Five Foods I’m Loving Lately, #4

Guess what?  Thanksgiving is this Thursday!!! So exciting.  And in case you’re already worrying about how you’re going to keep on being healthy throughout the holiday season, be sure to check out last week’s post for 10 Tips for a Healthy Holiday for some good advice from a Registered Dietitian (me!).  It’s been a while since my last Five Foods post, so I wanted to give you all an update of the latest and greatest foods that I’ve been into lately.

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1.  Wheat Berries
Five Foods I'm Loving Lately, (healthy)Vittles&Bits

Wheat berries might not be something you’re very familiar with. I wasn’t either, to be perfectly honest. I’ve had this bag of wheat berries in my pantry for a while now (like, over a year). I bought them at a whole foods type of store during my internship because I’d heard about them but never had them before and thought, hey, why not?  Well, it took a while, but I finally got around to cooking them and trying them out.  You’ve probably noticed if you’ve read any of my other blog posts, that I don’t eat too many grains, but when I do add some starchy foods to my diet, I like to make sure they’re high quality (ie quinoa, bulgur, sweet potatoes). Enter, wheat berries. Wheat berries are the least processed form of wheat.  To cook them, you simply boil them in water for about an hour till they’re tender (although they will still be crunchy and dense).  I add about 1/4 cup of cooked wheat berries to my salads to give them a little extra crunch.  Nutritionally, wheat berries are high in carbohydrate (which is why I only use 1/4 cup at a time). They have lots of good nutrition qualities such as being a good source of fiber, as well as providing B vitamins (particularly thiamine and niacin; B1 and B3) and minerals such as copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium. If you’ve seen them around but never tried them, I encourage you to give them a go.  I really like the texture and nutty, earthy flavor they add to my salads.

2.   Lentil Crisps

Five Foods I'm Loving Lately, (healthy)Vittles&BitsI recently discovered these little gems at Target (no surprise, as it is the greatest store on earth…).  They’re basically “chips” made of lentils and snap peas, but they have less fat, more fiber, and more protein per serving than your typical junk food snacks like potato chips or Doritos or something of that sort. My favorite are the tomato basil ones. They’re packed with flavor, and make a really good option for when you just need something crunchy and “snacky”.  Also, they’re very affordable. They’re like a dollar fifty per bag (a bag is supposed to be 3 servings).  So give them a try the next time you’re shopping at the big, red, superstore of happiness Target.

3. MetroMint Chocolate Mint Flavored Water

Five Foods I'm Loving Lately, (healthy)Vittles&BitsOkay guys, seriously, this is the greatest thing ever. It’s like peppermint patty flavored water.  I’m not sure how I’ve been grocery shopping at the same store for over 5 years and never noticed it before.  It’s in the organic/natural section of GIANT.  If there’s not a GIANT where you live, then go to this website and search for a store near you that carries it, cause it’s awesome.  What I LOVE about this water, is that it tastes great and has a lot of flavor, but it doesn’t have any artificial sweeteners (or actual sugar) and no artificial colors or the millions of other chemicals that they add to beverages these days.  The ingredients list is simply “purified water, mint and chocolate essences.”  So simple, and yet so delicious. What I don’t love about this, is just that I’m paying for water, which I can get for free from my faucet. So I don’t buy a ton of it (cause I’m not at a point in my life where I can justify spending a ton of money on fancy flavored water.  Maybe someday….), but I do buy usually 2 or 3 a week and then use them as a fun reward for days that I have a hard workout or just a lot of stress and I want something special.

4.  Turkey Bacon

Five Foods I'm Loving Lately, (healthy)Vittles&BitsI think bacon in general gets looked down upon way too often when people talk about eating well.  But bacon has protein and tons of flavor that can really enhance a dish, so let’s not just write it off as a “bad food”.  I particularly love turkey bacon, because it still has great flavor and protein, and is lower in fat. Also, I just don’t eat pig products in general so turkey bacon is great for me.  Recently I’ve been really into having it on my salads.  I just cook a whole pound of it in the oven (375 degrees, place the turkey bacon on a baking sheet or two so that it’s not overlapping, and cook for about 12-15 minutes till it’s nice and crispy), and then chop it into pieces and sprinkle it on salads, soups, scrambled eggs, etc.  Three slices has 7 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat, and 1 gram of carbohydrate.

5.  Pumpkin O’s

Five Foods I'm Loving Lately, (healthy)Vittles&BitsOkay, I usually don’t eat cereal, but sometimes something is so delicious that you make an exception, and you find a way to make it work. My mom recently went somewhere that took her within range of a Trader Joe’s (because there’s not one within an hour radius of where we live), and she kindly picked up a few fall inspired foods for me (thanks Mom!).  She knows how much I love anything that’s pumpkin flavored, so obviously she knew this cereal would be a hit. The reason I don’t eat much cereal, is that it’s generally high in carb (and sometimes sugar), and it doesn’t really have much protein to it, which is essential for a filling and lasting breakfast. So what’s a girl to do? Well, I poured the unsweetened vanilla almond milk into a bowl, then I added a 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder and whisked it together till smooth, and then I poured the cereal in and just made sure to drink all the milk so that I got at least around 10 grams of protein.  It worked pretty well for keeping me full and tasted great.  A win win in my book. If you are lucky enough to live near a TJ’s, be sure to see if they have any Pumpkin O’s left on the shelf for you to try.

So there you have it.  Have you tried any of these foods lately?

Leave a comment and let me know what you’re planning to eat this Thursday!
I can’t wait for a huge helping of turkey, green beans simmered with red pepper strips, and (hopefully…hint, hint Mom….) a slice of homemade pumpkin pie  :-)

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