By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com January 17 2012 11:25 AM ET
With all the heavy meals we partake in at holiday time — not to mention lazy days curled up by the fireplace (or TV, in my case) — it’s no surprise the average American packs on a little bit of extra weight in December and January each year. Hence all the new year's resolutions to get fit, lose weight, or uncover six-pack abs. We’ve found five great new products that’ll keep you on the straight and narrow (nutritionally, that is) as you do.
These little pint-size ice cream containers actually hold all-in-one meals light and low-cal, made with pure all-natural fruit blended on the bottom with granola on the top. Ironman Thomas Lopez and Olympic snowboarder J.J. Thomas are just two of the acolytes. Many of these on-the-go meals don’t contain dairy but still taste a lot like frozen yogurt. There are tons of flavors, many vegan and gluten-free options, but I love the Yoga Bowl, which is made with mango, pineapple, banana, green tea, fat-free frozen vanilla soy milk, and topped with organic hemp granola and honey. Yum. Even better, since Rush Bowls come frozen, you can microwave them under a minute or let them thaw naturally at any time, any place (which means you can throw one in your backpack and pull it out ready to eat hours later — perfect for outdoor activities, the kid’s lunchbox, and busy commuters). You can order online or find them at Whole Foods. ($6, Ice Cream Source)
Another perfect lunchtime swap might make your holidays a bit smoother: Honeydrop beverages are a healthy line of drinks made with tea, juices, and honey. Each bottle, like the delicious Lemon Ginger Tea, has a spoonful of honey and no refined or artificial sweeteners. Even better, Honeydrop has a “Buy a Bottle, Save a Bee” initiative in which a percentage of profits from each bottle sold are donated to local beekeepers throughout the U.S. to help battle colony collapse disorder, an epidemic that threatens the bee population worldwide. Health and chartable! ($2, HoneyDrop)
Some health fiends call algae, the 2.5 billion years old plant life, a miracle drug, since studies have shown it to lower blood pressure, cure colds, aid weight loss, balance blood sugar, provide energy, protect the brain, build the immune system, and more. It was even declared the most nutritionally dense food on earth by both NASA and the United Nations 40 years ago. Why care? It’s also a natural way to prevent hangovers. But until recently, nobody paid attention. Why? “Probably because algae was missing sizzle,” says NaughtyBits founder and CEO Catharine Arnston. “Substance it had. Heck it's a nutritional rock star but sizzle, no. Algae wasn't glamorous or packaged properly to catch anyone's attention.” After Arnston’s makeover, algae is now sold as NaughtyBits, algae tablets that have the highest concentration of protein in the world (60%), over 40 nutrients, and just one calorie per tab (think green, raw, vegan, too). (Prices vary, Naughty Bits)
Love pumpkin pie but feel guilty about the whipped cream? Or are you a conscientious but frisky type who wants to give your lover a whipped cream bikini that’s also vegan? Either way, Soyatoo! Rice Whip and Soyatoo! Extra Creamy Whip are both great 10-calorie vegan dairyfree whipped toppings that let you indulge without care. ($5, Whole Foods)
A service made for stars but now popular with regular people too, Freshology will send you fresh or flash-frozen meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks — that take calorie counting out of the equation. The contestants on Dancing With the Stars eat Freshology each season, so in 2012 the company is launching a whole Dancing With the Stars diet program that folks who aren’t on TV can follow too. No points, no counting, and very little cooking to do. ($36 and up per day, Freshology)VIDEO link: