Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Moderation is Key


I think too often people think of eating healthy as all or nothing.  Clients frequently tell me they think I'm going to tell them to completely avoid all sorts of foods, but that isn't the answer!   The foundation to a healthy diet is moderation.  Contrary to fad diets, you do need a combination of protein, carbs, and fat, plus vitamins and minerals.  These two key thoughts below will help with moderation and keeping your healthy eating in perspective!  


  • Try not to think of certain foods as “off limits.” When you ban certain foods or food groups, it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation.  Who wants to feel like a failure??  Not a good plan here.  If you are drawn towards sweet, salty or unhealthy foods, start by reducing portion sizes and not eating them as often.  Try finding alternatives, such as a lower sodium version, or reduced sugar!  As you work on that, you will find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.

  • Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have exploded in recent years, especially in restaurants. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entrée, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything.  At home, use smaller plates, think about serving sizes in realistic terms and start small.  Visual cues can help with portion sizes—a tennis ball is the cue for a medium sized piece of fruit. A teaspoon of oil or salad dressing is about the size of a matchbook when you pour it in the pan and your pancake should be the diameter of a CD or DVD.  (I say diameter because I recently told my husband it should be the size of a DVD and he pointed out that was pretty thin ha!)

  • I found this here and thought they did a great job!

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd) and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Monday, July 30, 2012

    Basic Confetti Quinoa - Delicious Side!

    Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  I did!  My husband and I got to spend it with our families, and we had a blast hanging out with everyone.  Good times, good food.  We wish we could see them more often, but enjoy the time we get.  What did you all get to do?  We got to go boating one of the days with them, and I tried wake surfing, it was so cool!  I got up after only a couple tries, Wahoo!  That was a new one for me, have you tried it?  I have a video, maybe another day I will share!  Here is a picture of me in the water, ready to go.



    Today’s recipe is a simple side dish you can throw together and have with anything!  I perfected it a couple weeks ago, and our company loved it!  The base for the recipe is Quinoa, which is a great alternative to rice or pasta.  It has more protein and fiber, and because of this keeps your blood sugar more controlled.  Have you tried Quinoa before?  Try it this way for a flavor packed, delicious side dish!

    Confetti Quinoa
    Dice 1/2 red bell pepper
    Chop up either 1 Mexican bulb onion (pictured below, looks like a giant green onion, can usually find at the grocery store), or 4-5 green onions including the white and green
    Chop 4-5 button mushrooms about 1/2 cup worth
    (You can chop all this before so it comes together even faster!)

    Mexican Onions

    1/2 bell pepper plus 1 Mexican onion (I pre-chopped them to save prep time when actually putting it together, and saved them in a plastic bag)

    Mushrooms

    Spray a large fry pan with cooking spray, and heat up 1 tsp olive oil over medium high heat.

    Start a saucepan with 2 cups low sodium chicken broth, bring to a boil.  When boiling, add in 1 cup quinoa, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes.  

    Add 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional), and chopped vegetables to the pan with the olive oil.  Stir, and cook 7-8 min or until vegetables are tender.

    Vegetables in the fry pan

    Tender vegetables, ready for quinoa

    Once vegetables are tender and quinoa is cooked, add quinoa to pan with the vegetables.

    Quinoa in with vegetables

    Let quinoa and vegetables cook together over low heat for 2-3 minutes, serve right away.  Enjoy!


    Ingredients
    1/2 red bell pepper diced
    1 Mexican bulb onion or 4-5 green onions chopped
    4-5 button mushrooms chopped (about 1/2 cup)
    2 cups low sodium chicken broth
    1 cup quinoa
    1 tsp olive oil
    1 tsp minced garlic
    1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

    Have you tried quinoa before?  This is a quick easy way to try it out if you haven't before.

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd) and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

    New Food to Try - Healthy Choice Fudge Bars

     Today I wanted to share a favorite "healthy" snack.  It is perfect because it satisfies the chocolate craving and its nice and cold on a hot day.  Healthy Choice Premium Fudge Bars (3 oz size, big!).  They have No added sugar, they have 5 grams which occurs naturally.  They are only 100 calories, and only have 1.5 grams of fat.  They have 4 grams of protein to help you stay full, and 5 grams of fiber! (20-25% of your daily needs).  They are very good, my husband and I both love them.  I typically buy a large box of them at Costco, 18 for around $8.  Let me know if you like them!




