Back Up Meals: Wellness Tool Kit Must Haves During Holiday Season


When it comes to the holiday season, we all get busier than usual.  Whether it’s shopping, going to parties or having our kids home from school, we all share something in common; a need for a healthy meal alternative when we do not have time to cook. (Amen Sister!)  Back-up meals are meals that we know are nourishing, tasty and do not take up time to make.  Back-up meals may include, meal bars, meal shakes, frozen meals, delivered meals or meals that we may eat a restaurant.  The key for a successful holiday season, is to have this already planned before you get too busy to think about it!  Research shows meal replacements support weight loss and weight loss maintenance.  Meal replacements are a set number of calories!

Bars are the rage!  Wherever you go, you will always find a bar to buy.  The challenge is which one is the best?  From a filling and satisfying perspective, we focus on adequate protein and fiber!  We also want to make sure there is not too much sugar.  Some of our favorites include:

RX Bar– This bar is very minimally processed.  This means it may be a good fit for you super clean eaters out there.  Also it limits the most common allergens and added sugar.  This may be a bar you and your children will like!

Think Thin– This bar is an all time favorite.  It is very low in net carbs and tastes better than a traditional candy bar!  This bar does use sugar alcohols for their sweetener so for those of you who have a very sensitive gut, this may not be the choice.

Pure Protein– The pure protein bar is low in net carbs, awesome flavor profile, lower in sugar alcohols than the Think Thin Bar.  This bar tastes great. This bar is lower in fiber so you may eat this as a snack and not necessarily a full meal.

Atkins-The Atkins bars are delicious bar that is a low net carbs.  There are a variety of options that range in taste ingredients.  Their most recent bar on the market has no artificial additives.

Kind Bar– The kind bar has many options.  They have sweet and savory options for those not looking for a sweet bar.  This is also a great bar for the kids.

New Direction Bar- This bar you can find in our office  It is the lowest calorie bar on this list.  It comes in multiple flavors and is “medical grade”.

Meal replacement shakes are quick and easy meal replacement when on the go.  Many shakes are shelf stable.  They come in many yummy flavors and are fortified with all the nutrition you need for a meal.  Meal replacement shakes are a great plan B option that are available in most grocery stores and even in convenient stores.   When choosing a meal replacement shake, focus on a lower added sugar i.e. 10 g daily, high protein:  more than 15 g per serving, at least 3 g of fiber and some plant fat.   Lastly, you may consider a shake that provides varied vitamins and minerals.  This is a meal replacement right?    See below for some favorites.

Premier Shake-The Premier Shake is well loved by many.  It is low in sugar, high in protein and is fortified.  The best part about it, is the price.  We have heard it is the cheapest at Costco!  The shake comes in more than the traditional chocolate, vanilla and strawberry and has recently started limiting artificial additives and preservatives.

Orgain Shake-This shake is one of the newer options on the market.  Not only is it made from super foods, it is organic! It comes in a vegan version as well.  For those of you looking for a product that prides itself on quality this is the perfect choice.  It also comes in a child’s version.   This may be more expensive then most of other options.

Svelte– The Svelte shake is a soy based vegan shelf stable shake.  For those who love coffee and chai this may be the perfect fit.  Svelte by definition means slender and elegant.  As you drink it, it can also be your mantra!  Svelte is organic and non GMO.  You can find this product in the vitamin section of most grocery stores.

New Direction Hot Cocoa- Can this really be a meal replacement?  Oh yes it can! This is on of our favorites  Just add 9 ounces of hot water and you are set. This is especially nice in the morning and in the winter and when craving something sweet and warm.  This product is only found in our office and is “medical quality.”

When we think of meals that are quick and easy, we traditionally think of  “TV dinners” AKA frozen meals.  Frozen meals became popular in the 1950’s and then lost their pizazz in the beginning of the 21st century when the term “clean” started to hit our food markets.  Now food manufactures have stepped up to the plate making more clean, fast and friendly options.

Pick a healthier frozen meal by following these guidelines

Lean Cuisine takes the lead by providing the market meal chef inspired recipes that have organic ingredients, gluten free, and are low in added sodium and sugar.

Smart Made are the new Weight Watchers creation.  They have no artificial additives or preservatives.

Evol is a brand from Colorado- the healthiest state!  Evol is Love spelled backwards.  Evol prides itself on limiting artificial additives and preservatives that have been banned already in many other countries.  Many grocery stores carry this brand but you have to look in the “natural foods” section of the grocery store.  This is especially a favorite for those that like TexMex.

Choose Healthier Frozen Meals (1)


The New Direction Line we carry in our office has delicious soups that are high in protein and fiber.  Add 9 ounces of hot water and mix.   Flavors include Cream of Chicken and Broccoli Cheddar.  Of course you count on the soup to be filling and satisfying; high in protein and fiber.  These soup fit into the glove box of your car or in your desk drawer!

Weigh to Wellness Denver carries the New Direction Meal Replacement system as an option for medical weight loss.  We use the products together and individually.  The New Direction Product Line is a medical grade meal replacement program that is high in protein and fiber and has many options including, soups, shakes and bars.  These are great tools for a structured meal plan, traveling and a back up meal.

Do you want to learn more about Back up Meal  options?  Ask us at your next visit!