Category Archives: Protein
This past fall, I became a big fan of wasabi peas. Wasabi peas are practically a bodega staple in New York. They come in these little plastic containers next to overpriced Swedish Fish and Japanese cracker mix, and range in color from bright pea green to darker green/faded brown. The peas also vary in flavor from store to store; some are sweet and the wasabi just adds a little something extra to the overall taste while others unleash the fury of a thousand suns upon your tongue and nasal passages. Unless you’re Cam Jansen or you’re purchasing the peas from the same place, you never truly know what kind of peas you’re going to get.
The last time I ate wasabi peas, I looked at the nutritional label on the back and discovered that these dear peas of mine weren’t particularly healthy. However, they also weren’t little balls of toxicity which is still pretty good in my book. But what’s good when you can have great? Why settle for an A when you can have an A+, right? Right! So when I stumbled upon Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame in Wasabi earlier this week, I decided I needed to try them out.
Oh boy is right. This post, SkinnyFriends, is a special one, because it will be my last. (Elena here, by the way.) Between my heavy happy hour schedule, the new season of American Idol, and the increasing difficulty of keeping tabs on Lindsay Lohan’s whereabouts, I just don’t have the time anymore. I’m deeply sorry if any of you will miss my posts/anecdotes/sense of humor…especially sorry for those who’ll miss my sense of humor.
Fortunately, Georgia and her usual creepily acute awareness of Kate Middleton’s day-to-day life will still be here, so not to worry! Your daily snack suggestions will still arrive every morning in your email inbox (or if they don’t, follow us already for Christ’s sake!).
So here goes my last SkinnyStory!
Recently I’ve been having a protein problem. As in, I definitely don’t get enough of it. (Who knew you couldn’t get your daily protein intake with a cup of fro-yo?!) And my friend told me that sugar cravings often can be the result of not getting enough protein! Suddenly, everything in life made sense.
So I decided to get serious about my protein. The very next afternoon, while choosing my afternoon snack at the local bodega, I only considered items that were chock-full of protein. I surveyed my options: yogurt, nuts, protein bar…all the same old options I’m getting tired of. Then, I spotted an unlikely winner: Oh Boy! Oberto All-Natural Jerky. Any snack with an exclamation point in the title MUST be good.
I know, I know, you may have some reservations about jerky. For one thing, I know it’s not exactly the most feminine treat. In addition, usually the scary thing about jerky is that you don’t actually know what it is, like what has been put in it to make it so dry and chewy?? This jerky, however, is ALL-NATURAL so you can tear off a bite while being sure that there are no weird preservatives in it or anything. And I think we could all learn to embrace the inner tomboy in us once in a while!…I guess.
Jerky is severely underrated and undereaten by us girls; it’s insanely low in calories (about 90 for a serving), insanely high in protein, and insanely low in fat. Plus, it will completely cure/kill your salt cravings.
I wish you all the best in your office snacking endeavors and I will definitely still write if I discover any more amazing SkinnySnacks!
Last night I had dinner with my friend Arielle, who usually wears a knee length mink coat but last night was wearing a puffy Juicy Couture jacket. I almost didn’t recognize her, but then she started talking about chess lessons and making Sound of Music references and I knew it was her. Anyway, at some point Arielle brought up a recent trip she took to Whole Foods, and she may have changed my life forever.
I think there are very few people who like sausage as much as I do–Arielle may be one of them, though. My love for sausage is why I love the Standard Biergarten so much, and if I could have sausage for three meals a day, I would. So when Arielle mentioned that she had found an 80 calorie chicken sausage, I was intrigued.
It turns out that many brands make low-calorie chicken sausage, but one that really stands out is Archer Farms– particularly their spinach and garlic variety. Eating these at work may be difficult, but you have a few options. (a) Cook them at home and bring them to work and eat them cold. (b) Cook them at home and bring them to work and heat them up in a microwave. Ok…so chicken sausages aren’t for everyone. But if it’s meat you’re craving (or protein,) this is a great option.
This weekend, one of my roommates went out on a date with the CEO of a very big, successful international corporation (the name of which I’m withholding not out of privacy but because it’s long and has a hyphen and I don’t exactly remember it). They first went to Armani to buy her a dress, and then he took her out to dinner. I mean, why doesn’t this stuff ever happen to me? I like Armani! I like dinner! Some girls get taken to Armani and Jean Georges, and I get to eat Mexican take-out in front of the Patriots game. SO unfair.
Anyway, so my roommate had to leave at about 3 in the afternoon for this date, and since she clearly wasn’t going to be eating dinner for a few hours, she had the good sense to have a little snack before she went. I came into the living room, in my colorful plaid Memphis pajama pants, clashing Navajo-inspired sweatshirt, and messy bun, prepared for the afternoon Sex & the City marathon, and my roommate was standing in the kitchen, hair curled, looking all fancy, munching on a mysterious kind of bar. I approached slowly, hoping that she wouldn’t be repulsed by my swamp-thing-like self, and asked her what she was eating.
“A cappuccino Larabar,” she said nonchalantly. I was instantly intrigued–she had me at “cappuccino.”
I scurried back into my room and looked up these bars online. Apparently they’re a new flavor of Larabar (which explains why I hadn’t heard of them, because I have heard of and tried virtually every type of bar–protein bars, granola bars, wine bars…). But these are seriously the perfect bar–they have everything! 4 grams of fiber (I know, I know, I’m like the fiber police, but it’s important!), 5 grams of protein so it will actually help keep you full, and CAFFEINE from the real coffee beans in the bar.
