Tag Archives: healthy

Bah Hum-mus!


Wild garden roasted garlic hummus

Making hummus from scratch from where I come from is strenuously inconceivable, if not virtually next to impossible. Calling for tahini (sesame paste) as a main ingredient makes it an arduous search, and I’d be closer to finding a leprechaun next to a pot of gold than actually gathering the necessary ingredients for hummus within a 10km radius of my neighborhood.

And so I greet the tourists, Welcome to Manila! If an unyielding craving for hummus begins to materialize after over exposure to our saucy delicacies, do not try to make one. I’ll save you the time, effort and lunacy.

Healthy Options offers a wide range of hummus products from the Wild Garden brand, from plain to roasted garlic. A bit on the pricey side, should you compare it vis-à-vis the Tostitos Dip or moving on to a more mainstream concoction, sour cream, the hummus jar costs about 2x more (or less).

Wild Garden Roasted Garlic Hummus Nutrition Facts

As for the caloric and junk content, this makes hummus supreme with only 35 calories for 2 tablespoons (that’s a lot already), 2g of fat (not the saturated type) and almost nil sugar. Composed mainly of chick peas, tahini and sea salt, the Wild Garden Hummus provides the best alternative to dips and sauces, and provides a good source of protein.

The greatest test for its flavorful upturn: my plain (awful to most) homemade spinach sandwich. Sans the cream cheese or egg, addition of hummus to my plain (or awful, let’s be honest) spinach sandwich elevated it to Greek Godliness.

Enough said. Even Zeus would like this stuff.

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West Coast Series: Salads and Sweets

going green vegan

Being a part-vegetarian tourist in the land of organic, Trader Joe’s and cereal, there was only one established mission:  To partake in 10 Salads. The possibilities and choices are endless, but also come with the sweet and sinful competition—where Ben & Jerry’s can come in close battle with Arugula.

Ending with a tally of 6 for the greens, leaving out the side salads and toppings which came in almighty abundance, I let the desserts fill the rest of the list. Not to be dismissed as the anti-thesis of salad, I deem them just as healthy in my overly biased eyes.

Salad Bowl, Chipotle Mexican Grill

Salad Bowl, Chipotle Mexican Grill

Mexican and Greek salads, my heavenly fares, made quite an impact on my palate that I will never view salad eating as a mere dieting scheme again. Chipotle on its own combines a zesty, sour-punch yet fresh flavor that is greatly enhanced by its colorful condiments: guacamole, jack cheese or even sour cream. Pico de gallo is plebeian knowledge and feta cheese is a fierce commodity. For me, these Mediterranean and Mexican fiestas combine gastronomic splendor and my ultimate enjoyment, as I return home tearful that such a brief exchange was too short lived.

Greek Salad with Chicken Shawarma, Chick Pita Mediterranean

Greek Salad with Chicken Shawarma, Chick Pita Mediterranean

Salads from Chipotle Mexican Grill and even the simple Chick Pita Mediterranean at the food court provided such organic and savory excellence, their tastes are forever carved in my mental palate and will serve as a lasting benchmark for future sampling. There is something very authentic and fantastic in the way they served their salad—not to mention the leviathan serving all for myself—that should I not find the same quality back home, it’s time I learned to prepare homemade guacamole!

BBQ chopped chicken salad Panera Bread

BBQ chopped chicken salad Panera Bread

Credits too for El Pollo Loco, which dished out a Grilled Chicken Salad that was flaming with Mexican goodness. If our local franchise served salads and condiments in that size and flavor, I’d be loca for Pollo Loco as well!

Caesar salad Bonnano MGM Hotel

Caesar salad Bonnano MGM Hotel

Greek Salad, Wraps @ Caesars Palace

Greek Salad, Wraps @ Caesars Palace

While the ice cream and yogurt did not present the same mixture of merriment and glee as the salads—or I just failed to visit the right places—they were just as amusing to eat and provided the necessary sugar high.

The cakes and cupcakes though, well, that’s a different story and in another post. Best to stay tuned then.

Cookies and Cream Yogurt, Mrs. Fields

Cookies and Cream Yogurt, Mrs. Fields

Sugar Free Chocolate Gelato, The Venetian

Sugar Free Chocolate Gelato, The Venetian

Yogurt Parfait and Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies, McDonald's

Yogurt Parfait and Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies, McDonald’s

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Lazy Black Goat @ Cyma

Now I know how it feels to be a celebrity, courtesy of the waiters and patrons of Cyma (Trinoma). The stares and gawking have definitely contributed to my ever growing ego, and the really obvious-but-trying-not-to-be side glances cannot escape my omniscient radar. If people could probably tweet their thoughts, it’d be something like: Saw @LazyBlack_Cat being such a Lazy Black Goat at Cyma. Again.

