Archive for the ‘Weightloss’ Category
I nursed all three of my boys for the first 6 months then incorporated the formula to satisfy the need for constant feeding while growing constantly out of their britches. Because I chose to breastfeed, I was able to save money, apply convenience because it is always accessible, comforting for the baby and very healthy for the mother mentally and physically. I believe the economic benefit of breastfeeding would be for the social services and assistance programs such as WIC (Women Infants & Children Program) and the EBT Food Stamp Program by decreasing the amount spent on formula and allow those funds to be spent on food for the mom to keep up a healthy milk supply for an ever-growing infant when ready to feed.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? If that’s the case, then you should know by now that I think the world of my kids belt assistant, Jen, especially her recipes. I decided to
steal borrow another one from her blog (Coffee Beans & Daydreams). You can follow her on Facebook too…
Ok, shameless plugs aside, I really want to try this recipe. It’s similar to my vegetarian lasagna, only no pasta, which seems healthier. I’m excited to try it, I already picked up all of the ingredients. However, here’s a caveat from her about this “recipe”,
Ok, I know I’m not the only one who loves Italian food but doesn’t want the carbs from pasta. Soooo, I threw together a recipe using no pasta. I use the term “recipe” loosely because as anyone who knows me knows I never follow a recipe to the T and if I’m winging it, I don’t write it down. It drives my husband crazy, because we never get the exact same meal twice.
Here’s how I feel, though, food is a feeling, you just have to go with it. I find that I improvise a lot depending on 1. my mood and 2. what’s in my pantry/fridge/freezer….
And now, without further ado…
Sauce Mixture (throw it all in a skillet minus the sauce and cook until meat is cooked thoroughly, you may need to add a splash of olive oil for a little fat. Once the mixture is cooked, add the sauce and heat through.)
1/2 lb Ground Turkey
1/2 Medium Onion Chopped
4 oz (or 1/2 package) Sliced Mushrooms
1/2 Chopped Frozen Spinach (or 1 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Spinach)
1/2 Chopped Broccoli Florets
1 Jar Classico Tomato Sauce
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cheese Mixture (while the above is cooking, mix all of the following ingredients together in a mixing bowl and set aside.
1 Cup Low-Fat Shredded Mozzarella (set aside about a 1/4 cup or so for the top of the lasagna)
1/2 Cup Part Skim Ricotta
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1/2 Tbsp Basil (I used the stuff in the squeeze tube found in the produce section)
Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Blend, Oregano, Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Medium Eggplant Peeled and Sliced into Faux Lasagna Noodles (not too thick)
Preheat oven to 375. Take a baking dish (I used 9×9) and add a layer of the sauce mixture, then a layer of raw eggplant “noodles”, then smear a layer of the cheese mixture on top of the eggplant then another layer of sauce. Repeat until you have either filled your pan or run out of ingredients. Top with a final layer of sauce and a layer of mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is nice and brown!
Ok, here’s a secret, you don’t want the eggplant sliced to thin because they will over-cook and be to mushy, but you don’t want it sliced too thick because it won’t get done. There’s a fine line, but you do still want it to have a little bite so it mimics al dente pasta. It’s also nice because this lasagna recipe doesn’t get watery which is sometimes a problem with lasagna.
Enjoy and feel free to improvise! Live a little!!
I’ll put this to the test tonight. Jen says her 3 year old and husband LOVED it. Moose (her 3 year old) ate an adult size portion and her husband ate all of the leftovers the next day.
Baked, yes, not fried chicken wings. Why not make such a potentially unhealthy meal, a little healthier?? My wonderful kids belts assistant, Jen, shared this recipe (her original recipe) on her personal blog and she said I could share it here. I tried them and let me tell you, they are amazing.
My family loves wings, but all that fried food is too much so I thought I’d try this recipe. The wings still come out crispy and a lot of the fat boils off (yes, boils, I’ll explain in a minute). What’s really great about this recipe is the preparation. Even if you don’t like the soy butter basil (but why wouldn’t you?) you can sauce them however you like. If you have a traditional hot sauce you like, great! Use that. Teriyaki more your cup of tea, then use that. This preparation can be very versatile.
