Healthy Diet Pizza!

November 21, 2011 By: consultant 2 Comments

Nutritious eating is key to your healthy lifestyle. The key foundation to any healthy diet is moderation.

Many “dieters” believe that pizza is off limits when trying to lose weight. That’s why diets don’t work. Try not to think of food as being “off-limits”.  The second you decide certain foods are off limits, it becomes natural to crave them more.

Think smaller portions. Start small and think about serving sizes in realistic terms. Restaurants typically have 2-3 servings on one plate, which can lead to overeating and weight gain. Split an entrée with someone and order a salad with it. At home, try using smaller plates to encourage a healthy portion for weight loss.

Growing up, my family usually ordered pizza on Friday nights.  Many people on a weight loss diet view foods like pizza as “cheating.” No food should be viewed as cheating because after eating it, a feeling of guilt will occur. You can still enjoy pizza without feeling the guilt.

Healthy Diet Pizza

Tip #1: Enjoy your pizza with a side salad.

Tip #2: Cut your piece of pizza in half. Now you have two pieces to enjoy.

Tip #3: Skip the extra cheese and meat for toppings and swap for vegetables.

Tip #4: If the pizza place offers a whole-wheat crust, choose that.

Tip #5: Try thin crust pizza.

Weight Loss Breakfasts

November 7, 2011 By: office 3 Comments

We’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it is important to make sure that the first meal of the day sticks to your healthy diet plan for weight loss. There is no need to over-indulge and eat too many calories in one sitting, so it’s best to keep your breakfasts homemade rather than driving through a fast-food restaurant. A recent online article from Prevention highlights the worst fast-food breakfasts, with their healthy alternatives. Don’t subject yourself to extra calories and potential weight gain! Stick to a low-calorie meal to lose weight.

Starbucks Zucchini-Walnut Muffin

Muffins may be delicious, but they can definitely pack on the calories and leave your stomach grumbling. Although the Starbucks muffin seems to be made with healthy ingredients like zucchini and walnuts, it still has close to 500 calories and 28 g of fat.

Try Instead: Zucchini-Raisin Muffin

These delicious muffins are half the calories and nearly a third of the fat as the Starbucks alternative. Be sure to load up your bread batter with lots of zucchini shreds and add raisins for sweetness.

Zucchini-Raisin Muffin

Zucchini-Raisin Muffin

Ingredients (makes 12 servings)

2 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup toasted wheat germ

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded zucchini

1/2 cup raisins

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and butter a 12-cup muffin pan.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center, add the egg mixture, and stir just until combined. Fold in the zucchini and raisins.
  4. Pour the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from the muffin tin and cool on a rack.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 198.9 cal, 10.4 g fat, 1 g sat. fat, 184.2 mg sodium, 25.4 g carbs, 15.6 g sugar, 2.1 g dietary fiber, 3.5 g protein

Sonic Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Toaster

A classic sausage, egg, and cheese seems harmless enough- filling and protein-packed. However, the Sonic  version has over 620 calories, 42 g of fat, and 1,400 mg of sodium. That’s the sodium equivalent of eating an entire bag of salty potato chips before lunch!

Try Instead: Open-Faced Broiled Egg, Spinach, and Tomato Sandwich

Swap out the sausage for tomato and add spinach to get a serving of veggies first thing in the morning. This alternative has nearly a third of the calories of the Sonic sandwich, a quarter of the fat, and over 1,000 mg less sodium.

Ingredients (makes one serving)

1/2 whole wheat english muffin

1/4 cup fresh spinach, cooked and squeezed dry (about 4 ounces)

1 slice tomato

1 hard-boiled egg, sliced widthwise

1 tablespoon omega-3-enriched mayonnaise

salt-free seasoning blend (such as mrs. dash)

1.    Set the muffin half on a toaster oven pan or double sheet of foil. Top with the spinach and tomato. Lay on the egg slices in an overlapping spiral. Dollop on the mayonnaise and swirl slightly to partially cover the egg slices. Sprinkle on seasoning to taste.

2.    Place under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, watching carefully, until the mayonnaise is lightly browned.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 213.3 cal, 11.4 g fat, 1.8 g sat fat, 389.6 mg sodium, 18.8 g carbs, 3.9 g sugar, 4.2 g dietary fiber, 11.2 g protein

McDonald’s Big Breakfast with Hot Cakes

The immediate red flag in this menu item is the word “big.” You don’t need to eat a tremendous breakfast off of a fast-food menu. This breakfast includes scrambled eggs, sausage, a buttermilk biscuit, hash browns, and two hot cakes. That is a lot of food! You can see why this one dish has over half your day’s calories and over 55 g of fat, plus a whopping 2,150 mg of sodium.

