Sore and Score

in All Posts

In case you missed it….

 

 

Good morning!  Boy, am I sore!  My thighs were killing me last night – I was walking around like a little old lady.   This morning, my knees felt super stiff as I walked down the stairs.  They certainly aren’t painful like they used to be, but I definitely feel every step of those 20.0 miles in my joints today.  I cannot imagine how the marathon is going to make me feel!

 

A filling breakfast:

IMG_3062

I had:

 

  • Greek yogurt
  • Granola
  • Flax
  • Banana

 

All mixed together! Mmm.

IMG_3065 

NuVal

 

When Tina started working at Nuval, I became really curious about the company.  I asked her to do a guest post describing NuVal and analyzing my breakfast from a NuVal standpoint.  Here’s what she said:

NuVal is a nutritional rating company that rates foods on a scale of 1 – 100, based on how nutritious they are for you. The higher the number, the better the nutrition. For instance, broccoli scores 100 while Cheetos score a 5.

 

From the NuVal standpoint, the median score for cereal is 25 and scores range from 4 – 100. The cereal category is actually pretty surprising: Kashi Go Lean Crunch scores 33, while Cheerios scores a 34. You think you’re doing a really healthy thing by eating Kashi Go Lean Crunch, but you could be just as healthy eating Cheerios. Similarly, Kashi Strawberry Fields scores an 11; Capn’ Crunch gets a 10. As you can see, not all "health" food is necessarily nutritious for you!

 

To better understand the NuVal scores, it’s important to explain the category medians. Basically, you can’t get 100 in every food category. Here’s the deal: many fruits and vegetables score in the 90 – 100 range, but you also need to eat protein, healthy fats, whole grains– and, of course, a few treats, like cookies. But, you’re not going to find a cookie that scores a 100– and if you did, you probably wouldn’t want to eat it! So, when you’re talking about cereal, the scores range from 4 – 100 and the median score is a 25. Be sure to keep this in mind when you are considering different kinds of cereal.  

 

If you want to see some more of the scores for cereal, check out NuVal’s newly designed website. You can also play the Nutrition By The Numbers game, which is actually pretty tough!  If you have any questions or would like to spread the word about NuVal, please don’t hesitate to contact me at thaupert@nuval.com.

 

So, how did my breakfast score?

 

  • PLAN GREEK YOGURT: 94
  • BANANA: 91
  • QUAKER 100% NATURAL HONEY OAT GRANOLA: 22
  • BOBS RED MILL FLAXSEED MEAL: 100

 

My granola seems a little low (the median cereal score is 25), so I asked Tina to send me a list of alternate cereals that scored higher:

 

  • KASHI SUMMER BERRY BERRY GRANOLA: 31
  • KASHI ORCHARD SPICE APPLE & SPICE GRANOLA: 34
  • KASHI 7 WHOLE GRAIN CEREAL PUFFS: 91
  • KASHI GO LEAN HIGH PROTEIN AND HIGH FIBER CEREAL: 47
  • POST SHREDDED WHEAT N BRAN:   91

 

I think NuVal is a great way to get the focus off counting calories and onto looking at a food’s overall nutrition! 

{ 50 comments }

 

  • Nicole, MS, RD, LD November 30, 2009, 8:15 am

    I’m in communication with a NuVal rep, too! I think NuVal scores are wonderful! I am looking forward to them coming to our local stores, and to mega-markets like WalMart. So interesting! I share these scores with my patients because there’s some shockers (i.e. “low-fat” and “vegetarian” are not always the “best”!)

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite November 30, 2009, 8:21 am

    I’m still learning about NuVal. Thanks for sharing the info!

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) November 30, 2009, 8:23 am

    I hope your knees start loosening up soon today!
    Your breakfast shaped out to be pretty good! Have a great day.

  • Britt - Runnerbelle November 30, 2009, 8:28 am

    Definitely keep getting up to stretch and don’t sit in one place for too long. Also get out for a walk if you have time today. My legs always do so much better if I’m up and walking around the next day or two after a long run or marathon.

