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DAYTON: #grocerystoreobsessionsMay21

I love grocery stores.

I’m fascinated by them.

Ever since I was younger, I’ve always loved to browse the aisles for unique items.

I’ve done this with friends, I’ve done this flying solo (i.e. the 24 hour Wegman’s in Syracuse, and here, the 24 hour Kroger‘s).

As I’ve said before on this blog, for the most part I like to eat cheap, and eat out of convenience.

Sometimes that can get tough when you feel the need to jump on the healthy train.

But I’m on my latest healthy kick, and I’ll tell you, I have found some guilt-free items at the grocery store I am full on OBSESSING over! And if you tried them, I think you would too.

Without further ado, here they are:

1) SKINNYPOP – Ultra Lite White Cheddar flavor

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POPCORN. It’s the movie time staple we all know. But when doused in a ton of movie theater butter (I’m guilty of this, trust me), calories can add up. But this popcorn is a guilt-free gold mine. If you love cheese, this is the popcorn for you. It’s just enough of a cheesy taste to fulfill a craving, but it doesn’t overdo it (and you won’t get orange or white powder on your hands!). According to its website, the ultra lite white cheddar has a serving size of 3.5 cups, which is generous! And at only 160 calories, 9 grams of fat and 95 mg of sodium per serving size , guilt-free is definitely the word. And as it says there’s “no artificial anything,” as well as zero trans fat and a good source of fiber, I say DIG IN and bring this to your movies (or try it as a snack anytime).

2) Green Giant Seasoned Steamers: Brussels Sprouts with Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper

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These are something that if you offered it to me as a kid, I would’ve said no. Brussels sprouts! The ultimate healthy green vegetable that you either like, or pass on. I grew into liking these green morsels in recent years, and came across these frozen ones at Kroger recently. Very easy to make, just microwave and when you open the bag they’re hot, steamy, and perfectly seasoned with the salt and pepper. The serving size is 3/4 cup at 3 grams of fat. The only thing to watch would be the sodium (at 250 mg).  But according to whfoods.com, brussels sprouts have special cholesterol-lowering benefits, and is also a great cancer protector!

3) KIND Bars

photo 1Have you ever had a protein bar? I’ve tried different kinds, from PowerBars to CLIF, and while not all of these are “protein” bars, they’re amazing for breakfast or as a dessert to resist eating sweets (and I’m a chocoholic, I love sweets!). In fact, it says on the bars’ packaging that “A recent study conducted by the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center found that two KIND bars a day can curb appetite and even help prevent weight gain.” The company is all about using ingredients you can actually pronounce, i.e. nuts. But many have nuts in them, so if you don’t like nuts or are allergic, be cautious at the store. There are so many sweet/savory combinations to choose from, but two of my favorites right now are Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants and Dark Chocolate Chili Almond. 

4) Brad’s Raw Crunchy Kale Chips, Vampire Killer flavor:

photo 4Friends, these kale chips are mind-blowing.

Mind-blowing.

So much so that as soon as I finished the first pack I bought a few days ago, I went out and bought another one tonight at Kroger. Right now they’re situated near the vegetable section.

Now you’re probably thinking, Vampire Killer?!What’s up with that!

I’m a huge garlic lover, and that’s exactly what Brad set out to do in this chip, bring out the garlic and cheese with a good crunch.

Here’s what makes up Vampire Killer chips, according to its website:

“Coated with red bell pepper, cashews, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, scallions, chickpea miso, garlic, and Himalayan sea salt, these kale chips may kill vampires, but they liven up your taste buds!”

Its website also points out that all flavors of Brad’s Raw Crunchy Kale is dehydrated, to preserve the nutrients that “enhance digestion and dramatically increase energy levels.”

Woohoo!If you’re looking for something fun to munch and crunch on guilt-free, this is IT. And to give you an idea of the fat content, serving size is 1 ounce, 7 grams of fat and 116 mg of sodium.And Brad’s story on the website is inspiring in itself, please check it out. Brad, if you read this, I give you MAJOR kudos to an awesome chip. —What are your current #grocerystoreobsessions?Comment below or tweet at me, @kathleenhessman!

