Tag: fast food

Tricks To Combat Mindless Eating

Tricks To Combat Mindless Eating

You have probably heard the term mindless eating. It actually refers to findings from scientific experiments showing that people make almost 20 times more daily decision about food than they realize – approximately 250 decisions each day.

Mindless Eating suggests that a considerable part of our hunger is psychologically-driven, which leads us to be easily driven by tiny cues around us, such as family, friends, packages, names, labels, lights, colors, smells, shapes, distances, containers, cupboards, and distractions. Is it possible that we are not calibrated well enough to know when we are full or to know when we are hungry?

The gist of the study goes like this:

Endless bowl group – participants ate from a bowl that automatically refilled from the bottom. The participants did not know this was happening.

Normal bowl group – participants ate from a bowl that did not automatically refill. As they ate, they could see there was less food left on the bowl.

Those in the endless bowl group ate 73% more food until they thought they were full, compared to those in the normal bowl group. This confirmed scientific hypothesis — that our eyes are the main factors in determining when we think we are full.

Obviously, mindless eating can lead to unhealthy habits and weight gain. However, mindless eating can also be used to your favor, so that your habits become healthier.

Some easy fixes or tricks are to get smaller plates and bowls. This works great with kids too. I actually just did this with all my kiddie plastic bowls. Now with smaller bowls, I don’t hear whining complaints like “that’s all I get?” or “that’s not enough!” when I pour an appropriate amount of food into the bowl. Reducing the number of times you look at unhealthy snacks is also key.  Either don’t buy them at all or keep them out of sight. You can move healthier foods to eye-level in the refrigerator or pantry. And of course, food should be eaten in the kitchen, rather than in front of the TV.

Most of us have too much chaos going on in our lives to consciously focus on every bite we eat, and then ask ourselves if we’re full. The secret is to change your environment so it works for you rather than against you.

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

Navigating Fast Food Traps – How To Make The Best Choices

Navigating Fast Food Traps – How To Make The Best Choices

Fast Food is a fact of life for most of us, especially if you have kids. If you are like the rest of us who eat fast food anywhere from one to five times per week, here is a great website that lists nutritional information for many fast food and family type restaurants, and it is free!

http://www.fastfoodnutrition.org/

One of my best tips for fast food (or restaurants) is to know what you are going to order before you step inside the restaurant. The list from http://www.fastfoodnutrition.org will hopefully help you decide on a healthy choice before hand. If you can, make your choice while you have a full stomach and take the time to consider all the nutritional information. When you get to the restaurant, don’t even look at the menu board… just order what you have already planned… no matter what.

 

Also….

Drink water with your meal. Soda is a huge source of hidden calories. One 32-oz regular cola has about 425 calories, so this can quickly make up a big portion of your daily calorie intake. Try adding a little lemon to your water or ordering unsweetened iced tea.

“Undress” your food. When choosing items, be aware of calorie- and fat-packed salad dressings, spreads, cheese, sour cream, etc. For example, ask for a grilled chicken sandwich without the mayonnaise. You can ask for a packet of ketchup or mustard and add it yourself, controlling how much you put on your sandwich. Eat an open face sandwich by removing one of the buns.

Watch portion size. An average fast food meal can run as high as 1000 calories or more, so choose a smaller portion size, skip the fries, and don’t supersize anything… EVER. At a typical restaurant, a single serving provides enough for two meals. Plan on taking home half by dividing the meal into two before you even start eating.

Remember the big picture. Think of eating out in the context of your whole diet. If it is a special occasion, or you know you want to order your favorite meal at a nice restaurant, make sure your earlier meals that day are extra healthy. Moderation is always key, but planning ahead can help you relax and enjoy eating out while maintaining good nutrition and diet control.

