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Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’

A grocery check out line with my groceries of fruit, vegetables, eggs, and Beanitos chips

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“Fresh Homemade Panini” by snowpea&bokchoi, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 4.0

1/2 of the original panini. See how much bread that is before they press it? May too many carbs

Fixed as much as I could. I put all of the meat/cheese on one side and hollowed-out the bread. There was no mustard to be found (even though the sandwich was supposed to have it, boo)

I was in the Reno airport pretty early in the day, so options for an early lunch were still pretty limited. The healthiest option I could find was a ham and cheese panini, but because I wasn’t going to eat it for 2 hours (the longest you can have meat/cheese out of the fridge and have it be safe).

When I got the cold/unpressed panini, I was shocked to see how thick the bread was! I thought paninis were made out of thin bread, but nope, they are made of thick bread that’s been pressed thin (see the top image to see what one looks like after being pressed).

Knowing that that much bread (especially white bread) would cause me hypoglycemia blood sugar issues, I hollowed-out one side of the bread as thin as I could, put all of the meat and cheese on one side, and ate that. When I got to San Francisco airport a few hours later, I ate a super-healthy salad.

So lesson-learned: If you want a hot sandwich or panini, ask to see the bread ahead of time and make sure it’s thin and a low-glycemic index bread

Addition fun fact: According to my native-speaking Italian friends, “panini” actually translates to “bread” not “sandwich,” so if you ask for a “panini” in Italy, unless they’ve been Americanized, they might just hand you bread.

 

 

 

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I first heard of Brian Wansink and his book Mindless Eating: Why we eat more than we think during my Influencer training at work. His video (above) intrigued me to learn more and finally pick-up the book.

The book is full or real, practical advice on how we and our situations around us impact our eating habits. Through real experiments and funny examples, Brian Wansink teaches you how to modify your environment and your eating to impact your long-term health.

The most helpful thing I learned from this book was how often we let the food companies and the places we eat determine our portion sizes.  If they say one bag of chips is a serving size, that should be what we eat, right? Nope. Maybe we should only be eating 1/2 of a bag of chips at a time.

Thanks to this book, I now work really hard to not let a package or plate determine my portion size. I decide how much of something I want (usually in calories, protein and fat) and then look at the package to be able to portion-out the right size.

If you are interested in long-term eating strategies, based on research, that work, I highly recommend this book.

 

 

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Yes, the bottom of the muffin is below all of the deliciousness

 

Ever on the look-out for more natural (NOT a protein bar) meals I can haul with me to the gym and eat after my workout, I came up with this breakfast sandwich that’s oh-so-good and oh-so-good for you.  With a blend of high fiber, fat and protein, it’s hypoglycemic-friendly and tastes great!

I take it out of the fridge right before I leave and put it in my gym locker. When I’m done with my morning workout (so out of the fridge a max of 1.5 hours, still safe), it’s ready to eat!

Ingredients:

 

Nutrition Facts (via SparkPeople Recipe Calculator)
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving
  • Calories 300.0
  • Total Fat 10.5 g
  • Saturated Fat 3.0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
  • Cholesterol 15.0 mg
  • Sodium 490.0 mg
  • Potassium 0.0 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 30.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
  • Sugars 7.0 g
  • Protein 20.0 g
  • Vitamin A 6.0 %
  • Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
  • Vitamin B-6 0.0 %
  • Vitamin C 0.0 %
  • Vitamin D 0.0 %
  • Vitamin E 0.0 %
  • Calcium 26.0 %
  • Copper 0.0 %
  • Folate 4.0 %
  • Iron 8.0 %
  • Magnesium 0.0 %
  • Manganese 0.0 %
  • Niacin 10.0 %
  • Pantothenic Acid 0.0 %
  • Phosphorus 0.0 %
  • Riboflavin 4.0 %
  • Selenium 0.0 %
  • Thiamin 10.0 %
  • Zinc 0.0 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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Cut-up carrots and green beans in portioned containers

“going on a diet” by Roberto is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

Ugh!!! I did it again without thinking!

I was at a conference, overwhelmed with people wanting to speak to me after a talk I’ve given and a woman I know came up and asked me what I do to stay skinny. She asked if I was a runner or something and I immediately rattled-off all of my workout routines (weight-lifting, Pilates, swimming…I conveniently didn’t mention karate because I hate getting stuck talking about that).

NOT ONCE did I mention my diet. Considering what a critical piece diet is in weight-loss, I’ve been trying really hard to make sure I don’t perpetuate the myth of exercise-only weight loss. But, I forgot once again

Hopefully this blog post will be enough of a reminder to not do it again.

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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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A sign on a Boston Market table that reads "Where's the salt shaker? Salt shakers are available at the beverage station, their new home, as Boston Market focuses on reducing sodium while delivering the same great taste."

Kind of fuzzy, but you get the idea

Dear Boston Market,

First, let me say how much I like your food. Seriously, I used to drive an hour and a half for your food until I moved to Houston. Now, conveniently, there’s one much closer.

But, we have to chat about your new signage and salt shaker policy. I saw this in the restaurant I visited yesterday. I’m glad you are taking a stand against high levels of sodium, but I think you are taking the wrong approach for the following reasons:

  • Putting the salt shaker 15 feet away isn’t going to stop me. I just walked over and got it.
  • A much better approach would be to LESSEN THE SODIUM IN YOUR FOOD! I had the 1/4 chicken white with mashed potatoes and green beans. I saved my cornbread for later, but since that’s part of the meal, let’s factor that in too. According to your Boston Market nutritional information, the sodium in that meal equals 1,970 mg. According to the Mayo Clinic’s healthy eating standards, the recommended sodium intake for a standard 2,000 calorie diet is 2,300 mg. So, my seemingly healthy meal from Boston Market had approximately 86% of an average person’s sodium intake for the day. And that’s prior to me adding salt.

So, as a friend, I’m recommending you rethink your solution to the sodium problem and remove the stupid signs.

Your friend,

Nicole

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