Cool Article of the Week – 7/21-7/28

This week’s cool article isn’t another ‘article’ per se.

(The name of this type of post could change in the future).

But call it an inspiration, if you will, that’s had me near-obsessively thinking in the back of my head about drinking water.

Yep, H20.

As I am drinking a glass of water between typing, this one photo from a friend’s Facebook pages really, struck me this entire week:

WATER PIC

When you think of drinking water, what’s your favorite way of drinking it? Do you drink water plain, do you add some fruit in it, do you you have ice or not in it?

And what about the specific purpose of drinking the water. Is it for thirst, a beverage of choice?

That friend that posted this picture on her Facebook page is on her way to becoming a future nurse. I can’t wait until she does, she is going to be a great one!

I’ve seen posts like the one she shared before, but I keep reading this picture and thinking about how yes, water is more than just a beverage. It’s a super beverage that regulates things in your body.

But tonight though, with the journalist in me, my curiosity is piqued. Lets go through each of these bullet points, and check these facts.

Truth or myth:

1) Drinking 2 glasses of water helps activate internal organs.

This I could actually see as truth. As our bodies are made up of a lot of water, drinking a glass when you wake up, having it flow to our organs, makes sense to activate them. But I must admit, when Googling this one, there were a lot of message boards with the same facts in the picture above, including this one. I was starting to get skeptical. Especially when I see an entire article on the internet talking about how these four “facts” mentioned in the picture are part of an internet scam. So until I am proven wrong, this is actually a myth.

2) Drinking 1 glass of water before a meal will help digestion.

This one too is tricky. From looking at this “fact” as it is, water can very well help with digestion. You could look at it as being a myth. But this one is a truth!

According to Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist Michael F. Picco, M.D. on mayoclinic.com: “There’s no concern that water will dilute the digestive juices or interfere with digestion. In fact, drinking water during or after a meal actually aids digestion. Water and other liquids help break down food so that your body can absorb the nutrients. Water also softens stools, which helps prevent constipation.”

3) Drinking 1 glass of water before taking a shower helps prevent high blood pressure.

This one right off the bat I was skeptical about. Yes, as discussed, our bodies are made of a lot of water, but does the coolness of the water bring down the possibility of high blood pressure in the shower? Don’t showers help at least lower your blood pressure by themselves? When Googling just now I saw a lot of the same from the first point in the picture, where I got skeptical. Yes, drinking water helps lower blood pressure according to livestrong.com, but nothing specific alludes to drinking water before showering helping to prevent low B.P. So I’m calling this one a myth until proven wrong.

4) Drinking a glass of water before bed helps prevent stokes or heart attacks.

This point I could see, compared to number 1, as a truth. Just as you’d think drinking water helps activate internal organs, drinking water before bed helps keep the blood flow going and prevent things like strokes or hearth attacks. Good thought, right? Well my friends, this one is a truth!  I saw this one on some sources, including Men’s Health. 

I check into all of this tonight too because in the back of my head now, especially since this picture, I’ve been thinking about buying a really huge cup for water to bring to work with me so I can drink water all day and know I’m getting in those 8 glasses. Would you do something like that?

My next point: do you get in your 8 glasses of water a day?

I’ll admit I don’t always drink 8 glasses. I do go for the unsweetened iced tea or soda too.

Well, according to Mayo Clinic, we need justttt a bit more water than the norm.

Here’s what they suggest:

“So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.”

Women need about 9 cups, men need about 13 cups. HUGE difference, right?

I am a huge water fan. There’s nothing like an ice cold glass of fresh water, especially when you are really, really thirsty.

I post all of this tonight as a start of a discussion. Until proven wrong, Googling the points has shown me two out of two are indeed true, the others are up for being proven wrong.

But no matter what is wrong or right, truth or myth, water really does help out your health in many, many ways.

So drink up!

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