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Archive for March, 2015

Four Think Thin protein bars

Cookies and Cream, Brownie Crunch, and Chocolate Fudge are my three favorites. I didn’t care for the Caramel Fudge.

With a new reduced carbohydrate and high protein diet to control my hypoglycemia, I needed a new protein bar. I tried the Quest bars on the recommendation of a friend but HOLY SALT were they high in sodium (and this is coming from a salt addict). So on a recommendation from another friend, I tried the thinkThin bars.

The good:
– No sugars added is a huge plus.
– They taste really great.
– The chocolate curbs my chocolate cravings for the rest of the day.
– At 230 ish calories, they are a good size for a large snack or two small ones.
– 20 grams of protein per bar.
– They are easily portable. I eat one thinkThin bar, 14 almonds, and espresso with one cup of milk as my post-workout breakfast.

The not-so-good:
– Some people have stomach issues with maltitol (see Sugar Free Chocolate and the Laxative Effect).
– They are more expensive than the Clif Bars I was eating. The least expensive way I’ve found to buy them is individually at my grocery store for $1.25 each and at Target in boxes of 5 for a little over $1 each (but only a few flavors are stocked at my Target). Amazon is much higher!

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A table full of storage containers with portioned food in them.

Click on the photo to see the source.

 

Lifehacker Vitals posted a blog post about Exercise vs. Diet: Which is more important to weight loss. It was a really informative article, but also introduced me to the idea of “kitchen training.” I spend 6 hours a week in the gym training, but I’ve never thought of the time I spend preparing healthy meals in my kitchen as “training.”

So I started devoting a chunk of time each week to it and I’m surprised at not only how much it helps, but also how much I’m able to prepare in an hour or so a week! There are a lot of things, like baking chicken and cutting it up, where about 20 minutes worth of the activity is passive, meaning you can use that time to do other things. That’s where you see the real time savings.

That got me thinking, how much time does it really take to do some basic things in the kitchen that would mean healthier eating and money savings?  Check out some of my findings below and do some timing of your own!

 

Making espresso and milk at home

Active time: 1 minute to load the coffee in my brewer

Passive time (brewing on the stove): 6 minutes

Total time per week: About 14 minutes since my espresso makes multiple shots per brew

Coffee and milk supplies from the store for a month: $12

Starbucks latte 5 x per week for a month: $80

 

Making salads at home for lunch

Active time: Preparing chicken for baking: 10 minutes once per week to prepare the chicken and cut it afterwards, portions into the freezer, wash the pans used, etc.

Passive time (baking): 20 minutes once per week. I use this time to chop the cabbage and other ingredients I add to the salad.

Daily active time to put the salads together: 2 minutes

Salad and (including chicken) supplies for a month: $40

Daily salad from Salata with extra chicken, 5 x per week for a month: $220, not to mention the time saved going to Salata to get the salads.

 

Unloading the dishwasher

2 minutes and yet I never do this! I can totally spare 2 minutes once per week.

 

Washing dishes

I had tons of dishes including pots and pans to wash the other day. It took 12 minutes. Typically it takes me 5 minutes or less.

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Teriyaki tofu, roasted brussels sprouts, and Bush's baked beans

Teriyaki tofu, roasted brussels sprouts, and Bush’s baked beans

 

As part of my attempts to cut carbs and amp up on protein on my new hypoglycemic diet (it’s working really well to control my blood sugar for 6-7 hours at a time!) and as part of my wellness coaching, I’m trying a couple of new recipes over the next few weeks. So, I tried making teriyaki tofu (I cheated and used a pre-made sauce from the asian market) and roasted brussels sprouts.

Teriyaki Tofu

The verdict: Great! It was easy to make with the pre-made sauce and it tasted great! Another bonus: For $2.50, I got two servings, which is much cheaper than meat. This will definitely become a normal part of my diet. My only caution here is that teriyaki sauce is loaded with sugar, so use it sparingly.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The verdict: Meh. I had these at a bar once and they were crunchy. Mine were not. I think I’ll like them a lot more if I can figure out how to make them crunchy.

Baked Beans

The Bush’s Baked Beans were my treat, but I think they spiked my blood sugar a lot. I had forgotten how sweet they are!  And there’s too much “brown” on my plate here.

 

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A cheese pizza with a cauliflower pizza crust As part of my attempts to cut carbs and amp up on protein on my new hypoglycemic diet (it’s working really well to control my blood sugar for 6-7 hours at a time!) and as part of my wellness coaching, I’m trying a couple of new recipes over the next few weeks. So, I tried this Cauliflower Pizza Crust from PopSugar.

The verdict?  Meh. I doubt I’ll make it again. It kept me full and my blood sugar even, but it left a lot to be desired.

The good:

  • The recipes online are easy to follow.
  • It’s definitely filling (Caveat: I ate the whole pizza, so about 540 calories).
  • At least I had a lot of veggies for dinner (actually I always do).

The not-so-good:

  • One of my friends warned me to make it thin for a good taste. I did, but could still really taste the cauliflower.
  • It’s not crunchy like pizza except the edges.
  • I couldn’t pick it up either. It would fall apart, so I had to eat it with a fork.
  • Holy cheese! There’s a lot of it in all of the recipes. It should really be “Cheese and Cauliflower Pizza Crust.”

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