Category: carbohydrates

8 Healthy Snacks That Will Fill You Up

8 Healthy Snacks That Will Fill You Up

8 HEALTHY SNACKS – great for volume eaters

I am a volume eater, which means I like to eat a big plateful of food every time I eat. This serves me well but has some drawbacks too. Since I like to eat large amounts of food at one sitting, I have to choose really healthy options, so I can eat a lot without a lot of calories. The drawback is if I choose to have a bite of something decadent, it usually leads to binge eating, as I end up eating a plateful of decadent. I am working on that, though. Here are some flavorful, low calorie snacks that you can eat a lot of and not risk going over your calories.

1. Popcorn. Three cups of popcorn (air popped) have just 93 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. If you like the convenience of microwave popcorn, you might be better off making your own microwave popcorn. Just put 1/4 cup of popcorn into a brown lunch bag, fold the top over tightly, and microwave at your usual popcorn setting. Try to avoid salt and butter. Instead, enjoy your favorite herbs or a squeeze of lemon juice with some garlic powder or cayenne pepper.

2. Bean dip. Beans are a great source of protein and fiber, and they don’t have tons of calories. One cup of canned pintos only has 206 calories; it also has 12 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber—almost half of your recommended daily allowance. And beans are incredibly filling. Even prepackaged bean dips are pretty decent (of course, always check the label for the fat and sodium contents). You can make your own dips, hot or cold, by food-processing canned black or pinto beans (my favorites are the ones canned with jalapenos) and adding water to create your desired consistency. You can also use fat-free re fried beans. You could add some chopped bell or jalapeno peppers, green onions, or canned corn to add a crunchy texture, or some chopped tomatoes for a little extra flavor and vitamins. Instead of fatty fried tortilla chips, use baked chips or, better yet some crunchy raw veggies like carrots, celery, sliced bell peppers, broccoli, or cauliflower.

3. Salsa. This is the perfect mix of tomatoes, onions, and peppers. And the great thing is that salsa is so low in calories and so high in fiber, you can basically eat it by the cupful and not gain weight. If you buy it at the store though, watch out for the salt content—that’s the secret ingredient in most canned and jarred salsas. If you have time, try making your own pico de gallo: Just dice tomatoes and onions and mix with as much minced jalapeno and/or garlic as you can stand. Add fresh cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste and toss the veggies in the juice of two limes. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. You can eat it with baked chips or the crunchy veggies that also go great with the bean dip. The salsa and the bean dip also complement each other well, for the double dippers among us.

4. Crispbread crackers. These crunchy treats (including Wasa® and Rykrisp® brands) have around 30 calories a cracker (depending on a great base for some healthy ingredients from your refrigerator. Try a dollop of fat-free cottage cheese with a dash of hot sauce; a slice of turkey breast and roasted red pepper; a “schmear” of hummus and a couple of pitted olives; or a slice of tomato and a fresh basil leaf with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Even the pico de gallo recipe above with some shredded nonfat cheddar will make a tasty cracker-topping treat.

5. Pistachios. Pistachios are a great heart-healthy snack full of antioxidants, fiber, and unsaturated fats (the good kind). A 1/2-cup serving (with the shells, assuming you don’t eat them) only has 170 calories, with 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber; however, that serving also has 14 grams of fat, so don’t go nuts chowing down on a whole bag. Walnuts, peanuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, and other nuts all have their nutritional upsides, too, but the reason I think pistachios make great snacks is the shells. The shells are difficult to open, so rather than shoveling handfuls of pre-shelled nuts down your throat, eat in-the-shell pistachios so you’re forced to slow down. Keep an eye on the sodium content when you buy the nuts. Either buy unsalted or low-salt versions.

6. Edamame. The Japanese have one of the healthiest diets in the world, and soybeans are a great staple of that diet. Edamame—steamed or boiled soybean pods—contain all the essential amino acids, many essential fatty acids, and soy isoflavones. And a half-cup of beans only has 100 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 9 grams of carbs, with 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. Truly one of nature’s perfect foods. And like pistachios, you can serve them in their shells, which slows down your face-stuffing process, giving you time to feel full before you’ve overeaten.

