Welcome back to my Thick N Fit Kitchen! For this week’s tip I wanted to bring your attention to an important food additive that could be impacting your health and fitness results…
This additive is called mono- and diglycerides. Many food companies like to use it to preserve their food for longer, and it is commonly used in ice creams, whipped creams, and baked goods -- basically all the good shit.
But many people are not aware of the fact that mono- and diglycerides are linked to trans fat, which is an extremely unhealthy fat that should be avoided.
Mono- and diglycerides are part of the trans fatty acid family. However, because they have different properties than the fatty acid that makes up trans fat, many companies do not have to count it as being a trans fat on their labels due to a loophole (you can read more about it here).
So unfortunately this means that there are many foods that can be labeled as containing 0% trans fat, but still contain trans fat.
I know the food industry sucks. So the greatest piece of advice that I could give to you this week is to be mindful of the ingredients of some of your favorite foods, and check to see:
For those of you that are unfamiliar to how ingredients lists are organized, they go from the most used ingredients at the top all the way down to the least used ingredients at the bottom. So for instance I used to eat these Lenny & Larry's complete cookies until I realized that they not only used vegetable monoglycerides (along with palm oil which is another unhealthy ingredient), but the vegetable monoglycerides were really high up on the ingredients list (along with many other ingredients that were unfamiliar to me).
So I decided to kick the cookies to the curb. However, if any of you follow me on Instagram then you KNOW how obsessed I've been recently over this brand-new Reddi-whip non-dairy whipped cream. And like I mentioned earlier, most whipped creams from a can contain mono- and diglycerides.
But I'm always trying to straddle the balance of being healthy and human, and given that the mono- and diglycerides are pretty low, and I'm eating a low serving of whipped cream typically, I was comfortable with leaving it in my diet. But I definitely try to eat it much more in moderation.
So my Thick N Fit Kitchen homework for you this week is to take a peek into some of the foods that you like to eat a lot, and double check to see if they contain mono- and diglycerides, and how high up on the ingredients list they are. If it's pretty high on the ingredients list, and you consume a lot of it regularly, you might want to reconsider how much of it you consume on a daily basis.
I think it's so important when you're adopting a healthy lifestyle to not abandon foods that you love, because it's all about creating a sustainable lifestyle. I would just make sure that you eat it more in moderation, or as a treat every now and then.
I hope you found this tip helpful, and don't forget to follow me on Instagram to catch my next tip!
In love, peace, and unapologetic thickness!
Welcome back to my Thick N Fit Kitchen! This week I wanted to help out all of my fellow cookie lovers out there, and provide some tips on how to best pick out a good protein cookie.
So anyone that knows me knows that cookies are a huge obsession of mine. If it were possible to eat cookies for every single meal I high-key probably would.
Cookie Monster ain't got shit on me, and we can go if he wants to throw down for the cookie lover title. #CookieMonsterWhatsGood
But now that I am more health-conscious, I have to be more particular about how to indulge my cookie obsession since many regular cookies are very high processed carbs, and high unhealthy fats.
So that's when I got into protein cookies.
On the surface protein cookie seem like the best alternative to regular cookies because you're getting more protein, and more protein means you're being healthier, right?
Well, it's actually not that simple.
While a diet that has an adequate amount of protein has its health benefits, the media has actually overhyped getting more protein to the point where I believe it's causing people to self-sabotage their health and fitness results.
Getting protein is important, but the most important indicator of health is making sure that you have a balanced ratio of protein, fats, and carbs in your diet.
But many brands are aware of this protein obsessed diet culture that we live in, and often market their food in a way that preys on that obsession. But when you dig a little bit deeper into the ingredients and macronutrients, these treats are either not as healthy as you think they are, or they are listing nutrition information that is slightly deceiving, and is allowing people to over consume more than what they think.
So I wanted to provide you with some quick tips that I use to determine if I would eat a protein cookie.
Step 1: Pay Attention to the Marketing/Nutrition Info
Selective attention marketing is a term that I created based off of the psychological phenomenon of the same name. In the context of food marketing, it is when brands will feature desirable aspects of their food on the front cover in big bold fonts, and colors so as to entice you to focus on those qualities, and purchase their food.
And while there are many companies that use this tactic as a pure way to capture your attention, there are also other companies that use this tactic to divert your attention so that you are not noticing their low quality of ingredients or disproportionate macronutrients.
