multiple Hershey bars AND even lasts longer than what you would usually buy, the extra cash is a no-brainer!


The Apple Trick

Here's a great way to keep yourself from eating horribly unhealthy food at work when you aren't even hungry. You know, when it's 3:30, you're ready to go home, and you want any excuse to get up from your desk? Don't head to the candy jar--try this simple trick:

Step 1: Always keep an apple at work, preferably in the fridge
Step 2: When you start to feel those boredom hunger pangs, think about the apple
Step 3: If you aren't hungry enough for the apple, you aren't hungry! Don't eat! If you're hungry enough for the apple, eat the apple!

This is a really simple trick that does work. It's so easy to confuse legitimate hunger with boredom hunger, and this is a good way to figure out what's really driving you to the snack machine!

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