Some fast food restaurants are working hard to make their food both healthier and tastier. One example is Chipotle, where their motto is “Food with Integrity”. Their objective is to serve food that is better tasting, comes from better sources, is better for the environment, better for the animals, better for the farmers, and in turn this produces food that is better for us to eat. Unfortunately their portion sizes are still huge, so be sure to always pay attention to calories and fat content. Chipotle is by far my favorite fast food place. I order the Chicken Bowl with no rice, no beans, but double the chicken, double the corn salsa, double the tomato salsa, and of course NO cheese and NO sour cream. With all the veggies and extra chicken, this bowl lasts for two complete meals!

Fast food happens, just be sure to make it a smart way of eating healthy. It can be done.  Click here for an article where Nutritionists talk about what they eat when dining out.

3 Tricky Foods To Avoid

3 Tricky Foods To Avoid

Have you ever heard the saying “No good deed goes unpunished?”  Sometimes trying to eat healthy can be like navigating a land mine of good vs. bad food, only to find out what we thought was a good choice turns out to be, well, crap. If you are making the effort to eat better in an attempt to get healthy and or lose weight, beware of these three traps that can sabotage the best efforts. The reason I chose these three is because I have been punished by these so called good deeds.

Low-fat Foods

Food labeling can be very deceptive when it comes to food geared for weight loss. Low-fat foods are one of the products to be careful about. Just because the food says “low fat,” does not mean the food is low calorie. In fact, they contain the same or more calories than there “full fat” counterparts. Fat = flavor, so when fat is left out, other stuff is added in (like sugar and names of ingredients we can’t pronounce). Be sure to check the label and see how many calories are typically in the product. Most people associate low-fat foods with lower calories, so they tend to eat more. My advice – if it says low fat, DO NOT Buy it.

Smoothies

Normally, smoothies are associated with healthy eating. If we make them at home, they can include skim milk, fruit, some hidden veggies maybe, and or yogurt, so they are considered a great, healthy food. Some commercial smoothies, however, have many hidden calories from extra sugar. Smoothies bought at your local smoothie shop may also be made with ice cream, so you end up ballooning sugar, fat, and calorie content. Most of the time, the fruit in store-bought smoothies is mostly fruit juice, which eliminates the fiber that is found in the skin of most fruits. My advice – makes your smoothies at home. If you buy a smoothie make sure it is designated a treat and not a healthy snack!

Diet Soda

I must admit, I drink diet soda, but way less than what I used to drink.  It is tricky because it has no calories, so it is almost considered a non-food, a non-issue for weight loss.  But here is the thing. Your body will do whatever it must to maintain its delicate internal acid/alkaline balance (pH balance). Your blood alkalinity level (pH) must be in the range 7.360 – 7.370 ALL THE TIME or you will die! When you drink acidic liquids (like diet soda), you throw off this pH balance. So, to save your life, one of the first things your body will do is to park away the acids somewhere where they can’t damage your body. Where do you think is the best place to park poisonous acids? FAT CELLS!  So while you’re enjoying your diet soda, you’re actually making yourself create and fill up more fat cells!!! The more acidic your drink, the more you will aggravate this situation. Just to compare, pure water is neutral and soda (regular and sugar free) is 50,000 times more acidic.

Choosing healthy food can be confusing, especially with some ingenious marketing and shiny packaging. Read on to learn about three danger foods to avoid. There are many more than these three danger foods out there, so take the time to read labels so that your good deeds lead to good health!

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.

My No Junk Food Journey – Want to Come Along?

My No Junk Food Journey – Want to Come Along?

 

I wrote this post as a participant in the Eat, Play, Love blog carnival hosted by Meals Matter and Dairy Council of California to share ideas on positive and fun ways to teach children healthy eating habits. A list of other registered dietitians and moms who are participating in the carnival will be listed at the bottom of this post or can be found on Meals Matter.

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If you are reading this on my website, you have probably figured out that I have a thing for fitness and nutrition… okay more of an obsession really.

I also have a shocking secret. I am not proud of this, but it is time for me to come clean. My kids eat Popsicles for breakfast. (I know… GASP) Breakfasts and snacks have become a free for all of low nutrient, high fat, high calorie foods. I still have control over lunches, and they are packed healthy. Dinners are okay too, but I am verging on a short order cook… something I swore I would NEVER DO.