    Healthy Choice also offers these in a Mocha Swirl variety, also delicious!  For a little bit smaller pop, it comes in at 90 calories, 1 gram of fat, 3 grams of protein, and about 1 gram of fiber.  Not as nutritionally great as the fudge ones, but a great sweet treat for sure.


    What are your favorite sweet choices for a hot summer day?  Share in the comments section below!

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd) and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Friday, July 27, 2012

    Test your Nutrition IQ - Vitamins and Minerals



    Which Food Has More?  Test your knowledge of various vitamin and minerals and the foods that contain them.  Answers are at the end... Good Luck!

    1. Which has more Vitamin C?
          a. 1 cup (c) orange juice
          b. 1 c strawberry halves
          c. 1 cup sliced red bell pepper

    2. Which has more Vitamin A?
          a. 1/2 c carrot sticks
          b. 1 c raw spinach
          c. 1 c diced cantaloupe

    3. Which has more potassium?
          a. 1 c chopped cauliflower
          b. 1 medium sized banana
          c. 1 medium sized baked white potato

    4. Which has more vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)?
          a. 4 oz chicken breast (baked)
          b. 4 oz grouper fish
          c. 1/2 c raw peas

    5. Which has more Iron?
          a. 3 oz Deer Meat cooked
          b. 1 c cooked black beans
          c. 3 oz cooked lean ground beef

    6. Which has more Vitamin E?
          a. 1/2 c shelled english walnuts
          b. 1 Tbsp canola oil
          c. 2 large eggs

    7. Which has more magnesium?
          a. 1 artichoke
          b. 1/2 cup lima beans
          c. 1/4 c pumpkin seeds

    8. Which has more calcium?
          a. 1 oz low fat swiss cheese
          b. 1 oz cheddar cheese
          c. 1 oz blue cheese

    How did you do??

    ANSWERS
    1.  c. The red bell pepper wins with 117 milligrams mg vitamin C, compared to the  strawberries at 89.4 mg, and the orange juice containing 81.9 mg.
    2.  a. The carrots win, containing 10,190 international units (IU) of vitamin A, compared to 5,276 IU in cantaloupe and 2813 IU for spinach. 
    3.  c. The baked potato wins by quite a bit. It contains 926 mg, while a banana contains 422 mg, and the cauliflower has 320 mg.
    4.  a. The chicken contains three times as much vitamin B6 as the peas do—0.45 mg vs 0.15 mg.  The grouper contains .33 mg, right in the middle.
    5.  b. The black beans win the Iron battle, providing 3.6 mg of iron, the deer contains 2.9 mg, while the ground beef provides 2.4 mg.
    6.  b.  The canola oil has the most vitamin E, at 2.4 mg, the eggs (mostly all from the yolks) contain 1.1 mg, and the walnuts contain 0.4mg.
    7.  c. A ¼ c of pumpkin seeds wins by a lot, providing 191 mg of magnesium, while the artichoke contains 76.8 mg and the lima beans contain 45 mg.
    8.  a. 1 oz of low fat swiss cheese wins, containing 269 mg of calcium, the cheddar contains 204 mg, and the blue cheese contains 150 mg.

    Share how you did in the comments section!  Any surprising answers?

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd) and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    12 Snacks Ideas For Any Craving!

    Spiced Maple Yogurt
    6 oz plain nonfat yogurt (try greek)
    1 Tbsp sugar free maple syrup
    Dash Cinnamon


    Yogurt Parfait
    6 oz vanilla greek yogurt
    1/2 cup high fiber cereal
    1/2 cup blueberries
    (Layer to make a parfait)

    Apple and Cheese
    1 small apple Sliced
    2 Swiss Laughing Cow cheese wedges 
    (spread on apple slices)













    Cottage Cheese and Cherries
    1/2 cup cottage cheese
    10 sliced cherries

    Avocado and Tomato Toast
    1 slice light whole wheat toast
    1/4 avocado sliced thin
    1/2 tomato sliced thin
    (Top Toast with avocado and tomato slices)

