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.

Healthy Diet: Sneaking in More Vegetables

November 15, 2011 By: consultant 4 Comments

We all know how difficult it can be some days to get the daily recommended amount of vegetables in your weight loss diet.  There are little tricks to sneak in vegetables for your healthy lifestyle and you won’t even realize you are eating them.

Regardless of the season, smoothies are a delicious treat. When ordering a fruit smoothie out, it can be loaded with sugar, fruit juices, ice cream, and often times no real fruit. It can be misleading when you think you are picking a healthier option for weight loss success. For example a popular smoothie chain has a flavor of banana berry flavor which racks up 560 calories and 115 grams of sugar.

By making one at home you can control what goes in and can also sneak in some vegetables with it. Would you ever think that spinach could go into a fruit smoothie? Most people automatically crinkle their nose and question it. Spinach in a smoothie? It may sound like a strange ingredient, but you cannot even taste it and you are able to get a serving of vegetables in for the day. It gives the benefits of nutrition, plus it turns your smoothie into a pretty green color!

Banana Berry Smoothie
(serves 2)

Banana Berry Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup strawberries
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup low fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup of ice

Combine the banana, strawberries, blueberries, yogurt and water in the blender. Blend until smooth. Then add in the spinach and blend again until smooth. Add ice and blend and then serve.

Each serving is only 152 calories. It’s a perfect treat for any occasion! Fruit smoothies are so versatile you can create your perfect smoothie with your favorite fruit combinations. Try combining some of your own favorite fruits and veggies to see what you like best and feel free to share your new recipes with us here!

Got Milk? Healthy Diet Tips

October 28, 2011 By: consultant 2 Comments

As a child, weren’t you always told to drink your milk to build strong bones? Milk has a rich source of calcium and phosphorus. Milk also provides a source of protein as well as vitamins A, B, and D, which help proper growth and development for your weight loss diet.

Years ago, there was just whole milk. Now, when you go to the grocery store, there is a wide variety of milk and milk alternatives available for your healthy lifestyle. All milk alternatives are fortified to contain approximately the same amount of calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk.

So which one do you choose for your healthy diet?

Here’s the skinny:

Nutrition Facts: Skim Milk

(1 cup)

Soy Milk

(1 cup)

Almond Milk

(1 cup)

Rice Milk

(1 cup)

Coconut Milk

(1 cup)

Calories 90 90 40 120 80
Total Fat 0 g 3.5 g 3.5 g 2.5 g 5 g
Total Carbohydrates 13 g 8 g 2 g 23 g 7 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g 1 g 1 g 0 g 0 g
Sugars 12 g 6 g 0 g 10 g 6 g
Protein 8 g 6 g 1 g 1 g 1 g

Skim milk:

Skim milk is whole milk from dairy cows that has most or all of its fat removed. When the fat is removed, what is left is the protein-rich milk. If you are transitioning from whole milk to skim milk the taste may seem to be very different. Whole milk is much creamier because of the fat content. If you want to slowly transition to skim milk try starting with reduced-fat milk first, then to skim milk.

Soy Milk:

Soymilk is made from pressed soybeans. Sugar or sweetener is then added to the flavored varieties.  It is the most popular choice among individuals who are lactose-intolerant and who are vegetarian or vegan.

Original soymilk is the closest alternative to skim milk. It has a naturally low level of saturated fat because it is a plant-based protein. It provides a significant amount of protein. Make sure the check the label for “whole soy bean” and avoid brands that list “isolated soy protein”.

Almond Milk:

To make almond milk, almonds are finely ground with water and sometimes sugar (for the sweetened varieties). Almond milk is mostly water by weight causing it to have a thinner consistency. It has a mild nutty flavor. Almond milk is a choice or people who are lactose-intolerant and who are vegetarian or vegan.

The downside to almond milk is that it only contains 1 gram of protein with is significantly less than cow’s milk or soymilk.

Rice Milk:

Rice milk is a mixture of partially milled rice and water. Rice milk is a choice for individuals with allergies to other types of milk. It is another option for people who are lactose-intolerant and vegetarian or vegan.

Along with almond milk it is low in protein and only contains 1 gram per serving. Rice milk can taste a little watery or chalky.

Coconut Milk:

Coconut milk is another alternative for people with dairy allergies, vegetarian, or vegan. It is higher in fat, but these fats are medium chain fatty acids, which are good fats.

It doesn’t taste like traditional milk. It does have a distinct sweet flavor. Coconut milk is an okay substitute while baking, but not the best choice for cooking, unless the recipe requires a sweet flavor.

