Healthier Packaged Foods When Cooking Isn’t An Option

Packaged FoodsI’m single, I’m busy, and I live in a small NYC apartment with a small NYC kitchen. I don’t cook much, but can you blame me?! I “put things together” I like to say (salads, smoothies, soups) and I prepare my own meals from whole food ingredients as much as possible. There’s no way around it, making your own food, whether that requires “cooking” in the technical sense or not, is hands down the best way to be sure you’re eating healthfully.

However, I will be the first to admit, there are times when stepping into the kitchen is not going to happen unless it’s to uncork a spectacular bottle of wine. So, with that in mind, I thought I’d share my go-to brands for a quick bite. (You may notice that this list does NOT include brands like Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers, or Healthy Choice. Low calorie does not equal healthy. That’s a whole other blog post for later.)

Amy’s Kitchen

Why I like them: Amy’s is non-GMO verified and mostly organic. They have a ton of options for diet-specific needs, vegetarian and gluten-free for example, and now use BPA-free lining in the canned products. Any dairy used comes from pasture raised cows not treated with hormones. And you won’t find any partially hydrogenated oils in their products.

Current favorite: Amy’s Gluten-Free Burrito.

Food For Life

Why I like them: If you’re going to do grains, do them right. Known for their Ezekiel breads, Food For Life uses sprouted grains which are easier to digest and allow for better absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body. I also like their gluten-free products since they use whole grains and seeds. All of their products are non-GMO and flour-free too since, well… flour in all it’s refined glory just ain’t good for anyone. 

Current favorite: Multi Seed Gluten Free English Muffins. These are seriously tasty and have an amazing texture––chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside. Make it a meal by topping with avocado and egg. See above.

Applegate

Why I like them: As I ever so gently ease my way back into eating meat after many years as a vegetarian, I am suuuper picky about the quality of meat I consume. Their animals are humanely raised and slaughtered and are fed an all vegetarian diet with no animal by-products, hormones, or antibiotics. Most of their products are non-GMO and they are working toward 100% GMO free.

Current Favorite: Actually the only product I’ve had so far (gently easing my way, remember) is the grass fed organic beef burgers and they’re pretty good. You definitely need to spice them up a bit though since there are no extra ingredients in these babies.

Luna and Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss

Why I like them: These tasty ice creams are a guilty pleasure. While certainly not a health food, they are dairy and soy free (better for tummies!) and the company is committed to sustainable sourcing and giving back to the community. Plus, they’re all organic and GMO free.

Current favorite: Mint Galactica ice cream. There are no words.

What are your favorite health(ier) brands? Let me know in the comments below.