    Zinger Cucumbers
    1/2 cucumber sliced thin
    Vinegar drizzled over top
    Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb seasoning on top

    Chocolate Fix
    100 calorie pack cocoa roasted almonds
    2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips












    Tomato Juice and Cheese
    8 oz tomato V-8 Juice
    1 piece low-fat string cheese

    Chips and Dip
    2 Tbsp Low fat spicy bean dip +2 Tbsp Salsa
    12-14 Whole grain tortilla chips

    Hummus and Peppers
    1 Red Bell Pepper sliced
    2 Tbsp Roasted Garlic Hummus (tribe)
    (Dip peppers in Hummus)










    PB and J Roll Up
    1 50 calorie light Tortilla
    1 Tbsp Peanut butter
    1 Tbsp no sugar added Jam
    (Spread PB and Jam on tortilla, roll up, enjoy!)

    Dessert
    1/2 cup Frozen Greek Yogurt
    1 Cup sliced Strawberries
    2 Tbsp light whipped topping
    Drizzle of chocolate syrup
    (Top frozen yogurt with strawberries, whipping topping and syrup)

    What is your favorite snack?  Share your ideas in the comment section below!


    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd) and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Workout Wednesday - Writing it Down

    Do you ever go to the gym and get on the treadmill or the weight machines and do maybe "x" number or reps or minutes because it's a nice round number and call it good?  Do you know if those reps are more or less than yesterday?  How about last week or last month?  Do you know what kind of progress your workout has made more than just a number on the scale?  (which, by the way, today my scale told me I weighed 170lbs more than yesterday, um, time for a new scale I think!)

    A great work out tip is to write down what you have done during your work out.  I never did this until starting P90X almost four years ago and Tony Horton always stressed keeping track of what you were doing.  I started doing it and found quite a few positive benefits.  Each week I was able to see how many more pull ups or squats I could do than previous weeks and how far I had come.  Also, I knew how many push-ups or whatever we were doing I needed to shoot for based off of how many I had done before.  I am able to see my progress as I am able to run farther, lift heavier, increase reps, and jump higher.  I know my workouts are making me stronger and better, and I know that because I look back over the years now and see what I used to do!

    Writing down your work outs is great motivation to get your work out in, and push yourself just a little farther than last time.  Write down what you did, whether it was running, elliptical, biking, anything.  Write down the amount of time you spent and how much you pushed yourself.  For example, treadmill, 20 min, level 4.  If you switched it up, write that down too.  If you do weights keep track as you go, for example Bicep curls, 15 lbs, 16 reps.  Then the next time you go you know what you did last time.  

    Can be as simple as this!  Pic from here.

    If it helps you, write down how you felt during your work out.  If you are running and it was really hard, write it down.  As it gets easier, you will be able to remember where you came from.  Do you write down your workouts?  Does it help?  Share in the comments below!  Good Luck!

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd) and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    Dinner Party Suggestions

    I love dinner parties.  I love throwing them, and I love attending them.  Eating at someone's house can be so much better than going out to eat.  Home cooked meals are wonderful, and trying a friend's favorite dishes and creations is always fun.  Attending a dinner party can be easier on your meal plan or diet than going out to eat, if you keep a few key things in mind.  Here are my top suggestions for staying in line while enjoying a dinner party (maybe this weekend?)  Come on over!  You are all invited!  :)
    • Pick and choose wisely.  Focus on vegetable dishes for instance the relish tray, salads, and lean meat choices.  Steer clear of dishes covered in rich, creamy sauces.  If you do decide to try a rich entree or dessert, be sure to watch your portion size and keep it small.
    • If you have the option, bring a side dish that fits into your plan.  You will have at least one safe food there that you can fill up on.  Remember others may be grateful for a healthy option as well.  Don't forget to check with the host for something that fits in with what they are already preparing.
    • Pay attention to bowls of candy and snacks sitting out.  Be aware of what you are putting in your mouth during conversation and before and after the meal.  Those little bites here and there really add up quickly!
    • Be careful with beverages!  Alcoholic drinks can be loaded with calories and will hurt your weight loss progress.  If you do drink, stick to one glass of white wine instead of sugary cocktails, and stick to something lighter the rest of the evening.  
    • Don't starve during the day in preparation for the dinner party.  Eat every few hours, even if it is something small and try to have something small but filling (for example 6 oz of yogurt with 1/2 cup all bran cereal mixed in) before going to the party.
    I love this gorgeous outdoor table set up for a dinner party!  Pic from here.

