Wednesday, July 29, 2015

ATHLETE FOODS-Packing Protein+Nutricious Nibbles -Fancy Foods Show 2015 Part 2



Even a casual shopper can't help but notice the gobs of drinkable/eatable, Greek and regular, yogurt style products in the diary or natural foods section of most retail food outlets...even notching up more fridge shelf space than sodas-at a few local, grab and go spots.


Some new offerings in that category... noticeably with less artificial sweeteners=plenty of protein, in a category with no signs of slowing down...

Form Stonyfield-one of the earliest USDA organic yogurt mass marketed brands...3 OP protein smoothies-  with 15 grams of protein, 5 active yogurt cultures-non-GMO, NO hormones, NO pesticides, and gluten free

Blue Isle Yogurt Drinks -4 flavors -joins convenient chip dip ready- Blue Isles yogurt spreads (they don't not have the MSG like another competitor)...all distributed by a second generation owned central Ca. company Karoun Dairies .
COACH FARMS-is one of the earliest local NY purveyors of delicious goat cheese---an outgrowth of the blossoming of American cuisine...back in the 80s-when USA palates really woke up to the wonders of tangy cheeses from home grown sources. Yo-Goat® Cultured Goat Blueberry-is loaded with probiotics -made from from French Alpine goats-on a Hudson Valley farm. delivers calcium/protein-a perfect post workout...easy to digest. No additives..either....and so much easier than a whirling up a  protein drink!

If there are not-there will be-Harvard Business School White papers hailing the Turkish immigrant - to the USA-massive success person... Hamdi Ulukaya -given the explosive success of his visions= Chobani-a yogurt category changer-let alone a Greek yogurt definer- that's now going to be available to kids in the USDA overseen- Federal School lunch program in public schools- as a protein supplier-sure beats thinking of 'ketchup is a vegetable'-widely tossed about- back in our elementary school days. PROGRESS!

BONUS POINTS--made from milk from cows not treated with rBST.. the creamy new SIMPLY 100 cups (we tried the Mango Passion Fruit-tastes authentic because actually has the mango fruit puree and passion fruit juice in the ingredients) are delicious...and thickly satisfying! Snack size-hits the spot.
DAIRY FREE-Protein with Pizazz
the 411...we tried-Flax and CHia Seed Powdered Peanut Butter-tastes really good-slightly lighter in color than reg PB fyi-imo on slice of toast with jam-def passes for the 'real' thing

-We are enthusiastic Peanut Butter& Co. Powdered users- protein loaded, easy to travel with (we devour our own eats before triathlon competitions -all that training-not risking food poisoning before the big day!!!), high protein (5-6 grams serving, depending on 4 flavors), low calorie powdered peanut butter -it has a creamy/slightly gritty texture-at first-so stir it well- to get the PB consistency you can eat with a spoon... the mix a 2-1 ratio -powder/water ratio-our serving size tends to be four tbsp powder with 2 tbsp water...still half the calories of regular PB.
Peanut Butter & Co. powdered peanut butter-has 85% less fat calories than 'regular' peanut butter- it's the peanuts with the fat oils pressed to us-the Flax+Chia -has a 'real' nutty flavor...good for smoothies, sprinkle over oatmeal or air popped popcorn...or spread on something with fruit jam on top.

Chi chi chi...Chia Bars are popular these days...and Health Warrior's chewy gluten free, dairy free and nut free -high in Omega 3s and fiber Protein bars were a big hit when introduced recently. Now available in bunch of of authentically tasty flavors...
10 grams of plant protein, 2000 mg of Omega 3, fiber loaded, calcium, iron and magnesium in every bar...vegan non-GMO and gluten free...handy way to eat protein as a snack. 190-200 calories---per. Our fav-pictured Lemon Goldenberry-with chia, oats and organic quinoa as first ingredient(s)
smaller Chia Bars-white chia seeds.nice chewy crunchy texture...has organic cashew butter and almonds -lends flavors/feel

NAVITAS Naturals-aka "The Superfood Company" has an entire MO to source other countries' kind of traditional powerhouse nutrient dense foods...and package it tasty well for the USA market-organic  non-GMO and minimally processed.

