Do Cheez-its have real cheese?

My mom recently sent me a care package in the mail. Was it full of homemade cookies and chocolate hearts and love notes? Nah.

Cheez-its. Yep, bags and bags of individual servings of Cheez-its. I don’t even remember the last time I had one of the crispy yellow cheese-crackers. But hey, I took it as a nutritional learning opportunity. So here’s the question…Do Cheez-its actually include real cheese??

Do Cheez-its really have REAL cheese??
Do Cheez-its really have REAL cheese??

Continue reading “Do Cheez-its have real cheese?”


Mac and Cheese, Please!

Mmmmmmm Mac and Cheese. Who doesn’t love it?

Taken from
Taken from

The beauty of this dish is that it is such a cinch to put together, and such a crowd-pleaser.

Examine this Kraft Macaroni & Cheese nutrition label to get an idea of the nutrients in this delicious concoction.

But even if you don’t look at a nutrition label, knowing the main ingredients of any recipe can help you estimate nutritional content.

Mac and Cheese is pretty much exactly what is sounds like. Macaroni and, Cheese! However, usually some Milk and Butter are added as well to get just that right consistency.

So let’s look at these four ingredients: Macaroni, Cheese, Milk, and Butter. What nutrients do they offer?


1) Macaroni (aka an elbow shaped pasta) is usually made of enriched flour. This means it is made from fortified wheat flour that contains many B vitamins and iron. And since it is made from flour, this means it is a carb! Our body loves and NEEDS carbohydrates.

2) Cheese is a processed dairy product, meaning it contains protein, calcium, fat, and sodium. Oh and since it is an animal food product, it contains the essential vitamin B-12!! Remember, B-12 is mostly only found in animal food products.

3) Milk is ..milk. Usually, the kind we consume comes from cows. And even though milk is used to make cheese, there are some key nutritional differences.

4) Butter. butter butter butter. So yummy, and so nutritious! Check out why it is great to include some butter in our diets. (Hint: Butter is a Fat. And we NEED fats!)

Phew! What a wonderful list of nutrition from our friend, Mac and Cheese. Remember to learn about the proper nutrition for YOUR body, and to maintain a healthy balance of nutrients in your diet. Undernourishment, overnourishment, and malnourishment are no bueno.

Taken from
Taken from

Mac and Cheese can absolutely be part of a healthy diet once we understand the nutrients it offers! Look at the nutrition labels on mac and cheese ingredients to see what you’re consuming. And remember, recipes can be tweaked to fit your diet! That is why learning how to cook is essential in life. Happy Mac’ing!

What you didn’t know about Donuts

Donuts. They contain nutrients. Lots of them, in fact.

In honor of National Doughnut Day, Positive Eats is celebrating the nutrition in the torus-shaped, glazed delight. Often categorized as “unhealthy” and “bad”, the donut has earned a terrible rap over its lifetime. But why?? WHY must we label foods?? Are foods not just different vehicles for different amounts of nutrients?


Let’s break it down–And you will see soon enough that donuts (or doughnuts) are NOT bad for you!! In fact, no foods are bad for you when looking objectively at the nutritional content, and when you understand what amounts of nutrients are necessary for healthy survival.

Check out this recipe for homemade donuts. Positive Eats encourages everyone to learn how to cook. Why? Because once you know that foods come from a combination of simple ingredients, you learn how to estimate nutrient content (and also how to tailor recipes to fit your nutritional needs)!

The classic glazed doughnut is made from a mixture of flour, milk, eggs, sugar, and butter, and then deep-fried in some oil and coated in a sugary glaze. Being majority flour, oil, and sugar, this means that donuts contain a lot of carbohydrates and fat. COOL! We need carbs and fat for survival. Would eating donuts every day for every meal be the best decision for a balanced, healthy diet? We will let you make that choice.

Notice here from Dunkin’ Donuts site, that their glazed donut contains a whopping 6% of your daily iron needs. This is because flour in the United States undergoes mandatory fortification with essential vitamins and minerals–one of them being iron.


Now go enjoy your day, and share some positive nutrition knowledge!


Oh, and here are some additional positive notes on donuts, given to you by children. Sometimes they know best. 🙂


Burgers: part of a BALANCED diet

If you do an internet image search on “bad foods”, the primary results are those of juicy burgers. This is an issue. Because burgers are NOT bad for you! In fact, no foods are bad for you. Foods provide us with the nourishment we need to live!! Image

Here is a list of why burgers provide LOTS of nutrients:

1) The burger bun: Usually made with enriched or whole wheat flour, this provides us with essential B-vitamins and Iron! And also FIBER! By the way, did you know fiber is part of the carbohydrate macronutrient group?

2) The meat patty: Standard burgers are made from beef, and beef is rich rich rich in IRON and PROTEIN!! There is also plenty of fat. Oh, and ZINC and B-Vitamins! Remember, vitamin B12 is ONLY found in animal food products!

3) The fixings! The more you add on top of your burger, the more nutrition you are adding. Read about the benefits of cheese here. Veggies add plenty of vitamins. Condiments like mayo add more fat (which also helps your body with the absorption of vitamins!)

Remember, learn about nutrition in foods so you can make the choices and find the balance that is best for your life! Our bodies require a certain amount of nutrients for optimal function. While we want to nourish our bodies, we do not want to fall victim to overnutrition or malnutrition or undernutrition. BALANCE is the key to happiness!!

So how about that summer bbq?? 🙂 What toppings to you like on your burger?


Waffle House of Nutrition


All Star Breakfast at Waffle House
All Star Breakfast at Waffle House




Let’s face it. You will probably end up at a Waffle House this weekend. And you will probably order the All-Star breakfast. Because you’re an All Star. Because it’s the first menu item and written all patriotic-like in a red, white, and blue banner. Because it consists of a waffle AND hashbrowns AND bacon AND eggs AND coffee. Because you’re American, and it is almost your duty to order it.

Most importantly, it will be delicious. And nutritious? YES. It will be very nutritious because like we always say here at Positive Eats, ALL FOODS HAVE NUTRITION!

Well, What kind of nutrition? Tell me more…

OK I will! (did I just have a conversation with myself?)

Whatever it’s a blog.

Anyway..  let’s look at each separate component of this feast:

THE WAFFLE (+ Syrup)

Fluffy with just the right amount of crispness around each indented groove, the infamous Waffle from Waffle house is perfect. It is also a great vehicle for B-vitamins and iron! This is because waffles are made from enriched flour. Flour fortification with nutrients is mandatory in the US.

And who can eat waffles without syrup? Maple syrup is full of antioxidants, calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium!

Together, waffles + syrup are a sweet carbohydrate powerhouse–meaning you will have ENERGY!!!! for hours!!!

Eggs and Bacon–The perfect salty/savory compliment to the waffle. Both are FULL of the macro-nutrient, PROTEIN! We need protein for virtually everything in life, including growth and repair and metabolic functions. And since both eggs and bacon are animal products, they contain the essential vitamin B-12, which is ONLY found in animal products, along with a slew of other nutrients. COol!

HASHBROWNSandrea waffle house
mmm potatoes!!! Vitamin C!!! Potassium! Find out more about potatoes in this earlier post on French Fries. Like your hashbrowns “covered”? aka topped with melted cheese? You are adding calcium and protein! Read more about cheese here.

We all know that coffee has a lot of caffeine. But with regards to nutrients, did you know coffee contains essential B vitamins and manganese and potassium?

And there you have it. A full breakfast at Waffle House. A full dose of NUTRITION! 🙂

Remember, remain positive about what you eat!! We cannot fuel our bodies with regret, guilt, or shame! Happy eating everyone!! And enjoy the weekend.

And now for the irrelevant but relevant question: How do you like your Waffle House hashbrowns? Smothered? Covered? Capped?

BAGELS: Day 1 of Give up the Guilt! 40-day Challenge

The post below was submitted by a reader who is completing Positive Eats 40-Day Challenge: Give up the Guilt!.

Lena’s Story

Normally I would have given up carbs for Lent, but recently I realized my obsession with healthy eating was actually, extremely UNhealthy. It was destroying my social life: I was afraid to meet my friends for dinner or lunch, knowing that I couldn’t trust the food being served to me. I never went to happy hour with my coworkers–in fact, I even lied about commitments I had made in the afternoons and evenings to avoid drinking a beer with them. I spent most of my non-eating hours, obsessively planning and counting the calories of my next meal. I was constantly stressed out and always thinking about how to have the cleanest diet. My staple meals were plain oatmeal with flaxseeds and blueberries, kale salads with no dressing (only a splash of vinegar and some salt/pepper), and oven baked tofu and curried chickpeas. It was delicious food, but my consistent worrying about messing up my “perfect diet” was terrible for my health.

I realized I had a problem and now I want to change. I want to do the Positive Eats 40-Day Challenge of giving up the guilt I associated with “bad” foods. So guess what I did this morning?

I HAD A BAGEL FOR BREAKFAST. WITH CREAM CHEESE. And it wasn’t even a whole wheat bagel from a nice, organic bakery run by the vegan, tree hugging hipsters downtown. Nope. IT WAS A PLAIN WHITE BAGEL FROM KROGER

And guess what?? IT WAS delicious, and I savored every bite, AND guess what I discovered when I read the nutrition label?? Each bagel has 15% daily Calcium, 20% Iron, and 9% of dietary fiber!

Check out the pictures I took.

15% Calcium? 20% Iron? 2 g fiber! I'll take it!!
15% Calcium? 20% Iron? 2 g fiber! I’ll take it!!
Plain White Bagels from Kroger for breakfast of Give Up the Guilt Challenge Day 1!
Plain White Bagels from Kroger for breakfast of Give Up the Guilt Challenge Day 1!

I’m so happy I chose to take on this challenge. Bagels are ok to eat. They are just food! A little bit of a “banned” food each day for 40-days will be an eye opener and stress reliever for me. Living guilt free is the best. Now that I’ve had my breakfast full of carbs ( = ENERGY!!!!) and lots of nutrients (since I learned that those plain white bagels were made from fortified flour with essential vitamins and minerals), I am ready to start my day with a POSITIVE outlook!


Love, Lena

— THANK LENA!! Glad to hear your success story. What is everyone else eating for Day 1 of the challenge?