20 wings (give or take)
1 Stick of Melted Butter (or the equivalent in margarine)
3 Cloves of minced Garlic
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Basil (or the equivalent in the squeeze basil that you get in the produce section)
Soy sauce to taste
Salt & Pepper
Preheat the oven to 375. In a large pot, fill half way with water and salt to taste. Add the wings and bring them to a boil. Boil them until they are almost done. While those are cooking, mix the rest of the ingredients together (minus the salt). Keep tasting until you get the soy to mixture ratio to your liking. When the wings are almost done, but still a little pink, pull them out of the water and add them to the marinade. Mix it up until all the wings are coated. let sit for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place the wings on a lined baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray and brush with extra marinade. Bake until the wings brown and the skin crisps. Turn halfway through.
I love the soy, butter and basil combination. They just compliment each other so well. You have to try these. Let me know what you think!
When I actually have time to plan it out and think about it, I really do like to cook. The problem is, most days I am rushed to get something on the plate (or *gulp* we eat out) before we fly out the door to either Bug’s or Super Dude’s practices or games. That means that I fall into a food rut. I end up cooking the same dishes over and over again, but now I am vowing to change. As I sit here in my kids belts office, I vow to prepare and cook at least one new (healthier) dish a week. I don’t think that’s too unreasonable.
So, where do I go to find healthy recipes? Why, Pinterest, of course! So here are 3 recipes I came across to start out with. I thought I’d share them with you as well!
1. Chicken Tacos
Makes:1 serving (just multiply to your needs)
3 oz grilled skinless chicken breast (seasoned with chili powder, garlic salt and cumin)
Two 6” corn tortillas
1/4 cup black beans
1/4 rice, brown or Spanish
1/4 cup avocado, cubed
Extra virgin olive oil cooking spray
Shredded lettuce, tomato, onion, salsa
Use extra virgin olive oil cooking spray to grill chicken. Wrap grilled chicken breast into warm tortilla stuffed with lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado and salsa. Enjoy with black beans and rice on the side. *Can swap chicken for shrimp or fish.
Nutrition facts:377 calories, 28 grams protein, 50 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fat
2. Broccoli with Fusilli and Red Pepper
- 1 1/2 cups of broccoli florets
- 3 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/2 pound fusilli pasta
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into long thin strips
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 lemon zest
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
- Cook broccoli for 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt. Remove from water with slotted spoon. Place in large bowl and set aside.
- In same water, cook pasta according to package directions, about 10 minutes. Drain well and add to broccoli.
- While pasta is cooking, in small sauté pan, heat oil and cook sliced red pepper, garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 3 minutes.
- Off heat, add 2 teaspoons salt, red pepper flakes, pepper and lemon juice. Mix and pour this over broccoli and pasta. Toss well.
- Season to taste, sprinkle with cheese (if using), and serve.
- For added protein, shred 1/2 of a cooked store-bought roasted chicken, then toss with pasta and serve.
3. Cheezy Loaded Potato Broccoli Soup
vegan, makes about 5 large bowls
2 large russet potatoes, peeled/roughly chopped
4-5 cups broccoli (mostly florets)
1 cup almond or soy milk unsweetened/plain
1 cup+ vegetable broth
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 cup+ nutritional yeast (a must for the ‘cheezy’ flavor)
fresh black pepper to taste
1 red onion, chopped
1 small tomato, diced
1. Boil a large pot of water + a few pinches of salt. enough water to cover the potatoes and broccoli.
2. Prep your veggies. Toss your potato into the boiling water. Cover.
3. After about 5 minutes, add in the broccoli and continue boiling until veggies are tender. Remove from heat. Drain water.
4. Saute the chopped onion until it caramelizes – add some salt and pepper and optional spices to enhance the flavor. Toss in the tomato. Add the Daiya cheese over top to melt. Turn off heat. (Saute in oil if desired – I just used a splash of water to keep oil free.)
5. Add the potato, broccoli, non-dairy milk, veggie broth and nutritional yeast to a blender, like a Vitamix. (Immersion blenders also work.) Blend from low to high until smooth. Blend with extreme caution since contents will be quite hot.
6. Add a few scoops of sauteed onion to the blender and blend. Do a taste test and add in the spices, optional flavor enhancers and salt to taste. Add in more liquid for a creamier or thinner texture.
7. You can serve warm from the blender or simmer in a pot on the stove until ready to serve. To serve, add tomato, onions, melted vegan cheese, tempeh bacon bits and whatever else you’d like to “load” your soup with. Serve with some crusty bread or sprouted grain toast. Vegenaise on toast is a nice accent too. Store covered in the fridge and eat within a few days.
Hopefully, I can get the kiddos to eat these as well. Let me know what you think! I’ll try to give you my reviews of these as well!
