Tag Archives: Costco

How to Make the World’s Thinnest Soup From Scratch

I haven’t done anything by Mr. Lazy Cook in a while and I thought you might enjoy this very tasty soup.

Tony

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Mr. Lazy Cook is at it again. What to do with left over white meat from a delicious Costco rotisserie chicken? Also, it is the middle of a heat wave over much of the country, and certainly here in Chicago. That isn’t conducive to spending a lot of time preparing meals.

It happens that I have on hand a large amount of previously cooked barley. I have mentioned in previous lazy cookery posts that I like to work ahead by precooking several day’s to a week’s worth of one dish that I can then mix and match to create simple and fast meals.

When I precook the barley, I don’t use plain water any more. I use chicken broth that comes in cartons. This also happens to be a Costco ingredient. Six quart cartons cost less than $10. The bottom line is that the barley is quite tasty cooked this…

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Is Hummus Good For You?

Everyone is familiar with hummus, right? That pasty substance made from crushed garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and sesame seeds and spices. Years ago you had to go to a Middle Eastern restaurant to get it, but now lots of restaurants serve this as a tasty appetizer with pita bread. You can even pick it up at the supermarket.

I am here to suggest that you take some home. Not from the restaurant. You can find it on many grocer’s shelves. I get the excellent Sabra brand at Costco in 2 lb tubs. Sabra calls this their secret recipe. I don’t know about that, but I do consider it the most delicious hummus I have ever had.
sabra.hummus

But that is personal. Hummus itself is really good for you no matter the brand.

According to Wikipedia, “Hummus is high in iron and vitamin C, and also has significant amounts of folate and vitamin B6. The chickpeas make it a good source of protein and dietary fiber; the tahini consists mostly of sesame seeds, which are an excellent source of the amino acid methionine, complementing the proteins in the chickpeas. Depending on the recipe, hummus carries varying amounts of monounsaturated fat. Hummus is useful in vegetarian and vegan diets and like other combinations of grains and pulses, when eaten with bread it serves as a complete protein.”
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My Guilty Pleasure

I haven’t written a Mr. Lazy Cook post in a long time, so I thought I might get around to one. For the most part Lazy Cook posts have been simple, delicious and highly nutritious meals. This one not so much.

I happened upon this sandwich one day almost by accident. You know how creative people always say that they saw the idea elsewhere and simply improvised on it? Well, that’s what I did.

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A little history here. A hundred years ago, it seems, I was working at Reuters in the Chicago Board of Trade building. It was high pressure on the news desk and we welcomed our breaks which were often too few and too short. One of our favorite mid-morning things was to send someone across the street to a little diner and order a couple of their wonderful fried egg sandwiches. What made them so wonderful? Well, some culinary genius in the diner decided that instead of a mundane bread or toast on the egg sandwich he would substitute cinnamon raisin bread. In addition, he topped off the sandwich with melted cheese and bacon. So, it was ended up being a grilled cheese, bacon and egg sandwich on cinnamon raisin toast. My mouth is watering just remembering it. By the way, I make no claim as to the nutritional value of this creation, only its flavor. In fact, I was bumping up against the 175 pound level in those days.

So that is the origin of my guilty pleasure.

Here is how my ‘creation’ came about. First of all, I love peanut butter. I start every morning with a spoon full of peanut butter dipped in coconut oil before I set off on my bike ride. First thing in the morning I like to get out on the bike as early as possible, so I just fuel up with that. That way I don’t have to stop for breakfast or hang up my body digesting when it should be driving the pedals on the bike. Often, before walking the dog at midday, I will stick a tablespoon into the peanut butter jar and take one for an energy snack.

So, my guilty pleasure starts with peanut butter.

Here it is on toasted cinnamon streusel bread

Here it is on toasted cinnamon streusel bread

I was thinking about raisin cinnamon bread while at Costco recently and stumbled upon Kirkland Cinnamon Streusel. I had heard of streudel, but not streusel. What the heck, I took a chance. I have found that you can’t go too far wrong trying something you never had from Costco.

My girlfriend and I enjoyed toasting up the streusel in the ensuing days.

As an old eater of PB&Js,  I wondered how peanut butter might taste on that toasted streusel without the jelly. The sweetness of the streusel might work with the peanut butter. Turns out it did.

