Archive for the ‘product recommendations’ Category

Not low calorie, but guaranteed to stop your wheat cravings in their tracks!

Pamela’s Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

This is the only one we tried, but it was so good that I don’t have an compunction recommending the others as well!

Although the texture was a little dry, the chocolate was amazing!

There are 4.5 servings per box and I ended up with a serving and a half!* MJ, the aspiring-gluten-free cookie monster, decided they were just as tasty as the “real” thing. In fact, his exact words when I asked if I could have one of the cookies on his saucer were: “No. The consequences would be too dire.” He says that he meant that they would be too dire for him (and that really wasn’t a poorly veiled threat), but I’m not so sure 😉

If you’re gluten-free (or trying to get there) but you can’t imagine giving up cookies, etc., these could get you at least halfway there. But beware, at 170 calories and 9 grams of fat per serving, proceed with caution. But to tell you the truth, they’re so rich that one cookie (or half a serving) will just about about it!

Let me know what you think.

* One serving = 2 cookies
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Gluten-Free Pasta (Product Review)

Let me start this off with a used to be simple-truth: I don’t eat pasta.

But the minute that I realized that I had a wheat allergy, all I wanted was pasta. Go figure.

So, the other day at the grocery store, I picked up three gluten-free pastas: Tinkyada Brown Rice Elbows, Mrs. Leeper’s Corn Pasta Elbows and Vegetable Twists.

Tonight, MJ and I tried both Mrs. Leeper’s pastas with an Italian meat sauce, made with local buffalo.

Yum!

After all of the horror stories that I had heard about wheat-free pasta alternatives, I was a bit leery, but it was delicious. Additionally, it was much lighter than the whole wheat pasta that I had been eating on the rare occasions that I had to eat it. And, even more to the point, I didn’t feel terribly bloated or gassy after I was done! (TMI, I know.)

This is definitely going into the rotation.

We made enough so that we can toss some (cold) into the hot sauce tomorrow. Apparently if you nuke it, most wheat-free pasta turns to mush! I’ll let you know, because we purposefully made more than we were planning on eating as an experiment.

So, if you’re gluten-free and missing carbs, you won’t miss them with this pasta. It truly was divine. And I’m sure that the 2002 Vintage Orpheus Petite Sirah from Lolonis didn’t hurt!

Cooking directions: 7 to 9 minutes. I went closer to 7 so that I’ll have a better chance of reheating without causing it to disintegrate! Regardless, you can always just make what you want.

It really was surprisingly good! In fact, it’s fair to say that I enjoyed it far more (in terms of texture and heaviness) than regular pasta!

My new favorite dessert: candied yams without the candy

As we roll into autumn, my new favorite snack is yams.

Yes, you heard me, baked yams.

I simply wrap them in tin-foil and bake them like regular baked potatoes.

(350 degrees for approximately an hour or until soft)

Then, when I’m ready to serve them, I top them with a dollop of Nutiva’s coconut oil.

Much like vanilla bean butter, coconut oil is wonderfully fragrant and is just a little bit sweet. It’s also incredibly good for you!

Because in addition to just tasting great, coconut oil also boosts your metabolism. And if that weren’t enough, it can also be used as a skin and hair conditioner, as well as deodorant and toothpaste!

I bought the 15 ounce jars on Amazon as a test, but I’m pretty sure that my next order will be the 54 ounce tubs!

Seriously, check this stuff out. It’s amazing! It’s also great for sauteing kale and texturizing smoothies!

sweetpotato

Not Your Mother’s Rice Cake

I remember eating rice cakes back in the day when Weight Watchers still had exchanges!

They looked like cardboard and they tasted pretty much like cardboard too! More to the point, they were just about as appetizing as the cottage cheese and salsa mixture that they tried to pass off as dip! Shudder. Thank goodness those days are over!

So, you may be wondering why I’d try rice cakes again given my oh so fond associations?

Well, to tell you the truth, I was desperate.

