April 27, 2006
Eating Out Tips
Everyone enjoys a nice dinner out every now and then. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, meeting a friend or just don’t feel like cooking, eating out usually has more meaning than just what’s on your plate. Try some of these tips the next time you go to a restaurant to help you stay on the healthy eating track.
1. Choose either an appetizer or dessert, but not both. Along with your entrée that’s usually 2-3 servings in itself, that’s a lot of food! Also, don’t get coerced into the special deals that include all three. You may save a little money but you may regret it when all that food is staring at you and you can’t resist just one more bite.
2. To save calories, limit alcohol. Alcohol can also make you feel hungrier than you really are.
3. Volunteer to start the ordering so that you’re not swayed by another’s less healthy choices. Who knows, maybe you’ll sway someone else.
4. Slow down your eating and try to savor the flavors and enjoy the company of your companions.
5. Pass the bread or chip basket to the other side of the table so that you’re not tempted to reach in.
6. Don’t go all day without eating to save up for a big meal at night. This may backfire – making you overly hungry and more apt to overindulge. Try just eating a little less at earlier meals so that you still have an appetite for your dinner out.
April 25, 2006
Make Cooking Fun
Broaden your cooking horizons and share your healthy eating ways with others. This can help motivate and support those just starting to eat healthy and give everyone new meal ideas. There are many ways to make cooking enjoyable – here are a few to try.
Start a healthy supper club. Gather a group of friends or acquaintances you’d like to get to know better and have everyone bring one part of the meal. To start, have a planning meeting and decide how often you want to meet, where and which night is the best. Also discuss the menu and have everyone decide which recipe they want to try. It doesn’t have to be fancy…just healthy.
Have a progressive party. This works best if you live in a neighborhood. Party-goers travel from house-to-house to enjoy one course of a meal. You start with a healthy appetizer, soup or salad, a healthy main entrée and of course a healthy dessert. Hopefully you live close enough that walking from house to house adds another healthy bonus to the night.
Alternate Chefs. This is a way to get family members or friends involved. Sometimes you can get burned out if you’re the only one planning and preparing meals day after day. Depending on the number of people involved, each night someone new gets to be the chef and someone else can be the assistant chef, salad maker, man the barb-a-que or whatever other station needs filling.
Host a theme-based dinner party. Whether it’s a favorite of yours or you’re going to be brave and try something new, theme-based dinners can be fun and adventurous! Check with family and friends for recipes that coincide with the theme. Also look on the internet or local bookstores for recipe ideas. Invite friends and family with an appropriate invitation or email. Decide whether you’re going to do all the cooking or each guest will bring a theme-based dish. Decorate accordingly, play music and even dress up to make the atmosphere more entertaining.
April 24, 2006
Consistency is so important when it comes to exercise. If you’ve made a goal to exercise 5 days/week – how do you maintain that habit? Here are 3 tips to help you be more consistent.
Plan, Plan, Plan.
Effective planning is the key to making that 5 min walk of 5 mile hike actually happen. People who have a habit of setting aside time for being active are far more likely to remain active down the road.
You probably already know this, but your day doesn’t always run as smoothly as you’d like. If you happen to miss a day of planned activity, make sure you find time for it the next day. Maybe make it the first thing you do when you get up. That way, you know it will get done. If there’s a bigger problem at hand, give it the priority it deserves and resolve to get back to your activity plan as soon as you can.
“Can’t��? is not a word. At least in my book. “I will try��? sounds much better. Negative thinking or all-or-nothing thinking can be very discouraging and counterproductive when it comes to you reaching your goals. Having a positive attitude and hearing encouraging words in you head can go a long way when trying to stick with a commitment.
April 21, 2006
In Season: Strawberries
One of my favorite desserts. I prefer these biscuit-like shortcakes better than the sponge-type. Add some strawberries and a dollop of whip cream and mmmm…what a treat!
2 1/4 cups. Bisquick Reduced Fat baking mix
3 T sugar
2/3 cup skim milk
3 T margarine, melted
1 qt. strawberries, sliced and sweetened.
Heat oven to 425. Stir all ingredients except strawberries until soft dough forms.
Drop by 6 spoonfulls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Split shortcakes, fill and top with
strawberries. 6 shortcakes.
Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcakes
4 cups sliced strawberries
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chilled stick margarine or butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
6 tablespoons frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed
Whole strawberries (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; cut in margarine with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk, stirring just until moist (dough will be sticky).
