Eating Out and Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to be an Oxymoron

  Most of us eat out, at least a little. Some eat out most of the time.  Whether we run through a drive-thru between kid activities or have work lunches daily,  eating out is part of life for most of us.

Cooking and eating from home is the healthiest choice because we are in control of what goes in the food we cook.  It should be a goal to eat from home most of the time.  But the reality is, that probably won’t happen every day. Then, when we do eat out we often we feel we are sabotaging our diet, but that doesn’t have to be the case.  With a little thought and planning, eating out a couple times a week can be part of a healthy diet.  Here are some tips to help you eat healthy while eating out.

  • Order smaller portions.  Sometimes ordering a la carte is a good choice.
  • Make half your plate vegetables and fruit.  They are lower in calories and have filling fiber to help you stay full longer.
  • Choose healthier cooking options  – ask for grilled, baked, broiled, or steamed.
  • Don’t starve yourself before going to dinner.  You can’t save calories, because you will overeat and make unhealthy choices when you are very hungry.
  • Watch the calories in your drinks.  Whether it’s soda, sweet tea, juice or alcoholic beverages – the calories can add up quickly.  Stick to water most of the time.
  • Plan ahead and check the menu online.  Most restaurants (especially fast food) have the nutrition information on their website.  Check for healthy food options.
  • Take home leftovers.  You do not have to be part of the “clean plate club”.

Remember, if you are going out for a special occasion, like a birthday, it is ok to overlook the tips.  Enjoy yourself on that ONE day.  Then get back to healthy eating!

 

 

For more healthy tips, visit our website Weight Loss Cincinnati http://figureweightloss.com/

Disclaimer: All exercises and other forms of physical activity can be dangerous, especially if performed without medical advice, proper supervision and/or pre-exercise evaluation. The videos, techniques, ideas, and exercise suggestions presented on this website are not intended to be professional training advice. Always consult your physician or health care professional before performing any exercise, especially if you have any chronic or recurring condition, and/or if you are pregnant, nursing, or elderly. All exercises you perform at your own responsibility and at your own risk.

Comfort Food or Comfort Eating?

We all have a favorite comfort food – whether it be macaroni and cheese or chocolate, that we crave, either because it reminds us of our childhood or because we had a bad day. Indulging in these high calorie foods once in a while is fine, but if overeating becomes a daily event because of stress or sadness, it could contribute to weight gain or be a sign of an eating disorder.

Emotional eating is not a type of eating disorder, but is a common trait of those who have eating disorders – especially those who have binge eating disorder or night eating syndrome.

If you do eat for comfort, there are lots of things you can do to break the habit.  One of the most important steps is being aware you are doing this.  Here are four goals to help you break the habit:

  1. Track your feelings and what you do during stressful times – being aware is key to change.
  2. Know your triggers that lead to overeating or making poor foodchoices.
  3. Find ways to cope without food – go for a walk or call a friend, etc.
  4. Learn ways to de-stress – exercise, meditate or massage.

 

Practice these goals and over time you should see a difference. If these tips don’t help, it may be time to seek professional help.

For more healthy tips visit our website at http://figureweightloss.com/

Disclaimer: All exercises and other forms of physical activity can be dangerous, especially if performed without medical advice, proper supervision and/or pre-exercise evaluation. The videos, techniques, ideas, and exercise suggestions presented on this website are not intended to be professional training advice. Always consult your physician or health care professional before performing any exercise, especially if you have any chronic or recurring condition, and/or if you are pregnant, nursing, or elderly. All exercises you perform at your own responsibility and at your own risk.

Let’s Get Moving!

The crisp weather and beautiful foliage this time of year just begs us to get outside and be active. 

There are a lot of options during the fall season to stay busy and enjoy the beautiful weather.  Here are a list of things you can find in your area to do this autumn:

  1.  Walk through a pumpkin patch or corn maze
  2. Go apple picking
  3. Have fun a fall festival or haunted house
  4. Take a hike or walk through your favorite park
  5. Collect colorful leaves or pine cones to do arts and craft or just display
  6. Participate in or cheer at a marathon or 5K.  Here is a link to find one in your area:  http://www.runningintheusa.com/Race/Default.aspx
  7. Fly a kite
  8. Yard work – plant bulbs for spring or rake and jump in a leaf pile!