Oh fame, if only you were for real, but it wasn’t me they were staring at, but rather, my plate. Amidst platters of pasta and cheese seen on other tables, only the Tonnos Salata has landed on mine.

While I love Cyma’s Roka Pasta, Chicken Gyro and Saganaki, call me living in peasantry, but it’s the salad that would cause us to conquer this Greek Restaurant in proper phalanx formation.

Lately, I have dined and lived off on the Tonnos Salata, family size of course (good for 2 people from MY family). The toppings are endless, lively and would make Poseidon proud: seared tuna, anchovies (Gavros), black olives,  feta cheese, roasted bell peppers, onions, potatoes, boiled egg, etc. The summer herb vinaigrette dresses the salad with that light sunny, cream-free feel. No other salad can give us this leviathan serving, magnified further with its fresh and dainty ingredients. Other local joints present us with shoddy counterparts that would make Zeus so mad, he’d throw a thunderbolt right through that iceberg lettuce.

The seared tuna is normally the first to disappear in our Tonnos Salata, but the salad on its own has created its Greek standard that I can never replicate in other local buffets. I have tried, failed and always ended up with a balsamic vinaigrette-hard cheese salad instead. Good though.

Back to being a celebrity. Well, I suppose we will always have our 15 minutes of shame at Cyma, but then again, maybe being a goat suits me. I feel, though, that the waiters are getting to know our strange diet habits. The once look of horror has transformed into that of slow comprehension.

Maybe next time we eat there –  no, i will not give them the finger, don’t tempt me – I could wear a shirt that says: Teach your kids not to stare. Or are you also a kid?

I sure am one. Meeeeeh!

 

 

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Nuts About Soy Butter

There was a time when peanut butter was banned entry in our fridge because it triggered the rise of our adolescent bestie, the zit. Poor Peter Pan and Jif had to live a life of neglect along with the vegetables, as we favored cheese and eggs for our sandwiches.

Lately though, Peanut Butter has slowly been making its way back in our sandwiches, being protein-deprived most of the time. Lounging around the supermarket aisles and reading nutritional labels of peanut butter brands gave me a pretty clear direction on future purchases.

Actually, the peanut butter mantra is rather simple (I apologize in advance for committing treason):

  •  NO to local brands, unless you want a weekly visit to the dentist (and we do admit that an annual visit is already a pain).
  • As for foreign commercial brands, NO to Goober and my childhood sweetheart, Peter Pan.
  • YES to Skippy Natural (the one with “no need to stir” printed).
  • YES to Laura Scudder Organic Peanut Butter (love)!
  • MAYBE to PB Co. Dark Chocolate and Green Tea Peanut Butter because they’re new and I only bought them because they’re so kawai and cheap!
  • Last but not the least, NEVER to crunchy peanut butter! Damn, you make chewing such a difficult task!

I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter and Skippy Natural

By default, the calories and fat level of peanut butter are normally high, so for those seeking a “healthier” option, go for an ingredient list that shows mainly Roasted Peanuts, as is the case for organic brands like Laura Scudder.

In the supermarket though, I’ve found that Skippy Natural already presents the least damaging nutritional data with 190 calories, 18% Saturated Fat and 3g sugar for every 2 tablespoons. That serving isn’t particularly diet-variety, so you can probably imagine that what to expect from other brands: flab or an early death.

Healthy Options, the store, provides other ” nut butter” categories that are health-friendly but on the budget-averse side. Seriously, I am still in the process of saving up for the almond butter, which costs as much as a facial (see why I’m torn) so I’ve settled for an interesting alternative: SoyNut Butter.

I.M. Healthy Soy Nut Butter has a dubious sound to its name and blue jar but with 170 calories, 8% saturated fat and 3g sugar for 2 tablespoons and without a speck of NUT, it’s an adolescent’s dream cream. Soybeans replace the nuts, so the protein content isn’t compromised. For anti-nuts, pimply kids or soy aficionados, here’s the sandwich spread we’ve been looking for (I’m the anti-nut, soy aficionado).

(Left) I.M. Healthy and (R) Skippy Natural

I.M. Healthy Soy Butter, Peanut-Free!

Don’t expect it to taste like peanut because it’s soy. The soy butter resembles the texture, color and overall “feel” of peanut butter but with hints of the soy flavor.