    I’ve seen the info on Nuval, it just seems like they have limited scores on their website. We only have the Guiding Stars program here, but I’d be curious to compare the two.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 30, 2009, 8:29 am

    When my husband was training for his first marathon, we had just starting dating and he ran 20 miles the morning of a wedding we were going to. He couldn’t even make it up the steps into the church!

  • megan November 30, 2009, 8:34 am

    wow, that’s really interesting! i’d never heard of nuval before. and i’m glad you said what kind of granola you eat – it always looks so good! although maybe you’ll switch now to a cereal with a higher score?

  • Allison November 30, 2009, 8:41 am

    I should see how my breakfast scores on the NuVal scale! I had old-fashioned oats with milk, water, brown sugar, and apple cinnamon granola. Hmmm. I read Tina’s blog, too, and have been interested in her posts about NuVal.

  • Brittney November 30, 2009, 8:45 am

    I’ve never heard of NuVal, but it seems like it would be a very helpful guide for people looking to eat healthy.

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) November 30, 2009, 8:46 am

    Thanks so much for the info! Great tool to keep in mind as we try and make the best choices πŸ˜‰

  • Amanda November 30, 2009, 8:47 am

    I’ve never heard of NuVal before, but I think its an amazing idea. There are so many people out there who are confused about food nutrition because of the way that things are portrayed to be healthy when that may not necessarily be the case. It also interests me because I just discussed my goals for December in my blog and one of them was to focus on the nutrition of the food that I am eating instead of just the fat/calorie content. This is an excellent way to do that. Thanks for sharing!

  • SweetiePotato November 30, 2009, 8:58 am

    That scoring is awesome! But who gives them those scores? And how are the scores determined? I know it’s based on nutritive value but what nutrients are tested

  • Jordan @ Salt Sweat Sugar November 30, 2009, 9:05 am

    That’s pretty interesting about the Cheerios. And to think, all this time I’ve been wasting money on Go Lean =P

  • Tina November 30, 2009, 9:06 am

    SweetiePotato: Check out the NuVal site for more info: http://www.nuval.com/How and http://www.nuval.com/Science/origins Hope this helps! Let me know if you have additional questions.

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat November 30, 2009, 9:07 am

    I love the concept of NuVal! It definitely makes me want to pick up the higher rated foods at the store πŸ™‚

  • Katie (Sweet Tater) November 30, 2009, 9:08 am

    congratulations on your long run yesterday. awesome awesome.

    and i agree that nuval is fantastic. it’ll hopefully enlighten some people who continue to think that anything labeled “low fat,” “sugar free,” “all natural,” etc. is a healthy option.

  • Lizzy November 30, 2009, 9:10 am

    this is so interesting. i remember when tina did a post about this a while ago. i cannot believe that post shredded wheat and bran scored so high. thats so awesome!

  • Becca November 30, 2009, 9:15 am

    Breakfast looks great the NuVal is very interesting. Thanks for sharing about it!

  • Sam (Merit to the Carrot) November 30, 2009, 9:24 am

    I’m sorry about your bike πŸ™ Breakfast looks fantastic, though!
    I’ve heard of NuVal, but now I know what it is! I love the cereal suggestions, Thanks to both of you!

  • Erin November 30, 2009, 9:25 am

    The pain sounds intense but just think of how strong you’ve become and it makes it all worth it. πŸ˜€

  • Meg November 30, 2009, 9:30 am

    This is really interesting, but I (and I bet many others) would like to know WHY the Kashi cereal got such a surprisingly low score that it was hardly better than cheerios. From an ingredient-list standpoint, I know the Kashi cereal is likely filled with more natural ingredients, so this seems counter-intuitive to me. Tina or Caitlin, can you give us a rundown of how the scoring works so we can have a better understanding of WHY those two cereals score so similarly? Without knowing the criteria, I hate to admit that I’m a bit skeptical!

    • ari November 30, 2009, 10:38 am

      i agree, i’m a little skeptical about nuval too. i don’t think it really takes the ingredient list into account, which i think is one of the most important things when choosing which foods to eat.

