Sunday, April 20, 2008

Self Challenge!

This is a long one:
But this is the Self Challenge as far as teaching your self to eat healthy:
Copy this and Print.. Its awesome!!

Eating right (and losing weight) has never been so easy! This yummy plan, from Katherine Brooking, R.D., requires no calorie counting and no eating gross "diet food." Just pick your bites from the selections below and eat them whenever you're hungry. That's it. Seriously. By Week 4, you'll feel lighter, leaner and more energized than ever.

(scroll down to the bottom of the post to see my cheat sheets!)

Meats, Fish, Beans

Choose 2 daily. Not only does eating protein make you feel full, but digesting it actually revs your metabolism. Burn, baby, burn.

1/2 cup canned white beans 75 calories
3/4 cup canned chickpeas or kidney beans 165 calories
3/4 cup vegetarian chili, such as Hormel 154 calories
3 oz lean beef (top round or sirloin tip) 168 calories
5 oz pork tenderloin 170 calories
4 oz wild salmon 166 calories
5 oz canned water-packed chunk-light tuna 165 calories
7 large shrimp 174 calories
5 oz chicken (182 calories) or turkey (172 calories) (white meat, skinless)
4 slices turkey bacon 168 calories

Lowfat/Non-Fat Dairy:

Choose 3 daily. Milk, cheese and yogurt contain protein, which stabilizes blood sugar, and calcium, which helps support bone health.

1/4 cup part-skim ricotta 85 calories
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella 85 calories
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese 81 calories
3/4 cup 1% milk (78 calories) or 1 cup skim milk (84 calories)
1 oz feta cheese 75 calories
1 1/2 rounds Laughing Cow Mini Babybel Light cheese 75 calories
2 wedges Laughing Cow Light cheese 70 calories
1/4 cup grated Parmesan 86 calories
4 oz lowfat plain yogurt 73 calories
3/4 cup light, calcium-fortified soymilk 68 calories
6 tbsp lowfat shredded cheddar 73 calories

Whole Grains:

Choose 5 daily. The fiber in complex carbs keeps you satiated and helps curb cravings.

1 slice whole-grain bread 80 calories
2 slices reduced-calorie whole-grain bread 91 calories
1 small multigrain roll 74 calories
1/2 cup cooked wild rice 83 calories
1/3 cup cooked whole-wheat couscous 75 calories
1/3 cup cooked brown rice 72 calories
1/2 cup cooked whole-wheat pasta 87 calories
1/2 cup multigrain high-fiber cereal 80 calories
1/2 whole-wheat English muffin 66 calories
1 small (4-inch) whole-wheat pita 74 calories
1 small (6-inch) whole-wheat tortilla 71 calories
3 tbsp lowfat granola 79 calories
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal 75 calories
3 tbsp whole-wheat breadcrumbs 85 calories
3 whole-wheat crackers, such as Ak-Mak 70 calories
1 whole-grain frozen waffle, such as Kashi GoLean 85 calories
12 corn chips, such as Guiltless Gourmet 73 calories

Fruits & Veggies:

Choose 10 daily. Produce packs immunity-strengthening vitamins and minerals, along with fiber.

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 26 calories
1/2 small apple 28 calories
1/4 medium banana 26 calories
1/4 medium sweet potato 28 calories
1/4 medium white potato 33 calories
1/4 cup pear slices or 1/4 large pear 30 calories
1/3 cup blueberries 27 calories
1/3 cup diced butternut squash 27 calories
4 cups mixed greens (20 calories) or romaine (32 calories)
4 cups spinach (28 calories) or Swiss chard (27 calories)
1/2 small grapefruit or 1/4 large grapefruit 27 calories
3/4 cup chopped asparagus 30 calories
3/4 cup green beans 33 calories
1 cup sliced mushrooms 23 calories
3/4 cup snow peas 20 calories
1 cup broccoli florets 31 calories
1 cup cauliflower florets 25 calories
1 cup chopped bell pepper 30 calories
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes 24 calories
1 large carrot or 7 baby carrots 26 calories
1/2 cup balled watermelon 23 calories
1/2 cup cubed cantaloupe (27 calories) or honeydew (31 calories)
1/2 cup sliced strawberries 27 calories
1 cup sliced zucchini 18 calories
10 seedless grapes 34 calories
1/2 small peach 25 calories

Meal Ideas:

Your morning meal includes complex carbs to give you energy for the day ahead.

