Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Portion Control

Although over eating apples will probably not make you obese, there is such thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to the foods you consume.

We all have a certain TEE  (total energy expenditure) that makes up the amount of calories that we can consume each day to maintain our body weight. This number can be determined by a simple calculation or more accurately through metabolic testing using indirect calorimetry.

Example: I need 2400 calories to maintain my body weight
If I eat 500 more calories a day over my allotted 2400 then I will gain 1 lb a week.
If I eat 500 below my allotted 2400 calories or I exercise more and burn that 500 calories I will lose 1 lb a week.

There are 3500 calories in one pound.

It does not only matter how many calories you eat but also where you calories come from. In Chris Carmichael's Food for Fitness, Chris discusses the Carrier Method for making informed food choices.

Quality Carriers: Foods rich in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and fiber.

Empty Carriers: Food that provide energy, but minimal amounts of beneficial or detrimental nutrients. These are often referred to as "empty calories".

Pollutant Carriers: These foods may be high in energy, but they also carry large amounts of harmful pollutants, including saturated and trans fats, chemical preservatives, and excessive sodium.

One last tip for the day! Never eat anything bigger than your head, so those huge platters that some restaurants serve should be reevaluated!

Friday, March 11, 2011

March is National Nutrition Month

Know what is in your shopping cart! Do you know how to read a food label? Look below and follow this easy to use guide!

The following are suggested links to nutrition related information!

The American Dietetic Association
(This site provides guidelines on using National Nutrition Month graphics and logos.)
Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005
National Dairy Council
NCES: Your Essential Guide to Health and Nutrition Education
US Food and Drug Administration: How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Food Label

Friday, February 25, 2011

Foods to Add to Your Diet

We are always told don’t eat this, don’t eat that when it comes to eating a healthful diet! It can be a bit confusing! Let’s focus on the positive! Here are some foods to add to your diet that can help you towards your health goals. February, heart health month, is coming to an end, but hopefully we can take what we have learned and make it part of our healthy lifestyle.

  • Eat more fruits and veggies: Make them part of your snack time. By committing to do this often there is no more room for processed snacks. Fruits and veggies are a great quick snack to have on hand. Pair them with some type of protein (string cheese, cottage cheese, peanut butter, 6-12 nuts) to help make you feel satisfied until your next meal time.
  • Include 3 servings of dairy a day (fat free milk, light yogurt, 1oz low fat cheese): Dairy products are also a great quick snack to have on hand. The natural mix of carbohydrates and protein in milk and yogurt is perfect for a mid day or post workout snack.
  • Choose whole grain, high-fiber foods: Fiber can help keep you full longer and is also known to help decrease the risk of heart disease. Aim for 25-25 grams of fiber a day. Whole grains such as whole wheat, oats, rye, barley, corn, and popcorn are a good source of fiber.
  • Include fish into your diet: It is recommended to eat at least 2 servings of fatty fish (8oz total) a week. Some fish high in essential fatty acids include salmon, sardines, and halibut. By including these fatty fish into your diet you may help reduce your risk of death from coronary heart disease.
  • Cook with olive oil: A diet rich in olive oil can help increase your good cholesterol (HDL). Other foods that consist of these healthful monounsaturated fats include canola oil, hazelnuts, avocados, pecans, and pistachios.
  • Increase consumption of plant sterols: Many foods are fortified with plant sterols which help reduce our bad cholesterol (LDL). Add foods that contain plant sterols into your diet. Some examples include fortified margarines, milk, organic juice, pasta, bread, and cheese. Look on the label to find those foods with plan sterols added. It is recommended that individuals with elevated LDL cholesterol get 2g/d of plant sterols.
  • Add moderate amounts of alcohol into your diet (if you drink): Anything in excess can be harmful but research has shown that a maximum of 1 drink per day for women and 2 per day for men (12oz beer, 4oz wine, 1.5oz 80 proof spirits, or 1oz 100 proof spirits) may have beneficial effects.
  • Choose lean meats: When we think of lean meat we often think of white meat (chicken and turkey). There are also many lean beef cuts available and they are an important part of a well balanced diet. Some lean cuts of beef include round, sirloin, chuck, and loin. Lean and extra lean ground beef are also part of the heart-healthy diet recommendations.
  • Add beans and lentils into your diet: Research has shown that consumption of 3 cups per week (1/2 c. per day) or beans or lentils helps reduce intake of saturated fats and total fat. Beans and lentils are natural foods that are very high in fiber.
Don't feel like you have to make all these changes at once. Pick one suggestion above to work on and make a goal to included those foods into your weekly menu. Then next week pick another. Small steps can make a big difference! Here's to you!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Have you even noticed that when you are really stressed it can be hard to lose weight? Why is that? As if you need one more thing to worry about!


When we are stressed our bodies send out hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) that trigger the fight-or-flight response mechanism. Automatically our heart rate increases, the liver pumps out glucose (carb) for extra energy, and blood flow is slowed down to areas of the body such as our digestive system.  This is great if you really do need to fight or run away. The only problem at this time is that we are usually just sitting and fretting about all our problems. Thus, the extra energy (glucose) that was pumped out of the liver is not being used. Instead, it is being stored as fat. So in theory, although the last thing we want to do when stressed is exercise, the best thing to do when going through a stressful time is to move your body!

If you are needing more insight on how to manage your stress: check out this link below!

Monday, February 7, 2011

VALENTINES DAY- Nonfood alternatives!

A common way of showing love is through food- Taking your loved one out to eat, making homemade treats, bringing home a bottle of wine to share, etc..... Think outside the (chocolate) box this Valentines day! Save some calories and get creative!

Here are some basic nonfood Valentines gift alternatives
- Smelly stuff (Cologne or perfume)
- Flowers
- Stuffed animals
- Jewelry
- Cupid coupon for a FREE back massage or a clean house (get creative)
- Collage of pictures or a special framed picture

Any other ideas come to mind?

Here is a quote/thought to make you smile!

I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day.  When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a toddler coming at me with a weapon.  ~Author Unknown

Friday, February 4, 2011

Superbowl Sunday? What's Your Game Plan?

Check out these crazy food facts about the SUPER BOWL!

- Snacks are a major part of Super Bowl Sunday. The Calorie Control Council and Snack Food Association observe that snack consumption averages around 1,200 calories (not including meals), representing nearly 50 grams of fat ingested per Super Bowl armchair quarterback.

- An estimated 28 million pounds of pretzels, popcorn, potato and tortilla chips will be consumed during the day, an amount with laid end to end would stretch nearly 293,000 miles. Michigan leads the nation in the production of potatoes used in making potato chips.

- It takes about 223,000 football fields of farmland to grow the amount of corn, potatoes and avocados needed to make the snacks fueling Super Bowl Sunday munchies.

- Americans will quaff approximately 325 million gallons of beer on Super Bowl Sunday. Designated drivers are a must; the Insurance Information Institute reports more drivers are involved in alcohol-related accidents on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year, with the exception of St. Patrick’s Day.

- Americans will spend about $237 million on soft drink purchases during Super Bowl week.

- Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest winter grilling day of the year

- Antacid sales spike by 20 percent during the Monday after the Super Bowl, and 6 percent (or about 7 million) of Americans call in sick to work on that same Monday.

It can be tempting to eat all those goodies when they are placed right in front of you.  Here are some tips to avoid excessive food consumption during the super bowl!

1- Eat a healthy breakfast- start your day off right. Don't think that because you are going to be eating a lot during the game that you should save your calories up. Eating a healthy balanced breakfast including protein, carbs, and fat will help control your hunger later in the day.

2- Exercise- Commit to a morning walk/workout.

3- Bring healthy options to the party.
  • Turkey and cheese roll-ups
  • A fruit tray with yogurt dip
  • A veggie tray with light dip
  • Homemade turkey chili
4- Avoid liquid calories

5- Don't stand by the table, plate your food and go sit down

6- Fill your plate to the inside rim, instead of the outside rim

What are some other tricks/tips that you have to keep from overindulging??

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Are you Heart Healthy?

February is heart health month. Are you heart healthy? Check out this great article written by the Mayo Clinic staff.


Heart-healthy diet: 8 steps to prevent heart disease

Changing your eating habits can be tough. Start with these eight strategies to kick-start your way toward a heart-healthy diet.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Although you might know eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it's often tough to change your eating habits. Whether you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt or you simply want to fine-tune your diet, here are eight heart-healthy diet tips. Once you know which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit, you'll be on your way toward a heart-healthy diet.

1. Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol

Of the possible changes, limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is the most important step you can take to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to a buildup of plaques in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
The American Heart Association offers these guidelines for how much fat and cholesterol to include in a heart-healthy diet:
Type of fat Recommendation
Saturated fat Less than 7 percent of your total daily calories
Trans fat Less than 1 percent of your total daily calories
Cholesterol Less than 300 milligrams a day for healthy adults; less than 200 milligrams a day for adults with high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad," cholesterol or those who are taking cholesterol-lowering medication
The best way to reduce saturated and trans fats in your diet is to limit the amount of solid fats — butter, margarine and shortening — you add to food when cooking and serving. You can also reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet by trimming fat off your meat or choosing lean meats with less than 10 percent fat.
You can also use low-fat substitutions when possible for a heart-healthy diet. For example, top your baked potato with salsa or low-fat yogurt rather than butter, or use low-sugar fruit spread on your toast instead of margarine.
You may also want to check the food labels of some cookies, crackers and chips. Many of these snacks — even those labeled "reduced fat" — may be made with oils containing trans fats. One clue that a food has some trans fat in it is the phrase "partially hydrogenated" in the ingredient list.
When you do use fats, choose monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats, found in nuts and seeds, also are good choices for a heart-healthy diet. When used in place of saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may help lower your total blood cholesterol. But moderation is essential. All types of fat are high in calories.
Fats to choose Fats to limit
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Margarine that's free of trans fats
  • Cholesterol-lowering margarine, such as Benecol, Promise activ or Smart Balance
  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Bacon fat
  • Gravy
  • Cream sauce
  • Nondairy creamers
  • Hydrogenated margarine and shortening
  • Cocoa butter, found in chocolate
  • Coconut, palm, cottonseed and palm-kernel oils

2. Choose low-fat protein sources

Lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and egg whites or egg substitutes are some of your best sources of protein. But be careful to choose lower fat options, such as skim milk rather than whole milk and skinless chicken breasts rather than fried chicken patties.
Fish is another good alternative to high-fat meats. And certain types of fish are heart healthy because they're rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood fats called triglycerides. You'll find the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring. Other sources are flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans and canola oil.
Legumes — beans, peas and lentils — also are good sources of protein and contain less fat and no cholesterol, making them good substitutes for meat. Substituting soy protein for animal protein — for example, a soy burger for a hamburger — will reduce your fat and cholesterol intake.
Proteins to choose Proteins to avoid
  • Skim or low-fat (1 percent) milk
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese
  • Egg whites or egg substitutes
  • Fish, especially fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon
  • Skinless poultry
  • Legumes
  • Soybeans and soy products, for example, soy burgers and tofu
  • Lean ground meats
  • Full-fat milk and other dairy products
  • Organ meats, such as liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Fatty and marbled meats
  • Spareribs
  • Cold cuts
  • Frankfurters, hot dogs and sausages
  • Bacon
  • Fried or breaded meats

3. Eat more vegetables and fruits

Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals; they are low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Vegetables and fruits also contain substances found in plants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables may help you eat less high-fat foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods.
Featuring vegetables and fruits in your diet can be easy. Keep vegetables washed and cut in your refrigerator for quick snacks. Keep fruit in a bowl in your kitchen so that you'll remember to eat it. Choose recipes that have vegetables or fruits as the main ingredient, such as vegetable stir-fry or fresh fruit mixed into salads.
Fruits and vegetables to choose Fruits and vegetables to avoid
  • Fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits
  • Low-sodium canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit packed in juice or water
  • Coconut
  • Vegetables with creamy sauces
  • Fried or breaded vegetables
  • Canned fruit packed in heavy syrup
  • Frozen fruit with sugar added

4. Select whole grains

Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. You can increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products.
Another easy way to add whole grains to your diet is ground flaxseed. Flaxseeds are small brown seeds that are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your total blood cholesterol. You can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and stir a teaspoon of them into yogurt, applesauce or hot cereal.
Grain products to choose Grain products to avoid
  • Whole-wheat flour
  • Whole-grain bread, preferably 100 percent whole-wheat or 100 percent whole-grain bread
  • High-fiber cereal with 5 or more grams of fiber a serving
  • Whole grains such as brown rice, barley and buckwheat (kasha)
  • Whole-grain pasta
  • Oatmeal (steel-cut or regular)
  • Ground flaxseed
  • White, refined flour
  • White bread
  • Muffins
  • Frozen waffles
  • Corn bread
  • Doughnuts
  • Biscuits
  • Quick breads
  • Granola bars
  • Cakes
  • Pies
  • Egg noodles
  • Buttered popcorn
  • High-fat snack crackers

5. Reduce the salt in your food

Eating a lot of salt can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing the salt in your food is an important part of a heart-healthy diet. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day (about a teaspoon).
Although reducing the amount of salt you add to food at the table or while cooking is a good first step, much of the salt you eat comes from canned or processed foods, such as soups and frozen dinners. Eating fresh foods and making your own soups and stews can reduce the amount of salt you eat. If you like the convenience of canned soups and prepared meals, look for ones with reduced sodium.
Another way to reduce the amount of salt you eat is to choose your condiments carefully. Many condiments are available in reduced-sodium versions, and salt substitutes can add flavor to your food with less sodium.
Low-salt items to choose High-salt items to avoid
  • Herbs and spices
  • Salt substitutes
  • Reduced-salt canned soups or prepared meals
  • Reduced-salt versions of condiments, such as reduced-salt soy sauce and reduced-salt ketchup
  • Table salt
  • Canned soups and prepared foods, such as frozen dinners
  • Tomato juice
  • Soy sauce

6. Control your portion size

In addition to knowing which foods to eat, you'll also need to know how much you should eat. Overloading your plate, taking seconds and eating until you feel stuffed can lead to eating more calories, fat and cholesterol than you should. Portions served in restaurants are often more than anyone needs. Keep track of the number of servings you eat — and use proper serving sizes — to help control your portions.
A serving size is a specific amount of food, defined by common measurements such as cups, ounces or pieces. For example, one serving of pasta is 1/2 cup, or about the size of a hockey puck. A serving of meat, fish or chicken is 2 to 3 ounces, or about the size and thickness of a deck of cards. Judging serving size is a learned skill. You may need to use measuring cups and spoons or a scale until you're comfortable with your judgment.

7. Plan ahead: Create daily menus

You know what foods to feature in your heart-healthy diet and which ones to limit. Now it's time to put your plans into action.
Create daily menus using the six strategies listed above. When selecting foods for each meal and snack, emphasize vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Choose lean protein sources and limit high-fat and salty foods. Watch your portion sizes and add variety to your menu choices. For example, if you have grilled salmon one evening, try a black bean burger the next night. This helps ensure that you'll get all of the nutrients your body needs. Variety also makes your meals and snacks more interesting.

8. Allow yourself an occasional treat

Allow yourself an indulgence every now and then. A candy bar or handful of potato chips won't derail your heart-healthy diet. But don't let it turn into an excuse for giving up on your healthy-eating plan. If overindulgence is the exception, rather than the rule, you'll balance things out over the long term. What's important is that you eat healthy foods most of the time.
Incorporate these eight tips into your life, and you'll continue to find that heart-healthy eating is both doable and enjoyable. With planning and a few simple substitutions, you can eat with your heart in mind.
March 6, 2010
© 1998-2011 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "," "EmbodyHealth," "Enhance your life," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Need a Mid Day Pick-Me-Up??

Don’t worry you are not the only one that feels that lull of energy in the afternoon. Many people are searching for that quick pick me up to get through the rest of their workday! Most reach for caffeine packed drinks are high calorie sweets. These options may offer a quick burst of energy, but soon after your blood sugar spike has worn off and you are in need of something else!

Try these tips to help avoid a mid-day crash.

1-     Probably one of the most obvious solutions would be to make sure you are GETTING ENOUGH REST. It is not always possible to get the full 7-8 hours of sleep each night but this is essential for replacing those energy stores and keeping you alert during the day. ALSO sleep can affect your hunger levels. Lack of sleep can cause increased hunger during the day and usually the foods we chose to eat aren’t the best! High caffeine and high sugar foods can lead to serious problems over time.

2-     EAT RIGHT- What we eat earlier in the day can affect the way we feel later. What foods to you typically consume? Any food that is in a package/has a label is processed and lacks essential nutrients. Shop on the outskirts of the store for fresh products – whole grains, fresh fruit & vegetables, & lean proteins. These types of food have a balance of nutrients that help to promote energy and keep you going during the day.
-         Eat breakfast- get a mix of carbs and protein
1.      Protein shake/smoothie (1 scoop pro. Powder, 8oz milk, ½ banana)
2.      Lite yogurt or Greek yogurt
3.      Eggs and whole grain toast
4.      High protein cereal (Kashi Go Lean)

-         Don’t go longer than 3-4 hours without eating. Choose a snack between 100-200 calories with some type of protein or fiber to help keep you full until your next meal
1.      String cheese and almond (6-12)
2.      Apple or celery and peanut butter (1 tbsp)
3.      Yogurt
4.      Beef jerky (watch the sodium)
5.      Protein bar (watch out for the calories)
6.      Carrots and hummus

3-     EXERCISE- Get your body moving. Often we find ourselves sitting at a desk and very sedentary. Our bodies were meant to move. Commit to finding time during your day to get up and move. Try a 10 min walk around your office building or jumping jacks to get your blood pumping. Movement will help increase blood flow and oxygen in your body. This may help you feel more alert and awake.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Priobiotics- Stay Healthy During the Cold & Flu Season

Have you noticed that immune boosting foods seem to be the newest healthful food niche in the market? People want to boost their immune system during the cold and flue season and the food industry doesn’t mind capitalizing on that!

Everything that we ingest goes into the gut. It is part of the bodies’ protective network against bacteria, viruses, and chemicals. Did you know that there are over 400 different species of bacteria in your gut and 100 trillion bacteria in our intestines!

Probiotics- What are they??

Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that may help improve your gut flora and restore balance in the intestinal microbial flora. An unbalanced diet, stress, fatigue, aging, bacteria- contaminating foods, and antibiotic therapy are all factors that may influence your intestinal flora.

Probiotics- Where are they found??
  • Fermented dairy products- yogurt and kefir
  • Oral supplements
  • Products such as cereal, juice, and even cookies claim to contain probiotics

It is important to know that not all probiotics are created equal. It is recommended to use probiotics that are “clinically proven.” This is typically printed on the label. The product label should also reveal the strain of bacteria, CFU’s (colony forming units), expiration date, serving, health benefits, storage conditions, and contact information.

Because probiotics are generally safe there is no reason not to try different products and see what works for you! You may also benefit from other nutrients in probiotic containing foods such as calcium, and protein in yogurt.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Train with Brett Hoebel (the newest trainer) on the Biggest Loser!

Rev it up with RevAbs™. This brand-new ab system is specifically designed to burn off the fat and give you a six-pack in just 90 days. Trainer Brett Hoebel teaches you to work your abs from six different angles, and to engage your abdominal muscles throughout your entire workout.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What Is Your Style?

stylish blogger award

Thank you Angela Flicker of the Artists House for presenting me the Stylish Blogger Award!

Does your choice of workout reflect your style?

How do you like to get in shape? Run, weights, yoga, aerobics, sports, dance.... There are so many different ways to move your body. Do you think that your choice of workout expresses your style/ who you are? Does your style change with time?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Kitchen Must Haves- Healthy Cooking

These kitchen tools are great to have on hand in your quest for making healthier meals.

Spice rack- Natural spices are a great way to add flavor to food without all the extra calories.

Garlic press- Fresh pressed garlic is another great way to add tons of flavor to your meals without extra calories.

Citrus zester- Adding lemon, lime, or orange zest is a great way to add flavor to foods from meat and poultry to steamed veggies or even low fat dessert such as yogurt, or angle food cake.

Olive oil mister- Olive oil is a heart healthy fat that is a great substitute for butter when pan frying and sautéing. By using a mister you are less likely to accidently over do it on the oil thus adding extra calories.

Non-stick pans- Non stick pans help eliminate the use of butter or oil while cooking. Be careful sometimes PAM spray can actually ruin your nonstick pans!

Wok- a wok is commonly used for preparing stir-fry. Combine your favorite veggies, lean protein, low sodium soy sauce, and whole grain rice for a great low fat dish!

Crock-Pot or slow cooker- Slow cookers are great when you don’t have time to cook! Create your own soups, stews, and tender juice meats. Many crock-pot or slow cooker cookbooks are available and recipes are online.

Salad spinner- Clean your lettuce in an instant with a salad spinner. This could make eating your greens a little more appealing!

Food Processor-There are many uses for this tool and it can make preparing any meal that much easier. It chops shreds, mixes, and much more.

Small bowls and plates- By having smaller bowls and plates you are less likely to overeat at meal times.

Stick blender/Immersion blender- Great for mixing up protein shakes and smoothies in the morning. Easy to clean compared to magic bullet or a regular blender.

Coffee maker- If you are a coffee drinker invest in a good coffee maker instead of spending all your money at the local coffee stand. Drip coffee is naturally low calorie, but when adding all the “fluff” (milk, chocolate, flavors) if can get expensive and very high in calories/fat.

Measuring cups/ spoons and food scale- It is very easy to over do it on our portions. Having measuring cups/spoons and a food scale on hand can really help you become aware of what an adequate portion is.

Single portion Tupperware containers- Leftovers are great to take to work. Having small Tupperware containers on hand allows you to have just the perfect amount to take when on the go!

What else have you found that helps you create healthful meals in the kitchen?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Protein Absorption- Get The Facts!

Every morning as I am rushing out the door I have a protein shake for breakfast. It is quick, portion controlled, filling, gives me energy, and helps aid in the growth on lean muscle! The only problem is that there are so many different protein supplements on the market today! Which one should I choose?


Here is a breakdown of different types of protein out in the market and how they are absorbed.

Protein is needed in our diet to help develop muscle, repair muscle tissue, aid in the growth of our hair and nails, give us energy, keep us full longer, and many other bodily functions. Protein doesn’t build muscle by itself. In order to gain muscle EXERCISE is key. Protein is simply used to help repair and develop the muscle after our workouts.

Our bodies can only absorb 20-30 grams of protein at one time (3-4oz of meat). Any protein that is not used up, if not burned up, will be stored as fat. Protein is naturally found in many foods such as eggs, beef, chicken, turkey, fish, tuna, soy beans, tofu, beans, lentils, nuts, etc… Protein is also commonly found in meal replacement shakes used for weight loss of muscle building. Different types of proteins are absorbed at different rates. It is important to include many different types of protein into your diet.

Biological Value of Protein:

Biological Value (BV) is a score that is given to certain foods (mostly proteins) to determine how quickly our bodies can absorb and actually use the protein consumed. The highest BV is 100%

Charts below were taken from
Protein Ratings
Eggs (whole)100
Eggs (whites)88
Chicken / Turkey79
Lean Beef69
Cow's Milk60
Unpolished Rice59
Brown Rice57
White Rice56
Whole Wheat49
Soy beans47
Whole-grain Wheat44
Dry Beans34
White Potato34
 BV of common protein supplements:
Protein Ratings
Whey Protein Isolate159
Whey Protein Concentrate104

 Different types of protein:

Whey Protein:

Whey protein also comes from milk. It is a fast absorbing protein and should be consumed either before or after a workout. Look at the ingredients when you are buying whey protein. It is processed in three different ways. This affects absorption/BV, taste, and price. On the label it will either read Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate (best absorbed, but can be hard to find, costly, and has a bitter taste), Whey Protein Isolate (typically the best tasting whey protein and BV is still quite high), and Whey Protein Concentrate (most affordable but known to cause stomach discomfort/bloating).

Casein Protein:

Casein protein is derived from milk. It is a slow absorbing protein therefore it is best to supplement with casein protein when you are expected to go through long periods of time without protein consumption (i.e. sleeping).

Soy Protein

Soy protein is extracted from soybeans is also quickly absorbed. There are a lot of different theories about soy protein. Some say it is good for lowering cholesterol and preventing cancer while others say that it is poorly absorbed, lacks important amino acids, and prevents absorption of many other nutrients.

Egg White Protein

Egg protein is typically low in calories and fat. It is extracted from eggs and is absorbed at a moderate rate. 

Protein shakes that I use:

Both of these powders have multiple forms of protein in them. Chocolate is my favorite flavor! :) Mix in fruit (but not too much) or different flavored extracts (vanilla, almond, mint) for variety!

What is your favorite protein supplement? Any good recipes??

Monday, January 10, 2011

Making Fast Food a Little Healthier

Fast food is part of our culture and is not going away anytime soon. If you are unable to steer clear of it, do your best to make a healthy choice! 

BE PREPARED! Remember your overall goals! Fast food and dieting don’t exactly go hand in hand but by being prepared, not being afraid to special order, and planning a little bit you can make eating at a fast food restaurant healthier.

 Tips when going out to eat!

  • Limit the extras – no high calorie sauces such as mayo or BBQ sauce.

  • Stay away from liquid calories. Water please!

  • Get the grilled option. Stay away from fried foods!

  • Go skinless. Take off any skin that may be on your turkey or chicken

 Convenient store

  • Water

  •  Fresh fruit        

  •  String cheese

  •  Yogurt

  •  Beef jerky

  • Protein bar or Granola bar (Cliff bar, Luna bar, Nature Valley, protein bar of choice)

  • Nuts (single serving)      


  • Garden Sensation Salads- limit dressing, chose low fat, low calories or top with chili for a taco salad and a little extra protein!

  • Grilled chicken sandwich

  • Chili with potato – low fat sour cream if any

  • Limit extra cheese and mayo on hamburgers    

Taco Bell

  • Fresco style tacos and burritos

  • Chicken soft tacos

  •  Chicken burrito

  •   Bean burrito

  •   Taco salad, but don’t eat the shell!

* beware of sour cream, cheese, and guacamole. These are all high calories extras. Use sparingly. Don’t be afraid to special order.

Mc Donald’s

  • Chicken McGrill, no mayo!

  • Side salad- Light on the dressing. Choose low fat vinaigrette.

  • Grilled chicken salad- Light on the dressing. Choose low fat vinaigrette

  • Egg McMuffin

  • Fruit and yogurt parfait (very high in carbs, beware if diabetic)         


  • Choose lean meats (chicken, turkey, ham, roast beef)

  • Pile on the veggies

  • Light on the sauces- choose low calorie sauces such as mustard, light mayo, or vinegar.

  • Ask for no cheese- you usually cant even taste it on the sandwich and this will save you at least 100 calories.

  • Choose whole grain breads


  • Ask for thin crust

  •  Limit appetizers such as breadsticks or wings

  • Load on the veggies

  • Choose lean meats like Canadian bacon or chicken

  • Have a side salad instead of going back for a second helping of pizza.

NOTICE: All chain restaurants have their menus and nutrition facts online! Review them before going out to eat so you know exactly what you are getting!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Shakeology-Nutrition Simplified. 70 healthy Ingredients in one glass!

70 AMAZING ingredients all packed into one shake. Replace one meal a day with a shake, workout at least 3x a week and watch the weight fall off! 30 day gaurantee...if you don't like it, return it! If you are interested in trying out Shakeology for yourself you can order if through the fitlicker online store, or for more information go to

ALSO, for those of you who commit to Shakeology, I will give you one FREE nutrition consult (phone or face to face) each month you are on Shakeology. What are your health goals? Accountability is priceless!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

S.M.A.R.T Goals

Setting S.M.A.R.T Goals for the New Year

Whether our goals are based on the physical, financial, or spiritual aspects of life we are all capable of change if we put our minds to it. Write down your goals and sign them just like a contract. Be accountable to yourself!

 Make your goals SPECIFIC what is it that you want to accomplish, with all the details!

Make your goals MEASURABLE are you able to access your progress?

Make your goals ATTAINABLE are you setting yourself up for success? Is your goal within your reach given the current situation?

Make your goals RELEVANT is your goal applicable with your purpose in life?

Make your goals TIME SENSITIVE what is your time limit for completing your goal?



Goal: I will exercise every day

Is it SPECIFIC?  NO (I will exercise everyday for at least 30min. whether at home or in the gym, including cardio and weight training exercises)

Is it MEASURABLE? Yes.  

Is it ATTAINABLE? Yes, but most likely NOT attainable (I will exercise at least 4 days a week for at least 30 min., whether at home or in the gym, including cardio and weight training exercises) By committing to 4 days instead of everyday I don’t have to be upset when my busy schedule gets in the way. I also give myself permission to rest. Plus, if there are only 4 days left in my week I KNOW I need to jump on it and make exercise a priority!

Is it RELEVANT? Yes. Exercise helps me maintain my weight, keep my body healthy, and helps me relieve stress.

Is it TIME SENSITIVE? No ( For one month I will exercise at least 4 days a week for at least 30 min, whether at home of in the gym, including cardio and weight training exercises) . After that month is over reflect and see if you want to continue with 4 days a week, increase to 5 days, or fall back to 3. The most important thing is that you continue to stay active! 


Life is dynamic, always changing! Each month take some time to review your goals and change them or add to them accordingly! HAPPY NEW YEAR!