Tuesday, December 28, 2010

6+meals per day

From my perspective, six to eight small meals a day is key to boosting energy levels, kicking metabolism in to overdrive, and actually saving you time each day. It works for me because I enjoy getting to eat something every couple of hours. The best way to describe this benefit is each meal is a pit stop to fuel energy for the upcoming hours. I am eating smaller meals so I don't feel full and tired after eating. Metabolism is revved by the food and fluids you put in it. Eating and drinking healthy foods as the day goes on is a good way to keep metabolism from coming to a halt. Smaller meals are easier to plan out ahead, since they are more convenient to throw in a lunch bag and go. Taking meals on the run are so essential for hunger cravings and keeps me from making poor food choices.

I could go on with many benefits that has come from this lifestyle change, but energy, metabolism, and saving time are a few of my favorites. There are many different metabolism boosting theories out there, so it is up to each individual to find out what works for them best. I thought it would be fun to share a days worth of my healthy meal ideas, for anyone who would like to see how the change might affect them.

7 A.M. . . Smoothie

  •  1  Banana
  • 1/2 cup Strawberry
  • 1 cup Fat free vanilla yogurt
  • 3 cubes Ice
  • 1 cup Organic fat free milk
  • 1 tsp Flaxseed

*Toss all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

9:30 A.M . . .Oatmeal                                                                          

  • Sugar free original flavor oatmeal (off brand is only $2)

*One package of oatmeal. Try sweetening with splenda or natural honey.

12:00 P.M. . . Grilled Tofu or Chicken Salad

  • 3 cups Shredded lettuce
  • 1pinch Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup Chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup Tofu
  • 1/4 cup Low fat ranch

*Grill up tofu or chicken the night before, with you favorite seasoning.

2:30 P.M . . .Trail Mix                                                                            

  • Pick out your favorite all natural mixture at your local health store. (Trader Joe's, Whole Foods)

*One handful is enough. Prepare into portion sizes to easily grab and go in the morning.

***Still hungry?  Grab a small handful of grapes or whole grain crackers!

6:00-7:00 P.M . . . No bun Veggie burger

  • 1 Vegetable burger
  • 1slice Tomato
  • 1  Lettuce leaf
  • 1/4 cup Organic Ketchup or Mustard

*Have a side of black beans with the burger.

Try to avoid any late night snacking. Especially avoid items loaded with carbohydrates after 8:00 P.M.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Hidden Menu

I love McDonalds! The golden arches has squeezed a few healthy items in there for us!

  1. Side of scrambled eggs
  2. Side of egg whites (however many you want)
  3. Smoothie (portion size matters, so get the small)
  4. Black coffee
  5. Chopped apples and walnuts
  6. Fruit parfait (delicious)
  1. Grilled chicken Salad (emphasis on the grilled)(go light on the dressing)
  2. Side salad
  3. Unsweetened tea (add some splenda!)
  4. Lemonade (ask for the light lemonade for less calories)
  5. Vanilla ice cream without the cone (only if you are really craving it) (and definitely no cone)    
  1. Grilled chicken wrap (toss some of the tortilla to the side)
  2. Grilled chicken sandwich (throw out one of the buns)
  3. XXX Vitamin water (ask for low calorie)
  4. Filet o Fish (ask for no cheese and no bun) (good all by itself!)             
This little menu I have listed above should allow you to leave the drive-thru with no regrets. Avoiding a damaging lunch does not mean you have to stop going to McDonalds. It just means that you need to take an extra glance and look for healthier items on the menu. Our health and happiness is worth the extra couple minutes it may take to find that hidden menu!

For extra information about McDonalds nutrition facts, I added a link for you to get a head start!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Banana Nut Bread results. . .

After much anticipation waiting for the bananas to ripen, last night I completed the banana nut bread recipe. Just to recap for those just tuning in, I wanted to find a banana nut bread recipe that was healthy and didn't have any sugar or flour in the ingredients. Sure enough I found what I was looking for. I tested out the unknown and had a random group of people try it out, including myself. Eating with healthy ingredients does not take away from the flavor. Everyone was extremely excited about it and was asking for the recipe. I as a tester was astounded how much it tasted like any other banana nut bread recipe. The fact that it was healthy gave it bonus points in my book. So as I promised, if the recipe had a positive response I would share it with everyone.

Below is a link to the recipe. Please try it! Also, look for ways to make your own recipes and meal ideas more beneficial to your health. Don't be afraid to try new things.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Drink up!

The other day my friend and I were discussing my water drinking habits. We started laughing about how she spotted me out of a crowd of college students because of my pink water bottle.  We all know how important water is to a healthy lifestyle. We hear it all the time that eight glasses per day is the necessary amount. Sometimes though, eight glasses of water seems like a lot to fit in our busy schedules. Thats why I don't leave the house without my pink water bottle. I went to target and purchased a three dollar Rubbermaid water bottle so that I can keep water on me at all times. One that I can seal up tight and put in purse. I even decided to get a pink one just for fun. I am suggesting this idea because of the benefits that can occur with drinking more water. I have noticed a positive difference in my digestion, hydration, and even a healthy change in my eating. Imagine what it can help or improve for you.

A couple other ways to help kick start this new routine. . .

  • Crystal light water packets are a great way to add a little flavor to your water!
  • Build a schedule to complete each glass or bottle by a certain time. You don't want to reach the end of the day and have to try chugging down all eight glasses at once.
  • Hit the gym, you will be craving water during and after every work out.
Don't forget that water is the most important part of your diet, so drink up! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Smart holiday options

Thanksgiving is a week away! Some are dreading the extra weight gain during the holidays and others are thinking of ways to avoid it. I think everyone should avoid it. It's actually easier than you think. It is just a matter of saying yes to the right things and no to the wrong. When it comes to cooking the key is too leaving a few ingredients out and replacing them with more beneficial ones. For thanksgiving I was interested in cooking some delicious banana nut bread. So I went straight for the family recipe we have always used. I realized when writing down the grocery list that the ingredients were not exactly meeting my healthy guidelines. I try to avoid excessive amounts of sugar and flour. This happens to be two of the main ingredients in the bread. This called for a little research. I happened to find an amazing recipe through google. In the recipe almost everything was the same except we will replace the flour with oatmeal and the sugar with splenda. Try picking out a couple of your favorite recipes, find the problem ingredients, and search for other options. It may save you a few HUNDRED calories and have more health benefits for you and your family.

In the next few days I am going to make the banana nut bread recipe that I found. Then, have a few people including myself test it out. If it has a positive response, I will share the recipe with all of you. Good luck on your search for healthy holiday recipes!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy and healthy?

Are you happy? Are you healthy? Step back and ask yourself these two simple questions. The answers will help you evaluate what direction your life is going. I ask myself these questions on a regular basis. My personal goal in life is to be as happy as I can be while being as healthy as possible. Each day I learn more about bettering my body and mind. Which in time is helping me learn more about myself.  I want to share my findings and ideas with those who are interested in the same way of life.