We get it. It's not easy being a busy mom. Your days are scheduled down to the very last minute, and free time is an idea you abandoned long ago. The fridge and pantry in your kitchen are practically BEGGING you to go to the grocery store, so you make time in your schedule and force your butt to get there. Easier said than done, right? And once you're actually there, it's a whole different story. Marketing tactics can trick you into buying not-so-healthy products for your family. Is nothing sacred anymore? Well yes, in fact, it is! Women's Health put together a list of 50 supermarket stars for your list the next time you force yourself to go grocery shopping.
Check Me Out... I'm ORGANIC. Those chemicals and preservatives that do jack for you? Who needs 'em? I'm pretty freakin' fab just being me.
Pictured: Earthbound Farm Organic Kale Ceasar PowerMeal Bowl
1. Bonterra Wine Cabernet Sauvignon 2012: Organic vino: what was once "somewhat drinkable" is now "totally divine." Take this medium-bodied red blend: Its bright berry flavors mingle with hints of vanilla and toasted oak for ultra smooth sipping. Pesticide- and fertilizer-free.
>> Read more: Household Hacks: Wine Corks
2. Yogi Cranberry Spice Probiotic Balance Tea: Yogurt, with its gut-friendly microbes, isn't the only path to digestive bliss. This brew's all-natural spices like cumin and coriander boast similar tummy-soothing properties.
3. Horizon Organic Lowfat Chocolate Milk Plus DHA Omega-3: The perfect post-workout recovery drink? Milk from cows that aren't hopped up on hormones. The stuff's also spiked with a fatty acid that has been shown to help keep your noggin sharp as you age. Happy muscles, happy mind.
4. Kashi Organic Promise Sprouted Grains Cereal: Spoon me, begs this super cereal. It's packed with ancient grains and harvested at peak nutrition to help make their vitamins and minerals more easily absorbable. A subtle sweetness helps it go down easy.
5. Wild Planet Organic Roasted Chicken Breast, No Salt Added: Tinned meat may not have the most appetizing ring, but the free-range poultry inside this pop-top (no BPA) will elicit a "yum," we promise. With a fresh taste and zero additives — not even salt — it's an ideal base for killer chicken salads or lettuce wraps.
Check me out... I'm FUEL. Hanz and Franz? Lightweights! I'll pump you up way more. Before, at, or after the gym — eat me, get revved.
Pictured: Grape Propel The Workout Water
6. Wonderful Pistachios Lightly Salted: A kiss of salt brings out the buttery notes of these shelled beauties. Toss back a handful pre-workout for a sustained blast of protein and energy-boosting magnesium, and go stronger, longer.
>> Recipe: Pistachio Bread
7. Premier Protein Chocolate Mint Fiber Bar: A one-two fiber-protein punch that helps you build muscle and avoid a post-nosh crash — sans the jaw-taxing hardness a lot of power bars have. And let's not forget: dead-on cookie taste for a fraction of the sugar!
>> Read more: Get Back on Track with These 9 High-Fiber Snack Recipes
8. LÄRABAR Uber Dark Chocolate Raspberry: Come for the dark chocolate, stay for the... dark chocolate. Kidding, this treat has plenty of other perks, including the fact that all of its protein comes from whole, natural ingredients. Munch it down and hurdle past spirit-draining motivation slumps.
9. Sargento Balanced Breaks Natural White Cheddar Cheese with Sea-Salted Almonds and Dried Cranberries: Like a precisely portioned mini cheese palate, this tray dishes up just-right amounts of protein, carbs and healthy fats to recharge you whenever you're dragging.
10. Blue Diamond Bold Sriracha Almonds: It's superfood, squared: the belly-flab-melting power of almonds and metabolism-smoking spice. A classic overachiever, these nuts are also a great source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that's essential for healthy skin and eyes.
11. GAEA Pitted Green Olives Marinated with Lemon & Oregano: Tapas to go? Snack time just got way chichi. Each gym bag-ready 60-calorie pouch is exactly how you'd sate a savory hankering if you were at home... in an olive grove... in Greece... with your own personal chef.
12. Justin's Snack Pack Maple Almond Butter with Pretzels: This salty-sweet duo is as fun to eat as it is satisfying: Dip the gluten-free pretzel sticks in protein-heavy peanut butter, and slay hunger for several hours. (It's vegan, too.)
