Archive for category better food
Recently I’ve been asked many times for thoughts on what exactly ‘healthy snacks’ are. First, we’re talking about snacks because you should be eating something every few hours. They do not have to be fancy. Just healthy. This will help increase your metabolism and keep it humming.
I have my own favorite snacks that I eat every day. I’ve shared those with many of you. They include cheese with whole grain crackers, greek yogurt, fruit, vegetable salad (with homemade dressing), and shakeology. But I realize that’s not much to choose from. Works for me, but I know some of you would like more options. So I asked my fitfluential friends on Twitter for their favorite healthy snacks.
So here you go, from some of my fitness friends:
- Power crunch bars, grapes, whole grain crackers and cheese – @MsPumpnRun
- Almonds, cottage cheese, hummus, apple slices – @clwkerric
- Hummus with veggies, homemade trail mix, protein pancakes, fruit, greek yogurt, unsalted nuts, rice cakes with sugar free jelly – @MissLegallyFit
- Homemade granola, fresh fruit, greek yogurt – @WholeFoodJunkie
- No bake energy bites (Recipe here: http://pipersrun.com/2012/03/02/no-bake-energy-bites/ ) @PipersRun
- Pour Kefir over frozen fruit, it’s like ice cream – @danisandy
- Veggies & peanut butter, almonds & apples, sweet potato pudding (Recipe here: http://makingfithappen.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/sweet-potato-pudding-delicious-nutritious-and-better-than-it-sounds/) @MakingFitHappen
- Grapes, green olives, hummus, walnuts or nut thins – @afoodiestaysfit
- Mix tomatoes, broccoli, basil, olives, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper – @xoAnge74ox
- Fruit with almonds, greek yogurt with blueberries or banana, nut thins, peanut butter in a whole wheat tortilla, cottage cheese and frozen fruit, a good protein shake with almond milk, hummus and carrots, scrambled egg whites, guacamole with grape tomatoes, lara bars (link: ) – @BananaOats
- Banana date oat bars (Recipe here: http://healthyhelperblog.com/2012/02/26/two-winners-two-recipes/) – @Healthy_Helper
So there you have it. I hope this helps you find some new ideas…and I’m sure you can see, there are many common themes here. There’s a reason for that!
Here’s one of my fav salads for either a meal or a snack…fresh spinach, tomatoes, black olives, feta cheese, avocado, EVOO, lemon juice and vinegar. Yuuuummmm!
What are YOUR favorite healthy snacks?
I’ve seen on the web that there’s a big ‘hooray’ out there for McDonald’s deciding to offer their Shamrock Shake at ALL their locations this year. That’s fabulous – except, do you know how many calories are in a Shamrock Shake? How about the sugar? I promise I won’t lecture about it! It’s just one of those things that I’m sure most of us consider – whether you’re trying to lose weight or just be healthy.
Well, I wanted to share the Shamrock Shake I had today. I’ll give you a preview….first, it was rich, thick, creamy and sweet. And oh-so-yummy! Second, it was only 230 calories and 12 grams of sugar BUT it had about 20 grams of protein and countless fruits, veggies, and wonderful whole food nutrition.
Whaaaat? Yeah you read it. But let me tell you again, this was just like a dessert, not like a health shake!
Here’s the finished, minty, creamy, sweet shake that I made today
The secret was Chalene Johnson’s Shamrock Shake recipe. You can watch her make it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=solDD9CZWdQ
Here’s how I made mine (very close to hers!)
1 scoop greenberry shakeology
1 cup ice & water
1 tablespoon peanut butter
2 teaspoons Sugar Free cheesecake jello mix
1 packet Stevia
1/2 cap mint extract
Blend until super smooth.
That’s it. The peanut butter & jello mix make it sweet and creamy (and pretty healthy). And the Shakeology makes it super healthy and even tastier. You could add a little more pudding mix if you’d like it even creamier tasting.
