Thursday, December 27, 2012

Making your New Year's Resolution Stick


Let’s face it, New Year’s Resolutions aren’t hard to make, they’re hard to keep. In fact, 50% of Americans make NYRs and 78% of them fail according to a 2008 study on adherence conducted by psychologist Richard Wiseman. So what can you do to make sure you are in the 22% of people who achieve their New Year’s Resolution? Follow these 7 steps to ensure a successful healthy goal.



1. Set a goal. According to Psychology Today, if you make a specific resolution, you are 10 times more likely to succeed the desired outcome. So write your resolution down in detailed terms. (ex: I will lose 15 pounds by June 1st. I will quit smoking using the patch by March 15th, I will eat two fruits and four servings of vegetables every day.)

2. Be reasonable. Just as important as setting your goal is making sure that your goal possible and something that you want to achieve. If eating more fruits and veggies does not appeal to you on any level do not make it your resolution to eat more fruits and veggies just because you know it’s good for you. If you want to lose weight, remember that you can only safely lose 1-2 pounds per week, so don’t make your goal to lose 100 pounds by February 2013. Setting unrealistic goals like this will just ensure another failed NYR. Find something you can be passionate about and stick to and go for it.

3. Have a game plan. Sure, you have your ultimate end-game goal, but knowing how you’re going to get there is super important. Think baby steps. If your resolution is to lose those extra 30 pounds, aim for 1-2 pounds of weight loss a week until you reach your goal. Or if you want to get 8 hours of sleep a night, you could back up your bed time by 10 minutes every couple of days until you are snoozing for 8 hours.

4. Tell the world. This is an important step in the road to NYR victory. Tell your friends, co-workers, family, even the cashier at the grocery store that you are vowing to quit smoking, lose 10 pounds, or get to the gym 4 days a week. When your will wanes, the peer pressure that you’ve created for yourself will help you keep on track.

5. Be positive. Ever heard of the Little Engine that Could? With her mantra of “I think I can, I think I can I think I can..” she accomplished her goals. Even though the mountain was steep and took a lot of hard work, she kept positive with her eye on the prize.

6. Become a journalist. No, not the kind that goes out and gets “the scoop,” but the kind that writes everything about your progress in a journal or on your phone or wherever. Studies show that people who keep a running tab on their progress are 50% more likely to succeed at their goal than those who do not. It doesn’t have to take much time…just a sentence or two each day (that’s like 15 seconds of your time). For example: I went to the gym today, lifted weights for 25 minutes and ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill. Weight today: 175…I’ve lost 2 more pounds!

7. Don’t be your own worst enemy. Many times, people fall off the NYR bandwagon because they experience a set back. Maybe they missed a session with their trainer, had a cigarette at a party or ate half a pan of brownies. No matter what your goal is, you will experience a relapse from time to time. Write it down in your journal and then move on. No beating yourself up…just get back on track.

Remember, your NYR should be flexible. If you start working on a goal and find that there might be a better goal or better way to achieve your goal, don’t quit, just change it.

Happy resolution making!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sip on this...

With the holidays in full swing, we often find ourselves surrounded by not only tasty food choices but fun drink options. It’s a fantastic time of year, right? But all the eggnog and chocolate martinis can undo weeks and even months of eating salads, veggies, lean protein and hard work at the gym. So here’s a list of some of the most calorie-laden drinks and, of course, some good options if you plan to toast the night away. Please note that the drinks listed are frequently served at a higher volume than the suggested servings, so watch your portion size.


