Don't Believe Everything You Read.

Check out this clip from the Today Show regarding 
They took popular diet boxed dinners (Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers, & Healthy Choice), brought them to food scientists and tested exactly how many calories and fat were in each box.  You'll be surprised by their results.
  A few interesting points from the clip:
  • The food companies test a dozen or so of the meals and then take the average. That is what they put on the label. So some boxes have less calories then what is labeled and some have more.
  • The government allows food labeling to be up to 20% off what the actual numbers are
  • Portion sizes vary from box to box to it really is impossible to be exact. Makes sense to me cause you have to be practical.


Eat Better Early = Nutritious Recipes

Now that summer is here and the kids are out of school.... it makes for even more of a challenge to create healthy meals for the kids for both lunch and dinner.  I know how hard this can be with the kids I babysit for. So when I came upon this website I wanted to be sure to share it with you. 
American Dietetic Dietitians collaborated with Betty Crocker Kitchens to create  Eat Better Early.com. Each recipe calls for at least one WIC-eligible food.  It also has great cooking tips, nutrition resources, a guide to mypramid, and so many easy, GREAT RECIPES that are categorized into breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides, snacks, and desserts.  It also includes all of the nutrition info--- so helpful when trying to decide if a dish really is healthy or not! I also love how all the recipes have pictures. I know when I go to make something if there is not a picture I don't make it. 

I picked a few random recipes to show just a few of the recipes they have.


Gluten Free Diet - What & How?

It is a pretty safe bet that I can assume that most of you either have to follow a gluten free diet or know of someone that needs to.  I must admit that I am in no way an expert in this area.... but I do know what a hard, confusing, and often frustrating diagnosis this can be.
Here is some basic info on Celiac's Disease (Gluten-free diet).

-What foods must not be eaten on a gluten-free diet?
Any food that contains the ingredients wheat, barley, rye, malt, brewer's yeast and, in most cases, oats.
Reading ingredient lists on food labels is essential. Anything that has the words wheat, barley, rye, oats (unless specifies gluten free), malt, and brewer's yeast you should avoid.

-Sounds like a lot of foods right? So what specific foods contain these ingredients?
These ingredients are usually found in foods that you typically think of as containing flour or grain.
Ex: most regular brands of bread, pasta, breakfast cereal, cracker, and cookie products as well as products containing malt, such as malt vinegar and malted milk.
Many processed foods, including soups, gravies, sauces, stock, bouillon, seasoned rice mixes, seasoned nuts, seasoned tortilla and potato chips, and vegetables in sauce also contain many of these products

So can I really not have any bread, pasta, cereals for the rest of my life?! 
Luckily, gluten-free products are becoming much more common. Gluten-free products are typically carried by health foods stores although an increasing number of gluten-free products are beginning to pop up all over your local grocery store(especially larger chains).

What products are naturally gluten free?
-Load up on all your fresh fruits and veggies. All naturally gluten free so go much away.
-If you love meat--- eat up. Plain fresh meat, chicken, eggs and fish are all naturally gluten-free (although you still need to watch out for added ingredients like broths, seasonings and marinades).
-Potatotes and sweet potatoes are also gluten-free. Go for beans but be sure to watch out for added sauces and ingredients that may contain gluten.
-Grain items that are gluten free: include certain brands of rice cakes and rice crackers, brown rice, enriched white rice, polenta, corn tortillas, plain tortilla chips, popcorn, 100% rice noodles.
Instead of worrying so much about what you CAN'T eat... savor and enjoy and savor the many foods that you CAN eat.

Here are a few great blogs dedicated to Gluten Free living, eating, and enjoying.


Good Enough!

"To reap nearly all the benefits of a healthy diet, you don't have to be perfect--- just good enough."
-Leslie Bonci, RD director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. 
So don't get discouraged when you are having a little bit of a rough day!  None of us are perfect--- 
strive for good working on perfection.


Foil/Saran Wrap Tab

So I ran into a new discovery the other day. I saw this on someones blog and I had to run to the kitchen and check it out for myself to see if it were true. haha   
-- We have all had it happen. You know when you are trying to pull some aluminum foil or saran wrap out and the entire roll comes out of the box.  Super annoying! I think this problem is never going to happen again.  Here is why...
On the ends of a box of foil or saran wrap, written is 'Press here to lock end.'  Easy as that. You simply push the tabs and the roll is all locked in place. Such a handy feature. No more runaway rolls.  I have yet to see how it works over long periods of time but I thought it was a pretty cool idea.  
Call me an idiot but am I the only one that didn't know about this? And how long have the manufacturers been including these little tabs?  


Eating For Exercise and Weight Loss

I know I am supposed to refuel after a long hard workout or run..... but what if I am wanting to lose weight? Do I still need to replenish my body's energy stores?  
How much and what should I be eating to both help me lose weight and keep my energy up?  
These are questions that I have not only asked myself but have heard from many friends on many occasions. 
So with questions like this I turn to Nancy Clark, Ms, RD.  She is the Author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook. Trust me. She is the go-to lady when it comes to Sports Nutrition.

What  and how much should you be eating?
Studies show that protein combined with carbohydrate consumed immediately after a training session helps enhance glycogen storage in the muscle tissue.  Carbs restore your energy while the protein helps with lean muscle growth.  Foods with a 3:1 carb:protein ratio usually are best. (example 33 calories from protein, 100 calories from carbs) Focus on Good Carbs and Lean Proteins.
Some food examples are chocolate milk, 1/2 or small bagel with cottage cheese or peanut butter, Yogurt smoothie with fruit, half turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, bowl of cereal with skim milk, brown rice with lean chicken. 
How Much-
I know many of us get in the mindset of, "I am training really hard and intense, so I can get away with eating these extra calories."  But the truth is that most of us tend to overestimate how many calories we actually burned during a workout--- and as a result eat more than we even burned off. t. So as a word of advice from Nancy Clark, "If you're hoping to lose weight while you train, try to consume 200 fewer calories per day than you would normally eat."   I would recommend something about the size of your fist. Really not a whole lot, just enough to replenish your stores. 

When you are trying to lose weight, I love her tip of trying to plan finishing your workout right before mealtime. Basically you are getting a 2 for 1.... and you won't be adding an additional post exercise session snack-- which decreases your overall calories for the day. 

Oh and don't forget the WATER! 

What do you like to re-fuel after a long hard workout?