Archive for the ‘Snacking’ Category
Healthy meal options can be very limited at the beach. Snack bars are commonly stalked with chips, ice-cream and fried food. Skip the chips and try one of these great snacks instead.
1. Frozen Grapes
Place as many grapes in a zip-lock bag as you like. Place the bag in your freezer the night before your trip to the beach. The grapes should be frozen by the next morning. Pack this refreshing snack in your cooler for a sweet treat at the beach.
2. Tomato & Mozzarella Salad
Cut up fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Dress lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Store this in a Tupperware dish or bowl. This snack will keep you full and you won’t feel weighed down after eating it.
3. Fruit & Nuts
This time of year there are so many options for great tasting fruit. Cut up your favorite fruit and store it in a tupperware dish, sprinkle a handful of almonds on top and keep it cold in your cooler.
Pick a brand that has a lot of protein to stay fuller longer. My favorite brands are Chobani and Oikos. Bring a small container of almond or peanut butter to add to your yogurt for a balanced and delicious snack.
5. Hummus and Veggies
Sabra Hummus comes in small snack size containers. Pack a few of these with a bag of your favorite vegetables. Cut up some peppers, carrots, celery and cucumbers for a nice vegetable medley.
Your best defense against unhealthy eating is to always be prepared. When you know you’re going into a situation like a day at the beach, take the time to plan some healthy options for you and your family.
Advertisements are everywhere, and it’s your job to pay close attention to what these products are promising and what they actually do, especially when it comes to food choices. Here are 5 common marketing strategies geared towards the average dieter.
1. “No High Fructose Corn Syrup”
High Fructose Corn Syrup is a type of sugar that is found in many food products in the American diet today. It has the same caloric value per gram that table sugar does. Products are now advertising that they do not have this ingredient to make their product seem “healthy”. Just because a product does not have High Fructose Corn Syrup, does not make it a good food choice.
Heinz has an organic ketchup that has no High Fructose Corn Syrup, does that mean that ketchup is good for you? If you happen to be buying a product that has no High Fructose Corn Syrup that’s a great bonus, don’t base a meal decision off of that one selling point.
2. “Same Amount Of Protein As An Egg”
This advertisement was recently put out by Kashi Cereal. True that the cereal they are promoting in this ad has as much protein as an egg in a single serving. Let’s compare the rest of the nutrition facts for these two food choices.
GOLEAN Crunch! Honey Almond Flax
Serving Size; 1 Cup
- Calories; 200
- Fat; 4.5g
- Carbohydrate; 36g
- Protein; 9g
Serving Size; 1 Large Egg
- Calories; 70
- Fat; 5g
- Carbohydrate; 0g
- Protein; 6g
This Go Lean cereal has more protein than an egg. It also has 36 more grams of carbohydrate and 130 more calories per serving. Between these two choices the egg a far better choice.
3. “Excellent Source Of Protein”
What makes an “excellent” or “great” source of protein. When you see a food label that has this slogan check the actual nutrition facts. Be a smart consumer and know what makes a product an excellent source of protein. The advertisement may be referring to the price or convenience of the product as being “excellent”. What you really want, is a product that will give you best nutritional value.
4. “30% Less Fat Than Regular Potato Chips”
The product Sunchips uses this selling point frequently. Sunchips do have less fat than it’s leading competitor, does that make it a wise food choice? This product still has 6g of fat and 19g of Carbohydrate per serving. This is a processed food that provides minimal if any good nutritional value. Skip the chips and go for a hand full of almonds if you’re craving something salty.
5. “Gluten Free”
There has been a lot of buzz lately for Gluten free products. There are more items available today that are Gluten free which is good news for someone that is allergic to Gluten. For the average consumer that is not allergic to Gluten this should not be a selling point for you. Most ice cream is Gluten free, do you think that’s a good food choice?
Here are 6 tips to help you avoid falling for these diet marketing schemes
- Make a shopping list before you go to the grocery store
- Ignore the captions on the front of a food box or bag
- Read the nutrition label of any product you’re not familiar with
- Stick to the peripheries of the Super Market, most processed foods are in the middle isles
- Be a smart consumer, if there is a product you want to try do some research on it
- If it’s too good to be true, it most likely is. Don’t let these advertisements be your excuse to put junk in your body.
