To Eat Chips or Not To Eat Chips…

Well glad Thanksgiving is over, if only the never-ending supply of pie in my house would just disappear!  And no I cannot throw it out… moderation is the key – it’s because of that it’s not completely gone to begin with!  Enough on leftovers though and time for some enlightenment about snacks, specifically chips!

We all like to snack and no asking you or me to switch over to strictly carrots and sugar snap peas is not a sustainable solution.  I do watch a lot of what I eat however I have that “blackout” period between work and dinner that I like to snack.  So below are my top 5 favorite chips I keep under 200 calories and satisfy that need my body asks for:

* Mind you I do take into account calories in the below… I do not take into account salt as for medical reasons mine is always too low so I’m fortunate not to have to watch this heavily.  If you do however I can’t promise the below doesn’t have a large amount…

1. Skinny Pop popcorn – 4 cups is 150 calories!  It tastes great and allows you to mindlessly munch without digging yourself in a hole!

2. Veggie Straws – Rosemary and Olive Oil is my FAVORITE kind of these.  These too offer a satisfying serving size

3. Goldfish – any kind it’s even fun to mix up a few types like cupcake with pretzels and cheddar.  Once again serving size is upwards of 30 fish.

4. Reduced Guilt Cheese Puffs (Trader Joes) – This fills that cheesy void and allows for 35 of these! 

5. Snyder Pretzels – Mini Pretzels are excellent to snack on.  They come in at 20 mini pretzels for 110.  Not too shabby!

What are you’re favorites?  Share with us!

Healthy Eating Tips For Thanksgiving – Less Guilt More Pleasure

Tomorrow we approach another Thanksgiving.  My how quickly the year seems to fly by!  With Thanksgiving comes a time to see family and old friends, to celebrate, watch football and of course eat an amazing meal.  We know you are great at the socializing and bonding with family/friends over an entertaining football game but let’s hone in a little closer on those minor dinner details you may not be so good at controlling.

Did you know that depending on your source, the average Thanksgiving dinner portion weights in at a whopping 2,500-3,000 calories a plate?  Yes if 3,500 calories equal a pound of fat depending on how much egg nog you add to your meal you’re looking at gaining up to a pound from it!  So how do you tackle this beast and still come out a winner?  An article by WebMD entitled, “10 Tips for a Thinner Thanksgiving” (http://on.webmd.com/4nYjaX) gives us some food for thought with suggesting that you get a good sweat session in early on in the day prior to eating your feast.  The article also recommends not skipping breakfast.  Skipping breakfast will only make you feel famished by lunch/dinner time and lead to an over indulgence in food.  WedMD suggests lightening up the meal where you can like using fat-free chicken broth when making the turkey, reducing or omitting butter from certain items and using yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips.  Lastly the article states policing your portions to be the big key.  Skip your seconds and try to choose the best items at the dinner table for Thanksgiving.

Willing to try to lighten up but unsure which Thanksgiving items to choose and which to avoid?  Here’s a handy reference list I made for you:

Good –

white meat turkey, mashed potatoes minus adding butter or gravy, dinner roll with little pad of butter, roasted or mashed sweet potatoes if they are not filled with marshmallows or candied, vegetables, green bean casserole, homemade cranberries, and pumpkin pie

Avoid – 

Dark meat, gravy, excessive butter use, candied or marshmallow sweet potatoes, sausage, stuffing, canned cranberries, pecan pie, egg nog, cornbread

In closure I hope this list will help you in lightening up your load so you’re not overstuffed or full of guilt come Friday morning!  But most of all I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving no matter what decision you make!

Skip the Gym & Get a Great Workout

As the dark winter approaches we are more likely to not want to leave our homes to go workout, but instead curl up with some warm food and a blanket on the couch. However that very habit contributes to why we are apt to gain more weight during the fall/winter seasons than spring or summer.

   Alas Ive got great news for you! You no longer need to go to the gym to get in the best shape of your life. You can do this right at home you just have to be willing to make the time for it. Below are 5 common excuses we use to skip working out at home challenged:

1. I dont have time.
A: Make time its as simple as that. There is nothing worse than  complaining about a situation and not willing to change anything to make it better.  Have stairs at home? Use them to do sets up and down…try for 8 times up/down = 1. If thats too easy add more until its too challenging to do one more rep. No stairs use a trunk or step stool. Still to easy? Hold weights in your hands.

Targets: butt, thighs, cardiovascular system

2. I dont know what to do.
A: see above for an idea, look up free workouts online, get a fitness magazine, or just come up with a combination of running in place, squats, lunges, stomach crunches, pushups.

Targets: total body

3. My family is home I have no where to work out.
A. pretty much all low and high intensity exercises can be done in place you only need as much room as a yoga mat would take up. Can you find that space in your bedroom, kitchen,.office, or living room?

4. I have kids to watch.
A: So do I and guess what? She loves watching and imitating what I or the people in the video do while working out. When shes had enough she just goes on with playing with her dolls off to the side. There is nothing wrong with your kids seeing you workout in fact it sets a good example of living a healthy lifestyle.

5. I have no time before work and no energy after
A: Fit it in where you can. 10minutes here 30 minutes there. the mosy important part is getting over the not wanting to workout hump. Once you start working out youll release how much better you feel.,Youll gain extra energy and release stress who can beat that combo!

So I challenge you for the next 30 days to get in min. 3 days of exercise a week. That means you get 4 days off a week!  Let me know how it goes.

Stop Eating Off Your Child’s Plate!

eating?

eating? (Photo credit: mitikusa)

Scenario #1:

”Michael please eat the rest of your food, there is still a ton left” you say.
”NO! I dont want to!” argues Michael.

Begrudgingly you snatch the plate saying, ”Fine no dessert for you then.” But as you walk away you cant help but feel guilty throwing out 1/2 turkey sandwich thinking about either how much money you waste throwing perfectly good food out every week or thinking about all the people starving around the world. So to resolve that you eat it.

Scenario #2:

How about when you are making their dinner and you are starving so you cant help but snag a couple pretzels while putting some on their plates. Guilty!

Whatever the reason or scenario it might be the fact remains we all do this at some point and if it’s on a regular basis you may be totally unaware that those 5 chips everyday add up to over an extra pound if weight gain a year!

Its little things like not eating off your child’s plate that we can do to prevent excess weight gain. If you really played your cards right you could turn this scenario around to a potential weight loss occasion by saving the other half of your childs meal you know they wont eat and in turn eat that coupled by fruits or veggies to compliment as your meal too.

If we know that approximately 3500 calories = 1 pound then we can conclude that eating those few pretzels or half of a sandwich (100 calories) whether it’s once ever day or even once a week can add up to an extra 5,200 -36,500 calories a year = anywhere from 1-10lb EXTRA weight gain a year!  That’s just off those extra scraps…  don’t forget to add-on to that yearly # holiday weight gain, winter weight gain, and weight gain from age!

So as you can see this is a super easy habit to take out of your life with rewarding benefits.  We’re all busy, short on exercise, and challenged enough in our own food decision-making why add another layer of complication when you don’t need to?