My Favorite Food Products

I’ve written a lot on grocery shopping tips, ways to save money, and overall hacks to live a better life. My life is centered around food…that is why I became a registered dietitian!

Throughout the years, I have learned so much about food, where it comes from, and what ingredients to be weary of when shopping. Did it become obsessive at one point? Maybe. Was it helpful in the long run? Absolutely.

Today I am going to share with you some of my favorite food products and why I choose them opposed to others.

  • Simply Chunky Garden Vegetable Pasta Sauce (RAGU)

I LOVE this grocery store find–and it is one that I stock up on when it is on sale. Containing 100% Olive Oil, chunks of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and celery, and NO added sugars! For 1 1/2 cup serving, there are 70 calories, 2.5 grams of fat (no saturated OR trans fat), and 2 grams of protein. *This item is higher in sodium content (Americans suggested to not exceed 2400 mg sodium daily). Why I love this product: Simple fact that there are NO added sugars and it is made with wholesome ingredients.

Ingredients: (Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Diced Tomatoes In Puree (Diced Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid), Onions, Carrots, Sweet Potato, Olive Oil, Celery, Green Bell Peppers, Zucchini, Salt, Spices, Garlic Powder)

Source:
https://www.ragu.com/our-sauces/ragu-simply/chunky-garden-vegetable

  • Ezekiel Bread

Really I like sprouted bread in general, but this bread is definitely my favorite brand because it contains wholesome ingredients and no added sugar. Would you believe this bread contains lentils…making this bread a little bit higher in protein than others. 1 slice contains 80 calories, 3 grams of fiber, no added sugar, and 4 grams of protein. There are many different types and variations of the brand, but this one is my favorite.

Ingredients: Organic Sprouted Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Lentils, Organic Sprouted Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Spelt, Fresh Yeast, Organic Wheat Gluten, Sea Salt.

Source:
https://www.foodforlife.com/product/breads/ezekiel-49-sprouted-whole-grain-bread

  • Dave’s Killer Bread

While I love Ezekiel bread, it can be a little costly. I probably buy Dave’s Killer Bread more frequently just because it is more within my budget range. The Thin-Sliced type is my favorite at 60-70 calories per slice, 3 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of sugar. This product does contain organic cane sugar, so my “bread guide” is for it to contain 2 grams or less of added sugar per serving. I typically store it in the refrigerator to prevent quick spoilage–generally lasts me up to two weeks.

Ingredients: Organic whole wheat (organic whole wheat flour, organic cracked whole wheat), water, Good Seed Mix (organic whole flax seeds, organic sunflower seeds, organic ground whole flax seeds, organic un-hulled brown sesame seeds, organic un-hulled black sesame seeds), organic dried cane syrup (sugar), organic wheat gluten, organic oat fiber, organic steel cut oats, organic molasses, sea salt, yeast, organic cultured whole wheat, organic vinegar.

  • Riced/Spiralized Veggies

Cauliflower, broccoli, butternut squash, sweet potato, beets…the list goes on! My favorite brand is Green Giant, although many of them are similar. Key to look for is that it only contains the vegetable. Steer clear of the ones containing added sugars. I love using these in cooking from mixing with brown rice or using the butternut squash spirals for banza and cheese.

Source:
https://www.greengiant.com/products/detail/riced-veggies-broccoli/

 

  • Banza Pasta

Honestly, I am not a pasta lover in general…however, my husband is. And while there is nothing wrong with whole wheat pasta (as long as you aren’t allergic to gluten), I love the Banza chickpea pasta because it is literally made of just chickpea flour, tapioca, pea protein and xanthum gum. This pasta is higher in protein AND fiber than traditional whole wheat pasta, and it tastes just as good. Simply cook according to box directions and add your favorite sauce to it.

Source:
https://www.eatbanza.com/collections/store/products/banza-chickpea-penne
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Banza & Cheese as a side dish
  • Cauliflower Crust

While sure, it is best to make your own from scratch…it is so convenient to buy one at the store! There are many brands out there–I’ve tried several, but my favorite and most affordable is the CAULIPOWER brand–you get two crusts for the price of one. There are 3 grams of added sugar in the whole crust–that’s a win for me!

