HAPPY Monday :D
How are you doing? I hope you had a FITastic weekend!! It's the beginning of another week, so lets jump right into today's post and make this a productive week! Bring it on!!
The following are some simple swaps you can make to cut down on calories and sugar while revving up your metabolism with extra fiber and protein! Sounds great, right?! :D Keep reading and try these quick kitchen upgrades for slimming down!!!
- Pecans are good but WALNUTS are better!
Pecans are lovely nuts but if stomach melting is your goal, you want those babies called walnuts. They're 1 of the few nuts rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce fat storage and improve insulin metabolism.
- Wheat Pasta is good but CHICKPEA PASTA is better!
With double the protein and 4 times the fiber of wheat pasta, chickpea pasta turns a traditional carb-based meal into a muscle-building fat fighter. Yes, please :D
- Popcorn is good but TIGER NUTS are better!
Tiger nuts are made of neither tigers or nuts...lol! They're actually tubers, which means people with nut allergies can safely eat them. A serving of 20 tiger nuts delivers only 60 calories.
- Bean Dip is good but GUACAMOLE is better!
High in fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, a half cup of guacamole gives you more than 7 grams of fiber while most commercial bean dips will deliver only about 2. Mix 1 ripe avocado, the juice of 1 lime, 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh cilantro, and a pinch of sea salt. This is sooo good baby :D
- Eggs are good but OMEGA-3 EGGS are better!
You can improve the fat-fighting power of eggs by choosing omega-3 enriched eggs, which are laid by hens that are fed flaxseeds, chia seeds, and fish oil. Why eat anything but the best?!
- Baked Potatoes are good but SWEET POTATOES are better!
Among the magic ingredients in sweet potatoes are carotenoids, antioxidants that stabilize blood-sugar levels. Make me some potatoes that are sweet :D
- Flour Tortillas are good but CORN TORTILLAS are better!
This simple swap can make all the difference, even when you're eating a bean burrito. Two corn tortillas can add 3 grams of fiber for as little as 80 calories and 1 gram of fat. Two flour tortillas will give you just 2 grams of fiber but with 260 calories and 10 grams of fat.
- Black Tea is good but WHITE TEA is better!
I personally don't drink tea but for those of you who do...white tea simultaneously increases the breakdown of fat and blocks adipogenesis, the formation of fat cells.
Even if you're already mindful of what you eat, there's always room for improvement! Work for that body you want by stocking your kitchen with the best fat-fighting foods!! You got this!!!
See you right back here on ThursYAY! Be healthy!!
Hello! HAPPY HAPPY Monday!!
How are you doing? It's officially Fall and I'm loving the cooler weather! This weather makes me want to be outside all day long!! During the weekend, I was looking for things that I could accomplish doing outside :D I even walked my fur baby 3 times on Saturday...lol! This is absolutely my favorite time of year!!
Okay...it's the beginning of another week! Bring it on :D What goal(s) will you be working on?! Remember that it isn't about being better than someone else, it's about being better than you used to be ;) Also...it's the last week doing the 30 Day Waist Challenge. If you're participating in the challenge, make sure you end it coming out strong! Believe in yourself!! You got this!!!
Football Season is in full force at our house! Either a game is playing on our TV or it's blasting thru a radio!! And...quite often...multiple games are playing on both :D Football games usually comes with major snacking! But the following are a team of dips that offers delicious hits of health-boosting nutrients!! Just be mindful of the serving size...lol! Now grab a first round pick :D
This classic gets the gold star for all kinds of reasons! It's made almost entirely of veggies and provides a nice amount of vitamins A and C, as well as the antioxidant lycopene. The best touchdown of all, a serving will cost you only 10 or so calories! The 1 area to watch is sodium. Jarred salsas tend to have more salty stuff than fresh ones sold in the refrigerated aisle. For the same reason, not too salty homemade salsa gets a thumbs up ;) What about green salsas? They're well worth a scoop, with similar calories and more vitamin C!