This is usually one of the biggest ways in which these companies allow us to hinder our health and fitness results because they get us to focus on one tree (the protein information) in a very big and dense forest (overall nutrition information).
And with protein cookies specifically, I find that they do this very deceptive marketing trick where they will advertise the protein amount of the entire cookie, but when you dig into the nutritional information you actually see that the âoneâ cookie in the pack has the nutritional value of eating two cookies/servings.
But what makes it even more deceptive is that the nutrition information only displays the value for eating one cookie/serving (ie. half of the cookie).
So if you were only paying attention to the fact that the cookie has 16 grams of protein, and then did a quick glance, and saw that it was 150 calories in the nutrition facts section, many people would believe that they were getting 16 grams of protein for 150 calories.
But in actuality, because this one cookie has two servings, you would need to double all of the information in the nutrition facts section.
This now means that you're consuming 300 calories to have this entire cookie, with 12 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, and 16 grams of protein. Now Iâm not telling you this information to say that it is bad to be eating this much, but rather that these are the small ways in which we don't see that we might be eating more than what we thought we were. And it is the accumulation of these small over consumptions that ultimately have the biggest negative impact on getting the health and fitness results we want.
So when it comes to the marketing, the best advice I have is to pay attention for asterisks, and small print. If you see things like âper cookieâ or âper servingâ underneath something that is being prominently labeled as healthy, that is usually an indicator to me that I should dig into the nutrition information to make sure I fully understand how much I need to eat in order to get those advertised nutritional benefits.
Step 2: Really Know What You're Eating
So as I mentioned before it is not bad to eat a 300 calorie cookie, but it is important to know that so that you can make the necessary adjustments for what you eat throughout the day.
I would also like to highlight that I, personally, like to pay a little more attention to the macronutrients, because macros being off balance are also another small way in which we can negatively impact our health and fitness results.
For example, this protein cookie is adequately labeled as far as its serving amount goes, its calories per serving are reasonable, and it has decent ingredients. But when you dig into the macros, it not only has an extremely high amount of fat per serving, but a good chunk of that fat is coming from saturated fat, which is a more unhealthy fat.
âBut if you were only paying attention to the calories, then you would be missing out on a very vital piece of information.
When I did Fitness Genes last year, I learned that I have a saturated fat sensitivity, which means that I have to be much more careful about how much saturated fat I have than most other people. So despite being in a decent calorie range, eating this cookie would have a big impact on my goals because of how my body reacts to eating high amounts of saturated fat.
So I personally wouldn't eat this, but the macros do seem right for someone who is doing a more high fat, high protein diet like ketogenic diet.
When it comes to knowing what you're eating, my best advice would be to be mindful of the macronutrients, and making sure that nothing feels off balance.
For half a protein cookie in one serving, I'm personally fine with being within 150 to 200 calories, 4 to 8 grams of fat, 15 to 25 grams of carbs, and at least 8 grams of protein.
For an entire protein cookie in one serving, I'm personally fine with being within 200 to 300 calories, 8 to 12 grams of fat, 30 to 45 grams of carbs (with a significant amount being fiber), and at least 16 grams of protein.
Step 3: Eat What Makes Sense, and Makes You Feel Satisfied
Overall, I really like to first decide how much of the cookie I would like to eat. Then I figure out what the calorie and macronutrient information would be for what I want to eat. Then I make modifications, if necessary (adding more or less based off of where I'm at for the calories/macros I've already consumed for the day).
So I'm not restrictive about what I eat. I don't tell myself I can't have something. I just really make sure I do my due diligence to understand what's in it, and eat an amount that allows me to satisfy my craving, but that doesn't compromise my health and fitness goals.
So just as a recapâ¦
1. Be mindful of the marketing, and make sure you understand exactly how much you would need to eat to get the advertised nutritional benefits.
2. Double-check the macros to make sure that everything feels in balance.
3. And finally, eat an amount that allows you to satisfy your craving, but that doesn't compromise your health and fitness goals.
As far as protein cookie brands that I like to eat, I have to be honest and say that I haven't been impressed with most cookies I've seen. But one that I found that kind of makes the cut are the Buff Bake cookies. I say kind of because they use coconut flour, and I hate the little remnants of coconut flakes that I feel in my teeth after I eat them. So I can't say I'll be eating them for long. But as far as macros, calories, and ingredients go, they are the only cookie brand that has been decent across the board (outside of a few marketing issues). But I try to only eat half in a serving unless I know that I am eating or that I have ate low-carb that day.