Yep, that’s Shakeology. My fav! And I’m not usually much of a fan of the greenberry flavor, but this shake is to die for. If you want more info on Shakeology, you can see details and the 100’s of unpaid doctor testimonials here: www.myshakeology.com/amyromero
So tell me, since we’re talking about sweets….what’s your favorite dessert or biggest indulgence?
~To Your Health~
I’m a few days late posting the challenge for this week… I’ve been MIA because I was planning and prepping a new lunch plan for our week.
And that’s what this challenge is about.
I went and made up a big batch of grilled chicken, cooked a whole bag of kidney beans, and steamed some veggies. And it’s all for our lunches. I wanted to eat A LOT less frozen meals and less fast food. I didn’t eat it a ton, but the frozen meals sure were convenient to take to work.
So your weekly challenge this week is to plan and prep healthy, easy lunches (or dinners!) to help improve your daily diet.
My new lunches are a combination of grilled chicken (this time I actually slowly simmered some frozen chicken I’d forgotten to thaw so it was SUPER tender), beans, salsa and plain greek yogurt. I also added some veggies (broccoli) because I think I need more veggies every day. One serving a day just isn’t enough! Mix it all together and it’s sort of like a burrito bowl. 🙂 I put everything together in individual pyrex bowls with lids so they are ready to grab each morning. I’m keeping the greek yogurt separate & add it in after reheating.
Here’s a peek of it all mixed together. It was QUITE good and nice & creamy with the greek yogurt plus the little bit of spice from the salsa. And it was plenty filling because of the beans & chicken. Yuuummm!
Luckily the hubby is happy to have fresher, home cooked meals for lunch too. Having others in your house excited about eating better is definitely half the battle!
I’m happy to help plan some meals if you need help! Let me know here or email me at: email@example.com
Let me know below – will you be doing this? Do you already? Do you have other ideas for easy make-ahead lunches that are healthy??
~To Your Health~
I hope everyone joined me in the first weekly challenge – DECLUTTER. My husband and I almost completely decluttered the kitchen. We had 2 bags of garbage and one bag of things for donating. There’s still a couple of drawers we haven’t gotten to yet, but overall, it looks fabulous and I’m feeling good about continuing the momentum through the rest of the house.
So it’s time for Weekly Challenge #2 then, isn’t it?
For this whole next week, your challenge is to write everything down that you eat. Regardless if you’re trying to lose any weight or not. Just write it all down in one little notebook or log it in a word document, or you can even use a website such as www.fatsecret.com to log it easily.
For everything you eat, write down the calories and the carbs listed for the serving size you ate. If you ate something from a package, this will be easy. Pay attention to the serving size though! If you eat something that wasn’t packaged such as fruits and vegetables, you can find the nutrition information from a website like www.fatsecret.com or http://caloriecount.about.com/ and log it that way.
The point here is to be more mindful of what you’re eating. I’d be willing to bet that even if you think you eat healthy foods, you may be surprised to see it all laid out on paper. I know every time I do this exercise, I discover there’s areas I would like to improve on. So, I look forward to seeing what I’m REALLY eating this week. Some questions you’ll get answered….how many fruits and veggies are you really eating every day? Do you have dessert more often than you realized? Are your serving sizes bigger than you realized? Do you eat more packaged foods than you wanted to?
Okay, good luck all! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!
Have you ever logged your food before? What did you discover?
So we all know that one of the ingredients to being healthier is “making better food choices”, right? Until recently, I thought that sort of self-explanatory. Then, I heard a friend telling me about what she’d snacked on that day. Then I remembered several other similar conversations with her. And it hit me. She didn’t really know what “better choices” meant, and she was thinking that eating small amount of stuff equaled “better choices”. And to an extent, that’s true. BUT, at some point you have to also consider the type of foods and the quality of them.
If you’re finding yourself eating frozen dinners several times a week, you may consider some other choices. If you pay attention to what you’re eating, you may see some patterns developing. So maybe you only eat a few chicken tenders. But they are still breaded. And fried. And you eat them, or chicken nuggets or popcorn shrimp, etc several times a week…or maybe even more. Well, that’s where you start to see the pattern. You may keep your serving size small (or so you think), but you’re still eating fat-laden, fried, not-so-good-for-you food. I’m a proponent of indulging sometimes. But you must be honest with yourself. First, figure out what indulging really means. And then be honest with how often you ARE indulging.
