Posts tagged low calorie
Although this may seem contradictory, your brain and body love the idea of getting fatter! Consider this: energy is your most critical resource – it fuels everything you think, feel, and do. Glucose and oxygen are both required by the cells in order to create energy, and if we run out of either it’s lights out for the entire system. Therefore, anything the body can do to conserve or preserve this natural energy source makes it more likely to survive in times of famine.
Even though most of us are not actually worried about running out of food anytime soon, the brain is still on high alert just in case. Anytime we go too long without eating this alert system is triggered and a cascade of hormones are released to help us hold on to the resources we have, and seek out more resources (calories) as soon as possible.
Let me create a simple picture for you. You are stranded on a deserted island with no food. Initially you don’t feel hungry because your stress response decreases appetite in the beginning in order to help you focus on what needs to be done to take care of whatever emergency you’re facing. In time, however, adrenaline wears off and another stress hormone, cortisol, is released along with appetite increasing factors all designed to get us to food quickly, find the most valuable food sources (high sugar, high fat), and load up.
And remember, the brain and body love this idea because it allows us to store more valuable glucose away for future emergencies. What is the storage called? You guessed it – fat
As the brain works hard to find and store extra energy, it also tries to conserve energy by slowing down metabolism, which is done by reducing the amount of fuel the body requires at that time. Only the most essential organs, emotions, and thought patterns get energy in times like these. The result? We may feel sleepy or sluggish, irritable or angry, and have a tough time concentrating.
The greater the stress, the more the brain wants to conserve and preserve energy in our body, and the more likely we are to store and protect our fat. Which means that even if you are dieting, eating things that you believe are healthy for you in smaller portions and moving more often throughout the day, if your stress levels are high you’re going to battle against hormones that are designed to make you fat.
In fact, if you add exercise to this already complicated equation you might actually get fatter! Now that’s reallyfrustrating. You could be investing precious time and energy, dragging yourself through workout after workout and actually doing more harm than good when it comes to your weight loss efforts.
Why? Because exercise is stressful to the body. And when we are taking care of our needs physically, emotionally, and mentally we are able to tolerate this stress in a way that is healthy and actually makes us stronger as a result. We have more energy, our immune system is enhanced, our heart and lungs more effective, and so on.
However, if you go into exercise already stressed, or if you haven’t fueled up before a workout you might end up creating even more weight loss resistance for yourself as your stress levels continue to skyrocket. So now instead of just thinking you are stranded without food, your brain assumes something must be chasing you because it can’t imagine why you would exercise just for fun. More stress, more fat.
For more weight management strategies and solutions, check out and register for our next Relax Your Fat Offworkshop, visit www.learnitlive.com/heidihanna.
To your health,
Heidi Hannah, http://synergyprograms.com/category/blog/
With the holiday season wrapping up and a few last minute celebrations like New Years Eve, it is almost impossible to avoid all the delicious offerings. Let’s be realistic here, we try to at least have a portion of each dish on our plate, but at the same time we’re afraid about affecting our weight. We don’t have to avoid all the foods; we just have to make better choices! First thing we must realize is that all the food we eat in one day from a party does not cause us to gain a few extra pounds, it is rather an accumulation of overeating throughout many days and not exercising enough to offset those calories.
When you are at the party, try these tips!
- You don’t have to be shy about eating the different dishes if you know it is a high-calorie item. Just limit yourself to just a taste. Obvious high calorie items can be different types of cheeses, or anything that has a filling.
- Look for food items that have been baked instead of deep fried (one coconut shrimp can have the same calories as a dozen cocktail shrimp!)
- If you absolutely have to have dessert, choose a cookie instead of a slice of cake and try to avoid that slice of pie which tends to have the most calories out of these two dessert items.
- At the party, pass up everyday snacks that you have so you can spend your calories on items you want to try.
- And lastly, don’t be afraid to turn down your aunt’s offer for seconds when you are already full! Your focus should be on maintaining your goal of a healthy lifestyle, not worrying about offending your relative’s or friend’s feelings if you turn down their offer.
To Your Health,
Danny Sumbillo, FITzee Intern
Justin Robinson, a strength and conditioning coach & Registered Dietitian for Rehab United and a Nutrition Consultant for Optimal Nutrition Inc./ FITzee Foods was featured on askmen.com last year, check out this great article and see how you can have your comfort food and not feel guilty about it!
Think of your last family get-together (wedding, birthday, funeral); while you may not recall every aspect of the day, you likely remember what your mom or grandma served for dinner. And can you think of a happy hour with your friends that did not involve either appetizers or cocktails? Nearly every social situation in life involves food and, frankly, there is nothing wrong with that. Food is both a necessity and a luxury; we require nutrients to survive, but we also thrive on the delight and satisfaction from certain foods.