Sip this…Champagne (100 calories per 5 oz)
Spit out that…Eggnog (214 calories per 5 oz)

Sip this…Bloody Mary (125 calories per 5 oz)
Spit out that…Martini (306 calories per 5 oz)

Sip on this…Kailua and coffee (150 calories per 5 oz)
Spit out that…Chocolate Martini (376 calories per 5 oz)

Sip on this…Light beer (56-100 calories per 12 oz)
Spit out that…regular beer (150-200 calories per 12 oz)

Sip on this…wine (100 calories per 5 oz)
Spit out that…amaretto sour (350 calories per 5 oz)

And what about mixers? Well here’s the deal: a mixer can double (or triple) your calories pretty darn fast. A 1.5 oz shot (jigger) of distilled liquor such as vodka, gin or rum contains about 100 calories. Add that to 12 oz of your favorite soda and you’ve just make that little shot into a 250 calorie drink. Think tonic water and juice is safe? Think again; 124 calories per 12 oz of tonic water and about 200 per 12 oz pour for your favorite juice. Yikes! So what’s a party person to do? Use diet sodas, diet tonic water and club soda as mixers.

Other sneaky ways to have a good time without breaking the calorie bank with beverages:
  • Start with two large glasses of water before you sip even one alcoholic drink. This will cause you to drink slowly since you are no longer thirsty and your stomach is fuller
  • Drink one-on-one: before you grab another glass of wine, drink a glass of water. Keep alternating your favorite drink with water and you will drink less and stay hydrated
  • Give your friends a ride. Offer to drive friends to and from the party...sober. How easy is that…no calories from alcohol! Just be careful not to drink other calorie heavy drinks. Stick to diet soda and water.

Did you eat or drink too much at that last holiday party or friendly get together at your favorite bar? No problem. Get to the gym and get back on track with your healthy eating. Too busy to go to the gym? Again, no problem, there are ways to burn extra calories during holiday and New Year’s celebrating. Check out how many calories you can burn doing the following typical holiday activities for 60 minutes*:

  • Dancing the night away: 300 calories
  • Cleaning house before guests arrive: 205 calories
  • Shoveling snow off your driveway/sidewalk or raking leftover leaves: 409 calories
  • Shopping for the perfect gifts: 175 calories
  • Ice Skating: 477 calories
  • Helping kiddos play with their new toys: 225 calories

All of these activities are great because they work the entire body AND are things you might have been planning to do anyway! So lend a hand doing the dishes, helping with a neighbor's yard or  playing with your nieces and nephews and become healthier and happier as a result!

*calorie burn is based on a 150 lb person

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Party Survival Guide

Welcome to December, or as I lovingly call it, The Weight Gain Month. We just made it through candy-filled Halloween and the feast we call Thanksgiving and are looking forward to Hanukah, Christmas, New Years and so on which are all also accompanied by excessive amounts of food. The holiday parties that consume the last part of December can cause some of the biggest diet traps of the season. But not to worry, you don’t have to finish out 2012 with a belly Santa of which would be proud. Here’s the holiday party diet survival plan:

  1. Don’t go hungry. A great tactic to ensure that you won’t over eat parties is to not go to them hungry. Eat a light but satisfying snack before you go. A half turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, veggies and hummus or a protein shake should do the trick.
  2. Bring the veggies. Make sure that there is something at the party to fill up your plate that is filling and calorie-safe. If you are hosting or helping fill out a spread at a gathering, fill it with veggies and hummus. That way, you can fill up on peppers/carrots/zucchini/etc. so you don’t go overboard on the cookies and such.
  3. Take a step back. You see that delicious food on the seasonally decorated table and want to make a bee line for the buffet. Go for it, but once you’ve gone through the line once, plant yourself out of arms reach of the goodies and better yet, keep your back to the food table. With this little trick, you are less likely to snack absent-mindedly.
  4. Exercise portion control. Holiday parties should not be viewed as all you can eat binges. Fill up on fresh veggies, fruits and a small amount your other favorite treats…”favorite” being the key word here. Don’t waste precious calories on food that you don’t love. Pick out your favorites and savor slowly.
  5. Drink and be Merry. If you decide to have a cocktail or two at your next holiday bash, choose champagne (120 calories in a 7 oz flute) or wine (100 calories for a 4 oz glass) over chocolate martinis (315 calories for a 7 oz drink) and eggnog (343 calories in 8 oz).
  6. Skip the hangover. Schedule a sweat session with a friend (who you know wont bail on you) for early the morning after parties. This is make you think about how much you are drinking, plus you are burning calories from your “favorite” treats that you indulged in AND zapping fatigue and holiday stress all at once.

