Category Archives: Costco

What About Aussie Bites at Costco?

I don’t know how long Costco has been carrying them, but I just stumbled across Aussie Bites at Costco yesterday. These seem to be a variation on the theme of Sunrise Energy Bars which I posted about here in November of 2012. They look like a smaller version of the Sunrise bars, they are packaged in a transparent plastic tub and sealed similarly (see pics). And that isn’t where the similarity ends. After I wrote about the Sunrise bars, Costco stopped carrying them for awhile. You can check the comments on that post for details. One of the items readers noticed were the Aussie Bites which seemed to be a substitute.

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I am a satisfied Costco customer, but don’t have a clue about their marketing practices. Items are on the shelves then they disappear. Sometimes they reappear, sometimes they reappear with new packaging. Not a clue.

So, what about these Aussie Bites? They are granola-like with a consistency closer to a muffin. I thought they tasted similar to the Sunrise bars although somewhat sweeter.

Nutrition is as follows:
One serving is one ounce – 28 grams
Calories 130
Total fat 7 grams
Saturated fat 3 grams
Cholesterol 10 mg
Sodium 35 mg
Carbohydrates 15 grams
Fiber 2 grams
Protein 2 grams

The Aussie Bites ingredients include: Whole grain rolled oats, Whole grain oat flour, Unsalted butter, Expeller pressed canola oil, Sugar, Honey, Dried apricots, Raisins, Sunflower kernels, Flax seeds, Shredded coconut, Baking soda and Salt.

For nutritional comparison here is the breakdown for a single one ounce bar: 130 calories, total fat 6 grams, saturated fat 3 grams, cholesterol 10 mg, Sodium 75 grams, carbohydrates 17 grams, fiber 3 grams and 2 grams of protein.

Although they have the same serving size, the Aussie Bites are smaller in size than the Sunrise bars, so you need to pay attention to how much you are eating. The 130 calories is not bad for a snack, but if you eat two or three that is another story. On the positive side, I think these are pretty dense nutritionally compared with junk food like Hostess Ho Ho’s which I wrote about two Novembers ago.

Personally, these work very well for what I consider to be energy snacks. I bring them along on a bike ride and eat about 50 calories worth when I take a break. So, I get energy without tying up my digestive system with a lot of work.

If you are a snacker, you might want to check out my Page – Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Tony

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Filed under Costco, energy bars, Exercise, Snacking

What About the New Costco Trek Mix?

I know this comes as no surprise to regular readers, but I have stumbled upon yet another tasty and healthy treat at Costco. This time it is the “Trek Mix.” Like the Clif Mojo Bars I wrote up not long ago, these also boast a sweet and salty taste. I guess that is the new trend – both sweet and salty.

I was impressed at the quality of the ingredients. This is directly from the package- “Kirkland Signature Trek Mix contains the following quality ingredients: Chocolate Chips that are made from 51 percent cacao, real vanilla, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and a delicious chia cinnamon granola cluster.”

trek mix

I don’t know if that sounds good to you, but my girlfriend and I opened the package and started eating them on the drive home from Costco. They were that good.

Here is the nutritional breakdown:
One 30 gram, 1/4 cup, one ounce serving provides
Calories 150
Total Fat 9 grams
Saturated Fat 2 grams
No trans fat or cholesterol
Sodium 20 mg
Total carbohydrate 15 grams
Dietary fiber 2 grams
Protein 4 grams

I can attest to the taste. These are delicious. We had to finally close up the bag for fear of wrecking our appetities before dinner. I was particularly impressed with the meager amount of sodium – only 20 mgs. It seems to me that everything I eat these days has at least 1000 mg of sodium. High salt/sodium intake is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends that adults stay under 1500 mg of sodium per day, and never take in more than 2,300 mg a day.

As always you are invited to share your experience with these snacks.

To read further on the subject of snacks, I invite you to check out my Page – Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Tony

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Filed under Costco, healthy eating, portion control, snack foods, Snacking, weight control

How About Sardines and Crackers from Costco?

I average going to Costco about once every seven to 10 days. For that reason when I saw sardines for sale there, I naturally took them as a new product. Now, I may have missed them previously, or the store may have moved them to a new position in the warehouse that became more obvious to me, but I don’t remember ever seeing them before. I like sardines and have been eating the Chicken of the Sea Brisling ones I got from a local supermarket. Naturally, I had to try the Costco ones.

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First of all, why eat sardines? The World’s Healthiest Foods site says, “Sardines are named after Sardinia, the Italian island where large schools of these fish were once found. While sardines are delightful enjoyed fresh, they are most commonly found canned, since they are so perishable. With growing concern over the health of the seas, people are turning to sardines since they are at the bottom of the aquatic food chain, feeding solely on plankton, and therefore do not concentrate heavy metals, such as mercury, and contaminants as do some other fish.

