Well, hello there! How are you? I’m a tad under the weather today. I can feel myself getting a cold but I am mentally convincing myself that it does not exist and will not happen. Deal? Deal.
Wednesdays are great because I don’t have to rush to class after my gym trip. It felt so nice to take my sweet old time today! I kept it light with 30 minutes of intervals on the elliptical at level five. I say light because I was reading a magazine the entire time, which means my focus was on the latest fashion trends and not so much on my speed.
After ellipticizing (NBD, it’s a word), I went on to complete a circuit targeting my back, shoulders and waistline. It looked like this:
Back, Shoulders & Waistline Circuit
Rear Delt Flyes
Ballet Barre Straight Leg Lifts
Ballet Barre Bent-Leg Side Raises
Ballet Barre Pendulum Swings
Repeat circuit 3x, doing 20 reps of each move. Good luck!
*All arm exercises were done with 8 lb. dumbbells except for lateral raises, for which I used 6 lb. dumbbells.
Side note: A lot of you having been asking about the ballet barre moves I created! A video will be coming your way next month, so stay tuned for that.
After a nice and sweaty workout, I was looking forward to sitting down for a leisurely breakfast. Cereal was on the menu today! Can you spot Cornelius?
The bowl of cereal contained the usual suspects: Nature’s Path Flax PLUS flakes, almond milk and chia seeds. I enjoyed my cereal with fresh grapefruit and black coffee. Today was my free coffee day! After six hole punches, you get the seventh cup free. Such a good thing.
I worked my little hiney off until lunch time, at which point I made a new salad, inspired by Tone It Up‘s summer salad.
To my surprise, I was craving something sweet when lunchtime rolled around. This is so abnormal for me! I’m more of a savory and salty kind of girl. I welcomed the craving and combined the following into my salad bowl:
- 2 cups spinach
- 1/2 cup Tempeh
- 1 diced apple
- 2 Tbsp. walnuts
- Generous drizzle of Annie’s Papaya Poppyseed dressing
All of these measurements are estimates. I kind of just threw stuff in there and hoped it worked! Um, holy yum. I was thanking my abnormal taste buds today for allowing me the pleasure of making this divine creation. It will definitely be making a comeback in the future.
Choose Your Bread Wisely
Last weekend, my Dad and I were walking down the bread aisle of the supermarket. He was on the hunt for a new, whole grain bread. When we go food shopping together, I serve as his nutrition aficionado. He makes his selection and asks me if it’s a good product to purchase. Dad was attracted to a particular bread that had “real oats” on the edge of its slices and thought it would be a healthy choice. This was the bread’s label:
I explained to my Dad that this bread was not the healthiest choice because it still had “unbleached enriched wheat flour” as the second ingredient. His response, and rightfully so, was, “But it says ’100% whole grain’ on the packaging.” He was right. It did say 100% whole grain on the packaging.
So, What Gives?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate the terms “whole grain” or “whole wheat.” That means any manufacturer can designate its product “whole grain” or “whole wheat” without undergoing any sort of regulation process. This also means we, as consumers, can get duped into purchasing a product that looks like a good choice but, like the above example, is actually filled with heavily processed flours, chemicals and additives. There is a document used by the FDA called “Draft Guidance: Whole Grain Label Statements” but, as the name implies, it is just a guidance tool and “does not establish legally enforceable responsibilities.”
Until something is done about this, it is up to us to make informed decisions. It is as simple as reading the label! Here are my favorite vegan-friendly whole grain breads.
- The Gold Standard
Ezekiel bread is sort of the “gold standard” of breads. It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein, and almost all of its ingredients are organic. If you store it in the refrigerator or freezer, it can last up to three weeks!
- The Best Pita Bread
Whole Foods Whole Wheat Pita Bread
While its ingredients aren’t organic, there are very few! Plus, it boasts 10 grams of protein per pita and the entire bag is only $1.99. Amen to that!
- The Best Wrap/Torilla
Food for Life takes this cake on this one too. While Ezekiel bread can be found at almost all grocery stores, Ezekiel tortillas can only be found at Whole Foods. Still, it’s worth it. While you’re stocking up on said cheap-and-healthy pita bread, you can snag a package of these too!
- The Best Commercial Bread
While this bread does contain additives, it is one of very few commercial vegan breads. In my opinion, it is also the healthiest choice in your major grocery store’s aisle. It also has 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per slice. Not too shabby!
Question of the Day: What do you think about the lack of regulation of whole grains? What is your favorite bread product?