Diet advice flipped upside down

diet advice ecard

Over the years doctors, nutritionists, fitness professionals, and health advocates have backed a ton of really contradictory advice for what the golden ticket to weight loss is.  I’m sure two weeks from today there will be some other new finding discrediting something we thought was good to do only to have that re-credited one year later.  Think of the studies on caffeine.  It’s bad for you, it’s good for you, we don’t know what the effects are!  So darn confusing!

So what’s on this ground shattering list that made me want to pull my hair out in frustration?  Here’s a few of the highlights that were privy to make Shape’s Top 10:

Here’s a rundown of 5 out of the 10 diet rules that made the list:

1.  Skip breakfast if you want –  Non-morning people rejoice!  Just because you don’t have time to eat breakfast in the morning, don’t feel like it or simply just didn’t wake up in time you are not missing a thing!  Just make sure you don’t overeat later in the day because of it

2. It’s okay to eat a big dinner – I LOVE this one because that’s my daily routine.  I am conservatively healthy throughout the day and dinner is my bulk of my calories (granted I don’t over-indulge on fries and cheeseburgers) but nonetheless my calorie intake equals about the same as my breakfast and lunch combined.  Healthy objective?  Not necessarily but it fits within my daily calorie allotment and is most of the time nutritionally sound.

3. Snacking does not effect metabolism – This one I have a problem with to be blunt.  From what I’ve always heard and been taught eating throughout the day is way better in turns of turning up the metabolic fat burning dials.  This article however argues that you could eat more this way and it’s just as okay to eat a large breakfast/lunch to hold you over.

4.  Eat carbs to get lean –   Meaning no don’t go for a loaf of sugar filled generic wheat bread, but do feed your body the carbs it needs through better unprocessed foods with carbs.   You have to figure ridding your body of anything it needs to perform at it’s best (especially if active your body needs carbs!) will eventually take its toll.

5. Exercise on an empty stomach – Who wants to stuff a bagel in their mouth or drink a big sloshy protein shake and go to a plyometrics class, raise your hand!  Yea, that’s what I thought no one.  I am a big advocate of exercising in the morning on an empty stomach.  No I don’t pass out, no my bod doesn’t go into starvation mode.  I do feel however that it keeps me feeling lighter and moving faster.  Just my opinion though…

This weight loss advice article  pretty much confirmed as I had expected: the only thing for certain that guarantees losing or maintaining your weight is simple: don’t over eat!  Calories in, calories out –  like mathematics there is only one right answer this way.   Living by this simplistic approach rules out all the outliers and keeps you at least somewhat sane of mind.  Once you know your magic number that’s all you need.  How you figure out that number can be through a variety of factors as extreme as going through bloodwork and metabolic testing to using a daily fitness tracker or a “guesstimate” online tool.

How do these pieces of advice fit into what you already know or have heard about losing weight? Do you agree or does this make you angry?  Do you feel like you’ve been duped?  Let’s hear it!

Source:  Surprising Weight-Loss Tips and Diet Advice You Need to Know – Shape Magazine –
Written by Kimberly Hale


4 Healthy Junk Food Ideas

woman eating junk foodMore often than not, I crave some deliciously bad-for-you goodness. I have learned that little slip-ups add up more quickly than I can burn them off. An extra 100 calories is about 15 minutes on the treadmill for me, and with most yummy junk food, that means only a bite or two! Fear not, I have compiled a list of better-for-you goodies!

Here’s a list of four tasty treats that have healthful silver linings:

1) Cheez Whiz (nope, not kidding)

This go-to steak topper is full of Natural Trans Fats (aka Cancer-fighting CLA’s). After related research findings were released, “Kraft Foods must have had a field day pointing out that this pasteurized spread was no junk food, but a more concentrated source of a… cancer-fighting compound than any of the [other] cheeses analyzed.” Fat can be soooo good! (Just don’t forget that little note about moderation…at 90 calories and 7 grams of that good-fat per dollop, the cons can quickly outweigh the pros here.)

2) Evol Frozen Foods 

We love these Evol options at my gluten-free house! The free-range, hormone-free chicken, humanely raised beef, house-made salsa and organic beans only boost our love of Evol (which happens to be love spelled backwards). Evol’s website is chock full of information about their products and ingredient sources.

3) Quinn Popcorn

Most people think microwave popcorn is a healthy choice for snacking, but many don’t know about the hazardous chemical coatings inside the bags. Quinn has no need for such chemical coatings, and their delectable Parmesan & Rosemary and Hickory Smoked Cheddar flavors amp up your snack time. Nutritional Info for each flavor can be found on their website.

4) Home-made Spinach Dip

If you use reduced-fat cream cheese, nonfat yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese, you save 84 calories and 10 grams of fat per serving!!

Lightly sauté:

  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, peeled
  • 6 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed

Mix above ingredients with:

  • 1 5-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

Contributing Writer, HoneyCrunched Kate Milde

Oh Coconuts! Coconuts and Your Health

broken coconutYou may have noticed the rising trend in products made with coconuts over the past year and a half.  You probably have seen and continue to see dozens of products like coconut extract, coconut oil, coconut milk.  Just like greek yogurt, once suppliers saw it had a demand in the marketplace, they naturally went nuts creating every type of coconut product out there!  But what are all these people making such a fuss about and is there really a benefit to coconuts?

