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We Ate It: NEW Flavors from Food Should Taste Good


Earlier this year, we were introduced to Food Should Taste Good chips.

Back then, they had seven flavors: Multigrain, Olive, The Works, Buffalo, Sweet Potato, Jalapeno and Chocolate. Now, they've added four new flavors: Yellow Corn, Potato and Chive, Lime and Cinnamon.

Like with the other varieties, the flavor is in--not just on--the chip, so they're great on their own or with a healthy dip.

Food Should Taste Good happily shared samples at the Spark Your Life Convention in San Diego on May 2, and they sent some to the office for us to try, too.
We still love these chips!
Posted 5/20/2009  6:24:37 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 78 comments   7,544 views
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We Tried A Bakers Dozen Yogurts--So You Don't Have To!


Until now, the dailySpark has been reviewing foods one at a time. We're trying something different. We'll review several varieties of one food, then share the pros and cons with you. We won't pick a "winner," because taste is subjective. We will share our comments and opinions in the new series Supermarket Survey.

How often do you buy a food at the grocery store, only to get it home and try it--and dislike it. It's too sweet, not flavorful, too thick, not filling enough, etc.? It's disappointing--and expensive! That's why we're we're doing these large-scale reviews.

We started with yogurt: fat-free vanilla and low-fat strawberry. We tried them all: organic and conventional, creamy and chunky, thick and thin. We even tried a soy yogurt.

Take a peek at our evaluation and our comments!

Posted 5/7/2009  5:31:36 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 388 comments   17,858 views
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We Drank It: POMx Iced Coffee


When we heard that the pomegranate juice purveyor POM was selling coffee, we were intrigued and slightly perplexed. Pomegranate isn't a fruit flavor that we thought would mix well with coffee. What would it taste like? Why mix coffee and pomegranates? Would it be fruity?

We were proven wrong. The coffee is made by POM, and it does contain the antioxidant power of pomegranates, but it does not taste like the Persephone's forbidden fruit in the least! It's only available in a few markets for now, but we wanted to be ahead of the trend.

We've got plenty of java junkies around the office who jumped at the chance to try a cool new coffee.

Posted 4/30/2009  6:19:49 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 100 comments   11,060 views
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We Ate It: Is KFC's Grilled Chicken as Good as Its Fried?


The big news on the fast-food front this week was the launch of Kentucky Grilled Chicken at KFC. We were eager to try it and offer our feedback to you.

Overall, people were pleased about the new chicken's taste, but there were a few surprises in store when we opened the bucket.
Posted 4/28/2009  9:22:52 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 198 comments   20,838 views
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We Ate It: Frozen Yogurt Treats with Probiotics from Blue Bunny


The weather at SparkPeople headquarters is finally getting warm. We're saying sayonara to winter with lunch-time pickup basketball games, open windows in the office--and ice cream taste-tests.

Blue Bunny recently unveiled some new ice cream treats that feature probiotics and granola. They come in flavors like double chocolate and double strawberry, so we were excited when Blue Bunny sent us some to try. If it's cold, sweet and creamy, chances are we'll like it--or at least try it.

What they say:
Aspen Snack Bar and Sedona Sandwich: frozen novelties that combine creamy probiotic frozen yogurt and honey oat granola:

Aspen Snack Bars – These snack bars combine creamy, probiotic frozen yogurt with a layer of fruit filling topped with crunchy granola crumbles and enrobed in a yogurt coating. This better-for-you snack will be available in two flavors:
  • Raspberry Vanilla: Raspberry low fat frozen yogurt with a layer of raspberry fruit filling topped with crunchy granola crumbles and enrobed in a vanilla-flavored coating.
  • Double Strawberry: Strawberry low fat frozen yogurt with a layer of strawberry fruit filling topped with crunchy granola crumbles and enrobed in a vanilla-flavored coating.