For those of you who don’t know, I am exploring the possibility that I may have a wheat sensitivity, which means that I am cutting gluten (that is, WHEAT) out of my diet. Unfortunately, I had recently become addicted to whole grain (that is, wheat!) pita bread and hummus, which prompted me to investigate my options.

(Though I must admit, I felt pretty darned virtuous that I had given up wheat and all I really missed was pita bread! It could have been much, much worse!)

None of the gluten-free bread looked particularly interesting and, sadly, there was no gluten-free pita to be found.

Sucking it up, I decided to check out the rice cake section. I figured with enough hummus it couldn’t be that bad, could it?

Much to my pleasure and surprise, I discovered Lundberg Organic Rice Cakes! Made with brown rice, these are very tasty. I am currently loving the Toasted Sesame and am also quite fond of the Flax and Tamari and the Tamari and Seaweed!

The good news is that there are so many different flavors – and they are so sufficiently different – I’m going to be hard pressed to ever get bored. And I haven’t even scratched the surface on the sweet ones!

So far, I have eaten them plain and topped them with hummus or homemade refried black beans and salsa. Pretty darned good.

I’ll be writing more about my new gluten-free diet as time passes. I started on September 29 and after the massive sugar withdrawals subsided, it really hasn’t been too bad. In fact, it’s been absolutely fine.

You know, it only takes 21 days to make a habit. I’m two-thirds of the way there!

New Smoothie Recipe: Chocolate and Banana Hemp

Recently I’ve been experimenting with different smoothie recipes and today’s was a winner. It was exceptionally good.

Because of all of the controversy around soy, I’ve started supplementing my smoothie making with almond drink and substituting the protein powder with hemp powder+fiber. Although the almond drink is really just liquid (only 2 grams of protein), the hemp+fiber product has a ton of protein and fiber! It also has the advantage of being a raw food product, with all of the benefits that entails. In fact, other than the almond drink, which is really just a carrier, all of the ingredients are raw!

I actually buy all of the powdered ingredients on amazon.com, where I can get the hemp product in bulk. They have a re-ordering program for grocery products where they give you a discount if you sign up for automatically recurring shipments! Who knew?

1 cup of unsweetened chocolate Almond Breeze
1 banana
2 trays of mini-ice cubes

(crush ice)

Add:

3 Tbs of hemp+fiber powder
throw in some Stevia Plus
2 Tbs of Cacao Powder
1 Tbs of Maca Root
a serving of Chocolate Emerald Balance
1 tsp of spirulina powder, which you can get just about anywhere, including the bulk section of most health food stores.

Use the pulse feature to make sure that all of this powder is well mixed.

I love them, though I admit that the first one I had was not the best. It takes some experimentation, but once you figure it out, it’s worth it! I am much more satisfied during the day when I start my day off with this concoction and I have a ton more energy! I still have my spiru-tein shakes, but to tell you the truth, I have downgraded those to dessert!

P.S. Apparently Nutiva makes a Hemp Shake product, which would be easier to make. I haven’t tried it out yet, but it’s on my list. As soon as I do, I’ll let you know!

Product Recommendation – Food

Admittedly, the first time I tried these things, I wasn’t a fan. The second time, however, yum! You may be wondering why I would try something again that I didn’t like the first time? It’s simple. They were on sale. They are way better for you than the replacement product (that is, potato chips), and I am once again traveling and in need of snack options. And, truth be told, there are only 3.5 servings per bag, so if I were to eat the whole bag in a day (not hard to do on a 6 hour plane ride), it’s really not that bad. I mean it’s not great, but it’s not terrible either!

Okay, here it is: Humbles (not as in pie, which – for those of you who know me know – would never be on the menu), but as in baked hummus chips!

There are several flavors, including Roasted Red Pepper; Olive Oil, Lemon & Feta; and Sesame Garlic. I am now a fan of the Sesame Garlic.