Photo Credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk
Next week is April vacation for most schools. If you’re planning a trip or taking time off from work, follow these tips to help you stay on track with your health and fitness goals.
Brown Bag It
Stay away from airline food. Honestly, how good is it really going to taste anyway. Bring your own snacks to eat at the airport. If you’re in for a longer flight then pick up something healthy and balanced from one of the airport stores. Be sure to bring a large bottle of water on the flight. You don’t want to have to wait for the beverage cart to get all the way to your seat only to receive a half cup of water.
Get In Your Work-Outs
If you’re going somewhere new then you may be doing a lot of walking. Walking should not be the only exercise you get while you’re away. Take at least 30:00 to work-out either in your hotel room, gym or outdoors. There are plenty of exercises you can do with no equipment. After you work-out you will feel better and it will remind you make good food choices through out the day.
Many people take vacation as a week to eat whatever they want with the mind-set that they will deal with it when they get back. Don’t go overboard with your food-consumption. Allow yourself a couple of treats while you’re away, don’t make a day or week of it. If you want dessert, split it with someone and enjoy every bite. Don’t let it lead to two desserts or a donut the next day for breakfast. Coming back from vacation is hard enough you don’t want to add weight gain on top of it.
Get Enough Sleep
Traveling often disrupts our sleeping schedule. Make sure to sleep on the plane or take a couple of extra hours the next morning to rest. When you’re tired your body may react with hunger pangs because it is trying to restore your energy level. Side step this diet pitfall by getting enough sleep.
Keep Your Food Schedule
If you normally eat every 3-4 hours, continue to do that while you’re away. Yes, this will take a bit more planning but it’s worth the hassle. When you wait too long to eat then chances are you will be so hungry you won’t care what you put in your mouth as long as it tastes good. Pack some snacks if you’re afraid you won’t come across a good restaurant while you’re out. A good snack is something that will keep you satisfied for a few hours. Some of my favorite choices are
- .25 cup of almonds and 10-15 grapes
- 6 oz of non-fat Greek yogurt with 10 Almonds
- One medium sized apple with 1TBL. Peanut Butter
- Organic Protein Bar
If you are worried about your food staying cold, there are plenty of storage containers you can get that will keep your food insulated.
Remember to enjoy yourself and think about the reasons you are on vacation. You’re there to have fun and relax that doesn’t have to go hand in hand with eating junk all week.
This week marks my four year anniversary of living a cigarette free life. After about a decade of being married to smoking, I successfully kicked the habit on March 18th, 2007.
There are multiple reasons why quitting is too difficult for some people. An excuse I hear often, especially from women is they are afraid of gaining weight. It’s true that cigarettes are an appetite suppressant, however there are many other ways to keep your weight at a healthy level without causing lung cancer.
Here are 6 steps you can take to help you put down the cigarettes without putting on the pounds.
1. Get Active
Start an exercise program. It can be anything you’re interested in, walking, yoga, strength training or kickboxing. Any activity that will help you add to your daily caloric deficit. Then notice how your breathing feels after several weeks of the activity that you have started. You should experience less coughing and an increase in your endurance as the weeks pass.
2. Spice It Up
3. Enjoy Your Food
Cigarette smoking dulls your taste buds. Start to notice the difference in how your food tastes after you kick the habit. When your food tastes better you can practice mindful eating. Mindful eating means paying attention to what you’re eating, how it tastes and how much of it your ingesting. If you focus on enjoying your food and listening to your body when it’s full, there’s less of a chance that you will overeat.
4. Cut Back On Alcohol
Many smokers associate having a drink with smoking a cigarette. Avoid alcohol, especially in the beginning stages of your smoke-free life. When you drink alcohol your inhibitions are down and you will be more likely to light up a cigarette. If you are strong enough not to break and have one, you may look for a substitute such as a snack to munch on to get your mind off of smoking. It’s best to side step this situation all together, until you’re confident enough that you won’t slip up after a drink or two.