Whole-grain Waffles With Yogurt, Banana and Nuts Toast 2 whole-grain toaster waffles (such as Kashi GoLean) and top with 8 oz lowfat plain yogurt; 3/4 medium banana, sliced; and 1 tbsp chopped walnuts. 453 calories

Yogurt Parfait Puree 1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries in a blender. Pour into a tall glass, alternating in layers with 8 oz lowfat plain yogurt and 1/3 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries or strawberries. Top with 1/3 cup lowfat granola and 2 tbsp sliced almonds. 463 calories

Oatmeal With Berries Prepare 1 cup cooked multigrain hot cereal (such as Quaker MultiGrain oatmeal). Add 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries or strawberries to cereal as it cooks. Top with 1 tbsp unsalted chopped nuts (such as walnuts) and 1 tsp brown sugar. Serve with 3/4 cup 1% milk or 1 cup skim milk. 444 calories

English Muffin With Peanut Butter and Melon Split and toast a whole-wheat English muffin. Spread with 1 tbsp regular peanut butter. Serve with 1/2 cup cubed honeydew melon and 1 cup cubed cantaloupe. Enjoy with a homemade lowfat latte: Mix 4 oz hot coffee with 12 oz warm skim milk in a blender; sprinkle with cinnamon; add 1 tsp sugar, if desired. 434 calories

Cereal With Peach and Grapefruit Pour 1/2 cup high-fiber cereal into a bowl; top with a sliced peach; pour 1/2 cup skim milk or 4 oz lowfat plain yogurt on top. Serve with 1/2 small grapefruit, 3/4 cup 1% cottage cheese and 1 slice reduced-calorie whole-wheat toast, spread with 1 tbsp trans-fat-free margarine spread. 458 calories

Rather than squeeze all your veggies into dinner, have a healthy helping at noon.

Tuna Pita With Apple Salad Combine 5 oz drained, water-packed chunk-light tuna with 1 tbsp light mayo. Stuff into a small whole-wheat pita. Toss 4 cups mixed greens with 1 small sliced apple, 1 oz feta cheese and 1 tbsp reduced-calorie dressing. 502 calories

Squash Soup With Bean Salad Heat 3/4 cup prepared butternut squash soup. Serve with 4 whole-wheat crackers topped with 2 wedges Laughing Cow Light cheese and a salad of 2 cups mixed greens; 1/4 cup canned, rinsed white beans; 1/2 cup canned, rinsed kidney beans; 1 cup diced tomatoes; and 1 tbsp reduced-calorie dressing. 507 calories

Dijon Steak Salad Toss 2 cups greens, 1 cup sliced mushrooms, 1 cup diced bell peppers and 3/4 cup lightly steamed asparagus tips with 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp reduced-calorie salad dressing and 3 tsp Dijon mustard. Top with 3 oz cooked sirloin tip and 1 oz crumbled feta. Serve with 1 small whole-grain roll. 478 calories

BLT With Romaine Salad Toast 2 slices reduced-calorie whole-wheat bread; spread with 2 tsp light mayo. Top with 2 slices cooked turkey bacon, 2 1/2 oz cooked turkey breast, 3 slices tomato and 2 lettuce leaves. Toss 2 cups romaine with 2 tbsp reduced-calorie dressing, 1/2 sliced pear and 3 tbsp grated Parmesan. 509 calories

Vegetable Chili With Chips Heat 1 cup prepared vegetarian chili, adding 1/4 cup chopped onion and 1 cup diced green pepper as it cooks. Top with 1/3 cup shredded lowfat cheddar and serve with 12 corn chips (such as Guiltless Gourmet). Enjoy with a side dish of 2 cups steamed broccoli drizzled with 1 1/2 tsp olive oil. 510 calories


Eating protein in the evening helps you feel full so you can resist that midnight snack.

