Spring Clean Your Kitchen
Spring Clean Your Kitchen!
It’s time to take a fresh look at your kitchen and start Spring cleaning. Below are some tips on what to get rid of what, what to add, along with other fun and easy tips for getting your kitchen ready for Spring.
Take inventory – do you see tempting foods lurking in your cupboards? Go ahead and toss them!
Organize! It’s much easier to prepare healthy meals when you can see and easily grab the necessary ingredients. Try grouping your canned foods according to type, place pasta, rice and other grains together and group healthy snack foods together.
Make healthy foods visible by placing healthy foods where you can see them. For example - put cut-up fruits and vegetables in clear containers in front of the refrigerator so they are the first thing you see. Similarly, ask family members to keep tempting foods in another cupboard or place high calorie items like chips and cookies in a non see through container.
Ditch the trans fat! Read ingredient labels for “partially hydrogenated” oils. If you spy this unhealthy ingredient, consider tossing the item.
Add “Superfoods!” Certain foods take the prize when it comes to nutrition. Stock your cupboards and refrigerator with black beans, blueberries, wild salmon, sweet potatoes, almonds, oranges and spinach.
Look for portion controlled options. Portion controlled chips and cookies make it easy to “indulge” while keeping fat and calories in check. Look for 100-calorie packages of your favorite treat! Or, make your own portion controlled versions using snack-sized Ziploc baggies.
Try new grains! Branch out and try whole grain versions of your favorite grain or try a new grain product altogether. Ideas include brown rice, wild rice, whole wheat pasta, barley, quinoa or whole wheat couscous.
Veggie Toss Salad
The weather is warming up, the sun is beginning to shine and it’s time to add a splash of color to your day and your kitchen!
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
½ red onion, chopped
1 cucumber, seeded and quartered
1 carrot, cut into chunks
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine chopped vegetables in a medium bowl.
2. Place oil, vinegar, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper in a plastic container with a lid. Shake for 1 minute.
3. Pour dressing over salad and toss.
Nutrition Information: 92 calories, 2 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 18 mg sodium, 4 g fiber
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March 27, 2008
Ship Shape for Spring Break
Tips to Shape Up for Spring Break
Spring Break is right around the corner and that may leave many of you scrambling to look just right in that bathing suit. With not much time left, this may lead many of you to drastic measures. Instead of resorting to unrealistic expectations, how about focusing on healthy and attainable goals? Below are strategies that you can use right now and while on vacation.
· Do not skip meals in an attempt to lose more weight. Skipping meals only leads to being hungrier and sets you up for overeating at the next meal.
· Stock up! Head to the grocery store and fill your cupboards and refrigerator with healthy items such as baby carrots and hummus to snack on and pre-cut lettuce and chicken breast for an easy entrée salad. Get rid of the junk food – out of sight, out of mind!
· Set realistic goals. People often set unrealistic goals which set them up for guilt when they do not achieve them. Make small changes such as making dinner every night instead of eating out or jogging in the mornings. Aiming to lose 1 pound per week is realistic – look at this as great progress!
· Most people underestimate the number of calories they consume by 30% or more. Make it a point to keep a food journal (use your diet.com meal tracker!) to help keep you focused and honest. Remember that how much you eat determines weight loss or gain. Familiarize yourself with portions by measuring food and reading food labels. If you want to check in with someone – post what you are eating for a day or two in the Rate My Plate board and I will give you tips and feedback.
· Post motivational signs around your house that will help you stay on track such as on your bathroom mirror or refrigerator. Remember to keep them positive such as I will treat my body well by feeding it plenty of fruits and vegetables or let’s go outside and enjoy a walk today.
Tips during Spring Break
· What can you do for activity – is there a fitness room, can you walk on the beach or walk to see local attractions? Make a plan before you go!
· Drink plenty of water. Thirst can often be confused with hunger. Carry a water bottle with you at all times.
· Research local cuisine and take advantage of healthy items by trying new types of food. Focus on local dishes made with fruits, vegetables, beans, fish and lean meats. If you have a specific restaurant menu you would like help with – post the link in the Rate My Plate board and I will help you identify healthy menu picks.
· Remember to stick to a regular eating schedule. Make it easier by bringing healthy non-perishable foods along for quick meals or healthy snacks on the go. Try low-fat tuna kits, meal replacement bars, fruit cups, Kashi granola bars, snack sized zip lock baggies of trail mix, individual sized boxes of soymilk or whole wheat bread and peanut butter.
· Watch what you sip! Alcohol has calories too and many drinks really pack a sweetened punch. Choose wisely by avoiding blended fruity drinks. Did you know that a blended margarita can easily top 600 calories and a Mai Tai, 500 calories? Lower calorie choices include light beer, wine, cocktails with diet mixers, or a mojito for a tropical twist. Do watch the quantity though - drinking too much can impair your judgment and lessen your resolve to eat healthier. Drink water in between beverages and set a limit for yourself. Many campuses offer “alternative Spring Break” activities or trips that take the focus off of partying – check with your campus to see what they offer.
Adopt a Healthy Body Image
· Focus on healthy not thin. Do not define yourself by how much you weigh, celebrate your unique characteristics.
· Dangerous methods to achieve weight loss are unhealthy and who wants to spend an unreasonable amount of time thinking about food, weight and calories – after all, you have better things to do!
· Eat when you are hungry, exercise to feel good and rest when you are tired – do not let any of the above control you and how you feel for the day.
· Wear comfortable clothes that that you like and express your style.
· Tell yourself that you will refuse to deny your body valuable nutrients by extreme dieting or using weight loss supplements.
· Throw away celebrity magazines, which seem to glamorize eating disorders. Surround yourself with realistic pictures of women.
Have a Healthy and Happy Spring Break!
March 12, 2008