Category Archives: WW: 3

Lifeway Kefir Probiotic Kefir Bars

Picture 331Little bugs are quickly taking over the world, and by little bugs, I mean probiotic bacteria that has been sprouting up all over the grocery market. Probiotics are naturally found in food items such as yogurt and kefir, but now companies are adding it wherever possible. The latest probiotic craze comes in the form of bars. Lifeway Kefir presents their newest Wellness bars in 3 flavors: Chocolate Crisp, Sweet n’ Salty Peanut, and Pomegranate. These bars are found in the refrigerated aisle (right next to their kefir) which ensures the live and active cultures are alive and well before it hits your tummy.

From the site:

Kefir is the cousin of yogurt and it’s roots can trace back more than 2000 years. Originating in the Caucasus Mountains of Europe where people live well past 100 years, the word Kefir is thought to have been derived from the Turkish word “Keif” for “good feeling”, probably due to the sense of well-being experienced after drinking it.

Now Lifeway Foods, America’s leader in Kefir, has taken the probiotic power found in traditional Kefir, and transformed it into a nutritious, convenient, on the go, snack bar. Lifeway’s Kefir Wellness Bar contains the essential daily probiotics your body needs, and the great taste you deserve.

The bars range from 190 to 240 calories each and are a good 50 gram size. Each bar has a white frosting type layer covering each bar. The snowy white reminds me of snow and Christmas. I think it is the kefir layer which contains all 10 of the live and active cultures. See what it looks like inside here.

Chocolate Crisp: Like the name suggests, it has rice crisps in them . Firm, yet chewy texture with the rice crisps. Visually the biggest bar of the 3. Maybe the crisps “bulks” it up a bit. Not as chocolaty as I would like, but I like the crisps in it. Reminds me of Jamfrakas. No chocolate chunks in there, the chocolate flavor is blended in.  Good balance of chocolate flavor, crunch and chew. This combination works and it taste good. Could be higher in the fiber department, but fairs a decent 11 grams of protein.

Sweet n’ Salty Peanut:  Real peanut butter flavor with bits of peanuts nuts inside. I like it and if you like peanut butter flavored things, you will like it too. Sweet and salty for sure. I like the crunch. Very good.  Highest in calories, but definitely the most delicious. My favorite flavor of the three.

Pomegranate: Softest texture of the bars. Like puree inside with bits of walnuts that seem out of place. Flattest of the 3 bars. Don’t really dig this flavor because I think I’ve been spoiled by the taste of POM Wonderful as far as pomegranate flavored things goes. It doesn’t really taste like pure pomegranate flavor to me. Lowest in the sodium content (70 mg), but highest in the sugar department (24g).

I like how the three varieties are drastically different in terms of taste, and texture so there is something for everyone. The Wellness bars contain all the 10 live and active cultures you find in the drinkable Lifeway Kefir so it makes it simple to get your daily dose of healthy bacteria. Great to pack along with your lunch. The bars taste like regular bars and does not even taste “kefir-ish” if that makes any sense. I suggest you try all 3 before you decide if you like these bars are not because the differ drastically in terms of taste and texture. What I did not like about these bars is the 3 – 4 grams of saturated fat per bar.

Chocolate Crisp: Serving Size: One (50g per serving) Amount Per Serving: Calories 200, Fat Cal 50, Total Fat 6g (9% DV), Sat Fat 3.5g (18% DV), Trans Fat 0g (0%), Cholest 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 190mg (8%), Total Carb 27g (9% DV), Fiber 1g (4%), Sugars 15g, Sugar Alcohol 0g, Protein 11g (22% DV), Vitamin A (0% DV), Vitamin C (0% DV), Calcium (4% DV), Iron (15% DV), *Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Sweet n’ Salty Peanut: Serving Size: One (50g per serving)  Amount Per Serving: Calories 240, Fat Cal 120, Total Fat 13g (20% DV), Sat Fat 4g (20% DV), Trans Fat 0g (0%), Cholest 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 200mg (8%), Total Carb 25g (8% DV), Fiber 3g (12%), Sugars 12g, Protein 7g, Vitamin A (0% DV), Vitamin C (0% DV), Calcium (2% DV), Iron (6% DV), *Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Pomegranate: Serving Size: One (50g per serving)  Amount Per Serving: Calories 190, Fat Cal 45, Total Fat 5g (8% DV), Sat Fat 3g (15% DV), Trans Fat 0g (0%), Cholest 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 70mg (3%), Total Carb 32g (11% DV), Fiber 4g (16%), Sugars 24g, Protein 5g, Vitamin A (0% DV), Vitamin C (0% DV), Calcium (2% DV), Iron (8% DV), *Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Retails: $2.00 each @ Lifeway Foods Online Store
My Cost: Free (from Lifeway Kefir Representative)
Calories: 190 to 240 each
WW: 3-5