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 4 times with floured hands. Pat dough into a 6 x 4-inch rectangle. Cut dough into 6 squares. Place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Split shortcakes in half horizontally using a serrated knife; place each bottom half on a dessert plate. Spoon 1/4 cup strawberry mixture over each bottom half. Top with shortcake tops; spoon 1/4 cup strawberry mixture over each top. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon whipped topping; garnish with whole strawberries, if desired.
Yield: 6 servings
April 20, 2006
Your values vs. How you spend your time.
Matching you values and priorities with the daily activities you do can help you manage your time better and reduce the amount of stress in your life. First, identify your values or priorities. Make a list of the principles or qualities that are important to you right now. Try to think of at least 5. These may change throughout your life, but think about what drives you at this point in your life. Now rank them in order of importance to you. Next, write down the activities you do throughout the day.
Choose a weekday and a weekend day and list everything you do – big or small. Next circle the activities you spend the most time doing. Do these match any of the values on your list? Make a note of these activities. Are they values with a high priority or a low priority? If your activities are in line with your values you are less likely to be dissatisfied with the way you spend your time. Stress can occur when you find that you’re not spending enough time doing the things that are not important to you. Think of some activities that correspond with your priorities and think of some ways to work them into your day. What can you spend less time doing? Where can you spend more time? This is called time management.
April 19, 2006
Try Something New: Bikram
The first time I tried Bikram was when I lived in Palo Alto. I had been doing yoga mainly on my own for 3 years and had been to a class here and there, but never found one that I liked. I went to Yogasource looking for a power yoga class, preferably in a heated room. Here, I was introduced to Bikram. Bikram is a series of 26 postures that are done in a specific order to work all muscles and internal organs. It usually is a 90 minute class which involves performing each posture twice, one right after the other. This was different for me, being used to a more flowing yoga, also known as vinyasa (more Baron Baptiste style). Some of the postures were familiar but done in a slightly different way. Being that different and new are good things in my book, I found Bikram to be very rewarding.
At the time, I was running quite a bit – in the Bay Area, you could run in a race every weekend if you wanted to. Bikram was a great way to work my non-running muscles and the flexibility I had once my body got warm was just what I needed. I love how yoga strengthens all those stabilizer muscles in your ankles, knees, shoulders and your core. I also attended the Power Yoga class at Yogasource – which is the best yoga class I’ve been too and tried Hot Yoga 101 in Menlo Park for awhile. I haven’t found a good yoga studio here in the central valley. I have Bikram memorized and practice it once a week at home. I have a few Baron Baptiste videos that I’ll watch now and then, but mostly like to do my own yoga – a mixture of my favorite postures.
April 18, 2006
McDonalds Makes a Move?
McDonald’s Corp. will promote its healthier menu choices to counter negative publicity expected from a new book co-written by the author of ''Fast Food Nation,'' Chief Executive Jim Skinner said Monday.
The approach signifies a marked departure from the way the world's largest fast-food chain remained mostly quiet after being skewered in both Eric Schlosser's ''Fast Food Nation'' in 2001 and filmmaker Morgan Spurlock's 2004 documentary, ''Super Size Me.''
This time, the company is trying to get its side told even before publicity hits for both ''Chew On This,'' which was co-written by Schlosser with Charles Wilson and targets 11- to 15-year-olds, and a film version of ''Fast Food Nation'' that is due out later this year featuring Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke.
April 17, 2006
Nutrient density is a measure of the nutrients in a food relative to the energy (calories) it provides. If a food has more nutrients and fewer calories, it’s considered nutrient dense. For example, 1 ½ ounces of cheddar cheese and 8 ounces of nonfat milk both have about 300 mg of calcium. However, the cheese has almost twice as many calories as the milk because it has more fat. So, the milk is more dense than the cheese making it a more nutritious choice.
Low Nutrient Dense Day
White toast with butter, 3 pieces of bacon and a glass of orange drink.
Chicken fingers and French fry meal with a soda. Little box of raisins.
Bag of potato chips.
Sausage sandwich on a white roll and an Iceburg lettuce salad with regular salad dressing.
Nutrient Dense Day
Oatmeal made with skim milk and an orange.
Plain yogurt mixed with frozen blueberries
Whole wheat pita stuffed with leftover grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato and mustard. Low fat mozzarella string cheese, grapes and unsweetened ice tea.
Banana and peanut butter
Grilled fish, small baked potato (with the skin), grilled broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini.
This doesn’t mean you have to eat nutrient dense foods only, everyday. Remember if you have a piece of chocolate cake – no big deal. If you have 2 pieces every day at 3pm to satisfy your chocolate craving – that could be a problem. Shoot for nutrient dense foods 80% of the time, that leftover 20% you can use however you want. Make your day of eating enjoyable. Find the nutrient dense foods you like and have them often. You’ll still have room for some of those low nutrient dense favorites too.
April 15, 2006
Thank you to Today's Dietitian for mentioning me and my blog in their article Food Blogs — Culinary Chronicles for Every Nutrition Niche. Also thank you to Sharon Palmer, RD for writing the article on nutrition blogs. Today's Dietitian is a magazine which helps keep nutrition professionals up to date on the latest and greatest in nutrition, fitness and health. See, even dietitians need to keep learning. It's all about lifelong education, learning something new, trying new things - whether you're a dietitian, a CPA, a software engineer, a mom, a retiree or maybe you sell showerheads and wall vaults. Everyone can benefit from education!
April 14, 2006
Breakfast in a hurry.
Let’s say you’re on your way to work or school or an appointment and you think – think being the key word – that you don’t have time to make a healthy breakfast. Pull out of your driveway and start the timer. How long does it take you to drive to a fast food restaurant (maybe it happens to be on the way?), wait in line to order at the drive-thru, place your order, pay for the food and actually pull out of the parking lot with your breakfast sandwich and hashbrown meal in hand?
Guess what? You just had time to make a healthy breakfast at home!
First – if you’re really pushed for time – get anything you can ready the night before. Take out the bowl, place the cereal box next to it, measuring cups, a frying pan…whatever you need.
Grab and go with a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts.
Pour a glass of milk and have a banana.
Spread peanut butter on whole wheat bread and have a glass of milk.
Top cereal with milk and peel an orange (you can peel it the night before too).
Microwave oatmeal, made with milk.
Mix cottage cheese with fruit.
Mix yogurt with frozen berries and a few tablespoons of low fat granola.
Make a smoothie with yogurt, fruit and a little milk.
April 13, 2006
Simplify Your Life
Wish you could be on Fine Living’s Simplify Your Life? You know, that television show where you let 3 experts into your home to help you reorganize closets, transform your basement into a workout room, find a new wardrobe or add some variety to your cooking? While you're waiting for your TV breakthrough , try these 5 tips to help you declutter your house, your life and your mind.
Remove 10 items from your closet that you haven't worn or used in the last year. Then do the same in your dresser, bookshelves, and even the medicine cabinet. All that extra stuff not only takes up space, but organizing and maintaining it can consume your time as well.
For one month, try buying only food and absolute necessities. In the end, you may find you really didn't need most of what you would have bought if you had spent with free rein. By shopping with awareness, you'll also help spare yourself unnecessary debt and clutter.
Learn to say "no." Cut back on engagements and social commitments that have little meaning to you. Instead, give your time and energy to what you love most, be it family, a hobby, or a charity.
Do one thing at a time. Next time you find yourself juggling several tasks at once--watching TV and reading the paper simultaneously, for instance--stop. When you do several things at once, you can't fully enjoy any one thing.
Seek silence. Quiet time without television, telephones, or computers is scarce these days. Schedule a time without these distractions. Whether you meditate, walk outdoors, or soak in a tub, try to immerse yourself in total peace.
April 12, 2006
Try it tonight: Baby Spinach
Spinach is "nutrient dense" because of its array of nutrients, adding that it also is high in fiber and low in calories (a 3-ounce serving of bagged baby spinach has 20 calories).
Spinach is a perfect package. Cooking it is quick and easy. But cooking can reduce vitamin content. Water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C and the B's) are reduced and can be destroyed by water, heat or light.
Quickly saute it in a little olive oil in a deep skillet, stir-fried on medium-high heat until limp (but still bright green). Or microwave it: Place it in a large, microwave-safe bowl (if leaves are dry, sprinkle with a tiny bit of water); cover with plastic wrap (leaving a small portion on one side open a smidgen); microwave on high power until just barely limp, usually 2-3 minutes, depending on volume.
Try these recipes:
4 cups torn spinach
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup sliced green onions
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; toss gently.
