Tips on eating out, the healthy way

The average American adult eats out or buys a snack 5.8 times a week. That’s almost once a day. This wouldn’t be a big deal if restaurants were as healthy as the food you make in your own kitchen.

2013_Lunch_Infographic

Among other ingredients, restaurants use large amounts of butter and oil to prepare their dishes, which is how the dishes become so unhealthy.

Eating out isn’t a bad thing though. It’s great for socializing, and let’s be honest, when you just don’t feel like cooking (hello, weekends!). How can you go out to eat, but still eat healthy? I’ve got some tips for you!

How to eat healthy at restaurants:

Before you go out:

  1. Don’t arrive starving. You’ll over eat and regret it when it’s all said and done.
  2. Think ahead of what you’ll order. This can help your willpower to avoid unhealthy meals.

When ordering:

  1. Order foods that are steamed, broiled, baked, poached, or roasted NOT fried, au gratin, crispy, scalloped, pan-fried, sautéed, buttered, creamed or stuffed.
  2. Ask what kind of oils the foods are prepared in. You want: monounsaturated oils (olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil) and polyunsaturated oils (soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil).
  3. Get salad dressings, butter, and cream on the side. It’s better you control how much goes on your food.
  4. Substitute fries for vegetables, baked potato (see rule above), and plain rice. It irritates me that fries are the standard side.
  5. Order lean meat like chicken or fish.

As I stated earlier, it’s okay to eat out. Just be conscious of these tips the next time and you’ll be making healthier choices. Who doesn’t want that?!

It’s okay to splurge on occasion, too. Restricting your diet will only make you want something even more. It’s about balance. Just enjoy!

Let’s get energized!

Advertisements

How do you know you have a food allergy?

Which is it??

Food allergies are all around us. Gluten free, dairy free, nut free, meat free…

I’m only half kidding on the meat free one.

Food allergies are real; 15 million Americans have food allergies. While there is no denying the validity of food allergies, there is some misused labeling happening across the nation.

Some people are claiming to have “food allergies” when that’s not the case. What they could have is an intolerance or a sensitivity.

Food Allergies (1)

Food Allergy vs Food Intolerance

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a food allergy is based on a reaction from the body’s immune system. This means that the body does not recognize an ingredient in the food, which is usually a protein, and the body attacks it, thus affecting organs and potentially creating serious reactions.

An intolerance to a particular type of food is a based on a reaction from the body’s digestive system. Upset stomachs, nausea, cramping, and diarrhea are common symptoms of a food intolerance.

*Food allergies are more serious and severe than a food intolerance*

Food Sensitivity

Going even further, there’s what is called a food sensitivity. Not many studies have been done on food sensitivities, but there is a main difference between a sensitivity, a food allergy, and an intolerance.

A food sensitivity is not an immune reaction, so it’s not an allergy. With most food sensitivities, the body has unpleasant reactions, including nausea or acid reflex, which is similar to a food intolerance.

 

greasy_food

Photo from: www.two-views.com

However, with a food intolerance, the reactions typically happen the same way every time after eating the food, not periodically or every once in a while, like it does with a sensitivity.

Now, that’s not to say that you have an intolerance to greasy food because it gives you heartburn. It’s because of the greasy food.

This is an area I’ll be learning a lot more about with first hand experience. I believe I have a food intolerance, but am not sure. I plan on getting it checked out within the next week. I’ll keep you all posted.

In the meantime….

Let’s get energized! 🙂

Kale not worth the “nutritional” hype?

Do you know what a powerhouse fruit or vegetable (PFV) is? The exact definition is, as Dr. Jennifer Di Noia says, “lacking.

Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables

According to the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, PFVs are fruits and vegetables with nutrients that can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, but gives no other guidelines.

Dr. Noia and colleagues have now determined guidelines for PFVs thanks to their study. In essence, they wanted to see which foods pack the most nutrition.

To define what a powerhouse food is, they developed and  validated a classification system. The system says, on average, that the food must contain 10% of 17 nutrients in 100 calories.

They studied 47 foods, and 41 qualified as a PFV. You’ll be surprised what topped the list as the most nutrient dense food. It’s watercress, a leafy, green vegetable.

Watercress is the new Kale

I would have thought Kale would be number 1. It’s up there, but it doesn’t even rank in the top ten of the 47 foods tested!