Armed with these tips, you are ready to go to holiday parties, family get togethers, cookie exchanges and wherever else the next few weeks take you. Remember, it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, just don’t make it a habit.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fight the effects of a 3,000 Calorie Thanksgiving

I just read something a bit disturbing; the average American consumes 3,000 calories in one Thanksgiving dinner (American Council on Exercise). Anyone else just have a panic attack? If you want to make sure that meal doesn’t go to your abs, hips, thighs or wherever, here are a few tips and calorie burning suggestions.
·         Go for a pre-Thanksgiving meal workout. Sign up for a Turkey Trot 5K, click here for an at-home-workout (since most gyms are closed on the holiday) or at least get in a morning walk…it’s supposed to be 65 and sunny this Thanksgiving!
·         Eat more turkey, eat less potatoes: protein will help you stay fuller longer, plus turkey is much lower in calories. Check out more healthy Thanksgiving tips by clicking here.
·         Eat slowly: it takes the brain 20 minutes to tell the tummy that It’s full, so eat slowly as to not get overstuffed
·         Go for a post-Thanksgiving meal walk. Enough said.
·         On Friday, get right back to filling up on healthy foods
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Toasty and tasty tortilla soup for everyone!

Okay...I love this soup for so many reasons, but the main one is that it's perfect for people counting calories (130 calories per cup!), for those on a slow-carb diet* and even for vegetarians and even vegans! Also, it's super filling and great for cold nights. Check it out!

What to put in it:

One chopped onion
Cooking spray
Cumin to taste (1 tsp recommended)
Chili powder to taste (1 tsp is great)
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed
1 32 oz can pinto beans, rinsed
1 15 oz can of corn, rinsed
2 cans rotel
1 15.5 oz can diced tomatoes

How to make it:

1. Spray large stock pot with cooking spray and sauté onions over medium high heat until they start to soften...about 3 minutes or so
2. Add seasonings to onions and mix well
3. Pour in broth and all canned stuff
4. Let simmer for about 30 minutes for all the flavor to come out
5. Enjoy!

This recipe makes 12-one cup servings...And when measuring a serving, don't count the broth-bonus!

*If you're doing slow carb, eliminate the corn.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Looking forward to the Thanksgiving meal but dreading the bloat, possible weight gain and sleepiness afterwards? Follow these simple tips and swap outs and be thankful for a fun filled, guilt-free day of celebration!

  1. Fill up on the good stuff.
·         White meat turkey (15% less calories than it’s dark counterpart)
·         Raw, steamed, grilled or roasted veggies
·         “Lighter” mashed potatoes (make yours with Butterbuds to save a hundred calories and several grams of fat per serving)
·         Gravy…that’s right, I said gravy. It’s only about 80 calories per 2 tbsp and is more than half the calories of the sugary cranberries.
·         Pumpkin Pie (180 calories vs. 250 in apple and up to 700 in pecan!!)
  1. Ditch the bad stuff.
·         Bread…you can eat bread any day…don’t waste your Thanksgiving calories on bread
·         Butter…there is butter in nearly everything on Thanksgiving so give your mashed potatoes the benefit of the doubt (that they taste great) and leave the butter on the table
·         Pass on the green bean casserole…yes, this tasty dish contains veggies, BUT it’s not enough to count this dish as a side vegetable what with all the fried onions and cream. Grab the steamed for fresh veggies instead
  1. Skip the nap.
·         While napping during the game might seem like a good idea, a better idea for increased energy is to go on a brisk, post-feast walk. Not only will you get your blood circulating, heart rate up and thus an avalanche of energy, but you’ll also be burning off some of the pie you just ate!

