Robin Barrie Kaiden, MS, RD, CDN, CSSD is one of the nation’s leading experts in personal wellness, nutrition, physical fitness, and weight loss. As the founder of Robin Barrie™, her Manhattan-based practice and consulting group, she has cultivated a following for developing individualized, realistic, and results-oriented plans that ensure diet and fitness goals are achieved and maintained for a lifetime.
Welcome to the second edition of Robin Recommends! The weather is getting colder and it’s really starting to look like full blown fall here on the East coast. As we may be spending a little less time outdoors, I want to continue offering inspiration for self-care products, snacks, and nutritious food swaps for you and the whole family. Read on and ENJOY!
Note that most of these items are also shoppable on my Amazon storefront!
1. Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps
I love these sprouted brown rice crisps as a nutritious swap for the classic cereal. They’re made with organic sprouted whole grain brown rice, as opposed to white rice in other brands. Sprouted grains (that are caught right at the beginning of the germination process) are higher in nutrients, including folate, iron, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, and protein. They also have less starch and may be easier to digest. They are sweetened with coconut sugar, which is a bit lower-glycemic than traditional sugar and less processed than regular cane sugar. One Degree’s crisps are also lower in sodium and total added sugar than other brands. You can enjoy them on their own as cereal, or as a way to add texture to homemade granola bars, rice crispy treats, homemade muesli, or even as a fun yogurt topping.
These fruit yoyo’s are similar in texture to a classic fruit roll-up snack, but they are a much healthier option. The only ingredients are fruits and vegetables. They have zero added sugar (including zero concentrated fruit juices), no corn syrup, no added processed oils, chemicals, or artificial colors that are found in other common fruit snacks. They even come with collectible information cards, so they’re great for kids to learn while they snack!
3. Manna Toast
Manna Toast in downtown Westport, CT is a great cafe for simple healthy meals. Right now they are extremely covid-safe: It is pure joy to dine outdoors at their well-spaced tables, chairs, and picnic tables lined up right on Main Street. They source ingredients locally and offer mostly plant-based meals, including all different types of milk for coffee. You can even swap out toast for a gluten-free option of sweet potato toast. There are both sweet and savory options on their menu, which is rounded out with soups, salads, sides, kid-friendly options and treats. You can dine there or order online for takeout or delivery. They even have a loyalty program with rewards. I can’t wait to go back for this apple french toast and oat milk latte!
4. Trader Joe’s Olive Oil Popcorn
This is one of my favorite snacks to recommend to clients. It’s filling, high fiber, and made with olive oil. Olive oil is a healthy, minimally-processed unsaturated fat that is a great alternative to traditional vegetable oils (canola, peanut, sunflower, safflower, etc), which you’ll often see in the ingredient labels of packaged pre-popped popcorn. Vegetables oils are highly processed and contain more saturated fats. I love that this one comes in a huge bag from Trader Joe’s – it’s perfect for a family movie night! Add some Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast (see last week’s Robin Recommends) as a vegan cheesy topping, and enjoy!
5. Fresh Sugar Lip Balm in Caramel
That’s all for this edition! Check back next week for more of what I recommend, or check out last week’s if you missed it!