. At the Fancy Food show they offered up a bunch of re-sealable snacks, including the new SUPERFOOD+seeds and nuts (... and new flavors of the Power snacks, and Coconut chips)
..including protein packed, Omega fatty acids, vitamins, iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium blessed cashews (Navitas version is flavored with maca- a Peruvian root-a taste+ hint of maple syrup. IMO cashews  will be the next 'it' nut-and requires less water to grow than almonds.

What we tried and loved...the Chia Rosemary Pepitas (warning-eating an entire bag msrp $5.99- is not too hard-4 servings per at 170 calories/serving)...the crunchy pumpkin seeds-are nutrient dense-with similar attributes as other tree nuts and lotsa unsaturated fat Omega3...and is flavored with rosemary+garlic--- the right balance too...!

EATING YOUR DAILY INTAKE OF VEGETABLES -and fruits-...has never been so fun

RUBY ROCKET'S makes eating fruit and veggies as delectable as eating...a popsicle. Naturally low in calories-no artificial stuff-but NICE-sweet too-the delicious cool treats come in many flavors, are non-GMO certified gluten+dairy free..even the names are whimsically smart.

tried-Meteorite Mango-and since we are not big juicer smoothie types-we like this better cooling option ...and Ruby Rocket's actually have-in this flavor- organic butternut squash and sweet potato---it's the pineapple+passion fruit juice, mango fruit puree and Monk fruit extract that gives it the sweetness. Each Meteorite Mango pop has only 30 calories and delivers 20% recommended Vitamin A and some Vitamin C and iron. Terrific products -widely available including our local Westside Market :-)
LOVE BEETS---we gushed about their juice...well these chewy bars are absolutely terrific-we are bummed we only took one sample to try. Kid friendly the Beet+Apple bar has the mouth melting chewy crunchy texture of any snack bar with fruit pastes- dried fruits-sunflowers/pumpkin seeds in the ingredients-but amazingly these moist bars have 2 beets per bar-and are slightly sweet so adult friendly too. Protein, fiber and all the beneficial -muscle recovery benefits of beet juice (the first ingredient listed is beet juice concentrate). 170 calories-7 grams of protein and 10% iron-8 grams of dietary fiber -and magnesium, selenium, manganese, folate and potassium-great combo in one easy to eat bar- for post workout treat.

We had no idea what to expect-but YOU LOVE Veggies (and the You Love Fruit )-are really FUN to eat-both are heart shaped chewy moist  leathers- and inside the bag-are stuck on strips like those dot candies - rolled fruits.

YOU LOVE VEGGIES-50 calories per serving-2 servings per bag-has Vitamin A and C...and some dietary fiber...tastes great too-organic apple pulp and organic beet puree and juice---with hint of organic coconut and organic cinnamon.

Philippine Brands...takes out the added sugars and sulfites in chewy Dried Mangoes. We wish all dried fruit offerings from this company and everyone else- followed suit! Sweet moist texture-did not have the gritty of some 'natural'dried fruits-but has the same good for you fiber and vitamin C. Widely available.

What's the deal with KALE...particularly dried kale? It took just one bite of Pacific Northwest Organic Kale Chips---(several flavors available-including the devoured fast-Olive Oil and Salt)- and we finally got it.  Pretty close to the perfect if you need a crunchy chip...but Kale Chips like this...are lower in calories (124/serving), have protein (5 grams), dietary fiber, loads of Vitamin K and C...and other vitamins+iron. 
Pacific NorthWest Organic Kale Chips...locally sourced kale...USDA organic...with added organic cashews, organic nutritional yeast, organic olives, organic olive oil and sea salt-plus recyclable packaging from Certified B Corporation. Organic, vegan, raw, gluten free and fantastic. Bunch of different flavors