13. EAS Lean 15 Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar: We don't condone skipping meals, but hey, it happens to the best of us. With 19 vitamins and minerals — including invigorating iron, bone-strengthening calcium, and (whew!) 40 percent of your daily vitamin C needs — this bar is almost a meal-in-one.
Check me out... I'm FAST. You have better things to do on busy weeknights, girlfriend, so I'mma save you minutes in the kitchen.
Pictured: Smart Ones Smart Creations Crustless Chicken Pot Pie
14. Tyson Grilled and Ready Fully Cooked Chicken Breast Strips: Just dip into this stash of juicy white meat for impromptu quesadillas, salads or sandwiches. P.S. The world needs more resealable bags like this one that, you know, actually reseal.
>> Recipe: Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders
15. Starkist Pink Salmon in Water: Most of us don't even get near our weekly omega-3s quota. Enter this health-food staple, now in a nonperishable, 70-calorie, tear-and-devour pouch. Spread it on whole-wheat crackers, stuff in wraps, or press into easy salmon burger patties.
16. Lūvo Turkey Vegetable Lasagna: This steams-in-minutes frozen pasta slashes cals with low-fat ricotta and crams in kale, spinach, and collard greens to help you rack up nearly a quarter of the fiber you need in a day. The aromatic sauce lends a homemade feel.
17. MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Enchilada Bowl: Voila: A microwave-and-done meatless meal that doesn't skimp on nutrients, with as much potassium as a banana. One judge described this flavor bomb as "tongue-tingling, but not burn-the-roof-of-your-mouth hot."
>> Read more: 50 Meals for Meatless Monday
18. Hormel Natural Choice Raspberry Chipotle Deli Turkey: Sammies from your local gourmet deli have nothing on these nitrate- and preservative-free slices. Thanks to a sweet heat from berry and spice, there's no need for caloric condiments.
19. Quaker Real Medleys Summer Berry Granola: Cereal for dinner? We like-y. Cereal that isn't overly saccharine but still tastes amazing? We love-y. Break out this light, crunchy mix of rolled oats, rice crisps, and cornflakes on nights when you just cannot deal.
Check me out... I'm SINGLE. Some things are too good to share. Luckily, I serve you, and you alone. In portion sizes that are, like, totally sensible.
Pictured: BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella 70-Calorie Snack
20. Saffron Road Beef Bulgogi with Brown Rice: TV dinners don't have to be sad, secretive affairs. Exhibit A: This 2.0 version of the Korean fave, made with pasture-raised beef, mushrooms, bok choy, yellow peppers, and scallions.
>> Speaking of TV dinners, check out this Couch Potato Workout you can do during the commercial breaks!
21. Starbucks Refreshers Raspberry Pomegranate: Consider this can your can-do aide — for lending you some verve in the a.m. or getting past 3 p.m. dips. With just 90 calories and an entire day's worth of vitamin C, it's a pick-me-up you won't later regret.
Check me out... I'm CLASSIC. Who you calling basic? I've been around the block — so I know just what you need.
Pictured: Arnold Healthfull Flax & Sunflower 100% Whole-Grain Bread
22. Newman's Own Zesty Italian Dressing: The blend of garlic, bell pepper, and spices tastes Mom-made. Pro tip: Try it as a marinade for chicken or fish—the oil-acid ratio is perf for locking in moisture to tenderize proteins.
23. Minute Ready to Serve Brown & Wild Rice: White on rice: so overrated. This whole-grain blend has a meaty texture and nutty flavor that transforms sleepy green salads, no cooking required. Wanna serve it hot? Pop it in the micro for one minute or toss it into veggie stir-fries.
24. Barilla White Fiber Penne: With the same familiar look, taste, and texture of traditional semolina pasta but three times as much fiber, these noodles will leave you satisfied enough to (seriously) stick to a single serving.
25. Twinnings English Breakfast Tea: Green may get all the health-haloed glory, but this darker, tarter, more robust brew has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and may help fight cavities. Plus, up to 25 milligrams of morning caffeine. Zing!0comments
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>> Read more: 50 Healthy Frozen Meals for You & the Family