I’m about to go look up some recipes for watercress now. Who knew?!

Let’s get energized! 🙂

 

31 ways to use chia seeds in recipes

31 ways to use chia seeds in recipes

BuzzFeed is amazing. I’m sure many of you are over the whole Facebook quizzes fad (guilty of loving those), but I promise this is not a quiz.

The link I’m sharing with you will change your life. Okay, I’m being dramatic. My day was made when I stumbled upon this wonderful find though.

Check out 31 Healthy and Delicious Ways to Cook with Chia Seeds. There really are some great recipes in the list. I HAVE to try number 11.

Thanks, BuzzFeed, for making my day, yet again. If only you knew how much I enjoy thee…

 

Let’s get energized!

“Plan your dive, dive your plan”

Health and Fitness Challenge

Here’s an honest update on how the challenge is going: ehhhhh.

I did great during week one. Last week, I fell off the wagon a little bit. However, I will NOT beat myself up over it. I’m going to continue on to week 3 and do better than I did last week.

I’m doing great at the working out and eating my veggies. It’s the other things like green drinks and counting calories that I have been flubbing. So, I need to readjust my focus and put more emphasis on the things that are giving me troubles.

Here’s the challenge for week 3:

Week 3

Scuba Diving

I have my scuba diving license. One thing that the PADI instructors drilled into my head is this phrase: plan your dive, dive your plan.

The meaning behind that little phrase is simple, yet genius, to not only scuba diving but to anything in life.

In scuba diving, the phrase is important to safety. It’s too dangerous to not have a plan before going under water. You need to plan your dive, and then dive your plan. Don’t go off course.

This is the same for life, especially this challenge. In order to be successful, you have to plan. Plan when and what you’re going to be eating for each meal, each day. If you don’t plan, you’ll find yourself reaching toward that unhealthy snack or falling back into your old habits.

Planning takes time and effort upfront. After the planning and strategizing is done, your choices and behaviors will be easier to control.

Will you still have urges and cravings? Yes. But, I guarantee if you have a plan and are facing a craving, you’ll be more apt to resist and move forward.

Let’s make a plan and let’s get energized!

 

Chia pudding

I finally bought some chia seeds while in Florida, and, since they leave a dent in the wallet, I wanted to make use of them.

Chia seeds are the epitome of versatile (awesome Pinterest board!). You’ll spend hours searching the infinite recipes online. I found one that I thought was great, so I want to share it with you.

Let me introduce you to what’s bound to be your new go-to breakfast item: chia pudding.

It’s simple. It’s painless. It’s delicious. What’s better than that for breakfast?

The recipe, which I found on the lovely Domesticate Me, calls for ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen right now:

  • chia seeds
  • almond milk
  • yogurt
  • vanilla extract
  • maple syrup
  • kosher salt
  • fruit (optional)
  • granola (optional)
  • nuts (optional)
  • cinnamon (optional)

My spin

I followed the directions for the most part. I used greek yogurt (Fage) and honey instead of maple syrup.

Here’s how it turned out…

 

Chia PuddingThis was before it was refrigerated over night.
Chia pudding with fruitThis was before I smashed it!

I ran out of time (and embarrassingly ingredients) to really go all out on toppings. It definitely could have used a crunch, but other than that it was extremely good. I’ll be making this again. And again. And again.

Let’s get energized! 🙂

“Nature’s Perfect Food”

Hemp seeds are called “nature’s perfect food.” Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, paleo, or whatever diet is out there, you should be eating hemp seeds. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. Hemp seeds contain all amino acids, even the essential amino acids our bodies need
  2. The ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 is 3:1, a great balance for optimal health
  3. There are 5 grams of protein in two tablespoons
  4. It is one of the most easily digestible form of protein
  5. Contains vitamin E and many minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorous

 

pile of hemp seeds

photo credit: www.trulyorganicfoods.com

Isn’t hemp marijuana?

If marijuana came across your mind while reading this, you’re not the first one. When I saw hemp seeds in a recipe I was appalled.

Hemp is of a different species than marijuana. Most importantly, hemp contains very little of THC, the active ingredient that marijuana is known for.

No need to worry about drug tests. Eat up those hemp seeds!

Let’s get energized!