Tag: healthy eating

Summer is Just Around the Corner

It may be hard to believe since we are in the middle of one of the coldest winter’s in history, shovelling snow and bundling up by the fire. But summer time is just a few months away, and with summer comes “bikini season”. Everyone always wants to lose for summer. In my opinion, you should be losing for Spring, summer, fall and winter. Losing weight and living healthy should be a lifestyle change and not just for summer or not just for that special occasion.

Any way, if you want to “lose” for the summer, the best way to do it is by joining others. Join a community, whether its locally or online, a community can help you obtain your weight loss goals much faster. Even though we should not compare ourselves to others, we do naturally, but this is actually a GOOD thing, since it forces ourselves to be more competitive and go for that extra run or drop that cookie. We always want to “win” any competition against others, so having some friendly weight loss competition amongst your new community of friends is a good thing for all involved. Everyone is winner when it comes to weight loss competitions.

Not sure on where to begin?

Getting started on your weight loss journey can be the hardest and scariest part about your journey. It is a good idea to research some articles on healthy eating, and different weight loss groups that might be a good fit for you. You also want to know your body and what nutrients that you need. Some people need more fiber, some iron, some protein. Every body is different and need different vitamins and minerals. A good way to start on knowing which vitamins are right for you is by taking this QUIZ.

Stay Healthy my friends!! 🙂

The Skinny on Frozen Foods

For decades now, many people are turning their heads at the Frozen Food aisle, thinking the food is largely unhealthy. And, while a good majority of these frozen food meal items do contain a hefty amount of sodium, preservatives and fat content, there are few frozen entrées that are actually quite nutritious (as well as delicious). Since they are found in the frozen food aisle they are also convenient to make on a busy schedule.  One of the best places to shop for Healthy alternatives in the Frozen food aisle is Trader Joe’s. Now, not everything on the Trader Joe’s frozen food aisle is going to be nutritious, but here are some of them that are health conscious and nutritious.

traderjoesgood10First one are their Scallion Pancakes. One serving of these contain 40% of your daily intake of Vitamin A, not to mention they are low in calories, fat and sugar. For an even healthier alternative to this dish, bake them instead of frying.

Next one is one of my favorites, Wild Salmon traderjoesgood9

One serving of this wild salmon contains 24 grams of protein and 50% of your daily Vitamin C intake. Plus, the fat in the Salmon is comprised of good fats or “Omega 3s” which actually help us break down the bad fats. This one is a win win, I’m sure it tastes delicious as well!!

The next one is Stir Fry Vegetables traderjoesgood7

You really can never go wrong with choosing a vegetable dish from the frozen food aisle. Just make sure there is not any sodium filled sauces with the vegetables. This one is low in calories, sodium, fat and sugar, and contains 30% of your daily Vitamin A intake and 20% of your daily Vitamin C. When in doubt choose the vegetables.

Other healthy frozen food items include, brown rice (for the extra lazy??), chicken tamales, edamame and mushrooms to name a few.

Next time you’re at the grocery store, don’t be afraid to go down that frozen food aisle, it’s better than having a quick service meal! 🙂

 

Why Trader Joes is Not Always Healthy

Many people including myself adore Trader Joes and their food at store. One helpful reason to their success is their lower prices to their health conscious competitors such as Whole Foods. Some people like to call Trader Joes the “poor man’s Whole Foods”. I do not One-hundred percent agree with this, since most Trader Joe shoppers are well off and professionals, it is relatively cheaper than Whole Foods.

When shopping at Trader Joes, you might get the idea that you are choosing a better item since it is from Trader Joes, and in most cases this would be true, but be careful some stuff in the store can trick you to think otherwise, especially that frozen food section!

Here are a few items that have higher calories, sodium or saturated fat than you might want in Trader Joe’s frozen food section:

Chicken Marsala and Mashed Potatoes TJs10

One serving of this Italian dish contains 480 calories, 15 grams of saturated fat , 110 milligrams of cholesterol and 750 milligrams of sodium. While the calories are not that bad for a full meal, the saturated fat is more than the equivalent of nine large eggs! If you do choose this dish, do not have it more than once a month.

Mac N Cheese Bites TJs9

If you are craving a quick and cheesy snack, you might want to think twice about this one. Trader Joes’ Mac N Cheese Bites contains 210 calories, 35 grams of saturated fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol and 430 milligrams of sodium per serving! That is one heavy snack, especially if you are going to serve it to your kids! Be careful on this one maybe serve 1/4 of the serving???

Last but not least,  Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken TJs4

Mandarin Orange Chicken is never a healthy option, whether its ordered from a take-out restaurant, frozen or even a fine dining restaurant. The Trader Joes version contains 320 calories, 3.5 grams of saturated fat (not that bad), 95  milligrams of cholesterol, 330 milligrams of sodium, not that bad compared to some other “frozen” Chinese food. In this dish the cholesterol is the killer here, still not a good choice to make for your dinner.

Even though these dishes are not good for your health, its okay to have them every ONCE in a while, keyword “once in a while”.

Do you ever shop at Trader Joes? What is your favorite dish from Trader’s?

Eating Small Meals

Some people think there is a magic food that will help them lose weight and swear to only eat that food for a month. I don’t know about you, but I need variety in my life! I’ve always been a fan of eating small meals of food that I enjoy versus larger meals of food that I ehh do not really enjoy.

The saying holds true, “everything in moderation”. Even though if you do want to lose weight, you do need to up your vegetable intake and down your carb and sugar intake, it is healthy to  have a little bit of these things.

It only makes sense that if we cut our favorite foods completely, we will be in regret and hate the “diet” we are on. So, I say go ahead and indulge, just learn to stop. It is important to know which foods are better for you and which foods are not so good for you, this way you will have an easier time “stopping” on the not so good for you foods.

Reading books can be a powerful thing, and a great way to teach us some helpful hints on how to eat healthy. This book  Healthy Small Plates , will help you design delicious and healthy small plates that fit into your lifestyle!

A good rule of thumb to go by when designing your plate would be to make it colorful. Choosing a variety of color on your plate will entail that your plate is healthy (as long as the color is natural and not artificially colored). You also want to have some protein, starches and vegetables on every plate.

If you think you need more to eat, have a healthy snack two hours after your meal, this way you will not over indulge at meal time.

With the Holidays around the corner, you still want to keep the “small plate” mentality alive.

 

 

Eating Healthy doesn’t have to Cost $$$

There is a Social Media rant by an Overweight woman claiming “she does not have the funds to eat healthy and go to the gym”. She goes on saying gym memberships are expensive and healthy food is out of her budget.

I call BS on this! (excuse my language), but really, eating healthy IS affordable and there is no need to go to the gym in order to lose weight. If you really want to lose weight you will find a way. This is just another excuse by someone trying to get more tax dollars.

Besides, buying produce at the Grocery store is cheaper than buying junk food sold on the “aisles” . Heck even cookies, candies and cakes get expensive. It is all about budgeting and being smart. Making excuses by saying “you don’t have money to eat healthy” is just bogus and will never help you lose weight..

Losing weight starts with your mind, if a person really wants to live healthier they will. They will obtain free advice to eat healthier on a budget. There is plenty of information out there on how to do so, especially with the web being free.

Eating junk food should be the “luxury”  any way. Its the junk food that causes the Health problems which cause your costs to increase. Eating Healthy on a Budget is actually really easy to do. Here’s an example of some “low cost” healthy meals:

Breakfast: Nonfat or soy yogurt (usually on sale for $1 or less each), but in bulk, even less, Have a Banana with it as well. Less than $2 for 6 of them

Lunch: Bread (bought from the “reduced” aisle is still fresh, especially if you keep in fridge) and lunchmeat

Dinner: Chicken with vegetables (or wheat pasta and vegetables)

Its doable to eat healthy on a budget, if you put your mind to it.

Do you agree with me on this?

 

A Guide to Healthy Living

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The more weightloss related Blogs you read, the phrase “Healthy Living” comes up a lot , and I admit I use it a lot too. Just what does it actually mean though to live a healthy life? Here are some tips on living a healthy life. Ready?

Make a To-Do List

Before you go to sleep, make a To-do list for the next day. (This is something I myself need to get in a habit of), but it has been studied that Healthy and Successful People make To-do lists and stick to them. The best time to make this list is at the end of the day when you are winding down and getting ready for sleep. It helps your refresh, and also helps you wake up in morning. Since you’ll have something to look forward to.

Make sure you schedule some Exercise in.

If you schedule your exercise, you are more likely to do it, rather than if you say “if I’m not too tired”. Instead, schedule it in the morning  before you head to the office. Get up an hour early if you have to. Haven’t exercise in a while? Start slow, by going for a walk. Not a morning person? Go with your kids and/or significant other after work/school. A Family that Exercises together, stays together!! 😉

Plan your meals Ahead of time

To eat Healthy throughout the day (especially during the work hours), plan your meals, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients at home to avoid eating out. If you do have to eat out or have that splurge,make sure eat healthy, use these Tips on eating Healthy at Restaurants. Eat lots of Fruit and Vegetables 

Go Shopping on either Sunday or Monday (if your schedule allows)

On Monday, the food at the grocery store is the freshest, so if you can make it to the store on a Monday, go shopping on Monday, if not go on Sunday to stock up for the week. Don’t buy too much food that will spoil.