Combine juice, vinegar, and oil in a small bowl; stir with a wire whisk until blended. Drizzle over spinach mixture, and toss well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
CALORIES 67(36% from fat); FAT 2.7g (sat 0.4g,mono 1.3g,poly 0.8g); PROTEIN 2.8g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 98mg; SODIUM 47mg; FIBER 4.6g; IRON 2.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 10g
Apple and Spinach Salad
Goldrush, a recent apple cultivar, has a nice balance of sweetness and acidity that's ideal for this salad. Other suitable varieties include Albemarle (Newtown) Pippin, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Golden Russet, and Roxbury Russet.
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
8 cups bagged prewashed baby spinach (about 8 ounces)
1 large, firm, sweet-tart apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese
Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk.
Combine onion, spinach, and apple in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)
CALORIES 60(29% from fat); FAT 1.9g (sat 1g,mono 0.5g,poly 0.1g); PROTEIN 2.7g; CHOLESTEROL 4mg; CALCIUM 76mg; SODIUM 251mg; FIBER 2.2g; IRON 1.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 9.4g
Chicken-and-Spinach Pasta With Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves
2 1/2 cups hot cooked farfalle (about 2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta)
1 cup cubed roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 1 breast)
1/2 cup fat-free Caesar dressing
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen leaf spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
Drain tomatoes in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon oil. Combine tomatoes, oil, pasta, and remaining ingredients in a bowl; toss well. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until warm.
Note: One 10-ounce bag of fresh spinach may be substituted for the frozen spinach, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
CALORIES 240(16% from fat); FAT 4.2g (sat 1.7g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 16.5g; CHOLESTEROL 22mg; CALCIUM 217mg; SODIUM 660mg; FIBER 3.9g; IRON 2.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.4g
April 11, 2006
A Closer Look at Ground Turkey
Ground Beef vs. Ground Turkey: For backyard barbecue, your first instinct may be to choose ground turkey rather than ground round. But unless it's made only from breast meat, ground turkey isn't the low-fat option you might think it is. In fact, the calorie and fat amounts in ground round and regular ground turkey are surprisingly close, with the beef at 218 calories and 13 fat grams and the turkey at 200 calories and 11 fat grams. To save calories, go for ground turkey breast, which knocks calories down to 161 and slashes the fat almost in half.
Ground Round (3 ounces, pan-browned)
13 grams fat
77 milligrams cholesterol
Ground Turkey Breast (3 ounces, roasted, boneless)
6 grams fat
63 milligrams cholesterol
April 7, 2006
Eat and Sleep, Eat and Sleep.
These 2 things that everyone does are important when it comes to weight management.
Eat like clockwork
Women who eat erratically consume more calories and burn them less quickly than those who have six regular small meals each day, according to a British study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Don't go more than three or four hours without eating something.
Get some sleep
People who sleep seven to eight hours per night are leaner than those who get only five or six hours, according to research from Laval University in Quebec. When you're sleep deprived, your body produces more stress hormones, which may increase your appetite.
April 6, 2006
Quote of the Day
Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.
Robert Louis Stevenson
April 5, 2006
Think Before You Eat
Let's say you like pizza. Think of your favorite kind of pizza (John’s Wildwood pizza – yum). What if after one slice, you started to feel full? Would you eat 2 or 3 slices just because it’s your favorite? Could you save it for later or be satisfied with just that one slice. If you’re not eating out of hunger, why are you eating? Are you never ever going to have this food again? Have you been depriving yourself of this food and now that you had a taste you might as well eat more than you need? Will eating a lot of it be satisfying to you?
If you have a tedency to overeat, think about why you're actually eating. Keep a food journal and write down not only the food you eat but also what you're feeling right before you eat and then again right after you eat. Don't deprive yourself of your favorite foods. Eat them on occaision and enjoy them. Remember, all food fits!
April 1, 2006
My Favorite Granola
After trying a number of different granola recipes I've finally found one I like. My own! I don't always measure everything exactly and will vary the ingredients depending on what I have on hand. Feel free to add more of the ingredients you like or less of the ones you don't. My favorite snack with this granola is a yogurt parfait with vanilla yogurt, berries and granola.
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/8 cup orange juice
1/2 Tbsp canola or olive oil
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the OJ and oil in a small bowl and add to the oat mixture. Stir well. Spread onto the bottom of a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, stir with a spatula. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Let cool. Add dried cranberries, golden raisins or any other dried fruit you like. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Peanut Butter and Apple...what a combo!
**Core an apple and spread peanut butter in the center. Fill with granola and enjoy now or later!
**Toast 2 waffles. Spread with peanut butter and top with apple slices and a dash of cinnamon. It's a wafflewich!
**Spread peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla. Top with apple slices and a sprinkle of granola.