(You can still be a) Foodie Friday

Diet.

Ick. What a terrible word. It implies boring, tasteless, monotonous and deprivation. No one wants to diet.

The changes you make when deciding to live a healthier life typically include eating better. We want to challenge you to exclude the word “diet” from your vocabulary. This is not a diet. This is a lifestyle.

Because we are creating a long term lifestyle that includes healthy eating, we want the way you are eating to be sustainable. We want you to eat healthy, delicious food that makes you feel full, nourished, and satisfied. We don’t want you to feel deprived or constantly hungry. You can still love food! The key is to change your focus onto seasonal/fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meats, poultry, fish and other whole, real foods.

Before we share a recipe with you, here are a few ways to make your healthy food more exciting!

1. Experiment with spices.

There is an entire world out there of spices. Have you ever cooked with curry? Turmeric? Coriander? Chinese 5 Spice powder is a great one too. There is also curry paste, which is a completely different taste than curry powder. You can even try new combinations of spices, like rosemary, sage, paprika, red pepper flakes and a touch of nutmeg – works great with beef or pork. Have you ever had Jamaican jerk rub on your chicken or fish? Experiment with new spices to make a once boring dish exciting. Don’t forget the veggies too – they are another place to experiment with new seasonings.

2. Make Sneaky Swaps.

There are small changes you can make in cooking your food to make it feel more indulgent while still being healthy. Try plain greek yogurt in place of sour cream. Create zucchini noodles or use spaghetti squash in place of flour based noodles. Use applesauce or bananas in baking as a substitute for sugar, and mashed avocado makes a great substitute for oil in baking as well. Try almond meal in place of bread crumbs when making a “crusted” recipe – you can use it as a breading or on top of casseroles. Try mashed cauliflower to make “faux-tatoes.” The possibilities are endless!

3. Try a new recipe, vegetable, or fruit.

Don’t get stuck in a rut! Try one new recipe a week – Food Network has so many great ideas, and be sure to check Cooking Light or Eating Well also. Have you ever been to the farmer’s market? There is usually at least one vegetable or fruit there that you haven’t tried. Be brave, and try it out! Usually the vendors will be able to tell you the best way to cook/eat/prepare it.

And now, a recipe from a guest blog. These zucchini pizza boats are easy, delicious, and husband approved! Put the ingredients on your grocery list. Click here for the recipe.

 

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Smart Snacking… On The Go

Many of our clients are busy – some of them are moms, many of them are working, and all of them have a full life. Sometimes, that means running out of time to properly fuel their body. We’ve created a list of smart snacks that are easy to pack and eat on the go (even though we would prefer that you took your time to eat!).

We ran across an email the other day with “healthy snack” suggestions. While most of the suggestions were sound, we felt that our clients (and their families!) needed a more thorough and applicable list.

1. Single serving yogurts (don’t forget the spoon!)

Grab and go yogurts are a wonderful choice – they’re full of protein, vitamins, and very portable. There are a few things you do need to be cautious of when choosing yogurts:

  • Sugar content: Sugar is a big additive in fruit-filled yogurts. Check the ingredients label and look for the key words that indicate sugar: syrup, words ending in -ose or -ol, cane juice, beet juice, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, etc. Be especially sure that the first ingredient is NOT sugar – remember, the ingredients are listed in order of highest to lowest content.
  • Additives: Try and find yogurts with less preservatives and chemical additives. Your yogurt should contain milk, active cultures, and possibly fruit.  That’s really it. If there is fruit added, their may be sugar, but try to keep that to a minimum.  The first ingredient in your yogurt should be milk.

