Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Diet Tips

Diet Tip: Think about what you can add to your diet, not what you should take away.

Start by focusing on getting the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

"It sounds like a lot, but it is well worth it, because at the same time you are meeting your fiber goals and feeling more satisfied from the volume of food," says chef Laura Pansiero, RD.

You're also less likely to overeat because fruits and vegetables displace fat in the diet. And that's not to mention the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. More than 200 studies have documented the disease-preventing qualities of phytochemicals found in produce, says Pansiero.

Her suggestion for getting more: Work vegetables into meals instead of just serving them as sides on a plate.

"I love to take seasonal vegetables and make stir-fries, frittatas, risotto, pilafs, soups, or layer on sandwiches," Pansiero says. "It is so easy to buy a variety of vegetables and incorporate them into dishes."

Diet can be such an ugly word. We find ourselves focusing on what we can’t have. It is human nature to want what you can’t have. So, don’t go on a diet. Just alter how and what you eat. Keep your spirit positive and upbeat. If you want chocolate cake, if you simply MUST have chocolate cake, then take 2 bites and stop. Those two bites will satisfy your need, and allow you to focus on keeping the remainder of you day’s meals healthy.
In addition, it is important to realize that diet doesn’t have to mean lack of flavor. There are plenty of options full of flavor, if you just take the time to think about what you are eating. When you consider a salad, think about topping it with salsa or a dash of vinegar, rather than the fatty salad dressings. Have a salad with strawberries or peaches added to it. Perk it up with almonds or feta cheese. A simple salad, when approached with creativity, can suddenly become a feast of flavor.
Top you celery sticks with low-fat cream cheese and raisins. Dip your carrot sticks in a fruity low-fat yogurt. An interesting breakfast idea, high in protein: mix low-fat granola cereal with some cottage cheese. Again, be creative and see the potential in combining all things healthy.

Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live. – Jim Rohn

Black Bean Quesadilla (courtesy of Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Cooking, Miramax Books, 2002.)
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 2 servings

2 burrito-size flour tortillas
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can refried low-fat black beans
1 cup chunky salsa
1 1/2 cups Mexican-style shredded cheese
1/2 cup prepared guacamole (from the refrigerated section)
2 tablespoons sour cream (low fat)
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay 1 tortilla on a clean work surface. Spread the beans evenly over the tortilla. Spoon 3/4 cup of salsa over the beans, then sprinkle with the cheese. Top with the second tortilla. Place the quesadilla on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the top is crisp and brown. Meanwhile, swirl the guacamole and sour cream together in a small bowl. Cut the quesadilla into 4 equal portions and transfer to a plate. Serve with the guacamole mixture and remaining 1/4 cup of salsa.
Did you ever stop to taste a carrot? Not just eat it, but taste it? You can't taste the beauty and energy of the earth in a Twinkie. – Astrid Alauda

Diet Tip: Spice it up.

Add spices or chiles to your food for a flavor boost that can help you feel satisfied.

"Food that is loaded with flavor will stimulate your taste buds and be more satisfying so you won't eat as much," says Perdomo.

When you need something sweet, suck on a red-hot fireball candy for a long-lasting burst of sweetness with just a few calories.

Great recipe idea from Barb Wahr: place spinach leaves in a frying pan, drizzled with just a bit of oil. Cook them just a bit, they will still be crispy. Transfer leaves to a plate and top with bleu cheese, almonds and cranberries.

If hunger is not the problem, then eating is not the solution. – Anon

Diet Tip: Stock your kitchen with healthy convenience foods.

Having ready-to-eat snacks and meals-in-minutes staples on hand sets you up for success. You'll be less likely to hit the drive-through or call in a pizza order if you can make a healthy meal in 5 or 10 minutes.

Sass stocks her kitchen with:

· 94% fat-free microwave popcorn (20-25 calories per cup, and you can make it in two minutes or less)

· Frozen vegetables

· Bags of pre-washed greens

· Canned diced tomatoes

· Canned beans

· Whole-grain wraps or pitas

· Pre-cooked grilled chicken breasts

· A few containers of pre-cooked brown rice

Within minutes, she can toss together a healthy medley.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Healthier Apple Crisp


For variety, stir 2 to 4 tablespoons ground flaxseed into the topping mixture before sprinkling over apples.

Did You Know?

Good apples for apple crisp are the same as those that are good in apple pie, such as Braeburn, Jonathan, McIntosh or Northern Spy.

50% less fat • 33% more fiber • 29% fewer calories than the original recipe. By using fiber-rich whole-wheat flour and oats, we were able to add a third more fiber to a dessert that's good to the core!

Prep Time:15 min
Start to Finish:50 min
makes:8 servings (about 2/3 cup each)

6 cups sliced unpeeled cooking apples (6 medium)
1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup Gold Medal® whole wheat flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or no-trans-fat 68% vegetable oil spread stick, softened
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Reduced-fat vanilla ice cream, if desired

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix apples, apple juice concentrate and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon until well mixed. Spread in baking dish.

2. In same medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples.

3. Bake uncovered 25 to 35 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is golden brown. Serve with ice cream.

Nutritional Information

1 Serving: Calories 190 (Calories from Fat 60); Total Fat 6g (Saturated Fat 4g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 15mg; Sodium 45mg; Total Carbohydrate 32g (Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 21g); Protein 2g % Daily Value*: Vitamin A 4%; Vitamin C 4%; Calcium 2%; Iron 4% Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1/2 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 2 MyPyramid Servings: 2 tsp Fats & Oils, 1/4 c Fruits, 1 oz-equivalents Grains
*% Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Healthified Chicken Pot Pie

1 12 oz bag frozen mixed vegetables
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/4 cups fat-free (skim) milk
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup
1/4 C fat-free sour cream
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cooked, cut into bite-size pieces (about 4 cups)
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (softened as directed)

Cook and drain vegetables as directed on bag.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In 2 quart saucepan, mix flour, salt, poultry seasoning, pepper and milk with
wire whisk until blended. Stir in onion. Cook over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Stir in soup and sour cream. Add chicken and cooked vegetables, mix well. Cook, stirring frequently, until thoroughly heated. Pour into ungreased 2 quart round casserole. Unroll pie crust and place over hot filling. Seal edge and flute as desired. Cut slits in several places in crust.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and mixture is bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before

Nutritional Information

1 Serving: Calories 300 (Calories from Fat 90); Total Fat 10g (Saturated Fat 4g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 65mg; Sodium 680mg; Total Carbohydrate 26g (Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 4g); Protein 25g %
Daily Value*: Vitamin A 35%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 8%; Iron 8%
Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 3 Lean Meat
Carbohydrate Choices: 2
MyPyramid Servings: 2 oz-equivalents Meat & Beans, 1/4 c Vegetables
*% Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Taken from:

Weight loss is simple, burn more calories then you consume. If you can fully understand that then you are on your way to losing weight. There are 6 simple steps. Here they are:

1) Count how many calories you eat in a normal day. That's right, wake up, and eat like you would normally eat and count the calories in everything you eat and everything you drink and keep track of it on a piece of paper or on the computer some where. You might be thinking to yourself, "yeah right, I'm not gonna sit around counting calories all day." Well, if you're thinking that, then you're obviously not dedicated enough to losing weight. If this is the case, then feel free to go waste your money on the newest useless weight loss pill. But, if you are dedicated enough to take 10 minutes out of your day and count the calories, then keep on reading.

2) At the end of that day, add up the number of calories you ate/drank. Be as exact as possible. Once you add it all up, you now have the total number of calories you consume daily. Also, weigh yourself.

3) Starting the day after you counted calories, eat 500 calories LESS then you normally do. So, lets pretend that the day you counted calories you counted 2000. For the rest of the week, you would eat 1500 calories a day. Understand? All you have to do is subtract 500 from the total number of calories you consume in a normal day, and eat this new number of calories every day for the next 7 days.

4) Instead of eating 3 big meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), or eating all day all the time, spread those calories out over 5 smaller meals. Eat one meal every 2 and a half to 3 hours. Doing this will speed up your metabolism.

5) Cardio. Cardio is an important part of weight loss. If you're serious about losing weight, but don't want to do the cardio workouts, then you are requiring your diet to do all of the work. Jog, walk, swim, jump rope, ride a bike, take an aerobics class, whatever... cardio + proper diet = better than just doing one of the two. All it takes is 30 minutes a day, 3 - 5 days a week. I say 3-5 days a week because I don't know if you have 5 pounds to lose, or if you have 50 pounds to lose. So, depending on how much your looking to lose, figure it out. 3 times a week is good starting point though. (For information on the most effective time of the day to do your cardio workout, read doing cardio for maximum weight loss)

6) At the end of that week, weigh yourself. You'll notice a difference just after one week! Now, don't expect to see a 20 pound difference. Losing anymore then 1 or 2 pounds a week is unhealthly. So look for a 1 or 2 pound weight loss at the end of the week. Don't sound like much? You can lose 5-8 pounds a month! That's around 75lbs a year! So if you have A LOT of weight to lose, you can lose it. If have just a few pounds to lose, you can lose it.

Friday, October 2, 2009


For Biggest Loser competitors, and those who are not:

Instead of giving myself reasons why I can't, I give myself reasons why I can. (unknown)

You can do it!!!!

This is a great idea to affirm you commitment to this change:
I’ve started a Biggest Loser journal.
Today, I am going to write down five reasons that I can succeed.

Diet Tip: Drink plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages.

People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. So you can end up eating extra calories when an ice-cold glass of water is really what you need.

"If you don't like plain water, try adding citrus or a splash of juice, or brew infused teas like mango or peach, which have lots of flavor but no calories," says Cynthia Sass, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

There is a restaurant in Chicago that serves a slice or two of cucumber in their ice water.

Be creative. Be Successful!