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Filed under Bars, Probiotic, Snacks, Whole Foods, WW: 3, WW: 4, WW: 5

Amy’s Organic Lentil Vegetable Soup (light in sodium)

Picture 314Amy’s Kitchen offer wholesome products that meets even the strictest of diets and they taste just like homemade. No wonder Amy’s Kitchen products are so popular in the blogging community. The Amy’s Organic Soup in Lentil Vegetable (light in sodium) is my first can soup from Amy’s and it did not disappoint. The whole can serves 2 with roughly 160 calories, 8 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein per 1 cup serving. Gotta love the stats, right? I love how Amy’s offers a whole line of “light in sodium” options because frozen meals and can soups can be really high in the sodium department. This soup is only 340 milligram of sodium versus 680 milligram is the regular lentil vegetable soup version.

The soup is “ready to serve” so all you have to do it heat it up. I popped the can open and poured the contents into a pot. It heated up very fast, within 5 minutes on my stove. I gave it a couple of good stirs during the reheating process to make sure it heated up evenly and thoroughly.

The lentil vegetable soup looks EXACTLY like the picture on the can. I love it when you get what you buy. No deception, unless you count the spring of parsley on top. The soup is chalk-full of wholesome ingredients.  Not counting the olive oil, sea salt, balsamic vinegar and spices, I could identify each and every item on the ingredients list visually. No mystery ingredients. The soup is very hearty and not watered down. I would say it is 80% ingredients and 20% liquid. Tasted delicious! Not missing the 50% of sodium either. The soup looked and tasted homemade. Soup is perfect for the colder weather we are experiencing now. One cup of soup is hardly considered a meal so I poured the coup over some spaghetti squash and topped it with few slices of avocado. Delicious and filling meal. This is definitely a soup I would want to recreate at home.

On the Can:
Amy’s Kitchen was started when out daughter Amy was born in 1987. We are a family business deeply committed to producing vegetarian natural and organic prepared foods that taste homemade.

This delicious soup is full of vegetables including organic green beans, tomatoes and spinach in a hearty, flavorful lentil base.

One serving of 1 cup (254 g) is 160 calories, 2 WW, 4 grams of fat (0.5 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 340 milligram of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar and 7 grams of protein.

Ingredients (Vegan): Filtered water, Organic Onions, Organic Lentils, Organic Carrots, Organic Celery, Organic Potatoes, Organic Tomatoes, Organic Spinach, Organic Green Beans, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Garlic, Sea Salt, Organic Balsamic Vinegar, Spices*, Organic Black Pepper.

*100% pure herb and spices (no hidden ingredients)

When I say Amy’s Kitchen offers wholesome products that meets even the strictest diets, I was not kidding. Did you know that Amy’s Kitchen has diet plans on their website with an extensive shopping list and 14 days of your meals all planned out? Gluten-free and Vegan diet plans are all up there too!! Calories and breakdown of the nutrition for each day are included. (pdf files available on their site) Glancing at the plans, they are roughly 1,500-calories or 1,800-calories with breakfast, lunch, dinner and 1 to 2 snacks between the meals. Pretty high in the sodium department since most of Amy’s Kitchen foods are either frozen, canned or jarred, but maybe you can buy the light in sodium version of things to knock it down the sodium to an acceptable level. Good for people who like to follow plans and are absolutely clueless as to where to start  because Amy’s Kitchen diet plan even suggest that the plan is only temporary to get people use to smaller portions, incorporating more fresh fruits and veggies and later on entering a stage of whole foods as their regular diet. Good first step for those who want weight-loss or dabble in a gluten-free or vegan diet.

**Of course, those are only my personal opinions and since I am not a dietitian or nutritionist, don’t take my word for it and be sure to consult with your doctor or nutritionist before starting any diet plan. **

Retails: $2.89 per can @ Whole Foods
My Cost: Free (w/ coupon from Amy’s Kitchen)
Calories: 160 per cup
WW: 3

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Filed under Organic, Soup, Vegan, Whole Foods, WW: 3

Nature’s Path Organic Granola Bar Flax Plus Pumpkin

NP-Bar6-Flax_US-RGBNature’s Path Organic Granola Bars Flax Plus in Pumpkin is just as delicious as it sounds. I was excited to receive them as a part of the  package Leah from Leftovers for Lunch sent over. Visually, the bar looks pretty big, but it is a mere 40 grams.  Mainly composed of rolled oats plus big “rice krispies” all glued together with syrup, but it was delicious. Whole pumpkin seeds, mild pumpkin spice, dashes of cinnamon, the flavors are a bit bland but the bar does taste like Fall. The textures are wonderful. Nice and chewy, with rolled oats, but could use a little more PUMPKIN flavors. You won’t be getting a “pumpkin pie” feeling from eating this. Compared to the Kashi Pumpkin Pie granola bars, I like these a lot more. They seem more wholesome with the whole pumpkin seeds and whole flax seeds. The bar itself looks exactly the way the picture on the box depicts, stringy sugar strands and all. Although it has 11 grams of sugar, it does not taste as sweet as I had thought. The bars are all organic, 0 grams of trans fat, wheat free and low in sodium plus 15 grams of whole grains too. After you finish the bar, it does not leave you with an empty feeling.  Go Pumpkin!