SPORTS BEANS by JELLY BEANS- a 7th generation family owned biz with over 100(!!!) flavors...has three sporty offering-sports energizing, extreme energizing with electrolytes (sodium+potassium) and vitamin B+Cs and Sports Bean protein recovery chips-with 10 grams protein from whey+pea protein/serving and Vitamins B+D and calcium.
Potato chip competition...
Pirate's Booty was a category revolution-izer for popcorn for the masses---but since we can air pop popcorn fairly easy-it's these Carrot Snacks that are like on our speed dial. Reminds us of- the indulgent but weirdly leaves an orange tint on fingers- Cheese Doodles-but these airy puffs are clearly better- these featherweight crunchy, very slightly salty snacks are a revelation...baked so not greasy, gluten free, non-GMO, no trans fat, and no artificial colors or flavors or preservatives...
CARROT SNACKS...Vitamin A (20%) per serving-plus some calcium, iron and vitamin c...130 calories/serving
the 411-Pirate's Booty Carrot Snacks... a snack like crunch that is great..made from real cornmeal and dried carrots $3.19
another airy puff on the snack scene BEANITOS puffs -The Original Bean Snacks™-have 3 flavors of these crispy fun bites-4 grams of dietary fiber+protein 6 grams/serving-from whole navy beans at its first ingredient!!! (really-and bonus they're low glycemic and naturally gluten-free) and long grain rice-transformed into this fab eats...a revelation ---

picture ©Katy the Epsy's-Tracy she eats well

Other Fancy Food Show 2015 Posts:
Convenient Eats: Part One

Monday, July 27, 2015

ATHLETE FOODS-Packing Protein-Fancy Foods Show 2015 Part 1


THE amazing Fancy Foods Show 2015----is a delectable gorgethon---but as athletic types who would like to sweat it out-on the lighter side --- fortunately there were many nutritious, protein delivering products-often in portion controlled-single serve packaging = convenient, portable, and ounce per ounce-good for you.

Wonderful Pistachios-"Get Crackin'' 100 calorie packs so HANDY and satisfying. They're we know these are super fresh! Now available in Sweet Chili and no salt  flavors---options in bag sizes-sold all over the USA....

Nuts-particularly water intensive almonds (grown in California)---are on the 'it' list of nutritious musts...(right there with kale--- a later post)...our fav-easily-is the pistachio nut- grown in America too!

wholesalers get lucky-heaven-5 lb bags-by BAZZINI's 
Nutrition wise-a satisfying serving (about half cup with shells) has 160 calories-takes a while to eat too-can't just inhale these...on board/per serving---6 grams of protein, healthy fats, iron, potassium, thiamin, minerals like manganese, magnesium, copper-and phosphorous, plus Vitamins B6, A, and calcium. No wonder the trade group, the American Pistachio Growers Association
has so many pro athlete brand ambassadors.

Nature's Joy-a California purveyor pistachios -including re-sealable 100 calorie packs in shells+salted

We wrote up manly snacks from last year's Outdoor Retailer show-since then- this category (and media coverage there-of) has blown up-with new spices, styles of bites,  and kinds of shelf-stable meats ---available in protein packed -snack sized re-sealable pouches/bags-made in the USA too.

EPIC was at the Fancy Food Show with a slew of new made in the USA products...all serious protein packed, with iron+CLA + even some vitamins/minerals (varies per flavor).

EPIC...has a slew of chewy textured bites---pictured-sweet+savory Uncured Bacon (Pork+Sea Salt), currant and sesame BBQ spicy Chicken Meat, and uncured bacon- chia seeds and golden raisins Bison Meat-has a slight nutty/sea salty full flavor (celery seed+vinegar) according to our tester-aka a brother....who loves Bison products! Available online---and also available in snack pack sampler too.
ALL=Paleo friendly-sourced from animals-raised without growth hormones, or added antibiotics...on non-GMO feed.
as one can see-EPIC's understandable ingredients list, protein packed-9 grams at 100 calories. No wonder this food category has taken off. Also with iron, vitamin B12
the EPIC BARS...high protein snacks come in 9 flavors...including mild tart- spicy Chicken Sriracha...the 'it' pepper---on far right-others Chicken Sesame BBQ, Bison Bacon Cranberry, Uncured Bacon-with protein per ranging from 11-15 grams. Online 12 bars/$30-which is good price for power packed snack bars
VERMONT Real Sticks...gluten free, low fat and lower salt and way less sugar that  best selling sports bars kind of preservatives either-great for those allergic to sulfites...even has the name of its farm sources on the website
several flavors and sampler packs -available online
A woman founded- led business (KaiYen Mai)...FUSION JERKY-in re-sealable pouches (8 flavors) are a hit with our upstate hiking pals...high protein (9-10 grams/serving), richly-flavorably, layered levels of sophisticated spices, and made in the USA $6.99/3oz bag.
no nitrates, MSG or preservatives, Fusion Jerky is gluten free-PALEO friendly

Chipotle Lime Artisan Beef Jerky

Rosemary Citrus Artisan Turkey Jerky

8 flavors available online-pictured the 3 flavors our pals inhaled with cold beer post serious hike-including a chewy satisfying -Island Teriyaki Artisan Pork Jerky

Stuart & Co. Beef Jerky

Golden Valley USDA Organic Beef Jerky-gluten free, non-GMO certified-sourced from Idaho
NEW TREND: Fish Jerky

We saw-tasted Salmon Jerky from Ruby Bay ...and at the Editor Showcase...a western North Carolina, third generation owned Sunburst Trout Farms served up a tasty -salty/peppery -chewy Jennings' Trout Jerky-a serious protein source that non-meat eaters (and there are loads of 'em-hence we feel a new product category ready to sell well). 2oz/$6.99
Sunburst Trout-

 Another treat---caviar-is not sourced the way it used to be when we were kids...due to over-fishing---so now affordable, sustainable USA sources abound and are delicious...and of high quality.
   Sunburst Trout Caviar

SUNBURST Trout original ---but the blood orange and smoked are flavor-accurate too. Goes well with the bubbly...
BONUS-farm raised, certified lab tested free of PCB's, Mercury, or any pesticides, no antibiotics, hormone and animal by product free. They ship too...

We were so excited to see FORTE High Protein Gelato-on our way out on Day 2---on some random aisle-we kept the exhibitor there past the 6PM closing. Wanted a case delivered immediately as currently not sold where we shop (BUMMER)-and we want every flavor too. (Espresso, Vanilla -from real deal Fair Trade organic Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, Chocolate, Ginger-organic sourced). The protein 15 grams a serving/140-160 calories ---is made from rBST-free milk protein-delivers loads of calcium.  In fact, Forte Gelato has 5 times the protein of traditional gelato or ice cream -even more than Greek yogurt...per ounce comparison. WOW. 
fabulous Forte High Protein Gelato-is creamy, has rich will not feel deprived eating these--and each serving only has 2.5 grams of fat. FYI-founded by an entrepreneur who literally had serious health issues like few others-and was inspired to create healthy nutrition.

Forte Gelato...

Other Fancy Food Show 2015 Posts:

Sunday, July 26, 2015

ATHLETE DRINKS-Fancy Food Show 2015



The last hour of the last day of the massive Fancy Food Show (Javits Convention Center)- yielded an interesting convo. It took place on a shuttle bus from the Javits Convention Center ---with a late 50s- 60 something woman who was in  charge of wholesale food/beverage purchases for a large mainstream and smaller upscale chain of stores in the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast regions...which had her and her team- walking the aisles of the show, sampling away. Physically, she reminded us of a gal at our gym---who explained to us her 30-35+ 'extra' pounds-at a rate of 2lb/year after having kids...

SO---surprise surprise, when we asked her what was the one thing she ate/drank herself-that might surprise people - her answer...."I've been eating exclusively gluten free, non-GMO, organic the past two weeks and have noticed a huge difference in how I feel and the superior qualities and tastes of the foods.

