As promised from Tuesday’s post, today I’ll be sharing with y’all some food products I’ve loved thus far in my new lifestyle. As a recap, I am now living a gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free day-in-day lifestyle. I only plan on breaking my guidelines for special occasions or emergency situations. I’ve decided to start a new series called The Friday 10! It will be a blog post on Fridays talking about 10 things I love from the past week relating either to food, exercise, fashion, life, adulting tips, etc. Here are 10 food products (in no particular order) I love that help make my new lifestyle easier and enjoyable!
(Disclaimer: none of these products are sponsored; this is just my own personal opinion of the products)
I first found these at Trader Joe’s (naturally). At my local store, they sell them near the rest of the power bars and cereals for $1.19 each. On a Sunday after church, I headed down to TJ’s for a few groceries for the week and since I had no breakfast that morning I was quite hungry. I had seen this protein bars all over social media and decided to test one out. I think if I had to buy a whole box I wouldn’t have jumped in, so pro tip if you’re looking to try one out find a local grocer that sells them individually. As soon as I got back to the car I took a bite and OH MY did I fall in love. I tested out the chocolate sea salt flavor and the package design really spoke to me (as did the anchor decal in the bottom corner). The bar has no gluten, soy or dairy, but about 15g of sugar and 24g of carbs. However, they market themselves as a protein bar and when you look at other products in the same market you really won’t find a product with as much health benefits as a RX BAR. Since discovering these I’ve gone on to buy a box, but only when they are on sale. A box of 4 at my local Target is about $6.99, so when a Cartwheel deal for 30% was displayed I was quite happy to get them for $4.49. And I’ll stress, I don’t eat them every day; I only eat them when I’m truly running out the door last minute in the morning or need a pick me up before or after a workout.
If you follow me on Instagram (@kaityplus), you would have seen a post recently of me telling you how much I love this product. I had researched that there were several frozen dinners out there that would fit the guidelines I was looking for. When I went online to local grocery stores to see if they had them in stock I wasn’t finding any luck. I actually found a local natural foods store that sold these products for a ridiculously high price. But I was so frustrated after my stop there that I decided to head to Target to see if I could catch a break. And I did; I found a frozen mac n’ cheese meal from Amy’s Kitchen that was both gluten-free and dairy-free. Each meal was $3.99 at my Target, so I picked up two and ate them over the course of the next 2 days. What does it taste like? Well, it’s not like having a spoonful of the buttery, fake cheese taste of Kraft, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. In truth, it’s quite exciting to find a product that not only meets my guidelines and is at a respectable price, but also tastes good and is a great option for a dinner I need to pick up in a hurry.
Cooking Light Kettle Corn
I was heading to a friend’s place this past week to watch movies and chat with girlfriends when she suggested we all bring snack type of food to munch on. After some thought, I remembered that popcorn was naturally gluten-free and went to my local Wal-Mart to pick some out. In truth, I was searching for natural grain/ low-butter microwave popcorn, but I couldn’t find such a product and also the price of microwave popcorn was really expensive (more so than I remember as a kid). I stumbled upon a bag of kettle corn from Cooking Light for only $2.29 with an amazing list of nutrition. For a 2-cup serving, it was only 140 calories with no gluten, soy, dairy and only 6 g of sugar! My girlfriends commented on how delicious and light the popcorn tasted; the perfect amount of sweet and salty!
I’ve talked about this product on my Whole30 posts, but every time I purchase and eat this bacon I fall more and more in love. Pederson Farms sells many types of bacon with different flavors, but I’m a huge fan of their no sugar added bacon. I’ll put this out there: I never been a huge bacon person, but it was something I enjoyed from time to time. During my Whole30 experience, it was a literal lifesaver as I was able to enjoy other types of meat and incorporate the bacon into tons of recipes. At my Whole Foods they sell a 10 oz. package for $7.99, so I don’t invest in the product every week. But I will say this: it’s worth every penny and to be fair, it tastes magnificent. The product is Paleo-friendly and Whole30 approved, so there is no gluten, no lactose, no msg; each slice is just 30 calories each!
