Posts Tagged ‘food’

Weekend Wellness: Identifying Dietary Issues


There is so much hype about dietary issues it can be overwhelming…so much so I see people give up before they even try.  Just the thought of going gluten free, sugar free, lactose free, raw, vegan, vegetarian, or simply reducing calories is almost too much for most to wrap their heads around.  As is true to our nature, we try it all, get confused and frustrated and throw in the towel before we can really attempt a change.

What I recommend is if you think you might have a food intolerance, let’s say milk, just try to work on that one issue before you try 10 other options.  Start by taking notice of what foods you have that have milk in them.  Check food bars, sauces and other packaged goods and read the labels.  Simply start there.  You don’t even need to cut them out….just take the step to notice and read.  Then after a week or so, try to switch up a couple things, switch out your food bars to something which doesn’t have milk casein or try almond milk instead of dairy, for example.

My point is to take baby steps and educate yourself.  If you can become aware of your surroundings first, you will set yourself up to make choices which you will remember and can incorporate throughout a lifetime.

Be patient and take one step in front of the other.  You will find continued success in many areas of your life incorporating small changes…one step at a time!

Wednesday Wellness: Good Sleep, Good Life


Something to love about summer time is weekends filled with activities, friends, late night BBQ’s and basically, burning the candle at both ends!

The caveat as I realized first hand this past weekend is lack of sleep! So much fun, so little sleeping hours!

Well, as we all know, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you can experience grogginess, irritability, lethargy, mood swings, lack of alertness and even weight gain!

I also read many fatal car accidents are linked to lack of sleep.

There’s no surprise, however that what and when we eat can either help our sleep or hinder our sleep.

There are certain sleep enhancers, such as tryptophan, melatonin and lavender, that are worth exploring if you need natural sleep aids, and there are certain foods which, if eaten mindfully can also help get in a better night’s sleep.

I found some great links to help navigate through helpful and hurtful foods and liquids towards or away from a great night’s sleep:


Here’s to a restful night!

Wednesday Wellness: Successful Eating


Have you ever gone out to dine and have ordered something off the menu thinking it was healthy, only to find out it was soaked in butter, breaded and fried?

A client of mine sent me a link from Joy Bauer, MD which I think is fabulous and wanted to pass along….

Cheers to successful and healthy dining!

Au Gratin: Baked side dish (using potatoes, cauliflower, or another vegetable) typically made with cream or whole milk, butter, and cheese and topped with buttery bread crumbs
Hollandaise: Heavy, classic French sauce made with butter and egg yolks
Scalloped: Baked side dish (usually potatoes) made with heavy cream and/or whole milk
Creamed: Cooked with cream (as in creamed spinach)
Smothered: Usually covered in some sort of heavy sauce or gravy

Parmigiana: Coated in a mixture of bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese and fried
Alfredo: Heavy sauce made with butter, cream, and grated cheese
Scampi: Sauce often served with shrimp or other seafood that’s typically made with lots of butter
Fritto (Fried): Fried in oil (*Some restaurants in all cuisines have gotten more savvy in an effort to sound healthier and now refer to deep-fried foods as “lightly fried” or “crispy” on their menus. Don’t be fooled; if you have any doubts ask the waiter to explain the preparation.)
Breaded: Coated with bread crumbs and then typically deep-fried in oil (where it can soak up lots of calories, especially if not fried at the proper temperature)
Carbonara: Pasta sauce made from bacon, whole eggs, cheese, and sometimes cream

Con Queso: Topped with cheese
Refried: Fried, often in lard
Deep-Fried/Crispy: Fried in oil
Loaded/Supreme/Grande: Often used in reference to nachos, quesadillas, or burritos; this indicates that a dish is served with ALL the toppings, including cheese, sour cream, refried beans, and sometimes meat
Chimichanga: Burrito stuffed with meat and fillings, then deep-fried

Egg Rolls: Vegetables and meats wrapped in dough and deep-fried in oil
Fried: Fried rice, dumplings, meats, seafood, and more soak up excess oil which adds more calories to your plate
Chow: “Chow” indicates that a dish has been stir-fried, typically in liberal amounts of oil; chow mein and chow fun (or chow foon) are both dishes made with pan-fried noodles
Egg Foo Young: Egg dish (similar to an omelet) made with whole eggs, pan-fried, and usually smothered in salty brown gravy
Sweet and Sour: A sugary, syrupy sauce that’s very calorie-dense
General Tso: Bits of meat (most commonly chicken) are coated in an egg and cornstarch mixture, deep-fried, and mixed with vegetables in a high-salt sauce

Wednesday Wellness: Life Planning


Over the past week I have shared this analogy with several of my clients and it “sticks”!

Let’s say you are the family planner and financial budgeter. It’s October and you realize Christmas and property taxes are right around the corner. You know you will be spending quite a bit of money in December. Do you:

a)     Spend like there’s no tomorrow and worry about your credit card balances December 20th, hoping you’ll get a free offer for a new credit card around December 15th?

b)     In October, budget in order to be in the black come December 1st so that when you do need to buy presents you won’t go too far in the red

c)     Don’t worry about it much because you’ve already saved your money last summer and you have enough in the bank in order to safely skate through December without going into a national deficit.