We are a huge fan of Trader Joe’s Greek Yogurt. Staci likes the fruit ones and Marissa goes for the plain. Greek yogurt has a higher protein content, and a thicker texture (which also makes plain Greek Yogurt a wonderful sour cream substitute!). Other great Greek yogurt options are Voskos, Greek Gods, Chobani, Fage, or Zoi. Some non-greek yogurt options are Stonyfield or Clover. There are also dairy free options for those with a dairy allergy – look for coconut milk or soy yogurt. Goat milk yogurt is another option for those sensitive to cow’s milk. (Please note this is NOT a complete list, but rather a list of suggested brands.)

2. Almond butter and vegetables or fruit

Almond butter is a great peanut butter substitute with a healthier fat content and typically has less sugar added. Dip your celery, baby carrots, apples or strawberries for a yummy treat. Play with the different varieties: crunchy, smooth, salted, unsalted… just watch out for the sweetened ones like maple almond butter.

3. Hard boiled Eggs

SUPER portable, delicious and easy to prepare. With 6 grams of protein and only 70 calories per egg, they’re a great snack to tide you over until the next meal. For fool-proof instructions on how to make perfect hard boiled eggs, click here.

4. Think Thin protein bars

These just happen to be our favorite protein bars, but there are others out there. With lower sugar, high protein and great taste they are a cheaper option for a higher quality protein bar. Quest Bars are also a great option, but much more expensive. Sometimes you can find Think Thin bars on sale at Safeway or Target. Buy them in bulk boxes to save money per bar.

5. Cottage Cheese, String cheese

Another great option that is high in protein and super portable. Pretty foolproof! Try eating your cottage cheese with avocado or fresh fruit. String cheese pairs great with apples or lunchmeat.

6. Guacamole and veggies

Avocados are packed full of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Make your guacamole feel more indulgent by adding plain greek yogurt and dip those veggies! Bell peppers, cucumbers, celery, and baby carrots are a few that pair deliciously with guacamole.

7. Leftovers!

You cook delicious meals – why not continue to enjoy them after the first night? Some great portable leftovers include meatballs, chicken breast or thighs, meatloaf “muffins” (make your meatloaf in a muffin tin – portable and single serving size!), frittata, or quiche.

8. Nuts/Trail Mix

There’s almost nothing easier and more portable than nuts or trail mix when you need a quick snack. However, be cautious when choosing nuts or trail mixes. First, the calories in nuts add up quickly – be sure to either separate them into serving size packs when you buy them or buy the single size packs. Second, trail mixes can be filled with sugar and candies which makes that once healthy snack an indulgent treat. Avoid trail mixes with chocolate candies in them (darn!) and sesame crackers, but rather steer towards the trail mixes with a variety of nuts and dried fruits.

Having these snacks on hand will make it easier for you to make a healthier choice when you’re hungry and in a hurry. No more grabbing a handful of potato chips and candies! You can be prepared and ready for anything, even when you’re short on time.

What snacks are your go-to snacks when you’re in a hurry? What do you struggle with most when it comes to snacking healthfully and your busy life?

The Secret to Success

It is hard to lose weight. It can also be hard to start an exercise routine. It is even harder to adhere to a healthy diet. Because these things are so hard, we try to find a “secret” that will make a healthy lifestyle easier.

We try fad diets, lose weight and then gain it back, get tired of it and then completely fall off the bandwagon.

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We try the newest fitness craze and either love it, hate it, or get injured as a result of it.

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We buy supplements promising to help “drop weight fast,” “cleanse,” or “increase fat burning potential.”

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We buy every health magazine with the latest and greatest article on how to “drop 10 pounds fast.”

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The real secret is that none of these work.  (And we hate to say it, but it’s not that big of a secret!)

But, Get in Shape for Women can give you the secret to success. It takes work. It takes support. It takes discipline. But it is so worth it.

  • Hit your daily calorie goal
  • Eat 100 grams of protein
  • Drink at least 64 ounces of water
  • 6 smaller meals per day, spaced 2-3 hours apart
  • Weight training and cardiovascular training at least 2 days a week
  • Sufficient sleep
  • Stress reduction/management techniques

DISCOVER