So why am I a lazy personal trainer?



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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How I Overcame Lazy This Week: Almond Joy

Sometimes you feel like a nut.

Mmmmmm.  Almond Joy.  Wonderful coconutty, chocolately richness with a happy little nutty prize on top.  Oh, wait, not THAT Almond Joy. 

Since my recent neck drama has rendered my workouts pathetic, I've been forced to concentrate more on the nutritional side of the health equation.  So far, I'm not declaring myself victorious in this regard by any means (thanks a LOT, Easter Bunny), but I've been finding a few things helpful in my quest to lower calories and sugar in my diet while maintaining high nutrient integrity and not compromising the all-important satisfaction and YUM elements.

A while ago I discovered the wonders of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk from Blue Diamond.  I think it was Hungry Girl who opened my eyes to the existence of this delightful nectar.

I add Fiber One to my awesome healthy homemade granola.
I'll share that recipe soon!

This stuff is rich and creamy and I use it in place of milk whenever I can.  It has 40 calories per cup compared to 90 calories in skim milk (less than half!), 2 grams total carbohydrate and 0 grams sugar compared to skim milk’s 13 grams of total carbs and 12 grams of sugars.  It does fall short of skim’s 8 grams of protein (it has 1 gram) and does have 3.5 grams of fat compared to skim’s 0, but it is the “good” unsaturated fat and has no cholesterol unlike even skim which has 5 mg. It’s even lactose and soy free for those that care about that stuff.

I am not eschewing skim milk by any means.  I still love to drink it straight with my meals, but I’ve found that Almond Breeze is a fantastic way to get the yumminess of milk in my snacks and recipes for less than half the calories and way less sugar.  My favorite ways to use it is on my cereal*, in my oatmeal and in my shakes/smoothies.  But I use it in just about any recipe.  The 40-calorie unsweetened comes in Vanilla and Original.  I’ll use the Vanilla for sweeter dishes and the Original for the more savory kind. 

Just as much Vitamin D and even more Calcium than milk.
Great for the kiddos.

I’m not gonna lie:  my daughters get plenty of sugar in their diet.  More than they should.  I try to ensure they eat healthily but, in my opinion, it is so hard to avoid excess sugar without being a cruel and unusual parent.  So any chance I get to consciously control their sugar intake in sneaky ways, I do it!  One way is using it in their pancakes and waffles (I love Trader Joe’s Multi-Grain Baking Mix!) I’ll use Almond Breeze as the liquid.  They’re also on a chocolate milk kick lately and even the Nesquick with no added sugar still has plenty of it, so I’ll mix it with the Almond Breeze and they’re none the wiser!  It at least helps cut some of the sugar.

Not all stores carry it (the Albertson’s that I shop at finally keeps it in stock) and it’s not as cheap as cow’s milk but it is so worth it.  I find that a little goes a long way when I use it in conjunction with regular milk.

One scoop for a low-cal snack; two scoops and banana
for an occasional meal replacement.

One of my favorite treats is soggifying Nilla Wafers or Graham Crackers in milk and, while I try not to indulge too frequently, I can feel a little less guilty when I do by using the Almond Milk.  It’s INCREDIBLE!  I swear, my protein shakes and smoothies taste like ice cream shakes when I use this.

I just had to share my love of this good stuff.  Almond Breeze is my new Almond Joy… most of the time, anyway!

*I used to not eat a lot of cold cereal because the small amount in a serving never satisfied me, so now I add a serving of Fiber One original cereal to a serving of my favorite cereals because it’s low cal, high fiber and makes my bowl a lot fuller for far fewer calories, sugar and fat.  Add some fruit to the bowl and it helps even more!  Yum!

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