Now let’s say you are going on a big trip with friends and/or family to Italy this summer. There’s wine, pasta, pizza, gelato and pounds to be gained (lots of them).   You are hoping to be in the best shape of your life before you travel to Italy. Do you…

a)     Crash diet 2 weeks before the trip, cleansing, detoxing, fasting and starving so you can have pizza, pasta and gelato (knowing you’ll gain it all back because you’ve only lost water and completely messed up your metabolism)

b)     Start to get in shape a couple of months before the big trip, working on your fitness, watching what you eat and starting to lose a few pounds before your adventure, hoping you can keep it off.

c)      Are already in shape because you planned on being in phenomenal shape several months before the event while at the same time creating lifelong habits of how to travel, what to eat and how to exercise; no matter where you are?   You know that when you get to Italy you will indulge a little but you will feel so great about your health, you won’t feel possessed to eat pizza and gelato like you will never have it again…ever?

Of course in each scenario, best case is “c”, and with “b” you can get by (barely). Unfortunately, so many of us choose “a” in our life, not just with our health and our budget…but everything. We put off what we know we need or want to do because somehow we make ourselves believe in the 11th hour we can always pull it together.

The problem isn’t that we pull it together; it’s that we never plan for what happens in the moment after we dodge the bullet. We stay on this inevitable roller coaster through life and are always living in the 9th inning so to speak.

It is late spring now. Most likely you have something fun planned for later in the summer which involves activities and indulging. Consider starting your spring training early and go into the home stretch already having achieved your goals!

Wednesday Wellness: Healthy Alternatives to Super Bowl Favorites


Do you find Super Bowl Sunday one of the most nutritionally challenging days of the year?!!

Would you love it if you could have chicken wings, pizza, fried mozzarella and ribs all day and still wake up a pound thinner?

Well, I can’t promise that, unless you are actually the running back for one of the Super Bowl teams, but here are some slight variations to those favorites!

1)      Buffalo Wings: *

8 oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast, cut into 10 nugget-shaped pieces
1/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original), ground to a breadcrumb-like consistency in a blender or food processor
1 oz. (about 14 crisps) Pringles Light Fat Free Potato Crisps, Barbecue (or another fat-free BBQ-flavored potato chip)
3 tbsp. Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
dash onion powder
dash garlic powder
dash cayenne pepper
dash black pepper
dash salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Crush potato crisps completely and, in a small dish, mix with cereal crumbs. Add a dash of each of the seasonings and mix well. Place chicken pieces in a separate dish, and cover and toss with Frank’s RedHot. Spray a baking pan with nonstick spray. Give each chicken piece a shake (so it’s not dripping with RedHot), and then coat it evenly with the crumb mixture. Lay the battered nuggets on the baking pan. Place in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Then flip the wings over, and return them to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until outsides are crispy and chicken is cooked throughout. MAKES 2 SERVINGS

Serving Size: 5 wings (half of recipe)
Calories: 175
Fat: 1.5g
Sodium: 1,153mg**
Carbs: 14g
Fiber: 4g
Sugars: <1g
Protein: 27g

2)      Pizza

Whole wheat lavash bread
Low sodium tomato/ spaghetti sauce or low fat hummus
Chopped chicken breast (or similar low fat meat)
Grilled veggies (get these from most deli counters already roasted; whole foods has fabulous roasted veggies)
Shaved veggie cheese or low fat mozerella cheese

On top of lavash bread, lightly spread tomato sauce OR hummus.  Top with shredded chicken, vegetables and cheese.  The more veggies the better.  Bake in the oven @ 350 for 10 min or until the bread is lightly crispy

3)      Ribs

Try “Gardenburger” riblets and save yourself half the calories!!

4)      Mozzarella cheese sticks *

2 light mozzarella sticks (50-60 calories and 2.5g fat per stick)
1/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original)
2 tbsp. fat-free liquid egg substitute
salt, pepper & Italian seasonings; to taste
Optional: low-fat marinara sauce (for dipping)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor or blender, grind Fiber One to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Place crumbs in a small plastic container with a lid. Season crumbs with as much salt, pepper and Italian seasonings as you like. Set aside. Cut cheese sticks in half, so that you have 4 sticks. Place sticks in a small bowl, and pour egg substitute over the top of the sticks. Swirl egg substitute around so that it thoroughly coats the sticks. One by one, transfer sticks to the container with the crumbs. Cover container, and give it a shake to coat the sticks in the crumbs. Carefully return sticks to the dish with the egg substitute, and coat them again. Next put sticks back in the crumbs container, cover, and shake once more to coat (try doing this two at a time the second time around). Place sticks on a baking dish sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Spritz the tops of the sticks with a quick mist of the spray. Place dish in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes (or until the first sign of cheese oozing out). If desired, serve with warm marinara sauce. Best when eaten immediately, while cheese is hot and gooey!

Serving Size: 4 pieces
Calories: 155
Fat: 5.5g
Sodium: 500mg
Carbs: 13.5g
Fiber: 7g
Sugars: 0g
Protein: 19g

If making these are simply too much, go for jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce!  That’s always a high protein low calorie snack goodie nearly everyone loves!

Have fun!

*Compliments of Hungry Girl