Healthy Foods I Wish I Liked

A couple of weeks ago I went for a walk with some of my co-workers, and our conversation spurred the idea for this blog post. We were chatting about food likes and dislikes, and I thought it would be cool to share a few healthy foods that I really just don’t like much!

Healthy Foods I Don't Like

Most people don’t believe me when I tell them that I don’t like:

Coconut Water
Gah, I wish I liked coconut water. It seems like everyone in the healthy living world LOVES coconut water, especially the hot yoga junkies. Coconut water is one of those things that I try again every few months in hopes that I’ll magically like it all of a sudden, but I just never do. I know it’s supposed to be hydrating, but I think it tastes like aloe (or worse). Sorry, coconut water fans, I just can’t jump on the bandwagon.

Olives
For obvious reasons, I want to be an olive superfan. My friends have called me a fake Greek for years because I don’t eat olives. I wish I did because not only would all my Mediterranean dishes would be a lot more Mediterranean, but I’d also get the antioxidants, cancer fighting properties, and all the other health benefits that olives come with. Oh well. I’ll choose extra feta over olives any day.

Grapefruit
Nope, can’t do it. Even though it’s often considered one of the healthiest foods out there, I find the flavor repulsive. Or maybe I just find the concept of the grapefruit diet repulsive? I’ve always wanted to just eat a grapefruit by the spoonful for breakfast, but I guess I’ll have to get my Vitamin C and lycopene elsewhere.

Watermelon
Some of you are probably falling out of your chair at this one, but there is something about the texture of watermelon that I just can’t do. I recently tried eating cactus pear too and couldn’t because the texture reminded me of a watermelon. I think both are just too watery and sweet for me. Most people can’t wait for watermelon season (it could be the pumpkin of summer?), but I never do because then it just means that people say “Whaaaaa? How can you not like watermelon!? It’s so refreshing and awesome and blah, blah, blah” to me over and over.

–Let’s chat–
What healthy foods are out there that you just don’t like, but wish you did?
Any other weird food aversions?

Other foods that come to mind that I don’t particularly care for include bacon, sausage, and licorice! But since they aren’t healthy, I don’t really care so much.

Product Review: Bestowed Subscription Box

Does anyone else feel that monthly subscription boxes are a growing trend?  You can subscribe to just about anything these days and have it delivered directly to your doorstep.  There’s beer of the month, cheese of the month, you name it.  I remember last year my roommates and I got Trina an exotic fruit of the month gift for her birthday!  I think that healthy variety boxes are all the rage now too, where you can get samples or an array of wellness products sent your way each month.

About a month ago I was contacted by the folks at Bestowed, one of the many health and wellness subscription companies out there.  With this subscription box, you can receive “healthy and delicious food, snacks, and more to try every month.”  Each item in the box is hand-picked by celebrity nutritionist and author Heather Bauer, who is also the founder of Bestowed.

Bestowed Box

Here’s a rundown of the products I received:

Zico Natural Coconut Water:  Coconut water is another thing that I feel is “all the rage,” especially in the yoga world.  I just don’t like it though!  I don’t think that it tastes very good, and trust me, I have forced myself time and time again to enjoy it.  I didn’t want this product to go to waste though, so I actually used it to make a coconut smoothie.  I thought that was a good solution, and I’m glad I was able to get in my electrolytes and potassium that way.

Bon’App:  Bon’App is a calorie counting app that helps you log the food you eat.  This wasn’t really IN the box, but there was a business card in the box for this site along with information on how to access and use the app.  I didn’t necessarily find this that interesting because I don’t track my food/calories.  However, if you are someone looking for a new method of tracking, perhaps this would be worth checking out?

Bakery On Main Coconut Cashew Truebar:  This was my favorite product in the box.  This coconut bar is gluten-free, a great source of Omega 3 and fiber, and it’s also low sodium, dairy free, and non-GMO certified.  I loved this flavor and it was the perfect snack to hold me over during a wedding we attended a couple of weeks ago.

ROOTS by Deeply Rooted Superfood Powder Packet:  This product packs your day’s worth of vitamins and nutrients in just a glass of water.  You don’t even need a blender for this, you can just mix it into your drink to get that extra boost.  This product wasn’t really for me.  I enjoy eating food too much and would rather just drink regular water with some real fruit in it and get my nutrients throughout the rest of the day.

Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers:  The burgers themselves didn’t arrive in the mail, but a coupon to get a pack for free did.  You guys know I’m a huge fan of coupons!  We’ll probably try these out because they are free and can be a good go-to if we are short on time or don’t food prep one week.  We like making our own veggie burgers though from scratch!

GimMe Seaweed Cheddar Cheese Roasted Seaweed Crumbles:  Seaweed anything always makes me hesitant, but these actually aren’t that bad!  One of the tips Bestowed gave was to skip the cheese and croutons on your next salad and add these cheddar crunch crumbles instead.

Herban Essentials Mini Pack:  LOVED these little “petite towelettes.”  They are made with pure essential oils and are perfect to wash up with on a hot summer day.  They have some to wipe down your yoga mat, to wipe up after a pet, or to freshen up yourself after a long day.  I just thought they were so cute.

Artisana Organic Foods SuperFood Acai Berry Nut Butter:  Well, you guys know my love for nut butter.  So I was psyched for this sample!  This spread combines acai berry with cashew better.  Perfect on pancakes if you ask me.

Bestowed

All in all, the products I received weren’t too shabby.  However, I think I would have liked something more tangible in lieu of receiving a business card directing me to a calorie counting app.  I also feel like with these types of subscription boxes your satisfaction is largely dependent on whether that month’s products are a good fit for YOU.  I think maybe another month’s box would have excited me more since I personally am not a huge fan of coconut water, drink mixes, or pre-made veggie burgers.  But then again, these types of items might really excite someone else!  And the bar, nut butter, and towelettes really excited me from this collection.  It just depends!

If you are interested in signing up for a Bestowed subscription, you can check out their website for more example products that have been sent in the past.  Also, Bestowed has kindly offered all F&F readers $5 off their box using subscription code 5OFFBSTOWED01 at checkout.  This promotional code is available for US participants only.

How it works:

  • Select your membership type (monthly or annual), then click join!
  • Boxes ship to arrive on the 15th of every month
  • Shipping is included in the prices – monthly is $19 billed monthly, annually is $209 billed annually, and you can cancel at any time
  • Currently Bestowed ships via USPS and within the US only

Since I am taking a break from Foodie Penpals this month, it was good timing to get a Bestowed box to my doorstep.  A big thank you to Bestowed for providing me with the opportunity to review a monthly box!  I hope to try more of their subscription products again sometime.

Do any of you belong to any monthly subscriptions?

Disclaimer:  I was not paid to write this post, but I was provided free products in exchange for writing this review.  All opinions are my own.

Coconut Water: Yay or Nay?

You came in with the breeeeeze… on Sunday morning…

A little No Doubt, anyone?  No?

Anyways, hi!  Hope your weekends are going well.  Here’s a recap of mine so far:

Weekend Recap

Friday night I headed over to the House of Blues with Tim, his sister Katie and her boyfriend Vinnie, and my roommate Slesh and her boyfriend Will.  Umphrey’s McGee was playing and I got Tim tickets for Christmas.  February seemed so far away at Christmastime, and I really can’t believe we’re already almost halfway through the month.  I kept the drinking to a minimum and enjoyed two beers at home and one beer at the show.  I didn’t want to push it after my stomach issues last week, and I wanted to have a super productive Saturday.

Which I did!  A day of Kix (Carrie’s class rocked!), CVS, a yummy tuna/avocado/tomato sandwich and green grapes for lunch, and a lot of studying.  With small breaks to write out some Valentine’s cards, and a two hour stint making DIY Valentine’s present for Tim.  I can’t wait to give this to him, and I’ll let you guys know what it is later, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise!

Now Sunday is already here, and I have another productive day ahead of me.  Valentine’s dessert baking, spin class, laundry, more studying, and then fun!  Tim and I are celebrating our Valentine’s Day dinner tonight.  Solely because I wanted to teach Tuesday night class with a Valentine’s Day playlist.  Yep that’s right.  Anyways, I’m excited!

Enough about me.  Let’s get to today’s topic:

Coconut Water!

I feel like coconut water is all the craze lately.  It’s all over supermarkets, several celebrities and athletes are endorsing it, and all the ads promise it’s one of the most rehydrating drinks you can give your body.

First of all, what IS coconut water anyways?

[Picture Source]

“Naturally refreshing, coconut water has a sweet, nutty taste. It contains easily digested carbohydrate in the form of sugar and electrolytes.  Not to be confused with high-fat coconut milk or oil, coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit’s center that is tapped from young, green coconuts.  It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink. Ounce per ounce, most unflavored coconut water contains 5.45 calories, 1.3 grams sugar, 61 milligrams (mg) of potassium, and 5.45 mg of sodium compared to Gatorade, which has 6.25 calories, 1.75 grams of sugar, 3.75 mg of potassium, and 13.75 mg of sodium.”  [Source]

But is all the hype behind coconut water even true?  It’s boasted as being low-calorie, naturally fat and cholesterol free, super hydrating, and potassium rich.  However, I read an interesting article in Self magazine a few months ago on the facts and fictions behind coconut water, and I wanted to share these five with you here.

Please note that this information is all coming from the article and these facts aren’t my own.

The Talk:  Coconut water speeds up your metabolism
The Truth: 
“This is an urban legend,” says Liz Applegate, Ph.D., director of sports nutrition at the University of California in Davis. “There is no valid research proving it.” Another, albeit contradictory, myth: Coconut water makes you fat. This bad rap came from coconut milk, which is made from pressed coconut meat and packs 445 calories per cup, most from saturated fat. The water (the fluid in young coconuts) has only 46 calories per cup. Of course, for a truly trimming sip, opt for zero-calorie water, coffee or tea.

The Talk:  Coconut water is nature’s sports drink.
The Truth:  It’s a fine postworkout chug for the average active Jane, but it falls short for more hard-core athletes. The gist: When you exercise, you sweat out a lot of sodium and some potassium. You should replace both after intense sweat sessions (more than an hour a day), so your muscles contract properly. Coconut water is a potassium powerhouse, delivering roughly 600 milligrams per cup, about 175 mg more than a banana does and 13 times what most sport drinks offer. “The problem is that it has only about 30 milligrams of sodium per cup; we lose much more than that during a long workout,” Applegate says. Thus, serious athletes may need a sport beverage with a higher sodium-to-potassium ratio, such as Gatorade or Powerade Ion4; lighter exercisers can rehydrate with whatever they like best, including coconut water or plain H²O.

The Talk:  Coconut water makes you look younger.
The Truth:  Coconut water contains cytokinins, plant hormones shown to slow the aging process in plants and fruit flies, according to a study in Molecules. Alas, the benefits aren’t yet proven in humans. The search for the fountain of youth continues.

The Talk:  Coconut water is a hangover helper. 
The Truth: 
There’s a reason the morning after a bender is so painful: Alcohol dehydrates you, leading to nausea and headaches. Like any drink, coconut water refills your H²O stores, but plain water does the job just as well, notes Samir Zakhari, Ph.D., director of the Division of Metabolism and Health Effects at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. As for electrolytes, our kidneys preserve them when we drink, so there’s no need to replace them with coconut water. If the taste lifts your postspirits spirits, go for it; but you can save cash (and calories) with the tap.

The Talk:  Coconut water protects your ticker. 
The Truth: 
Diets high in potassium can help lower blood pressure and promote heart health, says Andrea Giancoli, R.D., spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Coconut water is a good source of the mineral, but it’s better to get it from whole foods like veggies (spinach, sweet potatoes) and lowfat milk, which supply additional heart-healthy nutrients such as fiber and vitamin D.

You know what?  I’ve tried to make myself like coconut water.  I’ve tried different brands, different flavors, and drinking it after different workouts.  And I just don’t like it!  After reading this article though, I think I’m completing my quest for the ideal coconut water.  The “truths” haven’t convinced me that it’s worth it.

Sorry.

What about you guys?  Yay or nay to coconut water?  If yay, what is your go to brand or flavor?  When do you drink it most?  Do you think after reading this, you’ll still drink coconut water?  If nay, what’s your go to post-workout re-hydration drink?