I hope you found this helpful, and I will catch you next time !
In love, peace, and unapologetic thickness!
Hi Queens! So if you classify as being a part of the human species, then I'm sure you're as obsessed with avocado as I am.
And even though avocado is considered a healthy fat, it's still very important to monitor how much of it you're having so that you don't go over your daily macro ratio for fats.
But I'm sure if you're like me then it can possibly feel even sacrilegious to dare put a limit on how much guac you can have.
How can you put a limit on such greatness?!
So to keep myself from going over my avocado limit, I like to get the 100 calorie packets of either avocado or guacamole.
It is a great way to monitor how much avocado I'm having to make sure that I stay within my daily fat limit, but it also takes the pressure off of me needing to eat my avocado ASAP.
That was always my biggest problem, and I often lost a lot of avocados due to not being able to eat them fast enough :(.
I tend to get the packets from Trader Joe's because it's right near my house, and one packet is usually more than enough for all of my avocado toast needs.
So it may not it seem like a lot in comparison to other avocado toasts. But I would say most times when you get avocado toast from a restaurant they tend to overdo it and, in my opinion, that makes it not always the healthiest.
So that's it for Thick N Fit kitchen! You betta go have ya avocado, and eat it too! I’ll catch you next time!
2 oz Serving:
Fat: 3.5 g
Sat. Fat: 0
3.5 oz Serving:
Sat. Fat: 0.5
2 oz Serving:
Sat. Fat: 0g
3.5 oz Serving:
Sat. Fat: 0.5
Protein: 17 g
So lastly, let's look at the ingredients list.
So I already really like this ingredients list because it is only 4 ingredients, and they are all ingredients that I am familiar with.
But for those of you that are not familiar with xanthan gum, here is a brief definition.
I also love that chickpeas is the first ingredient. This means that chickpeas are the most prominently used ingredient in the food. So even though it is a little bit higher in fat and sugar than the Barilla pasta, I know that it’s coming from a natural source. So I’m much less concerned about it.
So my ultimate verdict on this product would be…
I definitely think this is a product worth having in your kitchen. The macros are amazing. I love that it has such few ingredients that I am familiar with, and can pronounce; that means that it's not full of processed junk. And with such a high amount of fiber, eating a little of this would go a long way in terms of keeping you full.
The only thing that I would want to make you aware of is that when the pasta is cold, there is sometimes a noticeable texture difference that would make you think this isn't traditional pasta. But when it is hot, you can barely tell the difference.
So that's it for Girl... Don't Do It this week! If you have suggestions for foods that you would love for me to review on a future episode, please feel free to hit me up on social media (@dayshaveronica or @yesqueenlife), or email email@example.com, with the subject line “Girl... Don't Do It submission.”
If you like what you read, please share, like, comment and/or subscribe to our email list!
In love, peace, and unapologetic healthiness,
What’s up, Queens! I hope you’re ready for the first episode of Girl...Don’t Do It! YAAASS!
For those of you wondering what Girl...Don’t Do It is all about, it is my vlog show in which I will review a trendy “health” food, and applying the knowledge that I gained from doing Fitness Genes, I will decide if this food is a “YAAASS QUEEN” or a “Girl...Don’t Do It!”
So for this week's episode, I am digging into the world of protein popcorn!
So I was walking out of the gym one day after doing my daily morning cardio routine (30 min on either the treadmill or elliptical) ...
And right as I was walking by their merchandise store, I noticed they had some new treats for sale.
So I am a huge health foodie, and I always love learning about new foods on the market, especially high protein foods because I don't really eat meat anymore.
So I'm always looking for more ways to increase my protein intake (especially because protein is good at curbing your appetite, which will naturally make you want to eat less, and decrease the amount of calories that you consume. This then could help lead to weight loss).
The protein popcorn definitely caught my eye because I'm also a huge popcorn lover.
So it truly felt like I would be getting the best of both worlds with this snack.
So I’m definitely hoping that this snack will be a “YAAASS QUEEN!” Let's see if I'm right...
So first, I like to look at the serving size, which is located on the nutrition facts label towards the top.
So the thing about the serving size that you want to be mindful of is that the serving size is not always reflective of what people will normally eat in one serving. A lot of times, companies like to choose a serving size that makes their product look more attractive rather than what people typically eat.
Not knowing this could potentially be hindering your ability to manage your weight because you might be consuming more calories than you thought you were.
Let's check out the serving size for the popcorn...