60% less fat than potato chips (4 grams per serving)! 120 calories, 1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of protein. And, importantly, there is only one item on the list of ingredients that sounds scary! (See one could literally eat the whole bag for 420 calories and 12 grams of fat, which is way less bad for you than a double scoop of Ben & Jerry’s!)

Just so you know, I found them cheaper than they are listed on-line at the local Coop, but as I already noted they were on sale! Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Tired of water? Mix it up (and drink it down)

No matter whether it’s six or eight glasses a day, it’s common knowledge that the body needs water to function properly – it is primarily made of water after all! When you’re dieting or trying to lose fat, it’s even more important to drink water, as it’s the water (and the associated lymph) that carries all of that fat out of the system! When you drink lots of water (another recommendation is half of your body weight in ounces), you’re also less likely to be hungry, less likely to overeat or to fill up on junk in order to feel more energetic. The latter is especially true because water actually gives you energy by removing all of the toxic stuff out of your body! And if that wasn’t enough of a why, it also improves skin elasticity and makes you look younger!

Even though I know that drinking water is just as important (if not more so) as maintaining a healthy food diet and getting regular exercise, it tends to be the first thing I let slip when I’m tired or stressed. It’s ridiculous. Why would I stop doing something that’s so simple, especially when it gets me such great results? It’s particularly stupid because I’ll exercise and not drink enough water, which leads to an even more advanced stage of dehydration. Now a lot of people think that they’re not dehydrated because they’re not thirsty. Thirst is a warning sign! When you start feeling thirsty, it’s too late. Most nutritionists recommend that you take a sip of water every fifteen minutes! Whether you feel thirsty or not!

So why would I not drink water? Why might you not be drinking enough?

Personally, I get bored. It’s not that I don’t like the taste of water; I do. But then again I have a well and am not dependent on city tap water, which does (unfortunately) come in a variety of flavors, largely based on your location! But filters do work wonders and there are a number available all at varying price-points for sale on-line.

But, when I am legitimately tired of water, I do sub in other options that still count as water. So, how to get more water into your diet?

As I mentioned before, I make protein shakes. I tend to mix the protein powder and liquid with two trays of ice cubes; although frozen, ice does count as water! You even burn more calories because your body has to bring it up to temperature!

Another way to make water more exciting is just to simply make up a pitcher of ice water and cucumber slices and let the flavor seep in. I had this at a spa recently and it was fabulous! Unbelievably refreshing! Since then, I’ve seen people do the same thing with fresh mint, fresh blackberries or fresh raspberries.

My personal favorite, especially in the winter months (which, unfortunately are back on the horizon) is to drink caffeine-free herbal tea. Stay away from decaffeinated coffees or black tea, which contain marginal amounts of caffeine, as well as all of the residual chemicals that it took to decaffeinate it to begin with! This works especially well for me because you can really mix up the flavors and you can mess with the intensity and sweetness by varying the steeping time as well as the amount of sweetener (if any) that you use. My favorite sweetener is Stevia Plus, by Sweet Leaf. Stevia Plus is an all natural supplement that contains no saccharin, Nutrasweet, aspartame, refined sugar, maltodextrin fructose, or any artificial sweeteners of any kind! It’s called plus, because it also contains inulin fiber (F.O.S.) which selectively nourished the friendly bacteria (lactobaciilus and bifidobacteria) in the intestines!

During the winter I tend to drink eight to ten cups of herbal tea a day! I drink a number of brands, but my house tea is Celestial Seasonings. 1) It’s cheap (as am I). 2) There are a ton of flavors so I am less likely to get bored. 3) There is minimal packaging – they are the ones that don’t use strings or tags!

And for those who can’t imagine drinking hot tea in the summer (or are too impatient to brew it hot and then ice it), they have just come out with a product that steeps in cold water in just five minutes! Unfortunately only of of these is caffeine-free, but I’m hopeful they’ll expand the line if it’s a success! Or with enough push-back from interested buyers!

Another way I get my water in is to drink my green stuff mixed in 24 ounces of water! Again, cold improves the taste. Sometimes I toss the glass into the freezer for 15 minutes or I mix it with ice.

