Tag Archives: eating healthy

…Taco Tuesday?…

Does your family regularly participate in weekly meals?

When I was a child, I knew that some days of the week we would be graced with tacos…or spaghetti…or burgers. And as a child,  I think there is nothing more exciting than expecting to have one of your favorite meals each week!

BUT this could be a potential problem for those who are trying to adapt healthier eating habits,

NO WORRIES! I am sharing some healthier alternatives that can turn your Taco Tuesday into a HEALTHIER Taco Tuesday.  Now you and your family can keep your taco date each week without you breaking your healthy eating habit! 🙂

  • Try using LOW FAT sour cream and cheese.  This can help cut those unwanted calorie intake in almost half!
  • Try using soft tortillas and try to use WHOLE WHEAT tortillas instead of the traditional shells.
  • Have you ever considered using ground turkey meat instead of regular meat?  If you do not like turkey meat try to get LEAN hamburger meat.
  • Try to have steamed veggies instead of Mexican rice and beans (or you can use black beans for a healthier option!)
  • Try to measure out correct portion sizes for your tacos/taco salad so you are sure to not double the food you are supposed to consume for the meal!
  • Skip the carbonated drinks or sweet tea! Try to stick to water for your beverage of choice
  • try to limit or cut out guacamole!  Yes it is healthy for you but it packs a lot of calories!
  • Think about using shopped baked chicken or shrimp instead of beef!

Still want chips with your meal? Try to make your own! Get a normal round tortilla, lightly spread some olive oil on top, slice the tortilla into the desired chip sizes you would like, then sprinkle it with sea salt (or any other spices you may have).  Put your over on 350 degrees.  Place your tortillas in the over for about 15 minutes.  MAKE SURE TO WATCH IT!  They get brown pretty quickly.  You can let them get as brown as you would like before they burn (the browner they are the more crunchy they are!)  Take them out and let them cool for about 10 minutes, and you have healthier “chips” for you to enjoy with your meal.

There are a lot of things you can change or add to make your family meals a healthier meal!  You just have to be mindful of the ingredients you are using and learn what to substitute to help make it taste just as yummy as you would like! You do not have to sacrifice good tasting food so you can eat healthier!

Happy Taco Tuesday!

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…Are you making the right SNACK choices?…

 

There are SO MANY healthy and delicious snack options for you out there!

The Key to being successful with obtaining your health and fitness goals are a mixture of a steady workout plan and eating right!

You have to learn how to control your portions and how to eat correctly! If not, you will not start to see the results you are looking for!

Yes it will be hard…and yes it will take a little time to get use to saying no to those potato chips and yes to some fruits or vegetable.  But in the end it will be worth it!

REMEMBER! Your snacks should be around 300 calories. You do not want a BIG snack that will add calories to your diet and you do not want your snack to over power your next meal.  A snack is there to allow you the chance not to get hungry between meals and it allows you the chance to give your body some fuel to help keep you going and to help you keep burning calories throughout the day.

So be mindful of the snacks you purchase and consume during your health and fitness journey!

Need more snack options? Please check out some of my past post that give you TONS of healthy and quick snack options for you and your family!

http://infinitelifefitness.com/?s=healthy+snacks

http://infinitelifefitness.com/2011/10/18/the-perfect-snack/

http://infinitelifefitness.com/2012/01/17/more-healthy-snack-ideas/

http://infinitelifefitness.com/2012/02/02/more-healthy-snacks-part-3/

http://infinitelifefitness.com/2012/02/23/more-healthy-snacks-part-4/

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…What Are You Eating Today? Fast Food vs Home Meal…

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When cooking meals at home you have to also be mindful of HOW you are cooking them! Just because you buy healthy food…you also have to cook  it so you do not add more calories!

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…Motivational Monday!…

Be mindful of the food you BUY and the food you EAT

There are SO many healthy food options…

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…MORE Healthy Snacks Part 4…

Tired of trying the same quick snacks that you have gotten accustomed to eating? Well no worries! There is a WIDE variety of snacks that you can try that are not expensive, quick to grab, and yummy that will satisfy your cravings until your next meal!

