Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Products For My Weight Loss Journey

I am always looking for new products just like many other people who are trying to lose weight.  It's easy to get stuck in a rut and eat the same things every day because you have found something that's low point.  For example, for the longest time, I was eating the same thing for breakfast every morning:  1 cup of Clifford Crunch, 1/2 cup of Fiber One Original, 1 cup berries and 1 cup 365 brand Unsweetened Rice Milk.  I fell into this rut because it was a low point filling breakfast.  But I decided I needed to branch out and try some new things too.  I still eat many of these things listed above, but I mix it up now.  I have compiled a list of some of the products I use the most.  Some of them I have just discovered (thanks to other people on the Weight Watchers Vegetarian Message Board) and some of them I have used for awhile.  Also, some of these products I am phasing out of my diet because they are not organic or I have discovered they use genetically modified crops.  But here they are:

Clifford Crunch Cereal made by Cascadian Farms (organic)--Clifford Crunch is a lot like Lucky Charms cereal without the marshmallows and it's only 1 point per cup.

Barbara's Puffins Original Cereal-This product is not certified organic but Barbara's Bakery is a good company with ethical business practices.  You can have 3/4 of a cup of the Original Puffins for 1 point.

Whole Foods makes the 365 store brand.  Many times, you can really get a good deal on this brand.  I buy the Unsweetened Rice Milk by the case because I get a 10% discount that way.  There are a lot of perks to using this particular rice milk--it's vegan, organic and it's zero (yes, I said zero) points per cup.  The fiber is so high that it brings the points down to zero.  Also, it doesn't have to be refrigerated until it's opened.  That makes storing it very easy.  Plus, I don't live near a Whole Foods so when I go, I can easily stock up.

I have recently been making a lot of smoothies.  Sometimes I add silken tofu to them to get extra protein but I recently found out about Nutiva Hemp Shake to add to my smoothies.  A friend on the Vegetarian Message Board mentioned this product so I decided to give it a try.  I ordered a sampler pack so I could try all of the products and I discovered that my favorite was the Berry Pomegranate Hemp Shake.  It's 1 point per 4 TBSPs and it gives you a lot of fiber and protein.  Now when I have a smoothie, I get a calcium serving from the rice milk, 2 fruit servings, protein and extra fiber.  (All of that for 3 points-it's a good way to start the day.)

I have also tried to use less sugar, only whole wheat pastas, brown rice and other whole grains.  I bake with Agave Nectar instead of sugar now.  It's a syrup and it's a bit sweeter than maple syrup so you can use less of it than you would maple syrup or sugar.  It's supposed to be low on the glycemic index, however, I know there's still some speculation about this. 

Starletta is the brand I have found for organic whole wheat pasta. 

I have been buying white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour when baking.  I try to buy organic when available, but a lot of times, I have to buy what's available.  When organic is not available, my grocery store usually carries King Arthur brand White Whole Wheat Flour.

I am a dessert person.  I love to bake and I love to have something sweet at the end of th day.  This has been a big part of why I struggle with my weight.  It's a comfort food for me and I love to bake cookies, cupcakes, etc. especially when I have company.  I love to show people that vegan baked goods can be amazing.  However, I am not the type of person who can bake for others and not eat it.  So I have had to scale back a lot on baking or learn to bake healthier versions of my favorites such as chocolate chip cookies and chocolate cupcakes.  When I have dessert at night, these are some of the products that I love:

So Delicious non-dairy ice cream is amazing.  The Mocha Fudge flavor is only 2 points for 1/2 a cup. 

I know Ghiradelli brand is not organic, but they make my favorite vegan chocolate chip in the whole wide world.  It's the semi-sweet chocolate chip they make.

Suzanne's Rice Mellow cream is amazing.  It's made with brown rice syrup instead of sugar and it's also gluten free and vegan.  It's only 1 point for 3 TBSP.  It's a great non-dairy ice cream topper. 

Trader Joe's also makes a vegan mint chocolate called UFOs.  This is only an occasional treat for me because I often don't want to use my points for just a few chocolates, but they are really tasty.

Okay-so here's the deal with the rest of the products I am going to list.  They are not organic and, most likely, genetically modified.  I am not super proud of using these products but I feel I should list them because, right now, in my weight loss journey, they are getting me through the day.  However, I am phasing some of these products out.  If I am phasing a product out, I will show what I am replacing it with. 

Fiber One cereal has been my go-to cereal since this summer.  You can have 1/2 a cup for zero pts so I have mixed it with other cereals and I have also used it as a dessert when I make chocolate haystacks.  But it has aspartame, it's not organic and it's more than likely genetically modified.  Not good any way you look at it. 

But I have found this cereal.  The nutritional info is very similar to Fiber One and it's organic:

My love affair with Morningstar Farms is coming to an end.  So sad.....yes, indeed.  But it has to go.  I don't have to wonder about it being genetically modified....I know it is.  They have a statement about it stating that unless you buy the organic variety, you are getting genetically modified food.  So once it's out of my freezer, it's out of my life for good. 

But Dr. Praeger's makes veggie burgers that are not genetically modified.  I bought some of these this past weekend at Trader Joe's but I have not tried them yet.  I am also going to make my own seitan black bean burgers this weekend from the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook (see previous post).  I have also started making my own seitan and vegan cheese.  This saves money and I am not buying heavily processed foods. 

These are some of the other products that I am less than proud of but I use them. 

Thomas Brand Bagel Thins--this product is fairly new, so I couldn't find an image.  But this is the brand logo:

Blue Diamond has refrigerated almond milk now.  The original variety is only 60 calories per serving and it's thick and a little sweet.  I really like the taste of it.  (Unfortunately, it's not organic though.)

Better Than Peanut Butter makes a peanut butter that's low fat.  I'm not sure how they do this (probably GMO) but I still buy it.  It gives me the taste of peanut butter but 2 TBSP is only 2 points instead of 5.  I like to make peanut butter toast with this. 

Okay, so this is my list I have now.  I am sure I am forgetting products and hopefully as I discover new products, I can post some more.  I am posting this because I know it really helps me to see what other vegans are eating.  Hopefully this will help you too. 


  1. I'm so glad I came to check out your blog again!! This post is awesome! I want to hang it up in my kitchen! I would have never guessed I can eat Puffins. So many new things to try. Thanks so much! :)

  2. I just ordered the chocolate hemp shake--got 2 of them for 18 on amazon subscribe and save! Can't wait to try it--I KNOW I don't get enough protein!