Don’t know what this “soy flavor” I’m talking about? Think soy milk or taho (for the Pinoys) and incorporate that taste with peanut butter.

Weird? Not really, my stash is half empty already.

Whether it’s peanut butter or soy or even to-die-for almond butter, what’s important is that every jar contains mainly these nuts or soybeans and less of the non essentials (like sugar, salt and other ingredient we more than 3 syllables). Even if I did look like a fool reading every jar in the grocery, I’m glad I found what I wanted: Skippy Natural and I.M Healthy Soy Butter. 

Glad to have you in my fridge. Now if only we can keep you long enough.

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Let’s Jamba! (Jamba Juice BGC)

Pacquiao will probably hate me, but chaos-free EDSA during his match vs Marquez was too tempting for a swift drive to Jamba Juice at Bonifacio Global City. The nation might scorn me for abandoning local pride in pursuit of fruit, but I can never ignore the whimsical reasoning of my stomach. That, and my sleepless nights over acai have got to end!

The JJ Balloon, a better navigator than Googlemaps

It was a dehydrating trek to the Jamba area (it’s across R.O.X. or follow the balloon) located in this pristine lot with sawdust still layering some seats. There was a country vibe to the facade, which served the fruity-Jamba image quite well, but of course inside was rather the opposite: vermillion and sweet chaos. Good thing the lines weren’t that long. Skipping the Pacquiao match had its perks – reduced queuing time, which I imagine could be a real nuisance once the hordes of hungry sports fanatics decide to celebrate with mangoes, steel-cut oats and berries.

The smoothies and other drinks were prepared on-the-spot, so the constant buzz of the blenders forms the background sound for those who chose to dine inside. Skipping the aircon and going for the outdoorsy feel was another option: peace, quiet, a lot of sunlight and as already mentioned, sawdust.

Still, I’d go for country over blender music.

The infamous photobooth (Oh wait, is that my foot?)

First timers would be delighted to see their drinks poured from a hodge podge of raw materials, blended and transformed into those colorful smoothies. For those who can’t get enough of photos and tagging themselves everywhere, there’s the live photobooth which directly sends the photos to your email. Good thing, people were still in the lazy Sunday mood, so cam-whoring was not part of their agenda or perhaps my foot was just in the way. (Sorry, it was a long drive!)

(L) Acai Supercharger and (R) Banana Berry

From reading the list of ingredients of the drinks, you could already tell how the smoothie would taste, in close approximation. When I got a sip of my Acai Supercharger, it tasted way better than I had imagined. I was expecting sour-fruity shake, but what I got was Fruit by the Foot yummy-fruity flavor that was not hampered by the soymilk’s queer taste. The consistency was thick not because of the ice but because the drink was jam-packed with fruit. The same went for the Banana Berry that had that candy kind of fruity taste that brings comfort drink and nutrition in one cup.

With that voluminous serving of fruit, it’s natural to expect a lot of sugar and calories in one drink. I suppose that’s why they say it’s equivalent to a meal or a great refresher after a work-out. Whoever said Jamba Juice is a dieter’s dream still must be dreaming because with that much fruit and milk in one cup, you can’t expect to just fly away with zero calories. Same goes for diabetics who ought to check out the labels before indulging in a fruit fiesta.

Jambajuice.com is rather keen on posting the nutritional content of the drinks and food served at Jamba Juice, to which I’m grateful for. Here’s some trivia on our drinks plus what’s listed in my next visit’s to-try list:

The Acai Supercharger (16oz) is blended with acai juice, blueberries, strawberries, soymilk, raspberry sherbet, and antioxidant powerboost (equivalent to 2 fruit servings). A cup contains 260 calories, 46g sugar and 930% of the day’s Vitamin C requirement.

The Banana Berry (16oz) is blended with bananas, blueberries, apple-strawberry juice, raspberry sherbet and frozen yogurt (equivalent to 2.5 fruit servings). A cup contains 270 calories, 57g sugar and 3g fiber.

The Steel-cut Oatmeal variants are very promising buys in the future because they are all under the 300 calorie level, sport at least 5g of fiber and a maximum of 25g of sugar. With bananas, apple cinnamon and blueberry & blackberry as available toppings, this is going to be another tough decision.

If in the mood for granola (but with soymilk, so very PETA-friendly), the Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits would be very, very tempting for breakfast or snacks. Available in Mango Peach, Berry and Chunky StrawberryI can only wish that Jamba Juice will soon be blending in Quezon City! But wait, the 16oz parfait contains at least 550 calories and 55g sugar, so make sure you’re super hungry when you indulge in this granola cup!

