Saturday, September 16, 2017

List of Best Weight Loss Foods - Part 13



Old Fashioned Oatmeal

Do you eat oatmeal for breakfast? If you do, that's great. But some oatmeal brands are better than others. If you buy those single serving packets that come in flavors like maple syrup or apple cinnamon, then you might want to think twice.  Those packets are often loaded with sugar.


Instead, look below those fancy packets in the grocery store and you'll usually find old fashioned rolled oats on the bottom shelves. Look for the cardboard canister - the same one your grandma used to buy. These oats are healthy, easy to store, cheap and each hearty serving provides 150 calories.

COMMENT:  I love oatmeal, especially the Old Fashion kind.  I use it to make my own granola by mixing it with raisins, cranberries and nuts.  I also like it for breakfast and have found another type that is, to me, just as good and that is steel cut oats.  They have a definite chew and so good.

Friday, September 15, 2017

List of Best Weight Loss Foods - Part 12



Nut Butter

Many diet experts will tell you that peanut butter is one of the best foods for weight loss. It's true that almost all nut butters are filling and contain healthy fats. The problem with peanut butter is that it is loaded with calories and it's hard to eat just a single serving.

If you absolutely need to keep nut butter in your diet when you're trying to slim down, buy it in these handy single serving packs. Then throw it into your lunch box, your briefcase or your handbag with some celery sticks for a protein and fiber-packed portion-controlled snack.

Comment:  I would have a problem with this one.  I love all nut butters, especially almond and cashew.  I would also feel I needed to have something to eat with it - like pretzels, crackers, apples.  I think I better try to pass on this one.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

List of Best Weight Loss Foods - Part 11



Cucumber

What do you eat when you're trying to lose weight and you're craving a sandwich? Some dieters actually use cucumbers to replace bread. This savvy trick can save 200-300 calories when you're making a sandwich.


If you don't like the cucumber peel (some say it tastes bitter), you can peel your cucumber before you build the sandwich. Then cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon so each half of the cucumber has a canoe shape. After that, fill the middle with a lean meat like turkey, add tomato and peppers and you've got a yummy lean sandwich without the high-calorie bread!

Comment:  I've tried this with cheese spreads and it's delicious.  Never thought about using meats.  I'll give this a try.

Monday, September 11, 2017

List of Best Weight Loss Foods - Part 10



Chicken Broth

Nothing adds calories to your meal faster than cooking oil. Even olive oil which has many healthy properties has 120 calories per tablespoon.  It would be nice if we could use no oil at all when we saute veggies or meat, but that doesn't always work very well.


In some recipes, you can cook with chicken stock instead of oil.  With just a tablespoon or two, it's easy to cook onions, garlic, and other veggies and you'll add less than 5 calories to the meal.

COMMENT:  Never thought of this.  I always have chicken broth on hand to use in my sauces, soups, etc. but never thought of trying to saute veggies with it instead of oil.  I'll give this one a try.  Should add some good flavor too.  Also bet it will work with beef broth.  

Sunday, September 10, 2017

List of Best Weight Loss Foods - Part 9



Chick Peas

Chick peas, also called garbanzo beans, are a must have item in every dieter's pantry. A half cup of the hearty bean provides about 130 calories, almost 6 grams of fiber and 7 grams of filling protein. 


If you love the nutty taste of chick peas, you can eat them alone, but I usually use them to make low-calorie hummus (without the tahini).  You can also add garbanzo beans to soups and salads or make chick pea poppers as a snack that both you and your kids will love.

COMMENT:  I didn't know what 'tahini' was so I looked it up.  Its a Middle Eastern paste or sauce made from ground sesame seeds.  I don't normally eat just plain chick peas but do enjoy hummus and it is filling.  I enjoy it with celery, carrots and even cucumbers slices.  I especially love it with pretzels.  I'll just have to watch the ingredients to make sure it doesn't contain tahini.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

List of Best Weight Loss Foods - Part 8



Slaw Mix

No matter what kind of food you like to eat, slaw mix should always be on your grocery list when you're shopping for the best weight loss foods. Why? It's the easiest way to add bulk, fiber, healthy nutrition, and crunchy flavor to any meal. Top your burgers with it, add it to tacos or build an entire salad around the easy-to-use mix.