Ingredients: Cauliflower, Brown Rice Flour, Cornstarch, Water, Tapioca, Sunflower Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sugar, Egg, Xanthan Gum, Yeast, Salt, Vinegar, Baking Powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate). CONTAINS: Eggs

Source:
https://eatcaulipower.com/product/cauliflower-pizza-crust
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My Halloween pizza using CAULIPOWER pizza crust, plenty of veggies, and turkey pepperoni

 

  • Sparkling Water

Despite the whole “La Croix” scandal of the brand falsely advertising using “natural” flavors, I am still on the sparkling water bandwagon.  It is an unsweetened bubbly beverage I can enjoy without all the additives found in regular soda and juices. My favorite brands are Food Lion (shocker) and Deer Park because they have a more intense flavor, but I won’t turn down a La Croix or Bubbly brand! I really love them all.

Ingredients: carbonated water, “natural” flavor

Source:
www.lacroixwater.com

 

  • Halo Top

I don’t eat this on the regular and I typically only buy it when it is on sale, but it is my sweet treat a couple times a month. My favorite flavor is the Chocolate Mocha Chip containing 80 calories per 1/2 cup serving, 3 grams of fat, 6 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Stick with 1-2 servings–don’t let the tag line of “320 calories, 20 grams or protein” fool you…while it is less calories than traditional ice cream, it is not good moderation practice to eat the whole pint of ice cream.

Ingredients: skim milk, eggs, erythritol, cream, organic cane sugar, milk protein concentrate, high fat cocoa, vegetable glycerin, prebiotic fiber, white chocolate chips (sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, lactose, whey powder, natural flavor), natural flavor, caramel color, sea salt, organic carob gum, organic guar gum, organic stevia leaf extract.

Source:
https://halotop.com/flavors/

There you have it! A list of some of my favorite products and why I love them! What are some of your favorite food products?

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Follow me on social media! 🙂

Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget

Do you get discouraged when you go to the grocery store and end up spending twice as much as you usually do when purchasing “healthy” products? I’ve been there.

Many people think buying healthier food items is always expensive…think again.

Sure, if you are purchasing the high end organic products it could get pricey…but if you are looking to eat more WHOLE foods and less processed items, healthy grocery shopping is totally doable AND you can stay within budget.

And you want to know something even better? You don’t have to shop at the trendy grocery stores to get a good deal on healthy foods…of course I would LOVE to have a Whole Foods or Trader Joes to shop at weekly, but I live in the rural  foothills of North Carolina…where our “fancy” health food stores are quite expensive…

I do most of my shopping at Food Lion-I can get good produce and shop sales. If I’m feeling spunky, I sometimes venture to the local Aldi, but I’ve found that a lot of their pricing is comparable to Food Lion.

Here are some tips on how to buy healthy foods AND stay within budget.

1. Make a List

My biggest money saver tip to you! Go in the store with a planned, detailed list and do no stray from that list. When I do this, I stay within budget. When I stray from this list, I spend way more than I planned on.

2. Shop Sales!

This is my biggest saver. We already talked about making a grocery list (for more info on grocery store tips, see The Grocery Haul blog). While making my list, I head on over to my grocery store’s website, type in my store location, and a brochure of sales pops up. I am most interested in produce sales, although every now and then they will have my favorite whole-food based products listed.

3. Stock up on sale items

Anytime I see my favorite products on sale, I stock up. Usually these items are in the frozen section, so I can buy them in bulk and save money in the long run. Freezer section items can be stored for long periods of time (if you have freezer space, of course!), so I am not afraid of losing money by the items spoiling and having to throw them in the trash.

4. Dirty Dozen or Clean Fifteen

The dirty dozen is essentially a list of 12 items that is recommended you buy organic (farming without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents) while the clean fifteen are items that are deemed “okay” if not organic. I will be honest, I do not always shop organic–nor do I think you have to in order to eat a healthy diet and consume adequate nutrition. However, if I see some of these items on sale, I generally do purchase them. If I notice produce items starting to go “bad”, I will freeze them and use them in smoothies, jams, and baking. You see, you can still save money outside of the store by not throwing away the items you bought a week ago. These items can still be put to good use! See this article by Produce Retailer to see the full 2018 list of Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen for more information.

5. Buy in Bulk

Things like nuts, flours, seeds, and nutritional yeast are all things I like to have stocked in my pantry…but buying them at the local grocery store in a small bag is pretty pricey.  I like to buy those items in bulk at Sams or specialty health food stores–buying in bulk seems pricey at the time, but it pays off in the long run.