So, I was on my way to my guilty pleasure with toasted streusel and peanut butter melting on it. Yum.

But wait … how about adding coconut oil to it? I have learned over the past couple of years of consuming coconut oil pretty much every chance I get, that it adds a nice little under-flavor of coconut to dishes.

Here is my guilty pleasure. I toast up a slice of streusel, slather it up with coconut oil and spread peanut butter on top. It literally melts in my mouth. Magnificent. I often have it for lunch after a bike ride. It is also sweet enough to double as dessert.

Here is the nutritional breakdown:
Streusel – One slice. Calories 210, Fat 5 grams, Cholesterol 5 grams, Sodium 190 mg, Carbs 37 grams, Sugar 16 grams, Protein 4 grams

Peanut Butter – 2 tablespoons. Calories 190, Fat 17 grams, Sodium 140 mg, Carbs 7 grams, Sugar 3 grams, Protein 7 grams

Coconut Oil – one tablespoon. Calories 117, Fat 14 grams, No Sodium,  No Carbs, No Sugar, No Protein

I have broken the nutritional facts down in this way in case you want to try one yourself with a different bread, wrap, whatever. You can substitute your own nutritional breakdown for that. If you do substitute or try mine, please share your impression.

Buon appetito!

UPdate: 24 December – Here is a nutritional breakdown for Pepperidge Farm Raisin Cinnamon Swirl in case you would like to try this sandwich with a lower calorie bread. One slice. Calories 80, Fat 1.5 grams, Cholesterol 0 grams, Sodium 100 mg, Carbs 15 grams, Sugar 5 grams, Protein 2 grams.

Tony

 

 

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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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What is a Super Healthy Energy Treat? – nogii’s Protein D’Lites

I must apologize for the lateness of this write up. I found nogiis in Costco over a year ago and I have probably consumed five bags of them by now. I kept thinking about writing them up, but just never got around to it. Till now.

If you haven’t run across them, they are wonderful little very healthy energy bars put out by Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Yes, she is the one from TV.0085651300224_500X500

Nogiis measure about 1.5 inches square and they are less than an inch thick. Individually wrapped, they travel well. I stick a couple in the pocket of my jersey when I go off to bike.

What are they? Very tasty chocolate, caramel, crunchy and chewy quasi cubes. There is a light milk chocolate flavor that I find very appealing. They almost taste like healthy Reese’s peanut butter cups. Since they only amount to 120 calories, they are perfect for my biking energy snacks. I eat half of one for 60 calories. That way my body isn’t bogged down digesting a ton, but I get an energy boost.

Nutrition Breakdown:
One bar = one ounce, or 28 grams
Calories 120
Total fat 4.5 grams
Saturated fat 2 grams
No cholesterol
Sodium 90 mg
Carbohydrates 13 grams
Fiber one gram
Sugar 8 grams
Protein 7 grams

They are gluten-free if that appeals to you.

The package suggests “in the car, gym bag or at the movies” for other uses. This portable protein is always on hand.

Tony

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9 Rules Of Smart Snacking

Our Better Health

BY JEANETTE BRONÉE     JULY 28, 2014

As a health and nutrition consultant, two big questions I’m always asked are: When should I snack? and What should I snack on? Snacking often ends up being more like erratic eating so here are some tips to help you snack smartly:

1. Snack when your hunger is real.

When there is too much time between meals, you might need a bite to hold you over. The stomach takes three to four hours to empty, so if your next meal is five hours away, eat a little. If you under-eat or wait too long, watch out for over-snacking. You don’t want a snack to turn into brunch or dinner.

2. Snack when your blood sugar is low.

How can you tell? If your meals are high in starch or sugar, you might get low blood sugar shortly after eating, a swing that…

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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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What About the Clif Mojo Sweet and Salty Bars from Costco?

On the one hand, I have been eating ‘energy’ or ‘protein’ snack bars for over 40 years. I used to buy the old Balance Bars back when I was working as a reporter and couldn’t get away for lunch. So, I have a lot of experience with them. Likewise, today after retirement, while riding my bike daily and logging lots of miles, I rely on bars for my energy breaks and for fuel to keep me going. All this is a prelude to my having just discovered the Clif Mojo Sweet and Salty Bars on my last visit to, you guessed it – Costco.