    I love this setting for Fall!  Pic from here.

    What are your favorite strategies for surviving dinner parties?  Share in the comments section below!

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd) and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

    Food to Try - Pop Chips

    Do you have a BBQ this weekend?  Party that you need to take something too but not sure what to bring?  Want to bring a healthy alternative to potato chips that people will still like? Have you tried popchips?
    These yummy chips are neither fried, or baked.  They are popped!  They are all natural, with no preservatives, trans fat, saturated fat or cholesterol.  They also have no gluten ingredients.  These really hit the spot if you are craving potato chips (or sweet potato chips).  These come in eleven different flavors and with so many great flavors you don't need to dip them in anything.  Flavors include: Original, BBQ (my favorite), sour cream and onion, cheddar, salt and vinegar, sweet potato, salt and pepper, jalapeno, chili lime, thai sweet chili and parmesan garlic.  

    Popchips only have 100 calories and 3.5 grams of fat for an individual size bag (surprisingly big 18-20 chips - YAY).  They also have 1 gram of fiber.  Pop chips are a yummy snack when you need something with that "crunch".  I love them, and can't wait to try their newest flavor, Thai Sweet Chili.  

    You can look for them at your grocery store, Target, my Costco has them, or you can go online to find a store near you that carries them!  Check out their website here. (www.popchips.com) You can even get the chips from their website, that is pretty easy :)




    Have you tried pop chips?  What are your favorite flavors?  Have a great weekend!

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd) and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    Fresh Friday - In Season - Cantaloupe!

    I'm not a big fan of all melons.  Lately cantaloupe has grown on me, and even become one of my favorite fruits.  I love to pick out small ones, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and fill a half with cottage cheese.  (Side note - I'm always surprised by how many people don't like cottage cheese!  If you have never been fan, try a smooth, whipped version for all the great protein and calcium benefits, without the texture.  Friendship brand makes a great whipped one).





    When I was growing up, my little sister loved cantaloupe.  We would have a bowl with all different melons and fruit like at a BBQ, and after she got done with it, all the cantaloupe would be gone, leaving all the other fruits behind.  We would joke that if anyone else wanted cantaloupe, they better beat her to the fruit bowl.  Every time I think of cantaloupe, it reminds me of her!


    Here are some tips for selection, storage, and preparation, as well as nutrition information.


    Did you know?  Cantaloupe is a variety of muskmelon, along with honeydew.  Cantaloupe originated in India and Africa.


    Selection: Melons should be tender to gentle pressure on the blossom end of the fruit.  They should also smell sweet when ripe.  The scar on the stem end should be smooth and well-rounded.  Avoid melons with soft spots or lumps.  You want to choose a cantaloupe that seems heavy for it's size.  The skin on the cantaloupe should have thick, well-raised netting on it.




    Storage: If your melon is not quite ripe yet, keep it at room temperature until it is.  Melons are ethylene-sensitive, meaning they will ripen faster if stored with ethylene producing fruits such as pears or bananas.  It will stay in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.  Cut melon can be kept tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


    Preparation: Before cutting the cantaloupe, wash the skin thoroughly.  Cut the melon in half and scoop out the seeds.  Remove skin if desired by cutting into wedges and slicing between the flesh and the skin.  Cantaloupe can be cut into wedges, chunks, balls or slices.  One pound raw equals about 2 cups chopped.


    Serving Suggestions: Melon is excellent plain, or in fruit salads.  Try serving with cottage cheese or greek yogurt.  Chill cut pieces and drizzle with lime juice.  Use in sorbets, sherbets, smoothies or parfaits.  Cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto makes a great appetizer.


    Nutrition: One cup cubes only as about 50 calories.  It is a high source of vitamin A and vitamin C.  It is also a good source of potassium, folate, vitamin B6, Niacin, vitamin K, and magnesium.


