Tag Archives: Food

Bites, Sips and Tastes

English: A pile of Goldfish Crackers, made by ...

Who can eat just one, handful?

It’s that time of year. Kid’s activities in full swing between birthday parties, sports banquets and playdates, you try to grab a bite of something reasonably healthy to get you through. Yet, even with the best intentions, we come up short and soon…very soon, the kid foods at these events become your staple. By the end of day, week, month or year, you end up feeling like an overstuffed goldfish cracker.

 

We have all been there….at yet another kid event telling ourselves “I am  not going to eat the pizza or birthday cake this time.  Well, okay maybe just one bite because my daughter isn’t going to finish her slice of pizza and I am alittle hungry. It is lunch time afterall and one bite will hold me over until I get out of this party and home for some healthy adult food.”  We know what happens next. A very slippery slope that has us topping off 2 slices of pizza with the “oh no, I couldn’t birthday cake.” Leaving the party we vow to never do that again.  We tell ourselves “at least I didn’t have the ice cream with my cake,” which makes us feel better and we promise to plan better next time. And then it happens again and again.  Not because we love kid’s party food ( although I do love Safeway birthday cake frosting or any frosting for that matter:)  but because we, as women & moms, put ourselves on the back burner when it comes to planning and taking care of our own needs. In my case, it happened for about 10 years, guess I’m a slow -learner.

 

300px-But_this_probably_tastes_better

I witness countless women making a day of waffle bites from their kid’s breakfast, lattes, finishing off  kids ice cream after school , a glass of wine or two, followed by a few french fries and crusts of grilled cheese sandwiches the kids left on their plate. I even had a friend tell me her dinner consisted of goldfish crackers from her son’s high chair and wine every night because her husband worked late, so why cook? Any of this sound familiar?
And yet, women with young children are some of the biggest calorie burners out there ( read, constant motion) and still struggle to lose or maintain their weight. Those bites, sips and tastes add up quickly over time and sadly, we hardly realize we ate them. They are not satisfying, do not fill us up and leave us nutritionally out of balance. This scenario on a regular basis will leave you even more fatigued and looking around for the quickest pick me up..more sugar please?
Ladies, take advantage of this time in your life with your revved up metabolisms. Don’t waste all of that bonus calorie “burn” on things like goldfish crackers and pizza you have tasted 1000 times before…save the bites, sips & tastes for the special occasion great homemade food that is worth every bite.
Eating well takes planning.  Plan ahead before heading out to these events….eat BEFORE you go (even it means you will arrive 15 mins late), bring an apple for the car or stick with the fresh veggie platter or cheese stick at the party. NEVER show up hungry…you know what will happen.
Put yourself first. Take care of your health and your family will forever benefit.Apple with white background
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Summertime Sweetness

 

Summer is a time for sweetened ice tea, popsicles, juices, ice cream and more.  We can all remember the sweetness of summer as a kid with sticky popsicle juices running down your face as you tried to keep up with melt from the hot summer sun. The “sticky” we felt was  the sugar residue left on our skin. Good old fashioned REAL sugar. I do not believe sugar or any other real food is bad for us but I do know that artificially created “fake foods” are not good at all and can be quite damaging to our mind and body.  (Artificial sweeteners can be useful the diet of a diabetic.)

Please enjoy your summertime treats made with REAL sugar and skip the artificial sweeteners.

 

Speaking of sweeteners….Splenda, also known as Sucralose, is an additive marketed as a “natural” product because is made from sugar. However, this statement is misleading—because sucralose does not exist anywhere in nature. In reality, it’s made from table sugar—in a lab via a slew of harsh chemicals. During the process, oxygen and hydrogen are exchanged for chlorine—yes, as in pool water.  I love swimming in a pool but I do not want to drink it!  As a result, this switch actually makes Splenda 600 times sweeter than table sugar. And because sucralose is so much sweeter than natural sugar, it can over-stimulate the sugar receptors in our brain, making you crave intensely sweet foods throughout the day. No, thank you. I will stick to the real, sticky stuff in moderation. Happy Summer!

 

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Car Food

CAR FOOD….Summer means road trips. Half of the fun is packing up the car with all of your favorite “sippies & munchies” and settling in for the long days of driving. For some strange reason, the minute we hit the highway with our windows down and favorite tunes on the radio, our discipline flies right out the window. Now true, we are on vacation and enjoying alittle R & R, but there is a fine line between relaxation & gluttony. It’s as if a magic wand is waved over us and now  the foods we would never think to eat at home in our “regular life” become an all you can eat buffet of chips, candy, Fast food, sodas & cookies. When I was a kid, we packed a very simple lunch of a sandwich, fruit &  homemade cookie and off we went with a thermos full of water. We would stop at rest stops along the way to eat, walk around, use the bathroom and off we went. Somehow since then, it’s become gluttony on the road with giant size coolers of everything processed with stops along the way at fast food joints. All of this and you have not even really begun your vacation yet!

Let’s keep this simple. We all love a great road trip with the family or solo, but packing healthy snacks for the road will keep you feeling good and leave room for indulgences once you get to your destination.

*Eat & workout before you leave. Less temptation to grab a muffin or scone with your “joe” for the road. Leaving for a trip should not be an excuse to not exercise…you ALWAYS have to exercise, no matter what. You will feel so much better and be mentally clear for the road.

*Bring a refillable water bottle. No need for sodas or juices…good plain water to stay hydrated down the road.

*Bring snacks that are accessible, especially if you are going solo. Pack your cooler with your favorite healthy snacks to keep on the seat next to you.

