The Core Diet Blog

The following content was provided by Registered Dietitian, Jaime Windrow.

One of the first things that I ever learned, while studying for my undergraduate degree, was that food should not be labeled into categories of good and bad. Also, to avoid the term "junk food", when referring to foods that can be considered, shall we say, not quite as healthy as other available options. The message was quite clear: "Everything in moderation" However, in this day and age, I think that we can all agree that when it comes to food, our moderation needs some moderation!

At the Core Diet, rather than the focus being on what to avoid; "bad" or "junk" foods, we like to keep things positive. We stress the importance of consuming foods with very high nutrient density and a low glycemic index. These "Core" foods include lean meats, fruits, vegetables, healthy nuts, seeds and oils, as well as lean dairy and legumes. Basically, we want to fill our diet with fresh, whole foods that are not processed and packaged in a factory.There are obviously some exceptions to this, Greek yogurt for one, which we highly recommend.

But what to do when you want to enjoy a treat, or you just don't have the time to prepare a fresh snack? Do you wonder what your dietitian chooses? While I cannot speak for all dietitians, Icantell you that the Core Diet practices what it preaches! But, we're human too, and need to have our little indulgences from time to time. Here are a few of our favorite picks!

Laura's Wholesome Junk Food: Bite-lettes

A great alternative for a chocolate chip cookie, these are all natural, with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and are made with "ingredients you canpronounce". There are 7 different flavors, with my favorite being Oatmeal Chocolate Chip. I first discovered these at a Whole Foods in New York City, and they make the perfect snack for long days. They also provide a good energy boost! The downside is that a serving size only consists of two bite-lettes, and it is pretty much impossible to have only two! For this reason, I only purchase them on special occasions.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Almonds with Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar

This is dietitian Rachel's pick! Whether you mix these in with other healthy nuts, or grab just a few, she says this treat is a"perfect sweet and salty reward with healthy fats and antioxidants. And a couple will suffice your sweet tooth craving!"

Trader Joe's Flattened Bananas

I was introduced to this food product when I first came on board with QT2 Systems and the Core Diet. Some coaches and athletes mentioned it and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this food item that had one ingredient - bananas! This is great for when you are on the go or traveling, and it needs nothing else to goalong with it. However, if you are really looking for a dessert-type treat, lather on light coat of Naturally More Peanut Butter, and sprinkle on some unsweetened powdered chocolate and/or shredded coconut… Need I say more? I must also mention that Trader Joe's has other flattened fruit sticks that are just as delicious!

Kevita Probiotic Drink

This has been around for a while, but Ijustgot around to trying it. These types of drinks generally come with a high price tag. But, since Whole Foods is currently having a two for $4 sale, I decided to pick up a few bottles. As stated on their website, Kevita is made bycombining water or tea to their proprietary "Organic Kevita Culture" (a blend of probiotics and subtle flavors.There are 8 different flavors, and to my surprise, I have enjoyed all that I have tried so far. While I do not believe any drink can be a "superdrink", the probiotics in this drink will certainly add some health benefits to your diet, and the low calorie content won't put a big dent into your daily "allotment". This refreshing drink can be a great substitute for those times when you are tempted to grab a diet soda.

The above foods do not need to be included into your daily diet, in order to achieve optimal wellness. But,the difference between choosing these, over some of the more traditional "junk" food options such as candy bars, chips, cookies, etc, is that these items do use high quality ingredients and carry some measure of healthy benefit.Since no single food item is magical, good health and wellness is only achieved by regular and consistent dietary behaviors, in which these can help to play an active role. They certainly will not fulfill the requirements of a healthy diet, but they will keep you headed in the right direction and away from those other tempting options when you feel you need a break!

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