Limit the Soda and other Sugary Drinks

Soda has way too many empty calories in it that is so bad for you on so many levels. By just eliminating Soda from your diet you can drop tons of pounds (if you’re a regular Soda drinker). Soda is high in Sugar, chemicals and causes tooth decay. Just stay away from Soda. Instead, drink Seltzer water flavored with fruit or Iced tea that is unsweetened. One cup of coffee a day is okay as well (just go easy on the sugar)

Keep a Journal

If you are trying to lose weight, keeping a journal will help you attain your goals. Also, share with a friend or a coach that guides you will also help you achieve your Weightloss goals.

Do you have any other Healthy Living tips you would like share? Please do!

Are these tips Helpful ?

 

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Summer Healthy Eating Tips

As the summer season approaches many people who have been “dieting” might get frightened. During summer we tend to vacation more, which leads to packing on more calories than we would hope to put on otherwise. Living and eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up living completely.  Here are some useful easy swaps to remember this summer:

1. Say no to the “F-word”

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Yes, that’s right, the F-word meaning Fried food. Wherever your summer plans take you, you’re more than likely to run into plenty of fried foods. Fried foods can pack on more calories than anticipated. The world famous funnel cake packs on over 650 calories, a better choice would surprisingly be cotton candy. Sharing the cotton candy with the family would be an even better choice to make. Even fried zucchini and mushrooms contain over 200 extra calories. Choosing veggies, cheese & crackers or hummus would be wiser choices to make.

2. Choose the right size dog

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Summer season is famous for hot dog eating, after all July is “national Hot dog month”. Opting  for the smaller version of that dog can save you nearly 600 calories. If you’re going to the game this summer try to avoid that Jumbo-hot dog which contains 750 calories and 68 grams of fat! Paired with a 16 oz. beer, that’s another 200 calories + added. The regular size hot dog would be a better choice , which contains about 250 calories, and a 12 oz. light beer would have 100-120 calories. 

3. Swapping your frozen cocktails

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When its hot, and we’re in the party mood, we tend to go for those frozen cocktails. A frozen margarita can contain 900 calories! Setting your diet plans back quite a bit. Since these frozen cocktails are usually large in size, they can contain more alcohol than anticipated.

A better choice would be my personal favorite, Mojitos! Mojitos are made with  rum, cane sugar, lime juice , club soda and mint leaves; containing around 170-230 calories. Added bonus: They’re delicious too!! 🙂

Mojito

Of course, if its during the day and hot out, staying away from alcohol would be your best option, since alcohol drinks are the most dehydrating beverages one can choose. (yes, even that mojito  can dehydrate you!)

4. Choose the right beverage

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Speaking of hydration, choosing sugary soda drinks will only dehydrate you more, and with the caffeine soda drinks, it only makes it worse! It’s amazing how many people classify a “Coke” as “refreshing” , or even a “refreshing” lemonade can contain between 200 and 250 calories! 

The best beverage to drink when you need hydration is regular water (surprisingly hot water will actually hydrate you more than iced) or coconut water. (with no added sugar). Zico coconut water contains only 60 calories, 14 g sugar ( that’s natural sugar from the coconut), 690 mg. of potassium, and a numerous amount of other essential vitamins and minerals. Potassium is what our body needs for hydration. Eating bananas would also be a good idea.

https://zico.com/2013/our-products/zico-natural-11oz/

5. Be mindful of overeating at parties

If you happen to attend summer parties , be careful of overeating. Whoever is hosting will make sure there’s plenty of snacks available. Munching on chips without thinking how much you’re eating can lead to extra calories. 20 potato chips have about 200 calories. The best way to overcome eating too much is to take small handfuls of chips, or even look for healthier options like veggies.

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Remembering saying “no” is okay  too. Sometimes, our friends can influence us to overeat or over  drink more than we anticipated. It’s okay to have a little splurge, but if you don’t want the extra weight of those added-on calories remember to know when to stop. Afterall, it’s your body not theirs. Will they pay your medical bills when those fattening foods turn into medical drama.? Likely not. Take control of your weight and health..and say NO to Fried, processed, over sugary, high fat junk food!

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Have a happy and healthy summer everyone! 🙂

 

What are your healthy eating tips for the summer?

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