Beet Salad Featuring our Beet Chips
May 7, 2020

Chia Seed Pudding Featuring our Pineapple Chips
April 3, 2020

Snacking 101
May 16, 2018

Contributing Writer: Mary Ellen, MPH, RDN, LD of Milk & Honey Nutrition, @milknhoneynutrition.

Have you ever had just a truly mind-blowing snack? Like, it was so good and tasty, and filling, and energizing, that you just thought… “Man, that was one crazy good snack!” No? Just me? (I do have a tendency to go a bit over the top with food… check out my Instagram feed for more details on that…)

Well, maybe you’d change your mind, if you knew what exactly a snack was supposed to do for you. Have you ever thought about that? Why do we eat snacks? Is it because we’re hungry? Need fuel? Are about to workout? Are bored? Really, why do we eat them? Whether it’s mid-morning, late afternoon, or bedtime… everyone enjoys a good snack. ESPECIALLY if it’s tasty and gets the job done.

But what exactly do I mean by “gets the job done”? There are many reasons we eat snacks (many I listed above), but the primary reason is we need something to get us from one meal to the next without us starving and feeling tired.

So, basically snacks keep us full (or at least keep our stomachs from growling) and energized. But how do they do that?

To really understand that, we need to do a brief review of our MACRO nutrients: carbs, protein, and fat.

These three things are the only things that provide calories to our bodies. (The exception to that is alcohol, which also provides calories, but isn’t considered a nutrient.) They each serve different functions in our bodies and are absorbed at different speeds. Carbohydrates are processed the quickest. This means they leave our stomachs and get absorbed in our intestines faster than protein and fat do.

Carbohydrates give us quick energy.

Protein and fat take a little longer to digest, with fat taking the longest. Protein and fat, help keep us energized over longer periods of time. This is why an apple by itself (mainly carbs) only keeps you full for an hour, but an apple with peanut butter (protein and fat) keeps you full for 2-3 hours.

So, whenever I’m working with clients, I always give them my “perfect snack” formula…

Carbs + protein/fat = sustained energy and fullness.

There are so many great carb and protein/fat combos to pick from:

  • Apple and peanut butter
  • Carrots and hummus (I especially love Rhythm Superfoods new Carrot Sticks with Lantana Foods hummus!)
  • Avocado toast
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Beans
  • Beet Chips and cheese

So, next time you’re wanting something to munch on between meals, make sure you’re giving yourself everything you need to keep you both energized AND satisfied!

My Health Journey – by CEO Scott Jensen
March 9, 2018

 

I’m Eating A Lot of Carrots Now. Here’s Why!

As our awesome team of marketing and sales leaders get ready to hit the Natural Products Expo West show, all we can think about are carrots, carrots, carrots. We launch our NEW delicious, crunchy Carrot Sticks to the retail world this week at Expo West, so we’re all real pumped to show them off.

 

Get ready, world. You’re about to fall in love with a new plant-based superfood snack. Our Naked Carrot Sticks have 0 g of fat, 11 g of dietary fiber, 3 g of protein, 20% of your daily value of potassium, 15% of your DV of vitamin A…and they’re delicious!

 

 

My excitement for the new Carrot Sticks had another effect on me several weeks ago. They’re really good, and I was munching on a bag of our first production batch when it dawned on me that I wasn’t eating enough fruits and veggies. When we first started Rhythm, I had just gone through a product development exercise with Rip Esselstyn from the Engine 2 Diet, one of the foremost leaders in the plant-based diet movement. I had committed to a strict low-fat vegan diet for 60 days and had a full-blown blood analysis done the day before starting, and again at 30-days and 60-days after to see what effect this change in diet would have on my health. My eating habits prior to this leaned much further in the BBQ direction.