And, finally, a fourth way I get water in when I’m bored is to drop in a couple of nuun tablets in a quart sized Sigg bottle. Nuuns are electrolyte-enhance sports drink tabs, which I drink while I exercise, especially if I am doing something that is going to involve a lot of sweat. Six calories per tablet; all are caffeine free with the exception of the cola flavored one, which has about as much caffeine as a cup of green tea. So, although it doesn’t count as water, per say, because of the caffeine, it does actually taste enough like cola to kill the craving (that is, if you have craving for cola). Personally, the lemon-lime and ginger orange are my favorite!

So, if you find yourself feeling sluggish or overly hungry during the day, ask yourself the following question: How much water have I had today?

And if you’re not even close to 1/2 your body weight in ounces, drink some water! If you don’t like water (or think you don’t) because it doesn’t taste like anything, try something new to jazz it up. And you’d be surprised. Just as it does with sugar, the more water you drink, the more your body will want.

Let me know what you come up with!

Product Recommendation – Emerald Balance Plus (Chocolate Superfood Drink)

Emerald Balance Plus is marketed as the best tasting chocolate superfood drink on earth and they are not kidding! Seriously, this stuff is delicious!

Chocolate Emerald Balance Plus
The Best Chocolate Super food Drink on Earth!

If you like dark chocolate, you’ll love Emerald Balance Plus, this multivitamin nutritional supplement drink mix provides you with your daily required:
• Antioxidants
• Immune Supporting Nutrient Dense Superfoods
• Heart Healthy Omega 3’s (microencapsulated)
• Plus Microencapsulated Vitamins A, B’s, C, D, and E and a balanced dose of the Minerals, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc & Iron.
• And the Added Protection of your daily dose of Chocolate

So, enough with the hype. Even if it does taste great, why should you really bother with superfoods?

First and foremost, individuals who regularly consume superfoods have an easier time losing weight and keeping it off than those that don’t.

I know that when I am drinking my superfood drinks, whether it’s Emerald Balance, Emerald Balance Plus, or Perfect Food, I am less hungry throughout the day, I retain less water, and I am less likely to be plugged up (if you get my meaning)! On nights that Michael and I are having dinner parties (and therefore drinking lots of wine) I drink 12 ounces of Perfect Food before and after; these two simple steps have pretty much eliminated the post-alcohol bloating and weight gain! Additionally, my entire weight release effort has seemed fairly effortless once I started drinking green stuff (and now chocolate green stuff) on a regular basis – that is, twice a day.

Why are superfoods and green stuff so great?

I have less information about the chocolate versions, given chocolate’s only recent elevation to the category of superfood, but according to Robert and Shelley Young, the authors of The pH Miracle for Weight Loss, as well as several other best selling books touting the power of maintaining an alkaline diet, “stirring some ‘green powder’ into good water will help you maintain a highly alkaline diet like nothing else” (p. 135).

From their perspective, it’s not the calories that are making us, as American’s fat, it’s the acid. And in order to combat this, we must maintain an alkaline system.

The body retains fat as a protection against the over production of acids produced by the typical American diet. Some of these acids are eliminated through the bowels, urinary tract, and skin, but whatever is left must be buffered or neutralized. Excess acid in the body starts to break down cells in your tissues and organs – pretty much the same way that acidic steak sauces tenderize meat. Cell breakdown sends the body into self-preservation mode; it used dietary and body fat in the desperate attempt to protect itself, no matter what the costs. Fat can bind up acids and sometimes escort them out of the body. But fat is used primarily as a way to sore those acids. Ask any plastic surgeon: The fat they liposuction out of their patients is brown and black because of all the acid it contains (p. 14).

Charming.

So, how do you alkalize your body – that is, how do you make it less acidic?