BLACK BEAN AND CORN SALSA
The beans bring fiber to the party! The corn may help promote healthy vision and together this duo provides all 9 essential amino acids (the kind your body can't make, but can only get from food). The calories are just a little bit higher than the standard salsa, at about 20 per serving. Again, you'll want to look for brands that go easy on the sodium ;)
Some of these dips have pinto beans, while others are made with black beans. Either way, you score :D Both beans are high in antioxidants and when mixed into dips, offer a little bit of filling fiber and not too many calories. Only about 35 per serving! Yes, please!!
Avocado has nearly 20 vitamins and minerals and legit heart-healthy fat credentials. Despite it's high calorie reputation, guacamole isn't too far off from many in the post here. Around 50 calories per serving. Make sure avocado is first up on the ingredients list, followed by a handful of others, like onions. This allows you to reap all of the nutritional good stuff!
This is a favorite for many people...including myself! With every dipping, you get a satisfying combo of healthy fats, fiber, and protein (all courtesy of chickpeas and tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds). Not only does hummus deliver energy, it also keeps you fuller on less. Which is a good thing because this dip can be calorie dense. About 50 calories per 2-tablespoon serving. Flavor it up with spinach, red pepper, or tomato, all which adds an additional shot of antioxidant goodness!
Can you pronounce this?! When I first heard of it, I was like...yeah...the stuff that starts with a "T"...lol :D It's usually made with some combination of yogurt, cucumbers, and herbs. This dip will earn you about 2 grams of satisfying protein per serving, plus calcium. Calories can be around 40 per serving, but can bounce around depending on the add-ins. And...look for brands that keep the ingredients simple ;)
I usually scoop up my dips with baby carrots, cucumbers, and broccoli, but this season I'm going to branch out and try the following:
- green beans
- swiss chard stems
- butternut squash
- bok choy
If you make any dips from this post, I'd love to hear which 1 is your favorite! Or...if you have a healthy dip recipe, please leave it in the comments section!! I love trying new recipes :)
Are you watching the game tonight? Who's going to win...Cowboys or Cardinals?! BTW...if you're watching the game, it's a great time to fit in some body-weight training! Of course, during the commercials :D
Have a FITastic week! I'll be posting again on Thursday!!
Hi there! HAPPY ThursYAY!! How's your week going? Are you being productive?! This morning I walked my furry pal (I call Holi my fur baby...lol) and made myself a healthy egg breakfast. I originally planned on posting a different topic, but after eating breakfast, I decided to post all about eggs :D
Some people believe that cracking open those round babies may be bad for your health. Do you?! If the answer is yes, then you'll be surprised to know that eating eggs can make you healthier, leaner, stronger, and brainier! Eggs are among the most nutritious food on this earth!! FOR REAL...eggs are pretty much the perfect food!!!
I understand that not everyone can eat eggs. But if you can eat them...keep reading and find out why eggs are great for you! NO more EGGScuses!! :D
Unlike many cereals and yogurt, eggs don't come with a loaded ingredient list. Eggs don't have one. They're just eggs...lol! Eggs are 1 of the least expensive sources of high quality protein there is. Did you know that eggs have 6 grams of protein? They do! Every single egg!! Kicking off the morning with protein helps sustain mental and physical energy throughout the day. If you're the kind of person, like myself, who wants to have productive days...eat more eggs! And...get more done!!
Eggs contain zero carbs and no sugar. Which means you can eat a well rounded breakfast during the week. I actually LOVE LOVE LOVE eating breakfast for dinner! Plus, eggs have all 9 amino acids:
Incredible, right?! :D
Did you know that eating eggs can help you lose weight?! This may come as a surprise to those who think of eggs as fattening or unhealthy!! A study carried out by the Rochester Center for Obesity Research found that eating eggs for breakfast helps limit your calorie intake all day, by more then 400 calories. That means you could lose 3 pounds or more a month. This is probably because eggs keep you full for longer, meaning you're less likely to give in to a mid-morning snack or stuff yourself at lunch. And although eggs contain cholesterol, this is "dietary cholesterol" and is different from the "blood cholesterol" in your body. Despite the health recommendations of the past, there's no evidence that eating eggs will increase your blood cholesterol levels.