Each bar is 160 calories, 2 WW, 4.5 grams of fat (0.5 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 90 milligram of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Ingredients: Organic tapioca syrup, organic rolled oats, organic brown rice flour, organic evaporated cane juice, organic pumpkin seeds (organic pumpkin seeds, salt), organic invert cane syrup, organic flax seeds, organic soy oil, organic acacia gum, sea salt, organic spices, organic molasses, organic bran extract.

Retails: $3.33 per box of 5 @ Amazon
My Cost: Free (won Leftovers for Lunch giveaway)
Calories: 160 each bar

WW: 3

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Filed under Bars, Organic, Pumpkin, Whole Foods, WW: 3

Mary’s Stick & Twigs Curry Flavor

Picture 071After trying Mary’s Gone Crackers in the Original flavor, I’ve been trying to hunt down the Sticks and Twigs for a while. Luckily, I spotted all three of the Stick and Twigs flavor at a random Whole Foods I just happened to popped into. Of the three flavors, Sea Salt, Curry, and Chipotle Tomato, I picked the most interesting flavor — curry. Not many snacks are curry flavor and I was intrigued. I guess this is a new version of their Sticks & Twigs because it says that it now contains CHIA SEEDS. Awesome! As with all of Mary’s Gone Cracker products, they are organic, wheat-free, gluten-free, kosher, vegan & dairy free and made with whole grains you can see.

When you open the bag, you can definably smell the curry flavor. The stick & twigs come in long and short sizes and are hollow in the middle. Not as thick as the cracker form so it is easier to bite and chew. Hard and crunchy. A little on the salty side, or is it the curry flavor that is giving me a salty sensation? I like these better than the crackers actually. The curry flavor is interesting. Smells stronger than it taste, but at times, you get a twig that is like WOW — CURRY. The more I eat them, the more I like it. Delicious, but I am up for trying the Sea Salt and Chitpotle Tomato flavor as well. Like with the crackers, the sticks & twigs has visible seeds sand grains all over. Imagine these twigs like a Mary’s Gone crackers rolled up, leaving the center hallow, but not as thick. Love the simple and awesome ingredients in the toss: Brown Rice, flax seed, sesame seed, amaranth, millet, whole quinoa, whole red quinoa, and chia seeds. One serving (30g) is 150 calories, 3 WW, 5 grams of fat (o.5 gram saturated, 2.5 grams PUFA & 1.5 grams MUFA), no cholesterol, 190 milligram of sodium, 170 milligram of potassium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, no sugar and 4 grams of protein. Now that is the kind of snack I don’t mind keeping around the house. I like to toss a few twigs in my salads to get a little crunch factor going on too. Mary’s Gone Crackers tweets too! Follow them @GoneCrackers.

Retails: $3.99 per 8 oz bag @ Whole Foods
My Cost: $3.99
Calories: 150 per ounce
WW: 3

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Filed under Crackers, Gluten Free, Organic, Snacks, Whole Foods, WW: 3

Wildwood Organics Royal Thai Baked Sproutofu

IMG_0614Wildwood Organics Royal Thai Baked tofu is similar to the smoked tofu in terms of texture. They both have the water pressed out of it and are already flavored and the tofu is dense and chewy. The Royal Thai Baked Sproutofu is a combination of flavors such as lemon grass, ginger, cilantro, and red peppers.  The package is vacuumed sealed and comes with 2 ready-to-eat servings. Again, the 3 ounce looks pretty small, but with all the water pressed out, these dense tofu blocks are packed with 15 grams of protein and are really filling. Eat with your stomach and not with your eyes and you will be really happy with this product. Since I feel like my meal is small when I enjoy these tofu blocks, I like to incorporate lots and lots of vegetables to my meal to make it seem like my meal is bigger. With this Thai flavor, it works excellent for homemade Thai dishes. Following a Thai theme, I whipped up a Peanut Butter Boy sauce and dipped the tofu in it. Now THAT was delicious. In the future, I can see myself using this to make tofu pad thai and tofu kabobs. You really can’t go wrong with Wildwood Organic sproutofu line — just pick a flavor you enjoy. I enjoy both the smoked and baked varieties equally. Many flavors to choose from: Baked Aloha, Savory Baked, and Teriyaki Baked. One serving of 3 ounce is 150 calories, 3 WW, 5 grams of fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 290 milligram of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar and 15 grams of protein.