5. Know Your Weaknesses
Certain situations call out to you as a smoker to light up. It becomes an unconscious thing, but you start to associate certain times of the day with smoking. For some smokers it’s right after a meal, with their morning coffee or in the car on their commute to work. Just being aware of these high risk times can help you avoid temptation. Keep some gum or mints on hand and try to keep busy so you won’t reach for a cigarette or food when you’re not hungry.
6. Remember Your Reasons
Keep a small notepad and pen on hand for when a cigarette craving hits. Make some lists to help you stick out the hard times with out replacing smoking for eating. Write down the reasons you’ve decided to quit smoking, if you’re having trouble remembering your specific reasons here’s three to get you started.
- Money Saver. Cigarettes are around $8.00 per pack now. If you smoke one pack a day that’s around $225.00 per month. That’s a good chunk of change.
- Odor Eaters. No more smoke filled scent in your car or on your clothes. Enjoy the fresh smells of your day without the usual cloud of smoke you use to carry.
- Live Longer. Reduce your risk of lung cancer and emphysema. Your body is an amazing thing and your lungs have the ability to repair themselves.
Quitting a habit is never easy, especially one that contains an addictive drug like nicotine. Remember to take it one day at a time and if you have a set back don’t give up!
Photo Credit: http://www.stopsmokingsteps.com
Weekends can be kryptonite to your weight-loss program. Many of my clients find it easy to eat well during the week due to the structure of their schedules. When Saturday comes the change in schedule can make it difficult to stay on the right track.
1. Stick to your eating schedule
Just because your daily activities are different on the weekends doesn’t mean your eating times have to be. If you normally have a snack between breakfast and lunch continue to do that. Eat every 3-4 hours to prevent yourself from over-eating at your next meal. You don’t have to plan your whole day of meals, just know what is coming next. When you’re done with breakfast, figure out what you will eat in three hours. Preparation will be one of your best defenses.
2. Mix It Up
It is fine to eat out or try something new on the weekends, just don’t go overboard. If you want a slice of pizza, go for it. Pick a thin crust with vegetables and pair it with a salad. If you’re craving a sweet treat like ice cream, then indulge. Pick a kids size dish or if you’re at home eat it out of a ram-kin and never out of the carton.
3. Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right
When you find yourself overstuffed and feeling guilty the best thing you can do is learn from it and move on. If you make a food choice that wasn’t beneficial for your weight-loss program, then use the rest of your day to make better decisions. Don’t let one unhealthy food choice lead to ten unhealthy choices. Just because you blow breakfast Saturday morning you don’t have to stay on the junk food wagon until Monday morning. Start making better choices that day and you will be in much better shape.
4. Party Time
Weekends are also the time that many people consume alcohol. Here are a few better choices to make when you choose to drink.
- Watch your mixers. Those drinks from the cocktail list are usually packed with sugary juices and syrups.
- If you drink hard alcohol pair it with soda water and ask for it in a tall glass. Your drink will last longer and it will be diluted with water and ice.
- If you prefer wine try a spritzer with soda water. Again your drink will last longer.
- If you do choose to drink beer pick a light one like MGD 64.
- Make sure you eat dinner before you go out, you don’t want to end up hungry at the end of the night and feasting on bar food.
Be aware of your weaknesses. If the end of the week is a challenge for you, just being conscious of it can make a difference. Remember to take it one meal at a time.
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Breakfast can be a challenge for many people. Here are four easy recipes that are low in calories and high in nutrients.
1. Sweet and Salty
1/2 Cup 1%Fat Cottage Cheese
1 Small Apple
2. Banana Nut Bread
1/2 Thomas’ Light Whole Grain English Muffin
1 TBL Teddy’s Peanut Butter
Toast English Muffin. Spread peanut butter after toasted. Slice up banana and place on top of muffin.
3. Not Just For Kids
3/4 Cup Special K Protein Plus Cereal
1 TBL. Almond Butter
1/2 Cup Skim Milk
Mix cereal with milk and almond butter.
