How to STOP Sabotaging Your Diet

Christmas is over and if you are like me…. you have eaten so much over the last few days (okay so maybe it has been the last few weeks).  Now there are leftovers to deal with and the last push to enjoy all those treats before we hit the New Year’s resolutions.  Doesn’t everyone’s resolution include eating healthy or hitting the gym?  Yes, I squirreled.

I have been struggling for several months to maintain my goal weight or even stay within the 2 pound range given by Weight Watchers when I stumbled on this article.  Now I have been told these misconceptions many times, reading them again always is a good reminder…

“Skipping breakfast is harmless and a smart way to cut calories.”

I am definitely a breakfast skipper!  I am usually up early and always say “it’s too early to eat”  or “I’m not hungry.”  It is time to re-train my brain.    Studies show people who eat a smart breakfast daily are less likely to become obese. Your body functions more effectively when it’s well fueled, so you’ll actually burn more calories throughout the day if you feed it in the morning. Plus, you’re more likely to make poor food decisions if you let yourself get too hungry. So start your day with a light healthy breakfast.  Not hungry first thing in the a.m.?  Why not keep a piece of fruit and protein bar handy for a mid-morning meal.

“Eating gluten-free/vegan/insert-buzzword-here foods will help with weight loss.”

No hate mail, please.  I know there are some who need to eat gluten free or vegan for health reason.  I do gluten free to help manage MS symptoms BUT there are some who thing it will help with their weight loss. The simple fact is eating like this does not guarantee weight loss. They can be loaded with calories and fat. Gluten-free foods are sometimes just as carby as their gluten-containing counterparts, and vegan goods may be full of fatty calories. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to foods which work for your personal needs and lifestyle, but some choices are better than others. That’s why it’s so important to check the nutritional info before you order or buy. Pay special attention to calories, serving size, and servings per container!

“On workout days, I can let loose and indulge at meal time, and it’ll all balance out.”

Even if your spin class promises to burn 800 calories, don’t treat yourself to fettuccine Alfredo and cheesecake just yet. It’s common to overestimate the number of calories we’ve burned — everyone burns calories at a different rate — and you could unintentionally negate your hard work. Even if your estimates are spot on, do you really want to cancel them out entirely? If you’re aiming for weight loss, you still need to take in fewer calories than you burn. Either way, you’re better off just increasing your portion sizes to replenish yourself, not reaching for junk food or totally overdoing it. Check out these ideas for what to eat before and after a workout.

“As long as I stick to a clean diet of all-natural whole foods, I don’t need to worry about calories.”

If weight management is a priority for you, then yeah, you’re going to want to keep tabs on your calorie intake. YES, eating whole natural foods is good for you. But it’s completely possible to consume way more calories than you burn in a day by eating these foods. Plenty of natural foods are calorie dense — think avocados, nuts, grains — meaning a small portion has a large calorie count. Eat too much of those, and you could pack on the pounds.  Believe it or not, the same thing can happen with fruits which are packed full of natural sugar.  So eat the good stuff, but watch the portions.

“I’ll order a salad for dinner to save calories for dessert.”

No judgement call here – I’ve done this. Although, it may seem like a smart choice, restaurant salads often pack WAY more calories than you think. So if you’re blindly assuming the giant Cobb salad is a better option than a lean petite filet and a side of veggies, you might want to spend some time checking out the restaurant’s nutritional facts.  The salad dressing alone often contains hundreds of calories! And when it comes to dessert, treat yourself… but split one with your dining companions. Studies have found we enjoy the last bite the most anyway!

What is your best weight loss tip?  Share them with us as we get ready for the New Year…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

I love fruit and a fruit salsa sounds YUMMY!  I know, you are thinking this is a summer recipe but team it with these homemade cinnamon chips and you have a year round winner.  This is great for a dessert, a juicy snack for a family gathering or a light summer snack.
TOTAL TIME: 30 min.     MAKES: 2-1/2 cups salsa (80 chips).

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 medium navel orange, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 medium kiwifruit, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 can (8 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar

In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

CINNAMON CHIPS:

  • 10 flour tortillas (8 inches)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

  • For chips, brush tortillas with butter; cut each into eight wedges.
  • Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over tortillas.
  • Place on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes or just until crisp. Serve with fruit salsa.
NUTRITIONAL FACTS

1 each: 127 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 6mg cholesterol, 148mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

Thank you Diane Wendell of Life Expressions Decor.  Here is her story:

Hi! My name is Diane and I absolutely LOVE Life Expressions Decor! I am very excited to be a part of this amazing journey!

I have hosted a couple of Life Expressions Decor get togethers and everyone just loved it and had so much fun creating their own signs!

I love the versatility and choices of the different sayings, signs, paint colors, and all the decor! I love how simple it is to create your own masterpiece! No artistic talent is really necessary, that’s one of the best parts!!!

Contact me to host your own party, Fundraiser or event!

Great for birthdays, housewarming get togethers, Ladies Nights, or to just get together and be creative!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Simple Tips To Get Healthy and Keep The Weight Off 

scale2Today is all about simple tips to get healthy and keep (or lose) the weight.  In just a few short weeks, summer will be gone, the kids will be back to school AND we will be thinking about the holiday season.  No, I am not trying to rush it BUT it does creep up faster than we want sometimes.

We have all heard that it is “just a matter of eating a little more healthily and moving a little bit more’.  I don’t know about you but that doesn’t always work for me.  Hubby would say that I eat like a rabbit – lots of healthy stuff but I still struggle with my weight.

So, if you are like me, here is quick guide to some foods that might just offer a helping hand when it comes to tackling health and weight in a simple and manageable way.

UnknownAvocado: Use it for: High Cholesterol.  A recent study showed that  consuming an avocado a day (as part of a moderate fat diet) could actually help to reduce your cholesterol.  Yes, they are high in fat, BUT most of their fat content is  ‘good’ fat, that helps to lower cholesterol, reduce risk of stroke and heart attack, and improve heart health in general.

imagesOily Fish: Use it for: Reduced Risk of Arthritis.
Did you know that you can reduce the risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis by eating just one serving of oily fish every week, according to  the Annals of Rheumatoid Diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes swelling, inflammation and stiffness in our joints, and is most common among the over 50s.

almonds-in-a-bowl-on-wooden-table-maxAlmonds: Use it for: High Blood Pressure and heart disease.  We all know that nuts can be a great source of protein and “good” fats, but many people steer clear of them because of their high calorie content. Believe it or not, almonds actually have one of the lowest calorie contents of most nuts.  Eating just 50g of almonds a day could help to reduce blood pressure, and improve blood flow, and as a result could reduce your risk of heart disease too.  They are a great source of protein too so they will help you stay full longer and give you some energy (or at least it works for me).

UnknownBowl of Oatmeal Use it for: Reduced risk of diabetes
I LOVE oatmeal.  I will admit that I didn’t eat it as a child but now it is part of my weekly menu.  It is a rich source of fiber, and oats have been found to help in stabilising our blood sugar levels, which prevents that mid-morning slump. Oats are also a great source of magnesium – a mineral that helps to regulate our insulin and glucose levels.  I love to use Almond Milk and fresh fruit in mine.  No time?  Don’t use the microwave oatmeal with lots of “chemicals” try overnight oats.  Place 1/2 cup oats with cinnamon, all spice 1 tablespoon of flax seed, 1 chopped apple and 1 cup of almond milk in a plastic container.  I leave this in the fridge over night, the next morning I put it in the microwave for 4 minutes.  YUMMY oatmeal that has a hint of “apple pie”.  I also use blueberries or strawberries.  If I am running late, I pack it in my thermal and eat it at work.  8542580A0000What are some of YOUR best tips for eating healthy and keeping the weight off? Share them with us, we would love to hear from YOU!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Healthy Eating AND Travel – Better Together

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How many of you think “I’m on vacation, I will worry about eating healthy when I get home”?  The truth is, you can eat healthy and still enjoy your vacation.  For most of us, when we are traveling, nutrition is NOT on the top of our list.

Since dealing with health challenges, I am realizing that knowing what to eat when I travel will not only affect how I enjoy the trip, but it also affects my overall health. I have to be careful not to fall into the fast food trap of fast food, simply because it is convenient.

Here are some tips that help me when I am traveling:

5. Eat Like The Locals.  Watch and see what the locals are eating. Which restaurants have the longest lines? Be careful of street food because it’s not always the healthiest choice, and under-cooked street food can be dangerous to your health.

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4. Foods to Fight Jet Lag.  Whether you are traveling to a foreign country or just across the country, food can contribute to common travel plights such as jet lag. Don’t shoot the messenger BUT you want to avoid anything with caffeine, because they can dehydrate you which is a common cause of jet lag.  Remember to drink plenty of water throughout your travel experience.

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3. Don’t Over Eat.  Foods that are high in fat or salt, or foods that are rich can make travel harder.  Salt not only increase water retention during air travel, but it will make you feel sluggish and tired. Fatty foods are the same as well as any snacks that are high in fat or salt, such as chips or trail mixes. On a LONG flight, water retention can be even more of a problem and can result in swelling.

2. Bring Your Own Food.  I know who wants to bring their own food when they travel, right?  It is actually a good idea – an alternative to airplane food, or healthy snacks while you tour around. Maybe some fruit, peanut butter (or peanut butter sandwich), or a nutrition bar. Can’t bring your own food, plan your meals.

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1. Never Forget Breakfast.  No matter what, make time for breakfast.  It is not only the most important meal of the day when you are home BUT also when you are traveling.  In a hurry, grab something quick like something high in fiber, or full of whole grains, like oatmeal or cold cereal.  The best option is a balanced breakfast, combining carbs with proteins and grains. Stay away from muffins, cookies, and doughnuts. Greasy on the go breakfast foods are a big no-no too.

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What is YOUR best tip for eating healthy when you travel?  I have found that it is so much easier to eat healthy when it is a road trip versus flying but I would love to hear from you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Tasty Tuesday – Carrot Cake Bake 

Another AWESOME recipe courtesy of Hungry Girl

Oats, fruit, veggies… Can you believe this cake-inspired recipe is so packed with good-for-you stuff? I’m in love with this one!

Prep: 15 minutes         Cook: 35 minutes         Makes 6 servings.

1/6th of pan (about 4″ X 2 1/2”): 249 calories, 4.5g total fat (0.5g sat fat), 357mg sodium, 42g carbs, 7g fiber, 10g sugars, 10.5g protein — SmartPoints™ value 6*

Ingredients:
3 cups old-fashioned oats
3 tbsp. plain protein powder with about 100 calories per serving
5 no-calorie sweetener packets (like Truvia)
1 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup (about 4 large) egg whites
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup shredded carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple packed in juice, lightly drained
3 tbsp. raisins, chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8″ X 8″ baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine oats, protein powder, sweetener, chia seeds, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Mix well.

In a medium-large bowl, combine almond milk, applesauce, egg whites, and vanilla extract. Mix until uniform.

Add mixture in the medium-large bowl to the large bowl. Stir until uniform.

Fold in chopped carrots, lightly drained pineapple, and chopped raisins.

Transfer the mixture to the baking pan, and smooth out the surface.

Bake until top is light golden brown and entire dish is cooked through, about 35 minutes.

 

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!