The #1 Selling Flavored Tofu in the West!
Made with Sprouted Soybeans for Enhanced Nutrition

Retails: $3.99 per 6 oz package @ Whole Foods
My Cost: Free
Calories: 150 per 3 ounce
WW: 3


Filed under Fresh & Easy, Organic, Tofu, Whole Foods, WW: 3

Wildwood Organics Garlic Teriyaki Smoked Sproutofu

IMG_0613After a disappointing encounter with Wildwood Orgaincs‘ veggie burgers, I dove straight to their baked sproutofu and these DID NOT disappoint. This was the Garlic Teriyaki Smoked variety and it came out in one whole ready-to-eat block. The whole block has two servings. The portion size may look small, but they are dense and has all the water pressed out of it already with flavor baked right it. Perfect to eat straight out of the package already. I find these more filling than regular tofu and that is just by sticking to one serving of it.

The texture is firm and dense so it was really easy to slice. I chopped it up into little slivers and it made a great component to my salads. My salad became really filling and kept me fueled for hours on end with the new addition of the sproutofu. It had a nice smoky flavor to it. A little sweet from the teriyaki flavor. The garlic flavor was hardly noticeable. Definitely not oily like their Shiitake veggie burgers. Volumetric eaters will be disappointed  with these because the 3 ounce portion sure does look small for 150 calories. Trust me, these are filling. Other smoked  varieties include: Hickory BBQ and Mild Szechuan. Other baked varieties include: Aloha Baked, Royal Thai Baked, Savory Baked, and Teriyaki Baked. I think Wildwood Organic Sproutofu has become my favorite brand of ready-to-eat tofu products. Too bad they are on the expensive side and not as widely available as I had hoped. Luckily, Fresh & Easy do carry certain flavors for about $1.00 cheaper than Whole Foods. I can see myself incorporating ready-to-eat tofu in my diet in so many different ways: salads, wraps, stir-fry, etc.

One serving of 1/2 block (84 grams) is 150 calories, 3 WW, 6 grams of fat (1 gram saturated), 490 milligram of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of protein.

The #1 Selling Flavored Tofu in the West!
Made with Sprouted Soybeans for Enhanced Nutrition

Retails: $3.99 per 6 0z package @ Whole Foods
My Cost: Free
Calories: 150 per 3 ounce serving
WW: 3

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Filed under Tofu, Whole Foods, WW: 3


Picture 069I always thought Almondina are thin versions of biscotti, but upon closer examination of the package and actaully trying them out, these are no biscotti. Rather, they are delicious thin cookies, in the shape of a mini biscotti, only thinner. So thin, in fact, you can see all the goodness baked into these cookies. Almondina does not skimp on the almonds and raisins that makes these so delicious. These cookies are hard and does not soak up liquid like a biscotti would. I just got a wet biscuit when I tried to dip mine in coffee. The mix of the chewy raisins, crunchy biscuit and almonds  makes these unstoppable to eat. I love the crunchy and chewy textures combine with the nutty, subtle sweet, and vanilla flavors. The package is rather small and contains 4 serving of 4 biscuits per serving. Comes out to be 133 calories per serving or 33 calories per cookie. Does not taste overly sweet but it does have 10 grams of sugar per serving. The package comes with 3 sections with 5 biscuits in each slot. So easy to finish off 1 slot at a time. These are very addictive. Besides the original, which is their all time best seller, Almondina offers flavors in: Choconut, Almonduo (almonds and pistachios), Sesame, Gingerspice, Anniversary, Brantreats (30% bran w/ cinnamon), Cinnaroma, Chocolate Dipped and a new flavor for Fall — Pumpkin Spice. Besides online and at Trader Joe’s, which only carries the Original, I have never seen Almondina at any of the stores I shop at. Time to keep my eyes peeled for the Almonduo and Pumpkin Spice flavors. I heard from a little bird (a.k.a Twitter), that Almondina has new seasonal flavors coming out REAL soon — like January to March 2010 soon. Surprise us, okay? Follow them on twitter  @Almondina. One serving of 4 biscuits is 133 calories, 3 WW, 3.9 grams of fat (0.30 gram  saturated), no cholesterol, 8.9 milligrams of sodium, 88 milligram of potassium, 1 gram of fiber, 21.5 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein.

Simple ingredients list:
Almonds, Flour (wheat flour and malt barley flour), Sugar, Egg Whites, Raisins, Natural Flavors. Kosher Pareve.

Can you see that the FIRST ingredient is almonds. Love that there are almonds in here more than anything else. Almond lovers rejoice.

Retails: $2.69 @ Trader Joe’s
My Cost: Free
Calories: 133 per serving (4 pcs)
WW: 3

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Filed under Cookies, Trader Joe's, WW: 3