 

At the 60-day mark, my weight was down just over 10 lbs. and my cholesterol markers came down significantly. Before I started the diet, my cholesterol (LDL and Triglycerides) levels were in the range of having my doctor look at me and say that she would normally have that talk at this point about Statin drugs from here on out. I really didn’t want to take a pill every day, so I told her what I was doing with the Engine 2 Diet, and she agreed to wait and see how I did. With so many things that are unhealthy for us, the biggest hurdle we humans face is the ability to change our habits…especially eating habits. Our unhealthy habits are the source of much of what we have going wrong with our health: smoking, drinking, poor nutrition decisions; all difficult things to change if they’ve become a habit. Habits are habitual, of course. With this hard fact facing all doctors, it seems most have determined that the pharmacological solution (prescribing a pill or patch) is the most effective way to deliver a physiological change to someone rather than relying on personal effort to break these bad habits.

 

I chose to break the habit and was successful with the strict vegan diet for the full 60 days. After that, I didn’t revert back to my previous ways, but I did start to eat meat, eggs, cheese and other non-vegan foods in more moderation than I did previously. Thinking I had been successful and congratulating myself for it, I went on with my life. Fast forward 8 years later into 2018 and I became much more aware that I had gained back the weight I had lost and had to confront the fact that I was not eating as healthy as I had committed to years ago. The old habits came back, and now I had to own it.

 

So, in February I went in for a physical, which I hadn’t done in a few years. I told my doctor how I was feeling and had the full-blown blood work done again as part of the physical. Two weeks later I returned to review the lab results. I was back up to high levels with the LDL and Triglyceride numbers and added an elevated glucose level to the mix. I knew this would be the result of me slipping into those bad habits and it was.

 

I don’t ever want to take a daily regimen of pills. I’ve re-committed to healthier choices in diet and exercise, and I’m going to break the bad habits and do my best to stay on the “healthier-choice train.”  I like to go all in when I start. It’s the way I get myself committed. So as of March 1st, I’m back on Rip’s Engine 2 Diet. So far so good!

 

With my travel bags filled with healthy snacking alternatives from Rhythm and other great companies, I’m ready for one of the biggest food shows we do every year: Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, CA. It starts today and we’re debuting our awesome Carrot Sticks! If you see me out and about, don’t let me slip, show me some encouragement, and I’ll report back with my results in May after I do the 60-day blood work and weight check.

 

My commitment is as follows:

  • 60-day Engine 2 kickoff
  • Exercise 2-3 days per week
  • After 60-day Engine 2 period, eat a lot more plants and less animal products
  • Weigh myself weekly so I must face the weight truth
  • Blood work every 90 days to face the physiological truth

 

If you are in the food business, come by our booth at Expo West (#5424, Hall E) to try our new Carrot Sticks and feel free to share your own health journey with me. I get encouraged by talking openly about this with people. If you aren’t in the food business, stay tuned for me to report back on my journey with honesty.

 

Eat More Plants!

-SJ

 

Disruption and the New Food World Order
July 25, 2017

By Rhythm Superfoods CEO Scott Jensen

There are a lot of clichés thrown around our industry about “disruption” and the “new food world order” (NFWO). It’s a hot topic, has been for a couple of years and will be for a another couple of years. The week before the Fancy Food Show in New York City this Summer, Amazon and Whole Foods Market announced their new relationship as an Amazon acquisition. This caught almost everyone by surprise. There will be many people that can offer better analyses of the financial and strategic reasons for or against the merger, but what dawned on me was that it was the biggest single concrete example of the new food world order. There are many different NFWOs, but this one event certainly represents the biggest financial move representing the future of how people will shop and take possession of their food and beverage consumables.

As this announcement happened right before the Fancy Food Show timing, I thought I would keep a lookout at the show for those products that appeared to me to be representative of “disruptors”, or products in the spotlight of change in the NFWO (my opinion only of course).

