{Examiner.com} Alter Eco Foods and Bare Snacks are heart healthy food and snack choices

May 19, 2016 | 2:50 PM

Committed to a healthier lifestyle means adding exercise, positive attitude changes, healthy food choices, and surrounding yourself with beautiful things. When you feel better you can make better choices, pretty simple or so it seems. But think of it this way, when you're down, depressed and feeling dejected do you put your running shoes on and go witness the beauty of nature around you? Or do you slip into your baggy clothes, plop in front of the television with a bag of chips and stay there for hours, sometimes days? Many of us have a bad day and allow it to consume our thinking, food choices, and keep us away from friends, family and social events.

When you start committing yourself to a healthier lifestyle one big obstacle can be what's in your cupboards and refrigerator. For that reason, one of the best things you can do is dump the junk. If the first ingredient is sugar, trash it. If you don't, it will eventually trash you. And those excuses like I need to keep that bag of cookies in the house for guests, or the grandkids, need to stop. You're lying to yourself. None of live too far from a store that we can't run out and grab those goodies when company surprises us. And better yet, introduce those healthy snacks to your grandkids early on. Make your adult kids frustrated when they open your refrigerator and see nothing but good choices. What greater compliment than for someone to say, "Geez you only have healthy food in this house."

However this is an innate part of us that wants that snap, crackle and pop. For that we have Bare. Yummy it up with the new banana chips. Bare has peeled back the perfect banana crunch. They come in three flavors: Simply, Cinnamon, and Cocoa. These chips have a crunchy like no other and half a bag is only 6 points if you are counting points on Weight Watchers, and low in calories, and high in all the right nutrition for a healthy lifestyle diet. Easy to grab and go is one of the best features.

Bare snacks start with real fruit picked at its ripest and sliced just right. Then slowly oven-bake each batch to a caramelized crunch. Now you can satisfy your craving for crunch with the goodness of fruit. Bare doesn't stop at bananas, they have Apple Chips that are crispy, crunchy and filled with wholesome goodness. These come in three flavors, Fuji & Reds, Granny Smith, and Cinnamon. Of course all organic. Still craving crunch, try crunchy coconut in four fantastic flavors. Toasted, Honey, Sweet & Heat, and Cocoa.

Here are a few of Bare values and what they mean for all of us.

·         Simplicity: less is more, in snacking and beyond

·         Goodness: our snacks must taste good and be good for you, and it matters that we respect the earth and others in the process

·         Being real: we bake what nature makes without trying to ‘fix’ imperfections, and everything you need to know is on the bag

·         Living life fully: it’s the little things that bring the most joy to everyday life

·         Our chips are a reflection of who we are

·         We’re committed to simplicity both in our products and life outside of the bag

Okay we have the snap, crackle pop down, but we all know chocolate is a basic staple in our diets. And for that important need we can all rest assured we can have our chocolate fix and stay committed to a healthy heart lifestyle. Chocolate is good for the heart, or so we're heard. But all chocolate is not created equal. Heart health conscious foodies love Alter Eco. Alter Eco is a pioneer of globally crafted organic foods, including delicious Swiss-made chocolate bars and truffles, Bolivian Royal quinoa, heirloom Thai rice and Mascobado cane sugar. (As food bloggers have pointed out, some of our chocolate bars have as few as four ingredients). Alter Eco quinoa s uses heirloom varietals, many of which are disappearing in the face of industrial agriculture. Beyond their environmental boon (crop diversification and long term biodiversity), these ancestral foods have unique flavors and rich cultural histories that connect eaters across time and continents. Their Royal Black Quinoa, Mascobado Sugar and Purple Sticky Rice are flavors you won’t find anywhere else, specific to the terroir in which they are grown.

Terroir, which in French literally means soil or land, is more generally referred in regards to food, as a small region or area with soils and microclimates which have profound impacts on the flavors and nutritional values of a product. Alter Eco Foods believe terroir can be one of the single most important players in the flavors and quality of food — as do many of their partner producers who work incredibly hard to create the highest quality ingredients. At the heart of sustainability is a very basic idea: perpetuity. If a food is to be sustainable, then by its very definition it must be: 1) delicious enough that you’ll want to eat it over and over again and 2) nutritious enough to contribute to your continued health and well-being. Through direct relationships with our partner co-ops, careful audits of our entire supply chain and a focus on heirloom varietals, we are able to ensure that Alter Eco foods are always reliably delicious.