Choline is a nutrient that many people don't even know exists. Yet, it's an incredibly important substance and is often grouped with the B vitamins. Choline promotes normal cell activity, liver function, and the transportation of nutrients throughout the body. Whole eggs are an excellent source of choline. A single egg contains more then 100 mg of this nutrient.
Eating more eggs is a FITastic way to give yourself a healthy boost! Eating WHOLE eggs is vital!! The goodness of eggs is found in the yolk (containing over 90% of an egg's calcium and iron) and the white (containing almost half the egg's protein). If you're not eating eggs regularly then you're missing out on a little bit of almost every nutrient you need. Next time someone asks how you like your eggs, say you like those babies a whole heck of a lot :D
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I hope the rest of your week is healthy! Have an awesome weekend!! I'll be posting again on Mondayyyyy!!!
Hello! How are you doing today?! I hope you're having a great Thursday!! At the moment, I'm typing this in my favorite chair with a bowl (big bowl...lol) of fresh fruit and life is good!!!
Overall, we know that eating at home is healthier then eating out. However, there are times when we just don't want to cook and we hop in the car and head to a restaurant! I'm guilty of doing this!! Especially right now, since my kids are back in school and we're still mentally on summer vacation :D On the positive side...did you know that there's a healthy dish on almost any menu? You can eat clean at The Cheesecake Factory and other high calorie restaurants! Yes!! You can :D Keep reading...
It's no secret that menus are full of calorie bombs, with their gobs of melted cheese, deep-fried appetizers, and large amounts of yummy cream sauce. In fact, the average chain restaurant meal and a shared appetizer punches in at 1,500 calories (YIKES), 28 grams of saturated fat (OMGOSH), and 3,512 milligrams of sodium (CRAZY)! The Center for Science in the Public Interest found that it's easy to consume as many as 3,600 calories in 1 setting. BUT don't run away! The following are items and tricks at 5 favorite restaurants, so you can enjoy their food without the guilt!!
The CHEESECAKE FACTORY!
If you're in the mood for a classic salad...try the SkinnyLicious beet and goat cheese salad. You can ask for less cheese or for the dressing on the side.
If you're in the mood for a burger...try a turkey burger from the SkinnyLicious menu. You can also ditch the bun and have it on top of greens instead.
If you want it your way...try an omelet. Mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, and avocado is a good combination.
If I know that I'm going to The Cheesecake Factory and want to order my favorite meal, then I'll eat food with less calories throughout the day. I'll also split the meal with someone because the portions are big ;)
If you're in the mood for a burrito...order 1 with chicken, black beans, sautéed peppers, and onions. Add lettuce, guacamole, and mild salsa.
If you're in the mood for something classic...try the burrito bowl with chicken, beans, brown rice, and double up on the veggies. No toppings.
If you prefer to pile on the toppings...try the vegetarian burrito bowl with double the black beans and half the rice. Add peepers, onions, mild salsa, lettuce, and a sprinkle of cheese :)
If you're in the mood for pizza...try the spinach Florentine flatbread starter as a meal and add a side of broccoli. A LOT of food?! It has only 590 calories total!! Bring it on :D
If you're in the mood for zesty flavors...try the chipotle Yucatan chicken salad. Get the tostadas and dressing on the side and go light on the cheese. Ask for extra vinegar on the side and add it to the dressing. It'll cut the calories and fat.
If you're in the mood for something light and fresh...try the sizzling chicken and spinach. Only 440 calories. It comes with a mozzarella and tomato salad too.
If you're in the mood for a satisfying salad...try a Greek salad with chicken. or try an Asian sesame chicken salad. With the calories right on the menu, they make it easy to choose lighter items at the purchase.
If you're into mixing and matching...try half the chicken cobb salad with avocado and a veggie soup. Add the apple option on the side ;)
If you like to customize your order...order the You Pick Two with black bean soup and the classic salad. Instead of the dressing, make your own :D Ask for avocado and fresh lemon wedges and mash up to coat the greens and vegetables.
If you're in the mood for a dish that feels luxurious...try the baked tilapia with shrimp or the garlic rosemary chicken. Both are under 600 calories!!
