Monday, May 3, 2010

Cinco de Mayo Dinner

I think I will include these nachos in my dinner plan for Cinco de Mayo. The rest of the week's dinner plans are coming soon....


Monday, April 26, 2010

Week One Menu

I make a weekly plan for dinners. I try to have a variety of protein sources- (lean) pork, chicken, turkey, beef, fish, etc- and a variety of vegetable side dishes. Also, I use only whole grains and try to mix that up, as well. I try to include whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole wheat cous cous, quinoa, whole grain bread and so forth. If you keep things interesting through variety of flavors and food choices, you have a better chance at consistently eating healthy. Of course, this takes planning. At least, at first. After a while, you will get into a groove of what kinds of things to put on the grocery list so that you have things on hand to throw together a healthy meal. Until then, plan a week's worth of meals that meet your health guidelines for calorie & fat intake.

Now, I mentioned I do a weekly plan for dinners. What about the other meals? Well, for breakfast- I am pretty well versed in what works well for me and have those things on hand. I can list several breakfasts that I choose from. Then, for lunch I have left overs, or other "stand-by" lunches. I will tell more about the stand-bys in a minute. For now, here is the dinner plan. They are in no particular order; you can make them on whatever day of the week works best with your schedule.

This week's dinner plan:
Day 1: Broiled Talapia with Thai Coconut Curry Sauce I will serve a mixed greens salad, lightly tossed with a vinaigrette dressing. I may put cucumbers & tomatoes into the salad, as well.

Day 2: Crock Pot 3-Bean Turkey Chili I will make corn bread made with whole wheat flour to go with. Also, I will top the chili with diced tomatoes, cilantro & scallions to add a little more fresh veggies.

Day 3: Tomato Caper Sauce with Chicken Breast (instead of Tilapia)- I am doing my own adaptation of this recipe. I will make the caper sauce and cook the chicken breast on my George Foreman grill (GFG). Just trying to mix up our meats (protein sources) for the week. I am going to serve this over baked spaghetti squash.
this shows Tilapia- I will use Chicken.

Day 4: Roasted Beets, Rutabaga, Carrots & Onions with Aidells Habanero Chicken Sausage  with Rapini. I will make a variation of this Broccoli Rabe recipe. For the root veggies- I cut them into similarly sized chunks. Then, I lightly toss them with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), salt & pepper. They don't need much EVOO. The trick to keeping them from sticking to the baking sheet is to put the sheet in the oven while the oven heats up (400°-450°) so the sheet is hot when you spread the vegetables over it. Back until browned & crispy on the outside, but soft when pricked with a fork or toothpick. I won't put the sausage in the oven with the veggies. They don't need that long to cook. I will cook them on the stove in a pan- or on the GFGrill.

Day 5: Thai Super Soup. Ok, I have to admit- I haven't made this before, nor do I have a recipe. I had a delicious soup at the local Thai restaurant, and I am going to try and recreate it. I am usually pretty successful at this type of endeavor- so it isn't a total long shot...! I have shrimp, chicken broth, bok choy, cilantro, lemon grass (fresh), water chestnuts, carrots, leeks & small crimini mushrooms. I plan to combine them in some sort of delicious soup way... I will keep you posted on how I actually make it!

Day 6: Shepard's Pie- Lightened Up This uses lean ground beef. I haven't used beef yet this week, so this will be a nice change. This is kind of a "one-dish-meal", so I don't know that I will need a side grain or veggie.

Day 7: Left overs. I usually have something left over from most meals- so, I have a night where everyone can choose leftovers to eat.

Quick, nutritious & filling breakfasts:
•1/3 cup cottage cheese with 1/2 cup blueberries or strawberries
•2 egg white omelette with spinach & mushrooms
•1/2 c oatmeal (made with whole oats- from scratch) with cinnamon & sweetened with a little honey or chopped dried fruit- such as apricots, craisins, raisins, blueberries; or served with fresh (or frozen) fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, peaches, bananas (fresh- not frozen!), etc. Depending upon how many calories you allot yourself for breakfast will determine how much fruit you can add.
•1 grapefruit or orange
•1 piece of fruit with 1 oz of almonds (apple, pear, peach, etc)
•1 piece of toast topped with 1 T peanut butter, apple slice (circular, not wedge) & cinnamon

Lunch Ideas:
I like to use the Oroweat Sandwich Thins to make sandwiches. It is only 100 calories per... set? It is 2 "slices", at any rate. I have a couple of favorite sandwiches right now:
•Chicken breast, blue cheese, mixed greens and "Hot Wings Sauce"
•1/4 avocado mixed with diced tomatoes & jalapeƱos- spread on one piece of bread; the other piece has Trader Joe's Spicy Black Bean Dip spread on it. Then top with mixed greens & Chicken or Turkey lunch meat.
•Trader Joe's Red Pepper Eggplant spread with chicken or turkey meat, mixed greens & cucumbers
•Turkey or chicken meat (or lunch meat) with goat cheese, strawberries & mixed greens. Or, make it as a salad:
•Mixed greens salad with chicken breast, goat cheese, strawberries and Champagne Pear Vinaigrette (from Trader Joe's)