    What are your favorite ways to enjoy cantaloupe?   Share your ideas in the comments section below!


    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd) and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Summer Favorite - Shish Kabobs


    My husband and I both have fairly large families.  We all like to get together for meals.  The trick, is finding something every one likes, and can eat with varying diet restrictions.  One thing I have found to be a success on many occasions are Shish Kabobs

    Kabobs are one of my favorite entertaining dish to make, because everyone can individualize their own, and have exactly what they like on it.  It also can be surprisingly healthy!  When its just the two of us we use one type of meat and a few vegetables, when there is more, we use a large assortment, which I love!  Here are some healthy suggestions:

    Meats:
    • Chicken (skinless)
    • Pork
    • Shrimp
    • Scallops
    • Any firm white fish, such as Mahi Mahi, Halibut, Cod, etc.
    • Try Tofu!  With a good marinade it will pick up the flavors of anything you cook it with.  Start with a firmer (texture) Tofu if its new for you.
    Vegetables:
    • Onions (try a red onion for a more mild flavor or pearl onions for something different)
    • Peppers (use a variety of colors!)
    • Squash
    • Zucchini
    • Cherry Tomatoes
    • Button Mushrooms
    • Artichoke hearts
    • Hard boiled (about 7 min) Sweet potatoes cut into thin circles
    Fruits:
    • Pineapple
    • Mango
    • Citrus Slices (orange/lemon/lime)
    • Peaches
    Marinate your meat for a few hours in a marinade, you can find a wide variety at the grocery store or make your own.  There are many Low Fat or Fat free options, I always like to try different ones and mix up the flavors, as well as find ones on sale!  Save some of your marinade to spread on your vegetables to flavor them before placing them on the grill later.  

    If you are entertaining you can pick a variety of vegetables, cut them into different shapes (try to keep them uniform in size so they cook evenly) and let people build their own kabobs.  The more vegetables, the healthier your kabobs will be!  Mix up flavors, textures and colors for an interesting dish.  There is no "right" way to build a kabob, do whatever looks good in any order, just remember which one is yours!  When everyone has put their kabobs together spread remaining marinade over them so the vegetables get flavored.  You can also add a hint of salt and pepper.

    You can find wood skewers in the grocery store for fairly cheap, soak them before using them so they don't burn.  Cooking time depends on grill temperature and if you are using a gas or charcoal grill.  You can also broil them if you don't have a grill.  Turn every few minutes, and monitor for desired doneness (usually about 12-14 when done over coals, fish and shrimp only take about 6-8 minutes).  With so many options, this is a great summer dish you can have often!  Enjoy.

    picture from tasteofhome


    Have you made Kabobs before?  What do you add to yours?  Share in the comments section below!

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd) and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna


    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Workout Wednesday - Motivation after a long work day


    Do you every find yourself thinking, "There is no way I can work out after such a long day at work!".  You are not alone.  This is the biggest and most frequent reason I hear for not exercising.  I don't blame them either.  It is really hard to work up the energy to exercise when you are drained from a long work day, and thinking about spending an hour on the treadmill is too much.  To those patients, I recommend changing what you think about exercising.  Tell yourself you only need 10 minutes...Just 10 little minutes....

    There is a difference between being mentally tired and physically tired.  Doing something physical, like exercise, can actually help combat the mental fatigue.  Try telling yourself you aren't going to do more than ten minutes of exercise (ten minutes is better than nothing, right!?).  Often, once you get moving it isn't hard to continue the work out.  The hardest part is usually just getting going.  In studies preformed at Northern Arizona University, they found that doing ten minutes of moderate exercise, was enough to improve moods and fatigue levels.

    Try having your route home from work take you past the gym.  Capitalize on the fact that you are already out and next to the gym, you haven't already parked it in front of the TV.  Also, plan ahead for ways to exercise at home.  Plan on taking the dog for a walk, or playing catch with your kids.  Have work out DVDs next to the TV and ready to go.  Have a yoga mat on hand and ready to be used.  Anything you can do to make those ten minutes not so painful and you are much more likely to get some kind of work out in.  Remember, ANY work out is better than NO work out.  You can do THIS!

    Found this a long time ago...not sure who to credit, sorry!