If you’re the cook in charge on the big day, check out these recipes from the Mayo Clinic for a heart (and waist) healthy version of the food we love to eat!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Warm up your workout in the cold


It’s fall in the Midwest, so that means warm weather one day and then cold fronts the next. Don’t get caught in the frigid temps without knowing how to workout safely in the cold. In fact, outdoor lovers just need to follow a few simple tips.

  • Cover Up: When we are cold, our body focuses most of its heating effort to the core to protect our heart and other organs. Therefore, make sure to cover up your extremities (arms and legs, hands and feet as well as your head/ears).
  • Choose layers: Our bodies generate a great deal of heat when we exercise…enough to make it feel as much as 30 degrees warmer that the actual temperature, so dress in layers when exercising outside; you can always take off clothing as you start to heat up and put layers back on if needed. Wear fabric that is a synthetic moister wicking material as your first layer then proceed with cotton or fleece layers as well as a waterproof layer if it is snowing or raining. For those with asthma or working out in temperatures below freezing (sub 32 degrees), cover your mouth with a scarf or mask.
  • Keep hydrated: Even if you don’t feel thirsty or sweaty, you need to drink lots of water. The recommended amounts are the same for cold weather as they are for hot weather: 8 oz of water before the workout, 4 oz every 15 minutes of activity and 8 oz post workout. You can still get dehydrated in the cold so drink up.
  • Check the weather: Before you venture out on your walk, run, hike, etc. make sure that the conditions in your area are safe. Snowstorms, icy conditions, hail and driving rain are not appropriate weather in which to exercise.

Too dangerous to workout in the great outdoors or can’t get to the gym because of the road conditions? No problem, click here for the Snowed-In Workout for a total body indoor workout that combines both strength and cardiovascular training.

BE ALERT: Can you recognize hypothermia?

Hypothermia occurs when the core body temperature falls below 95 degrees. This is a serious condition which can cause irregular heart beat and even death if not treated immediately. If you’re working out outdoors in the cold, watch for these signs of hypothermia.

  • Excessive shivering
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Exhaustion

Get medical help immediately if you feel these indicators or think you or someone you know might be suffering from hypothermia.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Burn off that Halloween Candy Binge TODAY!

 If you missed (or chose to ignore) last week’s “how-to-not-overindulge-on-Halloween” and decided to go a bit overboard with the candy last night, burn those handfuls of tricky treats off today!
This workout is tough (I’ve done it twice this week so far) and is designed to be done Tabata-style: Perform each move as many times with good form for 20 second of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest for a total of 4 minutes or eight rounds. For more on Tabata workouts, click here.
The entire thing should take about 45 minutes and burn around 400+ calories (or 4 peanut butter cups). Enjoy!
Warm up with a light jog for 5 minutes
Alternate the following strength and cardio moves (you will be doing 4 of each move per Tabata set).
·         Tricep Dips/Quick Feet
·         Wall Sits/High Jumps
·         Push Ups/High Knees
·         Traveling Lunges/Sprints
REPEAT TABATAS
Stretch!
…and you’re done…

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Happy (Healthy) Halloween!

Halloween is less than a week away now and one of the scariest things about the holiday is how many empty calories you can consume in the days before and after because of all the darn candy. So what is a person to do when candy is EVERYWHERE? Well, just don’t eat it (or buy it)! Easier said than done;  so here are a few tricks and tips to keep the candy out of your tummy and off of your waist.
·         Buy candy to hand out to trick or treaters  that you don’t like. Don’t be your own undoing. Pretty simple, eh?
·         At the office, make sure you have cut up fruit, veggies and nuts on hand so that you have something to munch on other than handfuls of candy corn and “fun sized” chocolate.
·         If your kids bring home candy that you can’t resist, do something like the “Halloween Fairy” and have them pick out their favorite 10 pieces and put the rest on the front doorstep for the “Halloween Fairy” to trade for a non-edible present on Halloween night. (Healthy kid tip too!)
·         Extra Halloween candy? Throw it away! OR better yet, donate it to our troops overseas. Click here for where you can drop your candy.
·         If you just have to have a piece of candy, keep it at just that: one piece. Or check out this awesome chart of what 100 calories of your favorite candy looks like.
If you’re interested in the best and worst candy picks, choose Three Musketeers for chocolate (avoid Butter Finger and peanut butter cups), Dum Dum Pops for fruity candy (avoid Air Heads) and tootsie rolls for a chewy fix (stay clear of Twix).  Click here for a calorie and fat comparison from Eat This, Not That.
Happy and Healthy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Get your best abs

