Written on October 5, 2011 at 3:01 pm , by Karla Walsh
Ten years ago, when you stepped up to a vending machine, your options may have included chips, candy bars, soda and gum. But snack dispensers have evolved (and nutrition initiatives have been put in place) so your diet may not be in as much danger the next time you walk into a breakroom with a crisp dollar bill to ease your mid-afternoon growling stomach!
Health professionals lie on both the “pro” and “con” side of the more nutritious vending debate—supporters say it never hurts to have better options, while those who oppose claim vending machines are only one brick in a mile-long wall of nutrition problems.
Besides populating breakrooms, vending machines are also mainstays in school cafeterias. Currently, 27 states have rules about what can be sold in elementary school vending machines, The New York Times reports. So it’s no surprise that new companies are popping up to fill the space left behind by the machines that don’t fit the new food rules.
One such company, h.u.m.a.n. (which stands for “helping unite mankind and nutrition”), sells vending machines with screens that share wellness tips and nutrition facts and only offer products that have been approved by their panel of health experts. Here are a few changes you may find:
- Swap this: Cashew Cookie Larabar
- For this: Snickers bar
- And lose: 50 calories, 12 g sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean oil (trans fats)
- Swap this: Apples and Cherries That’s It bar
- For this: Cherry Pop-Tarts
- And lose: 300 calories, 10 g fat, added sugars
- Swap this: Popchips Cheddar Potato
- For this: Doritos Nacho Cheese
- And lose: 150 calories, 9.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat)
Now tell us: What do you think of cleaning up vending machines? Do you ever buy from them or bring your own snacks?
Written on July 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Theresa K. Brady, editorial intern
Ice cream is a summertime staple—in fact yesterday was National Ice Cream Day! But sadly, the frosty treat isn’t always bikini-friendly, so I like to swap in frozen yogurt for some of those scoops.
Besides providing a healthier and practically fat-free alternative, frozen yogurt is a better source of calcium than standard ice cream, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., spokesperson for the American Dietetics Association and FITNESS advisory board member. Need more of a reason to make the switch? Many frozen yogurts contain “good bacteria” that is beneficial for your digestive system, according to Marjorie Nolan, R.D., a nutrition counselor in New York City.
I took on the (not so) difficult task of touring the yogurt options near our offices. My unscientific personal picks:
- Best Texture: Pinkberry
- Best Vanilla: Red Mango
- Best Chocolate: Pinkberry—I think it tastes better than chocolate ice cream!
- Lowest Calories: Tasti D Lite. Several flavors are offered that have 70 calories per ½ cup.
- Most Unique Flavor: Tasti D Lite’s PB Moosemellow (90 calories, 2.5 g fat)
- Most Bang for Your Buck: Certain locations of several yogurt vendors allow you to serve yourself and pay by ounce so you only pay for what you eat!
- Most Topping Options: 16 Handles. More than forty are available.
If all of those flavor and topping combinations have you feeling a bit overwhelmed, try one of these sure-to-please mixes that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
- Chocoholic: chocolate frozen yogurt, dark chocolate chips, cocoa puffs, drizzle of chocolate
- Tutti Fruity: strawberry frozen yogurt, fresh pineapple, fresh raspberries, fresh kiwi fruity pebbles
- Happy Trails: original frozen yogurt, granola, peanuts, raisins, M&Ms, drizzle of honey
If you don’t have a frozen yogurt shop near you or prefer at-home snacks, take a look at our Healthy Snack Awards in the July/August issue for plenty of healthy treats that are sure to cool you down.
Now tell us: What is your favorite summertime dessert?
Written on July 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm , by Karla Walsh
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- Craving chips? Find out which provide the most crunch for the calories. — FitSugar
- The “Kids Live Well” initiative means that you’ll have to ask if you want fries with that. — GOOD
- Oh no she didn’t! The 11 most distracting gym etiquette don’ts. — Huffington Post
- Good posture helps you handle more pain, so straighten up! — ScienceDaily
- Cigarettes on the silver screen: A trend that may be going up is smoke. — Associated Press
- Forget IT help. We’re outsourcing memory tasks—this time to technology. No need to remember when you have Google! — WSJ
Written on May 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm , by Karla Walsh
We adore the gorgeous food photos, tempting recipes and down-to-earth attitude that Kristin shares on Iowa Girl Eats. And her philosophy of “Eat Well. Run Often. Travel Far.” is something we certainly support! Kristin recently told us about her top three go-to snacks and the song that helps her ab exercises fly by.
I’m happiest when I’m: Exploring a new city, state or country with my husband. We love to travel, and the best way to learn about a new place – and stay fit while you’re doing it – is to see it on foot.
My fave fit snack: A sliced Honeycrisp apple and sharp cheddar cheese is my ideal snack, with sliced bananas dalloped with Justin’s Maple Almond Butter or Honey Graham Clif Z Bars getting honorable mention.
My biggest indulgence: Candy. I have the sweet tooth of a 12-year old! Sour Patch Kids, Starbursts, Skittles and Sour Punch Straws—I love it all!
Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: I can’t help the fact that “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” by Def Leppard happens to have the perfect beat to do crunches to…
My fitness mantra: My favorite form of exercise is running, and whenever I feel like quitting mid-run I use a variety of techniques to keep myself going. Repeating “pain is temporary, accomplishment is forever,” or “anyone can do anything for 5 minutes!” in my head always gets me a little bit farther!
Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email email@example.com.
Written on March 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm , by Sarah D'Angelo
One of the best parts about working here at Fitness: all of the healthy treats that come across our desks in hopes of getting on our radar. We’re knee-deep in taste testing for our upcoming food awards (look for it in the July/August issue!), and amidst all the piles of good-for-you goodness, I found a new granola bar that caught my attention.
18 Rabbits is a new (ish) line of granola and bars, chock full of whole ingredients—oats, seeds, fruit, nuts, honey, etc.—and lacking in un-pronounceable additives. Not too sweet, chewy and delicious, the Nibblin’ Apricot was a perfect breakfast in a pinch, especially since it did not contain almonds—a maddening allergy that I have (seriously, do you know how few granola blends and bars are almond-free??). Check out all of the yummy flavors here.
Tell us, what’s your favorite granola bar? Any other almond-free goodies that I should know about?