I went out and bought one on my way to bikram yog–uh wait, no, that’s not me. I went out and bought one on my way to Bloomingdale’s. It was not only delicious but also proved to be the perfect pre-shopping spree snack. Which by the transitive property or something means that it would also be the perfect pre-online-shopping-spree-at-work snack.
I’m a huge fan of the Today Show. I watch it every morning, and I truly feel like I’m part of the Today Show family. I cried on Meredith Viera’s last day as co-anchor. I counted down the seconds with Matt Lauer until Justin Bieber’s Christmas performance. And I spend every moment of the 4th hour wishing that somehow– despite the fact that I’m 23 and a half years old and have two wonderful parents– Kathie Lee and Hoda will adopt me. Yes, I know me being adopted by two 50-something talk show hosts is a stretch…but a girl can dream!
So yesterday morning, while Kathie Lee and Hoda were enjoying their weekly Boozeday-Tuesday, I was sitting on my couch scheming ways to get them to notice me. My attention was diverted though, when Today Show nutritionist Joy Bauer appeared on air to give Kathie Lee and Hoda low-calorie food options to beat their cravings. Kathie Lee craves eggplant parm– Joy suggested a baked (not fried) version. Hoda craves mashed potatoes, and Joy suggested a half mashed potato half mashed cauliflower creation that sounded delicious but a bit too ambitious for an amateur chef like me. I was a bit turned off by all this– not because of Joy or Kathie or Hoda (there’s nothing they could to do make me dislike them), but because none of the options I saw were simple enough for a kitchen-phobe like me.
But then they started talking about chocolate.
I’m in no position to be blogging about recipes. As I’ve mentioned before, I rarely cook. And by ‘rarely’ I mean you’d be more likely to find me in a Rikers Island prison cell than in a kitchen. But despite my lack of expertise (and lack of interest) when it comes to cooking, I’m going to stray from the typical SkinnyOffice snack recommendation today because I think you all deserve to know about the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard on a morning talk show.
A delicious chocolate snack for 150 calories: mix 6oz of nonfat plain Greek yogurt with one package of low fat hot chocolate (like Swiss Miss). It’s essentially chocolate pudding, it’s completely delicious, and it has close to 20g of protein. Joy Bauer calls this “protein pudding”, and call it whatever you want, but it’s amazing.
This “recipe” is easy enough even for me, and it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever seen on the Today Show. Other than this, of course:
My sister has an amazing snack cabinet in her house. I go over to her house fairly often, and though she may think it’s so I can spend time with her and her three kids, it’s really because I like to check out any new additions to the snack cabinet. There have been times when I’ve come close to trampling my 2-year-old niece, Charley, to death because of my mad dash for the snacks.
It was on one of my snack-stampedes that I came across ZBars. I think one of my nephews had brought one home from school, and loved the bar so much that my sister has been stocking her cabinet with them ever since. ZBars are the kid version of CLIF bars, and though I’m no Sam Sifton, I have to say that in every way, ZBars are better than their parent-food, the CLIF bar. It’s very possible that I’m too old to be eating a kid product, but I overlook my age when it comes to ZBars. They come in seven flavors– chocolate brownie, chocolate chip, s’mores, honey graham, peanut butter, full-moon brownie (whatever that is), and blueberry– and the only one I’m hesitant to try is blueberry. I’m a chocolate chip devotee, which is a point of contention between me and my nephew (Mac is a die-hard chocolate brownie fan).
With only 130 calories a bar, these are the perfect portable snack to throw in your bag as you’re running out the door. And they travel well, too! I’ve never been happier than the time I was starving and alone in Vietnam and I reached into my bag and found a ZBar!
As for my sister’s snack cabinet…I can only hope that her kids don’t outgrow ZBars. But I don’t think they will anytime soon: I’m almost 24 and I’m still eating them!
Ever since Georgia and I took a misguided yet ultimately rewarding trip to Austin, TX and ate a mysterious dish called an “exotic taco,” I’ve been craving Mexican food. Every Chipotle I pass taunts me. Whenever I get eggs I’m tempted to drown them in salsa verde. I’ll go out and chain-drink margaritas (well…possibly an issue before Texas). When I get this craving in the office, it’s a problem not only because guacamole isn’t exactly non-fat, but also because the mere thought of bringing a burrito into my office makes me feel like hiding under my desk with shame.
This mortification at the thought of indulging my spicy Mexican fantasies in the office is only compounded by the fact that since Thanksgiving is coming up, my usual lunchtime meat–turkey–is completely off-limits. You know, so that it’s more special on the big day. It’s like how Jessica waited until she married Nick…except I’ve had turkey before. But let’s be real–Jessica probably had “turkey” before too.
So anyway, I’m lunchmeat-less these days, and there are only so many bags of Soy Crisps a protein-demanding girl can eat (though that number, as it turns out, is high). But I realized that I could fulfill both my protein needs and my Mexican fixation with a miracle product I found: Gardenburger’s Black Bean Chipotle Veggie Burger. I know, that sounds like a lot of words, but don’t equate that to a lot of calories. One veggie burger is just 100 calories, leaving you free to top on salsa or…um…nope, that’s really the only option I recommend. And it also has 5 grams of fiber AND 5 grams of protein–these statistics don’t come around every day, people. Besides the nutritional statistics, which everyone likes to pretend don’t matter, they are just slightly spicy and taste like black beans and corn and TexMex.
The best part by far, however, is that this veggie burger doesn’t require that horror of all horrors, COOKING, which I can’t do in the office (or at home, for that matter). Just pop it in the office microwave for 45 seconds on each side and you’ll proudly be like, “Y’ALL. You’ll never guess what cool, Texan-style SkinnyLunch I found” in no time.