Friday, March 24, 2017

7 Ways to Out Smart the Super Markets (Part 1)



I try to eat healthy and lose a little weight along the way but have found that going to the grocery store doesn't necessarily make this task easy.  While reading some info sent out by SparkPeople I ran across something that I felt must be shared with those of you that, like me, have a hard time going to the grocery store and not picking up those items that are not only on our list but also not on our diet.

End the End Cap Enticement

Conveniently placed on the end of every aisle, "end caps" are home to sale items and seasonal kits that may not have been on your list but look oh-so-inviting when you see them. Items for s’mores, pumpkin pie, or green bean casserole are often creativity combined on these aisle ends. Foods on end caps are generally low in nutrients and high in added fat and sugar. 


Battle plan: If it’s on your list for greater health, you just saved a trip down the aisle. If it’s not, smile, but keep walking past the pretty display and find your next listed item.

(This also takes place in the produce department!  Ever noticed that stationed by the bananas you'll sometimes find vanilla wafers for making banana pudding?  Or pound cake beside the strawberries?)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

5 Snacks You Shouldn't Eat at Night (Part 5 - End)



(Again - Not Guilty!!!! I don't drink soda either.  Used to drink sweet tea but gave that up for water.)

Soda

Quite possibly one of the worst items on our list is Soda. These empty calories are adding to the weight problem all over America. Soda can keep you up late at night with high levels of sugar and caffeine. Even if you are opting for sugar-free and caffeine-free soda, you could still get heartburn from the carbonation. As tempting as it could be to watch your favorite show and sip on your favorite soda before bed, you need to stay away from these drinks. If you were able to give up soda all together, you would notice a very positive shift in your health overall.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

5 Snacks You Shouldn't Eat at Night (Part 4)



(Not Guilty!!!! I don't like chocolate, unless its white chocolate)

Chocolate


If you love to pamper yourself and live the good life, you may wind down your night by sitting in a bubble bath while eating some chocolates. While this may be very relaxing at the time, it might actually be keeping you from getting a good night's sleep. Chocolate has caffeine content that may keep you up when you should be sleeping. This snack can also leave you feeling hungry after your short snack. Instead of having chocolates during your bubble bath, try replacing this snack with a cup of milk or calming tea.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

5 Snacks You Shouldn't Eat at Night (Part 3)



(Guilty!  I don't go for the Lucky Charms but a bowl of rice cereal with a bit of sugar always made a good snack for me.  And yes I did usually wake up hungry.  Just didn't know why)

Cereal

Lucky Charms can be a great snack during the day. While it isn't very healthy, if you are active through your day, you should be fine. However, when you eat sugary cereals late at night, you are asking for trouble. Foods high in sugar will mess up your blood sugar levels and most likely make it hard for you to sleep throughout the night. You will wake up a few hours later feeling hungry and possibly even with a headache. Instead of having a bowl of sugary cereal, try having some oatmeal or other hot cereal that is low in sugar.


Monday, February 27, 2017

5 Snacks You Shouldn't Eat at Night (Part 2)



(Guilty again but not with the fast foods.  I'm guilty of making a nice roast beef sandwich!)

Red Meat


At night, it is difficult to sleep while you are digesting foods. This is why it is important to resist your craving for fast food burgers. While drive-through is almost always open late, you will have a hard time falling asleep with this meat sitting in your stomach digesting. While that midnight burger might be calling, stay away from red meat late at night.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

5 Snacks You Shouldn't Eat at Night (Part 1)



Yes I'm still trying to eat healthy so when I found this info from Health Alert News in my email, I had to share.

(I'm guilty of this)

Cheesy Snacks

When you get hungry late at night, a cheesy snack can be quite tempting. However, this snack is high in fat and is not a good option right before bed. Here are a few examples of cheesy snacks that will not be good to eat before bed:
nachos
cheese and crackers
pizza
grilled cheese sandwich

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

7 Reasons You May Not be Losing Weight While Dieting (Part 7 End)



7. Expecting too much.
The first week or two of a diet can result in five or more pounds lost, a significant change that can be exciting for anyone who has struggled with excess weight. But after that initial drop, progress generally slows to a healthy one to two pounds lost each week. That can be discouraging, but remember that you are probably trying to reverse years of weight gain.


Do: Be patient. Slow but steady isn’t exciting, but a study by the National Institutes of Health found that those who lost at the healthy rate of one to two pounds per week were far more likely to keep the weight off than those who lost faster.

Monday, February 20, 2017

7 Reasons You May Not be Losing Weight While Dieting (Part 6)



6. Overeating after working out.
Regular exercise is important to your health and helps keep your body burning calories, but working out does stimulate your appetite and that can leading to overeating. The journal Obesity Review published an analysis of many studies which revealed that up to 50 percent of people trying to lose weight actually increased their daily calorie consumption when they begin an exercise routine.


Do: Stick to your healthy eating plan even when working out leaves you extra hungry. Your metabolism will adjust as your body adapts to the increased activity.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

7 Reasons You May Not be Losing Weight While Dieting (Part 5)



(I have finally started doing this!)

5. Underestimating portions.
Paying attention to the amount of food you consume is an important step in eating healthy to lose weight. But most of us are so conditioned by the enormous portions of food served in restaurants that we don’t accurately gauge the right amounts when we’re eating at home.


Do: Remember these simple rules of thumb for healthy portions: A baseball-size serving for chopped veggies and fruits; a golf ball for nuts and shredded cheese; a fist for rice and pasta; and a deck of cards for lean meats and fish.

Friday, February 17, 2017

7 Reasons You May Not be Losing Weight While Dieting (Part 4)



4. Eliminating carbs or fats.
Many fad diets claim that certain types of foods, most notably carbohydrates and fats, are the primary cause of excess weight gain and should be eliminated from your diet. But a study published in Cell Metabolism found that low-carb and low-fat diets do not lead to faster weight loss than eating a reduced-calorie diet that includes these food groups.


Do: Eat a well-balanced diet, that includes complex carbs (like whole grains and fresh fruit) and healthy fats (like avocados and nut butters) to ensure your body has the fuel it needs to keep you energized and your metabolism burning.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

7 Reasons You May Not be Losing Weight While Dieting (Part 3)



3. Choosing fat-free everything.
Many food brands try to appeal to dieters with fat-free products, such as salad dressing and snacks. But fat-free items often have as many or more calories as full-fat versions (because extra sugar has been added, for instance, to help with flavor). Even worse, researchers at Cornell University found that people who eat fat-free snacks tend to consume more calories than those who eat the standard versions because they make up the difference by consuming more of the food.


Do: Reduce your fat consumption by eating foods that are naturally low in fats but still filling, such as vegetables and fruit, and opt for healthy fat options like avocados and nuts. When selecting low-fat or fat-free products, check the sugar content on the item to ensure all of the fat hasn’t just been replaced by sugar. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

7 Reasons You May Not be Losing Weight While Dieting (Part 2)



(Not Guilty of this one!)

2. Juicing instead of eating.
Many people today are trying juice “cleanses,” hoping to lose weight by replacing meals with fresh fruit and vegetable drinks. But juicing extracts the fiber in fresh produce that helps you feel full and it can increase your calorie intake. A cup of fresh pineapple, for instance, is about 83 calories, while a cup of pineapple juice is about 120 calories.


Do: Enjoy juice as an occasional between-meal snack, but not as a substitute for meals. And make vegetables the primary ingredients in juice, as they are lower in sugar and calories than fruit.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

7 Reasons You May Not be Losing Weight While Dieting (Part 1)



As always, I'm still on a diet.  I've tried everything and seem to get so far and the loss just stops.  This information came from NutriSystems and find myself doing several of these 7 things that may be preventing me from losing weight.  Wanted to share with other dieters out there.

(This is one I'm guilty of doing)

1. Skipping meals.

Passing on breakfast or lunch to reduce the amount of calories you eat each day can seem like a shortcut to losing weight, and this strategy may lead you to drop a few pounds in the short term. But a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry reports that skipping meals actually increases belly fat, so no matter what the scale says you end up looking like you’ve gained rather than lost weight.


Do: Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day to keep your metabolism working steadily–that’s the safe way to reduce calories.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Cheese Crust Pizza Bites



While making my sausage balls using my small muffin tins I found myself short in filling up the full 24 tins so I decided to make what I'm calling my Cheese Crust Pizza Bites.  I simply filled each empty tin with shredded cheese and topped it with a slice of pepperoni allowing it to bake along with my sausage balls.  (375 degrees for 12-14 minutes).  They came out perfect and make yet another game day snack.  You can serve them as is along with salsa, pizza sauce and even sour cream.  Change the flavors by using cooked chicken, sausage, bacon, ground beef or go veggie by using mushrooms, onions and/or peppers.  You can change the flavor too by changing the cheese.  Use Italian blends, Mexican blends, or keep it straight with cheddars, etc.  These little treats are really good, easy to make and have many variations.


Game Day Sausage Balls



I love sausage balls but for some reason only seem to make them during the holidays.  Well, I had a package of sausage that needed to be used and the first thing that came to mind were sausage balls.  Why not make them all year long and especially for game day.  Here is my quick and simple recipe with just one change.  I topped each with a small square of cheese.

1 lb. lean sausage (I use Jimmy Dean Hot)
1 cup Bisquick
2 cups finely shredded cheese (finely shredded blends better and you can use any flavor or blend)
Sliced cheese (I had some white American so that's what I used)

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix sausage, bisquick and shredded cheese blending well.  Roll into 11/2" balls and place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or place each in small muffin tins (I used my small muffin tin which is coated making it stick free.)  Cut each slice of cheese into 9 even squares and place on on top of each ball.  Bake 12-14 minutes or until done, cheese has melted and lightly browned.  I usually get about 40 sausage balls from this recipe.

Adding that little extra cheese makes these even better.  Next time I make them I'm going to use cheddar cheese.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Frozen Vegetables Tip



Frozen Vegetables - Make your own frozen vegetable combinations by buying bags of individual vegetables and combining your favorites.  Re-package in resealable plastic bags and freeze.  Try adding chopped onions, garlic or cooked pasta to the vegetable mixture as well. 


I want to add to this - you can divide your veggies, fresh or frozen, into more 'needable' sizes.  I often buy a large package of frozen vegetables but won't be needing the whole package at any one meal.  You can divide them into smaller packages so that when needed you can thaw only what you need.  I often buy vegetables such as celery, bell peppers and onions but find that they won't be used before I find they have to be thrown out.  I'll chop these up, scatter in a single layer on a cookie sheet with sides, freeze and then place into a bag for later use.  These work perfectly in soups and stews.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Carrots - Part 4 (End)



Picking and Storing Carrots

Most experts recommend that you buy carrots with the tops still attached for optimal freshness. But these are not available everywhere and not everyone has the time to cut and prepare carrots at home. So some healthy snackers choose baby carrots instead.

Baby carrots are simply smaller carrots that are cut from larger carrots. Baby carrots are usually already washed and cleaned so you can eat them right from the bag, making them a convenient and healthy snack.


Carrots should be stored in the refrigerator to retain the taste, freshness, and texture. Carrots can be frozen, but putting them in the freezer may change the vegetable's texture. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Carrots - Part 3



Carrots and Weight Loss

The "problem" with carrots is that they are easy to overeat.  Of course, if you're going to overeat any food, carrots are probably one of the better options.

But if you are trying to lose weight, learning to eat every food in moderation is important. And if you overeat carrots and dip, then you could easily consume a day's worth of calories in a single sitting.
If you snack on carrots, try to avoid dipping them into a high calorie spread. The calories in onion dip, for example, could be higher than the calories in an entire meal if you don’t watch how much you eat. Remember that even healthy snacks can be bad for your diet when you add sauces, dips and condiments.


If you're trying to lose weight by cutting carbs, you might skip carrots because they are higher in sugar than other snack veggies. But if you compare the 4 grams of sugar in carrots to a fruit snack like a banana, an orange or an apple, which each contain 20-30 grams of sugar, then the carrots don’t look so bad. If you’re worried about the sugar in carrots, mix your vegetable snack bag with other crunchy snacks like celery or broccoli. That way you get to indulge in a crunchy treat without derailing your diet.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Carrots - Part 2



Health Benefits of Carrots


Even though carrots add sugar to your diet, the easy-to-eat veggie provides health benefits as well. Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A. According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin A is essential for vision and helps the body with cell growth, immune function, reproduction and healthy communication between your cells.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Carrots - Part 1



I found this on the Very Well site and want to share it with my carrot lovers.

If you like crunchy snacks, carrots might be the perfect treat.  Carrots are easy to prepare, easy to pack and they don't need to be refrigerated so you can eat them on the go. But there are a few things about carrot calories that healthy eaters should know.
Carrot Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 medium (61 g)
Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Calories 25

Calories from Fat 0

Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g

Monounsaturated Fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 42mg
2%
Potassium 195mg
6%
Carbohydrates 6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 1.5g
6%
Sugars 3g

Protein 0.5g

Vitamin A 204% · Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 2% · Iron 1%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Carrots are a healthy, crunchy treat. The veggie is high in fiber and a single serving of carrots contains only 30 calories. Not bad, right? But that's if you only eat a single serving. A single serving might be a small handful of baby carrots or one large carrot.

Low carb dieters and people who need to limit carbohydrate intake might be concerned about the carbs in carrots. There are six grams of carbs per carrot and three grams of sugar, more than many other vegetables. But carrots also provide fiber. So you'll only get 4.5 net carbs per carrot