Sunday, November 25, 2012

Nairn's Oat Cookie Review

If you're like me, you're always on the look-out for healthier snack options.  Quite often when I try something new I am disappointed with the flavor, texture, or even the claims the product makes. 

Recently I was introduced to Nairn's Oat Cookies.  These cookies, a product of Scotland, claim to be all natural, wheat free (great for those of you with wheat sensitivity), and made with wholegrain oats.  They also have no trans fats, and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.  Sounded like a good start, but how would they taste?

First I tried the Mixed Berries Oat Cookies.  They were softer than I expected and had a good berry flavor.  The texture of the oats gave it a bit of crunch that I liked, as well.  Overall, I would say they were pretty tasty!

Next I tried the Stem Ginger flavor.  Wow!  If you like ginger, this cookie is for you.  It was much stronger than the berry flavor and distinctly ginger.  This cookie was more crunchy, and still had that good oat texture. 

After tasting the two, I decided that for me the bite of the Stem Ginger won out over the sweetness of the Mixed Berries.  So, flavor and texture was a thumbs up for these cookies.  But, how about the dirty details?  In one serving (2 cookies) there are 90 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 3-4 grams of sugar (depending on which cookie you choose).  A few of the bonuses include 1-2 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber, and 3-4% of the RDA of iron.  Not amazing, but it is a cookie afterall.  For a sweet snack, I'd say it's not too bad.

The biggest downfall of these little treats (each cookie being about two inches in diameter) is that while a serving is 2 cookies, they are wrapped in packs of 5.  Once you open that package of 5 cookies it's hard to stop with just 2, so make sure you have a friend to share with or you may end up consuming 225 calories!  As this tester can admit to,  it is hard to have just two.  They are a bit addicting!   Especially that spicy ginger flavor. 

There are other Nairn's Oat Cookie flavors that I have not yet tried, including Dark Chocolate Chip and Fruit & Cinnamon.  Nairn's also makes Oat Crackers, which I think I'll have to try next.  For now, it looks like you can find Nairn's products at Whole Foods and New Seasons.  If you try them, let me know what you think.  And, remember, everything in moderation!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Are You Stuck In A Rut?

Creating a habit of fitness is great, unless over time it becomes a rut.
[Rut (noun) - a fixed or established mode of procedure or course of life, usually dull or unpromising.]   How do you know if your fitness habit has turned into a fitness rut?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

1) Do I feel like I have quit making progress?

2) Do I do the same 1 or 2 things for my cardio workout everytime?

3) Have I been doing the same strength workout for a month or more?

4) Are my workouts random and without a specific plan or focus?

If your answer to these questions is, "Yes," then you are stuck in a fitness rut. It's time to mix things up! Your body is an efficient machine. If you do the same workouts over and over your body will adapt to those workouts and begin to use less and less energy (aka calories) to do the same amount of work.

What should you do to get out of your rut?

A) Change up your workout every 3-4 weeks.

B) Set a goal to work towards like a race, a challenging hike, a golf outing, a kayak trip, an adventure or obstacle course event, or something you've always wanted to try but didn't think you could do.

C) Make a plan for your workouts that focuses on your goal

If you aren't sure how to start, schedule a few training sessions at The Fitness Studio and I can design workouts and schedules that will keep your body responding, functioning properly, and moving your toward your goals again.  Your fitness habit should be healthy and productive.  Let me help you get out and stay out of that rut!

Friday, February 17, 2012

PLAN, PURCHASE, AND PREP ~ A quick guide to a healthier family

Do you struggle with finding time to make sure your family gets a healthy dinner? With work, running kids to practices/lessons/games, helping with homework, etc - it often seems like the best option is the quickest option (AKA - fast food.) However, with the Center for Disease Control recently reporting that 17% of children in the U.S. aged 2-19 are obese (and 33.8% of adults), it's time we rethink our faster is better approach to eating.

Our biggest enemy is lack of time. So, take a look at your schedule and decide what day you can dedicate a chunk of time to preventing you and your family from developing diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other obesity-related diseases. For me the weekend works best, but find what works best for you, then plan ahead. What are some healthy dinners you can make in the coming week? Make a shopping list of ingredients needed and get your grocery shopping done - all at once! Next, take about an hour and prepare anything that you can. Brown your lean hamburger or (lean) ground chicken/turkey, and cook or just season any other meat - as appropriate. Wash and cut vegetables and fruits so they are handy and ready to grab and eat. Pre-cook things like brown rice, pasta, or quinoa so that you can re-heat it quickly later. Think ahead and prepare the things take "too long" and often deter you from making a healthy meal. You will love having your fridge stocked with healthy meals and snacks ready to roll out in no time at all.

I challenge you to try this - at least once. I have a feeling you will love not having to stress about meals and being able to eat and serve something you feel good about. You just might decide to make this a healthy new habit for you and your family. I hope you do!