Thursday, April 26, 2018

Oats for Fiber Intake

Oats are high in soluble fiber and linked to lowering blood pressure and overall cholesterol levels. Oats are a good carbohydrate,  and they're rich in beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a powerful soluble fiber that helps to slow the digestion of sugar and keep blood sugar levels under control.
Oats are also a great source of quality plant protein helping with muscle growth and repair. Each half cup serving provides a whopping 10 grams, and many studies have shown eating oatmeal reduces the risk of heart disease. 
Power up your day and your body with a bowl of oats—and breakfast aside, it's an excellent pre- or post-workout meal.   

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Blueberries Are a Top Antioxidant

Ask five nutrition experts to provide a list of their favorite "superfoods," and the results will vary—but they'll also overlap. The reason is each food provides something different and of great importance to body functioning.  
One food on the list might be a rich source of protein or fiber, but wind up lacking in vitamins and minerals. Another superfood could be loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants, but be largely absent of protein. That's why experts claim that eating a wide variety of power foods is the best way to ensure optimum health. Try and eat the following foods every day, and you'll check just about every nutritional box. 
Take blueberries, for instance. In a study of common fruits and vegetables, blueberries contained more antioxidants than over 40 of their competitors. This places the unassuming berry at the top of the list for guarding against cancer, heart disease, dementia, and macular degeneration. 
Blueberries also defend against urinary tract infections, thanks to the antioxidant epicatechins. Epicatechins prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. Blueberries are also high in water, providing hydration to the skin and cells of the body.
Eating half a cup of blueberries satisfies one fruit and vegetable serving per day.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Countdown to Diet Disasters - #1

And the biggest mistake of all:
1. Letting one mistake start you on a downward spiral. “I’ve seen people completely go back to square one,” says Hubbert. “They make one mistake and it starts a whole cycle.” The remedy? If you make a mistake, admit it, forgive yourself, and get back on track right away.

Comment:  Been there, Done That!  This is one of the hardest things to make yourself do.  When I make a mistake, I want to say to H with it, I'll start over tomorrow.  Well, tomorrow seldom comes the next day.  Tomorrow is usually several days or even weeks away.  This is truly a fighting battle that I have a hard time with but I'm working on it.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Countdown to Diet Disasters - #2

2. Thinking of your diet as a diet. There is diet fatigue if you go on a diet. People can stay on a diet about three months and then they are done with it because they can’t stand it. Instead, focus on making healthy lifestyle and diet choices that you can live with for a long time.

Comments:  For me this goes back to making elimination changes.  I love ice cream and could eat it every night.  I eliminated it to once a week and instead of eating it at home I go out to eat it.  This prevents me from having a carton in the freezer and sneaking around to eat it.  I try to eliminate one item/habit every 2 weeks.  This also prevents me from calling what I'm doing a diet.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Countdown to Diet Disasters - #3

3. Emotional eating. Eating in response to sadness, boredom, or stress wrecks your calorie counting for at least one day. “We learn to associate food with feeling better,” says Hubbert, a self-confessed boredom eater. When you become aware of your urge to eat in response to emotions instead of hunger pains, find something else to do that will distract you for 10 or 15 minutes, such as taking a walk, says Hubbert.

Comment:  Guilty again!  Most of my emotional eating comes from stress.  I have situations in my life that truly stress me out and I find myself standing in front of the refrigerator all too often.  What I've found to work for me is to grab a bottle of cold water and down about 1/2 of it.  That actually cures my stress hunger better than anything else.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Countdown to Diet Disasters - #4

4. Not exercising enough. Even if you could achieve your diet goals by calorie counting alone, you would be more successful (and healthier) if you were physically active. “The number one barrier to exercise that I hear is time,” says Hubbert. National recommendations are at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. You can break this up into three 10-minute segments per day, says Hubbert.

Comment:  I used this excuse so often that it was pathetic.  When I've finished for the day I like to sit down and read.  I didn't want to do something that required my full attention for 30 minutes.  I will say that I'm limited in my activities due to having fusions in my back and problems in my neck, but I found something that allows me to exercise and read at the same time.  I have a stationary bike with a chair style seat!  It allows me to work my legs, heart, etc. without hurting my back.  And since I'm reading as I ride the 30 minutes have gone by so quickly.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Countdown to Diet Disasters - #5

5. Putting too much “weight” on the scale. Hanging all your feelings of success on the numbers on the scale can be a diet disaster. You should only weigh yourself once a week, says Gail Curtis, assistant professor at the Wake Forest University Health Sciences department of physician assistant studies in Winston-Salem, N.C. Curtis recommends tracking other short-term health goals, such as eating more veggies, walking daily, or drinking water instead of soda, that will give you a sense of accomplishment.