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner November 30, 2009, 9:41 am

    Nuval is definitely a great tool for finding some healthier alternatives! I do love my Kashi GoLean though πŸ™‚

  • Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life November 30, 2009, 9:42 am

    What a cool little tool-thanks for the info!

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) November 30, 2009, 9:54 am

    I’d be sore if I’d ran the amount of miles you did too.. you’re a baller! Happy Monday!

  • Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn November 30, 2009, 10:15 am

    This is pretty interesting… I wonder why the Kashi puffs rock so much? And I’m also not sure how I feel about all my food being rated by numbers. I mean, I kinda dig it.. but it also feels a little big brothery, do you know what I mean?

  • Evan Thomas November 30, 2009, 10:27 am

    I noticed nuval over the summer and have loved the concept ever since. I don’t think the scoring system is perfect, but then again I don’t know how it could be. The kashi mountain harvest granola is delicious. Of course you could also try your hand at making your own! It might not have a Nuval score but if you choose the right recipe I’m sure it’d be great. Iv’e made chocolate cherry and vanilla almond before

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) November 30, 2009, 10:37 am

    Sorry for that soreness. I remember feeling that after my first longer run when I began running. But I’m sure you’ll do awesome at your marathon and it’s an excuse for a nice soak in epsom salt water with some relaxing candles. πŸ™‚

    I love walking up and down the aisle at our Price Chopper Grocery and seeing the Nuval numbers so I can make better choices.

  • skinnyrunner November 30, 2009, 10:41 am

    loved this post! i like hearing about the surprising “nutritious” foods that maybe aren’t quite as nutritious as we think.

  • Tina November 30, 2009, 10:51 am

    Meg, Ari, Mel:

    NuVal scores foods based on how nutritious they are for you, which means that the scores take into account 30+ nutrients and nutrition factors, such as protein, calcium, vitamins, fiber as well as sugar, sodium, and cholesterol. NuVal looks at the nutritional value of foods, and does not score organic/natural ingredients differently– essentially sugar is sugar whether it’s organic or not. Down the road, if organic ingredients are proven to offer more nutritional value, the NuVal scores could potentially change.

    Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any additional questions!

    • Meg November 30, 2009, 1:20 pm

      Thanks for that info, Tina. Does the NuVal formula account for things like preservatives and other chemicals? I.e., foods that have less or none get higher ratings than foods with potentially the same food ingredients but that include preservatives and chemicals? Also, does it equate high fructose corn syrup to other kinds of sugar? What about “added” fiber versus fiber in whole grains? I’m not trying to be a downer at all–I think anything that gets people to take a serious look at that they put in their mouths deserves a chance, and I really want to know more about the specific evaluation methods NuVal uses!

  • Susan November 30, 2009, 11:03 am

    I’m sure you’ve seen this before, but you have to watch this hilarious video on the day after a marathon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-hCuYjvw2I

    I really like the NuVal system!! I think the scores are a lot better indicator of what’s “healthy” or not than having to stand in the grocery aisle for ten minutes comparing the sugar and fibre on every kind of cereal. One of my pet peeves is junk food that markets itself as being healthy, so it’s a useful way to find out what those are πŸ™‚

  • Niki November 30, 2009, 11:04 am

    Thanks for sharing! I really like the way NuVal “scores” food!

  • Lisa November 30, 2009, 11:27 am

    wow! Nuval is pretty cool.

  • Lauren November 30, 2009, 11:30 am

    Thanks for this post-it’s very helpful!

  • Melissa S. November 30, 2009, 11:38 am

    thanks for sharing, this is interesting!

  • Brie (The Fit Bride) November 30, 2009, 11:50 am

    Hmm, interesting. It’s nice to distill all the various attributes of a food into one number…but then again, it’s just ANOTHER number to learn what it means.

  • Ellen Collis November 30, 2009, 12:09 pm

    Wow that’s really interesting…I’ve never even heard of Nuval before. I’m always skeptical about “healthy” cereals because they always seem to be fairly high in sugar. I actually eat Cheerios (just the plain kind) with a banana quite a bit, so I guess I’m not doing too shabby!

    http://www.firednfabulous.blogspot.com/

  • Courtney November 30, 2009, 12:12 pm

    Good morning!