One of the most frequent fitness questions I’m asked as a trainer is “how do I get flat abs.” Unfortunately, there is no way to spot-train one area of the body and not everyone has the genes to get a six-pack, but here are a few tricks to not only tone up the tummy but to decrease fat all over the body. Check it out:

  1. Reduce your daily caloric intake with the focus on vegetables and lean protein with very limited amounts of whole grains. Click here for more information about how to figure out how many calories you need to eat to lose weight.
  2. Incorporate a full body strength routine that includes abdominal exercises 2-3 times a week. Some of the most effective abdominal exercises are superman back extensions, planks, bicycles and oblique v-ups.
  3. Do moderate to intense cardiovascular workouts 3-5 times a week. Make sure that you are working in the top part of your target heart rate. Interval training is a great way to do this.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Fall Soup to die for!

This is one of my staples during the cool fall months (and into winter…and possibly spring…it’s that good!). Super easy to make, and low in sugar and carbs, I’ve changed a recipe from the World’s Healthiest Food’s website to meet my own nutritional needs and also to make this recipe vegan friendly. Now, don’t let the “vegan friendly” part scare you off; this is an amazingly filling and calorie-light soup that will get you in a festive-fall mood fast! Plus, butternut squash is super high in vitamin A (you’ll get over 100% of your daily recommended intake). Vitamin A is required for the development of eyes, skin, and immune system. So it’s important.
What you need (serves 4):
·         1 medium-sized butternut squash, cubed* (about 3 cups)
·         1 large onion, chopped
·         1 TBS minced garlic
·         ½ TBS minced ginger
·         1 tsp turmeric
·         1 tsp curry powder
·         3 cups vegetable broth
·         1 cup unsweetened, light coconut milk (I like Trader Joe’s version…it’s the lightest I’ve found)
·         salt & white pepper to taste
How to make it:
  1. Chop onion
  2. Peel and cut squash. Just a little note here; for me, squash is incredibly hard to cut, so I’ve found that poking it with a fork a few times and then microwaving it for about 5 minutes, softens it up just enough so that I don’t lose a hand trying to cut it up J  
  3. Heat 1 TBS broth in medium soup pot. Sauté onion in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until translucent.
  4. Add garlic and ginger, and continue to sauté for another minute. Add turmeric and curry powder, and mix well. Add squash and broth, and mix. Bring to a boil on high heat. Once it comes to a boil reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until squash is tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Place in blender and blend with coconut milk. Make sure you blend in batches filling blender only half full or it might explode all over your kitchen (don’t ask how I know, I just do). Blend until smooth adding more broth as needed. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
Check out these amazing nutrition stats:
Calories: 88 kcal
Fat: 1.3 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Carbs: 17 grams
Fiber 3 grams
Sugar: 4.5 grams

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Organic vs. Conventional Produce




Organic vs. non-organic (or conventional) produce has been a confusing issue for consumers. Organic produce is grown without the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals or herbicides. For a detailed description of what it takes for a food to be labeled “organic,” refer to the USDA’s regulations and definitions. Shop in peace by checking out the lists and facts below of what to buy organic and what to save money on by purchasing conventionally grown. 


Buy organic
The foods below are known to contain the greatest amounts of pesticide residue in 2012:
  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Imported Nectarines
  • Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Domestic blueberries
  • Potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Kale/Greens

Buy conventional (non-organic)
The following items are either protected by a barrier (via their in-edible skin) or do not get treated with an overload of pesticides.
  • Onions
  • Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet peas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Watermelon
  • Mushrooms


Some things to consider when deciding to purchase organic or non-organic produce.