With pretzels and California flatbreads, there really ought to be a next time. I haven’t even started with the breakfast snacks, the boosts and shots and my all-time favorite matcha!

Blending Soon in... QC? I wish.

Here’s to a new alternative to milk teas and fraps!

My grandmother might call it a  fruitshake shop wrapped in organic sophistication, but then, our blender’s broken so someone ought to make my smoothie.

Seriously though, Jamba Juice ought to blend soon somewhere up North. If you’re having trouble finding a spot, you can always use our house!

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When Snacks Attack

We’ve heard them all before:

Don’t skip meals.

Eat more that 3 meals a day, in small portions.

Don’t starve yourself (or you’ll get fatter).

Eat, drink and be merry!

All right then, I’m good to go.

On second thought, don’t bother lecturing the Filipino on dietary wisdom, since these wee bits of advice already form part of the daily ritual that goes by many names: merienda, snack, break, recess, kainan (“eating time”), tsibog (“food”), bogchi (still “food”) and the more discreet: patikim (“Can I taste?”), pahingi (“Can I have some?”) or Libre (“Your treat!” Very common as I seem to hear it everyday.) Naturally, food forms the center of our universe and a day without merienda can already be considered a “diet” move. “No thanks!” as a response to a food offer is unheard of in the workplace and once everyone around you starts munching on their cookies, poking around their fish balls and slurping their noodles, it’s time we reach out for our hidden stash as well, rather than suffer the indignity of a grumbling empty stomach.

My hidden stash has been dwindling lately, from budgetary cuts to my newfound, made-up allergy to sugar. Still in the process of discovering the perfect (Note: yummy, low-cal, low in sugar, CHEAP and conveniently packed) snack, I’ve listed the runners-up. They may not appeal to everyone, but they sure have helped alleviate the pangs of hunger and the sudden dizzy spells of not having eaten for 3 hours.

Can you believe it? 3 hours without food—that’s like a hunger strike. What, is it Lent?

Don’t stay hungry. Pick up a righteous snack. Hope I can help you in that department.

1.       Del Monte Fit ‘n Right Fruit Snacks (Pineapple)

Ah yes, the L-Carnitine phenomenon secures any Fit ‘n Right product at the top spot, the Fruit Snacks included of course. Retailing at about P23-24 per cup (Mixed Fruits and Pineapple), we can get 115g of pure fruit and L-Carnitine goodness sans the fat. Imagine that, for nearly the same price as 2 bananas or 1 hot fudge sundae, we get a dose of healthy fruit with less sugar, and the best part is that it only contains 30 calories!

I’ve noticed though that not everyone’s fond of fruit, especially pineapples. When you’re hungry or just bored in the office, reaching for a cup of fruit is the last thing in your mind. People would rather order in pizza or look for real carbs in the cafeteria – a natural response to workplace hunger. A fruit cup does not really appeal to the 3pm taste buds and requires refrigeration if you want to enjoy it fully. I so get it, which is why it’s not the only snack in the list. If you’re craving for something partly sweet, fruity and juicy and can well afford to shell out more that P20, this fruit cup would be superb. At least you won’t have to worry about burning off the calories after work.

Nutri facts at a glance: 1 container = 155g, 30 cal, 0 fats, 8g carbs, <1 fiber, 5g sugar.

Ingredients of Pineapple Fruit snacks: Pineapple, water, 300mg L-Carnitine, ascorbic acid, citric acid, sucralose.

2.       Nestle Yogurt

This decade has introduced Yogurt as the Superfood of our generation and has spawned trendy derivatives to milk its popularity: frozen yogurt, yogurt drinks, kefir drinks, yogurt milk, frozen Yakult, yogurt candies, etc. Amazing how lactobacillus can be super appealing despite its dubious-sounding name. Despite the price (foreign brands can fetch for about P100), there are always blank spaces and carts colliding in the race to get the prized yogurt.

Nestle seems to occupy a third of the shelf space with its Fruit Selections Yogurt, not to mention the Yogurt drinks and newly introduced 0% Fat Yogurt which honestly tastes like WATER. I endured the tasteless and watery Mango and Strawberry 0% Fat variants for a week and ended up eating more because I always paired them with a banana (a total of 170 calories). Among the regular flavors though, I most enjoy the Berry Mix. Maybe because it’s purple or manages to capture the delightful blend of the better tasting berries. Whatever. This is one, I would endure despite it 110 calorie and 2g fat content.