    I mentioned you on my blog this morning – I’m working REALLY hard at the concept behind not dieting, but living. I have quite a bit of weight to lose after 2 babies and am really working at doing it by exercising, eating as well as possible, and attempting to blog – but boy am I busy. I appreciated the comments you made here and there while you were writing the chapter of your book on dieting. I agree it doesn’t work. Even Weight Watchers (which I cancelled my subscription last night) is annoying. Who wants to go through life looking at food wondering about how many points it is – or knowing exactly how many points it is? Why not look at food for the benefit it gives you. And if it doesn’t give you a benefit, not eating it. I have so much more to say about that – but how it relates to your post is through the Nuval ratings. I’ve been reading about them on Tina’s blog too and it sounds awesome. I’d love to know why the puff cereal is so good. Is it because it’s the most pure???

    Anyway, thanks for all you do. I’m going to work on commenting more πŸ™‚

  • Courtney November 30, 2009, 12:15 pm

    Oh my gosh, that NuVal thing is so sweet! I must, must check it out! Thank you for sharing!!

  • Tami November 30, 2009, 1:51 pm

    how is nuval funded? it’s very similar to the guiding stars program that Hannaford/foodlion has http://www.hannaford.com/Contents/Healthy_Living/Guiding_Stars/index.shtml

  • Tina November 30, 2009, 2:13 pm

    Tami: NuVal is a different system than Guiding Stars. NuVal rates foods on a scale of 1 – 100 based on their nutritional value. Guiding Stars seems to “rank” foods by giving them a certain number of stars. Personally, I think the NuVal system says a lot more about the nutritional value of your food.

    NuVal is a joint venture formed in 2008 by Topco Associates, LLC, and Griffin Hospital of Derby, Conn., a non-profit community hospital and home to the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center.

  • Laura November 30, 2009, 3:06 pm

    I’m single and I work full time so clearly my situation is a little different than yours and your husbands – but I have to tell you I used to be EXACTLY like you! Seriously everything changed for me when I became much more involved in my finances. I keep a record of all my spending in a checkbook and write down every single purchase! I also have a spreadsheet for every single paycheck showing what bills (and savings) will be paid and how much money I have left over. Each time I get paid I sit down and write down in my checkbook ALL my bills for the next 2 weeks. Almost everything all my bills is on an auto-pay schedule, so recognizing that the money is gone as soon as I get paid in my checkbook is the key for me. The auto-pay also keeps me from paying things late, which I used to be notorious for doing. I have an “invisible balance” that I DO NOT let myself fall below. This isn’t very much for me right now – only $250-$300, but at least I’ll always have that money in my account no matter what. I have a savings account and a separate checking account (strictly for rent/housing expenses)and I have automatic transfers into those accounts after every check. I also pay my big expenses in halfs since I get paid twice a month. Each check I’ll put half my rent into my separate checking account and I’ll log on and pay half my car payment. That way there is NO chance I can spend that money and therefore I’ll never be default on my rent or car. Another thing I do (this would take you a while to do but is totally worth it) is have one full month’s rent in my separate account so no matter WHAT I am at least one month ahead on my housing.

    The only place I struggle with now is my personal spending – so that is money left over after all my bills are paid. This is where the food, clothes, personal items, etc all come from. I’ve been working extra hard lately to manage this money better and always be aware of how much I have to spend. I had to make myself stop buying frivolous things and if I do, it’s usually less than $10. I try to balance my checkbook and write down all my purchases at least twice a week so I know how much I have. And I’ve started shopping and eating more cheaply – buying the brand or variety on sale, planning around the sales in the stores, etc. Instead of just walking into the store and buying whatever I want, I have a meal plan for the entire week in my hand and I do NOT deviate from my list. This way you can ensure you use all the things in your freezer/pantry/fridge but still buy the few things you might need.