If you want a meal with big flavor...try the herb grilled salmon with broccoli. This rich and tasty fish is high in protein and heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
If you would rather cozy up to a bowl of soup (Fall is around the corner)...try a minestrone soup with the house salad combo. It's both satisfying and filling :)
Do you have any favorite menu items that you could share in the comments section? I'd like to know what I may be missing...lol! Seriously tho, I love eating out, especially if I'm able to enjoy my favorite foods without the guilt :D
Enjoy the rest of your week! Have an awesome weekend!!
HELLO there! HAPPY Friday!! YEAAAAA :D
How was your week?! I hope you had a FITastic and productive one! Are you ready for the weekend?! BRING IT ON!!
For many of us, summer means taking a vacation, right?! I generally don't like road trips but since I still have a few kids at home, it's usually less expensive to drive to our destination! My kids are older so we don't have as many potty stops but they always want to stop and eat when they see fast food signs...lol! I don't like to recommend fast food, but if your like my family, at least 1 stop is going to be fast food :D
Today's post is about eating on a road trip! The following are food suggestions and strategies so those road calories don't pile up!!
The Best Fast Food Finds...
- If you want to stick to your diet: Order the 4 piece Chicken McNuggets and a side of apple slices. Amazingly, the chicken nuggets are the lowest calorie protein pick on the menu, with just 190 for 4, and contain less sodium then a plain burger, as well as half the carbs. The side order of apple slices adds a mere 15 calories, and it provides a serving of produce and can healthfully satisfy a craving for something sweet.
- If you just don't want to go off the rails: Order a Premium Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich. The sandwich alone will cost you 510 calories, but look at it this way: It's not breaded or fried, and the 40 grams of protein will leave you full enough to skip the fries.
- If you want to stick to your diet: Order a couple of Fresco Chicken Soft Tacos. 2 of these tacos pack fewer calories then 1 Chicken Fresco Burrito Supreme, plus an extra gram of protein, but you'll feel like you're eating a lot. And each taco has only 1 gram of saturated fat.
- If you just don't want to go off the rails: Order a Steak Cantina Power Bowl. At 500 calories, this bowl has 250 fewer calories then the Steak Fiesta Taco Salad but is still super satisfying. The 8 grams of fiber and 29 grams of protein mean you won't be famished a hour later.
- If you want to stick to your diet: Order a Low Carb Charbroiled Chicken Club, minus the mayo and bacon. Skipping those fixings drops the calorie count to 260. And its lettuce wrapper in place of a bun ups the veggie quotient.
- If you just don't want to go off the rails: Order a Guacamole Turkey Burger. At 480 calories, this sandwich is relatively light, with no trans fat. Bonus: Avocado-filled guac adds heart healthy "good" fat.
Strategies To Fix Road Trip Food Mistakes...
- Do you rely on options you see from the highway?
Go off the beaten path. Instead of being drawn in by the big arrows, exit the highway and head to a nearby supermarket. You'll likely find a salad bar and prepared-food counters with grilled chicken and veggie sides.
- Do you commit a driving while eating?
Pull into a rest stop parking area. You're more likely to slow down, taste your food and stop when you're full. In fact, research shows that noshing while distracted leads to overeating. 1 study found that even listening to music caused people to consume more. We're especially prone to overdoing it when we're stuck in 1 place (the car) and bored.
- Do you go for the sad green salad?
Choose light but still filling foods. Sure, it makes sense to watch calories while you're en route, but limiting yourself to salads isn't the solution. It leaves you with lingering hunger and sets you up for a binge later. Instead, balance out your order so you feel satisfied but not stuffed. If you want fries, say, then make the rest of your meal healthier by getting your burger wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun.
- Do you drive through the night to arrive faster?
Get a room. Driving when you should be snoozing throws off your circadian rhythm, resulting in a metabolic slowdown. A University of Colorado Boulder study found that night shift workers burn fewer calories during a 24-hour period then those on a normal schedule. This effect can lead to weight gain even if you don't eat more (which you'll probably do, though, since you're trying to stay alert at 3 a.m.).