Simply Balanced Almond Milk
For those that aren’t aware, Target has two lines of food products that are only sold at their stores. Market Pantry is the coveted store brand that is significantly (in most cases) cheaper than brand named products. Simply Balanced is also their line of organic grocery items. In most cases, SB products are a little pricier than the average product. As someone on a tight budget, I don’t really give in to buy organic products because in most situations I find that you can have great quality food without jacking up the price. But for almond milk, I splurge on the SB product. To be honest, I tried it initially on a whim- I bought the entire half-gallon not really knowing if I would enjoy it. I had only tried almond milk once before; a sweetened version that I thought was horrible. Well this time it worked! I love their unsweetened vanilla almond milk since it has hints of vanilla, but isn’t over powerfully sweet. The half-gallon comes to about $2.30, but it goes a long way for me! I only use it in smoothies, the occasional recipe and my morning coffee.
Speaking of coffee, which y’all know I’m a huge fan of on the daily, I’d been trying to find a way to give my coffee flavor without the added sugar. If you’ve ever been to a local/ fancy coffee house, you’re probably familiar with Torani products. Typically places as such use these products to create flavored lattes and other treats. At my local World Market, they sell different kinds of flavors of these syrups and I was so happy to find a mini sugar-free caramel one. I only use it in my hot coffee from my Keurig with a K-Cup that has no previous flavor in it already. The mini bottle sold for $2-$3 while the normal sizes sell for $7-$8. Am I going to be purchasing this product every week? No, it’s not necessary, but it’s been a nice experiment and it’s been a nice surprise to have hints of caramel in my morning coffee.
In my last post, I mentioned that I would love to find a pizza that was gluten-free and dairy-free that didn’t break my piggy bank. Well on my latest trip to Whole Foods I found such a pizza (though my piggy bank is cracked a bit). Daiya is this awesome product that sells not only gluten and dairy free pizza, but also other foods like cheese, yogurt, desserts and frozen meals. On this trip I only found the pizza, which sold for $8.99.
Again this won’t be an every week purchase, but for someone who hasn’t had pizza for almost two months this was heaven. They have about 7 variations of pizza, but I chose my classic favorite Margarita. My friend warned me that the cheese had an interesting taste and texture; the cheese did taste quite different, but I thought this pizza was amazing!
Past Kaity ate pasta ate least 4 times a week because pasta is a cheap and easy meal. Cartwheel deals lead me to try Barilla gluten-free pasta for $1.05 a box. I only purchase one box of noodles, which I topped with a mixture of onions, garlic, crushed tomatoes and zucchini that I cooked in a saucepan. There were plenty of leftovers, but I found myself not gravitated as strongly to the pasta. Sure the pasta tasted differently, but not in a bad way. I think it simply didn’t give me as strong as a craving for pasta as I had in the past. And even though this meal is still cheap, I won’t be buying it every time I’m at Target simply because it wasn’t my absolute favorite.
Udi Gluten-Free Bread
I’ll be completely honest: I miss bread. Not on an everyday basis, but I miss enjoying a piece of toast in the morning or having a sandwich. At my Whole Foods, there was a giant display of refrigerated gluten-free bread, so I decided to take a chance to buy a loaf of Udi Gluten-Free Whole Grain bread for $4.99. I honestly cannot tell the difference in taste between this kind of bread and buying a normal loaf, so I guess that’s a good thing..? But, the slices are significantly smaller; it still tastes yummy and makes for perfect use for avocado toast.
Non-Dairy Ice Cream
As a huge ice cream lover (it’s my favorite food), this was the hardest food group for me to change in my lifestyle. Thankfully there are lots of ice cream alternative products out there. Some of my favorites are Breyer’s Non-Dairy, Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy and Arctic Zero. I am aware of the others like Halo Top and So Coconut, but these ice creams have a particular funny aftertaste to them that I don’t enjoy. To try and best fit my lifestyle, I think Arctic Zero is the best winner. They market themselves as a ‘fit frozen dessert’ that is gluten-free, non-GMO, non-lactose and very little calories, carbs and sugars. In essence, this is the one dessert product I can buy for myself and not feel guilty about after consuming the entire pint. The cheapest I’ve seen it is at my local Target is for $4.99, so I normally wait till a deal goes up on Cartwheel. However, Ben & Jerry’s is a close second place contender and I have no problem finishing off a pint of their Non-Dairy Chocolate Brownie flavor 🙂
Do you have any food suggestions that fit my new guidelines? I’d love to check them out!
Peace & Love,