Nutritional

Easy Swaps for Portion Control

Easy Swaps for Portion Control

Portions have grown over the last couple of decades. Not surprisingly, our weight has followed right along with it. Portion size is a major contributor to weight problems, whether you eat out or at home. Restaurants serve huge plates of food, consisting of several servings per person, making it easy to go way past the recommended amount per meal. It’s not much better when you eat at home.  Some estimates say that portion sizes in the past 20 years have increased in restaurants and in homes by 50%.  Did you know that a typical dinner plate holds three servings of spaghetti, not just one?  If you fill your plate, you are likely eating much more than you need and more than you bargained for. Portion size is something you can change without getting rid of your favorite foods. All it takes is a few simple swaps to control how much

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How Do I Track Protein Bars

What do you think about using protein bars as meal replacement, in particular Think Thin High Protein Bar and Chef Robert Irvine Fit Crunch?  Some people in my class are using them and wonder how to count them on the Live It Tracker.   I am not a huge fan of meal supplement bars (I prefer getting my nutrition from “real” food, unless it is a time or traveling issue, plus these things are EXPENSIVE!), but if you are consuming them, see below how they could fit into the meal plan. Think Thin High Protein Bar (240 calories):  2 oz meat, 1 oz grain, 1/2 tsp. healthy oil Chef Robert Irvine Fit Crunch (190 calories):  2 oz meat, 1/2 oz grain If this comes up again with different bars, there are a couple of considerations on how to count these items.  For instance, the Chef Irvine bar contains milk whey

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How Do I Track Almond Milk?

How Do I Track Almond Milk?

Question:   I’m sensitive to real milk, so I drink almond milk (30 calories per cup).  What is the correct serving size for almond milk? Answer:  The First Place 4 Health food plan’s primary reason for stressing the milk group requirement is for the calcium these foods provide.  I know that many of the newer varieties of almond milk are fortified with calcium, so that helps get this much-needed nutrient!  If your brand has at least 30% of the recommended daily value of Calcium (look for this on the Nutrition Facts label on the side of the container) in a one-cup serving, then it has the calcium that you would get in one cup of milk, so you are good there.  However, most almond milk doesn’t have very much protein in it (some only has one gram per cup), and that is another nutrient that the FP4H food plan has arranged for you to get from

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Grocery Store Strategies

Grocery Store Strategies

Even savvy shoppers can be overwhelmed in the grocery store.  So many choices, labels and buzzwords, plus little time to spend deciphering all of it.  Here are a few strategies that might make your shopping trip a little easier Bring a list.  And stick to it! Healthy decisions start before you even walk through the doors of the store. Planning ahead can not only keep you from throwing in unnecessary items (hello, cookies!) but can also save you time and money. Have everyone in your family help contribute on the list as well. Kids are more willing to try new foods when they help pick them. Start with the Perimeter.   Do the majority of your shopping in the perimeter of the grocery store where the fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat and fish reside. Aim for meat or fish items that are 95 percent lean or higher, low-fat dairy and a variety of fruits and vegetables. While

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Stop a Craving in Its Tracks

Stop a Craving in Its Tracks

Giving in to a food craving is the ultimate diet double-whammy: Not only will that bag of chips or box of chocolates wreck your best plans, but the subsequent guilty feeling has a good chance of leading you to eat even more chips, chocolate, or other diet downfalls.   To stop an unhealthy urge in its tracks, try one of these tips. Start your day with oats.  Two new studies present a pretty compelling case to make oatmeal your go-to breakfast. Research from Lund University in Sweden found that the healthy fats in oats trigger the production of hormones in the body that make you feel satisfied, helping prevent cravings for up to 7 hours. Another recent study, published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, found that people who ate oatmeal for breakfast took in 31% fewer calories at lunch than people who skipped breakfast or had a bowl of corn flakes. Avoid your craving

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The Healthy Fridge

The Healthy Fridge

Just moving the food around can make a difference in the food we consume.  We reach for what is convenient and what we see.  Stock your own healthy fridge with these helpful tips.  Eye Level: Fresh Food Snacks This should be your primary food source to fuel your body.  Put washed, dried, and cut-up raw vegetables and fruit in clear containers on the top shelf. They will be the first things you see and are ready to eat. Lower Shelf: Healthy Go To Low-fat Greek yogurt and cottage cheese provide healthy doses of calcium and protein, so they should play second string.  Also on this shelf, hummus and nut butters that you can pair with sliced veggies and fruits. You can also put nuts on this shelf because they last longer when they’re chilled. Middle Drawer: Meat & Cheese Avoid salty and nitrate-filled deli meats and go for cooked meats

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Healthy Holiday Cooking Tips

For gravies or sauces.  If you are making pan gravy, first skim the fat off pan drippings. For cream or white sauces, use fat-free milk and soft tub margarine. For dressings or stuffing.  Add low-sodium broth or pan drippings with the fat skimmed off instead of lard or butter. Use herbs and spices and a whole grain bread for added flavor. For biscuits.  Use vegetable oil instead of lard or butter and fat-free milk or 1% buttermilk instead of regular milk. For greens.  Use skin-free smoked turkey, liquid smoke, fat-free bacon bits, or low-fat bacon instead of fatty meats. For sweet potato pie.  Mash sweet potato with orange juice concentrate, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, and only one egg. Leave out the butter. For cakes, cookies, quick breads, and pancakes.  Use egg whites or egg substitute instead of whole eggs. Two egg whites can be substituted in many recipes for one whole egg. Use

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No-Worry Thanksgiving

Prepare as much as possible in advance. For example: Homemade cranberry sauce tastes better after curing in the refrigerator for a few days; premeasure seasonings and store them in labeled bags or containers; clean, cut and store vegetables in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Let your family set the table. Children will gobble up the chance to make place cards, fold napkins and dress up the holiday table. This will also keep them out of the kitchen while you attend to the food. Serve buffet style. With pretty serving bowls and silver utensils, guests can help themselves to seconds whenever they want, while you remember your portion sizes. Let the turkey rest before slicing. To avoid a last-minute crunch and assure tender turkey, let the bird rest out of the oven, covered for about 30 minutes before slicing. Thermometers are essential for food safety. When choosing a meat thermometer, look for an easy-to-read

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Healthy Slow Cooker Meals

Healthy Slow Cooker Meals

Use your slow cooker to make comforting, healthy one-pot dinners, breakfast and even dessert. Slow-cooked Crockpot Peaches Barbecue Pork Spicy Pot Roast Souper Chile Chicken Company Pot Roast Cubed Steak with Mushroom Gravy & Potatoes Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal  

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Brown Bag Inspiration

Eating out at work or school every day can be expensive for your wallet and for your waistline.  Here are some ideas for taking your lunch on the go that are more exciting than the usual sandwich and a piece of fruit. Make Your Own Bento Box – Lots of us eat lunch at our desks, or while we’re reading or doing different things.  A Bento Box can be anything you want it to be.  Fill it with things that can be eaten separately or together that you can pick at or assemble.  Consider fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, olives, cheese, whole-grain crackers or flatbread, hummus or mustard.  Remember the food plan guidelines, such as making half your meal fruits and vegetables, making at least half your grains whole grains and varying your protein choices to add seafood, beans and lean meats.  Special Note:  Get your own FP4H version of

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