 

  • Refrigerated Merchandising as “New Space” Innovation: The bar category is a giant, but it inexplicably keeps on chugging along in growth. Just when someone says the category is over-saturated with items, you read that segments are delivering 2-4 X the average grocery channel growth rate in revenue. New entrants in the category succeed by segmenting consumers in traditional ways, by eating occasion, lifestyle, diet, gender, and any hundreds of other ways to slice the category and population. So where’s the room on the shelf for the next entrant? I snacked on a Wella Bar at our own booth at the Fancy Food show and it was delicious. But, unlike its counterparts in the regular bar section, these bars are showing up in refrigerated sections of the store. Not unlike another favorite of mine, the Perfect Bar, they both have created delicious products that need some refrigeration to stay as delicious as the day they are made, so they’ve had to blaze a new trail and convert buyers and category managers at retailers to give them space in a new set of a refrigerated section. Suddenly, not so crowded of a merchandising launch with few competitors. Grab and go refrigerated sections are hot right now and are no longer just for drinks and sandwiches.


 

  • Overhauling the Ingredient Deck as “Simplify” Innovation: Simple Mills started disrupting the baking aisle several years ago with gluten free, grain free, soy free baking mixes for breads, pancakes, muffins, etc… you know, the typical baking aisle features. By using clever ingredient substitutes for wheat flour, like coconut flour and almond flour, and coconut sugar for cane sugar, this company has shaken up the baking aisle with delicious recipes that resonate with a lot of consumers. They’ve launched a line of ready to eat cookies and crackers with similar, SIMPLE ingredient decks of alternative ingredients. I tasted a scrumptious chocolate chip cookie that was as delicious or better than most I’ve ever tried. I have to tip my hat to the recipe itself – it’s delicious and textured perfectly, with nothing on the deck that doesn’t make sense. Disruption in a tired category seems like it’s easy, but you have to nail the recipe and that’s not so easy. In my opinion, taste and texture is the most certain predictor for success and this company has figured that out. Ingredient deck as a disruptor is not new but what Simple Mills is doing is resonating with consumers more than most I’ve seen in this category.


 

  • Shelf Stability as a “Make it at Home” Innovation: I’m a big fan of a lot of brands of Hummus; all of them are refrigerated but seem to dry up in my refrigerator faster than I can finish them. Since I like hummus so much, I’m always on the lookout for new flavors or brands. Hope Foods used the HPP technology to create incredible flavor in a refrigerated hummus product, while Lantana (formerly Eat Well Embrace Life) has done a super job expanding innovation in that category with non-Chickpea and non-Tahini based dips like Beet hummus or Carrot hummus…great extension of a dip category. Hummus has been on a tear for the past decade, but never had I seen such a new twist on this product than at the Fancy Food show when I saw the Hummustir concept. Hummustir is shelf-stable until you make it (the cup you buy includes packets of chickpea puree, tahini, spice mixes and a little wooden spoon to stir it up), so you are able to quickly bring all the pre-portioned ingredients together in a quick minute and stir it all up in the cup you buy it with. It’s delicious and incredibly convenient. Shelf stability as innovation! Who would have thought?


 

  • Refrigerated Merchandising as “New Space” Innovation Part II: Cold-Souping is a new thing for me. I didn’t think I’d be a big fan when I first heard about it, but then I tried Tio Gazpacho’s Corn, Poblano & Lime soup in a drinkable cold-pressed plastic bottle (longer shelf life/better flavor) and said to myself… WOW! That’s delicious and totally satisfying for a lunch or a snack. I’ve also seen and tasted Zupa Noma, and saw that the Bonafide and Fawen brands of cold soup were also at the Fancy Food show with new soups to show. Not unlike the refrigerated sets for energy or snack bars, these soup mongers need to disrupt the refrigerated sets to keep their product fresh. Think of how long the canned soup aisle has been around and the type of innovation that has or hasn’t appeared there over the decades. Campbell’s has done well to keep their shelf-stable lines on the shelf with innovation in flavor, soup type, label marketing and can-type, but all of it has been shelf-stable, including the Pacific Foods aseptic cartons of soup that Campbell’s just announced they are acquiring. But these new cold-pressed soups are different. They need refrigeration, taste great, and will be in a completely different part of the store, likely expanding the soup market in total. And possibly extending the seasonal consumption of soups: cold soup in the Summer to refresh while you wait for the winter to arrive to get back into the hot soups.