Try Instead: Pancakes with Berries and Cinnamon

Try these light and fluffy low-calorie pancakes as an alternative. The trick is baking them in the oven. Top them with berries and cinnamon and you’ve got a delicious and nutritious breakfast for the whole family to enjoy.

Pancakes with Berries and Cinnamon

Pancakes with Berries and Cinnamon

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

4 large eggs

1/2 cup 2% milk

1/3 cup oat flour

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons raspberry or blueberry fruit spread, warmed

  1. In a blender, combine the eggs, milk, flour, and salt. Process until smooth, about 15 seconds. Remove to a medium bowl, cover, and let rest for 45 to 60 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 9″ oven-safe skillet over medium heat and cook until frothy. Pour in the egg-flour mixture. Place in the oven and bake until puffy and set, 14 to 16 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the cinnamon. Spread the fruit over the pancake, and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Using a spatula, fold the pancake in half (or roll it up) and slide it onto a platter. Slice into 4 pieces.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 222.7 cal, 14.9 g fat, 7.5 g sat fat, 120 mg sodium, 14.7 g carbs, 7.8 g sugar, .8 g dietary fiber, 8.4 g protein

Cinnabon Regular Caramel Pecanbon

If you’ve ever been to a shopping mall, you probably know how amazing Cinnabon can smell. Try to resist that urge to eat one of their treats, as one caramel-pecan bun comes in at almost 1,100 calories. It’s also loaded with more fat than nine chocolate chip cookies.

Try Instead: Maple-Pecan Cinnamon Roll

This homemade version still has the delicious gooey characteristics, with nearly a third of the calories and a quarter of the fat. You can even pop it in the microwave for that “just baked” taste and scent.

Maple-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Maple-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients (makes 12 servings)

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

2 large eggs

1/4 cup fat-free plain greek yogurt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 cups white whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup raisins

3 tablespoons trans-free margarine

3/4 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

  1. Warm the milk in the microwave until the temperature reaches 100° to 110°F, 30 to 40 seconds. Stir in the brown sugar and yeast and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, or until bubbles form. Combine the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
  2. Combine the flour, 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon, and the salt in a large bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Slowly add the milk and yogurt mixtures while the mixer is running on low. Knead for 8 minutes, adding the raisins after about 5 minutes. Coat the bowl and dough with cooking spray. Cover and keep in a warm place until the dough is doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
  3. Meanwhile, mix the margarine and 1/4 cup of the maple syrup in a small bowl and set aside. Combine 1 cup of the pecans, 1/4 cup of the syrup, and the remaining 1 tablespoon cinnamon in another small bowl and set aside. Coat a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with cooking spray and pour the remaining 1/4 cup syrup over the bottom. Cover with the remaining 1/2 cup pecans. Set aside.
  4. Punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/2″ thick. Spread the margarine mixture over the dough, leaving a 1″ border around the edges. Slowly pour the pecan-syrup mixture into the center and spread over the margarine mixture.
  5. Starting on a long side, carefully roll the dough into a log shape. Slice into 12 equal pieces. Arrange the pieces cut side up in the baking dish. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls uncovered for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool slightly and serve warm.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 421.7 cal, 14.8 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 156.5 mg sodium, 64.7 g carbs, 26.9 sugar, 7.8 g dietary fiber, 9.1 g protein

Hardee’s Double-Loaded Omelet Biscuit

This omelet packs 800 calories and comes with three types of breakfast meat – bacon, sausage, and ham – all on top of a buttery biscuit.

Try Instead: Hearty Egg Sandwich

This sandwich alternative still fills you up but swaps out the fatty breakfast meats for avocado and tomato slices. This version has less than 400 calories and cuts down on fat and calories with reduced-fat Cheddar.

Hearty Egg Sandwich

Hearty Egg Sandwich

Ingredients (makes 1 serving)

1 whole egg

1 egg white

1 toasted whole wheat English muffin

1/4 C mashed Hass avocado

1 slice reduced-fat cheddar cheese

2 tomato slices

  1. Scramble 1 whole egg with 1 egg white in a skillet coated with cooking spray. Place on toasted whole wheat English muffin spread with 1/4 c mashed Hass avocado, and top with 1 slice reduced-fat Cheddar cheese and tomato slices.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 367.5 cal, 16.8 g fat, 4.2 g sat fat, 723.6 mg sodium, 34 g carbs, 7.2 g sugar, 8.6 g dietary fiber, 24 g protein

Dunkin’ Donuts Chocolate-Coconut Cake Donut

You probably already know that a doughnut isn’t a very safe food for your healthy diet. This particular doughnut accounts for over a quarter of your day’s calories and has nearly as much sugar as a whole chocolate bar.

