Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Slightly Less Bad Is Still Not Good

I try hard not to eat packaged food too often. For me, packaged food often means overly processed. I don't have a problem with processed food, I just try not consume too much of it. It's a personal preference as I know lots of people including friends and family that love it. I love it too unfortunately sometimes.

One of my worst food weaknesses is ramen. Yes, ramen! My love for ramen stems from fond childhood memories. Doesn't many of our food obsession start that way? Anyhow, I try really hard not to eat it too often because it is not that good for you. The noodles are deep fried before packaging and the powdered soup base is loaded with sodium. Loaded! There is honestly nothing healthy about ramen. I eat it in the closet! Okay, not really but I do feel bad when I eat it because I feel like I am doing my body a disservice. When I can get my hands on it, I try to find fresh ramen, as in from a restaurant where the noodles are fresh and the soup is not from powder. That in itself isn't a health food either but a little better than the packaged kind.

Recently, while I was shopping at H-mart (a local Korean supermarket) I found packaged fresh ramen made by Pulmuone. I *love* Korean ramen (yes there are different kinds) so I threw one in my basket to try.

The sodium content is still off the charts but the rest looks much better than your average packaged dry ramen. 

Inside the bag was a package of noodles, dried seaweed flakes and a powdered soup base. 

The noodles were soft since they were fresh. 

I boiled some water to make the soup, then I added some water spinach and cracked an egg right into the broth, followed a couple minutes later with the noodles. They don't need to be cooked too long since it is fresh. I have to say that I really liked the final product! The noodles had a nice chewy texture and the soup wasn't half bad. I didn't think I would like this much because I've tried other fresh packaged ramen before but I never repurchased so I'm guessing I didn't like them. I would definitely buy this again.  

Another not-as-bad for you packaged find was this box of WhoNu? That's the name of these nutrient rich cookies that resembles Oreos. I was picking up a couple of things from Albertson's the other day when a lady at a sample table beckoned me over to try one of these cookies. Don't have to ask me twice to sample a cookie. I have to preface my next sentence with this little fact, I am not an avid Oreo cookie eater. Something about crunchy cookies that turns me off. I actually cannot remember the last time I had one. So I tried one of these and it tasted good to me, just like an Oreo. So I purchased a box since she gave me a couple for $1 off. I take the box to share with my loved ones and they tell me that it tastes nothing like Oreos! They said something like, "yes...these do taste like Oreos, if Oreos were healthy." Hmm. I don't know, I think they taste just like Oreos. More for me I guess.

This is impressive for a cookie! It's like the little cookie that could. 

So I started eating bagels again recently since I've been doing so much cardio. I find that I have more energy to work in the early morning hours if I eat a little something. That something has been half an Orowheat cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter. I was at Trader Joe's the other day and realized that I was about to run out of bagels so I picked up a bag of Whole Wheat Raisin Cinnamon Rolls. Okay, so these are not technically bagels but the bagel selection at Trader Joe's is slim pickin'. Seriously, they only carry healthy bagels with terms like sprouted and flax seed this and whole grain that. Man, sometimes I don't want all that fiber before I go on a run. These are okay. Obviously not chewy like a bagel because they are not bagels but it was the only cinnamon raisin anything in that section. It tastes good when you toast it up though.

I guess not all packaged food is bad. Yesterday, I forgot to pack lunch and it was already too late in the day to go and eat lunch at my work cafe so I picked up a single serve container of Sabra hummus with pretzels and ate it with 2 hard boiled egg whites. It wasn't much but it was lunch and it was good!

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