7. Relish tray. Cucumbers, cauliflower, peppers, artichoke hearts, carrots, okra, baby corn, cornichons, cocktail onions, olives, sauerkraut, kimchi . . Extremely low in calories, a plate full of pickled veggies on the coffee table is great for snacking. But watch out for the sodium! Certain store brands have more than others. If you use salty brands, you might consider rinsing them to get rid of some of the salt, or mixing them on a plate with some fresh, unpickled vegetables to mitigate your salt intake.

8. Deviled eggs. Eggs, once considered a scourge of the heart-healthy diet, are now getting a better rap. What’s indisputable is the health value of the whites. If you take the yolks out of the equation, the egg whites prove to be small, healthy, high-protein delivery systems suitable for all kinds of nutritious creamy fillings. Cut a bunch of hard-boiled eggs in half, lengthwise, and scoop out and discard the yolks. Try mixing some nonfat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, or nonfat cream cheese with your favorite flavorings and spices, then blending or food-processing until creamy. Spoon or pipe the mixture into the egg whites where the yolks used to be, and you’ll have a high-protein snack without all the fat and cholesterol. You can also use the empty egg whites as scoops for your favorite healthy dip, salsa, or even a cherry tomato.

Eating Right-5 Foods For A Better Workout

Eating Right-5 Foods For A Better Workout

Eat Right For A Better Workout

Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand to create a fit and healthy life, but sometimes there is so much information, it can be confusing.  We take the time to eat right and exercise, so it is always nice to know when we are doing it right.

Being strategic with nutrition is a must for maximum results, and what you eat before working out can either make or break your workout.  Everyone has a different schedule and different workout times, so what you eat depends on when you workout.

It takes time for food to digest, and the last thing you want is a stomach full of food gurgling around while you try to focus on your exercise.

The kind of exercise you are doing is also important in determining the best pre-workout meal. It makes sense for a marathon runner to carb load the night before a race, but an apple might be better suited if you are going for a lunchtime date with the treadmill.

The article from I Village, “5 Foods To Fuel Your Workout,”  doesn’t just provide a few ideas for pre-workout menu items, but it offers a how to guide for timing meals depending on what time of day you work out, what kind of exercise you are doing, as well as using catchy titles to help remember these tips. Names like the Double A and Berry Cheesy may become an important part of your food lingo.

Leave the guesswork behind when deciding what to eat before your workout. This article will help you to keep your nutrition requirements in check, along with some yummy pre-workout ideas. Here is an excerpt from the article which highlights the five foods to fuel up.

“With a smear

This is one of my favorite snacks, period. I take some hearts of celery and fill in the groove with some organic almond butter or peanut butter. This snack really travels well in Tupperware and makes a terrific pre-workout snack. Why? The celery has fiber and nutrients (including calcium and vitamin A) and a ridiculously low 6 calories per medium stalk. The nut butter has protein and fat. The overall calories are low, and this really fills you up without slowing you down, providing great “slow-release” energy for a terrific workout

The double A

Simply put, an apple with almonds. The apple is the perfect food for a pre-exercise snack. The sugar load is moderate, it contains valuable pectin fiber which slows the entrance of that sugar into the bloodstream, and it’s a nutritional powerhouse containing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Combine it with about a dozen almonds, which add some fat and protein. They’ll further slow the entrance of the sugar into the bloodstream for sustained energy and keep hunger away.

Whey to go

Whey protein is my favorite kind of protein powder. Not only is it extremely high-quality, bioavailable protein; it supports the immune system by providing the building blocks for glutathione, arguably the body’s most important antioxidant. And studies indicate that whey protein may boost weight loss efforts. According to one French study, eating whey before exercise supports fat burning and may help with gaining or maintaining lean body mass. I suggest a whey protein shake made with either water alone or with frozen berries. The berries add fiber, nutrients and some extra carbohydrates, and make for a more delicious drink.

Berry cheesy

Here’s a tidbit of info that you might enjoy: In my book The 150 Healthiest Foods on the Planet, I asked 16 nutrition experts to contribute lists of their 10 favorite healthy foods. Berries, especially blueberries, made the list of more experts than any other food. Berries are loaded with phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber, and are low in sugar. Mix a bowl of berries with a piece of string cheese for the perfect pre-workout snack. The string cheese has 8 grams of protein, some fat to keep hunger at bay and only about 80 calories. And it’s an excellent source of calcium.