I have been guilty of buying way too many snacky foods, which of course becomes the kid’s first choice food.

But, change is a comin! I decided to throw out every snack food that was unhealthy and replace it with healthy choices. Not a single unhealthy snack is left in our house.

I am the boss. I am the gatekeeper of the food.  Theses are my new daily affirmations, as I embark on the ‘no crappy food zone’ plan.

Being obsessed with my own nutrition, I must practice what I preach.

Kids will eat what’s available. That’s why I must control the supply lines. Kids can’t eat what is not there. A side bonus is that I will not be tempted by the kid’s rice crispy treats anymore (I know… another GASP).

If you want to join me on my no junk food journey, here’s what we will do:

1. Work fruits and vegetables into the daily routine. Be sure you serve a fruit or vegetable at every meal.

2. Make it easy for kids to choose healthy snacks by keeping fruits and vegetables on hand and ready to eat. Other good snacks that my kids love include low-fat yogurt blended with some low fat milk to make a shake/smoothie, peanut butter and apples, or whole-grain crackers and cheese.

3. Choose whole-grain breads and cereals so kids get more fiber. Don’t be fooled by kids’ cereal marketing. Read the ingredients.

4. Be sneak by adding chopped broccoli or green peppers to spaghetti sauce, or mix grated zucchini and carrots into casseroles and soups. Pureeing is also a great way to add veggies. Pureed sweet potatoes go un-noticed in Mac-n-Cheese or chili!

5. Limit sugary drinks, such as soda, juice, and fruit-flavored drinks. Serve water and low-fat milk instead. Make the “juice is for play dates only” rule.

6. Don’t be a short order cook. Repeat… Don’t be a short order cook.
No separate meals.  Keep serving healthy choices until they become familiar and liked.

We can do this.  No Junk Food.

Do you have a shocking secret that you want to share?

Don’t stop here! Join the carnival and read other Eat, Play, Love blogs from dietitians and moms offering the best advice on raising healthy eaters. And if you don’t get enough today, for more positive, realistic and actionable advice from registered dietitian moms, register for the free, live webinar Eat, Play, Love: Raising Healthy Eaters on Wednesday, May 18.

The Best-Kept Secret for Raising Healthy Eaters, Maryann Jacobsen, MS, RD 
Feeding is Love, Jill Castle, MS, RD, LDN 
5 Quick Ways to Prepare Veggies with Maximum Flavor, Dayle Hayes, MS, RD 
The Art of Dinnertime, Elana Natker, MS, RD
Children Don’t Need a Short Order Cook, Christy Slaughter
Cut to the Point – My Foodie Rules, Glenda Gourley
Eat, Play, Love – A Challenge for Families, Alysa Bajenaru, RD
Eat, Play, Love ~ Raising Healthy Eaters, Kia Robertson
Get Kids Cooking, Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RD, CDN  
Kid-Friendly Kitchen Gear Gets Them Cooking, Katie Sullivan Morford, MS, RD 
Kids that Can Cook Make Better Food Choices, Glenda Gourley
Making Mealtime Fun, Nicole Guierin, RD 
My Top Ten Tips for Raising Lifelong Healthy Eaters, EA Stewart, RD
My No Junk Food Journey – Want to Come Along?, Kristine Lockwood
My Recipe for Raising Healthy Eaters: Eat Like the French, Bridget Swinney MS, RD, LD
Playing with Dough and the Edible Gift of Thyme, Robin Plotkin, RD, LD
Picky Eaters Will Eat Vegetables, Theresa Grisanti, MA
Putting the Ease in Healthy Family Eating, Connie Evers, MS, RD, LD
Raising a Healthy Eater, Danielle Omar, MS, RD
Raising Healthy Eaters Blog Carnival & Chat Roundup, Ann Dunaway Teh, MS, RD, LD
Soccer Mom Soapbox, Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD 
Teenagers Can Be Trying But Don’t Give Up, Diane Welland MS, RD
What My Kids Taught Me About Eating Mindfully, Michelle May, MD

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