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I’m sure regular readers are experiencing some deja vu here, as I have time and again written about my latest discovery from Costco. I must confess that while the Mojo bars are new to me, I may be like the husband, the last to know. I’m not sure how long they have actually been around.

Going back to my early experience with energy bars, I have eaten more than one that tasted a lot like flavored sawdust. Nowadays, however, particularly with this Mojo bar, the old Virginia Slims slogan applies, “You’ve come a long way, Baby.”

These new bars hit me right in the taste buds – sweet and salty. Everything I love. Before I got control of my weight, my appetite for both the sweet and salty treats contributed to my undoing. In the evenings, I used to snack on salty potato chips and pretzels and then finish off with ice cream or chocolate. That’s how I got  up to plus 220 pounds and a plus 4o inch waist. You can read about how I lost 50 pounds in 52 weeks. Now comes a healthy treat that is both sweet and salty from the noted Clif kitchens. I love the taste as well as the texture of these bars.131114-P7843

The box I bought from Costco was a “24 bar variety pack,” including eight mountain mix, eight dark chocolate almond coconut and eight peanut butter pretzel. The box reads, “70% Organic; 8-9 grams of protein and low glycemic.”

The nutritional breakdown among the three bars is very close:

Serving size: one bar, 45 grams, about 1.5 ounces.
Calories 180
Total Fat 9 grams
Saturated Fat 1.5 grams
No cholesterol
Sodium 200 mg
Potassium 180 mg
Carbohydrates, 21 grams
Fiber 2 grams
Protein 8 grams

To add a sliver of objectivity to this writeup I want to quote from a National Institutes of Health study on protein bars, “The replacement in the diet of refined carbohydrate and fat with fiber and protein has been shown to promote satiety and improve glucose and insulin profiles…. Altering the macronutrient composition of a snack bar can assist in reducing the energy intake at a subsequent meal and improve short term glucose and insulin profiles.”

Check them out and let me know what you think.

Tony

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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.

sardines-vs-anchovies-1314903jpg-e6baaaadd71adeea

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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What is a Pulse Oximeter from Costco?

Funny you should ask.

The pulse oximeter pictured here is a neat little gadget that Costco is selling. As you can see from the picture, it monitors your Heart Rate (pulse), Oxygen Level and your Blood Flow. In sum, very useful information provided in a matter of seconds with no penetration of your flesh. There is even a cool graph of your heart beat on the screen.350-588488-847__1 In this period of wearables, the Pulse Oximeter is reminiscent of the first cell phones. But, you can feel like a camp counselor and wear it around your neck using the attached lanyard.

Before I go into explanations and specifications, I want to disclose that I bought one of these and have been using it for a week now. Love it! It is particularly useful when I am stair climbing. I like to get a handle on how my heart rate accelerates on the climb and then nosedives when I walk around to bring it down.

The Costco listing: “The Quest Pulse Oximeter is designed to support individuals as they monitor their pulse rate and oxygen saturation. This lightweight portable device takes fast, non-invasive measurements at the fingertip. Ideal for monitoring heart rate and oxygen saturation during sports activities, while exercising or during air travel. “

Okay, what does it measure?
Pulse Rate Measurement (BPM) – Measures the number of heart beats per minute. A normal adult pulse rate while resting is between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) – Oxygen saturation is a measure of how much oxygen the blood is carrying as a percentage of the maximum it could carry. Measuring saturated hemoglobin is a useful screening tool for determining basic respiratory function.
Perfusion Index (PI%) – Perfusion index is an indication of the pulse strength at the sensor site. The PI’s values range from 0.2% for very weak pulse to 20% for extremely strong pulse.

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What are Sunrise Clusters with Greek Yogurt Chips from Costco?

Another trip through Costco, another fun healthy snack food found. I wrote about Sunrise Energy Bars back in November and recounted how much I enjoyed them as an energy boost on bike rides.

Apparently now comes the next chapter from the Sunrise brand. These are not bars, but just about bite size (slightly bigger) clusters of a granola-like substance. The package boasts ALL NATURAL, WHOLE GRAIN, OMEGA 3. As you can see from the photo, they come in a big tub and are not individually wrapped like a lot of energy products.

clusters

For folks with little impulse control, here is my early verdict. I have snacked on a couple of them and liked the taste very much. They are very handy for a guy like me who tosses little snacks into a bag and brings them on bike rides for energy pick me ups.