TG: too good

The initials of this snack stand for turkey and grapes. It’s a perfect match of protein, carbs and low calories to take the edge off your hunger and prime your exercise pump. Four small slices of deli-packaged turkey contain only 87 calories but give you more than 14 grams of protein, plus some of the cancer-fighting mineral selenium to boot. A cup of grapes adds some carbs to the mix together with phytochemicals. Go for fresh turkey whenever possible as the packaged kind is high in sodium, and choose red or purple grapes because they have more antioxidants.

Remember: What you eat after the workout is even more important than what you eat before it. That’s when your muscles are hungry and your depleted glycogen (muscle sugar) stores need replacing. The “golden hour” after the workout is the time when those muscles soak up nutrients most effectively. Choose what you eat after the workout with just as much care as you choose that pre-workout snack.”

Read all of the article here: http://www.ivillage.com/5-foods-fuel-your-workout/4-a-142430

Maintaining Nutrients In Your Body For Peak Performance

Maintaining Nutrients In Your Body For Peak Performance

Nutrients are needed as spare parts for the repair of cellular tissues, and to ensure your cells operate correctly. When your nutrient levels are low for a particular one that your body needs, it starts to malfunction. As you can imagine, this leads to a host of issues from feeling sluggish to weight gain to poor health.

There are two important concepts for nourishing your body:

  1. Variety of Food
  2. Nutrient Denseness of Food

Variety of Food

No single food contains all the nutrients the body needs. It’s easy to get in a food rut, but if you get in the habit of eating only a few foods, it is virtually guaranteed that you will run low in certain nutrients. So, embrace your inner Andrew Zimmern and mix up your diet, try new foods, and do a winter, spring, summer, and fall rotation with the foods you eat by EATING WHAT IS IN SEASON.

Nutrient-Dense Food

We should try to focus on foods that contribute to our health, by having at least some discipline to not eat foods that undermine it.

Nutrient-empty foods aren’t worth eating unless they taste so good to you that your happiness is very positively affected… and even then, unless you are willing to sacrifice good health for the pleasures that these foods bring to the moment, try to save these celebration foods for “rare occasions”.

I recently read an article that categorized foods like this:

  1. Celebration Foods
  2. Fuel Foods
  3. Nutrient Dense Foods.

Celebration Foods should not be eaten frequently, but should be reserved for parties and special occasions:

  • Processed grain products, white flour products (cakes, pastries, and noodles), white-rice, etc.
  • Sugary foods such as ice cream, candy, soda pop, syrups, etc.
  • Yep – all the sweet, yummy, good stuff

Fuel Foods are nutritious and important to provide energy for activity and exercise. But here’s the thing – if you are completely sedentary, they actually provide more calories for the amount of nutrients provided. So make sure that you are doing some kind of physical activity to get the benefits from Fuel Foods.

  • Grains (whole grain bread, whole grain rice, etc.)
  • Fruits

Nutrient Dense Foods should be eaten daily and by everyone:

  • Vegetables
  • Raw nuts
  • Fish
  • Good fat foods such as Avocados and Olives
  • Uncooked oil extracts (extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil, cold pressed oils for example)
  • Lean meats
  • Eggs

Don’t underestimate the power of nutrients. Keep your engine running at peak performance by focusing on nutrient dense foods as part of every meal.

The Smart Pantry – Three Tips For When You Forgot To Plan

The Smart Pantry – Three Tips For When You Forgot To Plan

I have a love hate relationship with grocery shopping. Since I can remember, I have always done my grocery shopping once a week. I like planning my meals for the week and buying all the ingredients. However, the grocery store is really a land mine of temptation. At every turn there is an isle or an end cap display of something that looks really yummy. It would be torture to go to the grocery more than once a week. It takes a lot of will power at the grocery, and I never go when I am hungry. 

I also make sure to buy a few healthy extras each time, just in case, because sometimes  I am short a meal, and I find myself with no plan for dinner. Poor planning  happens to everyone, but rather than call Papa (John that is) I will “throw together” a mish mash of items. At times like these I try to use a one-two-three approach to making a balanced meal:

1. Make it “Whole” by picking whole grain version of pasta, rice or bread.

2. Make it “Lean” or “Extra Lean” by searching for cans of tuna packed in water, skinless chicken breast, lean ham or extra lean beef.

3. Make it “Colorful” by using a variety of fruits and vegetables.

There is always something in the fridge and pantry that can be used for dinner, and when I use the one-two-three approach, even though it wasn’t planned, I can feel good about what I am serving and eating.

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