Switching Up Your Grains For Weight Loss

October 11, 2011 By: consultant 4 Comments

A healthy diet consists of 50-65% of grains. At least half of those grains should be whole grains. Switching to just whole grains may seem intimidating at first. To gradually get used to the flavorful taste of whole grains, start out by mixing what you normally like with whole grains. For example, mix 3/4 of a serving of regular pasta and 1/4 of a serving of whole wheat pasta. Then gradually mix 1/2 of a serving of regular pasta with 1/2 of a serving of whole wheat pasta. Soon enough you will be at a whole serving of whole grains!

What exactly is a whole grain? A whole grain consists of the bran, germ, and endosperm.
Whole Grain

The bran, or the outer shell is high in fiber. The germ is a polyunsaturated fat, in simple terms a healthy fat, and also full of vitamins. The Endosperm is the starchy component. White grains are processed and the germ and the bran are stripped away which also strips away the good nutrients from the bran and germ.

Many people automatically think of whole grains as whole wheat flour, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice. There are so many more whole grains out there to try like amaranth, barley, couscous, kamut, millet, oats, quinoa, rice, rye, spelt, teff, wheat, and wheat berries. Try incorporating more types of grain into your weight loss diet for a healthy lifestyle.

A type of couscous, Israeli couscous, which is sometimes called pearl couscous, are small, round, pasta-like granules made from semolina and wheat flour.

Other grains are typically dried and packaged and then rehydrated when cooked. Israeli couscous is toasted instead. It gives a distinct nutty flavor and a sturdier composition which makes is such a versatile grain that can stand up to any type of sauce, soup, or salad.

Israeli couscous has great nutritional benefits. A 1/2 cup of cooked Israeli couscous is 88 kcal, 3g protein, 18g carbohydrates, 0.1g fat, and 2g fiber.

Israeli Couscous Salad with Shrimp

Israeli Couscous Salad with Shrimp

Israeli Couscous Salad with Shrimp

Makes 4 servings

1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup Israeli couscous
5 tablespoons of olive oil
6 ounces of shrimp, grilled
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
2 lemons, juice
A large bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly grounded pepper to taste


1.  Bring the chicken stock to a boil. Pour over the couscous in a bowl and leave to sit or 10 minutes.

2.  Place 5 shrimp on a skewer. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with minced garlic. Grill over high heat until fully cooked.

3.  When the couscous has absorbed the chicken broth, add the olive oil and lemon juice. and break up any lumps that may have formed with a fork. This will give a lighter texture to the salad.

4.  Peel the cucumber and cut lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and dice. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Add the cucumbers and tomatoes to the couscous.

5.  Stir in the chopped cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Add more lemon juice as needed.

6.  Let the couscous salad marinate together for at least 20 minutes for flavors to enhance.

7.  Serve with grilled shrimp.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 279 kcal
Total Fat: 17.5 g
Total Carbohydrate: 19.9 g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Protein: 11 g

Healthy Eating: A Lesson on Legumes

October 6, 2011 By: consultant 2 Comments

Garbanzo beans, also commonly known as chickpeas, are a versatile and tasty legume. They have a nutlike taste and buttery texture. They can be tossed in salads, roasted, mashed, stirred into soups, and even incorporated into desserts! They are also a healthy food, perfect to incorporate into any weight loss diet for your healthy lifestyle.

Originated in the Middle East, whose food cultures heavily rely upon this high protein legume. They are typically categorized in the Mediterranean flavor profile.

Make garbanzo beans a staple in your pantry. Not only are they taste, they are quick and convenient and pack in a lot of nutritional value.


Garbanzo beans are a good vegetarian source of protein. When paired with whole grains, it makes it a complete protein which is comparable to meat, without the added saturated fat or cholesterol found in meat protein sources. One cup of garbanzo beans has about 27% of the daily protein requirements.


Legumes are rich in fiber, Garbanzo beans contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber works in the digestive tract and helps lower cholesterol where as insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation and other digestive disorders. By having each type of fiber, it keeps the body healthy and working properly. Garbanzo beans contain 12.5 grams of fiber per cup. That’s 50% of the Daily Value!


Garbanzo beans are a great source of iron. Iron is important for energy production. High sources of iron can be found in red meat. For vegetarians, garbanzo beans are a great way to fit in more iron. Deficiencies of iron can result in fatigue.


How to select and store:

In the grocery store, garbanzo beans can be purchased either dried or canned.

Dried garbanzo beans can be found in bags or in bulk bins. Make sure there is no moisture and that they are whole and not cracked.

When purchasing canned garbanzo beans, look for the ones that have no extra salt added. Rinse under water before using. Extra beans, store in a sealed plastic container in the fridge.

Enjoy these three fun new ways to cook with garbanzo beans!


