Category Archives: food

8 Smart strategies for food on the go!

 

We all have days when we need fast food. We live a fast life. We need to grab something on the go.

I like to write in the snack bar of one of our grocery stores. I love to watch the people and I am so much more productive.

I watch the people and I am interested in their food choices. Deep fried chicken, wedge fries and a side of potato salad.

I overhear complaints about sore knees, diabetes and doctor’s appointments.

It seems people don’t get the connection with what they eat and their health.

Better food equals better health!

Let’s find the good stuff!

What are the best choices?

  • A non-cream soup with crackers

    soup-1503117_1920

  • A salad with chicken or cheese and a lower fat dressing

    chicken-825232_1920

  • A sandwich

    appetizer-1238615_1920

  • A piece of pizza, not meat lovers

    pizza-1150031_1920

 

  • Sushi

sushi-1858696_1920

  • A 6 inch turkey/chicken sub, extra veggies, hold the mayo

    breakfast-2408034_1920

  • A small bowl of chili with crackers

chili-con-carne-2293111_1920

  • A small chicken wrap, hold the mayo

    burger-1830702_1920

The best beverage choice is always water!

water-2105211_1920

Wow!  Good pictures make you want to eat healthy food!

What we feed our body matters.

We make the best choices even when we’re short on time.

Check out these links for some more great fast food choices.

Best choices for fast food

hungry and on the go

TODAY’S little STEP: Make smart choices when choosing fast food. You will fuel your body well to handle the busyness of life!

Advertisements

10 TRICKS TO BEAT THE HALLOWEEN MUNCHIE MONSTER

The scariest part of Halloween is the munchie monster that lives in my house. Me! I can pop those treat sized chocolate bars into my mouth as easy as can be. Before I even realize it I’ve eaten 700 calories. That’s the same as eating a double quarter pounder with cheese! WOW! Not good! But this Halloween is gonna be different. I’ve got a few tricks I’m going to try.

This post is so good I had to send it out again this year!

I also wanted to send it out a little before Halloween.

We all need to be reminded of a few tricks

to help us handle all the treats.

sweet-314234_1280blog

  1. Buy the candy just before Halloween. If you buy it early it’s too tempting to sample it.

  2. Buy candy you don’t like. We usually buy our favorites.

  3. If you already bought the candy put it out of sight. Or better yet, have someone hide it. Out of sight out of mind!

  4. Eat your regular healthy supper before the trick or treaters arrive.

  5. If candy is too hard to resist, then give out other fun stuff. Like pencils, stickers, erasers, toy spiders and party favors.

  6. Chew some gum while you hand out the candy.

  7. Make a plan to eat only your favorite candy. Decide how many you will eat. Stick to the plan!

  8. If you attend a Halloween party eat the healthiest choice available. Limit the treats.

  9. Mix in some physical activity into the day. Walk with your trick or treaters. If you are home, put on your shoes and walk inside.

  10. Remember it’s just a day. It’s not a license to overindulge. You’ve worked too hard to blow it all on Halloween candy.  

If you are going to eat some treats you need to choose wisely. These favorite little treats are loaded with calories and fat.

  • Reece peanut butter cup – 1 fun size, 88 calories, & 6.5 grams of fat

  • Twizzlers – 1 fun size, 50 calories & 0 grams of fat

  • Peanut M&Ms – 1 fun size, 93 calories & 4.7grams of fat

  • Hersey’s milk chocolate – 1 fun size, 50 calories & 3 grams of fat

  • 3 Musketeers – 1 fun size, 63 calories & 2 grams of fat

  • Tootsie pop – 1 full size, 60 calories & 0 grams of fat

  • Nestle Crunch – 1 fun size, 60 calories & 3 grams of fat

  • Rockets or Smarties for U.S. friends – 1 roll, 25 calories & 0 grams of fat

  • Doritos – 1 fun size, 140 calories & 8 grams of fat

  • Oh Henry – 1 fun size, 70 calories & 4 grams of fat

  • Cheezies – 1 fun size, 90 calories & 6 grams of fat

  • Cookies and cream -1 fun size, 50 calories & 3 grams of fat

Here’s my Halloween plan. I will eat 2 mini chocolate bars & one mini bag of cheezies while I give out the treats. Then I will chew some gum. I will walk inside while I wait. My husband will hide the leftover candy!

TODAY’S little STEP: Make a plan for your Halloween. Plan what you will eat and when. Add some exercise to your day. Decide what to do with the leftovers. Stick to it and you’ll beat the Munchie Monster!

You can do this!  Every little step makes a difference!

If you have found this helpful please share it with your friends.

Summer smart eating tips!

Do you find the summer a hard time to stay focused on your healthy eating journey? Here are 20 tried and true tips to use this summer.

Tips that really work!

 

I find summer difficult because there is less routine, more bbqs and summer vacations.

A big part of my summer vacation with my family is….. the food.

When my extended family meets for a week of rustic camping we all bring our favorite treats and snacks.

IMG_0199

I bake some special treats just for that week at the lake. It seems I’m constantly going into the cabin to grab a little something. The evening campfires always involve sharing fun treats.

Here are some of the strategies I use for the summer! These tips and tricks really work!

Give them a try!

 

  1. When eating in a restaurant skip the appetizer, as it is usually high in fat. Have a salad with the dressing on the side. Choose an entrée that has meat, fish or poultry, either potatoes or rice and vegetables. Stay away from sauces and anything deep-fried.

  2.  Treat yourself to a fruit tray and some prewashed vegetables. When the work of preparing has already been done, it makes it easier for you to make good choices.

  3. When you are tempted by those treats and snacks, pop a piece of gum in your mouth. Your mouth will be busy and you are less likely to eat something sweet or salty.

  4. Find ways to exercise everyday. Go for a long walk with a family member. Play games with your children, swim, canoe, and kayak; find fun ways to move your body everyday.

  5. Have some treats with your meal. Have your sandwich and raw veggies for lunch and then have a measured portion of some chips or cheezies. You won’t eat as much of the treat and you won’t feel deprived.

  6. Drink lots of ice-cold water. Use your fun water jug and stay hydrated.

  7. Eat a healthy breakfast every morning. Include some protein and fiber. You’ll feel full longer and you will have given your body some good fuel to start the day.

  8. Don’t eat out of the bag. Always serve yourself a portion of snacks in a bowl. Mindless eating can lead you to eat way more than you need or want.

  9. Read the labels on snack bags. Find out how much the suggested portion is and how many calories it contains. Then measure out that portion.

  10. Educate yourself, find out how many calories are actually in a s’more (it’s 268!). Decide if you really want to eat 3 or if 1 may satisfy your sweet tooth.

  11. Ditch the total deprivation mode. Allow yourself to enjoy your favorite treats. Totally depriving yourself will only make you feel sorry for yourself.

  12. When visiting the ice cream shop choose your favorite flavor and order the smallest cone size. You will be satisfied and eat approximately 260 calories for 1 scoop or a baby cone, of something really yummy. With each scoop the calories add up much too quickly. If you are not careful, what was to be a treat becomes a whole meals’ worth of calories!

  13. When you do overeat, relax and don’t start the negative self-talk. Accept that you overate at that one meal. Forgive yourself and get back on track.

  14. Keep your discipline; enjoy treats and snacks in moderation. Don’t have days when you relax all your healthy eating rules. It’s too easy to slip back into those old comfortable habits. Stay disciplined!

  15. Plan your menu when camping to include lots of summer produce. We have an abundance of amazing fruits and vegetables available from local farmer’s markets and in our grocery stores now.

  16. When eating at a backyard bbq choose smaller portions of pasta salads as they usually have higher fat content. Instead choose the green salad and serve the dressing on the side. Have a hamburger and don’t eat the top bun. Choose fruit for dessert. When finished eating, leave the food area and visit with friends.

  17. Before you go on vacation increase your activity level and cut back on your calories. You will have built in a little cushion for the upcoming vacation and you won’t come home with extra pounds.

  18. Eat sweet treats with a meal. You will likely eat less than if it were a snack. Your blood sugar levels will be much more even.

  19. Put the snacks and treats in the cupboard. If it’s out of sight it’s out of mind. No mindless eating, be intentional!

  20. Relax and enjoy your vacation! Enjoy your time away from your usual routine. Enjoy your family and the opportunity to make memories.

I shared these tips last summer and decided they were worth reposting.

Remember our core Bible verse, “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation

TODAY’S little STEP: Enjoy the summer with your family and friends. Pick a few of these tips and put them to use this summer.

If you like what you have read, please take the time to sign up to receive new posts as a weekly email. The subscription button is located at the top of the page, to your right.

If you have found this helpful I would love it if you would share it with your friends on Facebook or Pinterest.

 

Rest much, talk often, and laugh regularly. Summer is too short!

 

Strategies for summer struggles!

 I want you to know that I struggle too. I have reached some of my health goals but I have to continue to take these little steps to health.

I am still climbing the Mountain of Health and Well-being.

Writing this blog helps me stay accountable.  I find the summer especially hard because there is less routine and summer equals fun food!

Here’s how I stay on track and some strategies that work for me.

Veggies and hummus are a part of most of my lunches. I fill half my plate with the veggies first.

Then my plate looks really full when I add anything else.

Here’s a picture of what I might have for lunch.  I would add some crackers and cheese.

 

IMG_0286

When we have hamburgers I use a smaller bun or I cut the burger in half.

I spread salad dressing on the wrap before I assemble it so there is taste in each bite and I use much less. I fill my wrap with mostly vegetables and added white chicken meat.

If we have potato chips I include them as part of dinner. I don’t buy salt and vinegar ones, as those are my favorite and too hard to resist. A small portion of potato chips, a nice sandwich and fresh raw veggies is a fun supper on a super hot day.

We have cubed watermelon available or popsicles for dessert.

A small hand dipped ice cream cone is a treat we enjoy, just not every day. When we have them at home I can control the portion. Licking an ice cream cone slows down the eating process and every lick tastes so good!

sunny-ice-cream-picjumbo-com

One of my best strategies is to not have foods that tempt me in my home. Then I won’t hear them calling: “Oh Dixie….this is the big container of delicious mixed nuts and candy calling you. Stop by for a yummy treat. You deserve it.” Can you relate?

My husband Don deserves a shout out because he is very supportive. He doesn’t like rich desserts and I’m so glad, because I would make them all the time.

He appreciates that we eat healthy.

When I do occasionally overeat at a meal – yes, I still overeat – my temptation is desserts.

I make sure the next meal is healthy and a little lower in calories.

I also try to make sure I get some exercise that day.

Every little step does make a difference!

Let’s claim our verse again! “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation.

TODAY’S little STEP: Keep taking little steps to be healthy. Use some of these strategies.  They work.  Every little step makes a difference.

If you like what you have read, please take the time to sign up to receive new posts as a weekly email. The subscription button is located at the top of the page, to your right.

If you have found this helpful I would love it if you would share it with your friends on Facebook or Pinterest.

Rest much, talk often, and laugh regularly. Summer is too short!

A common fruit that’s your best choice!

blueberries

Can you guess which fruit is rated the best? It’s sweet and juicy. It has no fat, 82 calories for a whole cup and as an added bonus it has 3.4 grams of fiber. It’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants. It’s small and round and blue.

Blueberries are one of the best fruits we can eat.

There has been a great deal of research regarding the benefits of eating blueberries. They are high in antioxidants and they fight free radicals. Ok, that sounds impressive but what does it mean.

Let me tell you what I learned.

Free radicals are not good.

“Free radicals cause cell mutations, damage immune function, cause wrinkles and aging and are a contributing cause behind many diseases including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and others.  

Antioxidants are good.

In simple terms, an antioxidant is a chemical compound that protects cells against the effects of free radicals.” Says Lindsey Getz 
of Today’s Dietitian

“Food is the best source of antioxidants,” says Joanne Larsen, MS, RD, LD, of   www.dietitian.com

Blueberries are one of the fruits that have the highest levels of antioxidant.

Here are 5 reasons why blueberries are good for us.

1.  Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit and are rich in vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc and iron. Blueberries boost your immune system and prevent infections.

2.  Helps to preserve vision: Blueberry extract was used in clinical studies regarding vision. The results suggest that blueberries can prevent or delay age related eye problems like macular degeneration, cataract, myopia dryness and infections.

3. Aids Digestion: The high fiber in blueberries keeps your system working well. The fibre helps to fill you up and help you feel full for longer. Blueberries also promote a healthy urinary tract, which helps to ward off infections. The vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids improve digestion.  http://www.womenfitness.net/blueberries.htm

4.  Aid in the prevention of high blood pressure or hypertension.  A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed a large group of men and women. They ate more than a ½ cup of blueberries a week. The results showed that the blue-red pigments found in blueberries called anthocyanins—offer protection against high blood pressure. Eating blueberries reduced their risk of developing high blood pressure by 10 percent compared to those who didn’t eat any blueberries.

5.  Blueberries are low on the glycemic index, which means they do not have a big impact on blood sugar levels. They are good for everyone, but they are a super food if you have diabetes.  http://www.womenfitness.net/blueberries.htm

How to Choose?

Choose fresh blueberries that are firm and have consistent colour. The whitish bloom means they are ripe. Shake the container gently, they should move easily.

Frozen berries are a good alternative. Freezing the berries does not alter the antioxidants.

How to eat them?

  • Use blueberries as fresh toppings on your cereal, oatmeal, waffles and pancakes.

  • Add to greek yogurt for a parfait.

  • Whip up a smoothie using frozen berries, low-fat milk and yogurt.

  • Mix fresh or dried blueberries into your regular salad.

   Be creative and find ways to eat them your favorite way.

There you have it!  You need to eat blueberries everyday!

Today’s little step: Incorporate ½ cup of blueberries into your daily food choices.

Cinnamon maple chickpea nut – snack hack!

 

Are you ready to try a fun new snack? I saw chickpea snacks in the grocery store but the price was too high for my liking. So I took a look and found a snack hack.

IMG_0797

Cinnamon-maple chickpea nuts

Here is the recipe!

Cinnamon-maple chickpea nut snack

Ingredients

1 can of chickpeas

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

2 tsp. white sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1) Rinse and drain the chickpeas.

IMG_0799

2) Pat very dry with paper towels. Discard any loose skins

IMG_0801

3) Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. I have a Pampered Chef baker that I like to use, because nothing burns when I use it! Don’t worry, it’s supposed to look brown like that, it means it’s well seasoned.

IMG_0802

4) Add olive oil, tossing to coat the chickpeas wellIMG_0805

5) Place in 425 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes total baking time. Remove from oven and shake or stir occasionally, every 10 minutes.

IMG_0806

6) The chickpeas should crisp during baking. Continue additional cooking testing for crispness.

7) Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with seasonings – maple syrup, (my son is part of the Superior Maple Syrup business- give it a try) sugar and cinnamon.

IMG_0807

Toss to coat.

IMG_0809

8) Return to the oven for 5 more minutes to caramelize.

IMG_0810

9) Chickpeas will continue to crisp as they cool.

10) Once cool, enjoy!  They aren’t very sweet and have a really nice crunch.

IMG_0811

cinnamon-maple chickpea nuts

11) Store in an airtight container.

The chickpeas have 8 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein, for 1 cup that makes this snack a better choice.

Here’s the link for you to check out. There have other suggested seasonings too, Parmesan-herb, BBQ, Honey-sesame, and Spicy buffalo. http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a40814/chickpea-nuts-recipe/

TODAY’S little STEP: Give a new snack a try!

Remember every mountain is climbed one little step at a time.

If you have found this helpful please share it with a friend.

 

 

 

 

 

What snaps your trigger and send you to food?

 

Are stress, frustration or pain part of your life? Yes, Ma’am!

Does food help you cope?

Do you deal with a toddler who tests the limits all day long?

Maybe you live with a cranky teenager who dumps all her troubles on you?

Or perhaps you live with the sting from offhand, unkind words from your husband?

Or possibly the dynamics in your office environment are crazy?

 

Do you find yourself heading to the cupboard, fridge or vending machine often?

Cookies or brownies – anything sweet – calms your nerves and helps you cope?

Or perhaps that salty, crunchy taste from chips or crackers soothes your hurt feelings?

We call those events – triggers. Something snaps the trigger and we head for food.

Ever thought about why we choose food?

It may have started when you were a child and a cookie soothed a skinned knee.

Maybe junk food got you through those stressful late nights of studying.

Perhaps ice cream and lots of it helped you cope after a fight with your boyfriend.

Somewhere along the way we learned that food provides the fast fix.

It works almost instantly to numb the pain, and soothe our stress or frustration.

Now choosing food – the fast fix has become a habit. A habit that we aren’t even aware of anymore.

Most of us aren’t even aware of the triggers that send us looking for food.

I know relationship stress is one of my triggers.

Here’s a typical reaction for me from a few years ago.

The phone rings, caller ID says it’s my son, away at University. 20 minutes later I hang up. He’s stressed.

My stomach does some little  flips and flops.

My heart hurts for my boy.

I hate it when I can’t fix the problem.

I walk into the kitchen, make a cup of coffee and add sweet creamer and then a little more. Cookies soon melt in my mouth.

I savor the taste of my sweetened coffee as I rehash the conversation in my mind.

As I walk to the sink with my dirty dishes I realize I’ve eaten without even realizing it!

Relational stress is one of my triggers.

STORIES

What about you? What are your triggers?

Before you can make a change that lasts and react differently you need to find out what your triggers are.

That’s my challenge for you this week. Identify your triggers.

When you find yourself eating, take a minute to think about what sent you to food?

Make a quick note or a memo on your phone. Keep track of the triggers.

Next week we will decide on strategies to cope that don’t involve food!

Today’s little step: Become aware of your triggers. What are the situations of pain, stress or frustration that cause you to turn to food? Keep a list!

I’d love to hear what your triggers are. Share them in the comment section or head over to my Facebook page.

If this has been helpful please share it!