There are several kinds of slaw mix to pick from, like the broccoli slaw blends that include carrots. You can also find slaw blends that include only cabbage. Check the produce section of your market to see what is available near you.

Comment:  I like the broccoli slaw blend.  I use it as a slaw but have never thought of trying it on my burgers or taco.  Have a feeling it would be good on both and is one that I will be trying.  It's also good added to cooked rice blends.  I get it just slightly done and mix it in with my rice.  It's especially good with wild rice mixes.

Friday, September 8, 2017

List of Best Weight Loss Foods - Part 7



Cauliflower

If you need a tasty food that is cheap, easy to find and super versatile, then look no further than cauliflower. A serving of this crunchy vegetable provides only 25 calories 2.5 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein.


Because cauliflower has increased in popularity, you'll find plenty of online recipes for new and interesting ways to use the vegetable.  It's still an easy veggie to eat raw, but you can also mash cauliflower the same way you would mash potatoes.  Some people even make pizza crust with cauliflower.

Comment:  I've never cared for it cooked but I do love it raw.  Give me some broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and a good dressing to dip them in and I'm happy.  A friend of mine used cauliflower in place of rice.  I might give it a try one day.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

List of Best Weight Loss Foods - Part 6



Tarte Asian Yogurt

I'm sure you've seen smart dieters gobble down Greek yogurt at meal time. And there's nothing wrong the high-protein, creamy treat. But Asian yogurt is another great option if you're trying to get protein from dairy.


A single serving of Tarte Asian Yogurt is 6 ounces, slightly larger than the popular cups of Greek yogurt. Each cup provides 12 grams of protein and only 110 calories - less than Greek yogurt. The sugar count is usually lower too. Asian yogurt has 13 grams of sugar, lower than the sugar content of many other yogurts.

Comment:  I've never tried Tart Asian Yogurt and am not even sure I've seen it in the grocery store.  But I do eat yogurt, mainly as a dessert.  It seems that at night I always have a sweet tooth around 8:00 and don't want to eat anything too heavy - like cookies, chips, etc.  I keep cartons of yogurt in my refrigerator to satisfy that hunger.  No I don't buy the low cal, sugar sub type.  I buy the good tasting that has around 170 calories per container.  I figure my stomach can digest yogurt easier and quicker than solid foods so those few extra calories can't be too bad for me.  At least that's my justification for eating the tasty kind.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

List of Best Weight Loss Foods - Part 5



Beef Jerky

If you're a regular dieter with a regular life, you've probably ended up in a convenience store once or twice wandering the aisles, desperately looking for something healthy to eat. This is a tricky predicament because there aren't always diet-friendly options in those stores - except for beef jerky.


This "junk food" is actually pretty good for your diet. It's not the very best weight loss food because many brands are very high in sodium. But the better brands are generally low in calories and high in protein. A natural style beef jerky, for example, has only 70 calories and 13 grams of protein per serving.

Comment:  I love beef jerky, turkey jerky, bear jurky, just about any kind of jerky.  I've always worried about the sodium being so high but I never eat that much.  I have a feeling for that is because you have to chew it like chewing gum before swallowing, which in turn seems to make the stomach think it's full.  But, now that I know this, I think I'll keep some on hand in my purse for hunger attacks.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

List of Best Weight Loss Foods - Part 4



Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg lettuce is so not cool. But it really is one of the best weight loss foods. Why? Iceberg lettuce has only 7 calories per cup. So you can bulk up your food and feel like you're eating more without adding calories. You can literally double the size of your salad, bust out your tacos and add an inch to the height of your sandwich for less than 10 calories.

Iceberg lettuce also adds crunch and color to your meals and this cheap, easy-to-find veggie is packed with water - so it's hydrating too.

Comment:  It actually makes you feel like you're cheating.  When I make a salad I fill a big bowl with lettuce, than add my other ingredients.  I actually find myself becoming full before I even finish.  Just make sure you use a dressing that is low calorie.  I like the fruity vinaigrettes.  They are full of flavor without the calories.




Saturday, September 2, 2017

List of Best Weight Loss Foods - Part 3



Grapefruit

Remember the grapefruit diet? Well, I wouldn't necessarily recommend that program, but I would recommend adding grapefruit to your list of weight loss foods. A half grapefruit (which is a fairly generous serving) provides only 52 calories and is packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and B6.


