The Power of Planning Mon, 10/05/2009 - 17:15 - sarah
One thing that I tell all my clients is that a key to success when it comes to losing weight or eating healthy is planning. It does take a little time to do, but just by investing 30 minutes once a week on planning, you can set yourself up for success for the next 7 days.
Planning Your Meals and Snacks:
- Take a close look at your schedule for the next week. Decide what days you may have more time to cook, and what days you may need to just have leftovers or something else quick on hand, and plan accordingly.
- If you are usually out and about in the afternoon when you get hungry for a snack, plan to take some easy snacks with you that don't have to be refrigerated, such as 1/4 cup nuts or dried fruit, bananas or apples, or peanut butter and crackers. This may prevent you from hitting the drive through.
- Plan to have enough fruits and veggies on hand that half of your plate at each meal can be filled with them.
- Plan to have a few back-ups on hand for quick fixes when you are running late, such as sandwich or salad fixings or whole grain cereal, fruit, and low-fat milk.
- If you are going out to eat, still plan ahead! Look up nutrition information on the restaurant's website or on another site such as www.calorieking.com. You may be surprised that what you think might be the healthiest choice isn't always your best bet.
Planning Your Grocery Store Trip:
Sophisticated Salmon Supper for $4 per Person! Wed, 09/30/2009 - 19:41 - sarah
Think it's too expensive to have gourmet, fresh, and heathly salmon for supper for a family of four? Think again! This recipe is delicious, feels fancy, and only takes about 25 minutes from start to finish! The added bonus is that it's healthy and costs only about $4 per person. I adapted a recipe for Salmon and couscous from Bobby Deen (Paula's son) and made it healthier. Enjoy!
Salmon and Confetti Couscous
4 (4-ounce) pieces salmon (skin removed)
salt, pepper, and garlic powder
1 box Near East brand Whole-grain Wheat Couscous, Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil Flavor
1 box grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
1 bunch green onions (green parts only, about 1 cup)
1 12oz. bag frozen broccoli that can be steamed in microwave
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Add a drizzle of olive oil to glass pan and place the salmon. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the top of the salmon and sprinkle to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cover with foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve on a bed of the confetti couscous (see below).
Prepare couscous according to package directions. Meanwhile steam broccoli in microwave according to package directions. Add steamed broccoli, tomatoes, crumbled feta, and green onions to couscous.
Fluff couscous mixture with a fork, and serve hot or cold.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Delectable, Delightful D Wed, 09/23/2009 - 16:55 - sarah
Hello all! This week Lauren Burdock and Jessica Guterman are my guest bloggers. They have written this fabulous piece to bring you the truth about Vitamin D! Enjoy!
What does delightful D do for you?
Vitamin D is among the trendiest nutrients to be researching right now, and what researchers are finding is promising! Turns out vitamin D is not only involved in regulating calcium and phosphorus absorption (that's how it helps our bones and prevents rickets) but vitamin D’s social circle reaches beyond. Vitamin D interacts with cells all over the body. Researchers are now discovering that having adequate amounts of the big ‘D’ means:
• A reduced risk of developing certain types of cancer
• Improved immune function
• Protection against some autoimmune diseases like Type 1 Diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis
• A lower risk for heart attacks.
Fun with Food and Sun
So what does this mean for you? One tablespoon of cod liver oil a day! Just kidding. Well, that would work, but there are many more delightful and delectable options. Vitamin D doesn’t have too many natural food sources: just egg yolks, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and our favorite….cod liver oil.
Fortunately technology has allowed for other great sources of vitamin D. Such technology allowed for fortification of milk to address the bone-bending epidemic of rickets among children in the early 1900's. Today, you can get your D from fortified foods such as:
• All milk, from skim to whole*
• Some yogurts*
• Some cereals
• Orange juice.
* Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products to optimize your health or lose weight.
Thinking Outside the (Lunch) Box Wed, 09/16/2009 - 22:43 - sarah
You have probably already heard that bringing your lunch can be better for both your health and your wallet. But you and your lunch-box toting kids may be getting tired of the same old, same old sandwich and fruit routine.
Packing a lunch that is both convenient and healthy can be a challenge, and if you want to have variety, that can make the task seem even more daunting. But here are a couple of my ideas for easy, healthy lunches that the whole family can pack up and enjoy!
Enemy Number One: Soft Drinks? Fri, 09/11/2009 - 21:09 - sarah
If you are at all interested in losing weight or improving your health, you may have heard that one of the easiest and best things you can do is to cut back on soft drinks. Numerous studies have shown that high calorie drinks, such as soft drinks, are a major contributor to weight gain. And cutting out just 20oz soft drink per day (even if you didn't make any other dietary or exercise changes) can lead to a half pound weight loss each week. However, it is important to remember that just one food or beverage alone can not be blamed entirely for weight gain. What's most important is balancing the calories we take in from food and drinks by burning calories with physical activity.
However, you may have heard recent reports that even diet sodas can contribute to weight gain. Yet there is data in numerous scientific journals that support that diet sodas are safe when consumed in moderation and can even help you manage your weight. But I wouldn't go crazy and consume bucketfuls everyday. As mentioned in this week's nutrition tip, all dark colored sodas (regular or diet) contain phosphoric acid, which can leech calcium out the bones making them weaker if consumed in large amounts.
So should you never, ever drink a soft drink? No! I personally enjoy having Coke Zero as a treat from time to time, and I teach all my clients that all foods can be enjoyed in a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. So if you love soft drinks, enjoying a few each week as a treat is a good way to have them in moderation. The rest of the time focus on drinking water, low-fat milk, and unsweetened teas. This way you can have your coke and drink it too!