*Plan stops to get out, move & use the bathroom. Don’t be tempted to justify a stop at the next fast food place for lunch.

*Family snacks..let each member of the family pick their favorite healthy snack to share on the trip.

*Snack ideas: air-popped popcorn ( goodbye bottomless bag of chips), mixed berries, string cheese, cherry tomatoes, edamame, homemade trail mix (be careful here, the calories add up quickly), sliced turkey roll ups with hummus, sliced fresh veggies, homemade oatmeal cookies, mini-bagels with peanut butter & banana, apples and squeeze yogurt(easy to eat, no spoon required).

*Enjoy your vacation destination. Arrive feeling good, take a walk, enjoy some great food & drinks with friends and family.

Happy Fourth of July!

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The Great Food Break Up Challenge

The Challenge: To BREAK UP with a FOOD.

You know the food…the one that calls your name, haunts you, makes you eat too much of it no matter how much self-control you have, makes you weak in the knees and vulnerable?  Like a bad relationship……leaves you feeling worse after being together.

English: A young girl enjoys pico de gallo and...

  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is the challenge…Break up with that food.  The one that you feel is contributing to those first or last few pounds that you have been trying to lose. The one that you know is not doing you any good nutritionally or emotionally. ( Just like a bad relationship….time to let it go 🙂

Breaking up with a food just means to take it out of your life for awhile. It doesn’t have to be forever.  I like the idea of breaking up with a food rather then thinking I can “never” eat that food again.  Again, like a bad relationship, you may not be able to be friendly right now, but maybe in the future.

It’s a more comfortable mindset…”if you love something then set it free.” It gives you time to try life without it. You may be surprised that you CAN live without it and don’t really miss it. And when you are ready to re-introduce that food back into your life, your relationship with it may be completely different. Are you ready for the challenge?

Tips for a Healthy Breakup:

* Start Small. Begin with a 4 week breakup.

* Be Specific. Do not try to eliminate an entire food group, i.e. sugar. Instead pick one item, i.e. cookies after dinner, and stick with that.

* Choose the right food. Be honest with yourself about which food is really getting in your way. Not the occasional piece of cake but something you eat/drink almost daily that has become a bad habit.

* Have a Healthy Alternative. It would be nice if those craving magically went away but most likely they will not. Have a healthy alternative on hand to ease the transition. (i.e. air-popped popcorn vs. chips)

* Get Back on the Wagon. Right away, if you have a “chance meeting” with your food. No guilt or self -doubt.

Here’s my story:  I broke up with tortilla chips 1 month ago. Our relationship was ongoing, most evenings right before dinner as I cooked and munched. It began innocently with 1 handful (portion controlling 🙂 and then grew to 3+ handfuls….quickly adding up those pre-dinner calories to more than 500 before we even sat down to eat. To tell you the truth, I haven’t missed them and when I have been around them I just tell myself  “sorry, we broke up.”

Now I nosh on cut veggies/air popped popcorn as I cook and save myself the extra calories/fat, especially at the end of the day as our metabolisms come to a screeching halt for the night.
These types of calories add up so quickly….did you know that it takes just an extra 100 calories/day for an entire year to equal 10 pounds? Could it be “that food” that is holding you back……

Are you game? What are going to break up with? Would love to hear & support you with your breakups. Good luck!

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Gluten or No Gluten?

Gluten-free or not gluten-free, is the question?  I get asked this more & more these days. Thanks to the media & food corporations driving this “fad,” people don’t know how to eat anymore. I talk with clients that have adopted this style of eating and are not really sure why? Other than, they have jumped on the latest “fad-wagon.”  Scarsdale, Atkins, Caveman.. all are just another name for the same diet. Higher protein, low or no carbs. And now, it’s the Gluten.

I recently got an email from a former client that had moved away wanting help with her diet because her cholesterol had gone up so much that her MD wanted to put her on meds. She is trying to avoid meds and wanted me to take a look at her eating plan. The first thing she told me was that she went Gluten free 2 years ago and now her cholesterol is sky high and has become pre-diabetic. She is fearful because her family has a high rate of heart disease related deaths. (By the way, this woman is lean and strong and works out regularly)
I asked her “why did you go Gluten Free?” She said…”I’m not sure, my chiropractor told me I should” AArgh….enough said!

My reason for sharing this client story is to remind you that Gluten-Free has become another fad diet. Unless you are one of the very few that have had an intestinal biopsy to show you truly have Celiac Disease, a gluten free diet is not a magic pill. Just as we have had no sugar, no fat, high protein, no carbs in the past…now we have no gluten. ( maybe next will be high gluten 🙂

A few points:

* Gluten comes from wheat and at some level, just about any commercially available food either contains wheat or has trace contamination from wheat, so a gluten free diet is much easier said than done.

* The history of human culture is closely tied to the history of bread. Bread was one of our earliest portable foods, which made it possible to take long journeys. Its carbohydrate content made it a high energy food, and combined with its light weight, bread was about the best food you could have with you. Bread made it possible for humans to migrate. Gluten built the bread that built the world.

* And since then, gluten has been used in many other foods as well. It’s handy as a protein supplement, and as an all-natural way to add elasticity to foods. People usually lose weight when first adopting a gluten free diet because it immediately takes away all of the favorite foods we like to eat i.e. bread, crackers, chips, etc. The gluten free foods are often high in fat and calories. It is not considered a “healthy diet” because it is high in overall fat and cuts out one very important food group. In a recent study of the healthiest diets, it ranked 25th out of 25. Need I say more?

Please be sure to educate yourself before starting any new extreme diet. Moderation is key to longevity.

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