    Sorry this is long but hopefully it helps SOMEONE! Good luck! I can’t wait to hear your tips πŸ™‚

  • Laura November 30, 2009, 3:07 pm

    I’m not married and I work full time so clearly my situation is a little different than yours and your husbands – but I have to tell you I used to be EXACTLY like you! Seriously everything changed for me when I became much more involved in my finances. I keep a record of all my spending in a checkbook and write down every single purchase! I also have a spreadsheet for every single paycheck showing what bills (and savings) will be paid and how much money I have left over. Each time I get paid I sit down and write down in my checkbook ALL my bills for the next 2 weeks. Almost everything all my bills is on an auto-pay schedule, so recognizing that the money is gone as soon as I get paid in my checkbook is the key for me. The auto-pay also keeps me from paying things late, which I used to be notorious for doing. I have an “invisible balance” that I DO NOT let myself fall below. This isn’t very much for me right now – only $250-$300, but at least I’ll always have that money in my account no matter what. I have a savings account and a separate checking account (strictly for rent/housing expenses)and I have automatic transfers into those accounts after every check. I also pay my big expenses in halfs since I get paid twice a month. Each check I’ll put half my rent into my separate checking account and I’ll log on and pay half my car payment. That way there is NO chance I can spend that money and therefore I’ll never be default on my rent or car. Another thing I do (this would take you a while to do but is totally worth it) is have one full month’s rent in my separate account so no matter WHAT I am at least one month ahead on my housing.

    The only place I struggle with now is my personal spending – so that is money left over after all my bills are paid. This is where the food, clothes, personal items, etc all come from. I’ve been working extra hard lately to manage this money better and always be aware of how much I have to spend. I had to make myself stop buying frivolous things and if I do, it’s usually less than $10. I try to balance my checkbook and write down all my purchases at least twice a week so I know how much I have. And I’ve started shopping and eating more cheaply – buying the brand or variety on sale, planning around the sales in the stores, etc. Instead of just walking into the store and buying whatever I want, I have a meal plan for the entire week in my hand and I do NOT deviate from my list. This way you can ensure you use all the things in your freezer/pantry/fridge but still buy the few things you might need.

    Sorry this is long but hopefully it helps SOMEONE! Good luck! I can’t wait to hear your tips πŸ™‚

  • Jenna November 30, 2009, 4:55 pm

    i think NuVal is a great way to not focus on calories!
    jenna

  • FoodCents November 30, 2009, 5:02 pm

    I like the concept behind NuVal, but the website is still lacking something, very limited. I hope it grows in the future, so it can be a more useful tool for people.

  • Katy @ These Beautiful Feet November 30, 2009, 8:48 pm

    I love NuVal, I think it’s really interesting to see how foods are ranked. It makes label reading a breeze, because they do it for you. I have already played the game before, and was shocked at times by what was better for you then what I thought were super healthy items! πŸ™‚

  • Danielle November 30, 2009, 9:41 pm

    Thanks so much for posting the link to NuVal. I can’t wait to check it out!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) November 30, 2009, 9:54 pm

    Okay this NuVal is the coolest thing ever!!!! I am totally interested in how my meals measure up!!

  • rachael December 1, 2009, 9:50 am

    Nuval is a really cool concept! I played the nutrition game that they had and i didn’t do so hot. I guess that means I am under estimating the good nutrition that some foods really contain!

  • Tina December 1, 2009, 1:43 pm

    Meg: Here is a response from Annette Maggi, MS, RD, LD, FADA, Sr. Director of Nutrition for NuVal LLC.

    “The NuVal nutrition scoring process is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, FDA and USDA food regulations and evidence-based science, and the nutrients and nutrition factors they determine have an impact on health outcomes and disease risk. Today, evidence-based science does not indicate a direct link between preservatives and high fructose corn syrup to health outcomes and disease risk, and therefore, are not specifically included in the algorithm. If preservatives include sodium this is counted in the scoring process as is the sugar coming from high fructose corn syrup. Fiber, whether naturally occurring or added, positively impacts scores.”

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