Let's face it. I'm fat because the wrong kinds of foods make me super happy. (This means YOU Kraft Deluxe Mac & Cheese, In n Out well-done fries, and Red Robin vanilla milkshakes).
I was raised so as to believe that all "diet" food was complete crap. Anything that resembled "healthful" could not possibly taste good.
Maybe you're like I was. Maybe the idea of eating a turkey taco or whole wheat pasta or low fat cream cheese sounds absolutely revolting.
That's how I used to feel. But now I really like all of those things.
Being calorie conscious has expanded my palate in a way that I have never experienced before. I am constantly trying out new products. Some things I really love and some things are total busts.
So I thought I'd document my favorite finds and some of the OH-DEAR-GOD-NO! ones as well. Maybe you'll be inspired to try something new and fall in love, or maybe you'll be able to avoid spending your money on a bust.
That said, let's get started.
1. Chobani 0% Fat Blood Orange Greek Yogurt: WIN
For anyone who has never had greek yogurt... it is thicker and more tart than average yogurt. It also has a lot more protein.
In general, I am not a Chobani loyalist. I prefer Oikos 0% vanilla. But I am passionately in love with blood orange italian soda and so anything "blood orange" flavored catches my attention. This yogurt is dead-on. I love it. If you like orange flavored things, you will love it too.
I paid $1.27 for 6 ounces at Target. Yowch. But well worth the price tag, in my opinion, because there is nothing else like it on the market.
140 calories per 6 oz serving. 0 g fat. 19 g sugar. 14 g protein. 8% DV vitamin C. 15% DV calcium.
2. Zico Chocolate Coconut Water: WIN
Coconut water has a lot of potassium and other great vitamins/electrolytes. I have read that some athletes like to drink it as a more natural "Gatorade" type of recovery drink.
I don't taste the coconut, but what I do taste is a delicious and deep chocolate flavor. It is more chocolate-y than any chocolate milk I've ever had. I was expecting the consistency to be more like water, but it isn't. It's similar to almond or soy or skim milk. If you like chocolate drinks, you'll love this.
If it were cheaper, I'd buy it ALL the time. I got my 14-ounce bottle for $1.50 on sale but it's typically $2.00-2.50.
110 calories for the entire 14 oz bottle. 19% DV potassium, 18 g sugar, 1 g protein, 6% DV calcium, 7% DV phosphorus, 16% DV magnesium.
3. Silk PureAlmond Dark Chocolate Almond Milk: WIN
I crave chocolate milk like no other... clearly. I am really glad I found chocolate almond milk because at 110-120 calories per cup, it saves me 50-100 calories when compared to actual milk.
I don't feel like I am sacrificing any chocolate-y or cream-y goodness either. In fact, I actually prefer almond milk because the slight almond flavor makes it taste like a chocolate bar.
That said, I was expecting the "Dark Chocolate" to be more... well... DARK chocolate. It's not, it's definitely more milk chocolate.
The coconut water has double the chocolate flavor and half the calories.
But the almond milk is cheaper and has a different nutrient profile.
$3.19 at Target for I think 8 cups. If you like chocolate milk, try this.
120 calories per 8 oz serving. 3 g fat. 3% DV potassium. 1 g fiber. 22 g sugar. 1 g protein. A BUNCH of other vitamins. Most notably, 45% DV calcium (more than milk), 50% vitamin E and 50% vitamin B12. Check out the rest here.
4. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Winter Dream Tea: WIN
Flavored teas save my butt from getting any larger. I sweeten them with my favorite sweetener, sometimes add a dash of non fat half-and-half, and sip away happily.
Spice teas are some of my favorite and this one doesn't disappoint. My husband is also a huge fan. We don't live in a city that has a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, but we found this at our local Fresh & Easy. You can also order it online.
I managed to get 16 bags for $1.50 (originally $4) at a really great sale but I have and would pay the regular $8 price tag as well.
If you are a fan of chai, you'll like this.
5. Healthy Choice Chicken with Rice/Chicken Noodle Soup: FAIL
I bought a big case of these soups at Costco when I first started trying to lose weight. The nutritional stats were great and I thought it would be a good option for when I don't have time to prepare food before going into work.
I think I got 10 cans for $10-15.
The problem? They taste so completely bland. They are not the worst thing in the world but 90% of the cans are still sitting in my pantry. And it's been a year. I think I'm going to donate them the next time I happen upon a food drive.
The problem might be that I am kind of a salt addict and this soup is low in sodium compared to other brands. I tried adding my own salt, but it didn't help. The broth just lacks a certain... depth.
Not a fan.
110 calories for half the can. 2 g fat. 16% DV potassium. 2 g fiber. 5 g protein. 10% DV vitamin A. 4% DV vitamin C, calcium and iron.