 

  • “Deliciousness” as Innovation: Finally, “taste” as a disruptor. At the end of our aisle at the Fancy Food show was a company called Anastasia Confections. They were sampling bowls of their three new Coconut Cashew Crunch at all times of the day, so I tried a sample. This stuff is delicious. I couldn’t help but pick up a small square every time I walked by their booth. I started adjusting my walks (for meetings, restroom, lunch etc.) in their direction so I could snag one more crunchy square each time I walked by. I am jealous. I know how hard it is to get taste, texture, salty/sweet balance and inclusion proportions right. It’s really hard and they nailed it. It made me think of how important flavor and mouth feel are. I found out on the last day that the Anastasia Coconut Cashew Crunch with Chocolate Drizzle had won the Product of the Year award from the Specialty Food Association. Only one product wins that prestigious award each show, and they got it. Taste as a disruptor!


 

That’s just a few of the innovators I tried at the show. So many booths with incredible food, it’s sometimes hard to whittle them down to just a few to share. See you at the next show! – Scott Jensen

5 Top Habits of Habitually Healthy People
March 7, 2016

By Contributing Writer and Rhythm Superfoods Fan Kaitlin of Modernize

While most of us understand the basics of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it can be difficult to know exactly how to implement this routine in our everyday lives. Besides, a little reminder couldn’t hurt (and you just might find a few things on this list that surprise you). Take a look at our list of five of the top habits of habitually healthy people.

Keeping a well balanced diet

One of the most important, and obvious, ways to keep yourself healthy is by eating well. While those of us raised in the 80s and 90s remember the good old food pyramid, food science has come a long way since then. Embrace the new My Plate method by breaking down your food choices per meal, opting for roughly 50% fruit and vegetables, 25% protein, and 25% starch. While this helps healthy eaters make good food choices at every meal, it’s also important to remember to always choose foods that are free from GMOs, organic when possible, and that contain unsaturated fats, omega 3 fatty acids, and other healthy vitamins. It’s also a good idea to stay away from too much red meat, sweet treats, and processed foods.

wellbalanceddiet

Snacking Smart

Even the healthiest eaters face snacking temptation from time to time, so the key here is to realistically reign in your snacking by making smart choices between meals. Instead of munching on cookies and candy bars, choose healthy, flavorful alternatives that make you feel like you’re being naughty when you’re really packing your body with superfoods. Rhythm Superfoods is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a healthy snack, since their snack packs are all nutrient rich and packed with flavor. You don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals or bad fats here, because Rhythm Superfoods’ snacks are vegan, GMO free, and full of antioxidants, unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, and other vitamins. Choose from a variety of chips, bites, and snack packs made from superfoods like kale, beets, and broccoli.

kalechipsoriginal

Thinking positively

A positive mental attitude does a world of good for both the body and the mind, so take time every day to reflect on potential challenging situations and come up with an achievable plan of attack to tackle these kinds of positivity sucking events head on. At Modernize, we think that being proactive rather than reactive when complicated scenarios arise is key to maintaining a positive outlook. If you can, come up with a daily affirmation or mantra to repeat to yourself every morning before you begin work, and call upon those positive words whenever you find yourself swamped with negativity and challenges. You will be surprised at just how much better you will feel.

Staying active

We’ve saved the most obvious for last here, but it is important to remember that in order to live a habitually healthy life, an active lifestyle is key. While regular exercise and workouts are important, make sure to consider other active alternatives in your daily life, such as walking or cycling to work instead of driving or taking public transportation, exercising with family and/or pets, and playing games and spending time outdoors. There are so many ways to stay active, so keep yourself interested and accountable with smartphone apps and wearable activity trackers.

stayingactive