6. Realize that you don’t have to buy “clean products” to be healthy

What I mean by this is–you do not need to buy the marketing schemes businesses use in order to live a better life. Many of those items coined as “healthy” don’t use the best, wholesome ingredients…and even the ones that do, they cost a lot (and rightfully so–the ingredients cost more). Just because something says gluten free does not make it healthy. However, I am here to tell you that you do not need them to eat healthy! Shop more whole foods, cook more from scratch, and read your labels. What labels to I pay most attention to when shopping for processed items? Added sugars, overall calories, and ingredients list.

 

What healthy grocery store hacks do you recommend?  Comment below–I’d love to hear your ideas!

 

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd
Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

 

 

 

My Fitness Journey

I wasn’t always a fitness enthusiast. In fact, I used to use exercise as “punishment” for eating what I deemed “bad”.

 

I don’t categorize food as good and bad anymore–food is fuel…but that is a topic of discussion we will save for a later time.  Today, I want to share my fitness journey.

 

By now, you all know my struggles with  body image and properly fueling my body without feeling guilt. One thing I have not elaborated on is how I started exercising in the first place.

 

I can remember being a young girl, maybe 8 or 9, and my mom encouraging me to walk down the road and back with her. At the time, I did not know why she wanted me to walk with her so badly. It wasn’t fun. It was a battle. Nothing good came from it (or so I thought)–so why did she keep trying?

I’d fight and beg her not to make me…and usually she would give up and go walk by herself. Now, as an adult, I know that she was trying to instill the importance of activity to me at a young age so hopefully when I am older, I will see activity as a part of my normal-everyday routine.

 

It wasn’t until I was in middle school that I became obsessed with my body image that I started actually exercising…my brother and I would go running together, and he would literally have to push me so I’d keep going. Was it enjoyable? No…but the post-run high was completely worth it. That is when I started noticing how exercise made my mind feel good.

 

It never lasted…we would run every day together for a week, then go a month or two without consciously doing anything physically active.  Forcing myself to do certain exercises was not enjoyable for me.

 

As a freshman in high school, my mom got us a family YMCA membership so we could all work out together. She heard they were teaching Zumba Fitness classes and dragged me to one. After the first class, I said I was never going back.

 

I absolutely hated it. Crowds of people watching you dance, mirrors in front of you, no privacy…I was convinced it wasn’t for me.
However, my mom kept taking me and encouraging me to go with her. After attending for a few weeks, I loved it! I never wanted to miss a class. It was my “gateway” to other forms of group fitness classes like spin, weight lifting, and aerobics.

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After a few years of attending Zumba Fitness classes, I was given the opportunity to start teaching my own dance fitness classes as a 16 year old and loved it. Not only did it help my fitness journey grow but my personality grew as well. It became a social outlet for me and is still to this day!

 

By the time I was 17 I was working out in the gym regularly and running on days I didn’t teach dance fitness. When I moved away to college, I started training for run-races and completed several during my time in Tennessee and California. At 19, I obtained my Zumba Fitness license and continued teaching group fitness classes. I even completed 2 half marathons and my first triathlon last year.

Since then, I’ve taught at several gyms and even had my own studio going for a while.

 

At one point last year, I got stuck in a rut with my workouts and it became so frustrating that I forgot why I loved exercising in the first place. I was running on treadmills and riding stationary bikes because I didn’t know what else to do…I was burnt out from being the gym-rat I used to be…what was I supposed to do?

I then joined a group fitness challenge group where I was taught how to build HIIT workouts using only body weight–no gym or equipment required, and I saw great results. Since then, I dedicate 1-2 workouts per week solely for HIIT workouts, and try to strength train 1-2 days per week in addition to my cardio sessions. These workouts are fun for me!  For access to a FREE fitness HIIT workout demo with full workout instructions, click here.

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You see, I was not always a fitness fanatic. It took me 10 years to get where I am today, and I plan on growing even more on my fitness journey in the years to come.

 

What inspired you on your fitness journey? It’s important to know where you started for motivation to keep growing…

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

@betterwithkatdetter_rd (Instagram)

Live Better with Kat Detter (Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube)

Kat’s Fitness: Total Body HIIT Workout

Make sure you check out my video tutorial of these exercises. While I typically repeat each round 3 times each and then do 30 minutes-1 hour of cardio (usually dance classes), you can most definitely do 3-5 times per round to get a complete workout.

 

 

See full workout instructions in image below.