Alter Eco Foods doesn't stop at quinoa and chocolate, in fact, it's just one of their products. Chocolates, Truffles, Quinoa, Rice and Sugar are part of this Alter Eco Foods family. There are too many flavors of each to mention in this article, so pop over to their product page and take a look.
Why Alter Eco was mentioned with
Bare Snacks is simple. Alter Eco believes the flavors of food can be wholesome and just as delicious without loads of highly processed ingredients and additional additives. They stand whole-heartedly by this idea and believe that even something as delicious and indulgent as chocolate can be simple and carefully crafted with a clean list of ingredients! With seven steps from start to finish, chocolates retain the purest flavors of the Alto Huyabamba of Peru and the forests of the Ecuadorian coast, even after the cacao is delicately crafted into bars and truffles by master Swiss chocolatiers.

Alter Eco has never produced foods with the use of synthetic pesticides or emulsifiers and has always had a zero tolerance GMO policy since the day of inception. Our Organic certifications and non-GMO verifications are due to the high quality production and farming techniques used in our cooperatives. We are committed to using only the cleanest, wholesome, traditional and delicious ingredients for all our products. To further guarantee the quality of Alter Eco products, every detail of our supply chain is monitored. B Corp certification allows us to quantify our impact, policies and practices, and gives you a chance to learn more about how our business works.

When we make positive choices, we reap the benefits. You know that healthy habits make sense, but did you ever stop to think why you practice them? Research shows that the impact of good health on your quality of life is far-reaching, regardless of your age, sex, or physical ability. Eating right and exercising regularly can help you avoid excess weight gain and maintain a healthy weight. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can obtain benefits of exercise by being active in simple ways throughout the day. For example, walk instead of driving or take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Eating a balanced, calorie-managed diet can also help control weight. When you start the day with a healthy breakfast, you may avoid becoming overly hungry later, which could send you running to get fast food before lunch, says the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The ADA also recommends incorporating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day—which are low in calories and high in nutrients—in to your diet to help with weight control.

Doing right by your body pays off for your mind as well. The Mayo Clinic notes that physical activity stimulates brain chemicals that often leave you feeling both happier and more relaxed. Eating a healthy diet as well as exercising can lead to a better physique, so you may also feel better about your appearance, which can boost your confidence and self-esteem. The American Council on Exercise reports that the short-term benefits of exercise include decreased stress and ability to think better.

It's not just diet and exercise that lead to improved mood. According to a study published in the American Journal of Health Behavior, another healthy habit that leads to better mental health is making social connections. Whether it's volunteering, joining a club, or attending a movie, communal activities help improve mood and mental functioning by keeping the mind active and serotonin levels balanced, says the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Healthy habits can help prevent certain health conditions—such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—by helping to keep certain biomarkers, such as cholesterol and blood pressure, within their targets. This combination keeps your blood flowing smoothly, decreasing your risk of cardiovascular diseases. The Mayo Clinic says that regular physical activity and proper diet can help you prevent or manage a wide range of other health problems, including metabolic syndrome, diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, and arthritis.

We've all experienced that lethargic feeling we get after eating too much unhealthy food. When you eat a balanced diet including whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and fruits and vegetables, your body has the fuel that it needs to manage your energy level. Regular physical exercise also improves muscle strength and boosts endurance, giving you more energy, says the Mayo Clinic. Exercise helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and gets your cardiovascular system working more efficiently so that you have more energy to go about your daily activities. It also helps boost energy by promoting better sleep--helping you fall asleep faster and deepening your sleep.

And finally when you practice healthy habits, you boost your chances of a longer life. The American Council on Exercise reported on an eight-year study of 13,000 people. The study showed that those who walked just 30 minutes each day significantly reduced their chances of dying prematurely, compared with those who exercised infrequently. Looking forward to more time with loved ones is reason enough to keep walking, eating right, making positive choices and most of all becoming your own best advocate.

By Lois Trader for Examiner.com