Pasta With Shrimp and Veggies Prepare 1 cup cooked whole-wheat pasta. Sauté 1 chopped garlic clove in 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add 7 raw shrimp, 1 cup chopped broccoli, 3/4 cup diced tomatoes and 3/4 cup snow peas. Sauté until shrimp is cooked through (about 3 minutes) and toss with pasta. Sprinkle with lemon juice. 514 calories

Grilled Salmon With Rice Prepare 1 cup cooked wild rice. Coat both sides of a 4-oz wild salmon fillet with olive oil cooking spray and grill 10 minutes over medium heat, turning once. Serve with dill sauce (1 tbsp fresh chopped dill with 2 tbsp nonfat plain yogurt). Serve salmon and rice with 1 cup each of steamed butternut squash and cauliflower, with 1 tbsp light trans-fat-free margarine spread for flavor. 567 calories

Beef Teriyaki Stir-fry Prepare 2/3 cup cooked brown rice. Sauté 1 chopped garlic clove in 1 tbsp canola oil in a medium pan until golden brown (about 1 minute). Add 2 tbsp low-sodium teriyaki sauce, 2 oz beef broth, 1/2 cup julienned carrots, 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, 1/2 cup broccoli and 1/2 cup green beans; cook 4 to 5 minutes. Add 3 oz cooked sliced sirloin tip and cook 2 minutes. Serve with rice. 518 calories

Chicken Fajitas Sauté 1/4 cup sliced onion in 3/4 tbsp canola oil in a small skillet until golden; add 2 cups chopped bell peppers; cook until tender. Divide 5 oz cooked skinless chicken breasts between two 6-inch whole-wheat tortillas. Top each with half of veggies, prepared salsa and 2 tsp lowfat plain yogurt. Fold closed. 560 calories

Apple-Spice Pork Heat oven to 325°. Combine 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp thyme. Coat 5 oz pork tenderloin with mixture; sprinkle with 1 tbsp breadcrumbs. Roast in a baking pan until internal temperature reaches 160°, 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy with 2/3 cup cooked whole-wheat couscous and 4 cups Swiss chard sautéed in 1 tbsp olive oil and garlic. 538 calories


Indulging makes you less inclined to binge. So savor a small portion each day of your fave goody, be it cheese or chocolate, rather than having a giant helping. Or use the dessert options below as part of your daily mix-and-match meals. Satisfy those cravings!

5 Archway Ginger Snaps 150 calories
1/2 cup Breyer/Dreyer's Double Churn Light vanilla, Neapolitan or coffee ice cream topped with 2 tsp sprinkles 138 calories
14 Chips Ahoy Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies 150 calories
4 oz Dannon La Crème yogurt (any flavor) 140 calories
3 Dove Dark Chocolate Miniatures 126 calories
3/4 cup fruit sorbet 138 calories
2 glazed chocolate cake (150 calories) or 3 jelly-filled (144 calories) Dunkin' Donuts Munchkins
17 gummi bears (148 calories) or 4 Twizzlers (160 calories)
1 Healthy Choice Caramel Swirl Ice Cream Sandwich 150 calories
4 oz Kozy Shack Original Rice Pudding 130 calories
1/2 cup lowfat frozen yogurt 160 calories
11 Peanut M&M's (143 calories) or 31 plain M&M's (140 calories)
3 Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures 126 calories
16 oz Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino Light 140 calories
7 pieces Starburst Fruit Chews 140 calories
1 Skinny Cow Chocolate, Mint or Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwich 140 calories
2 Snickers Fun Size bars 160 calories