Comfort foods remind us of fond times, improves our moods and just tastes good. Comfort foods, however, do not always agree with our healthy lifestyle since they often call for butter and cream in the recipes, are deep-fried or include high-fat meats.
Since we cannot always alter social situations (or other common triggers to eating), we must modify the food if we plan to improve health. Try these recipes for some novel comfort foods made healthily. We guarantee you’ll find them just as tasty as their less-healthy counterparts.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves: Will depend upon how much broth you make
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Whole wheat egg noodles
Diced vegetables (peas, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and celery)
Low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Herbs (thyme, crushed garlic and/or white pepper)
Follow directions on the chicken broth package. Once boiling, add diced vegetables and reduce heat to simmer. When the vegetables are nearly done, bring to boil again and add the noodles (follow package directions for time). Simmer for five minutes and serve.
Steak & Potatoes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 hour for potatoes in the oven; sirloin depends on desired doneness
6-oz grass-fed sirloin
Sweet potatoes (the yellow-ish variety)
Poke potatoes with a fork and place in 350 F oven. Baste sweet potatoes with a mixture of olive oil and garlic. Grill as usual to your preferred doneness.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
1/2 cup fat-free buttermilk
1 large egg white
2 tsps hot red pepper sauce
4 (6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup crushed Cornflakes cereal crumbs
2 tsps paprika
1 tsp each: dried thyme, garlic powder and salt
Olive oil cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400 F.
In medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg white and hot sauce until blended; add chicken pieces and turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature.
Combine Cornflakes crumbs, paprika, thyme, garlic powder, and salt in a shallow bowl.
Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil and coat with cooking spray. Lift chicken pieces, one at a time, from buttermilk mixture and coat in seasoned crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet. Lightly spray crumb coating with cooking spray.
Bake 16 to 18 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink in the thickest parts and browned on the outside.
For two more comfort foods made healthily recipes, keep reading…
To Your Health!
The FITzee Team
As something we’ve spoken about before, we know that buying foods organic isn’t exactly the thrifty option, but there are ways to buy organic without breaking the bank. From coupons to tips from your local grocery store, there are plenty of resources out there to save some of that paycheck for other things. Here are some ways to save from FitSugar.com:
Many organic food brands post coupons on their websites you can print out; all you have to do is check the savings or coupons section of the company’s site. You may need to install a program, sign up for a newsletter, or answer a short survey, but if you’re looking to save some dough, it’s worth the time and effort. Here’s a list of online coupons for organic food that are available now, which include savings on cereal, bread, dairy products, and more. Also check the websites of your favorite health grocers; very often markets and grocery stores will have in-store coupons available on their site (or in their stores). Never underestimate the power of double coupon day or the amount of money you can save by joining a store’s membership rewards program.
Use Social Media
Following your local grocery store on Twitter or Facebook is an easy way to learn about weekly and daily specials. In addition to the smaller health and grocery stores in my area, I also follow larger chains like Whole Foods and Safeway on Twitter, all of which alert customers to sales, price drops, and other specials and events taking place in its stores. Recently I bought five pints of organic blueberries from Whole Foods that were priced at 99 cents per basket; I learned about this sale thanks to the Whole Foods Twitter stream.
The more things you can make from scratch, the better it is for your wallet. Purchase seasonal produce in bulk and you can, pickle, or freeze fruits and veggies to use later. Go a step further by making homemade preserves, marinades, and cooking sauces. Instead of buying pre-made dry mixes, which are often full of preservatives, stock up on different types of flour and grains to create your own. Make your own spice mixes, trail mixes, and soup stock, and try making your own granola, muesli, and cereal. And when it comes to lunch, roast your own sandwich meat and skip bagged salad mixes by chopping up lettuce instead. The possibilities are endless.
For more tips, check it out at the source: http://www.fitsugar.com/Ways-Save-Money-When-Buying-Healthy-Organic-Food-18302538
To Your Health!
The FITzee Team
Try out these simple recipes for quick and wholesome summer meals. Whether eating alone or with company, these dishes from EatingWell are sure to please everyone! Take advantage of the season and relax with a deliciously nutritious meal.
Roasted Corn with Basil-Shallot Vinaigrette
- 3 cups fresh corn kernels
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss corn and oil to coat and spread out on a large baking sheet. Bake, stirring once, until some kernels begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Combine basil, shallot, vinegar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the corn; toss to coat. Serve warm or cold.
Per serving: 165 calories; 8 g fat ( 1 g sat , 6 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 163 mg sodium; 332 mg potassium
Grilled Pepper Salad
From EatingWell: July/August 2008
Toss a colorful mix of grilled bell peppers with briny olives, sweet sun-dried tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette for a lovely side dish. Or spread crostini with goat cheese and top it with this salad for an easy summer appetizer.