Lemon Garlic Hummus

Use chickpeas to make homemade hummus for a nutritious snack.


Lemon Garlic Hummus

Makes 24 servings


2 cups can chickpeas, skins peeled off*
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste


Open and drain the chickpeas. Remove the outside skin of the chickpeas.*

Put the chickpeas in the food processor and pulse about 5 times.

Add the lemon juice and minced garlic. As the chickpeas are processing stream in the olive oil slowly.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with sliced vegetables to dip.

Nutrition and Cooking tips:

  • Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans.
  • The skins are edible and are usually left on when cooking with chickpeas, but can be removed when making hummus to make a creamier consistency.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 85
Total Fat: 7.0 g
Total Carbohydrates: 4.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g
Protein: 1.0 g



Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Dessert Hummus

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a tasty dessert made from healthy chickpeas.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Dessert Hummus

Makes 18 servings


2 cups can chickpeas, skins peeled off*
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips*



Open and drain the chickpeas. Remove the outside skin of the chickpeas.*

Put the chickpeas in the food processor and pulse about 5 times.

Add the peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract. Pulse until creamy.

Fold in the chocolate chips. Serve with slices of apples.

Nutrition and Cooking tips:

  • Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans.
  • The skins are edible and are usually left on when cooking with chickpeas, but can be removed when making hummus to make a creamier consistency.
  • Dark chocolate chips are a better choice than milk chocolate because it has less sugar and more antioxidants.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 77
Total Fat: 2.8 g
Total Carbohydrates: 11.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
Protein: 2.4 g



Roasted Chickpeas

Spice up your chickpeas by roasting them in the oven.


Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

Makes 15 servings


One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch, Salt
Spice blend of your choice (Examples: creole or cajun seasonings)


1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Drain the can of garbanzo beans in a strainer and rinse with water for a few seconds to clean off the beans. Shake and tap the strainer to rid of excess water. Lay paper towel on a baking sheet, and spread the beans over. Use another paper towel to gently press and absorb the water on the beans. Roll the beans around with the paper towel to also remove the thin skin from any of the beans. Discard the skins and the paper towels.

3. Drizzle the olive oil over the beans and use your hands or a spatula to toss around and coat. Roast for 30-40 minutes until the beans are a deep golden brown and crunchy. Make sure that the beans do not burn.

4.  Season with salt and spice blend.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 115
Total Fat: 3.1 g
Total Carbohydrates: 17.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.9 g
Protein: 5.5 g

Weight Loss News: Is Gluten-Free the Way to Be

June 1, 2011 By: office 68 Comments

For the estimated 1% of the population with celiac disease, gluten can trigger digestive distress and cause long-term health problems.  For the rest of us, gluten is a harmless protein found in grains like wheat, rye and barley that is best known for giving bread its fluffiness.  Although it’s virtually harmless for the majority of the population, “gluten-free” has become a huge selling point in the food industry, as described in a recent Time article by Katy Steinmetz.

Some people may mistakenly believe that “gluten-free” means “low carb,” when they in fact are not related to each other.  Nonetheless, it is drawing people into the trend and everything from cake mixes to restaurant menus are popping up with gluten-free items.  Americans spent a record $2.6 billion last year to banish gluten from their lives.

Gluten Free Weight Loss

Gluten free has become a trend, but does it actually result in weight loss?

You would think that the majority of the gluten-free consumers have celiac disease, right?  Not so. The trend followers are actually doing the bulk of the buying.  A recent survey by market-research firm Packaged Facts showed that only 8 to 12% of people who purchased gluten-free products did so because of gluten intolerance.  Most simply thought these products were healthier or of higher quality or could help them manage their weight.

Food manufacturers are rushing to get in on this newest trend, but the Food and Drug Administration has yet to set a standard for gluten-free labeling.  For those with celiac disease, this can be very serious, as even the smallest amount of gluten can trigger a reaction.  “Vendors or restaurants will feel it’s just a fad, it’s another crazy diet and it doesn’t matter what we feed to these people,” says Tiara Rogers, 34, who has a close friend with celiac disease.

Many health experts stress that gluten is not a dietary evil.  As for supposed weight loss benefits, a gluten-free pretzel is not going to take off the pounds any faster than a regular pretzel.  In fact, if you avoid only gluten, rather than the carb-packed foods it’s typically in, you will likely be getting more calories with fewer nutrients because many substitutes end up being high in surrogate carbs and low in fiber.

The gluten-free trend is another example of a weight loss diet fad that draws in followers, even when people don’t know exactly what it is they are following!  Have you ever tried the gluten-free diet, or do you know anyone who has?  We’d love to hear some feedback about this one!

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