 

 

30 Minute HIIT Workout

Share on social media!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media! 🙂

@betterwithkatdetter_rd

What It Means To Be Healthy

“It’s called the South Beach Fat Flush, and all you drink is cranberry juice for 72 hours.” – Regina George from Mean Girls

This is the world we live in. People going on fad diets, cleanses, detoxes, and fasts to look a certain way. This is what people think it means to be healthy.

As I have mentioned before, being healthy is not a one-size-fits-all approach. What I do on a daily basis may not work for you, and vice versa. However, there are healthy living practices that we can use as a guide to help inspire us to live a better life.

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  • Be active most days of the week

This is kind of vague, but it goes back to my point of every body being different, and we all have different goals. A person beginning their fitness journey may not run as far as the person training for their first half marathon. The body builder working toward a competition likely works out hours a day while the person wanting to tone works out for an hour…all of that is irrelevant. Do what works for you and your goals. The most important thing is that you are active.

  • Eat your veggies

…or all plants for that matter. Plants are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water, making them BEST for your body. Strive to get the majority of your diet from plants, making half of your plate non-starchy veggies at meals. Not only will it be kind to your waistline, but the fiber will help you feel full for longer periods of time AND will help keep your digestion regular.

  • Stay hydrated

This is so vital. Our bodies are 55-60% water, so it is important that we replace what is lost. Water can be lost in the obvious ways–urine, sweat, and bowel movements…but we also lose water when we breathe and stress! When we are dehydrated, our body’s cortisol (the stress hormone) levels increase–making it another good idea to drink water consistently throughout the day to decrease stress levels.

  • Limit added sugars

Women should truly be consuming 25 grams or less of added sugars daily, while the recommendation for men is 36 grams per day. On average, one 12 ounce can of soda contains 39 grams of added sugar–that is over a days worth! Added sugar can also wreck your immune system, making it easier for you to get sick. While I am not saying you can never splurge and have sugar, be mindful of where your added sugars are coming from and limit them most of the time.

  • Engage in healthy relationships

We were made to communicate with each other–as much of an introvert I am…I realize how important it is to be part of a community. Spend time with your family and friends–go out of your way to be kind to others. Socialize with people you’ve just met. Get to know someone new. You will be more fulfilled, create new relationships, and grow as a person.

  • Grow spiritually

Regardless of your religious preferences, take time for your spiritual life daily. It can be so easy getting caught up in the chaos of every day, but make time for your devotions. As a Christian, I talk to God throughout the day, multiple times a day. Writing in my prayer journal is another way I feel connected with Him, and it is neat to look back on past entries to see what He has done to help me overcome past issues.

 

What other guides do you use to stay healthy?  Remember, healthy living is individualized to your own personal needs. If you’d like help meeting those needs and want to jump on the healthy lifestyle bandwagon, send me a message!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

 

 

 

Kat’s Kitchen: Refined Flour & Sugar Free Blueberry Muffins

Reminiscing over blueberry season…luckily for me, I stocked up at the blueberry farm this past summer, so I have tons of frozen berries to put to good use.

…And so I am sharing my refined flour, refined sugar, and artificial sweetener FREE blueberry muffins. You guys, I am not kidding…these are the BEST muffins I have ever made. You gotta try them!

In this recipe, I use several of my baking hacks from last week’s blog–check it out here. 

Below is a step-by-step recipe demonstration video to show you how simple this recipe is. Enjoy muffins for breakfast or a mid-day snack! Full, printable recipe below video.

 

 

Refined Flour & Sugar Free Blueberry Muffins

  • Servings: 10 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

IMG_5385

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened original almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  •  1 cup frozen blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mash 1 ripe banana in mixing bowl. Add almond milk, vanilla, unsweetened applesauce, and maple syrup and combine well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, oat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and unsweetened coconut flakes. Tip: I used whole almonds & old fashioned oats and blended until flour-like consistency–it is cheaper than purchasing pre-ground at the grocery store.
  4. Combine wet & dry ingredients and mix–try not to over-mix to prevent tunneling (air pockets in muffin).
  5. Fold in blueberries.
  6. Spoon in 2 tablespoons in greased muffin tins.
  7. Top with extra blueberries and coconut flakes.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. ***Muffins are done when cooked all the way through.
  9. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  10. Enjoy for breakfast or mid-day snack!

 

I hope you all are enjoying the cooking demos. Cooking, baking, and developing recipes are therapeutic for me, so I want to share my passions with you! Don’t forget to tag me in your creations!

 

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd