Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Don't know what to ask for for Christmas?? Kitchen Must Haves

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?

Monday, November 26, 2012

BURN BABY BURN-Interval Training

Do you ever get bored while working out? I sure do! My cure for the cardio blues is busting out some intervals on the treadmill or elliptical trainer! Watching the clock makes me forget about what I am doing, PLUS it is quick and effective!

Here is a great treadmill workout that is sure to burn some of those extra holiday calories!

25-30 minutes

5 min walk at brisk pace ( 3.0-4.0 mph- adjust to your level and add an incline if you choose)

        INTERVALS  (repeat 7-8 times)
  • 90 seconds jogging (4-6 mph- adjust accordingly)

  • 30 seconds sprint (7-9 mph- adjust accordingly)

 5 minute cool-down walk (3.0-4.0 mph. add a small incline if you choose)

Not a runner?? Any pace will work! Start where you feel comfortable! It might even take a couple of times to find the perfect settings for yourself! You can also do similar intervals on an elliptical trainer. As long as your are bringing your heart rate up and down you are doing your job.

REMEMBER no matter what you are doing, you are still moving faster than the person sitting on the couch! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

How to Prevent Overeating at Thanksgiving

Overeating is typical during the holidays or for that matter any holiday or large get together.

Here are some things you can do to help prevent overeating. 

1- Don't skip meals. By skipping meals you are slowing down your bodies metabolism. When you finally do eat your body will more likely hold on to all those calories vs burn them effectively.

2- Get good rest. Sleep affects your hunger levels. Make sure you are well rested. 7-8 hours is the recommendation.

3- Focus on your protein and vegetables. Protein and fiber help keep you full. Give yourself a healthful portion of each. Start with your protein and vegetables and then move to the more "empty" calorie foods.

4- Portion control. Fill your plate to the inside rim instead of the outside rim. Think about it before you get up for seconds.  Remember you can always have leftovers. Some good leftover turkey ideas include: Turkey enchiladas, turkey noodle soup, & turkey sandwiches!

5- Watch the liquid calories. It is easy to add on the extra calories through our liquids (alcohol, juice, cider) and at about 100-150 calories per 4-8oz serving you can imagine how quickly these calories add up.

6- Stay out of the kitchen. When you are doing your socializing try to avoid being in the kitchen. This will help eliminate snacking before or after you meal. Little bites may not seem like much, but they do add up!

7- Move more. Make is tradition to play an active game or go for a walk after your meal. By moving you are helping burn some of those extra calories you consumed.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What Is on Your Plate? How to Put Together a Well-balanced Meal.

The Idaho Plate Method not only helps with weight loss but help control Diabetes!
NOVEMBER is Diabetes Awareness Month
For more information go to

What is on your plate?

This is a great visual of how we should put our plates together! This will not only help you lose weight but also help control blood sugars if you are diabetic. 

Food Group
Sample Dinner
1 cup of cooked Italian vegetables
3 ounces of salmon
1/2 cup of watermelon
1 cup of milk

For more ideas check out the website 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Picking Quality Foods

 (Quick tips to use while reading food labels)

Because not all food are created equal here are some tips to help you pick quality foods that will not only feed your hunger but help keep you full so that you are not over eating later on in the day. 

Practice these two tips when buying any packaged food

1- Look at label & if the food doesn't contain fiber or protein put it back! Fiber and protein help regulated your blood sugar and keep you full. 

2-  Look at a label for the carbohydrate to protein ratio. We need carbs for body function, but it is important that we link carbs with protein at our meals and snacks. When looking at the carbohydrate grams on a label make sure there are no more than 2 grams of carbohydrate for every 1 gram of protein. ( i.e. = If a protein bar has 30 grams of carbohydrate it should have at least 15 grams of protein).  This ratio of 2 carb grams to 1 protein gram will again help regulate your blood sugars and help keep you full. 

**** NOTE that if you are an athlete competing you may need more carbs to help keep your energy levels high for your event. 

What do I do if there is not enough protein in the food I am choosing?? 
Think of a protein that you can add to this item. 

For example: Whole Wheat crackers ( top them with low fat cheese, or lean lunch meat)
                    Apple slices ( top with 1 Tbsp of peanut or other nut butter) 

Also, if you are going out to eat at a chain restaurant the nutrition facts are typically online. Look up your favorite meals and see if they fall under these two rules for stabilizing blood sugars and keeping you full.