The ingredients include: whole grain rolled oats, whole grain oat flour, cranberries, raisins, dried apples, apricots, almonds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, walnuts, shredded coconut, non-hydrogenated canola oil, unsalted butter, Greek yogurt chips, sugar, palm kernel oil, yogurt powder, whey protein concentrate, nonfat dry milk, yogurt cultures, reduced mineral whey powder, lactic acid, soy lecithin, vanilla, brown sugar, honey, salt, baking powder, baking soda, tapioca syrup, natural flavor and cinnamon.

The nutritional breakdown is as follows:
Serving size 3 pieces (28 grams) which amounts to one ounce.
Calories 140
Total fat 8 grams
Saturated fat 2 grams
Cholesterol 5 mg
Sodium 75 mg
Total carbohydrates 15 grams
Fiber 2 grams
Protein 3 grams

Nutritionally, the Clusters are almost identical with the Sunrise Energy Bars:
Here is the nutritional breakdown for a single Sunrise Energy Bar of 28 grams:
Calories 130
Total fat 6 grams
Saturated fat 3 grams
Cholesterol 10 mg
Sodium 75 mg
Total carbohydrates 17 grams
Fiber 3 grams
Protein 2 grams

They don’t taste very different, either. So, it may come down to what shape you like your energy snacks in, bite-sized cluster, or slightly larger snack bar.

As far as function goes, I ride my bike almost daily here in Chicago. I take along snacks to boost my energy. When I take a break for a snack I try to limit my intake to about 50 calories so my body doesn’t get hung up in digestion. So, the slightly lower in calorie Clusters appeal to me.

As always, your comments are welcome.

Tony

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Filed under biking, calories, energy, energy bars, Exercise, food labels, portion control, portion size, snack foods, Snacking, Weight

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.
Dark_angel_(TV)
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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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.

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Smart Health Walking Fit Watch – Cool Gadget

Once again, I got a great deal on a cool product from Costco. This time it was via email. Costco is sending out a flyer every day with Christmas deals on it. This was on one of them last week.

Actually, one of the folks in my aerobics class inspired it. He has a heart rate monitor and I thought it was a nice idea to see how much of a load any workout put on my heart. Then the offer from Costco came, and I bit.

The watch comes in either white or black

The watch comes in either white or black

Although I am somewhat computer savvy, I don’t love messing with them. So, I had misgivings about buying a little watch. It advertises that besides telling time there is a step count, calorie burn, distance and, of course, the heart rate monitor. I did not look forward to punching in a lot of this button and that button the feed it my vital statistics. But, the listing said ‘NO SET-UP.’ Costco advertised it as $39.95, on special for $25. So I ordered it.

I have now owned it for two days and I like it a lot. The heart rate works very well. The watch has two contacts, the back of your wrist and a finger pad on the watch face. It takes only seconds to get a reading and so far they have been excellent. I had been using the iPhone monitor which requires taking your pulse for 15 seconds and multiplying by four. Slow and cumbersome, but no problem for biking. I couldn’t use it in an aerobics class.

The step count works well, too. Because it is in your watch it is based on arm swings. I like this because when I ride my bike, I can’t have a pedometer on me that measures steps because my legs are pedaling away. My arms aren’t swinging at all.

It says all day calorie burn, but since I use Lose It! I don’t need that nor use it, so I can’t comment on how it works. I know that the User Manual offers what they call ‘Advanced Set-Up’ which inputs your height, weight, age, etc. It was a little complicated, but not too bad.

I don’t need to paint with that fine a brush. I like that it gives me an estimate of how many steps I took during the day, keeps accurate time and allows me to monitor my heart rate at a moment’s notice. For 25 bucks that’s a win.

If you are considering starting a walking program, or would just like to get a reading on how far you walk on a given day, you might be able to use this. I feel strongly about the benefits of walking. Check out the walking tags at right for more details.

As an old fogie, I like analog watch faces, so I am not thrilled that this gives a digital readout of the time. But, that’s personal and may have no relevance to you.

As always your comments are invited.

Addendum:Posted December fifth. I have just come back from my aerobics class and used the heart rate monitor successfully several times. Fascinating to see how my heart rate varied through the class.

Tony

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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