Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Snackie snacks...

We all love to do it...whether we are watching TV, browsing the net, gossiping with friends...there is something so fun about munching away.  Yet that consistent snacking can quickly pack on the pounds.  The goal is to snack smart...check these guidelines out...

Purchasing Snacks:
  • Low sodium (less than 200mg)
  • No added/refined sugars
  • Low in fat; steer clear the trans fats, lean more towards unsaturated fats (still containing some fat- this will help your mind know you are full)
  • Contains protein (3 or more grams of protein- another way to get full and fuel the body)
  • Fiber is a plus- why? good for the intestinal health and the bulking will also fill you up
  • Around 200 calories for a serving
  • Skip the preservatives if you can; shoot for whole foods: fruits, veggies, nuts, non fat yogurt, fresh air popped corn

Snacking Art:
  • Snack slow, paying attention to that full signal
  • Avoiding snacking as a multi-tasking activity
  • Portion out your snacks.  Try to find small dishes so that it doesn't seem like the bowl isn't full :)
  • Before going back to a second serving really make sure it's your tummy hungry and not the mind taking over.
  • Make sure to get a balance between carbs, protein, and fats to fill up....carbs only will leaving you feeling unsatisfied.
Now go ahead and snack.  Snacks keep the metabolism running and are a great addition to the day. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fresh Cool and Yummy

Summer is here and so is the heat.  Most of us crave something cool and refreshing.  What's better than a flavorful cool salad?  Salad, low in calories and fat perfect for the summer diet; however the added dressing can pack on the calories, salt, sugar, preservatives and fat.

Take control of your salads with the following yummy easy to make dressings....

Garlic Zesty Mustard Dressing:
  • juice and pulp of two small lemons
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c white balsamic
  • 2 tsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
Raspberry Vinaigrette:
  • 1 tbsp no sugar added raspberry jam
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c white balsamic
Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette:
  • juice of 1 fresh squeezed lime
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 c chipped cilantro
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • black pepper to taste
Citrus-Basil Vinaigrette:
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/8 c finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • lemon zest
Each recipe produces approximately four servings.  Experiment and make your own with some fresh chopped herbs, citrusy fruits, and high quality olive oil.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The 411 on Ground Beef

Yes ground lean turkey or chicken are usually the better choices but let's face it sometimes we just want the real thing.  That juicy taste of beef.

What's the healthiest choice?
  1. The Grind: 80/20 or 90/10.  What does this even refer to?  This is the proportion of fat and protein in the grind not the actual calories.  1 gram of fat contains more than twice the calories as 1 gram of protein.  So converting that factor into the percentage, if you are going for the 80/20 version 20% fat by weight actually is 72% of the total calories.  A single serving of the 80/20 is about 250 calories and 180 calories from fat.  Answer 90/10 version.
  2. The Feed: Cows were designed to eat grass not corn!  Corn fed beef is often where we have found various types of food poisoning.  Try the movie Food, Inc. for even more info.  Answer grass fed. 
  3. Hormones?: Are they all that harmful?  Well would you take hormones directly by choice (if not directed by a doctor)?  Probably not.  If the cow is injected with hormones to increase growth and you are eating that cow then you are eating them.  Answer hormone free.
After you have chosen the correct ground beef be sure to either skip the bun or stick with whole multi grain, pack on the veggies, keep the cheese to reduced fat, and try to skip on the may or switch to vegannaise.

It's summer and everyone deserves to enjoy the occasional burger ;).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Grilled Artichokes

Summer is here and many of us are returning to our favorite backyard grill! Now the grill is not just for meat but also a great way to cook or finish off some of our favorite veggies. One of my favs, the grilled artichoke!

Artichokes are low in fat and calories, yet high in vitamins and minerals. One medium sized artichoke contains 72 mg magnesium, 425 mg of potassium, 6 ½ g fiber, folate, carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin; yet only weigh in at around 60 calories. These spiky veggies are great for liver detoxification with their high source of silymarin, provide relief from ingestion, and the extract has even been used to treat high cholesterol and triglycerides.

Often times these healthy and light treats are destroyed with heavy butter, mayo, and overcooking!

Try this:

  • 2 medium artichokes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • crushed black pepper
  1. In a large pot, fill with 3/4 filter water.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Boil cleaned artichokes for 15-20 minutes, until al dente (almost done but not quite).
  3. Remove from water. Strain.  Cut artichokes in half. 
  4. Remove spikes with a melon baller or small knife.
  5. Place artichoke halves in a gallon size zip loc with olive oil, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, and crushed black pepper.  Seal. Move artichokes around to season evenly.  Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Place artichokes on the grill on medium high 5-10 minutes per side.
  7. Let cool and enjoy.