Try this baked apple recipe – delicious and healthy way to use those apples you picked!

Easy Delicious Baked Apples      (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 2 large apples
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees
  2. Cut the apples in half.  Remove the core and seeds with a small spoon or knife.  Place the apples in an ovenproof baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Spoon this mixture into the centers of your apple halves.  Pour water into the baking dish.
  4. Bake apples for 40-45 minutes, or until apples are tender.
  5. Serve warm.  May serve with plain or vanilla yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Nutrition Information:
116 Calories     23g Carbohydrates
3g Fiber      1g Protein

 

For more healthy tips visit us at http://figureweightloss.com

 

 

Disclaimer: All exercises and other forms of physical activity can be dangerous, especially if performed without medical advice, proper supervision and/or pre-exercise evaluation. The videos, techniques, ideas, and exercise suggestions presented on this website are not intended to be professional training advice. Always consult your physician or health care professional before performing any exercise, especially if you have any chronic or recurring condition, and/or if you are pregnant, nursing, or elderly. All exercises you perform at your own responsibility and at your own risk.

Carbohydrate Series: Starch

The buzz in the media around carbohydrates is very loud these days.  This has prompted me to tackle the topic. However, carbohydrates are complex (no pun intended), so I will break it down into a few posts.  This is the last post in the series and we will discuss starch. 

Carbohydrates are in everything, except meats, eggs and some cheeses. The most common forms of carbohydrates are sugars, fiber and starches.  Starches, also known as complex carbohydrates, are in plant-based foods and can provide important energy, vitamins and minerals for the body.  Vegetables high in starch include corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, Lima beans, dried beans and lentils.  Fruits mostly contain sugar, but bananas and plantains are two high-starch fruits. 
 
Grains, such as oats, wheat and rice, are also high in starch.  There are two groups of grains, whole and refined. Grains have three parts, bran, germ and endosperm.  Whole grains include all three parts.  We often hear it is important to eat whole grains as much as possible, but why?  Let’s break these parts down:
  1. Bran is the outer skin of the grain.  It has the most fiber, B-vitamins, antioxidants and minerals of the grain.
  2. Germ is small but packed with nutrients including essential fatty acids, some protein, healthy fats and vitamin E.
  3. Endosperm is the soft center of the grain.  This part contains the most starchy carbohydrates, some protein and a small amount of vitamins and minerals.
Whole grains include all three parts, therefore, they are the most nutritious.  Whole grains also have more fiber so they are digested slower, keeping you feeling full longer.  This can help with not overeating and weight loss. Great sources of whole grains include oats, quinoa, and whole wheat products like bread and pasta.
 
Refined grains only contain the endosperm.  Refined grains are less nutritious and digested more quickly because they do not contain as much fiber.  If you remember from the previous post about fiber, it helps slow down digestion and stabilizes blood sugar.  Fiber also helps lower cholesterol. 
 
Although carbohydrates are often considered the enemy to weight loss, they can provide important nutrients and fiber.
 
Since starchy foods are digested slower than foods high in sugar, they absolutely can be included even if your goal is to lose weight.  Which starchy foods you choose and how much you eat are the biggest deciding factors in weight loss success.  The best choices of starchy foods are those that haven’t been processed, such as beans, lentils, quinoa, oats, sweet potato, boiled potato with skin and whole wheat pasta.  In small quantities (1/4 of your plate is ideal), these carbohydrate foods can be part of a healthy, balanced diet that won’t sabotage your weight loss efforts.
 
 
 
Try this quick and delicious side dish.  Be sure to eat the potato skin, it’s full of fiber.  Serve with grilled chicken and a green salad for a low calorie, balanced meal.
 
Black Bean Salsa Sweet Potato
Serves 4
 
Ingredients
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large tomato, diced
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
 
Directions
  1. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork in several places.  Microwave on high until tender, 5-6 minutes  (alternatively, place in a baking dish and bake at 425F until tender, about 1 hour).
  2. Combine beans, tomato, oil, cumin, pepper and salt in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high until heated through, 2-3 minutes. 
  3. When just cool enough to handle, cut sweet potatoes lengthwise, in half.  Spoon bean mixture into middle.  Top each with a dollop of Greek yogurt and sprinkle of cilantro.
Nutrition Information
206 Calories     9g Protein
35g Carbohydrates     10g Fiber
 
Enjoy!
 

Disclaimer: All exercises and other forms of physical activity can be dangerous, especially if performed without medical advice, proper supervision and/or pre-exercise evaluation. The videos, techniques, ideas, and exercise suggestions presented on this website are not intended to be professional training advice. Always consult your physician or health care professional before performing any exercise, especially if you have any chronic or recurring condition, and/or if you are pregnant, nursing, or elderly. All exercises you perform at your own responsibility and at your own risk.

Carbohydrate Series: Fiber

The buzz in the media around carbohydrates is very loud these days.  This has prompted me to tackle the topic. However, carbohydrates are complex (no pun intended), so I will break it down into a few posts.  This week we will discuss fiber.

 Carbohydrates are in everything, except meats, eggs and some cheeses. The most common forms of carbohydrates are sugars, starches and fiber.  Fiber is a very beneficial part of the diet.  It not only helps you stay regular, it promotes health and reduces the risk for some chronic diseases.  Fiber helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulosis.  It decreases the risk of heart disease  and diabetes by lowering cholesterol and  helping to regulate blood sugar.  Fiber is found in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes (beans).

Fiber is not digested in the body, therefore it does not contribute to calories.  Since it is not absorbed into the bloodstream, it passes through the digestive system.  There are two main types of fiber, soluble and insoluble.  Soluble fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel as it passes through.    Insoluble fiber does not absorb water, passing through the body largely intact.  Most foods high in fiber have both types of fiber in them. Since it is important to have both types of fiber in the diet to reap the health benefits, don’t worry about choosing a specific type of fiber.

Sadly, most Americans don’t even come close the recommended amount of 20-30g of fiber each day.  The common refined and processed foods Americans eat, such as white bread, are not only low in nutrients, they are usually low in fiber too.  The best way to get your fiber requirement is through whole foods.  Eat whole fruits and vegetables, not just drink the juice.  The skin and pulp is where you will find the fiber. When reading food labels, look for foods with at least  5g of fiber per serving.  If you have at least 6 servings of fruits and vegetables and 3 servings of whole grains per day, you are likely to meet your fiber goal.

Best sources of fiber:

  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Oat bran
  • Nuts
  • Flax seeds
  • Chia seeds
 If you find it difficult to get enough fiber each day, you can take a fiber supplement.  Add fiber, especially supplements, in slowly.  Otherwise, it can cause gas, bloating and even make constipation worse if added too quickly.  Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water each day.
 
Try this recipe packed with fiber, protein and deliciousness!
 
Avocado Pesto Pasta with White Beans and Spinach
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup whole wheat spaghetti
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mash together the avocado and garlic using a fork or potato masher.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Heat up olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add spinach.  Cook until wilted, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to low and add avocado mixture, white beans and spaghetti and toss together.  Cook until warm through.  Remove from heat and add cheese.  Serve immediately. 

Nutrition Information:

479 Calories      23 g Protein

57g Carbohydrates     17g Fiber

 Enjoy!

Next post in this series we will discuss starches. 

Disclaimer: All exercises and other forms of physical activity can be dangerous, especially if performed without medical advice, proper supervision and/or pre-exercise evaluation. The videos, techniques, ideas, and exercise suggestions presented on this website are not intended to be professional training advice. Always consult your physician or health care professional before performing any exercise, especially if you have any chronic or recurring condition, and/or if you are pregnant, nursing, or elderly. All exercises you perform at your own responsibility and at your own risk.