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Jeca’s Guide to Healthy Snacking

Jeca’s Guide to Healthy Snacking

In days gone by, many used to believe that snacking was “bad” for you and that sticking to “three square meals a day” was the best way to stay healthy and avoid overeating. Nowadays, many nutritionists believe the opposite is true and that eating little and often is best. At Jeca, we’re of the opinion that you should keep it simple and listen to your body! If you eat natural, nutritious food when you feel hungry, you’ll be on the right track to a healthy diet.

But as we all know, eating natural, nutritious food in our busy lives takes planning. That’s why we created Jeca bars and cookies - to give you a nutritious snack option on the go. Here are our other suggestions about how you can snack in a healthy way.

  1. Listen to you body.

All too often we snack out of habit rather than necessity. One way to ensure that your snacking stays on the healthy side is to think of a scale from 1 to 10 - where 1 is you are starving and 10 is you couldn’t eat another bite. The next time you reach for a mid-morning snack, stop and think, what level am I really? If you are 5 or above, perhaps you don’t really need that snack at all and should give it a miss and have a glass of water or a cup of tea instead. But anywhere below 5, don’t deprive yourself and take the fuel your body needs.

  1. Snack mindfully.

This suggestion is very important. All too often, we gobble down food with little thought or even enjoyment. Think about the last time you snacked; can you even remember what it was or how it tasted? Mindless eating can lead you to overeat easily, and this is where snacking can become an unhealthy habit. Instead, take your time. Preferably stop what you are doing for a moment and really savor the taste of what you are consuming. It may be tempting when you are busy to eat while multitasking, and sometimes this is unavoidable. But when you can, take a time out to eat mindfully, you’ll see an improvement in your state of mind and productivity. So go on, enjoy every bite!

  1. Keep an eye on portion size.

At Jeca, we don’t believe you need to count calories like a religion. But keep your snacks to a sensible size to avoid overeating and gaining weight. If you do like to think in terms of calories, think 150 - 250 kcals per snack. Or, if you prefer portion size, about a handful of almonds or a ¾ cup of natural yogurt. Of course, jeca bars and cookies come in perfect snack size portions, so you don’t need to worry about portion size at all!

  1. Focus on balanced nutrients.

Healthy snacking means finding the right balance of nutrients to keep you energized and full. If you find your body is telling you that you need to eat too frequently, it’s probably because the mix of nutrients in what you are eating is out of whack. Instead of processed junk, snack on foods that contain a good balance of protein, fiber and fat. Aside from our products, other great options for balanced snacks include:

  • a handful of unsalted, roasted nuts
  • half a whole grain bagel with cream cheese
  • ½ a cup of plain Greek yogurt with ½ a cup of blueberries
  • ½ a sliced apple topped with thin slices of cheddar cheese
  • Three celery sticks topped with a tsp each of peanut butter
  • Three tbsp of hummus with carrot sticks

  1. Get organized.
The times when we fall off the healthy eating wagon are the times when we aren’t prepared. Plan for what you will snack on when you are doing your grocery shopping. That way you’ll have the right ingredients available and can prepare your snack the night before work or school. You can order Jeca Energy Bars in packs of 10 and Jeca Energy Cookies in a variety pack of 6 online. With free shipping on orders over $20, you need never run out!

Healthy Eating Tips: Part 1

Healthy Eating Tips: Part 1

With so many different nutrition philosophies out there, it can be confusing to know if you’re eating right or not.

How can we know what food is actually good for us?

This is a huge, multi-faceted question, and there isn’t necessarily only one right answer. We hear so much about foods that are good for us or bad for us, and a lot of that advice ends up being conflicting.

We live in an age of information saturation, and the field of health and nutrition science is constantly evolving. So it becomes difficult to know for sure who to listen to and what to eat…

Low-fat? Low-carb? Vegan? Paleo?

Let us assure you there’s no silver bullet diet or magic pill that will solve all your problems. Instead, fall back on conventional wisdom - moderation is key, and it comes down to enjoying wholesome foods that naturally contain the nutrients your body needs. Save for allergy or illness, you can’t go wrong with that approach.

Honestly, I think we can tell when we’re eating something that isn’t good for us – our bodies react to molecules they’re not used to processing.

For example, there’s a lot of controversy about the recent surge in demand for gluten-free products. Yes, Celiac’s disease is very real and there are some people whose bodies cannot handle those proteins. But I like to argue that just about everyone will feel better if they cut down on processed carbohydrates in favor of fruits and vegetables and protein. A really big problem with the American diet is the ubiquity of food that is so processed and packed with sugar and preservatives that all nutritional value is gone.