- 4 bell peppers, (mixed colors), halved, seeded and stemmed
- 1/4 cup halved and pitted oil-cured black olives
- 1/4 cup rinsed and chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Grill peppers on medium-high, turning once, until soft and charred in spots, about 5 minutes per side. When cool enough to handle, chop the peppers; toss with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, oil, vinegar and salt in a large bowl.
Per serving: 107 calories; 7 g fat ( 1 g sat , 3 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 1 g protein; 2 g fiber; 330 mg sodium; 331 mg potassium.
Tropical Cucumber Salad
From EatingWell: May/June 2007
Combine cucumber, avocado and mango with a salty-sweet dressing for a taste of the tropics.
- 3-5 teaspoons fish sauce, (see Shopping Tip)
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 medium English cucumber, cut into 3/4-inch dice
- 1 avocado, cut into 3/4-inch dice
- 1 mango, cut into 3/4-inch dice (see Kitchen Tip)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Whisk fish sauce to taste, lime zest, lime juice, oil, brown sugar, vinegar and crushed red pepper in a large bowl until combined. Add cucumber, avocado, mango and cilantro; gently toss to coat. Serve garnished with lime zest, if desired.
Per serving: 169 calories; 11 g fat ( 1 g sat , 7 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrates; 2 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 5 g fiber; 178 mg sodium; 342 mg potassium.
Shopping Tip: Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian condiment; find it in large supermarkets and Asian markets.
To Your Health!
The FITzee Team
Have a healthy Cinco de Mayo celebration this year…it is possible! Stick with natural and homemade salsa, maybe some grilled lime chicken, or even fresh fish tacos! Using fresh and natural ingredients to cook with will reduce the calories found in modified and processed foods. Here we even offer up some low calorie Margarita Recipes from Health.com so you can enjoy the festivities without the guilt! Most frozen margaritas at restaurants can weigh in at 500 calories or more, but these recipes pack all the cool refreshment in under 200 calories.
STRAWBERRY MARGARITAS: Calories: 198. Strawberries give a delicious splash of sweetness to these traditionally tangy cocktails. And the addition of fruit gives you 3 grams of fiber.
- 3 1/2 cups strawberries
- 2 1/2 cups crushed ice
- 1/2 cup tequila
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons Cointreau (orange-flavored liqueur)
- Lime wedges (optional)
Combine strawberries, ice, tequila, lime juice, sugar, and liqueur in a blender, and process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the margaritas into 4 large glasses. Garnish margaritas with a lime wedge, if desired. Serve immediately.
LIME SORBET MARGARITAS: Calories: 186. This simple recipe can double as an after-dinner cocktail and dessert. Using lime sorbet creates the frozen margarita taste, but keeps the drink at a lean and mean 186 calories.
- 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 pints lime sorbet
- 1/2 cup tequila
Rub the lime wedges around the rims of 8 stemmed glasses. Place the sugar on a small plate. Turn each glass upside down and dip the rims in the sugar to coat. Place 2 scoops of sorbet in each glass and pour 1 tablespoon of tequila over the top of each. Serve with a spoon. Tip: Let everyone dig in. For a nonalcoholic, kid-friendly version of the Lime Sorbet Margaritas, replace the tequila for each glass with 2 tablespoons club soda or seltzer.
MANGO-AVOCADO MARGARITA: Calories: 162. This drink is part smoothie, part margarita, with all the delicious flavors of both. Plus the mango and lime juice pack this sweet drink with vitamin C.
- 2 cups ice cubes
- 1 cup chopped peeled mango (about 1 large)
- 6 tablespoons chopped ripe peeled avocado
- 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup tequila
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
- 4 lime wedges (optional)
Combine first 8 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Divide the mixture evenly among 4 glasses. Serve drinks with lime wedges, if desired. Serve immediately.
FROSTY BLENDED MARGARITAS: Calories: 179.
- Lime wedges
- Kosher salt for the glasses’ rims
- 1/2 cup juice from Mexican limóns or fresh limes
- 1/4 cup tequila
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Cointreau (orange-flavored liqueur)
- 2 1/2-3 tablespoons superfine sugar
- 12 ice cubes
Run a lime wedge around the edge of each glass. Then dip rims into a saucer filled with the salt. Put the remaining ingredients into a blender; blend until the ice cubes are chipped and the mixture becomes frothy. Pour the mixture into the prepared glasses; garnish with lime.
Let us know how these turn out. Enjoy your Cinco de Mayo celebrations!
To Your Health!
The FITzee Team
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