Sedona Sandwiches – These healthier ice cream sandwiches feature creamy, probiotic frozen yogurt with thick swirls of fruit or fudge, sandwiched between two chewy honey oat granola wafers. Sedona Sandwiches will be available in two flavors:
  • Double Strawberry: Strawberry low fat frozen yogurt with a thick swirl of strawberry fruit flavor, sandwiched between two honey oat granola wafers.
  • Double Chocolate:
Chocolate low fat frozen yogurt with a thick swirl of fudge, sandwiched between two honey oat granola wafers.
Posted 4/20/2009  2:13:36 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 97 comments   13,080 views
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We Ate It: Healthy Ones Lunch Meat


Who doesn't love lunch meat? It makes for a quick and easy protein fix any time of day. However, most cold cuts are full of sodium and fillers. When we heard about Healthy Ones lunch meats, which have received the American Heart Association seal of approval, we asked to try some. The Healthy Ones lunch meat has less sodium than other lunch meats, says it contains no fillers and is 97% fat free.

We tried the Honey Ham and Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast.
Posted 4/16/2009  2:10:54 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 832 comments   27,305 views
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We Ate It: Custom-Made Energy Bars from YouBar


I am a BIG fan of bars. Energy bars, breakfast bars, granola bars--you name it, I like it! They're portable and great for eating before or after the gym, during a long afternoon meeting or on a road trip.

Recently I learned about YouBars, which are customized bars. I contacted the company and asked if we could sample some products. They let me design a bar for us to try (and you can, too!) and then sent along some of their more popular bars.
UPDATED: YouBar's co-owner just contacted me. He is offering dailySpark readers a 10% discount!

He wrote: "Thank you so much for the wonderful article about our company. We
have received quite a response from your readers.

I was reading over the comments on the article and I noticed that
people thought the bars were a little out of their price range. I
would like to extend a 10% discount to your readers. All they have to
do is type in "dailyspark" in the coupon code section of the shopping
cart page and they will receive the discount on the entire order."

Posted 3/26/2009  10:34:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 113 comments   11,505 views
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I Tried It: Coconut Water


I'm not a big fan of most beverages. I use soymilk on cereal, drink tea occasionally, and have a rare glass of OJ. Most of the time, I'm satisfied with water. Soda, juice and sports drinks are usually too sweet for me. If I want something fancy, I ask for club soda or a slice of lemon for my flat water.

Then I discovered what has become my new favorite beverage: coconut water. Two weeks ago, I was battling a wicked sinus infection. Though I was guzzling water and hot green tea, I just felt a bit dehydrated. I wanted something new and different, a treat that would also help me get in more fluids.

High on a shelf in the beverage aisle, I spotted coconut water. The package boasted some interesting nutrition facts:
  • Fat free
  • A natural source of electrolytes
  • Twice the potassium as a banana
  • Only 60 calories for about 12 ounces

    I bought one, took it home, and drank it that night. Now I'm hooked! I drink them two or three times a week, usually after a hot yoga class or particularly grueling Spinning classes.

    Posted 3/23/2009  2:07:28 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 218 comments   42,283 views
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  • We Ate It: Kashi TLC Fruit & Grain Bars


    Kashi has a knack for making healthy foods taste good.
    From granola bars to frozen meals, cereal to cookies, they've got the snack world covered.

    Now they have another snack option: TLC Fruit and Grain Bars. From the name, we thought they'd be similar to the Kashi TLC Cereal Bars.

    These are a completely different snack! Unlike the chewy and fruity bars, which are great for breakfast on the run or an afternoon sweet craving, these are chewy and rich--more like a combination granolas/pastry bar.

    Posted 3/17/2009  2:00:21 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 146 comments   8,076 views
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    We Ate It: Chobani Greek Yogurt


    Frozen, fruity or fat-free, yogurt is a tasty and popular snack. Full of calcium and often low in calories and fat, it's no wonder yogurt comes in almost every flavor imaginable. It's good stuff!

    A stroll down the yogurt aisle in any grocery store yields a multitude of choices. There's fruit on the bottom, custard style, Swiss style, European style and Greek style, among other types of yogurt. (For more info on what to look for in a yogurt, read this story by Dietitian Becky.)

    Recently, we decided to sample a Greek style yogurt that we've read about on other food blogs: Chobani Greek yogurt.

    Greek yogurt is typically thicker and creamier than other yogurts. Our friend Shauna Reid, aka Dietgirl, is a huge fan of the stuff. "Go Greek," she told us. "If you’re a cream or sour cream fiend, 0% or 2% Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute. It's low in fat, protein-rich and incredibly creamy. Dollop into meringue nests and top with fresh fruit. Splodge onto a bowl of chilli. Swirl into butternut squash soup.”