Try Instead: Strawberry-Banana-Topped French Toast

You can still satisfy your sweet tooth without going overboard on calories. This rich meal is less than half the calories of just one doughnut.

Strawberry-Banana-Topped French Toast

Strawberry-Banana-Topped French Toast

Ingredients (makes 1 serving)

1 egg

1/4 cup fat-free milk

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 slice (1 ounce) whole grain bread

1 teaspoon trans-fat free spread

1/4 cup sliced strawberries

1/4 cup sliced banana

  1. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg with the milk and cinnamon. Dip both sides of the bread in the milk mixture.
  2. Melt the spread in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the bread in the pan. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden and cooked through. Cut in half diagonally. Place half on a plate. Top with half of the strawberries and bananas. Cover with the other toast half and the remaining strawberries and bananas.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 254.2 cal, 9.7 g fat, 2.8 g sat fat, 267.9 mg sodium, 29.5 g carbs, 11.9 g sugar, 4.5 g dietary fiber, 13.5 g protein

Fitness Tips: Exercising on an Empty Stomach

August 23, 2011 By: office 2 Comments

Hitting the gym before you eat may seem like conventional wisdom, but should you try to deliberately go to the gym on an empty stomach in order to burn more fat?

The idea, advocated in popular fitness books for decades, is that exercising on an empty stomach forces the body to dip into fat stores instead of burning the carbohydrates quickly available from a pre-workout snack or meal. Seems to make sense, doesn’t it? In actuality, research shows that working out in this way offers no additional bodily benefit, and may actually stunt your workout and affect your weight loss efforts.

Exercising on an Empty Stomach

It is more beneficial to your body to eat a pre-workout snack than to go on an empty stomach.

After years of studying and research, a report from the Strength and Conditioning Journal concluded that you burn the same amount of fat regardless of any pre-workout carbohydrates. On the contrary, you are likely to lose muscle by exercising in a depleted state. Also, without fuel to exercise, intensity and overall calories burned will be reduced.

When working out on an empty stomach, up to 10 percent of your calories burned can come from protein. This includes muscle loss. Also, separate studies show that if you consume as little as 45 grams of carbohydrates prior to working out, you will consume later throughout the day. This can lead to over-eating, which can contribute to weight gain. Consuming a little bit before working out instead of trying to work out on an empty stomach seems to be a win-win situation!

If you want to burn more fat and less carbohydrates, try changing up what you do in the gym instead of when you eat. Doing a cardio workout for a longer time at a lower intensity burns more fat. Working out at a high intensity for a short amount of time will burn more carbohydrates. Try ditching the sprints for a long, slow jog in order to shed some pounds. Just remember not to be too low on energy, or your weight loss workout will suffer overall.

Weight Loss and Nutrition Tips: Eat Nuts!

March 25, 2011 By: consultant 11 Comments

Going Nuts?  Me too.

Going to EAT nuts, that is.  A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who eat nuts twice per week have a reduced chance of becoming overweight or obese compared to women who do not eat nuts.  Watch out, almonds.  Here I come.

Mixed Nuts

Add some nuts to your diet to prevent excess weight gain!

But it’s not just almonds that have healthy lifestyle benefits.  Walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, hazelnuts (filberts), and pistachios come packed with vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, calcium, selenium, copper, and magnesium.  And let’s not forget our faithful peanut.  As my personal favorite legume, peanuts are a good source of B vitamins and help make peanut butter mighty tasty.

So why exactly do nuts help to prevent excess weight gain?  Though some tend to steer away from these crunchy, delicious foods, the unsaturated fat in nuts is actually quite beneficial.  Fat is necessary for the body to absorb certain vitamins and minerals – notably vitamins A, D, E, and K – and these are needed for proper metabolism.   Some scientists also believe that the human body is not necessarily able to process the entire nut (think fiber and indigestible plant material), which results in the absorption of fewer calories.

So add some chopped walnuts to your morning oatmeal.  Grab a handful of almonds for a quick, filling snack.  Or treat yourself to a few apple slices topped with a creamy swirl of peanut butter.  You’ll be getting some great vitamins and minerals as well as enjoying a tasty treat.  Who doesn’t go nuts every now and then?

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