3 cups air-popped popcorn sprinkled with 2 tbsp grated Parmesan 136 calories
1 oz Baked Lays (11 chips) with 1 tbsp onion dip 140 calories
1 pack Doritos Nacho Cheese 100 Calorie Mini Bites with 2 tbsp reduced-calorie dip 160 calories
12 oz light beer (such as Amstel Light) 103 calories
1 small pear with 1/2 oz Brie 133 calories
1 oz pepper Jack with 2 whole-wheat crackers 170 calories
6 oz red or white wine 147 calories
26 Rold Gold Cheddar Tiny Twists 143 calories
24 Snyder's Snaps Pretzels 120 calories
4 oz wine with 1 oz lowfat cheddar 147 calories

Healthy Fats:

Choose 2 daily. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats add flavor to food; plus, eating them may reduce your risk for heart disease.

1 tbsp canola, olive or vegetable oil 120 calories
3 tbsp reduced-fat salad dressing 114 calories
1 tbsp peanut butter 96 calories
3 tbsp slivered almonds 117 calories
2 tbsp hulled sunflower seeds 104 calories
2 tbsp chopped walnuts 98 calories
2 tbsp light, trans-fat-free margarine spread 95 calories
2 tbsp light mayonnaise 97 calories
1/3 small avocado 106 calories

These are the cheat sheets I made for myself.. copying the one in the magazine!

Click on them to enlarge and print if you want to...
ALl you have to do is mark off the box once you have eaten that food... simple Huh

Small One to print and travel with...

Large one... I plan on Laminating and putting on my fridge!

Monday, March 3, 2008

New Carbs Article

The Truth About Carbohydrates

Not all Carbs are Created Equal

-- By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian
It’s true. A carbohydrate-rich diet can inflate appetite and girth. Low-carb diets do promote short-term weight loss, but are accompanied by some severe dangers. So what should you do? The truth is, you can have your carbs and eat them too—you just have to know how to choose them.

The Truth about Carbohydrates
  • Carbohydrates are the body's ideal fuel for most functions. They supply the body with the energy needed for the muscles, brain and central nervous system. In fact, the human brain depends exclusively on carbohydrates for its energy.
  • Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy products, foods made from grain products, and sweeteners such as sugar, honey, molasses, and corn syrup.
  • The body converts digestible (non-fiber) carbohydrates into glucose, which our cells use as fuel. Some carbs (simple) break down quickly into glucose while others (complex) are slowly broken down and enter the bloodstream more gradually.
  • During digestion, all carbohydrates are broken down into glucose before they can enter the bloodstream where insulin helps the glucose enter the body’s cells. Some glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles for future use, like fueling a workout. If there is extra glucose, the body will store it as fat.
All carbohydrates are not created equal.
There are basically three types of carbohydrates:
  1. Simple carbohydrates are composed of 1 or 2 sugar units that are broken down and digested quickly.

    Recent research has shown that certain simple carbohydrate foods can cause extreme surges in blood sugar levels, which also increases insulin release. This can elevate appetite and the risk of excess fat storage.

  2. Complex carbohydrates (also referred to as starch) are made up of many sugar units and are found in both natural (brown rice) and refined (white bread) form. They are structurally more complex and take longer to be broken down and digested.

    Complex carbohydrate foods have been shown to enter the blood stream gradually and trigger only a moderate rise in insulin levels, which stabilizes appetite and results in fewer carbohydrates that are stored as fat. Unrefined or ‘whole grain’ carbohydrates found in products like brown rice, whole wheat pasta and bran cereals are digested slowly. They contain vitamins, minerals and fiber which promote health. Fiber and nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits and beans which are carbohydrates also have many important functions for the body and are important for good health.

  3. Indigestible carbohydrates are also called fiber. The body is unable to breakdown fiber into small enough units for absorption. It is therefore not an energy source for the body but does promote health in many other ways.
Simple carbs, complex carbs, and fiber are found in many foods. Some provide important nutrients that promote health while others simply provide calories that promote girth.