A Smooth Smoothie Wed, 09/02/2009 - 20:50 - sarah
One of my faithful blog-readers, Marie, wrote in asking for a smoothie recipe. She said:
"Do you have any recipes for fruit smoothies? I love the ones at the smoothie shops, but the cost is too high."
You're right, Marie! The cost is sky high for smoothies from those specialty shops, and not only that, but the calorie count is often very high as well! The portions are usually very large, and they may even add sugar, honey, syrups, or other sweeteners that contribute to the large amount of calories. Some specialty shop smoothies can have up to 1000 calories per smoothie! So instead of spending half of your daily calories on an overpriced smoothie, try this Strawberry Peach Banana smoothie below for a lower calorie treat that packs a big Vitamin C punch and only takes minutes to make!Strawberry Peach Banana Smoothie
Serving Size: 8 ouncesIngredients:
½ cup frozen sliced sweetened strawberries
¾ cup frozen sliced peaches
1 medium banana
½ c skim milk
Garlic Green Beans: A Veggie They'll Want to Eat! Wed, 08/19/2009 - 21:02 - sarah
Do you or others in your family have trouble eating your veggies? Sometimes we forget to cook veggies in a way that makes them appetizing, yet still healthy. For a tasty veggie that your whole family will love, try my garlic green beans. This quick and easy recipe, provides so much flavor that everyone will be asking for seconds!
Garlic Green Beans:
1 12oz. bag of frozen steamer green beans (such as birds eye)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves of garlic minced
4-6oz. white mushrooms, sliced
salt, pepper, garlic salt
1 tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese
Steam the green beans in the bag in the microwave according to the package directions (steam for the minimum amount of time suggested on the package, about 4 minutes). Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent, stirring frequently. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until they reduce in size and all the water they release evaporates. Add the cooked green beans to the mixture in the skillet and stir until they are well-coated, cooking for about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Then sprinkle evenly with the parmesan cheese. Divide equally among 4 plates and serve warm.
Julie and Julia: Learning to Cook! Thu, 08/13/2009 - 20:29 - sarah
This weekend my husband took me to see the movie "Julie and Julia." (He did owe me one, since I went to see the Wolverine X-Men movie with him earlier this summer!). "Julie and Julia" is based on a true story and is about a girl name Julie who decides she is going to learn to cook by cooking her way through Julia Child's 500 plus page cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." What's more, Julie turns this experiment into a blog, which grows in popularity to the point magazines and newspapers are writing about it!
I wanted to see this movie because it reminded me of something I would do. Plus, I love food and I love to cook, but it wasn't always that way, Well, I have always loved food, just not cooking. In fact, my college roommates can tell you that I used to turn my nose up at the idea of cooking, even so much as to say I hated it. If it involved anything more than taking it out of that package and putting it in the oven, I wouldn't do it. But it wasn't because I truly hated it, it was just that I didn't really know how.
But then, senior year of college, I met a guy I really liked (and yes, it is my husband) and he said something about loving home-cooked meals and so all of a sudden I was totally interested in cooking, and desperate to learn how! I really wanted to be able to cook him a good meal and impress him, plus we all know that there is some truth in the saying that a way to a man's heart is through his stomach!
What are you full of? Thu, 08/06/2009 - 18:20 - sarah
What are you full of? Maybe you're full of pain. Maybe you're full of guilt. Maybe you're full of hurt. We are all carrying something around with us that we are full of. Yet the funny thing is that sometimes the things that we are full of, actually make us feel empty.
If we feel empty, we try to fill ourselves with food because temporarily it makes us feel full. But the problem with this is we learn to eat for other reasons besides physical hunger, we ignore the God-given hunger and full signals that God so wisely created as a part of our biological make-up. Instead of listening to our bodies and eating when we're hungry and stopping when we're full, yet not overstuffed, we listen to our minds instead. Our minds say things like "I shouldn't eat snacks," "I don't deserve to eat," "I shouldn't be hungry, I just ate a couple of hours ago," "If I eat this, I won't feel so sad". Unfortunately, all these things cloud our ability to listen to our body the way God intended us to do.
So what if you have lost touch with your hunger and full signals? What if you are full of pain, yet feeling empty?
First, it helps to decide what we truly want to be full of. In the book of John, it is said twice that Jesus came to this earth full of grace and truth. The wonderful thing is that his grace saves us (Ephesians 2:5) and his truth sets us free (John 8). This means we can be free from the bondage of diets, of society's lies that tell us we aren't good enough, and free from using food to cope.
Is "Healthy Chocolate" Really Worth $150 per box? Thu, 07/30/2009 - 21:26 - sarah
What do you think of all these new healthy acai chocolates?
Recently several people have asked me about these new “healthy chocolate” products being sold and marketed by independent consultants. While it is true that dark chocolate and acai berries are both great sources of antioxidants, are these chocolates really worth $150 or more per box? I’ll give you the facts below and then let you decide for yourself.
What Dark Chocolate/Acai CAN Do:
According to the American Dietetic Association, research has shown that true Dark Chocolate (at least 60% or more cocoa bean content) is high in antioxidants and may help prevent cholesterol from sticking to artery walls, reducing your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Chocolate also contains flavonoids, which are the same compounds that give red wine and tea their disease-preventing benefits. The darker the chocolate, the more antioxidants and flavonoids it contains.