    How do you get moving after a long day at work?  Share in the comments section below!

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd) and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Eating Out Tips


    As much as I love cooking, I love eating out too.  I love trying new foods, new combinations, and having someone else do the dishes!  One of the restaurants I visited recently had avocado fries on the menu, something I had never heard of!  We had to taste them, and they were amazing!  I love new things like that!  

    While eating out is almost always more calories and fat than staying in, there are many strategies to make eating out healthier.  Here a few...  Look for more to come!
    • Fried, au gratin, crispy, escalloped, pan-fried, sautéed or stuffed foods are high in fat and calories. Instead, look for steamed, broiled, baked, grilled, poached or roasted foods. If you’re not sure about a certain dish, ask your server how it’s prepared. You can request that visible fat be trimmed from meat and skin be removed from poultry before cooking.
    • Have gravy, sauces and dressings served on the side, so you can control the amount you eat or skip them completely.  Ask for low fat or fat free varieties as well.
    • Share your meal or have half put in a box to go before you start eating.  One of the biggest problems with going out is portion sizes.  You will also feel much better after if you don't eat the whole thing.
    • Even if they aren't on the dessert menu, many restaurants can offer you fruit or sherbet instead of high-fat pastries and ice creams so you can enjoy dessert with out all the calories and fat.
    • Remember to include the calories you are drinking.  Unless you get diet soda or water you will be taking in quite a few calories with your drinks.  A glass of regular soda is around 140 calories (each refill), a glass of wine is anywhere from 100-200 calories, and mixed drinks can come in around 400 calories.
    • So many restaurants have right on the menu what their healthy options are or something like options under 500 calories, making it really easy to make healthy choices and still enjoy a night out.
    • Plan ahead!  If you know where you are going before hand look them up online and check out their nutrition facts.  Most restaurants will have them up, and if they don't, you can email and ask for them for the next time you go there.  Look at the calories and fat, or anything else you are watching like sodium in your favorite dishes or a new dish you want you try and pick the best option.
    Check out the restaurant links using the page above or click here.  It is not all inclusive, but gives you some ideas of popular restaurant's nutrition.
      
    What helps you stay on track while eating out?  Any tips or tricks that work for you?  

    Share in the comments section below!

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd) and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Cheesy Herby Summer Squash...Recipe Monday

    One of my favorite vegetable dishes that my parents make is their summer squash.  There is big difference in eating your vegetables when they are full of flavors and topped with a little cheese, compared to boiled or lightly steamed, not quite as entertaining.  I love the colors in this dish, and how fast it comes together.  You can use fresh herbs if you have them, or dried herbs in a pinch.  If you have never been sure how to serve zucchini or crockneck squash, this is your answer!  Here is my version of my parents dish...


    Start with 1 tsp of olive oil heating over medium heat in a large fry pan.  I find that 1 tsp usually is not enough to cover the whole pan, so my trick is to spray lightly with cooking spray (such as pam) and do my oil.  





    Add 1 tsp minced garlic to the oil.  



    After 1 minute, add 1/4 cup diced onion to the pan.


    Try dicing 1-2 onions and putting them in a freezer safe container.  Every time you only need a small amount, it is quick and easy!  I add these to my eggs, vegetable dishes, anything that needs just a small amount of onion!  It can stay in the freezer for three months.


    Slice one zucchini and one yellow summer squash thinly.  How thin you slice them determines how quick it cooks.  






    Add all sliced squash to the garlic and onion mixture once the onion has become tender (about 3 minutes).  Top with 1/2 tsp dried basil, or 2 Tbsp fresh, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like heat), and 1/4 tsp salt (optional).




    Let cook until squash becomes tender, about 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, uncovered.




    Slice one roma tomato (or any kind you have on hand) into thin slices.  Once the squash is tender, top with tomato, cover, let cook for 2 minutes.



    Top mixture with 1/4 cup low fat mozzarella cheese.  If you like Parmesan, you can do 2 Tbsp of parmesan and 2 Tbsp mozzarella for added flavor.



    Cover, let melt for 1 minute.



    Eat right away, serves 4!


    What is your favorite way to eat summer squash?  Share in the comments section!

    Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd) and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna