Coming up at LOSE IT!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fast Food

So this week we talked Fast Food...and mostly focused on Mcdonalds, since they seem to be EVERYWHERE.  I know my editing is less than perfect on my videos, but most of your know my attention to detail is never up to par...ha ha!

  • Tips for making healthy choices at fast food restaurants
    Make careful menu selections – pay attention to the descriptions on the menu. Dishes labeled deep-fried, pan-fried, basted, batter-dipped, breaded, creamy, crispy, scalloped, Alfredo, au gratin, or in cream sauce are usually high in calories, unhealthy fats, or sodium. Order items with more vegetables and choose leaner meats.
    Drink water with your meal. Soda is a huge source of hidden calories. One 32-oz Big Gulp of regular cola packs about 425 calories, which can quickly gulp up a big portion of your daily calorie intake. Try adding a little lemon to your water or ordering unsweetened iced tea.
    “Undress” your food. When choosing items, be aware of calorie- and fat-packed salad dressings, spreads, cheese, sour cream, etc. For example, ask for a grilled chicken sandwich without the mayonnaise. You can ask for a packet of ketchup or mustard and add it yourself, controlling how much you put on your sandwich.
    Special order. Many menu items would be healthy if it weren't for the way they were prepared. Ask for your vegetables and main dishes to be served without the sauces. Ask for olive oil and vinegar for your salads or order the dressing "on the side" and spoon only a small amount on at a time. If your food is fried or cooked in oil or butter, ask to have it broiled or steamed.
    Eat mindfully. Pay attention to what you eat and savor each bite. Chew your food more thoroughly and avoid eating on the run. Being mindful also means stopping before you are full. It takes time for your body to register that you have eaten. Mindful eating relaxes you, so you digest better, and makes you feel more satisfied.

Monday, August 27, 2012

GUILT FREE Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

I have been on a treat kick lately, can you tell by the recipes I've been choosing to post.  But I'm proud to say that I've found some great recipes that aren't going to kill my calorie budget for the day.  You know how I always say don't deprive yourself of yummy foods, just eat them in moderation. This recipe is great because it's made with simple ingredients and the finished product is healthy ish and yummy! 


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cups canned* chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (165 grams) natural peanut butter**
  • 1/4 cup (80 grams) honey (commenters have used agave with success!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder***
  • a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn't have salt in it
  • 1/2 cup (90 grams) chocolate chips
* My can was a 400 gram can, 240 grams without the water, and I used all but a few tablespoons
** Don't even try with regular peanut butter! They'll come out oily. You MUST use natural peanut butter. :)
*** If you need grain-free baking powder, you can use 1 part cream of tartar + 1 part baking soda + 2 parts arrowroot.

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C. Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they're combined. Put in the chocolate chips and stir it if you can, or pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky. With wet hands, form into 1 1/2" balls. Place onto a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don't do much rising. Bake for about 10 minutes. Yields about fourteen 1 1/2" cookie dough balls.

11 Ways to Maximize Weight Loss Through the Day

Last week at lose it we went over some of these ideas.  I thought this slide show had some great reminders.  I asked everyone to choose at least ONE skinny tip to work on for the week.  What's yours??

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Omelet Muffins...fun idea


Omelet Muffins

Ingredients

•4 Large eggs

 •¼ cup half-and-half (I think you can leave this out or substitute for something else)

 •½ teaspoon salt

 •Whatever mix-ins you choose. Bacon, chives, Parmesan cheese, and salsa are a few of our family favorites, but you can use whatever you like.

Directions

1.Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and coat a 6-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

 2.Whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, and salt in a medium bowl – this is a great step for the kids to try! Then together, pour the mixture into the muffin cups.

 3.Here’s where we get creative – using about 2 tablespoons of your desired add-ins, mix up your muffins using a toothpick to stir. They don’t have to all be the same!

 4.Bake the muffins until they are puffy with golden brown edges, about 20-25 minutes.

 Love the idea of these, making ahead and keeping in the fridge ready to go.

Yummy Recipes...as you requested!

Chocolate chocolate and more chocolate...but the slightly healthier way.

These are what I brought to the bbq!
ZUCCHINNI BROWNIES

½ cup applesauce
3/4 cups white sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour ( I used 1 cup wheat 1 cup white)
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (or less!)
2 cups zucchini (shredded)
½ cup chopped walnuts (I left out)

Chocolate Frosting-

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup margarine (I used butter)
2 cups confectioners sugar
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking dish. (I lined with parchment)

In a large bowl mix together applesauce, sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract until well blended. In another bowl combine the flour, ½ cup cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. A little at a time stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in zucchini and walnuts. The batter will be dry and crumbly, don't worry. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish.
Place into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the brownies spring back when gently touched. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.


To make the frosting- In a small saucepan over low heat melt together the cocoa powder and margarine. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl blend confectioner’s sugar, milk, and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir in the margarine/cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies, allow to set up (I placed mine in the fridge for a couple hours) then cut into squares. The longer these brownies sit, the thicker the frosting will become


CHOCOLATE PROTEIN FROZEN YOGURT


 •6 ounces nonfat plain Greek Yogurt

 •2 TB unsweetened baking cocoa

 •Stevia to taste

 Stir all ingredients until smooth. Pop in the freezer for 30-45 minutes. Enjoy! I originally made this as pudding. But if you freeze it, it actually tastes almost exactly like frozen yogurt! So in other words… you could eat this without freezing it! Super simple and healthy! =D




Monday, August 13, 2012

Use that Zucchini


Baked Zucchini Chips

1 zucchini 

canola cooking spray

seasoned salt, or other seasoning(s) of your choice

-Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil, and spray with canola oil.  Set aside.

-Slice zucchini into thin medallions, about the thickness of a quarter.  (You can either use a knife & a very steady hand, or a mandoline slicer.)

-Lay out slices on prepared baking sheet, and spray tops lightly with additional cooking spray.  Sprinkle with seasonings of your choice. (A note on seasoning, however - use LESS than what seems appropriate.  These shrink considerably in the oven, and if you use too much it gets very concentrated.  It's better to end up underseasoning and add more later.)

-Place in preheated oven and bake 45 minutes.  Rotate baking sheet, and bake an additional 30-50 minutes, until chips are browned and crisped to your liking.  These are best eaten within a couple hours of removing from the oven, as they start to get chewy if left out.  One zucchini makes one serving (1/4 C. - 1/3 C. of chips depending on the size of your squash)


Zucchini Noodles or Ribbons



Yields: 2 servings

Prep time: 15 min



Ingredients:

2 medium-sized zucchini squash, washed, dried, and trimmed at both ends

2 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Herbs of your choice

Preparation:

Using the julienne blade of a mandoline, slice zucchini lengthwise into long, thin strands; separate the strands. NOTE: If you don't have a mandoline you can either use a vegetable peeler or a knife.

Transfer zucchini strands to a colander set over a mixing bowl. Toss the zucchini strands with salt; let stand 15 minutes at room temperature. Gently squeeze zucchini to extract excess water. Transfer drained zucchini strands to a bowl and toss with lemon juice, salt, and pepper

To serve, twirl small amounts of zucchini strands with a long-tined fork and slip off onto individual serving plates. Garnish with herbs of your choice or use as a base for seafood of your choice.

Carbs are NOT the Enemy

So many people including myself, have fallen for extreme low carb diet fad. But it's not the only way! And it's not best way! (in my opinion)
Lets start with a little nutrition 101
A carbohydrate is a nutrient that is used by your body for energy. It contains 4 kilocalories of energy per gram (kilocalorie is the formal name for calorie).
Your body converts the carbs that you eat into glucose/blood sugar for use in a wide variety of metabolic processes. This conversion can happen rapidly or slowly depending on the type of carbohydrate food eaten.

The faster food is converted into blood sugar, the faster your blood sugar levels rise.

When blood sugar levels are high, your body secretes insulin, its primary storage hormone.

When insulin is present in the bloodstream, energy nutrients such as fat or carbohydrates are far more likely to be stored rather than burned.

In terms of fat loss, this means fat is not readily mobilized from fat cells and fat burning slows or even stops

By controlling insulin secretion, you can effectively improve your body's ability to mobilize fat from fat cells. Once mobilized from the fat cells, they are more readily burned for energy, i.e. you lose fat. This is the basic premise that most low-carb diets are based on (there are exceptions, i.e. ketogenic diets, which I will get into later in the article).
The key tip to remember here is EAT YOUR CARBS WITH FIBER!
Fiber has soooo many benefits, but it does magical things when it's found in the carbs you eat. If you are picking the "right" carbs then they should naturally be high in fiber. For example the multi grain breakfast cereal I ate this morning has 25 grams of carbs but 6 grams were from fiber! This helps keep my blood sugar level stable, keeps me full and satisfied, and adds bulk to my food without added calories. Fiber is a fabulous thing!
Many people ask the question ...How many carbs should I eat??

And honestly, it's so different for everyone. I think the focus should be on the quality of carbs you eat. From much study and trial and error, I find that typically I like to keep my carbohydrate grams to about 125-140
If you break that down, I eat about 25-30 grams of carbs 5 times a day. I make sure those carbs are not refined or processed with little or no added sugar. It works for me, gives me the energy I need for my workouts, I never feel deprived of carbs, and actually when I stick to this, I seem to maintain or lose weight.