“While there are six different types of species of sardines belong to the Clupeidae family, more than 20 varieties of fish are sold as sardines throughout the world. What these fish share in common is that they are small, saltwater, oily-rich, silvery fish that are soft-boned. In the United States, sardines actually refers to a small herring, and adult sardines are known as pilchards, a name that is commonly used in other parts of the world.

170654b“Sardines are rich in numerous nutrients that have been found to support cardiovascular health. They are one of the most concentrated sources of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have been found to lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels; one serving (3.25 ounce can) of sardines actually contains over 50% of the daily value for these important nutrients. Sardines are an excellent source of vitamin B12, ranking as one of the World’s Healthiest Food most concentrated in this nutrient. Vitamin B12 promotes cardiovascular well-being since it is intricately tied to keeping levels of homocysteine in balance; homocysteine can damage artery walls, with elevated levels being a risk factor for atherosclerosis.” Continue reading

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Costco Now Carries Its Own Brand of Coconut Oil

It is just less than a year ago since I wrote Why Should I Try Coconut Oil?

Today I was shopping in Costco and came upon this huge display of their own Kirkland Brand coconut oil. I guess that means that the product sold well enough for Costco to find a company to produce it under for the Kirkland brand. That is very good news to me.

I shot this at Costco today

I shot this at Costco today

If you have been on the fence about trying coconut oil, please check out my Page – Why You Should Include Coconut Oil in Your Diet.

There are at least a dozen good reasons including that coconut oil is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It is second only to mother’s milk in its amount of lauric acid. What could be more nutritious than that?

Its medium chain fatty acids are easy on the digestive system. “It travels immediately to the liver to be converted into energy. It doesn’t circulate in the body and end up being stored as fat. So for a quick energy boost, eat a spoonful of coconut oil or add it to your food,” I wrote in that post.

One difference between the new Kirkland brand and the previous brand at Costco was that the previous brand said “Extra Virgin” coconut oil whereas the new Kirkland brand simply has “Virgin” coconut oil. What is the difference? Good question. The best answer I could find was ‘marketing.’ While there is a major difference between virgin and extra virgin olive oil, no such distinction exists in the coconut oil world.

Regarding product size: the old brand was a big fat 54 ounce jar. The new one is 42.3 ounces, but you have to buy two jars. So, you end up with more coconut oil in the slightly more manageable form of two containers.

Check it out for yourself. Costco knows a valuable product when they sell one. You should, too.

Tony

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Filed under coconut oil, Costco, healthy eating, healthy fats, healthy living, lauric acid

What are Some Super Snacks Under 100 Calories?

One of the secrets of super snacks under 100 calories is portion size. If you control the amount you are snacking on, you can enjoy just about anything. Moderation is key.

A great example of a super snack under 100 calories is watermelon. This is one of my favorite snacks and I have some almost every day. One serving of watermelon, 5.4 ounces, or one cup, yields 46 calories, no fat or cholesterol, one gram of fiber and also protein. Check out How Healthy is Watermelon for more on this super snack.

watermelon-wedges

While snacking always keep portion control in mind. Don’t go nuts doing it. But wait, you can go nuts, just limit your quantities, Harvard offers the following: “Unsalted nuts and seeds make great snacks. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, filberts, and other nuts and seeds contain many beneficial nutrients and are more likely to leave you feeling full (unlike chips or pretzels). Nuts have lots of calories, though, so keep portion sizes small.”

WebMD offers a great example of this: “When the munchies strike while you’re on the go, there are few things more convenient than nuts. You can eat 14 almonds without hitting the 100-calorie mark. Plus, they’re rich in fiber and protein, which help keep hunger at bay.”

Personally, I am a big fan of popcorn and often have it evenings watching movies. You can have several cups of popcorn popped with coconut oil and remain under 100 calories. Snacking tip: Eat one kernel at a time and consciously enjoy it. Your snack will last longer and you will appreciate it more. I found this out when I had some dental work done last winter. I asked the dentist if I could eat popcorn. He laughed and said I could if I ate one kernel at a time. I have been doing it ever since.

Roasted seaweed from Costco is another winner. I wrote about these a year ago February.

Roasted seaweed is subtle and delicious. It comes in delicate little sheets. I think it melts in your mouth. Costco sells it in packages of 17 grams. Nutritional breakdown: 100 calories. There are 300 mg of sodium which may be off putting to some. I don’t have a lot of sodium in my diet so I don’t mind.

WebMD has a nice collection of snacks under 100 calories that you can explore here.