These are some good snacks that you can keep in your purse, desk, or lunchbox that you can snack on to help keep you on track with your healthy eating habits.

1. Watermelon (serving size is about 1 cup cut into cubes or balls that can be created by scooping out with an ice cream scoop)

2. Cubed Apples and Cubed Cheese (suggested serving size is 1 cup)

3. Craisins (suggested serving size 1 cup. Also great to have on a salad or in yogurt!)

4. Goldfish Crackers (suggested serving size about 55 pieces)

5. Roasted Asparagus (you can also try four spears spritzed with olive-oil spray and topped with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, baked for 10 minutes at 400°)

6. Turkey Roll-Ups (Four slices smoked turkey rolled up and dipped in 2 teaspoons honey mustard you can also add low fat swiss cheese to add a little more taste)

7. Strawberry Salad (1 cup raw spinach with ½ cup sliced strawberries and 1 tablespoon balsamic dressing)

8. Oatmeal (try to stay away from the flavored oatmeal those add a lot of sugar. you can get plain oatmeal and add brown sugar or honey to add some flavor.  you can even add fruit or yogurt!)

9. Banana Smoothie (½ cup sliced banana, ¼ cup nonfat vanilla yogurt, and a handful of ice blended until smooth)

10. Lime Sherbet (1/2 cup suggested serving size ) with sliced kiwi or any other fruit

11. Apple Chips (dehydrated apples! My favorite are Fiji apples or honey crisp because those retain the best flavor and sweetness)

12. Black Beans (mix 1/4 cup black beans with 1 tablespoon salsa and 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt for an added twist! Can eat this plan or on ONE piece of whole wheat bread)

13. Lettuce wrap (try two slices honey-baked ham with 2 teaspoons honey mustard rolled in a lettuce leaf)

14. Pecans (try five pecans roasted with 2 teaspoons maple syrup and 1 teaspoon cinnamon this could also go great on a salad!)

15. Chocolate Covered Strawberries (dip 5 strawberries in 2 squares of dark chocolate)

16. Honeyed Yogurt (½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt with a dash of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon honey)

17. Tropical Juice Smoothie (¼ cup pineapple juice, orange juice, and apple juice, blended with ice)

18. Turkey and cheese wrap made with a whole wheat tortilla (Add mustard for flavor and don’t be afraid to add lettuce and other veggies)

19. Fruit and Cheese Kabobs ( You can alternate chunks of fresh fruit and cheese cubes and thread them on a bamboo skewer for a fun and healthy snack)

20. A couple of hard-boiled eggs with carrot, celery sticks, and hummus (roasted red pepper hummus of a low-fat cream cheese or peanut butter)

Thanks to SixSistersStuff.com for some of these suggestions! Be sure to check out http://rxsportz.blogspot.com/2007/12/40-quick-healthy-snacks.html for some more healthy snack options!

You can also check out past post for more snack options:

http://infinitelifefitness.com/2011/11/02/healthy-foods-that-are-unhealthy-part-1/

http://infinitelifefitness.com/2012/01/17/more-healthy-snack-ideas/

http://infinitelifefitness.com/2012/02/02/more-healthy-snacks-part-3/

So there should be No excuse as to why you can not snack on HEALTHY things during the day as opposed to a bag of chips of your favorite candy bar.  Those are good to have every once in a while BUT if you want to reach your health and fitness goals you have to dedicate yourself to eating things that are beneficial to your body.

Any day is a great day to start obtaining your own health and fitness goals!!

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…Give Up Fast Food?…

Over 2 years ago I made a pledge to myself to give up ALL fast food.

This means no McDonald’s, No Burger King, No Taco Bell, No Sonic….No place that was a “fast food” chain.  And to this day that had been one of my best choices.  I did it for several reasons…

1) To save money! After calculating how much I spent each month on fast food that was DOUBLE my budget for my grocery bill!  I learned to plan out my meals, make a menu, and stick to my monthly budget and it has helped me save HUNDREDS of dollars each year.