Well, in addition to eating lots of fresh low sugar fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, the easiest way is to drink green stuff (which is surprisingly pretty darned tasty in its own right) or, if you can’t do the color, the aforementioned delicious dark chocolate stuff which is available much more cheaply at Amazon.com, Netrition.com, or Vitamin Shoppe.

Seriously, go try it.

Start with the chocolate stuff and then transition to the green once your body becomes more alkaline.

I guarantee you’ll be surprised not only by the taste, but also by the ease with which you’ll shed unwanted pounds and gain extra energy!

Hint: if you’re already drinking soy shakes at any time during the day, just throw a serving in your blender. I tossed some in with my morning spiru-tein shake and it was awesome!

Drop the “us v. them” when it comes to skinny people!

Why do people tend to turn everything into us versus them?

Well, one reason is that it simplifies things. It makes it easier to navigate the social world. Basically, it’s a cookie cutter way (or short cut) to make snap judgments about people. I, myself, have been guilty of making judgments about people who I would term as “skinny,” as you may recall from previous posts. One of the assumptions that I make about all skinny people, whether it’s true or not, is that they are naturally skinny.

Why is this a dangerous assumption to make?

When you turn someone into a “them” as opposed to an “us” you automatically separate yourself from them; you essentially take them off your team. You also make them somehow different from you.

When you assume that all skinny people who are, in your mind, “naturally skinny,” you end up giving yourself permission to fail. This is because your mind automatically takes the next step by saying, “They are naturally skinny. Because you are not naturally skinny, you shouldn’t compare yourself to them.”

When this happens, you will fail to meet your weight goals – that is, to be skinny yourself! Or whatever your goal happens to be.

This insight isn’t new. It stems from an old theory in social psychology called social identity theory. Social identity theory shows that when faced with an appreciable difference, people tend to establish in- and out- groups (e.g., “us v. them”) on even the most trivial or minimal differences. (And I am assuming that if you have any weight to lose at all, weight is not a trivial issue for you!) When this happens, individuals start to dis-identify with the out-group (in this case, skinny people) by assigning certain traits to them and to identify with the in-group (in this case, overweight people). When your own group is marginalized, and one could argue that overweight people are marginalized in this culture, you will also begin to identify with all of the negative characteristics – such as laziness or a lack of self-discipline – that exist within the broader culture. This, of course, is the last thing you want or need if you’re trying to lose weight and keep it off.

Over the last 72 hours, this very topic came up no less than three times.

The first was in Judith S. Beck’s excellent book, The Beck Diet Solution, the reference I scooped from Cindy Sadler’s excellent blog, The Next Hundred Pounds. In her book, which is based more on cognitive restructuring than dieting, Dr. Beck lists out characteristic differences in the way that skinny people and overweight people think:

Characteristic Number Seven:
You Focus on Issues of Unfairness

Are you surprised to learn that most thin people restrict their eating to some degree? They might be trying to maintain their weight or to stay healthy – or both. So they sometimes eat smaller portions than they would really like and choose healthy foods when they;d really prefer to eat something else. They accept these limitations without too much struggle. They just don’t think about it very much.

You however, might frequently reflect on how unfair it is that others can eat what they want but you can’t. Truth is, not only do you underestimate how much others restrict themselves, but you also focus on the the injustice you feel because you have to limit yourself. In the past, this kind of thinking may have led you to stray from your diet, or you may have given up entirely (p. 39).

Beck then goes on to report the results of a survey that she did where she asked individuals – who were at their desired weight – if they would eat differently if all food had the same calories. The majority of men (over the age of forty) and the majority of women (of any age) said yes! Pretty compelling stuff!

Then, I was at a marketing seminar in L.A. and every morning there was a place set up where you could get a bagged breakfast. Invariably, the women that I would have previously classed as “naturally skinny” (or worse) walked over to the bags that contained bagels, muffins, fresh fruit, and cream cheese and then walked away. I didn’t see any of “those” woman – many of whom turned out to be raw food chefs or fitness experts! – go anywhere near anything that even remotely resembled a bagel, let alone a muffin. Instead, I saw them with almonds, fresh fruit, and herbal tea. Humph! Ironically, and much to my chagrin, they ate a lot like me!

And, finally, the following came across MJ’s Twitter feed: I just found out that three people I assumed were naturally skinny had all been previously overweight.

When you hear/see something that many times in a 72 hour period, there must be something to it!

So, how do you go about trying to break down those stereotypes? And I use the word stereotypes intentionally, because that’s what they are.

First, just watch skinny people. What do they eat? How do they eat it? When facing situations that you find challenging, what do they do? How do they spend their free time?

And don’t watch them when you’re out at lunch, because as one of my skinny friends told me, a lot of skinny people will eat a lot when they go out, but they will either cut back at dinner or for the next few days depending on how much they splurged!

Another thing would be to simply ask them! Trust me, they don’t bite. And if they work in the fitness industry, they’ll be all too happy to tell you all about it!

So, if you have this idea that skinny people can eat all they want, watch them. Remember, modeling (and team building) are powerful predictors of success!

Saggy, not suelte (this is probably one of those “and then some” categories I warned you about)!

A dear friend of mine wrote in an email to me recently: I hope that losing weight doesn’t mean wrinkles!

Well, uhm, in the case of women close to 40 or above, that’s exactly what it means. I wouldn’t say wrinkly, exactly. Maybe crepe-y is a somewhat more accurate description. Though, now that I read this out loud, I’m not sure which sounds worse!

Regardless, for as long as I could remember, my mother would encourage me to moisturize.

And out of my desire to be a good daughter, I’d buy moisturizer — good moisturizer. But somehow, despite my best intentions, I could never get motivated enough to get it out its container and into my skin. And now, at 39 years and 4 months, and 40 pounds less than I was three years ago, I wish that I had listened to my mother! Let’s just say that I finally found my motivation.

I think the trick for me was not just finding a moisturizer, but finding the moisturizer. In times past, I had done all kinds of research and talked to friends, collected recommendations, tried it on in the store — only to find out when I tried using it at home that the smell was too much after all or it wasn’t just my imagination, it did feel too oily, etc. You name it, I could find a problem with it!

A couple of weeks ago, however, I did the unprecedented. On a whim, I purchased $50+ of skin care products on my way out of a restaurant! A restaurant. Not a boutique, not a beauty salon, and certainly not a dermatologist’s office. A restaurant. Granted, it was a good restaurant, but still. Moreover, I hadn’t sampled it, I hadn’t even smelled it. My friend had simply said, “If you ever have an occasion to treat yourself, this stuff smells great.”

I bought the moisturizer, the hand cream, the facial tissues, the soap, and the body cream. It was nuts. No recommendations. No research. No trials. But I had an occasion and I wanted a treat. And, luckily for me and my thirsty, wrinkly, crepe-like skin, my impromptu purchase is paying off. Not only do I love it (and, therefore, use it every day), it appears to be working. I’m beginning to see some improvement in places on my body that actually look worse now than they did before I released the weight.

And, even better since the restaurant is about 2 hours from my house, you can buy it on line. And even better than that, they sell it in bulk with free shipping on orders of $100 or more!

Now, the purpose of the post is not to discourage anyone from exercising or releasing weight. But it is to encourage you to take care of your skin and, at the risk of sounding too much like my mother, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

Product Recommendations: Blenders and Ice Cube Trays

I make a lot of smoothies. Some are soy based, though sometimes I just do fruits.

The thing that always bugged me though was the rate at which I went through blenders, not to mention that the smoothies, themselves, were rarely smooth. Now, I admit, that I am also cheap, so I tended to by the old standbys — you know, the $25-$35 dollar blenders that that one sees at big box stores.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t even realize that there were different classes of blenders.

Now Michael is of the mind that you should buy things one time; therefore he tends to buy things that cost 5 or 6 times more than I would typically pay for them. His logic, one that I am coming to appreciate, is that they more expensive models tend to better (he also spends a lot of time doing on-line research before making any major purchase) and by getting something that will last, you’ll be putting less in the landfill. Additionally, you’ll save more over the long run if it’s something that you use –and plan to use –over the long haul. Make sense?

After two and a half years of watching my fight with my third highish-end Oster, Michael decided that it was time for a new blender.

The UPS man came the next day and my smoothie-making life has, has literally, never been the same.

Enter the Blendtec! This thing is amazing. It blends (I think it has the horsepower of a small lawn mover) and it’s easy to clean. You can also make soup that gets heated by the torque of the engine! Additionally, they make great food demonstration vids on their website!

Now, granted, I about choked when I saw the price tag –even on Amazon. But, you know what? It is 10 times better than any blender I’ve ever had. And hopefully it will last at least 5 times as long! And since I’ve already 468 smoothies –it keeps track– we’re already well below a dollar per pop!

Now if you like smoothies, but you’d rather have an iPhone instead of a small kitchen appliance that can easily obliterate one, then I do recommend, at the very least, using these ice cube trays. These will work with even the crappiest of blenders!

My biggest pet peeve about them, however, is that when you pop them out they tend to go flying — the cats love them! But they will lengthen the life of your blender and improve the consistency of your smoothies, shakes, and —I would imagine –your frozen margaritas!

Product Recommendation – Food

I love bread, no doubt about it. My latest discovery is Joseph’s Multigrain Lavash Bread with Flax! Yum! The entire sheet is 100 calories; it’s not only a good source of your Omega 3 Oils, it’s also a great source of fiber and protein! And if you’re counting carbs, either for diet or controlling diabetes, it’s only 4 grams of net carbs!

I typically use them as wraps–filling them with hummus and salad or just simply toasting them as a base for hummus or baba ghanoush!

I also took one to a street vendor the other day (who only had white pita) and asked him fill it up with hummus, shredded vegetables, and falafal! It was heavenly!

And, embarrassingly, when I’m really hungry, I’ll just tear them into strips and eat them straight out of the bag!

This company also makes pita bread: 60 calories for the whole loaf. They are a little on the thin side, but they are great lightly toasted!

I’ve found these particular wraps at BJ’s, and I’ve heard rumors that you can get them at Wal-Mart Super Centers, but the last time I got some, I ordered them on-line from Netrition. They arrived in a day and were still cool! They have a really long shelf life, especially if kept in the fridge! I think it’s up to 8 weeks or something crazy like that.

And if that’s not versatile enough for you, some guy has posted a recipe using them to make cereal!

Time for lunch!

Product Recommendation – Myo Tape Measure

Don’t you hate it when people tell you that you shouldn’t pay so much attention to the scale and that you should do something like, say, take your measurements on a regular basis?

How many of you have ever tried taking your own measurements? If you haven’t, it’s only marginally less accurate, or consistent, than having someone else do it for you! But even though it’s hard to do, it is worth doing. But instead of fumbling one handed with a tape measure and trying to remember exactly how loose (or rather, in my case, how tight!) you held it last time, try the Myo Tape! Hands down, it is a huge improvement over any tape measure you may have tried in the past.

Though there’s still room for error, at least you can hold it with one hand and, if you let it, it will keep track of the tension for you!

Now, if you’re not taking measurements, you really might want to consider it (notice I avoided the word should). Because even when you’re not making visible progress on the scale (and I admit that I am as number focused as the next person), you may be making huge improvements on your proportions!

Product Recommendation – Food

For those of you who love sandwiches, Multi-Grain Sandwich Thins from Arnold’s Bakery may be right up your alley! These little gems are much more satisfying than most sliced bread that you can get at the store, but way less filling than a bun or a bagel. Further, they are only 100 calories each and have only 1 gram of fat! They also pack in 5 grams of dietary fiber and 4 grams of protein. They are great toasted (or not); I tend to eat them with a little hummus and veggies or, truth be told, plain. Available at most grocery stores. Yum!