4. Beat It
2 Egg Whites
1 Slice Sargento Reduced Fat Swiss Cheese
1/2 Small Tomato
Beat egg together with two egg whites. Spray non stick pan with cooking spray and pour egg mix in. Slice tomato and add to pan. Place swiss cheese on top. Once bottom is cooked fold egg over in half, omelette style and flip.
Set your day up for success by making these meals part of your morning routine!
Photo Credit: http://hubpages.com
I find myself using the tips in this book everyday, and in the coaching of my clients to living a healthier life. Bethenny gives simple, clear cut advice that can lead to big life improvements when applied. While the book is chock full of great ideas, these are the parts I use most often.
1. The Point of Diminishing Returns
“….what I call that point when a bite you take isn’t quite as good as the bite before it.”¹
This is by far my favorite tip, I love passing this one on to my clients. What Bethenny is explaining is to actually pay attention and taste your food. You can order chocolate cake, just split it with some one and taste each bite. When you stop tasting the food and put you’re mind on autopilot, you know it’s time to put the fork down.
2. The Differential
“….the difference between two choices, and whether or not that difference is worthwhile.”¹
The differential is all about your own personal preferences. For example, take a three egg omelet. Try substituting two of those eggs for egg whites. This is a healthier option and if it tastes the same to you, then the differential is not a big one. You have a healthier meal for the same amount of taste.
Now take something that has a big differential. If you love hamburgers, then a veggie burger is not going to fill that void of wanting meat. Instead go for the hamburger, only eat half of it and fill the rest of your plate with healthy options like steamed veggies. Make sure the fat content for the rest of your day isn’t too high to make up the difference.
The differential is going to be different for everyone. Play around with your meals to find out what yours are.
3. Cancel Your Membership In The Clean Plate Club
“Put the fork down already. They have dishwashers for that.”¹
This is a great tip for when you’re eating out. Portion sizes in America are out of control. A typical entree dish can easily feed two people. Either split a meal or take some of it home. If you’re having difficulty with this rule, start by leaving just one bite on your plate. Then gradually work up to saving half of your meal for later.
In “Naturally Thin”, Bethenny gives you ten rules that when applied will bring anyone to a healthy state of mind and being. This book is worth the read, and be sure to take notes!
Photo Credit: http://www.bethenny.com
¹ ”Naturally Thin” By; Bethenny Frankel © 2009 by BB Endeavors LLC
Late night snacking can really sabotage your weight loss plan. Here are a few ways to make this unhealthy habit history.
Only Eat At The Dinner Table
Don’t allow food in any room except your kitchen and dining rooms. Watching television and snacking go hand in hand for most people. Break this habit and you’ll consume a lot less calories. When you eat dinner pay attention to how the food tastes, it’s nearly impossible to do that if you’re watching TV at the same time.
Keep Your Hands Busy
Read a book instead of watching television at the end of the night. It’s hard to shovel food in your mouth when you’re holding a book in your hands. You’re also more engaged in the story when you’re reading, and there are no commercial breaks where you’ll be tempted to get up for refreshments. If you would rather watch television try a new hobby that will keep your hands busy like knitting.
Play A Game
Try a game of Apples To Apples or Scrabble instead of plopping down in front of the television. Playing a board game is more stimulating than watching your usual shows. Your mind will be less likely to wander to what’s in your cabinets to snack on. This is also a great way to bond with the people in your home. Try this once a week and you will see a difference in your snacking habits.
Eating breakfast will prevent you from overeating at lunch and dinner. When you eat consistently through the day you’re less likely to binge later in the night. You should feel satisfied at each of your meals but not stuffed.
If you’re craving something sweet after dinner try a cup of herbal tea. It’s perfect for the winter time and there are lots of great flavors out there. Hot tea will take some time to drink as well, so you can sip this sweet treat while watching your favorite shows.
When you’re aware of your weaknesses they become easier to overcome. If late night snacking is one of your weight loss obstacles use these tips to set yourself up for success this winter.
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