2)To eat healthier.  I am not saying that fast food places do not have healthy options for you.  Now they have done a great job at having alternative to offer families instead of the usual menu items.  Like offering fruit instead of fries.  Or having milk or juice instead of carbonated beverages.  They have done a great job over the years to add some healthier options to their menus.  But, for me, I felt that the variety of things that the grocery store was better and most cost-effective for me than going to grab something at my local fast food place.

3) To help me learn what I need to eat and to be more mindful of the things that I put in my body.  Since then I have gotten leaner and gotten better results physically.  Not having the luxury of just driving up someplace and getting food has made me actually think about what I want and what I need to eat on a daily basis.  I have adopted a much healthier eating habit not to mention I have saved money!

 

There are tons of articles and studies on how “healthy” some of the items fast food places sale to you.  And yes most of them are true.  Hence why it is better to take your own pledge to limit or cut out fast food from your diet.

You do not have to quit cold turkey! And like I said before, they do have some healthier options on the menu. But make sure that the healthy option is not tainted with double ranch dressing or with other things that will help diminish its healthy intentions.  You have to learn what is on the menu, how much of it you can have, and what to add/take away to keep that healthy meal within the “healthy meal” range.

One of the most important things about starting on a new health journey is know what is the right and wrong things to eat.  And the things in the image above are the WRONG things to consume on a regular basis.  I am not going to lie to you and say that I do not enjoy a nice burger.  But I enjoy that burger every once in a while.  You have to learn what you need on a regular basis and what you can have in moderation.

Each fast food restaurant should have a “Nutritional Facts” guide posted in their store or on their website (and to be honest most regular restaurants are starting to have them as well).  It would be smart to look at them before you go to get your food so you can have in mind what are the best things and the worst things they have on their menus.

It is wise to NOT super size/enlarge your meals when asked.  Also, limit the kind of condiments that you use on your meal. Even though Buffets are good for your pocket-book it is best to stay away from them! This is just a sure way for you to overeat, or eat several plate full of items that should be eaten in moderation. If you do go to a buffet try not to go up for seconds.  Try to know what is a good portion size and make sure to get those portion sizes when you go up for your first entrée. And if you are still hungry, drink some water and wait a bit until you make your second trip.  Sometimes it takes a little bit for your brain to realize that you are full so waiting will allow your food/drink to settle and for you to realize if you are truly full or not.

There are some more great tips in THIS article that will help you when making your fast food decisions.

Hope that this was a great tip to get your guys through the weekend! Happy Friday! And do not forget…ANY DAY is a GREAT DAY to start being healthy!

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…”Healthy” foods that are UNhealthy: Part 1…

If you see any of the following words on a package make sure to think about how “healthy” they actually are for you…

  • Reduced Fat
  • Sugar Free
  • Diet
  • Fat Free
  • Low Fat
  • No Added Sugar

These type of words are used to help grab your attention and to help you think that they are indeed the healthier option for you. In most cases it is “healthier’ than the regular product that they sale. But is that product good for you to eat in the first place?

Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter:

Why is it good?

It contains monounsaturated fat. This is the “good” kind of fat that you can have in your diet.

Why is it bad?

Most of these types of products that are made to be “reduced fat’ are jammed packed with MORE sugar! And, in most cases this sugar is HIGHLY processed which makes it not as good for you. So how is it “reduced fat” with more sugar? great question!!

Eating an excess amount of this kind of sugar has been proven to cause tooth decay and lead to unwanted weight gain.

Both regular and reduced fat peanut butter carry about the same amount of calories. The biggest and most problematic issue is that the reduced fat usually contains a lot more sugar.  It is safe to steer away from store-bought and try to get all natural peanut butter in this case. There are all natural organic peanut butters available (or almond butter).  You can also find these items for a great price if you look around and maybe consider purchasing it online.

Bran Muffins Bagels with Cream Cheese:

Why is it good?
To be honest it is not good. They have been given the reputation for being healthy and a healthy option for breakfast or a snack.
Why is it bad?
These are jammed packed with sugar and refined flour. Two things that you should try to limit in your diet or steer clear from it.  Yes it does contains a small amount of fiber, but other than that there is actually minimal nutritional value in bran muffins.