Yea, yea, yea, I know pumpkin season has come and gone, but I found this recipe that I made this winter and they were yummy and well, today is recipe day at the kids belts office so… I’m sharing! And besides, you know you have a can of pumpkin stashed away in the back of your pantry for just such a recipe emergency as this…
I know you have probably see the 2 ingredient pumpkin muffin recipe floating around the interwebs and Pinterest. Well, this one is very similar, but with two changes: 1. different cake mix 2. Adding decaf coffee.
Yes, decaf coffee. Sound weird, but I have made the original two ingredient muffins and while they were good, they were a little too dense for me. I wanted a way to lighten them up some and I had some left over coffee. I’m not sure what made me put the two together, but it was a great combination! The muffins came out more light and airy and not too sweet! Also, if you are not a coffee fan (what is wrong with you? I mean seriously) the coffee taste did not carry over into the muffins, I promise.
I made these into mini muffins which makes them about 55 calories per muffin (without the glaze).
3 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins
1 Boxed Spice Cake Mix
1 Can Pureed Pumpkin
3/4 Cup Decaf Coffee
Preheat the oven to 350. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl (if you like a spicier cake, add extra cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc…). Spray your muffin pan with non-stick spray. Fill each one almost to the top. Bake until they are springy to the touch.
Optional… Cinnamon Sugar Glaze
1 Tbsp Butter substitute
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon (more or less to taste)
1/2 cup Sugar (or sugar substitute)
Place all ingredients into a sauce pan and heat until everything is melted and dissolved. You may find that you need to adjust some of the ingredients to your own liking. Drizzle over the muffins!
That’s it, super simple, low fat, low cal, low guilt. Just what I like in a recipe. “You’re welcome…”
PS If you bring these to a party or serve them to guests, they will never know they low guilt. Trust me, I have
snuck sneaked (is that right? It doesn’t seem like that would be right, but my trusty spell check says it is) these in on the most discerning palates and they didn’t even bat an eye!
Who doesn’t love fajitas? I love all Mexican food, but I really love fajitas. What I want to avoid is the calories that come with all of those tortillas and cheese and sour cream.
Although there is nothing more I would love to do after I leave the kids belts office, than go to our favorite little Mexican restaurant and order fajitas, I won’t. I’ll be true to my new healthier lifestyle, and I asked Jen (my resident cheerleader/assistant/nutritionist) for advice and low and behold, she had a recipe to share!
Chicken Fajita Salad
2 Cups Shredded Romaine Lettuce
2 Tbsp Salsa
1/2 Cup Green & Red Peppers Strips
1 Cup Slicked Onions, raw
1 Tbsp Daisy Light Sour Cream
1 Oz Cabot 75% Light Vermont Cheddar
3 Oz Chicken
2 Cloves Garlic
1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1/2 Tsp Cumin
3 Tbsp Lime Juice
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Lite Salt & Pepper to taste
Directions (serves 1):
Slice onions and bell peppers. Cut chicken into strips. Spray your saute pan with non-stick spray. Heat pan and add chicken strips. Season chicken with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. While the chicken is cooking, shred the lettuce and the cheese. When chicken begins to change color, add in onions and peppers. Continue to saute until the chicken is cooked thoroughly and onions and peppers are wilted. Add in garlic and mix completely. Place lettuce on a plate and add the chicken mixture. Top with salsa, sour cream and cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk the lime juice, olive oil, chopped cilantro (to taste) and a little salt to taste and then dress the salad!
Yummy! This was so good and light, but also very filling. This makes a huge salad and is totally satisfying. You could add a little guacamole and crumple a few tortilla chips over the op for some crunch. However, it’s delicious without the additions.
I hope you enjoy!
I have lost 6lbs in a week! How awesome is that? I know that the first few lbs are water weight, but as my kids belts assistant tells me, “Don’t belittle your progress! 6lbs is still 6lbs regardless of where it came from!” She’s right… I know it, why is it so hard to be proud of an accomplishment? Instead of saying “I only lost 6lbs and most of that had to be water”, why can’t we train ourselves to think differently and say “I lost 6lbs! Isn’t that great!” I digress…
I have always struggled with my weight, I’ve been up, been down, been in the middle and now working on down again. I want to get it under control before it becomes a health risk. So, on my health and weight loss journey, I have pick up tips here and there that I thought I would share with you. These are so easy, but the calories really add up! There are 3,500 calories in a pound, so if you can cut 500 calories a day, that’s a loss of 1lb a week!
15 Easy Ways to Cut Hundreds of Calories a Day
(Adapted from Spark People’s 50 Easy Ways to Cut Calories)
- Substitute 3 oz. of turkey sausage for a serving of pork sausage. Save 120 calories!
- Top your whole grain bagel with 1.5 oz of fat-free cream cheese in lieu of regular. Save 108 calories!
- Prepare your coffee with 4 oz. of fat-free half and half instead of regular half and half. Save 88 calories!
- Eat a medium orange instead of drinking 12 oz. of fresh orange juice. Save 106 calories!
- Spread your whole grain waffles with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup instead of 1 tablespoon of margarine or butter. Save 110 calories!
- Order a skinless chicken breast instead of chicken with skin. Save 102 calories!
- Choose a slice of thin crust pizza over thick crust pizza. Save 106 calories!
- Add vegetable toppings to your pizza order and say no to pepperoni. Save 100 calories!
- Forget broccoli cheddar soup. A 7-oz portion of vegetable soup is better. Save 119 calories!
- Skip the 5 oz. of Alfredo sauce and eat a whopping 7 oz. of marinara sauce. Save 129 calories!
- Try either cheese or croutons on your salad—not both Save 72-116 calories!
- Enjoy 5 oz. of chocolate milk instead of 5 oz. of a chocolate milkshake Save 110 calories!
- Split a 20 oz. bottle of regular soda with a friend. Save 120 calories!
- Drink 1 cup of diet soda instead of 1 cup of regular soda. Save 97 calories!
- Swap a 12-oz. glass of whole milk for skim milk. Save 96 calories!
I don’t know if it’s because of the beautiful weather we have had lately, or if it’s because I am bombarded by the amazing aroma of fresh strawberries every time I walk in to the produce section of the grocery store, but I have been craving fruit like crazy. It’s so refreshing on a hot day and I feel like it’s pretty much guilt free.
I am still on my quest to becoming a healthier me, so I am always looking for recipes that are on the healthier side. I also want recipes that aren’t too overly involved, because really who has time for that?
SOOOoooo, I turn to my resident nutrition counselor (slash kids belts assistant), Jen, for some healthier dessert ideas (have I mentioned that she has lost 16lbs so far, averaging a little over 5lbs a month since she started!)
Here is what she came up with and let me just say, it was delicious, easy and fast! It will be perfect for all of the upcoming spring and summer get togethers. Everyone will be uber impressed…
No Bake Red, White & Blue Cake
*Fresh berries work the best. Frozen berries tend to be too watery.
1 Low-fat or Sugar Free Angel Food Cake (from the Bakery at your local grocery store)
1 Small Container of Fresh Blueberries*
1 Small Container of Fresh Strawberries (Sliced)*
1 Small Container of Fresh Raspberries*
1 Small Container of Fresh Blackberries*
1 Large Container of Low Fat or Fat Free Vanilla Yogurt (any brand)
A few sprigs of Fresh Mint
There are really two ways to prepare this:
- Like you see above: If you want the cake as a centerpiece, pour the contents of the yogurt into the center of the cake and spread across the top of the cake. Then top with all of the fresh berries and garnish with a few mint sprigs. (Note: While this looks beautiful, it serves up a little messy, it’s still delicious, though)
- Like you see below: If you want more of a polished plated presentation, slice the cake up into individual serving sizes. Top each piece with a dollop of the vanilla yogurt and then the berries. Garnish with a mint sprig if the mood suits you! (the one below only has strawberries and blueberries).
My assistant is constantly bombarding me with stories about how long she is running (she’s training for a 5K), how great she’s eating, and how wonderful she feels after her boot camp work out (Boot camp? Seriously? Why would you do that to yourself if you aren’t actually in the military?). Blah… Blah… Blah… Don’t get me wrong, I love her dearly and very proud of the progress she is making, but now, she has crossed the line. That’s right, she has motivated me to get up and move and to stay strong with my new healthy lifestyle…. Can you believe her? I mean, who does she think she is to help me?? Ahh, I joke, it is really nice to have someone at the kids belts office to help hold me accountable and she is a pretty good cheerleader.
One of the really nice things is that we can share recipes. Breakfast is a hard one because it seems like we are always rushing to get ready and out the door for school so we grab something quick to shovel into our mouths which is not always the most healthy thing we can do. After talking to my assistant about it, she shared this recipe for these low calorie, super tasty, and very filling breakfast muffins. She makes them up on Sunday and then has them for the rest of the week to grab and go (only takes about 50 seconds in the microwave to reheat).
1 Can Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls
8 Egg Whites
8 Precooked Tennessee Pride Turkey Sausage Patties
1 Cup Diced Onions
1 Cup Chopped Spinach
1 Cup Chopped Mushrooms
1/2 Cup Skim Milk
3oz 50% Reduced Fat Cabot Cheese (Finely Shredded) Save a little to top each muffin
Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin pan (not a cupcake pan) with one crescent roll per muffin hole. In a bowl, scramble the egg whites, milk, onions, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, and cheese. Once it is mixed well, pour equal amounts of the mixture in each muffin hole. Dice the turkey sausage patties and top each muffin with equal portions. Finish off by topping each muffin with the reserved shredded cheddar and then bake until the cheese on the top begins to brown.
I love the fact that once prepared these are super easy to heat up in the morning. They are great for busy mornings and so much quicker (and healthier) than running through the drive-thru. Plus each muffin is less than 200 calories!
Hope you enjoy!
It’s a new year! 2012 already? That happened way too fast, but I am a bit disappointed because I was sure that by now we would all be driving flying cars and using teleporters.
But I digress, back to the new year and new resolutions. This year I resolve to have the best year in kids belts history! That should be easy because I only have to compete with 3 years and while they were great years, I am certain that this will be the best. That’s not my only resolution, like tons of people out there, I am making a resolution for health. Maybe I should be more specific, good health. I’m not looking to lose mounds of weight and be super model skinny thereby making my head look hugely disproportional to my tiny frame, I just want to be healthy. In my search for healthy-ness (shhh, I can make up words if I want…), I thought I would pass along some healthy shopping tips that I picked up.
- Shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where the good fresh stuff is located. The produce section, fresh meat section and dairy section are the best places to shop for clean eating.
- LIST LIST LIST Take a few extra minutes before you go shopping to plan out your weeks worth of meals and make a list. If you have a smart phone, there are so many free apps out there that are specifically for shopping lists. The really neat thing about those apps is that they will also organize your list for you into sections so in the long run it makes the shopping trip go much faster! (I like the ShopListFree app. It’s very basic, but also user friendly.) Some of the apps even include pricing, so you can keep it budget friendly!
- Focus on Fiber Officially, fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Most adult women should shoot for over 20 grams of fiber a day; men should shoot for over 30 grams. Some great sources are whole fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and breakfast cereals, and all manner of beans. You should choose foods that list whole grains (like whole wheat or whole oats) as a first ingredient. Bread, cereal, crackers and other grain foods should have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
- Avoid Overly Processed Food Box mixes and canned food, while they are convenient, are riddled with sodium. Try to avoid boxed food altogether and if you must get canned food, always opt for low/no sodium choices.
- Buy Lean Cuts of Meat There are so many choices out there now with chicken and turkey (ground meats, sausages, cutlets, etc…) that it’s much easier to make substitutions. Beef and pork aren’t too bad in moderation, but you definitely should get the very lean cuts.
- Dairy Opt for low-fat items. Cabot has some really great low-fat cheese options (Cheddar, habanero, jalapeno and pepper jack). Skim milk is a good choice and if you are going for yogurt, opt for Greek yogurt. It packs more of a protein punch and has little to no fat. Plain Greek yogurt also makes a wonderful substitute for sour cream.
- SAY NO TO IMPULSE JUNK Resist impulse buys while standing in the check out isle. Don’t let those candy peddlers win! You don’t need the candy bar or that bag of chips. Put it back…
- Resist the Twinkies Ok, it’s hard to jump into healthy eating, so if you are going to pick up some not so healthy treats, limit it to what you can fit in the top of the buggy (you know, where a small child usually sits). Then when you get in line to check out, re-evaluate those choices and ask yourself again if you really want (NEED) it.
- Don’t Meander Shop with a purpose. When you aimlessly meander through the store, you open yourself up to more impulse buys. You also fall into the stores sales traps, the end caps. The end caps are where bad food goes to tempt you and the store pretends that they are “practically giving it away”. Usually, the deals aren’t that great anyway. Just walk away.
- Don’t Go Hungry A huge mistake is to shop when you are hungry. Everything looks good when you are hungry and when you are hungry your stomach is telling you that you NEED it all. So save yourself some trouble, eat before you shop. You will thank me later.
So, that’s it. That’s my miracle list for healthy grocery shopping. I know that its not an exhaustive list by any means, but it is a start. I hope you can use at least a few to make your 2012 the healthiest ever!