Food

Eat These

Every morning I wake up and when it is time to eat breakfast, I have a handful of almonds with whatever else I am eating for breakfast.

Not everyone likes nuts but you should get in the habit of trying to incorporate some kind into your diet. Nuts are packed with protein, heart-healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.

Photo Credit: blog.keranique.com

Make sure you are choosing the right ones though. Not all nuts are good for you. Some might have too much fat content and could ruin your daily caloric and fat intake.

The Best Nuts to Consume:

  1. Almonds: Almonds are the lowest calorie nut coming in at 160 calories for 23 of them.
    6 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat
  2. Cashews: About 16 to 18 cashews have 5 grams of protein and 13 grams of fat.
  3. Pistachios: For 49 nuts, will have 6 grams of protein and 13 grams of fat.
  4. Walnuts: For 13 walnuts, that is 185 calories with 18 grams of fat and 4 grams of protein

Another great tip is to make sure the nuts are raw and dry roasted. If they are drenched in oil, that’s just adding more fat content.

The Worst Nuts to Consume:

  1. Pecans: 18-20 pecans equals 200 calories and contain 3 grams of protein and 20 grams of fat.
  2. Macadamia Nuts: 10-12 nuts contain 2 grams of protein and 21 grams of fat.

They are still good nuts to consume for the vitamins and minerals, its just the fat content is high and very low protein.

 

What to Eat Pre and Post Workout

Is it a good idea to eat a meal before a workout or after a workout? The answer is yes but what are the right things to eat before and after?

You don’t want to over stuff yourself before your workout and have an upset stomach as you workout so make sure you eat something light. Also by eating before your workout, this will give you more energy as you are exercising.

Photo Credit: Laurenconrad.com

So what are some good things to eat before your workout?

Pre-Workout Snack(s)/Meals/Drinks

  1. Fruit! Have a variety of fruits such as a banana, some berries, an orange, apple. Whatever you prefer.
  2. Peanut Butter & Toast (add some sliced banana on top if you’d like)
  3. Protein Bar (your favorite) Mine would have to be a Luna Cookie Dough Protein Bar
  4. Eggs & Toast: 1 Hard boiled egg with a slice of whole wheat toast
  5. Greek Yogurt
  6. Oatmeal with Fresh Fruit
  7. Coffee

Post-Workout Snack(s)/Meals/Drinks

  1. Protein Pancakes
  2. Whole wheat sandwich with your choice of meat (turkey, tuna, ham, etc)
  3. Chocolate Milk
  4. Eggs
  5. Protein Bar
  6. Quinoa
  7. Nuts and Dried Fruit
  8. Pita with Hummus
  9. WATER!

There are many other great snacks you can have, those are just a few to name off. Just make sure they are low in fat and that you drink plenty of fluids before and after your workout to keep you hydrated. Try to drink at least one or two cups of water at least one hour before you exercise. Also by adding protein to your meal this will help your muscles recover and grow after exercising.

Spring means Farmer’s Market Time

Spring has FINALLY arrived and that means its about time to start going to the farmer’s market to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at great prices since the food will be in season.

Photo Credit: downtowndavenport.com

One thing I absolutely love about spring and summer is all the fresh fruits and vegetables that will be sold at the farmer’s market.

In less than a month (opening in May) the farmer’s market will be open in Davenport and in Iowa City, Iowa.

Iowa City does have  a Winter’s Farmers Market open now through April 26th from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. which they do offer fresh produce, handmade crafts and jewelry, prepared foods and baked goods as well as other handcrafted items for sale.

Photo Credit: gbuiowa.blogspot.com

Iowa City even offers a “Whats in Season” document that shows which types of produce are in season for that certain month. The list provides months May through October.

Location of Davenport Iowa’s Farmer’s Market: 421 W. River Drive, Davenport, Iowa 52801
Location of Iowa City Farmer’s Market: Iowa City Market Place (also known as Sycamore Mall), 1660 Sycamore Street

If you live in another city in Iowa here is a link to a list of all the different Farmer’s Markets all over Iowa!
http://www.idalsdata.org/fmnp/index.cfm?fuseaction=main.formFarmersMarketDirectory

Photo Credit: farmprogress.com

Best Snacks for on the Go

We all are constantly so busy we don’t always have the time to eat the right way. I can vow for that. Being a full time college student and working when I am not at school can be hectic and can be hard to find time to fit in eating healthy so it is always good to have healthy snacks with me.

Now I know we can’t always have certain foods with us all the time depending on the temperature, which could make the food go bad. We cant just keep a cup of yogurt with us or healthy deli meats. It would spoil and make your bag smell horrible.

So what are some great snacks to have that are healthy to have with you at all times?

1. Nuts

Photo Credit: thehealthyapron.com

 

  • My favorite would be almonds. They taste great and have lots of vitamins and protein and will help keep you full throughout the day. Just don’t eat too many!
    Other great nuts to have available are: Pistachios, Cashews, Pecans

 

 

2. Protein or Granola Bars

Photo Credit: LunaBar.com

  • Protein and Granola Bars are great snacks for on the go. Make sure to choose ones with carbs and protein (obviously the Protein Bars will have the protein you need)
    My favorites: LUNA Protein Bar (Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough), Any other type of Luna Bars, Natura Valley Granola Bars, Kashi Granola Bars, KIND Bars

 

 

3. Fresh Fruit

Photo Credit: Scenebayarea.com

  • So many varieties of fruit that you can have is a great snack to keep with you.  Choose any of your favorites!
    My favorites that are easy to carry with me: Bananas, Apples, Oranges, Grapes. I would prefer strawberries but I like cold strawberries so not as easy for me to carry around.
  • **Also if you have an apple and you like peanut butter, bring a small container of peanut butter so you can dip your apple in it if you slice it up! Taste great and you have some extra protein with you including the peanut butter.