A lot of people are aware of this problem, though, so there’s been a reaction in the opposite direction towards healthy and nutritious choices - the “health food” craze. Unfortunately, a lot of products marketed under that umbrella aren’t very tasty...whether that’s intentional to emphasize the “natural” or “earthy” image of the product is unclear. Regardless, the perception that health foods are too tasteless to be enjoyable combined with vilification of traditional desserts and sweets leaves a lot of people at a loss.

At Jeca, we don’t want you to have to compromise. You can have your cookie, and eat it too!

It’s healthy, in that we use all-natural, un-processed ingredients that provide protein and energy. We work with local or small-scale producers so we know where these ingredients come from and the conditions under which they are produced. And on top of that, they’re delicious! You don’t need to feel guilty about enjoying these treats, and you definitely don’t need to eat cardboard in order to not feel guilty.

Healthy Living and Involving the Whole Family in Creating Good Food

Healthy Living and Involving the Whole Family in Creating Good Food

Ree Dolnick is passionate about creating amazing cookies and energy bars that are the perfect snack for healthy people on the go. In this interview, she chats with us about healthy living and involving the whole family in creating tasty, healthy food products.

Q: Jeca Bars and Cookies is a huge proponent of kids eating healthily. Around the holidays and generally, what are some great ways kids can continue to make sure that they don't eat too much in the way of sweets and candies? What are the replacement foods out there that perhaps they could be eating instead?

A: Obviously it’s important to be eating healthily all the time, but it’s especially important to keep that in mind during the holiday season. It's kind of an indulgent time, and you’re always surrounded by so much decadent, heavy food. Plus it can also be kind of a stressful, hectic period, so people are short on time and more likely to choose options that are quick and convenient.

 Jeca Cookies

I've always been really a proponent of eating fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible. It’s how I was raised - if you’re hungry and you want a snack, grab a piece of fruit! Unfortunately, that’s not always available and in this country especially, the most prevalent snack foods are full of sugar and preservatives and are highly processed. I don't think those are good for the children under any circumstance.

Of course, the best way to control what goes into your kids’ bodies is to make their food yourself. I always think it’s fun to do an activity with the kids where you make the snacks together, like little men made out of cheese and fruit on toothpicks or making homemade granola. That way your children are excited to eat it because they had a hand in making it, plus they themselves are more aware of what they’re eating and you’re teaching them healthy habits.

With our busy modern lives, though, not everyone has time to make their own snacks or access to good raw ingredients. That’s part of the reason we made Jeca bars and cookies, to provide individual portion snacks where you’re guaranteed the ingredients are natural, wholesome, and good for your kids.

Q: When you and I have spoken previously, you've given some insights into how you became passionate about healthy foods and cooking and what not. Do you have any recommendations about how families can best spend time cooking with their kids during the holiday season or just throughout the year?

A: I think it's important to take away the mystery of cooking from the children from the beginning. If they feel easy in the kitchen and know that it takes time, and patience and love to create something that's delicious, that's a really good thing to learn. Spending time in the kitchen developing recipes or even just playing around, they learn to love food and establish a good relationship. And parents can have fun spending time with the kids that way, as well!

Take advantage of downtime you might have during the holiday season, but be thoughtful about what it is you’re showing your children. You can make really sugary cookies with tons of sprinkles and frosting, or you could show them that there are ways to make something really delicious with more nutritious ingredients. Those kinds of lessons, over time, will inform how your kids eat for the rest of their lives - I see this in my own daughter and her friends.

Q: What would you say is one of the biggest problems families are facing in trying to lead healthy lives nowadays? What are your suggestions to remedy that?

A: I think most working families struggle with being stressed for time. By the time we all come together for a meal, we're exhausted and we're reaching for convenience. I think time is considered the biggest enemy in terms of trying to eat well and to have family time, but it doesn't have to be. If things can be planned out ahead of time so that all the ingredients are readily available so that you're not stressing at the last minute to see what to make, I’ve personally found that helpful.

On that note, I think it's extremely important, regardless how busy you are, that a family comes together for a meal. It can be simple, but not simple like takeout pizza every night. It just takes a little planning to create something healthy and satisfying with fresh produce, and I really believe in the power of a family coming together to enjoy a healthy meal.



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