Their first suggestion is 1/2 cup of slow-churned ice cream. “Surprise! Ice cream tops our list of low-calorie snacks. The key is to look for slow-churned or double-churned varieties. This refers to a process that reduces fat and calories while retaining the creamy texture of full-fat varieties, so 1/2 cup has just 100 calories. As a bonus, you’ll get some protein and calcium.”

Full disclosure: I am an inveterate snacker, so I have to really police myself in order to maintain my healthy weight. If you want to read further on snacking, check out my Page: Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Tony

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Filed under calories, Costco, portion control, portion size, snack foods, Snacking, Weight, weight control, weight loss

I Bought Shampoo From the Dark Angel at Costco

I have been a James Cameron fan ever since his epic creation The Terminator appeared in 1984. Cameron directed as well as co-wrote it. I enjoyed the subsequent offerings in the franchise and when Cameron co-created the Dark Angel TV series in 2000 I was there from the beginning. It broke my heart when they didn’t renew after only two years. Gorgeous 19 year old Jessica Alba played the title role of Max who was a bike messenger. As a daily bike rider, this hit me where I live.
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Cut to the present. I read in the Costco magazine recently that foxy Jessica Alba, now a 31-year old mom, has started The Honest Company that makes healthy household products. Max has managed to move the bar code from the back of her neck to the back of her shampoo bottle.

Lo and behold, going through Costco this morning, I ran across a combination shampoo and body wash from … The Honest Company.
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The shampoo is made from jojoba and quinoa proteins, organic coconut oil and moisturizers, “perfectly ph balanced to remove dirt without stripping natural oils.”

Clearly using quinoa and coconut oil makes it very attractive to a guy who has blogged about both.

I had to buy it and try it. Having done so, I can attest to its very clean ‘sweet orange vanilla’ scent. It produced only a fair lather which was disappointing, but I felt clean after using it. I will take their word that none of my natural oils were stripped away in the shower.

Personally, as a fan of the benefits of a market economy, I don’t appreciate her calling her firm The Honest Company as if all her competition is not honest. I suppose that is typical Left Coast Hollywood thinking about big business. I believe that the firms that sell Old Spice and Irish Spring, and have been around significantly longer than Jessica’s company, are equally honest and produce worthwhile products. I know, I use them, too.

So, even if you weren’t a Dark Angel fan, you might like to try her shampoo-body wash or other products.

Tony

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Filed under Costco, shampoo

Costco Changes the Roasted Seaweed Snack

Back in September I wrote Snacking on Seaweed after buying a box of Roasted and Salted Seaweed from Costco. I tacked on an addendum to that post about a month later when I bought a second box of 24 packages. Clearly, I really enjoyed the seaweed snack.

This is what the new Kirkland Seaweed package looks like

This is what the new Kirkland Seaweed package looks like

The last time I was at Costco there was a new Kirkland Brand of Roasted Seasoned Seaweed for sale. It came in a very large bag which contained 10 smaller packages of the product.

The seaweed I am talking about comes in a small sheet about 2-1/2 X 3-12 inches.

So, what does this all mean to the potential seaweed snacker? A number of things. I have written time and again about reading ingredients labels and paying attention to serving size. This seaweed snack is a perfect example of that.

The first packages I bought contained around 10 of the sheets (5 grams) with the following nutritional breakdown: Only 30 calories, fat 2 grams, no cholesterol, Sodium 50 mg, carbohydrates 1 gram, fiber 1 gram and protein 1 gram.

Continue reading

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Filed under calories, Costco, portion control, portion size, seaweed, snack foods, Snacking, sodium, Weight

What Are Sunrise Energy Bars from Costco?

NEWS FLASH: I just came from Costco today (October 25, 2014) and they have started to stock these again after dropping them for a while. —————————— At the risk of sounding like a shill for Costco, I found yet another excellent food value there yesterday. I went to pick up my new glasses from the optical department, but once there I had to shop some, too. As regular readers know I ride my bike nearly daily here in Chicago. I take along energy snacks to give me that little boost on a long ride. I am not as young as I used to be and these little pick-me-ups help. I currently have in my cabinet several boxes of Honey Stinger Waffles, Power Crunch Bars (several varieties), PowerBars and Clif Honey Oat Crunch Bars. You can read my report on any of them by typing them into the SEARCH box at the right. On a ride, I stop about every half hour. I do this to let the dog out of her basket and stretch her legs and also to have an energy break for myself. I try to limit my recharging to 50 calories per stop so my body isn’t tied up in digestion when I want energy for pedaling. Enter Sunrise Energy Bars. As you can see from the photo, they come unwrapped in a big tub. One bar looks like someone smooshed together a bunch of granola and let it harden. Continue reading

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Filed under biking, calories, Costco, energy bars, Exercise, Sunrise Energy Bars, Weight