  • Sugar, syrup, candy, honey, jams, jelly, molasses, and soft drinks contain simple carbohydrates and little if any nutrients.
  • Fruits contain primarily simple carbohydrate but also valuable vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water.
  • Vegetables contain varying amounts of simple and complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water.
  • Legumes such as beans, peas, lentils and soybeans contain complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein.
  • Milk products contain simple carbohydrates along with protein, calcium and other nutrients.
  • Grain products contain complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein. The amounts vary depending on the type of grain used and the amount of processing. Selecting whole grain options whenever possible is recommended.
What You Should Know About Low-Carbohydrate Diets
Following an extremely low-carbohydrate diet is disastrous, dangerous, and above all—boring! Carbohydrates are NOT the enemy. Including the appropriate amounts and types of carbohydrate-rich foods in your diet is essential for long-term health and weight loss/maintenance.

The Body’s Immediate Reaction to Very Low Carbohydrate Diets
When there is a severe deficit of carbohydrates, the body has several immediate reactions:
  • With no glucose available for energy, the body starts using protein from food for energy. Therefore this protein is no longer available for more important functions, such as making new cells, tissues, enzymes, hormones, and antibodies and the regulation of fluid balance.
  • When carbohydrates are lacking, the body cannot burn fat in the correct way. Normally carbs combine with fat fragments to be used as energy. When carbs are not available, there is an incomplete breakdown of fat that produces a by-product called ketones. These ketones accumulate in the blood and in the urine causing ketosis, which is an abnormal state. Ketosis does cause a decrease in appetite because it's one of the body's protection mechanisms. It's an advantage to someone in a famine (which the body thinks it's experiencing) to lack an appetite because the search for food would be a waste of time and additional energy.
  • Due to the lack of energy and the accumulation of ketones, low-carb diets are often accompanied by nausea, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, bad breath, and dehydration.
  • Because of dehydration and a lack of fiber, constipation can result.
  • Exercise and fitness performance is reduced on a low-carb diet. Do not be surprised if your energy level is so low that you cannot make it through your normal workout routine.
The Long-Term Effects of Low Carbohydrate Diets
When you severely restrict carbohydrates, your consumption of protein and fat increases, which has several long-term effects:
  • The risk of many cancers increases when fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, and beans are eliminated from the diet.
  • Protein foods are also high in purines, which are broken down into uric acid. Elevated levels of uric acid in the blood may lead to needle-like uric acid crystals in joints, causing gout.
  • Kidney stones are more likely to form on high protein, ketosis-producing diets.
  • Over time, high protein diets can cause a loss of calcium and lead to osteoporosis.
  • The risk of heart disease is greatly increased on a low-carb diet that is high in protein, cholesterol, fat, and saturated fat. A temporary reduction in cholesterol levels may be experienced, but this is common with any weight loss.
The Million Dollar Question
How do you include carbohydrates in you diet in a safe, effective, and controlled way? The “Please KISS Me” (Please Keep It So Simple for Me) plan for carbohydrate control is a wonderful tool that only contains 3 simple rules:

RULE 1: Include the following in your diet:
  • Fruits: 2-4 servings daily
  • Vegetables: 3-5 servings daily
  • Whole grain breads, muffins, bagels, rolls, pasta, noodles, crackers, cereal, and brown rice: 6-11 servings daily
  • Legumes, beans and peas: 1-2 servings daily
  • Low-fat and non-fat dairy products: 3 servings daily
RULE 2: Limit the following to less than 2 servings daily:
  • Fruit Juice
  • Refined and processed white flour products (bread, muffins, bagels, rolls, pasta, noodles, crackers, cereal)
  • White rice
  • French fries
  • Fried vegetables
RULE 3: Eliminate the following from your diet or eat only on occasion:
  • Sugary desserts, cookies, cakes, pies, candies
  • Doughnuts and pastries
  • Chips, cola and carbonated beverages
  • Sugar, honey, syrup, jam, jelly, molasses
That’s it! A simple, effective carbohydrate-controlling plan that, when combined with your SparkDiet, allows you to reap the countless benefits of complex carbohydrates and fiber while enhancing your health and maintaining a healthy weight. The long term result will be a healthy you!