There are more... I will look at my food log and report some others. This gets this week's food plan going!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Healthy Food on Hand

I found an online article that reiterates things we already know. However, when I need these things to come to mind- like when I need to plan a grocery list, or think of something healthy to eat- my memory fails me! Hence, the "one-stop-shopping" website of knowledge (this blog). It is more for me than anything. If it is helpful for you, too- then fabtastiful.

I will summarize the 15 Healthy Foods to Have in Your Kitchen at All Times article.

1. Yogurt: watch for sugar or it defeats the purpose! Stick with low-fat plain and add your own fresh fruit

2. Wild Salmon: packs a nutritional punch in a small amount of calories

3. Egg Whites: lots of protein, very few calories and no cholesterol (in the white- it is all in the yolk). Make an egg white omelette with fresh veggies & salsa to add flavor without adding (many) cals.

4. Leafy Greens: Broccoli, cabbage, kale & spinach. Dark leafies are loaded with vits A, C, & K, folate iron and calcium. Research suggests they may prevent certain types of cancers and promote heart health.

5. Blueberries: antioxidants (what are those, anyway? They are a subject for another post. That's what.)

6. Almonds: helps reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart attack. Some studies show they may help in weight loss. 

7. Black Beans: high in fiber and offer other optimum nutrition components such as calcium, iron and folic acid.

8. Apples: Yes, the old expression does have truth. Apples have fiber, reduce the risk of heart disease and contain the mineral boron, which is great for bones.

9. Tomatoes: contain the antioxidant (that word again!) lycopene. Studies show they can lower cholesterol & reduce blood pressure.

10. Orange Juice: potassium & vit C. Some brands are fortified with omega-3s. Remember: get fresh squeezed and low in sugar.

11. Sweet Potatoes: beta carotene = healthier skin, helps prevent sun damage, boosts immune system which prevents sickness from colds and other infections (that spread like wild fire).

12. Wheat Germ: magnesuim; good for bones, maintaining healthy insulin levels & reducing stress (who doesn't need that?!). It also has iron, fiber, calcium, potassium & zinc.

13. Pomegranate: antioxidants (see?!) like tannins & anthocyanins. Reduces bad cholesterol. May help reduce risk of certain cancers.

14. Hot Peppers: vit C & may help reduce pain levels (after the initial burn..haha!) May help you lose weight: spicy foods have been found to increase the metabolic rate for short periods of time.

15. Oatmeal: Homemade from whole oats, not the pre-pack of sugar you can buy! It has fiber, helps reduce LDL (bad cholesterol), and provide nutrients vit E, iron & magnesium. Add a scoop of protein powder for extra "punch". 

Now, you are ready to go grocery shop.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm Still Hungry...

Well, since it is 9 O'clock, and I am out of calories- and I shouldn't eat late at night anyway- going to be seems to be the safest option. Breakfast will come much more quickly that way :)

Fitness Loops

I am doing this route today. It is 1.09 miles and I start by walking out my front (garage) door. I will do it 4 times for a total of 4.36 miles. I will burn about 440 calories, more if it takes me less than an hour. These are My Loops on  LiveStrong. You can map a route for hiking, biking, running, walking or jogging. It will calculate the distance and your calories burned based on your personal info. You can then save it and just select "add this" to your exercise log each day you do it. It tells you how many calories you have burned... I am in love :)

Counting Calories on the Go

Calorie Count has a text messaging and a mobile website.

There is a mobile app for the BB. And, the iPhone app is on its way.

You can get calorie info on the fly- at work, a restaurant, grocery store (of course most foods have it on the packaging at the grocer... but, still)- eveywhere. Now, there is no excuse for not knowing how many calories you have consumed. Just make sure they are "power calories", not junk calories... (That is the hard part.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Calcium, Fiber & Iron- Oh, My!

Today, I fell short on fiber, calcium, iron and potassium. In my quest to find something (hopefully one thing) I could eat that would fill those requirements with minimal caloric impact I came across some great information. Some helpful to my specific quest, some helpful for my general "Nut Rehab" quest.

Mayo Clinic has a great page dedicated to weight loss topics. They have a section devoted to Nutrition and one to Recipes.

Mayo also has a "Health Guidance" area. It seems to be a place you can manage your health and health info, get "prepared" to go to the doctor, find answers to your family's specific health needs & questions. I just barely found it tonight, so I can not elaborate on any of its glorious features- but it looks quite interesting. Check it out.