A good rule of thumb on what your diet *should* look like is that most of it should be clean foods. And whole foods. And by clean, I mean real. If you got it in a box, it’s probably not clean. Look for FRESH or frozen (not canned) fruits and vegetables. Look for minimally processed meats, and even preferably organic and local. The fresher the better. Whole grains are great. Just make sure they REALLY are whole grain. And organic milk, low fat greek yogurt, etc are wonderful protein choices that are healthful and yummy. So, you see the things I left out are things like chicken nuggets. And lunch meat. And pre-packaged soup. Pre-packaged meal-in-a-box just add beef (you know what I’m talking about). The list goes on. So if you truly can’t live without chicken nuggets. Great, eat them. Once a week. No more. And THAT’S your indulgence. Just because you eat that only once a week doesn’t mean there’s a free pass to then also eat frozen pizza twice a week. And ice cream twice a week. And so on. Before you know it, you’re indulging every day and you have not changed your eating habits.
If you’re trying to make better choices about your diet, make sure you know what you’re looking for. And keep a food journal. Every day for a month, at least. Write down every little thing you eat, including sauces, dressings, dips, etc. You may be surprised at what you find. And you can always find more info here on my blog, just click the ‘diet’ link above to find my older blog posts about calories, meal timing, snack ideas, etc.
Comment below! Would love to hear your food choices, good and bad, obstacles you may have to eating healthier, questions you have….whatever you have for me! I’m always here to help!
~To Your Health~
We’ve probably all been told (or told ourselves), “If you can just stop eating chips (or sweets, or fast food), you’ll be good to go”. Well if only it was that simple!
We like to think that eating out is the enemy. And it is, to an extent. But if you’re not keeping a careful eye on what you’re fixing your family every night for dinner, it may not be much better than eating out.
Case in point; do you cook frozen pizza for dinner? How about breaded chicken tenders from the freezer? Maybe macaroni and cheese as a side with dinner? Take a peek at those labels. You may be surprised. All the calories, fat & sodium in these convenience foods is enough to make a grown man at least wince. Or enough to put on a few pounds. Just because you bought it from the store doesn’t make it healthy. For instance, there’s typically enough calories and fat in a ‘side’ of macaroni and cheese to just about equal what a whole dinner SHOULD be. Especially if you made it from a box.
Eating healthy and lean doesn’t have to be complicated. You just have to be aware. Your homework is to check every label of every item you use regularly and look at the serving size too. Be honest with yourself. If the serving size of your spaghetti noodles says 1/3 cup, put 1/3 cup in a measuring cup, put it on the plate, and see what it REALLY looks like. Is that the amount you usually eat? Do the math and see what your dinners really stack up to be. On average, dinners usually shouldn’t be more than about 400-500 calories, and full of whole grains, veggies and lean proteins. Lighter dinners can be easy. A simple, marinated boneless skinless chicken breast with a side of steamed veggies and a small helping of quinoa can be ready in less than 30 minutes. A light chicken casserole with brown rice can be very comforting and warm and also ready in about 30 minutes. Better yet, check out some slow cooker recipes. Look for things that use lean meats and non-rich sauces.
I’m happy to help vet ideas – or to send you recipes. Just email me! 🙂 firstname.lastname@example.org – and as always, you can always sign up for free to have me as your fitness/health coach: just go www.TurboRomero.com & click join. Select the free option and I can help you with your fitness and diet goals. Or if you want extra information, the paid option has the added benefit of a wonderful, healthy meal planner & the recipes are actually REALLY tasty and filling.
In the meantime, check what you’re cooking. Aside from calories, fat, sodium and all the other crazy stuff that’s in convenience foods, consider all the preservatives, hormones and other lovely things that they are stuffed with. Heck, even chicken nuggets are typically not real, whole chicken pieces. Sad, but true…and detrimental to losing weight and the overall health of your family…
~To Your Health~