For the same nutritional value as a granola bar, why not go for the yogurt? Less sugar, fruit flavored, comes close to ice cream (for the hot weather), and most of all, it contains lactobacillus. Who can say no to that?

http://www.fruitandveggieguru.com/Bananas.html?pccid=4&tabid=70&kw=Bananas

3.       Banana

Gotta be clear on what “banana” I’m talking about with its vast assortment in the local food lingo. We have banana turon (deep-fried banana with langka wrapped in lumpia wrapper), banana cue (sugar-coated fried banana), maruya (mashed banana fried in some kind of thick creamy batter) and other banana street food creations I have never heard of. What I’m referring to though is rather simple, the plain, raw, oil-free fruit—all 110 calories of it.

A Cavendish banana retails for about P12 at 7-11 and Mini-stop branches. (How long ago was this photo? Selling the banana at P10 each. Hmph.) Rich in Potassium, zero in fat and a major recovery snack, the banana can probably give water a run for its money if it were only in liquid form. A medium-sized banana can surely battle hunger and banish one’s quest for sweets since it does contain sugar. Going overboard has never produced any heart failing results but sugar spikes are common, so don’t try finishing a dozen in a day. There’s a reason why we evolved to Homo Sapiens.

4.       Apple

http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-apples-i9003

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but in comes the dentist. At 95 calories, the apple can be the banana’s greatest contender to sweet, sinless snacks. True, true. It tastes great, packs in a massive crunch, provides sufficient energy and is fat-free. Fiber is at the higher level and let’s not forget that it can keep us full for hours, as it can simmer down the cravings of that nasty sweet tooth.


Like the banana though, don’t let Eve’s bait tempt you into hoarding this fruit, since it also contains nearly 19g of sugar. That’s like guzzling bottles of juice or chomping on candy all day. Keep yourself to an apple a day and you’ll have every reason to flash those pearly whites. Don’t forget to brush though.

5.       Skyflakes

Skyflakes capitalizes on the Filipino’s knack for getting hungry and has amassed its popularity on being the drawer, bag, lunchbox and pantry staple. Yes, it has a lingering presence that goes beyond our TV screens. Thin, lightly salted and goes well with practically anything, Skyflakes has got to be the ultimate hunger killer—which is certainly the case since 3 crackers pack 105 calories, 3g fat (2g of which is saturated) and 200 mg of sodium. As an added bonus, it is said to ward off another pestilence called diarrhea and single-handedly dominate every dieter’s meals.

But don’t believe everything they tell you. With its calorie and sodium content enough to battle the common “chichirya” (local term for snacks or junk food), an ingredient list that provides no nutritional value (save for a minute amount of oats) and the awful fact that it isn’t even that filling (come on, you agree, right?), even Skyflakes isn’t perfect. Yes, it’s human after all.

6.       Chocolate Milk

Come on, we’re adults, so don’t expect me to talk about Selecta Moo or Magnolia Chocolate Milk Drink. I know they taste great, but really now, who brings a carton of chocolate milk to the office? Unless I want to be the official milk guzzler or plan to fatten up for Biggest Loser. I don’t suppose, “But mommy was the one who packed my lunch today!” would actually work as a credible excuse, in the office. Especially in front of the actual mommies.

Digression aside, it’s time we went for the fits-in-my-pocket chocolate drink – Milo 3 in 1.Now that’s more like it. It’s lightweight, high in calcium and rich in the Milo goodness we all grew up to love. Mix it with your afternoon coffee or dump it in your mouth (make sure your seatmate’s off somewhere when you do this) and enjoy a power surge coated in yummy Milo form. The sugar content is rather dubious (I can’t find it!), so I haven’t indulged lately. Also, I’ve been pairing it with something solid to counter the sweetness, so I normally end up eating and drinking calories (A sachet contains 103 calories already) for my snack. Sugar and carbs do not really make a wise meal.

The same goes for Nesvita and other cereal drinks – too sweet and a pain to mix in the office. I’ve not really included the high maintenance snacks that require a spoon, hot water and mug. Too tedious for me, lazy me. Also, with my made-up allergy to sugar, I’ve been abstaining from Nesvita (Chocolate variant has 7.9g sugar while Orignal has a whopping 11g my goodness!) and its cohorts because their sweetness level is enough to give me hives, and I wouldn’t want to go on sick leave all because a cereal drink caused it. HR would never believe me!

