Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Product Review: The Better Chip

One of my biggest weaknesses in life is that I absolutely love chips!  If I were stranded on an island that had no other food but chips and salsa...then I could live perfectly fine.  However, I personally have been doing my best to eat chips more mindfully moderate.  Not only am I watching how much I eat of it, but I am now even more serious about purchasing chips that are at 140 mg of sodium or less per serving. This to me is an indicator that the chips I'm buying are low in sodium.  I am on a hunt for chips that are low in sodium, but still imparting excellent flavor and pleasure!

"The Better Chip" has a line of tortilla chips.  The varieties they carry are sweet onion, jalapeno, red pepper, and fresh corn.  The red pepper and fresh corn varieties are low in sodium and delicious. The other two varieties, which are  jalepeno and sweet onion are at 150 and 160 mg of sodium per serving of chips respectively. That is still really good and just slightly high in sodium. 

Those who like jalepenos will like the jalepeno variety very much, because it is hot. My favorite was the fresh corn variety, due to its subtle flavor. The sweet onion variety was too salty tasting for my taste buds. The whole line is really good. Just know that the chips are somewhat thick in texture. I personally like thin chips, but I can get use to these the more I eat them.

Each serving of chips does provide at least two grams of fiber, while also providing more of the good kind of fat, which is the heart healthy fat called monounsaturated fat.The makers claim that the chips are made of 40% veggies.

So for variety sake, if you're wanting to try a new tortilla chip out there, why not give "The Better Chip" a try.  Except for now, us Californians are not fortunate to have them here yet.  Hopefully they will be available to us in the future.  However, for those living in the 13 states they are sold at, you'll be able to enjoy them. Take a look at their website to see if you live in one of the lucky 13 states. You can purchase them online. Please click here.

Disclaimer: The Better Chip company provided me with free samples and products; however, all opinions are my own.

Have you already tried "The Better Chip"? And if so, what are your thoughts?

Monday, March 19, 2012


We live in a world where we have choices left and right and right and left.  What's even better is that we don't have to follow what anyone says if we don't want to follow their advice. The choices we make are ours. No one has to make decisions for us. We certainly can live the life the way we want according to our choices.

Let's begin to look at the choices we have. Going on a cruise is a great way to go on a vacation. You have the choice to gain weight from this cruise trip or you have the other choice...not to gain weight from this cruise trip. On a cruise, food is available to you in abundance...abundance with a capital A! Not only is there food in abundance on a cruise ship, but there are numerous choices within appetizers to side dishes to entrees to desserts. On a cruise, you have the choice to eat food in mindful, moderate portions...or you have the choice to eat supersized portions. No one will penalize you with a fine if you eat supersized amounts. In addition on a cruise, you have the choice to eat in a sit down restaurant or at a buffet restaurant.  On a cruise, you have the choice to devour meat-containing meals or plant-based meals. You have choices to eat healthy or to not eat healthy.  Not only are there choices for food and drinks on a ship, but you have the choice whether you want to exercise on this vacation or not.  Most cruise ships have a gym. They usually also have a deck in which you can run or walk on a track. Some ships have climbing walls, basketball courts, or ice skating rinks. You have the choice to be as active as you want to get to burn off excess calories or you have the choice to just sit. Therefore on a cruise, you have the choice to gain weight from this type of vacation or the choice to not gain weight from this type of vacation.

When not on a ship and while on land either on vacation or not, more choices await all of us. There are choices of fast food restaurants and sit down restaurants. Within a fast food restaurant, there are choices to eat somewhat healthy and choices to not healthy. In sit down restaurants, there are healthy and not-so healthy choices of food and beverages as well.  

When we go grocery shopping for ourselves and for our family members, we have choices to buy food and beverages that nourish our bodies. These are choices that would also keep our bodies strong and healthy. We also have the choice to buy food and beverages that weaken the immune system and not nourish our bodies as well. The choices in both areas are endless.  We have the choice to buy fruits and vegetables...or not.  We have the choice to buy whole grain products like whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, or brown rice. The other choice we have is to buy refined breads, pastas, and rice.  Of course, we also have the choice to eat vegetarian or not.

When we are not working or eating, we have the choice to go for a run, swim, bike ride, or do any other form of exercise. The choice some other people make is not to exercise at all. When we choose to exercise, we choose to relieve our stress, lower our cholesterol levels, lower our blood pressure, and keep excessive weight from creeping on. When we don't exercise, we choose to live with stress, help keep our cholesterol and blood pressures rising, and expand to a body mass index that is 25 and greater.

The good thing about life, is that we don't have any one standing over our shoulders 24/7 telling us this is what we should do or we shouldn't do. The good thing about life is that we have the choice to be healthy and to be energetic and feeling good in all that we do or we have the choice to simply be happy living an unhealthy lifestyle resulting in being unhealthy, sluggish, and ultimately sick. The choice is up to us.

Did you make any choices today that made you really happy?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Loma Linda University Dietetic Student Video Presentations

Last quarter we had our graduate students give nutrition presentations in which they were filmed professionally. This was filmed in our kitchen on campus where the students learn to cook up nutritious meals! All of them did an outstanding job. I have posted three of them here.  All students are graduating this coming June with a master of science degree in nutrition and dietetics from Loma Linda University.

Anny Ha-Presentation on creating with kale

Melani Sadanala-Presentation on meal planning

Zsaleh Rahimi-Presentation on garlicky pasta

If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a registered dietitian, please visit our website at  We would love to have you join us!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Product Review: Quorn Cheese Burgers

Just like some people have an intolerance to lactose and gluten, I have an intolerance to soy.  I prefer to eat vegetarian as often as I can, so whenever I can find a veggie meat product that is not made from soy, I get really, REALLY excited. I am one who needs variety in my meals and relying on just beans, legumes, quinoa, and nuts won't cut it for me to get my protein.  I like to have something "meaty" every now and then, so I am thankful Quorn came out with a good veggie meat patty.

Quorn primarily relies on mycoprotein, an edible fungus, for its protein source in its veggie food products.  However, beware, because people can also be intolerant to this edible fungus. People are just so different as to how they react to certain element in foods.  Now at one point, I had tried another Quorn product a couple times and had an allergic reaction. Years later, I am trying this new product from their line that caught my eye.  I braved it!  I was hoping I wouldn't react to it...and I am very, very thankful I tolerate it absolutely fine.  

This veggie patty is, of course, made of the mycoprotein and this time, they also added a wheat protein source.  The patty tastes delicious...really, really close to the soy patty taste that I love!!! There are 100 calories per serving or patty, with 11 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber. This is quite impressive. However, just like any other processed food product, it is on the high side of sodium.  So again, this is a good product to have in moderation.

Before you try any Quorn product for the first time, just try a little bit of it and wait to see how you react to it. Remember every person has different reactions to different elements in food. You may or may not be intolerant to mycoprotein. You might just be able to tolerate it just fine, but just double check to see.

Have you had any Quorn products?  What was your experience with them?