If you don't like grapefruit alone, add it to a fruit salad. Other fruits can be a little bit higher in calories. If you add this tangy citrus fruit to a salad with bananas and berries, you get more food for fewer calories.

Comments:  I love grapefruit so this one is easy for me to eat.  I don't always buy it as fresh fruit.  I often buy it in a can or jar.  If you buy this way, check the ingredients and make sure it's 100% grapefruit and juice - no added sugar.

Friday, September 1, 2017

List of Best Weight Loss Foods - Part 2



Cheese Minis

One of the hardest things about being on a diet is giving up the creamy rich foods that you love. Many dieters miss cheese the most. But you don't have to give up cheese entirely when you are trying to slim down. You just have to eat less of it.


That's why Jarlsberg Minis are great. These cute little snacks are so easy to carry with you and because each mini round is individually packaged it's easy to control portion size. Each serving contains just 70 calories. Wanna reduce your calories even more? The new Jarlsberg Lite Minis are just 50 calories, 2.5 grams of fat and 7 grams of protein.

Comment:  I found these cheese snacks on the Walmart site.  Haven't been to the store yet to check out but will.  Also, check out the nutritional information on some of the other brands of cheese snacks in your grocery store.  I'm sure there are others that are just as healthy.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

List of Best Weight Loss Foods - Part 1

I'll be posting some tips on what foods are best to eat when you're trying to lose weight.  I found this article by Very Well and since many of us are constantly on a diet I thought it might be beneficial to share.

What to Eat to Lose Weight

Do you know what to eat to lose weight? You might be relieved to know that you don't have to spend a lot of money or go to fancy boutique grocery stores to fill your fridge when you're trying to slim down. In fact, most products on the best weight loss foods list are common items that you can find in any supermarket.  Smart dieters eat these cheap and easy foods and slim down faster.

The best healthy foods for weight loss are naturally low in fat and calories, full of nutrients and easy to prepare. You can find foods like this in every section of the grocery store and sometimes even in convenience marts. These foods won't break your budget, but they can break the cycle of overeating and help you to lose weight.



Radishes

Radishes are crunchy, packed with fiber and super low in calories. In fact, each large radish provides only 1 calorie, putting it at the top of the best weight loss foods list. The bright red veggie is also simple to store in the refrigerator and easy to pack when you need a snack on the go. 

Not sure what to do with radishes? If you don't like to eat radishes alone, chop them up and add them to your salad to give it a spicy pop of flavor. Or how about a delicious Radish and Olive Salad recipe? You can even cook radishes and eat them as a healthy side dish.

Comment:  I like radishes but never seem to remember to buy them.  I like them in a salad but also just as they are, washed and sprinkled with just a little salt.  They remind me of raw turnips.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Right Way to Store Produce



This was in an older copy of Woman's Day.  It's worth sharing.

Refrigerate:
Apples
Apricots
Broccoli
Plums
Cucumbers
Brussels Sprouts
Cantaloupe
Cauliflower
Lettuce

Leave Out on the Counter"
Peaches
Avacados
Nectarines
Bananas
Watermelon (whole, uncut)
Tomatoes

Keep in a Cool, Dark Place:
Potatoes
Onions
Garlic
(stash separately in the kitchen cabinet or pantry so they don't absorb one another's odors.)

Monday, August 14, 2017

How to Waste Less and Save #5



#5 - As tempting as it may be to dump leftovers on night two or three, challenge yourself to get creative.  Use extra meatballs and sauce to make personal pizzas with veggies.  Toss leftover rice and pasta into soup.  Add veggie scraps when making chicken stock - or throw all your produce odds and ends together for a stir-fry.

COMMENT:  When my kids were young I kept a gallon plastic jar in my freezer.  Every night I would put my leftovers in the jar and when it was full I would thaw, add liquid if needed, and make some of the best soup you'll ever eat.  I added everything from spaghetti to cube steak to chili and of course all of my leftover veggies.  Only one time did this not work and that was when I had leftover turnips.  Not so good in a soup, at least not for me.  And of course you wouldn't add salad as a leftover.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

How to Waste Less and Save #4



#4 - As you plan weekly meals, try to come up with several uses for produce and bulk items.  For instance, you can enjoy bell peppers as a snack, stuffed with ground meat or in an omelet.

