cereal isle
These days it’s fairly easy to find the “health food” isle at your local grocery store. The brilliant, yet sly minds behind product marketing throw around words like organic, all natural, and heart healthy in hopes that we won’t actually check the ingredients. The “Health Food” market is a gold mine every company wants to get their hands on, so how do we know what brands hold up to their claims?

Check the label and read ingredients. If it claims to be organic make sure all the ingredients are organic! It sounds obvious, but big names like Safeway’s O Organics load their organic products with preservatives and natural or artificial ingredients. Which in some cases hide nasty additives like MSG. The fewer ingredients the better.

Here’s a short list of fabulous companies I endorse, eat and enjoy. I narrowed my choices down to the all important breakfast foods.

autumn wheat cerealKashi: From cereal, to snack bars, to simple dinners, Kashi has nailed it’s all natural products. As one of the biggest names in the health food market, Kashi delivers with whole food ingredients like fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Don’t worry, no bland fiber bark here. To Kashi, and to all of us, food that tastes good is equally as important as the quality and health benefits.

Organic Autumn Wheat– Fibrous and lightly sweetened with organic evaporated cane juice, these light puffs of grain won’t weigh you down. And the super bonus….it’s organic!! If only all of Kashi’s products were organic. Autumn Wheat is pretty much the most perfect cereal you’ll find on the grocery shelf.

Go Lean Crunch- With twice the protein and fiber of the average cereal, Go Lean Crunch’s cinnamon dusted whole grain clusters will keep you satisfied all morning. I usually pour a bowl topped with soy milk and blueberries. It’s seriously the only cereal besides Autumn Wheat that keeps the hunger pains away during a morning of teaching and dancing. The sweet cinnamon adds a little fire to the meal, revving up your metabolism for the day.

sambazon acaiBossa Nova and Sambazon: By now you know I’m a huge fan of Acai. The skyrocketing antioxidant levels and sweet tart taste of this purple berry are best found in Sambazon and Bossa Nova products.

Sambazon offers organic Acai smoothies, sorbets and supplements. Not only do I love the taste of their smoothies, but the company’s commitment to the environment and the growers in Brazil. Organic and fair trade…hell yeah.

Bossa Nova on the other hand leads in Acai juice. Agave, and blueberries compliment the Acai in their low sugar juices. I love the Blueberry Acai juice! Why not get two amazing antioxidant fruits in one? Only bummer is it’s not organic.

galaxy granolaGalaxy Granola: Now I know there are about a million types and brands of granola, but one is a cut above the rest. My biggest issue with most granola is the high fat content. While strolling through my local farmers market I stumbled into the Galaxy Granola booth. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Galaxy Granola– While most granola’s are coated in oil, Galaxy Granola uses fruit juices to bind their oats. With fantastic taste, all organic ingredients and 1.5 grams of fat per 1/2 cup, I’m sold!!

Redwood Hill Farms: Have you tried goat’s milk yogurt? As with any milk product, quality is of utmost importance. Redwood Hill Farms is a family goat farm committed to creating european style, grade A yogurt, with an all natural approach. No additives, preservatives, antibiotics, GMO’s, pesticides, growth hormones and it’s kosher to boot!

Goat’s Milk Yogurt- What’s a morning without yogurt? Go a step further and try some goat’s milk yogurt. This easily digestible cow milk alternative offers the same beneficially bacteria, with less strain on our GI tracts. All of their yogurts are sweetened with whole fruit or honey. Pour some over cereal or granola for a perfect meal.