Bagels with Cream Cheese:

Why is it good?

This is a quick and easy meal option and is filling.  It is great to have on the go!

Why is it bad?

First of all it is just a lot of bread to consume at one time for one meal.  It has about 60 grams of carbohydrates and could also have MORE than 300 calories.  And that is without the cream cheese or jelly most people pile on top of both slices of their bagels.  Again items like this are made with the over processed flour you should shy away from and of course corn syrup.  It also has minimal nutritional value.  So it is wise to have only one 1/2 of the bagel with eggs or some other kind of substitute to increase nutritional value and to get more nutrition with your meal.

You always want to reach for the 100% whole grain or whole wheat options when it comes to bread or pasta.  It is better for you and has more nutritional value than regular “white” bread or pastas.

Granola Bars:

Why is it good?

They are packed with oats, nuts, dried fruit, and can also contain seeds.  All of these are indeed good for you! So why would you think negative about a snack containing all of these things?

Why is it bad?

Granola Bars are not as good for you because of one simple thing…the “glue” that holds the granola together to create that delicious granola bar you like to snack on. That glue is nothing more than high-fructose corn syrup.  All this does is quickly increases your blood sugar which in returns limits how you actually digest the oats and nuts and other healthier things that are in the granola bar.  Along with the high sugar content comes the high calorie count.

You can quickly substitute this for good ole cheese and crackers!

try:

1 oz cheddar cheese with Triscuits (plain of another low-calorie flavor)
and this packs  a whopping  150 calorie snack!

Yogurt cups with the fruit or granola in the bottom: Pretzels

Why is it good?

Yogurt is high in nutrients.  It also contains active cultures which are great for digestion and your immune system.

Why is it bad?

Despite the high calorie count, this too is packed full of sugar! And yes that preserved fruit in the high fructose corn syrup mixture is not any better for you either.

Try plain yogurt with you favorite FRESH fruit (or thawed out frozen fruit that was not preserved in syrup).  It is a healthier options not to mention cuts down the calorie count dramatically!

Pretzels:

Why is it good?

It is a healthier option that potato chips.  Not to mention that there is a low-fat content in each serving size.

Why is it bad?

These are nutritionally empty! They don’t have a big nutritional value at all. Not to mention all the sodium that is packed into the salty seasoning covering every small piece of the pretzels. Not to mention it too is made of the over processed flour that should be limited in your diet.

Try to find a whole wheat or whole grain option.  You can also substitute pretzels for other things such as vegetable, fruits, or even a handful of nuts.

With the help of this article, I hope this gave you an insight on some food to watch out for the next time you go to the grocery store to buy your food.

Stay tuned for part two! There are dozens of food on grocery store shelves masked as “low-fat” or “healthy” when they indeed are not as healthy as you think they are.

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…Motivational Monday: You CAN do it!!!…

” The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy…It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed.”

– Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ

Today is Monday. Today is YOUR day.

Stop making excuses and just do it!

Start eating right, start working out….You CAN do it!!!

Here is a motivational story for those of you who still need a little motivation…

So now you should try to be Determine, Discipline, and Dedicated!

If this 70-something year old lady can do it so can you!

Happy Monday!

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…Motivational Monday: You CAN do it!!!…

” The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy…It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed.”

– Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ

Today is Monday. Today is YOUR day.

Stop making excuses and just do it!

Start eating right, start working out….You CAN do it!!!

Here is a motivational story for those of you who still need a little motivation…

So now you should try to be Determine, Discipline, and Dedicated!

If this 70-something year old lady can do it so can you!

Happy Monday!

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…Weekend Meal Time…

As promised here are some new recipes that you can try!