Are you heading on a road trip this weekend...or during the summer?! If so, maybe these tips will come in handy :D
Have a FABULOUS weekend!
SEE YOU on Monday!!
HAPPY Friday :D
I hope you're having a good AND healthy week! Are you doing anything special for Mother's Day this weekend?! My mom doesn't live close but she's the best person EVER! I really miss and appreciate her this time of year!!
One of the foods that signal the start of Spring is the appearance of fresh asparagus at local markets and grocery stores! Wooo Whooo!! I love love love the taste, texture, and benefits of asparagus!
Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
Asparagus is packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This, according to preliminary research, may help slow the aging process. Bring it on!
The following are a few ways to put a tasty spin on asparagus :)
- Blend a springy soup. Trim the tips from a pound of asparagus and roughly chop the stalks. Blanch all the pieces in salted water for 30 seconds and chill in ice water. Reserve the tips and blend the stalks with 2 cups of dashi (a Japanese cooking stock; look for it at Whole Foods Market), a teaspoon of miso, and a dash of soy sauce. Top with asparagus tips and slices of grilled crabmeat.
- Put an egg on it. Saute asparagus and chopped portobello mushrooms in olive oil with salt and pepper until tender, about 5 minutes. Dress with a vinaigrette of lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, salt, and pepper, and chopped black olives and scallions. Add a fried or poached egg on top.
- Make a salad. Combine Meyer lemon juice, olive oil, and chopped chervil and shallots. Reserving a few tablespoons, toss a half pound of arugula or watercress with dressing. Blanch a pound of trimmed asparagus spears for 2 minutes, shock in ice water, and pat dry. Top the salad with asparagus, reserved vinaigrette, salt, pepper, and shaved cheese. Garnish with slices of grilled lemon and chopped nuts.
If you happen to be cooking on Mother's Day, why not try 1 of the recipes above?!
If you have any comments OR yummy asparagus recipes, I'd love to hear from you!!
Have a FABULOUS weekend!
If you're a mom, I hope you get treated like a ROCK STAR!!
See you on Monday :)
How have you been?! Hopefully all is well :)
Did you have a productive week?! Did you do 1 of the exercise routines 3 times this week? If so, Woot Woot!! If not, it's never never never too late to start :D
Are you ready for the weekend?! I am!! Bring it on...lol! In fact, I'm finally home from spending a week in the hospital with my daughter! Can I just say, I'm going to love sleeping in my bed, eating nonhospital food, taking a much needed bubble bath, and working out again!! Double Woot Woot!!
Today I'm posting much later then usual...yikes! Better to post late then never AND know that I'm back AND be ready for a new workout routine on Monday :D
The following are some nutritionist-approved workout snacks! I always have at least a pre-workout snack OR a post-workout snack included in my fitness routine!! Even if your only doing cardio this weekend, here's a few suggestions if you're looking for some ideas or even want to switch it up a bit :)
PRE-WORKOUT SNACKS (High Carb):
1. Dried Fruit.
2. Flavored Greek Yogurt.
3. Rice Cakes With Honey And Almond Butter.
4. Fruit Smoothie.
5. Organic Popcorn.
6. Apple Slices.
7. Oatmeal With Apricots.
8. Granola With Low Fat Vanilla.
9. Yogurt And Berries.
10. Hummus And Pita Chips.
POST-WORKOUT SNACKS (High Protein):
1. Protein Bar.
3. Rice Cakes With Cottage Cheese And A Tomato Slice.
4. Piece Of Fruit.
5. Chocolate Milk.
6. Greek Yogurt With Berries And Peanut Butter.
7. Hard Boiled Eggs And Dried Fruit.
8. Chocolate Protein Pudding.
9. Super-Charged Smoothie.
10. Almond Or Soy Milk.
Do you have any snack suggestions?! If so, I'd love to hear from you!! I'm always looking for new snack ideas so don't be shy...lol! Bring on some ideas :D
I really like the visual below! I try and live by the quote everyday! It's not always easy exercising and living a healthy lifestyle BUT the rewards pay off! It's worth it!!
Have a FABULOUS weekend!
See you on Monday :)
Pamela Stewart, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist