Or, at the very least, make up for your roughage-less indiscretions by sending some veggie alternative down the hatch. We’ve all sauntered our way to the counter at the local smoothie bar, convicted of our altruistic intentions (or should I say, redemption?) of feeding our body some much-needed nutrition so that we can walk away feeling better about our choices and ourselves. Whether we choose the protein-loaded, the fruit only, the fruit with veggies, or the wheatgrass-infused-vitamin-boosted-immune-enhancing-superfood-berry-acai-chia-seed miracle sip, we leave convinced that we somehow canceled out that cheese pizza from last night (and this morning) and are now well on our way back to superhero status.

photo courtesy of PINES

photo courtesy of PINES

Except when that method involves an overdose of sugar, calories, and not as much fiber as one would like to think. Dr. Robert Lustig, author of  “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” suggests that by juicing “you’re sheering the insoluble fiber to smithereens.” So basically, annihilating  perfectly healthy, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables by juicing negates one of the most crucial benefits: fiber. That was the point, right? In fact, some dissenters are loudly suggesting that juices and smoothies be placed in the same category as soft drinks.

photo courtesy PINES

photo courtesy of PINES

What are we to do? Graze all day to satisfy our daily requirements for fiber and nutrition?

To be honest, I don’t always meet my daily quota for nutrition: typically I start the day off right with an uber-healthy breakfast. My snacks almost always include a good source of protein. Lunch is generally where I introduce the first vegetable(s) of the day. As much as I might try, by the end of the day (I’ve got to admit) my sub-par mental energy escorts me down the path of least resistance. Sometimes hit, sometimes miss.

On those occasions I like to know that I have options.

Thankfully, there are products out there that require very little effort and provide us with the missing elements of an otherwise healthy diet. PINES Wheat Grass is one of those products.

Available in powder or tablet form, PINES wheat grass offers a no-brainer serving of dark, leafy greens. According to the company website, “Pound for pound, PINES Wheat Grass is many times richer in chlorophyll and iron than spinach. Its protein level averages 25 percent and it contains virtually every vitamin known, along with 20 amino acids, including the eight that are considered essential for human health.” One teaspoon of the powder or 7 tablets will do the trick.

I’ve been supplementing my diet with the tablet version of PINES for about three months. With a nominal calorie count (ten per serving) and strategic placement of the bottle next to my glass of water, it couldn’t be simpler. Packaged in a dark glass bottle to preserve integrity, these certified-organic tablets have a chalky texture. When I first opened the bottle, I was hit with a potent whiff of exactly what I should have expected: wheat grass. Highly concentrated wheat grass. It took only a couple of days before I quit noticing the scent at all. If you have a hard time swallowing seven pills at a time, try the powder form. Don’t think that your only option is to drink it, either: the website recommends sprinkling the powder on pizza or pasta as an alternative.

All in all I am quite happy with PINES Wheat Grass. Knowing that I have a bottle of nutritional insurance waiting for me in the pantry gives me the reassurance I need to stay on track. Especially if that track has any bumps in it. Bumps that look like cheese pizza.

Visit www.wheatgrass.com for products and more information.

PT-color-headshot-I3Jodilyn Stuart is the Health & Sports Senior Staff Writer for 303 Magazine, owner of ModaBody Fitness, and has been a professional fitness geek since 1997. If you have questions, feel free to email at: [email protected]