What I personally like to do is to cook a few different things over the weekend or over the duration of the week.  Then I will have several different left over meals to choose from when it is time to eat.  I like this method because it allows me to cook and try out new things as well as cook food for the week.  I know that sometimes my schedule gets kinda hectic, so it is nice to have the meals already made and waiting on me in the fridge so I can go home and grab it and go.  This method allowed me to better plan my menus and to plan a variety of food options for me.  I gave up fast food several years ago!  Yes…its true…I have not eaten any kinda if fast food in over two years and i did made the goal at first to force myself to make better meal options and to help me budget and save more money.  I calculated it and I saved over $600 a year by cutting out fast food and setting up my menus and grocery budget.

Here are some great Lunch and Dinner recipes.  I included photos that I took when I cooked these items to help you get an idea of what it looks like.  You can alter and add/take away ingredients that you do not like.  But I will have to say, these meals are very delicious!

Black Bean Soup
 Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

1/2 c chopped red onion
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp cumin
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 c chicken broth
1 Tbsp feta cheese

1. In a large saucepan, combine onion, oil,
garlic, oregano, cumin, and salt to taste. Cook,
stirring, over medium heat until softened, about
3 minutes. Stir in beans and broth. Reduce heat
to medium-low.
2. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Mash some beans against side of pan. Serve
sprinkled with feta and cilantro (optional).

Per serving: 205 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated),
447 mg
sodium, 27 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 12 g protein

Cheese & Kale Quesadillas

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

1/2 c fine-sliced kale leaves
1 Tbsp water
2 9-inch whole-wheat tortillas
3 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
**I also added green peppers

1. Place kale and water in a microwavable dish.
Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap and
cook in microwave on high until wilted, about 90
seconds. Remove plastic carefully. Drain kale and
pat dry with paper towel.
2. Heat a heavy 9-inch skillet over medium-high
heat. Place 1 tortilla in pan. Top tortilla evenly
with cheese, kale, and second tortilla. Cook,
flipping occasionally, until tortilla is toasted
and cheese melts, about 4 minutes. Cut into
4 wedges.

Per serving: 119 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated),
336 g mg
sodium, 22 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein
***NOTE***  I combined the above to recipes for one meal! Here is the picture.


Tilapia Tacos
 Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes

1 c coarse-crumbled leftover cooked tilapia
fillets (recipe 40)
1/4 c red onion slivers
1/4 c thinly sliced kale
1/4 c canned diced tomatoes, drained
2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lime juice
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 9-inch whole-wheat tortillas, warmed

In a mixing bowl, combine tilapia, onion, kale,
tomatoes, feta, oil, lime juice, cumin, pepper
flakes, and salt to taste. Toss. Spoon onto
tortillas. Fold tortillas in half. Cut each half into
two pieces.
 Per serving: 291 calories, 14 g fat (3 g saturated), 571 mg
sodium, 25 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 18 g protein

Stuffed Chicken Parmesan

prep time:20 min
start to finish:55 min
makes:6 servings
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 5 oz each)
1 box (10 oz) Cascadian Farm® frozen organic cut spinach, thawed, well drained
2 oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup fat-free egg product
12 stone-ground wheat crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup Muir Glen® organic Italian herb pasta sauce
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (1 oz)
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Between pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper, place each chicken breast smooth side down; gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling-pin until about 1/4 inch thick. (I did not have a rolling pin, so I found something else to use)
2. In medium bowl, mix spinach, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon basil and the garlic until blended. Spread about 1 tablespoon spinach mixture over each chicken breast; roll up tightly. If necessary, secure with toothpicks.
3. In small shallow bowl, place egg product. In another small shallow bowl, mix cracker crumbs, 1 teaspoon basil and the pepper. Dip each chicken breast into egg product; coat with crumb mixture. Place seam side down in baking dish.
4. Bake uncovered 20 minutes. Pour pasta sauce over chicken; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until thermometer inserted in center of chicken reads 165°F. Remove toothpicks from chicken before eating.
1 Serving: Calories 290 (Calories from Fat 100); Total Fat 11g (Saturated Fat 4 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol100mg; Sodium 450mg; Total Carbohydrate 10g (Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 3g); Protein 38g
Hope you enjoy trying out these recipes.  Keep looking for more and have a great weekend.
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