COMMENT:  This is something I do with some foods without even giving it a second thought.  The deli where I shop has rotisserie chicken and baked chicken for $4.99.  I buy the it with 2 things in mind - my salads and making chicken salad.  I pull the meat off the bones putting about half of it in a container to add to my daily salads and the other I chop up small and make my chicken salad.  The flavor from the rotisserie and the seasonings added to the baked make both dishes tasty.  I think I need to use my imagination a bit more to come up with more multitask ingredients.

One more thing I want to point out is my method of keeping lettuce longer.  Whether it be romaine or head lettuce, I wrap it up in paper towels before placing it in the refrigerator.  The paper towels keep the moisture down and prevents it from spoiling as quickly.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

How to Waste Less and Save #3



#3 - It may sound counter-intuitive to shop more often, but by making frequent trips to the supermarket you can buy smaller quantities and prevent spoilage.  If you don't want to add another errand to your to-do list, consider ordering online.

COMMENT:  I've tried this one and have to say that my freezer, as well as my pantry is full.  This simply doesn't work for me.  Every time I go to the grocery store, even for just one or two items, I end up checking out the meats to see what's on sale.  I walk through the store, again checking to see what's on sale.  I've tried a shopping list but I have this problem with passing up a sale.  So for me it's best to go less often.  As for shopping on line, I'm actually getting into that just a little.  I've found that I can buy non-perishable items such as paper products and even items like coffee on-line cheaper and I don't even have to enter a store and spot all those 'sale items.'  So this is one that you'll have to ask yourself if it will fit your shopping personality.

Friday, August 11, 2017

How to Waste Less and Save #2



#2 - If a recipe calls for spinach but you have kale in the fridge, make the swap.  You can also sub in pears for apples in a fruit crumble; leftover fish for chicken or beef in tacos; and fresh oregano for basil or thyme in a sauce.  Recipes are not set in stone!

COMMENT:  This is exactly what I 'preach' in my cookbooks - Think With Your Taste Buds.  I take it a step further by saying if you don't like an item substitute it for something you do like.  So, if your recipe calls for asparagus but you don't like asparagus and never buy it but do have some broccoli that needs to be used, 'think with your taste buds'.  They will tell you if the recipe will work in your own taste favor or should I say flavor.  If I have chicken that needs to be cooked I frequently go through the Pork section of cookbooks to come up with a new recipe and taste.  Seldom has this practice failed me.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

How to Waste Less and Save #1



I found these tips in Woman's Day by Nutrition Expert Joy Bauer, RDN.  They are all worth sharing.

#1 - Keep foods that spoil relatively fast, such as dairy products and soft fruit, in the front of your fridge or on the counter so you are more likely to grab them.  If there are cans of unexpired soup in your cupboard that you know you won't use in time, donate them to a local food pantry.

COMMENTS:  I try to make myself clean out the refrigerator at least twice a month.  Yes, I find food items in the back of the shelf that I apparently pushed back after a trip to the grocery store.  There have been cucumbers that have gotten soft because they were at the back of the crisper drawer.  Milk that was hiding behind a jug of grape juice or vice versa.  So, for me, moving them to the front and keeping them there just might be my answer.  And to save even more money, I now try to go through my pantry shelves at least twice a month, checking the dates of my foods and moving those that expire 1st to the front.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

SPICE #17 ANSWERS



1 - Vanilla is a spice - True - vanilla beans seed pods from climbing orchids native to Central America and South America.

2 - Ground spices have a longer shelf life than whole spices - False - When a spice is ground, its essential oils are more exposed to air, which makes them lose their aroma and flavor.

3 - Nutmeg and mace come from the same tree - True - Both spices come from the nutmeg tree; mace is the bright red outer covering of the nutmeg seed.

4 - Star anise is a fruit - True - The star-shaped spice comes from an evergreen tree.

5 - Spices most often come from a plant's leaves - False - Spices come from the non-leafy parts of a plant, such as the seeds, bark, roots, berries and fruit.  Herbs come from the plant's leaves.

6 - Allspice is a blend of cinnamon, cloves and black pepper - False - Allspice is a berry from the Jamaican bayberry tree.  It's called allspice for its complex taste, which resembles a mix of spices.

7 - Anise seeds are the same as fennel seeds - False - Both have a similar licorice flavor, but the seeds come from two different plants.

So - how did you do.  I didn't do so well with my answers but I sure did learn a lot.