Cleveland Clinic is where Dr. Fountis (remember I went to her for about 6 months) learned the program she uses. It has a great list of "35 Power Foods", which I listed below.

35 Power Foods

Power foods are items you should include in your diet that give you
  • The richest amount of nutrients,
  • The least amount of calories,
  • And the most health benefits
  • To decrease your risk of heart disease
*What's a carotenoid? A carotenoid is a type of phytochemical, which has strong anti-oxidant effect. You may be familiar with beta-carotene, one of the 600 known carotenoids. A diet, rich in carotenoids, helps to protect against cancer and heart disease and contribute to healthy eyes.
*What's a phytochemical? A phytochemical is a plant chemical that helps to keep plants healthy. These are now thought to help humans protect against disease and boost the immune system.
1AsparagusB6, folate, fiber
2Bell peppersB1, B2, B6, folate, C, fiber
3Bok choyB6, C, K, Calcium, fiber
4BroccoliB6, C, E, K, folate, fiber
5CarrotsA, C, Fiber, carotenoids*
6Garlic, onions, leeks, shallotsPhytochemicals*, fiber
7Spinach, watercress, Swiss chard, romaine, kale, Beets and mustard greensA, B2, B6, C, E, folate, calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc, fiber
8Potato (with skin)B6, C, potassium, magnesium, fiber
9Sweet potatoA, C, E, copper, fiber
10TomatoA, C, E, potassium, fiber
11Acorn or butternut squashA, B1, B6, C, folate, calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, fiber
Serving Suggestions:
  • Go for at least 1 to 2 cups of these vegetables at 2 meals each day.
  • An average of ¼ cup of chopped onion and 1 clove of garlic each day have healthy benefits.
  • Choose fresh and cooked tomato products every week
Protein Foods
*What are omega-3 fatty acids? A special type of fat found in some fish, grains and legumes. In limited amounts, may be helpful in boosting the immune system, limiting blood clots and protecting against heart attacks.
12Tuna: canned in water or freshB12, D, Protein, niacin, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids*
13Salmon: fresh or canned pinkB6, B12, D, Phosphorus, potassium, selenium
14Natural peanut butterE, protein, fiber, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus
Serving Suggestions:
  • 1 three to 6 ounce fillet or 3 ounce can of fish per week.
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons natural peanut butter per week.
*What's a flavonoid? A flavonoid is a type of phytochemical that is found in fruits, vegetables, teas and wine with strong antioxidant properties, thought to protect against cancer and heart disease.
15ApplesC, fiber, flavonoids*
16ApricotsA, C, E, K, fiber
17BananasB6, C, magnesium, potassium, fiber
18BerriesC, folate, manganese, potassium, fiber
19CantaloupeA, B6, C, folate, potassium, fiber
20CitrusA, B6, C, folate, potassium, fiber
21KiwiC, E, magnesium, potassium, fiber
22PapayaA, C, E, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium
23PeachesC, E, K, fiber, potassium
Serving Suggestions:
  • 3 servings of fresh (best), frozen or canned fruit each day. For those with difficulty controlling blood sugars or triglycerides, whole fruits in place of fruit juices are recommended.
Soy Foods
*What's a phytoestrogen? A phytoestrogen is a type of phytochemical, found in soy products, thought to inhibit estrogen-related cancers, relieve symptoms of menopause and protect against osteoporosis.
24Soy milk and cheeseB1, B12, D, protein, niacin, folate, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc
25Soy nutsFolate, magnesium, manganese, protein, phytoestrogens*
26Tofu and tempehB1, protein, niacin, folate, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc
Serving Suggestions:
Use serving size in place of meat source.
26BarleyA, B2, Protein, fiber, niacin, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc
27Brown riceB1, B6, fiber, niacin, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc
28BulgurFiber, niacin, manganese, selenium, magnesium
29FlaxseedFiber, iron, omega-3 fatty acids
30OatmealSoluble fiber, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc
31Wheat germB1, E, niacin, folate, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc
Serving Suggestions:
  • Use barley in place of refined, processed grains and rice to boost nutrients.
  • Eat two to 4 cups of cooked oatmeal per week; try to avoid instant oatmeal.
  • Try to eat 2 tablespoons wheat germ each day.
  • Eat 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup of milled or ground flaxseed per day.
32Black beansB1, Protein, folate, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc
33Black-eyed peasB1, B6, niacin, folate, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc
34Kidney BeansB1, niacin, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids
35LentilsB1, B6, protein, fiber, niacin, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc
Serving Suggestions:
  • Include 1 cup of legumes in your diet each day. Include an extra cup on 2 days of the week.
  • Use legumes as your lunchtime protein source and for 2 dinner meals.
  • Great in stews, soups, salads and mixed with other beans.
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