4. Cereal

Photo Credit: Seriousseats.com

  • If you don’t mind eating cereal without milk, this is a great snack to have. Easy to carry and easy to munch on. Just make sure you pick a cereal that has some nutritional value to it and not some sugary cereal.
    Good choices: Raisin Bran, Cheerios (Cheerios offers so many different varieties now), Froot Loops, Mini Wheats

 

5. Tuna Snack Pack

Photo Credit: Starkist

 

  • Many grocery stores offer tuna snack packs for on the go now. They come with a small thing of tuna, some crackers, small pouch of mayo and some relish for you to mix up on your on and eat on the go. Easy to eat and if you like tuna and crackers its definitely a great snack to have and provides protein!

Iowa Girl Eats

Photo Credit: iowagirleats.com

Crisp, clear photos of food displayed among Iowa Girl Eats is what captures my attention and I am sure many others who follow Kristin Porter’s blog would say the same. What makes her blog even better is that she’s from Iowa!

As soon as you go to her page, most likely a photo will be displayed of a new recipe for people to try. This week is all of her “favorites finds” among the web and I could agree with many of her favorite finds, many look delicious! Who doesn’t like Edible Eggless cookie dough? Makes me want to make some right now!

Besides recipes that Kristin posts on her blog she also includes different workouts and tips, places she has traveled to and posts about her family.

I was able to contact Kristin to ask her a few questions about Iowa Girl Eats.

Q: How did you come up with your blog name?
Answer from Kristin: When I first started my blog it was more of a “day in the life” account of what I was eating, doing, etc., hence the name. Since the beginning in 2009, my site has morphed into a recipe-centered site, but luckily the name still fits!

Q: Do you create your own recipes? What one is your favorite that you have recently made?
A: Recipes on my site are about 70/30 my recipes/adapted or inspired by other recipes. If I’m creating a recipe that is based on another one, I always site the original source. My favorite recipe as of late would definitely be my Warm Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates, Almonds, Crispy Shallots, and Parmesan. It’s a riff on my favorite appetizer, Almond-Stuffed, Bacon-Wrapped Dates, and is so fantastic! (http://iowagirleats.com/2014/02/26/warm-kale-salad-with-bacon-dates-almonds-crispy-shallots-and-parmesan/)

Q: Do you take all of your photos yourself of the food you make? 
A: I do! I use a Nikon D7000 and shoot in natural sunlight whenever possible.
Q: Do you get to travel a lot and is it for business for your site or just for fun and somehow incorporate it into Iowa Girl Eats?
A:
I had a son 7 months ago so I haven’t been doing much traveling lately. Before that though I was able to travel frequently for the blog, on blogger trips learning about different companies/services first hand. For example, visiting lettuce growing fields in Monterey, California with DOLE foods. Whether I’m traveling for business or pleasure, I almost always write about it on the blog. I love sharing my travel adventures!
Be sure to check out her blog and try some of the recipes, there are tons available to choose from.
Be sure to follow her as well on her other sites:

Photocredit: Iowagirleats.com

Iowa Girl Eats Twitter
Iowa Girl Eats Pinterest Page
Iowa Girl Eats Facebook Page
Iowa Girl Eats Instagram

Protein and Nutrition Bars

Quest Bars, Luna Bars, Clif Bars, the list goes on and on.

Walk into any grocery store and there is usually a whole section for health products and foods that are better for you and you will most likely see an entire aisle dedicated to nutrition bars, supplements and drinks. But what makes these bars so great and healthy that people continue to eat them? Well mostly its because people are so busy that they are quick and easy to eat, but not only that, many of these provide protein and other vitamins and minerals that your body needs daily.

Due to my recent health kick lately in trying to eat better, especially during school and not having much time to eat in between, (like many college students do) I have been trying to bring healthier snacks with me on the go, which I have now added nutrition bars into my snack lists.

So which ones are the best? Well everyone has their certain favorite flavors or brands. I myself have only tried LUNA BARS and CLIF Bars but I have heard that Quest Bars are many people’s favorites so I think next time I am at the store I will have to pick one up and give it a try.

Since I have had a few of the Luna Bars I thought I would give a short review on the ones I have tried and list a few other bars that seem to be among the top best.

LUNA BARS

Photo Credit: Luna.com


Based off of the Clif Bar Company, LUNA was launched in 1999 mainly for women who were looking for a nutritious and delicious bar to eat. Now Luna has over 20 different flavors for people to choose from.
Luna offers regular Luna bars, Luna Protein Bars and Luna Fiber Bars.
Regular Luna Bars offer 15 different flavors ranging from chocolate dipped coconut to Blueberry Bliss.
Luna Protein Bars offer 7 different flavors.
Luna Fiber Bars offer 3 different flavors.
Flavors I have tried: Luna Protein Cookie Dough (my favorite), Luna Bar Chocolate Dipped Coconut and Nutz over Chocolate
Luna bars are 70% Organic and the 4 “core” vitamins and minerals are Calcium, Vitamin D, Iron and Folic Acid.

Quest Bars

Photo Credit: Questproteinbar.com

Next onto Quest which seem to be everyone’s favorite. According to their website, it says, “We do all of the work for you. All you have to do is open the wrapper and chew!”
The bars were designed for people who are trying to live a nutritious lifestyle. Quest bars are a low carb protein bar. With over 20 different flavors I am sure everyone can find their favorite flavor.
The newest flavor Quest has created is Cookies & Cream.
Check out the different flavors here!

Other bars offered that you might like to try: Larabars, KIND Bars and Clif Bars.