Serving Size: 50g
So the information listed is for if you ate the entire bag, which is nice because I believe that this amount is what most people would consume in one serving. So that checks out. So far so good.
The next part that I like to look at is the calories, and the macronutrient breakdown.
So one of the biggest things that I've learned while going through my Fitness Genes journey is how important it is to compare the serving size, calories, and the macronutrients together when evaluating if whether or not a food is good for me to eat.
Prior to that, I would only ever look at the calories of a food. If the calories were too high, I wouldn't eat it. And I almost never looked at the macronutrients.
But during my Fitness Genes journey, I learned that calories only tell one part of the story. I learned that you really need to understand the macronutrients in combination with the calories and the serving size, in order to get the full picture about whether or not a food will be good for you.
So let's look at the calories first...
So my immediate thought, just looking at the calories, is that 240 calories for popcorn is just too high. Most other popcorn brands tend to be about half those calories...
But selective attention marketing strikes again! (And fucked up my judgment).
If we were to modify another popcorn brand's nutrition info for the same amount (50g), it would probably be around the same amount of calories. Unfortunately, these other popcorn brands do the selective attention marketing trick where they put the calories on the nutrition facts label for a serving size that makes their food look attractive, and not what people typically eat.
So with this new information, the calories listed for this amount actually checks out to me. But remember, calories only tell one part of the story. So let's look at the macronutrients to see where the calories are coming from…
21 g Carbs, 6 g fiber
10 g Protein
OOOFF, GIRL! So right off the bat, I already want to say girl… don’t do it because of the high amount of saturated fat.
Through Fitness Genes, I learned that I code dominantly for the APOA2 gene. This essentially means that when I eat food that is high in saturated fat, it is much harder for my body to break it down, and oftentimes that will result in me holding excess fat, which becomes excess weight.
So it is definitely important for me to watch how much saturated fat I am consuming. However, that doesn't mean that I never eat fat, or that fat overall is a bad thing.
Contrary to what we typically think, eating fat is actually really good at helping to curb your appetite as well. It helps to make you feel full and satisfied, and triggers the hormones in your body that tell you to stop eating. The thing that you want to be careful about is just making sure that you aren't going over your daily recommended amount.
As well as making sure that you are consuming fats that are agreeable with your body.
So the last part that I like to look at is the ingredients list. This will help me try to make an educated guess as to where the source of the macronutrients is coming from, and decide if that is a reasonable ingredient.
In this case, when we look at the ingredients list for the protein popcorn…
It is clear that the saturated fat is coming from the large amount of coconut oil listed in the ingredients.
I'm sure some of you are wondering how I know that a large amount of coconut oil has been used on this popcorn.
Ingredients lists are formatted so that the most used ingredients are listed first, and the least used ingredients are towards the end. As you'll see on this ingredients list, coconut oil is the second listed ingredient.
And for those of you that don't know, coconut oil/coconut-based products tend to be very high in saturated fat.
Saturated fat is not the best source of fat for us to consume because "it raises "bad" LDL cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease."
So in general, you should try to keep your saturated fat intake low, but if you are going to have it, coconut-based products would probably be the best way to go.
However, as I mentioned before, I have the saturated fat sensitivity that I discovered through Fitness Genes. So I really have to be mindful of how much saturated fat I consume.
So ultimately I'm going to have to say girl… don’t do it on this product. Even though the calories are in line with the serving size and the ingredients are decent, the saturated fat content is too high for me, especially given that I code dominantly for the APOA2 gene.
I love the concept of protein popcorn, and I hope that another, less saturated fat version appears on the market very soon (or at least a protein popcorn seasoning).
So that's it for Girl... Don't Do It this week! If you have suggestions for foods that you would love for me to review on a future episode, please feel free to hit me up on social media (@dayshaveronica or @yesqueenlife), or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Girl... Don't Do It submission.”
And if you like what you read/watched, please share, like, comment and/or subscribe to our email list!
In love, peace, and unapologetic healthiness,
About The Blog
What up y'all?!?!
It's Daysha here, and all my day 1's know that I live for being thick (#ThickGirlNation and millions of peach emojis).
But I hated being unfit... and the fact that most people think that only skinny people can be fit (insert millions of woman X-ing her arms emojis).
So I'm out here in these blogging streets trying to change all that! I hope you look forward to all of my infographics, recipes, and blog/vlog posts on how to be an unapologetically thick and fit chick!
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