  1. The cost. Organic produce is typically more expensive than regular produce. Organic crops have a lower production yield, more labor intensive practices (ex. Hand-weeding instead of using pesticides) and are subject to tight government regulations. All of these things add to the price tag. Try to shop at your local farmers market to save money on organics and buy what’s in season.
  2. The nutrition. There is no evidence to say that organic fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients than their conventional counterparts. So if it’s nutrition you are concerned about, just eating your daily recommended 10 servings of fruits and veggies is the goal.
  3. The health risks. Though it would seem like ingesting a bunch of chemicals would be harmful to your health, there is no hard evidence that the amount of pesticide residue left on your food is harmful to the body. And eating fruits and veggies even with small amounts of chemicals is still better than not eating them at all. That being said, if you are one that tries to be all natural, go for organic.
  4. The quality. Organic produce may spoil sooner than conventional produce because it is not treated with preservatives and conventional produce may come in odd shapes and inconsistent colors, but all in all, they should taste the same.
  5. The environment. Organic farming keeps the environment in mind by conserving water and soil as well as cutting down on pollution.

So hopefully keeping these things in mind, you will be able to stroll the isle of your grocery store or farmer’s market with produce picking confidence.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Should you be sore after working out?

I had a client today ask me about soreness after workouts: Why does it happen? Is it okay? Am I getting a good workout even if I’m not sore?

Some people are extremely sore when they first start to work out or try something new (like hard to sit down and get back up out of their chair kind of sore). This soreness is called delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. This is typically caused by tiny tears in the muscle fibers from overloading the muscles during your workouts. You might experience soreness 24 to 48 hours after a workout in which you did a new exercise or increased the weight that you lifted.

Even if you are a seasoned exercise buff, you may still experience soreness the day or two after a workout in which you did something different (a different move, more reps, etc.) or when you go up in weight as you get stronger.

Although many people view muscle soreness as an indicator of how hard they worked during their last workout, it is not always the best measure. Varying your work outs, increasing your weight, lifting to fatigue and working in your target heart rate zone are all great ways to make sure you are getting a good workout...with or without soreness.

To prevent soreness or to alleviate sore, tight muscles try the following:
  • Stretch all major muscle groups after your workout
  • Apply heat to the sore area...heat, hot water or heating pads, rush blood to the warm area to help heal muscles
  • Move it...doing light cardio exercise will increase blood flow and your muscles should relax a bit. Sitting on your behind will only make your recovery longer and your muscles tighter

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Eat your veggies

You know that eating healthy includes eating fresh veggies. But sometimes just because you know you should do something, doesn’t make it easy to do.  I personally think everyone should be eating a stupid amount of veggies, but you definitely want to get at least 5 half cup servings of veggies a day

Why eat your veggies? For many many many reasons, but here are a few compelling reasons for loading up your plate and snack drawer with things that grow in the ground.

  • Vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to operate. Plus they are a great source of fiber! Studies show that those who eat a diet rich in fresh produce have a lower incidence of disease such as cancer, cardiovascular issues and stroke.
  • Eating fresh veggies can help you control your weight. Vegetables are naturally low in calories and most are virtually fat free. So eat them first thing at a meal to eat less calories overall.
  • Eating veggies will make you feel good. When you eat whole foods (unprocessed food), your body responds well, your skin glows and your systems work like they should.

5 servings of vegetables might seem like a hard pill to swallow or get into your schedule. But it’s actually very easy if you make sure to have a serving at every meal and snack. Here are a few simple ways to get your daily quota without blinking an eye.

