Power Crunch bars: I’m usually a chocolate-chocolate-CHOCOLATE kind of person when it comes to protein powders and bars – the darker the better. But French Vanilla Crème Power Crunch bars are fantastic. They have 14 grams of whey protein, only 5 grams of sugars and 205 calories. They’re exactly like those sugar wafer cookies so they’re light and crunchy, but since they have 14 grams of fiber, they have staying power.
Balance Bar Minis: Way better than any 100-calorie pack of cookies or crackers or candy. Each sawed-off bar is 100 calories with 7 grams of protein and come in cookie dough and chocolate brownie flavors. They're great to keep in your gym bag, purse or desk drawer when snack time rolls around.
Thorlo Experia socks: I have big feet (and I cannot lie, you other brothers can’t deny … sorry, got carried away). All the cute socks come in ladies sizes, which I outgrew in middle school. Dude socks are usually white, black and gray, but Thorlos come in a rainbow of colors. More importantly, the arch support and cushioning are amazing, which I find especially important if you’re walking or jogging in minimalist sneakers. They’re not the kind of sock you buy in a giant bag at the sporting goods store, so I treat mine nicely and wash them inside out to keep the padded parts extra fluffy.
Jillian Michaels podcasts: If you think Jillian is just some screaming trainer on “The Biggest Loser,” you obviously haven’t listened to her podcasts. There, she uncovers her more laid-back, supportive and even goofy side. And did I mention that her podcasts are FREE? All you need to do is subscribe to them on iTunes, or you can also find them on the TuneIn radio app.
Old-school oatmeal: Publix was having a buy-one-get-one-free sale on Quaker oatmeal, so I went old school and bought the old-fashioned oats. Turns out, they cook just as quickly as the quick-cooking ones, as long as you don’t mind a little extra oaty chewiness. But that was exactly what I was looking for – I figured that the less processed oats would stick with me a bit longer and I was right. Oatmeal is one of those foods I need to eat more of, as it keeps me full for ages, which I can’t say for many other foods. Tuesday’s oatmeal contained a banana, cinnamon, a tablespoon of almond butter, half a cup of lowfat milk and a teaspoon of honey. I had it at 9 a.m. and as of noon, I still was full. Perhaps I need to eat oatmeal for dinner …
Crystal Light Pure lemonade: I’m adding this as the finale because I truly love the artificial color and sweetener-free lemonade mix and to ask “WHERE THE HELL DID ALL THE CRYSTAL LIGHT PURE GO?” Ominous clouds were forming on my horizon when I saw the dreaded “clearance” tag on the shelf at Publix a couple months ago. Then – poof! – gone. Can’t find it at Target or Winn-Dixie either. The Crystal Light Facebook page also contains queries by quaffers wondering where it went, with a cryptic “it’s not completely discontinued” reply from the Crystal Light Facebook page manager. Then, on Monday, this message from the Crystal Light genie: “We don't want to give anything away, but we will be making an announcement about it later this week. We assure you that it will be available for purchase in the near future, so hang tight!”