Well yes and no… this nutritious food is high in vitamins and minerals. It may have been perceived in the past that coconuts had a lot of saturated fat however research has shown that its a fat of a different caliber.  Similar to olive oil the health benefits far outweigh the negatives.  Let’s take a look at some of the less traditional coconut items you see on the shelf today and whether or not they are worth those few extra bucks or are just a phase:

1. Coconut Milk It used to be the only thing you would picture when hearing coconut milk were those little cans in the Thai food aisles at your local grocer. We knew used sparingly they were awesome but they were also loaded with fat, calories, and sugar. @ell since then additional “coconut milk” variations have been created. Brands like “So Delicious” and “Blue Almond” have lines of milks and yogurt from coconut both flavored and unflavored. Best bet? Forgo the extra sugar and get the unsweetened kind.

2. Coconut Oil – Hair, body, cooking what can’t you use this product for? This is one of the most versatile products out there and can be used as a deep conditioner for hair. Slather some as a body butter on your body after a shower. Spoon it into your frying pan next time you cook, coconut oil is great at handling consistently high temps from the stove. This oil is even incorporated in some medical treatments.

3. Coconut Water – This flavored water comes from the center of young green coconuts.  It has a high percent of potassium, sodium, magnesium and is fat-free. However please be aware that although the water is fat-free it is not free of calories. So trading your favorite sports drink for this water might not be your cup of tea.

These are just a few of the recent trending categories for products.  Coconuts have been used forever in creating delectable desserts, garnishes dishes, and creating amazing soups.  I will say if I could make a recommendation, grab a jar of coconut oil.  My favorite store, Trader Joe’s, has a jar of coconut oil for like $5.99.  Test it out and let me know what you think.

Have a coconut use or recipe you swear by?  Let us know, we’d love to hear about it!

Written by Kimberly Hale


Fast Food Options for a Smaller Waist

Sometimes eating fast food is unavoidable. Perhaps you are traveling, maybe you forgot your lunch, have no time to make something, or are trying to recover from the night before. Regardless of your reason fast food happens! What choices you make at these establishments ultimately decides how good or bad of a decision that is.

Below are three typical scenarios with options how you can beat the bulge next time you’re staring down the menu at a local chain restaurant.

Scenario 1: It is 7:30am you are on the way to work and starving! Perhaps it would have been a good idea to hide the wine bottle last night!

Solution: Don’t panic! We get it, greasy food is indefinitely calling your name. Below are a few saving graces to consider:

* McDonald’s Egg McMuffin (300 calories)

Why? Think protein. Egg is a wonderful source of protein and the yolk offers a good dose of choline that your body needs.

*Starbucks – Reduced Fat Turkey Bacon Sandwich (250 calories)

Why? With under 300 calories this one is waste friendly, filled with protein, and delicious!  Not feeling eggs?  Try one of the Greek Yogurt parfaits (honey and blueberry version is great!)

Scenario 2:  It’s lunchtime and you are starved!  Have been out running errands all day and are starting to get hangry!

Solution: Eat! Your glucose levels are spiking making your blood sugar and attitude go south. Eating something will set you back to feeling good again while giving you energy to proceed with the rest of your day.

*Chic-fil-A – Grilled chicken nuggets with honey mustard dipping sauce and a side salad (Under 300 calories)

Why?  Just 8 grilled nuggets has 25 grams of protein for only 140 calories! Add in some leafy greens and a little bit of honey mustard and you have got yourself a tasty and filling meal.

*Subway – 6″ Turkey on Wheat (approx 300 calories)

Why? Load veggies on this sucker, add either light mayo or avocado and you have yourself a balanced meal! (carb, fat and proteins).  Another good alternative for under 350 calories is the tuna salad salad.  Tuna is a great low calorie high protein source to keep you feeling full longer.

Scenario 3: Uh Oh it’s dinner night with the girls! You are psyched to see your friends but know often girls night means over indulgence in everything!

Solution: It doesn’t have to be! Spending time with friends is the most important part.  You can partake in healthy eating and still enjoy a night out.  Alcohol is probably the worst offender but if you simply cannot go without it opt for 1 glass of red which is packed with antioxidants. Here are some options to go for on the menu 99% of the time:

*Look for a lean protein (think chicken or fish), veggies and a good carb like sweet potatoes or red boiled potatoes etc.  Remember you can always ask your server to sub out something like fries for a boiled potato or the veggie of the day.

*Salad can be a good choice but not always.  Mining through salad ingredients can be stressful.  Although salad appear healthy most of the time all the extras piled on including the dressing can make salads a worse choice than just getting a burger!  So just be aware of the toppings and go easy on the nuts/dried fruit, skip the cheese if possible, skip the tortilla strips or croutons, add an egg or avocado and ALWAYS ask for your dressing on the side.

*Piece together a few sides or appetizers.  Add a side of veggies, and chicken skewers or shrimp cocktail.  Just look for options involving a lean meat, veggies and a healthy fat in moderation like olive oil, grass fed butter, or avocado.

So there you have it!  You can eat any meal out and still stay on track.  Just choose wisely, remember to balance your plate (read: skip carb on carb on carb options) and carry on!

Have any other great eating out advice???  We’d love to hear about it. post in the comments in below.