Comment:  This is absolutely true!  I used to weigh every morning.  I would make sure I did this as soon as I got out of the shower so I won't even have the weight of my clothes.  Stupid thing to do.  I now weigh once a week, fully clothed.  I also move my scales around.  I've found that they sometimes get 'stuck' on certain readings and keep showing the same each time.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Countdown to Diet Disasters - #6

6. Guilt over mistakes. If you are out with friends and get talked into dessert, don’t beat yourself up. “Guilt can set in and, for some people, that gets them moving in a backwards direction". Even if you did enjoy your indulgence, put it in perspective — it’s just one mistake compared to all your good diet choices yesterday, today, and the ones you'll make tomorrow.

Comment:  Been here, many times.  I think our minds use this as a way to quit dieting.  I've found myself indulging in something I shouldn't be eating and the rest of my day is shot.  I allow myself to eat whatever I want for the rest of the day and sometimes the next day.  Then we come to our senses and start back only to fall for it again and again and again.  Reprogram your brain to believe that this is just one failure and not a reason to give up.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Countdown to Diet Disasters - #7

7. Denying yourself your favorite foods. Be it chocolate or bacon, totally banning a favorite “unhealthy” food from your diet sets you up for temptation. Instead, use your calorie-counting skills to build in a small indulgence now and again.

Comment:  What I try to do with this is to allow myself something that I truly love just ONCE a week.  By using the 'lay it down after each bite' I'm able to savor every bite and enjoy it so much more than I've done in the past where I eat it quick and end up grabbing another because I wasn't truly satisfied.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Countdown to Diet Disasters - #8

8. Eating too fast. If you eat quickly, your brain won’t get the message that you are full in time, says Kathy Hubbert, MS, RD, of EatRight Weight Management Services at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Put the fork down between each bite,” she advises.

Comment:  I've started doing this and it does work.  There are times that I forget to put the fork or sandwich or whatever I'm eating at the time, between bites and have actually ended up still hungry.  That actually happened to me the last time I ate at Arby's.  The Swiss Dip sandwich was something I had not eaten in several years so I wolfed it down.  I still felt hungry when I finished.  This wouldn't have happened if I had put half it in the box, closed the lid and eaten each bite at a time while putting the sandwich down inbetween bites.  Try this!  You'll see what I mean.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Countdown to Diet Disasters - #9

9. Not reading labels. The most important number you need to pay attention to is the serving size. It’s easy to eat too much if you aren’t aware of how many servings are in a bottle or box and you consume the whole package, thinking it’s a single serving.

Comment:  I made this mistake once with a package of Ramen Noodles.  I actually love them but never really READ the label.  I did notice all the salt they contained.  I noticed the calorie count.  But that was all I "read".  I didn't notice that each package contains 2 servings.  I was actually eating the WHOLE package and boy was I overdoing it.  I have actually written these off my diet after actually reading the label.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Countdown to Diet Disasters - #10

This group of suggestions are from Everyday Health and are well worth sharing.
10. Overeating away from home. Eating out poses a special challenge when calorie counting because restaurant portions are overgenerous; your best bet is to ask for a to-go box and put half your order away before you start eating.

Comment:  This is one of the best ways to eat less when eating out.  In the past I would ask for a to-go box at the end but end up eating most of what I ordered.  With this method I cut down my amount.  At first the waitress would say I'll bring you one when I bring the bill but I explained to them what I was doing and they have no problem with it.  Some even say they are going to start doing this too.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Snacks to Eat Before Bed - Part 6 (end)

Broth-Based Soup

A warm cup of soup is soothing, and it's ideal for putting you in that calming mindset you want before you hit the hay.

Simple is best: broth, protein, and veggies. Soups by Boulder Organic! and Campbell’s Well Yes! Line are both great.

Comment:  I’ve found that ¼ - ½ cup of soup does fill me up and if I use the chicken type I seem to sleep better.  Wonder why!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Snacks to Eat Before Bed - Part 5

Apple + Peanut Butter

With this easy-to-make snack, the apple's filling fiber, and PB's healthy fat team up to tame your hunger.

Stick with a single tablespoon of peanut butter to avoid a too-heavy treat. And below is a fun make-ahead snack.

Apples are full of fiber, so they're ideal if you’re always hungry.  Kick things up a notch by baking your apples to desserty perfection!

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Core 4 medium Rome or Braeburn apples, and place them in an 8" X 8" baking pan. Top with a can of no-calorie black cherry soda. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar (or half a packet of no-calorie sweetener) and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. 
3. Bake until apples are tender, about 45 minutes.
4. Top each apple with 2 tablespoons of Fat-Free Reddi-wip (or your whipped topping of choice). Next stop, Yum Town!
1/4th of recipe (1 apple): 104 calories

Comment:  I love apples and have found a low calorie Asian dressing that I like to drizzle over them.  And yes, they are filling!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Snacks to Eat Before Bed - Part 4


These little legumes provide a great punch of protein and other important nutrients. Grab a can, drain and rinse, and enjoy a 1/2-cup serving for only around 110 calories. Even better: Crunchy chickpea snacks are becoming increasingly popular. Try the kinds by Biena, or make your own with my simple recipe.

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

1/4th of recipe (about 1/4 cup): 92 calories, 1.5g fat (0g sat fat), 337mg sodium, 15.5g carbs, 4.5g fiber, 1g sugars, 5g protein

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. 
Drain and rinse a 15-ounce can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans. Thoroughly pat dry. Discard any skins that were removed while drying. 
Place beans on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
Rearrange beans on the sheet, either with a spatula or by gently shaking the sheet (using an oven mitt). Bake until browned, 15 to 25 minutes.
Transfer beans to a medium bowl. Drizzle with 1/4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. If you like, add chili powder, garlic powder, and/or onion powder. Toss to coat.
Let cool for a crispier snack, or enjoy warm!

Comment:  I love hummus but have never tried eating the chickpeas roasted.  Tey do sound delicious and I will be giving this one a try.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Snacks to Eat Before Bed - Part 3

Turkey-Pickle Roll-Up

You’ve probably heard that turkey makes you sleepy, so it makes sense that it's a good pre-bed snack. No need for a full-on sandwich though! Wrap turkey slices around some pickle or cucumber spears for a low-calorie snack. Dunk in mustard for added flavor. It's one of those smart snacks you’re probably not eating. 

Comment:  I found some pepper turkey at the deli where I shop.  I make my wrap with a good dill pickle slice and love every bite.  This also makes a delicious daytime snack.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Snacks to Eat Before Bed - Part 2

Nonfat Greek Yogurt

The plain kind is my top pick to stave off late-night hunger. It's loaded with protein and low in calories Avoid the flavored kinds, which are usually higher in calories and chockfull of sugar.

If it's too tart on its own, stir in some natural no-calorie sweetener and vanilla extract. Stock up on the pre-portioned containers, because they make a great anytime snack. You can also toss it with fruit and nuts for a healthy no-cook breakfast. 

Comment:  It took me a while to get to the point that I would eat ‘plain’ yogurt.  I’ve always been used to those sweet ones that are so good.  So, I would buy both and mix them decreasing the sweet and increasing the plain until I was eating just the plain.  I did toss in a little granola as I went alone and now I can eat the plain with just a little granola and/or a few strawberries or pineapple.  So good once you get use to it.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Snacks to Eat Before Bed - Part 1

Reduced-Fat Cheese

Say cheese! This savory treat has protein and fat, so it'll stop hunger in its tracks. Just stick with light varieties, preferably portion controlled, to avoid overdoing it.

Grab a serving of Sargento’s Snack Bites cheese snacks (the Chipotle BBQ Cheddar is the best), a stick of light string cheese, a slice of reduced-fat cheddar, or a Mini Babybel Light. Bonus: The red wax of the Babybel will keep your hands busy (distracting you from continuing to eat) once you're done with the cheese.

Comment: I do love cheese so this is great.  My biggest problem is to stop with a light treat and to stay away from the cracker.  To help with this I grab a Mini Babybel Light and take it bed with me.  I eat and then brush my teeth.  Works for me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

5 Things Dietitians Wish You Knew About Losing Weight - Part 5 (end)

Some Gimmicks Just Might Work

If you’ve ever sworn off carbohydrates completely, only eaten fruit on an empty stomach, or mainlined grapefruit all day in the name of weight loss, you've been on a fad diet. Many diet plans are based on gimmicks, or little tricks that are supposed to help you be successful, but often don’t work. But the truth is that some of these gimmicks can work for some people. So if eating vegan for most of the day or not eating after 8 o'clock has worked for you in the past, then go with it! You don’t have to follow every aspect of a diet plan in order to be successful. A word of caution though: Some gimmicks go too far. If a diet plan permanently eliminates a whole food group or has you living on a diet of celery sticks and grapefruit, then look for a plan that is more well-rounded.

Comment:  I agree 100%.  When I was doing the low carb diet I eliminated almost ALL fruit.  I love fruit and now that I’m doing Weight Watchers I can have my fruit and usually eat it as a dessert or snack. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

5 Things Dietitians Wish You Knew About Losing Weight - Part 4


We’ve all heard the claims and seen the pictures of people who've gone from a size 12 to a 2 in just six weeks. While it’s natural to want these quick results, the fact is that the best type of weight loss is gradual. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a healthy rate of weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. So, keep this in mind when setting your weight loss goal. Setting a realistic goal can keep you from feeling frustrated along the way. “Keeping it real” is important when choosing food, too, so opt for whole, unprocessed foods as often as you can.

Comment:  I have to admit that I want to see the weight loss go down at least every other day but that is so impractical.  I’ve made a rule that I will only weigh once a week and will quit skipping meals.