Mar 25, 2010

Guest Post: Laptop Lunches by Amanda from Lunchbox Limbo

I have so much to tell all of you!  First of all, I apologize for neglecting my blog as of late.  Between 3 sick kids, a stray cat who decided to give birth in my garage, and a crisis at work, blogging, as much as I love it, hasn't made it into my busy days lately.  But I'm making it up to you with an awesome guest post from Amanda at Lunchbox Limbo.  She comes up with the most amazing, healthy, and fun lunches for her kiddos and she agreed to blog about a product she loves, the Laptop Lunches lunch box.  Enjoy!

"We love our laptop lunchboxes.   The kids love the different containers and fun colors.  I love the ease of cleaning, that the containers are SAFE (BPA free), how they conserve excess lunch trash and how they allow me to be creative with lunch!  It was a big transition at our house at the start of the school year, but Icky school lunches don't compare to packed lunches anymore!!  Lunch from our house is so much more than a bunch of prepackaged items thrown into a sack.  At our house, lunch is healthy and fun! 

Many adults use and love these boxes, since they really help with portion control and variety in your meal.  In our house though, the kids have taken them over!  They have really helped make lunch fun, exciting and healthy.  Having the food out of any packaging forces me to really see what I feed my children.

Laptop Lunchboxes, made by Obentec, Inc. are available directly through the manufacturer at www.laptoplunches.com.  Use the code - LunchboxLimbo at checkout to receive 10% off of your order!"  

Ok, it's me again.  Aren't those the coolest?  I love how Amanda's lunches are incredibly nutritious, fun, and filling.  Bento boxes, of Japanese origin, have been around for a long time, but are becoming more and more popular because of the natural portion control built right in to each container.  Laptop lunches makes bentoware fun and functional as each piece has it's own tight fitting lid so you can pack salad dressings and dipping sauces with no worries about spilling.  The Bento Set 2.0 sells on the website for $24.99, but don't forget about the coupon code!  Thanks for the great guest post, Amanda!

I've got a couple great products that I'm trying out for you.  Hopefully life will give me a bit of a break so I can tell you all about them.  Have a great weekend!

Mar 18, 2010

A Quick $$ Saving Tip

A friend of mine gave me this tip, so many thanks to her!!!

Question:
What do you do with a new kind of hair conditioner that you bought on a whim, but then realized it's awful stuff and a huge waste of money???

Do you...
A.  Use it anyway and walk around with hair that feels like straw so you don't waste the money you spent.
B.  Let it sit in your shower for months because you feel too guilty to throw it away and waste the money you spent.
C.  Say, "To heck with it!" and throw it away and waste the money you spent.
D.  Shave your under arms and legs with it.

I'm not going to tell you the correct answer, but I will tell you that, I'm now saving a bundle on shaving gel and the huge bottle of Pantene conditioner in my shower is actually getting used up! 

Do you have a favorite product that works great for something other than for what it's intended?

Mar 15, 2010

Soy Wrappers = I Like Sushi

Living in southern California is great!  The year-round sun, the beach, the humongous budget deficit...sigh.    Well, if you leave politics out of it, SoCal is a pretty great place to live, and I've always felt at home here.  But there's one thing that in the last several years has made me feel a little like a fish out of water.
I don't like sushi, not even California rolls. (gasp!)

Being a southern Californian who doesn't like sushi, I never hear the end of it from my sushi-loving friends.  I've even felt the disdain within the walls of my own home.  My foodie husband loves the stuff and has his own sushi making paraphernalia, but rarely makes it because his unsophisticated spouse won't eat it.  Maybe it's because when I was growing up, the only kind of fish I was ever served was frozen, breaded, and in the shape of a stick. 

In desperation, Hubby began looking for a way to make sushi more appealing to me, trying out different, more mild ingredients as the innards, but to no avail...until he brought home these:

These colorful wrappers are made out of soy beans and are also called soybean paper or mamenori.   The vivid colors are courtesy of natural ingredients like spinach, turmeric, and paprika.   Once I tried them, I realized that what I disliked about sushi was not what was on the inside, but on the outside.  Nori (or seaweed) sheets that are traditionally used to wrap sushi have a distinct fishy taste that I just could not get past.  Soy Wrappers have a pleasantly mild flavor that doesn't overpower the flavors of what's wrapped inside.

 Check out these vegan Easter eggs using mamenori from Vegan Lunch Box.  So cute!

Each wrapper contains only 20 calories and they can be used for much more than just sushi rolls.   With a little creativity, a soy wrapper can become the base for appetizers, sandwiches, or desserts.   Soy Wrappers are available at most major grocery stores and Asian markets as well as online for around $3.30 for 5 sheets.  Have fun!


Mar 10, 2010

Happy Registered Dietitian Day! I Wrote A Song About It

I'd like to give a big shout out to all of my fellow RD's out there and wish the rest of you a very healthy and happy day.

In celebration of this extremely important holiday, I wrote a song.  Yes, I am that talented.  I hope you like it.

You Are What You Eat
by Angie
(Sing to the tune of Yellow Submarine)

You are what you eat
from your head down to your feet
head down to your feet
head down to your feet

Eating good food will really
put you in the mood
put you in the mood
I hope that's not too crude

Eat lots of whole grains, legumes and beans,
if you want to look hot
inside your jeans

Snack on veggies and yummy fruits
and you'll love trying on
your bathing suit
(NOT)

You are what you eat
from your head down to your feet
head down to your feet
head down to your feet

Remember to enjoy
an occasional treat
we all need to cheat
to make our lives complete, HEY!

Grammys, here I come!

Mar 8, 2010

Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Brownie Mix

I'm always wary of food products whose labels bear claims like "reduced guilt" because it implies that I can scarf down the entire contents with abandon, and not regret it in the morning.  Even though you and I know that's not true, I still just had to test it out.  Ha ha, gotcha!!!  You thought I seriously ate the entire pan of brownies!!  Silly you, I only ate 75% of the pan of brownies.  Big difference!  

Ok, I'll admit I fell off the calorie wagon a bit that day, and despite the "reduced guilt" claim on the box, I still felt pretty guilty about it. 

Now, I know what you're thinking.  "You're a dietitian!  You should know better!"  Well yes, but knowing and doing are two different things entirely.  You see, dietitian or not, I have sweet tooth the size of Willy Wonka's Chololate Factory and so I typically keep foods like brownies completely out of the house until the weekend, when as a family, we enjoy a treat together.  It's typically gone by Monday morning, or we throw it away.  But, this particular box of brownie mix had been sitting on my kitchen counter staring at me for several days until I finally caved, baked it up while my kids and hubby were gone, and ate most of it before they even knew it existed.  Take home lesson: put the stupid box away in the cupboard where it can't be seen!

Now that I'm done confessing, I guess I'll let you know what I think of this product.  Thanks to the vanilla yogurt, which is the only ingredient added to the mix, the brownies were extremely moist and fudgy.  They also had a nice strong chocolate flavor, which is a brownie must in my opinion.  My main complaint was that the sweetness factor was cranked up a bit too high.  Not surprising, considering the #1 ingredient listed is sugar.  However, for a fat-free brownie, these were definitely a good substitute for the real thing and not at all rubbery as most fat-free baked goods are. 

Bottom line:  If you are looking to have a brownie and save a few calories or fat grams, Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Brownie Mix is a good way to go.  However, if you're concerned more about sugar or carbohydrates, just make your own and reduce the sugar by 1/4 to 1/3.  They'll turn out great.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go run off some guilt.


 
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