Foods Masquerading As “Healthy”

There’s a guy I see at the gym sometimes with a big gallon jug full of apple juice. He drinks it while he works out. I am so fascinated by this. I really want to know WHY he does this but I don’t want to engage in conversation with him about it, you know? I am so curious about this. How many calories is he consuming in one workout with that apple juice? I need to go to the grocery store and see how many calories are in a gallon jug of juice.

Foods Masquerading As “Healthy”

These are goods that the commercials, ads and packaging claim to be “healthy” for us. I’ve definitely fallen into that trap. I didn’t really know HOW to eat or what to eat to be healthy in the beginning. I didn’t have help either, I just muddled my way through it and figured things out on my own.

I realized I was eating a lot of junk food. Especially the “diet” junk food. Processed food was making me feel sick. I realized the hard way that I needed to stop eating “diet” food I thought  was healthy and eat real food instead.

Granola/Granola Bars – Granola is something I thought was healthy when I first started out. A good snack, I thought, was a Yoplait yogurt with granola mixed in. I bought granola in bulk from a natural health food store (sort of like Whole Foods) in Portland. Of course I never used just one serving, either. When I started counting calories I was shocked at how high granola was in calories. I realized I was eating a super sugar yogurt with granola that was over 200 calories–my “healthy” snack was probably 400 calories. Yikes!

Breakfast Bars – Oh my gosh! These are the WORST. They are high in sugar, high in calories, high in carbs with absolutely NO nutritional value. It’s just manufactured junk food masquerading as “breakfast.” Eggs! Eggs! Eggs! They are the perfect food.

Vitamin Water/Gatorade – This is another one I see at the gym a lot. Personally, I prefer water. It taste better than a bunch of sugar water. I see people at the gym doing this and I wonder why they’d waste the calories they burned at the gym by sucking down liquid calories. Gatorade was developed for athletes and did amazing things for their performance and recovery. It does improve performance.  For high level athletes.  It’s for endurance sports–prolonged, competitive activities. For example, Gatorade is great for someone training for a marathon. Someone walking on a treadmill? I’m not so sure it’s needed.

Trail Mix/Dried Fruits – Dried fruit is higher in sugar than fresh fruit (they add sugar to them!). Higher in calories than fresh fruit. Trail mix is a big culprit in packing on the pounds. Did you know a typical serving size of trail mix is about a Tablespoon? If you’re like me, I don’t eat just a tablespoon of trailmix–I eat a handful. Just wagering a guess that could be 400 calories!

Yogurt – I’m talking about the sugary yogurts–the ones that taste like candy? The ones the that are high in calories and sugar and not high in anything good. A few years ago I discovered Greek yogurt and I have never looked back. I won’t eat anything else. And my palate has changed even more, I prefer the plain Greek yogurt instead. It’s much healthier, higher in protein, lower in sugar and I can add fresh fruit to my yogurt instead.

Frozen Yogurt – Sure frozen yogurt may be a healthier choice than ice cream. But….if you’re adding five extra servings of toppings onto the frozen yogurt you’re defeating the purpose. Butterfingers? Snickers? Cookie dough? Coconut? Chocolate sauce? Shoulda just had the ice cream!

Cereal – When I wrote A is for Abstinence several people mentioned that cereal was their trigger food. I can understand this–especially since the cereal I like is the super sugary ones (Frosted Flakes, Frosted Mini Wheats to name a few). The problem with cereal is that it doesn’t have the filling nutrients in them to keep us full for very long. Whenever I eat cereal I’m hungrier than before.

Bagels – I love bagels. I used to eat them all the time. I loved the big, thick bagels with cheese baked into them, slathered with full-fat cream cheese. A-maz-ing. But, those lovely treats are about 600 calories. My poor waistline. Now? I eat the bagel thins when I’m craving a bagel. 110 calories toasted with cream cheese tastes just as great as those other ones I used to eat!

QUESTION: Do you agree or disagree? What did I leave off this list?


Is yogurt healthy?

My personal opinion about food has changed quite a bit over my journey. When I was first losing weight, I was totally consumed with calorie counting. I chose low-calorie foods that were prepackaged and were serving sizes. If it was low-calorie, I’d eat it.

I ate a lot of the light yogurts. Usually Yoplait–I’m really picky about my yogurts. The flavor and texture has to be just right or I won’t like it. I really didn’t know what “healthy eating” was until I lost all my weight and started running.

Running really transformed how I looked at food. I was much more particular about what I put into my body and I started looking at food as fuel for my workouts. I did research. I asked, “Will this help me run faster and better?” Trial and error happened with a lot of food and and I found what worked.

One of the things that went to the wayside were the sugar-packed yogurts. I just didn’t like how I felt after eating them.

Here are some Yoplait stats:

Serving Size: 1 6ounce container

Calories: 170 (about 8% of your daily max)

Calories from Fat: 15 (less than 3% of your recommended daily max)

No fiber

Protein: 5 grams

Carbs – 33 grams  (11% of the recommended daily value)

Sugars – 27 grams (that’s more than 5 teaspoons)

In comparison, Chobani Greek Yogurt stats:

Serving Size: 1 6 ounce containter

Calories: 120

Calories from Fat: 0

No Fiber

Protein: 16 grams

Total Carbs: 13 grams

Sugars: 13 grams

Greek Yogurt is the only yogurt I eat now. I just can’t handle how sweet Yoplait is. Some of the Greek Yogurts are overly sweet too. I usually pick a vanilla flavor.

If you aren’t a fan of yogurt, or want to make the transition to plain/vanilla yogurt but want more flavor, try to dress up your Yogurt with these healthy tips:

  • Strawberries and walnuts. Strawberries add the perfect amount of sweetness, and the walnuts have good fat that our bodies need.
  • Sprinkle some cinnamon and chop up apple for a sweeter treat.
  • Pour the yogurt into half a small cantaloupe and eat the bowl!
  • Try rolled oats instead of granola that’s packed with sugar.
  • Almonds and sliced bananas. Almonds are another good fat that also happens to be pretty filling.

QUESTION: What kind of yogurt to you eat? Do you add anything to it or eat it plain?