    In addition to being tasty and creamy--even when fat-free--Greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular yogurt. Here's why:

    According to the folks at Chobani Greek yogurt, it's because of the straining process.

    "We are taking the water and the whey out of the milk when we process it, making Chobani more concentrated than a traditional yogurt. If you think about our product compared to any other brand, we are using about three times more milk to get the same 6oz container that (other) yogurt would use (a ratio of about 3lbs of milk gets turned into 1lb of yogurt). Since we use more milk, we are now getting more protein."

    However, because the whey is drained off, there is slightly less calcium in Greek yogurt.
    Comparison of standard 6-ounce servings:
    Standard yogurt (plain, fat-free)
    80 calories
    0 g fat
    9 g protein
    30% Daily Value calcium

    Chobani Greek yogurt (plain, fat-free)
    100 calories
    0 g fat
    18 g protein
    20% Daily Value calcium


    OK, enough talk. Let's eat some yogurt!
    Posted 3/12/2009  6:37:34 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 236 comments   65,278 views
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    We Ate It: Gnu Bars, with 50% of Your Daily Fiber


    Do you have a hard time getting adequate fiber?

    We're keen on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, so getting adequate fiber isn't usually a problem. However, many of us don’t get the much-needed 25 to 30 grams recommended daily for a healthy diet.

    Why is fiber so important? In addition to keeping you regular (thus improving your mood, some say!), fiber can also help aid in weight loss, reduce your risk of heart disease, lower your blood pressure, manage diabetes, prevent certain kinds of cancer and reduce hemorrhoids and diverticulosis. (Find out more about fiber's myriad health benefits in our Fiber Reference Guide.)

    Recently, we tried a variety of Gnu Bars. These bars boast that they're high in fiber but don't taste like cardboard, which many people associate with fiber. Find out more.

    Posted 3/5/2009  2:04:47 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 125 comments   12,961 views
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    We Ate It: Barney Butter Almond Butter


    With the massive peanut butter recall going on, we thought it would be a great time to explore some of the alternatives out there. I've seen other food bloggers rave about Barney Butter, so we requested some to try.
    Barney Butter is an almond butter that's more like the traditional peanut butters. They're creamy and smooth, and they don't need to be stirred or refrigerated. Why choose almond butter? Almond butter has less saturated fat--plus more calcium, iron, vitamin E, fiber and magnesium--than peanut butter.

    Posted 2/10/2009  2:02:27 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 91 comments   11,061 views
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    We Ate It: Muffin and Pancake Mix from Fiber One and Bisquick


    Recently, we received some new baking products to try: Fiber One Pancake Mix, Fiber One Muffin Mix, and Bisquick Healthy Heart mix.
    We thought we'd give them a shot.

    The Fiber One mixes each have 20% of your daily fiber recommendations, while the Bisquick has half the fat as the original.

    Find out what we thought.
    Posted 2/4/2009  1:55:16 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 186 comments   15,856 views
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    We Ate It: VitaTop Muffin Tops


    Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode with the muffin tops? They are the best part of the muffin, for sure! The folks at Vitalicious know that, and they've created lighter versions of almost every muffin imaginable.
    Unlike the 400-calorie-a-pop giant muffins at your favorite coffee houses, these muffins are all about 100 calories, little to no fat, and contain at least 5 g of fiber.

    We tried a sampler pack of the muffins.
    What they say:
    "VitaTop muffin tops have all of the healthy benefits of our delicious VitaMuffin- - now even more convenient to carry and eat on-the-run. The VitaTop, a "one-hand" satisfying snack food with the portability of a bar, is easy to eat anywhere, anytime. At your desk or on the road, these handy muffin tops fit conveniently into a purse, briefcase, work out bag, backpack and lunchbox."
    Posted 1/26/2009  1:53:17 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 140 comments   37,875 views
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    We Ate It: Pizza Hut's 'The Natural' Pizza


    Have you seen the commercials for "The Natural" pizza from Pizza Hut? We did, and we couldn't wait to give it a try. Would there be a difference? Would this pizza be any lighter in calories or lower in fat? Would it be healthier in any way?

    One Friday afternoon, we ordered four pizzas: a Natural and a regular half-pepperoni and half-sausage and a Natural and a regular cheese pizza.

    Posted 1/19/2009  4:17:58 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 176 comments   19,352 views
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