This Boomer group gal was initially inspired by a friend with food allergies...but in turn, her thoughts... made us very aware that it's not just athletes-or the coveted consumer millennials- who believe in 'you are what you eat.'

The majority of 'Fancy Foods' have noticeably embraced those trends of 'clean' ingredients, transparency of food/ingredient sources, non-GMO (especially if a USA company-it's banned in Europe), and healthier indulgences-often USDA organic. Another we'd like to see more of trend-eco-packaging including recyclables+ BPA free lining/plastic.BRAVO.

SOME HIGHLIGHTS-drinks for athletes:

Hydrating coconut water -naturally loaded with electrolytes/potassium has been gettin' the love by sweating athletes lately-supplying electrolytes, potassium, sodium and acclaimed anti-fatigue nutrients that can help  reduce muscle soreness...BUT... we hate the taste and don't appreciate the high calorie count. (Note: we always JUST SAY NO TO SPORTS DRINKS-even during long distance tri competitions).

 What's new=VERY fabulous-Maple Water -with the same natural benefits of hydration & of electrolytes/potassium/manganese/some sodium, but wayyy better tasting-naturally sweeter, zero fat and cholesterol- vegan -and with less than half the calories of the aforementioned (20 calories/250mL serving size). YAYY.

SEVA-pure Maple Sap is NAPSI certified, 100% renewable, gluten-free,  and USDA organic so GMO free, preservative free-dairy free -and naturally blessed with 46+ nutrients (minerals, amino-+organic acids, phytohormones, polyphenols, pre-biotics, electrolytes)-from forests of St. Laurentian forests, Quebec, Canada. BONUS POINTS in Tetrapaks=eco friendly! Taste great-def drink chilled has a refreshingly slight sweet maple taste. Available world USA at Fairways, Fresh Farms, Shop Rite plus many other spots including Amazon
Maple water is tapped from a maple tree the same way the syrup is---hence the two companies happily discovered- are sourced out of Canada and Vermont.

FYI: on workouts of 3+hours in humid heat the sodium gets upped from other sources...BUT we wish maple water was at water stations-the races we do.

DRINK MAPLE is available in 250mLs-in 3 packs ($8) or case of 12($28)...cartons and 12oz bottles-case of 12 is $36 (plus flat rate $12 shipping) or available on AMAZON and brick+mortar retailers in northeast including our nearby Urban Outfitters (!)
Drink Maple is similar to the above SEVA-also-USDA organic= non-GMO, no preservatives, dairy free, naturally loaded with electrolytes, minerals, amino-+organic acids, pre-biotics, anti-oxidants, phytohormones, polyphenols---and needed potassium, manganese, fat free, no cholesterol -and seriously hydrating.


BONUS:loved meeting the duo that launched this brand as they both did the mother-of-all full Ironman triathlons-KONA.

 Growing up drinking the heralded NYC  tap water- (one of the very few USA spots -not mandated to filter-by the Feds)-we never 'got' the bottled water thing-until we started traveling-first to LA-then- around the country, and overseas. Different (yech) tastes caused those purchases. Upshot- waters everywhere -including the bottled kinds -have varied savoury qualities-like other products of terroir -including(wine).

From the PR rep-we learned that the award-winning-water, Pedras-from Portugal -that's naturally refreshing, and naturally lightly carbonated, together-with international water connoisseur Michael Mascha of Fine Waters, hosted a water comparison tasting, sampling Pedras, Perrier, Voss Sparkling, and Vichy Catalan at the  Fancy Food Show...with different tastes, duly noticed.

IMO-  Pedras favorably compares to Badoit (a major compliment)...with its effervescent fabulous-ness that's very hydrating- imo-better than just plain water after a major sweat fest of a workout. The subtle hint of natural teeny tiny bubbles (characteristic of only 0.5% of the world's sparkling waters)...lends to the distinctive mineral taste. Really refreshing...available in the USA at Shop Rite.

from Iceland-Tynant water comes in beautiful bottle designed by Welsh born Ross Lovegrove - a curvaceous PET holder pretty enough to double as a vase
Lacoste's Water Is Life Earth Day tee-sale proceeds benefit Everglades Foundation

Alor® Aloe Vera water with aloe vera chunks (small)...interesting
WATER isn't the only drinks we sampled...that are athletically favored with flavor...

Aloe Vera juice is known for its healing properties-and is fairly mainstream -dermis-wise-to soothe/smooth skin, applied topically. As a supplement and in water (2-3 tbsps of pure gel/juice mixed in with a glass of....) is supposed to help regulate blood sugar levels, detoxify (with amino acids, vitamins+minerals calcium, copper, chromium, selenium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, manganese and zinc), and support the immune/digestive system.

At an Editor's Showcase-we tried out CLOR® an import from Thailand ...that has an interesting taste -not too sweet...with tiny tiny chunks of aloe vera in the easy to drink mix...and the benefits of aloe vera=made easy.

Regulation consumption of tart cherry juice is recommended by scores of nutritionists, coaches and athletes-to aid muscle recovery, and meaningfully reduce inflammation- so we were jazzed to see an invite arrive in our inbox to meet the identical twins- NFL players and Cheribundi Brand Ambassadors, Devin (cornerback for N.E Patriots) and Jason McCourty (cornerback for Tennessee Titans and one of NFL's leaders in passes intercepted!!!!)

Devin and Jason McCourty-were already drinking cherry juice before this now 3 years+ stint as brand ambassadors for
Cheribundi -  a fresh-pressed tart cherry juice made from a proprietary juicing process developed by scientists at Cornell University to yield peak antioxidant levels.

tastes really good-imo-not too sweet or tart (130 calories-per 2oz serving- 4 servings in 8oz bottle)...and so we were told-regular consumption of tart cherry juice is reported to reduce post-exercise muscle and joint pain with anti-inflammatory benefits that may reduce pain from gout and arthritis, and  have an extensive list of heart health benefits. 
FYI-the teeny tiny chicken pox scar -in different spots aid in telling them apart-plus on first impression- imo they had different personalities.

NOTE: we had to ask...their percentage of body fat...answer from Jason McCourtney-in college-he felt the measurements were more accurately tested-he came in at 8%...but at the pro facility...the number is 4%. HOLY MOLY.

Cheribundi products include five functional tart cherry juices, four Fruit Refresh blends, three Tea Refresh blends and Black Cherry Juice. Available nationwide in grocery, natural and specialty retailers, including Kroger, Walmart, Safeway, Whole Foods, Rite Aid, Wegmans, The Fresh Market, and more

We once read a piece written by a nutritionist at the Olympic training facility in Colorado Springs---that recommended two nutrition musts for her athletes-beet juice-with Betalain that's anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and in the juicer world-is supposed to dissolve inorganic calcium deposits whose presence can cause a slew of negative ailments.(Fyi-the other tip- Beta Alanine-a supplement).

USDA Organic Love™ Beets---has that naturally sweet beet juice taste-we like it a lot and is a convenient way to drink this healing juice-vs opening loads of cans of beets and draining, or juicing whole beets..naturally gluten free, no preservatives or added sugars. A version comes paired with cherry juice.Widely available.

The Chosen Foods 'divinely' named made us laugh...but it is a company with many chia centric products including a handy USDA organic packet of Chia Slims...adds a bit of nutty and crunchy taste,  a very subtle sweetness (organic coconut sugar), some spice-but imo not strong, plus-with healthy Omega-3 ALA 932 mg-and only 45 calories. Add it --- to water, juice -or in our case, ginger tea. Sold in box of 10...these 100% organic enhancers are of course, non-GMO, gluten free, pesticide free....and hit the spot after a particularly long run that helped fill us a bit so we could stretch afterwards---without the usual hunger pains.

also has some other nutrients-
Other Fancy Food Show 2015 Posts:

 Better Crunches-Better Snacks: Part One, Part Two
Better Crunches-Part Three
Classy Condiments
Premier Chocolates+Caramels: Part 1Part 2