7.       Cup Noodles

Seeing the styro cup from afar already screams Nissin Seafood Cup Noodle, complete with the garnishing and aroma of mouth-watering ramen. A bit on the heavy side, it makes the perfect snack for those who missed lunch or just had Skyflakes for lunch. With 330 calories and 2g fiber, who needs rice and a viand when all you need is hot water and you’re good to go!

Of course we all know the danger of ingesting too much cup noodles. Well I didn’t say that we should eat this every day. With its 7g saturated fat (1/3 of the day’s needs), 1690 mg sodium (your other meals better not contain salt anymore) and 25 mg cholesterol (gulp!) it should be eaten in moderation or shared to the denizen at the nearest cubicle. Since it is a bit pricey at about P70-100 per cup, I don’t suppose we can afford this kind of daily snack anyway!

Local counterparts should be likewise explored like Lucky Me and the sotanghon cup that packs in fewer calories and cost way less than P50. Go try them all, but not everyday please. This is not the best way to control population.

8.       Hot Fudge Sundae

Summer and salty food can make us mindlessly queue at the nearest Froyo or DQ counter. At P25 and only 330 calories, why not opt for a Mcdonald’s sundae? Save up on more calories by going for a sundae cone.

You can’t deny the fact that the sundae strangely goes best with French fries but resist the urge! The sundae alone already contains 7g of saturated fat and a whopping 48g of sugar, but then, no one ever said that ice cream makes you thin, right?

Diet aside, Mcdonald’s already sells the least priced and rather edible (Believe me, you do not want to know what goes in a DQ Blizzard or a Wendy’s Frosty) ice cream there is in the Philippines. It tastes pretty good too. And for only P25, please don’t be stingy and allow yourself a cup of sweet bliss. You’ll burn it anyway. Right?

9.       Dark Chocolate

http://calorielab.com/brands/meiji-black-chocolate/60/2006363

Rich in flavonoids and other stimulating happy hormones, chocolate is probably the next best alternative to getting high, if you’re downtrodden, pissed or just plain sleepy. I mean, getting intoxicated can get you fired, but noshing on a bar will give you the necessary lift while still maintaining productivity and your job.

So, who wants to be employee of the year? But wait, make sure it’s dark chocolate (at least 60% cacao content), not milk or white. We don’t want a living paradox—a fat model employee. If that were the case then I’d rather get high.

I’ve gotten pretty fond of Meiji Black Chocolate because it tastes light and bitter and goes pretty well with tea, oatmeal and my peanut butter sandwich. Problem is, I could never I understand the nutritional info – all in Japanese characters! All I can get in English is the ingredient list: Sugar, cocoa mass, vegetable fat, whole milk powder, lactose, cocoa butter, lecithin and flavoring.

Hmmm.. if you’ve got anything on the darker side, I’d really appreciate it!

10. Popcorn

It’s time we stopped referring to popcorn as mere theater food. The degradation ends now! Do recognize popcorn as the new comfort food and power snack rolled into that crunchy kernel, especially if we dig into the naturally prepared varieties. Microwave popcorn packs are a no-no since they contain hydrogenated oils and butter (= heart attack), but Chef Tony’s Sugar-free Popcorn – Original packs in 139 calories and 2% fiber for every 25g serving (that’s 1/4 of a big tub).

Sweet, crunchy and undeniably addictive, popcorn is the better alternative to cookies, chips and frosted flakes (Argh, the sugar!). At P120 for that gigantic 100g tub, this sure beats similarly priced goodies: Red Mango with toppings, a slice of Starbucks Cheesecake, a fastfood combo meal, a Bag of Lay’s plus drink, or a Big-time Taters popcorn with butter and soda (bad, bad, bad, plus you can’t stash it as tomorrow’s snack).

Good thing Chef Tony thought of the resealable tub so we can keep all the popcorn to ourselves! Now that’s what we call a Smart Snack.


If you’ve noticed, I’ve not listed food items such as peanuts (I don’t like them), carrot or cucumber sticks (Let us uncover our rabbit selves at home but when in the office, it is best to stay in human form), sandwiches (that’s what I have for lunch), cookies (those especially baked for diabetics and weight watchers taste like paper), tuna (will stink up the office), chips (I said low-cal, not a fat fest), pizza, ice cream, fries (all inconceivable here) as this is my biased and self-serving list.

If this list helps you decide what to stock up on your next grocery trip, then great, I feel so fulfilled.

If you find this utterly useless though, then that’s not really my problem.

“Have a gum,” would be my parting words.

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