  • Breakfast:
    • Throw some peppers, zucchini and broccoli in your morning omelet
    • Make a tasty smoothie with a bunch of baby spinach and kale, your favorite fruit and unsweetened almond milk (you won’t even be able to taste the greens…I promise)
  • Lunch:
    • Top your sandwich with actual veggies (forget the sad piece of lettuce and tiny sliced tomatoes…they don’t count). Add cucumbers, peppers, spinach, mushrooms, etc.
    • Hit the salad bar and load up with all colors of pre-cut vegetables including dark leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, turnips, peas, cabbage, you get the picture…lots of veggies.
  • Dinner:
    • Load your spaghetti sauce (or any sauce for that matter) with tons of veggies. My favorites are broccoli, zucchini, onions, and mushrooms.
    • Make stir fry with lean meat and lots of veggies such as cabbage, carrots, broccoli, snow peas, mushrooms and celery.
    • Steam your favorite veggie and have it on the side…have lots on the side…so much so that it looks like it’s the main course
    • Eat a side salad before dinner to eat less
    • Make an old school vegetable soup with lots of chunky veggies and for some “oomph” add some potatoes.
  • Snacks:
    • When you go to the salad bar for a salad, get lots of pre-cut veggies for to much on when you get hungry
    • Make sure to have cut up carrots, broccoli, peppers, celery, jicama, etc for crunching and dipping in low fat protein packed dips like hummus.
    • Steam a bag of veggies (frozen veggies are just like fresh…as long as they aren’t in sauce)
    • Get a pre-cut veggie tray and eat off of it (often)
 So what counts as half a cup? Besides the obvious measuring techniques, keep these easy to remember tips close at hand:

·         5 broccoli florets
·         6 baby carrots
·         1 large handful of raw greens (spinach, lettuce, cabbage)
·         1 large stalk of celery
·         ½ large ear of corn
·         6 bell pepper strips

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Get your portions under control...

In a culture where more is great and super-sized is even better, most of us see a healthy portion of chicken (3 oz) and a small plate of pasta as a snack. But our heaping plates and tall orders are causing us to become WAY bigger people as well. It’s time to retrain our brains and stomachs to eat appropriate and healthy amounts of food.

 I find the following comparisons helpful (if some of the objects seem a little out of date or you don’t know what they are (i.e. check book, CD), look them up
J

  • ½ cup pasta or rice= a small fist or light bulb
  • 3 oz cooked meat= a deck of cards or two iPhones stacked
  • 1 muffin= large egg
  • 1 bagel=a can of tuna
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter= a golf ball
  • 1 pancake=a CD
  • 1 oz cheese=2 dice
  • 1 apple=a baseball
  • 1 cup cooked veggies=a baseball
  • 1 baked potato=a computer mouse
  • 1 tablespoon butter, margarine, mayonnaise=a poker chip
  • 1 brownie=dental floss dispenser
  • 1 cookie=2 poker chips
  • 1 piece of cake=deck of cards
  • 1/2 cup ice cream=light bulb
  • 1 cup french fries= a baseball
  • 1 slice pizza=2 dollar bills
  • lasagna=baseball
  • sub sandwich=a checkbook
You might be surprised at the actual portions that we all should be eating. It’s definitely a change in thinking and eating. But eating in this way will not only help you become or maintain a healthy weight, but can help improve your grocery budget not to mention your eating out spending. When a restaurant serves you a bowl of pasta with 3-5 servings of pasta (and they will), eat your portion and save the rest for later!
People, we just need to change our way of thinking...more is not always better and super sized is just plain worse. If you don’t feel comfy eyeballing your serving sizes, check out these printable portion reminders by clicking here. Armed with these tools there's no reason for us to overeat!
Extra Tips!
  •  Eat from a desert plate instead of dinner plate. Filling a smaller plate will trick your brain into thinking that you’re eating more, not less.
  • Buy sectioned plates with two small sections and one large section. Fill the large section with veggies and the two smaller sections with protein (meat) and starches (rice, pasta, potatoes)
  • Do not eat straight from the bag. Portion out a serving size,  put it on a plate or whatever and close the bag up and put that thing away!
  • Split a meal-half the size equals half the calories
  • Get a kid’s meal (some kid’s meals are still super-sized, so watch it)

Enjoy your healthy portions!