Every dietitian can relate to how I feel when I get asked the infamous question: What do you eat? Sometimes we (dietitians) even decide to not mention our career just so we won’t be asked about food, nutrition, and/or what we happen to eat. There’s a lot of judgment placed on your meals and snacks when people know what you do for a living…
That being said, here’s where I will address some of my favorite products. And truth be told, I usually don’t mind answering food questions. I take it as meaning that you’re interested in learning about healthy eating and nutritious food—and that always makes me a happy camper :)
Being gluten free and primarily vegetarian can be difficult at times, especially when it comes to buying veggie burgers. Almost all the common brands that you find in your grocery store contain wheat gluten as a binder. And frankly, most of them just aren’t a product I’m comfortable consuming. GMO soy, anyone? None for me, thanks. Sunshine Burgers, however, are an awesomely delicious option that you can feel good about consuming.
- They are non-GMO certified and USDA organic.
- They’re 100% vegan!
- They contain NO: wheat, gluten, soy, corn, oats, dairy, tree nuts, or peanuts! Holy moley, I’m one happy RD!
- So what are they made of?? Whole grains (brown rice and quinoa), beans (black, chick peas, adzuki), raw sunflower seeds, split peas, Tahini, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and spices.
- They come in a variety of flavors, such as garden herb, falafel, hemp & sage breakfast, and our household favorite, black bean South West.
Here’s another great vegan, gluten free, organic veggie burger option! You can find these in patty form in the freezer aisle. Or, you can purchase little bags of the mixture. To make them, you simply boil a cup of water, mix it in, and form patties. Voila – dinner is made. However, they are only found in Florida. If you’re located outside of that area, no worries, you can purchase the bag mixes online. And the great thing about the bag mixes is that you can make anything! ~ stuffing, “meat”balls, ground crumbles, chili, oatloaf, nuggets, stuffed peppers, sausage, etc.
- The ingredients primarily include oats, quinoa, dehydrated veggies, organic spices, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds. They, too, come in a wide variety of flavors.
In the mood for a cracker or something light and crunchy for a yummy snack? Here’s the perfect item. This is just like a rice cake, but it’s made of non-GMO organic corn. They are quite delicious and can be topped with almost anything—hummus, peanut butter, mashed beans and cheese, guacamole, chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad…
- Real Foods is an Australian company founded in 1980.
- They are GMO-free and organic ~ labeled organic in 3 countries: Australia (ACO), Japan (JAS), and USA (USDA).
- They are gluten free and most of the varieties are free from any known allergens.
- And to boot, the company is committed to preserving the environment.
You’ve probably heard of (and even had) some of the Arrowhead Mills products, such as cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix, or cake mix. They have a wide variety of products now available, including lots of gluten free options.
- They are non-GMO certified and most of their products are USDA organic.
- 90% of their products’ ingredients are from North America, and many of them are from within 100 miles of their own headquarters in Texas.
- They use whole grains, such as amaranth, millet, barley, blue corn, bran, and buckwheat.
- They are committed to the environment. They source locally (as much as possible), they do not use pesticides or herbicides, they package in 100% recyclable boxes, and they only use water-based ink that does not contain any heavy metals.
If you’re a vegan, then this one isn’t for you. But for everyone else who is obsessed with yogurt (because it’s super trendy these days), here’s one of my favorite brands. Why is this one of my favs? Here’s why…
- They only have happy cows :) They are unconfined, 100% grass-fed 365 days a year. The cows live and graze in Southern Georgia.
- No antibiotics or hormones ever.
- Because the yogurt is made from 100% grass-fed dairy, the omega-3 content is much higher! Hence, you don’t want any fat free yogurt here. As Dreaming Cow Creamery asks, would you want to eat fat free salmon? Of course not! And the yummy cream top is delightful.
- They come in various flavors, such as honey pear, vanilla agave, maple sugar, blueberry cardamom, dark cherry chai, and plain.
- They don’t contain any refined sugar; they’re sweetened with agave, maple syrup, fruit juices, and honey.
Another great yogurt company for those of you up north. Again, they use dairy from only grass fed cows and they’re also certified USDA organic. They do use sugar to sweeten their yogurt, but it is organic. They offer some great flavors, too, such as maple, lemon, vanilla, wild blueberry, orange cream, and plain (recommended). Oh, and one of their mottos is from a pretty cow herself, who states “you are what I eat.” Hence, grass-fed dairy is the way to go.
On a side note, are you wondering why grass-fed cows make milk with higher omega-3 fatty acid content? Omega-3s are actually found in dark leafy greens, such as algae, which is why salmon has a high amount of omega-3s. Omega-3s are found in the chloroplasts of the green grass that the cows consume. When cows are 100% grass fed, their own cells become rich in this essential fatty acid. So when we eat 100% grass fed beef or consume the milk from 100% grass fed cows, we get the benefit of that wonderful omega-3 content.
We all need some chocolate every day, right? I know I do! (For real.) This is one of my favorites. Green and Black’s is a great company that believes in ethical sourcing and fair-trade products. They are certified USDA organic. You can even find them in almost any grocery store these days—and sometimes for a great sale price! They also come in lots of yummy varieties, though I do urge you to choose dark chocolate, optimally at least 70% cocoa. I actually like the 85% plain dark chocolate bar, but I understand if that’s not a flavor you can handle, as it can taste a little bitter to some palates. I also love their Maya Gold (but that one is only made with 60% cocoa), which is a flavor profile of orange, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Yum!
So there you have it folks, a small compilation of some of my favorite foods and companies. If you haven’t tried any of these yet, I think you should go out and try at least one of them. If you have questions about a particular food item, company, or are wondering about my opinion on something you love—feel free to leave a comment or send me a message.
And as always, happy, healthy noms!