Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Save Money and Get Your Veggies In....

We all know how important it is to get your veggies in. Veggies fill us up, provide us with vitamins and minerals and pack an awesome fiber punch. I love veggie sides for lunch and dinner and even to snack on during the day. This morning I realized I had no fresh veggies to bring to work and snack on. I went to the grocery store across from work to pick up some veggies. Like everything else in NY, even fresh veggies are expensive. To buy veggies to have for the next three days at work would have cost me over $30, seriously, for just veggies! Then I thought, why not just a buy a couple of bags of frozen veggies and keep them in the freezer at work!?!? Frozen fruits and veggies are great because they are picked and packed at their peak nutrition and freshness so why not give them a chance! I bought a FIVE serving bag for $2.00! When you are ready to eat, just nuke them up for a bit and your good to. Seriously, save money on your veggies and buy a bag of frozen veggies.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My new favorite breakfast obsession...

I came across my new favorite breakfast by accident, while wondering the aisles of the supermarket looking for some decent yogurt -more on this in a later post! This is when I encountered Kozy Shack's Ready Grains line. Now, I rmemeber Kozy Shack from back in the day when I had their puddings. One of the great things about Kozy Shack is they don't use a lot of artifical ingredients. Going back to their Ready Grains line, I noticed this was not a yogurt, pudding or oatmeal. It seemed to be a combination of pudding and yogurt. I picked up the Maple and Brown Sugar flavor and thought for 180 calories, 2 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber, this was worth a shot!
The ingredients are as follows: low fat milk, water, rolled oats, sugar, inulin, eggs, brown rice, barely, oats, brown sugar, modified corn starch, natural flavors, citric acid, carrageenan. Again, not too bad for soemthing bought in a store. So, I bought this and brought it home. When I started craving a filling snack I popped it open. At first, the top is set, almost jello like. I gave it a quick stir and it quickly transformed into the consisteny of creamy rice pudding. One bite and I was hooked on the lightly sweet maple flavor. I fell in love with this!!
As I was eating this, the side of the container said this would be great even warmed! Seriously, maplEy-brown-sugar-pudding-like warmth....what more could you ask for on a called winter morning!!! I decided to up this a notch and make a packet of plain, instant oatmeal and mix it in with the Ready Grains. The result: A bigger bowl of MAPLEY-BROWN-SUGAR-PUDDING-LIKE-WARMTH!!!! All of 280 calories, 4 grams of fat, 10 grams of fiber!! The Ready Grains also come in the following flavors: Maple and Brown Sugar, Apple and Cinnamon, Strawberry and Original. I was trying to find the Original, as I'm not too into the fruit flavors, but couldn't :-( Once again, here are the stats for the Maple and Brown Sugar: Calories: 180 Fat: 2g Fiber: 7g Protein: 8g Here are the stats with one packet of McCann's Instant Irish Oatmeal, prepared with water, mixed in: Calories: 280 Fat: 4g Fiber: 10g Protein: 12g Have you guys tried Ready Grains? If so, what do you think?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shape Up in 2011: Eat This, Not That

I'm starting Eat This, Not That to help you make better choices when going food shopping or when at a party. Little changes can yield big results when practiced. I'm hoping this will be a great guide for people looking to make smarter, healthier food choices. Instead of a bag of potato chips have a air popped popcorn Calories saved: 100 Instead of Chips and dip have veggies with hummus Calories saved: 200 Instead of full fat dairy have reduced fat dairy Calories saved: 80 Instead off flavored, instant oatmeal buy plain instant oatmeal and add fresh fruit and a spoonful of honey Calories saved: 80 Instead of French fries make your own baked potato fries Calories saved: 150 ***These are just a few suggestions and I hope to continue bringing you more.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Shape Up in 2011: Week 2; Today's update

Hi Everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We are now in week two of Shape Up in 2011. Week two of the new year is when people usually let go of their healthy resolutions. You and I, however are not going to let this happen. No, we are going to continue to motivate each other! With that said, I thought I'd let you all know how my day went. I started my day off with a bowl of Cheerios, sliced banana, peanut butter and cinnamon. Later on, I had a snack of string cheese and an apple. Next, came lunch. Two slices of Spelt bread, three slices of organic turkey and one slice of cheese, all toasted up into a melty, warm, delicious sandwich. I also had a bowl of slightly steamed veggies. Later on, snack time again. Mmmm....this time I had a delicious Trader Joes yogurt. More on this tomorrow. Dinner time came and I had grilled tofu, sautéed in black bean sauce and chopped veggies. Delish! Ok, one thing that I did not do today was workout. I'll have to get a workout in tomorrow. So, that's my day in a nutshell. How was your day?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Shape Up in 2011 - Recipe: Greek Yogurt and Fruit

Lately, one of my favorite snacks is Greek yogurt. I love Greek yogurt, but it can be quite expensive. This is why I make my own Greek yogurt and top with my own fruit concoctions!
Step One:
Buy a large container of your favorite yogurt. I love Stoneyfields low fat plain yogurt. Dump the yogurt in a strainer lined with cheesecloth or thick paper towels. Place the strainer in another bowl to catch all the liquid that will come out. Place this in the fridge over night. The next morning, you will notice your yogurt has reduced in size, but is very thick and creamy. The longer you keep your yogurt in the strainer, the thicker it will get.
Step Two:
Puree or mash your favorite fruits to eat with the yogurt. Puree in a blender or mash with a masher for a chunkier consistency. Leave as is, or mix in two teaspoons of honey into fruit. Mmm..think of the possibilities....mashed berries, bananas, kiwi, mango, etc.
Step Three:
Make your own fruit on the bottom yogurt or top yogurt with your fresh fruit. Either way, you can't go wrong. Put the yogurt in a cup or bowl and enjoy with your fruit!
Making your own fruit yogurt is so much better than buying store bought, sugary, preservative filled yogurt! This is so much fresher and so much more tastier! Best part is, you know everything that is in the yogurt and fruit!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Shape Up in 2011: Breakfasts

Good Morning Everyone,
So, we've all heard the saying before -'breakfast is the most important meal of the day'. This is sooo true. Breakfast literally means to break your fast and it's important to know that the first thing you put in your body after fasting should be nutritious and of course delicious. Studies have shown if you eat a filling, nutritious breakfast, you are less likely to binge through out the day. A filling breakfasts calms the hunger hormone ghrelin and keeps you satiated for a longer period of time.
It's best to make sure your breakfast is loaded with fiber and antioxidants. Here's a few of my favorite breakfasts, which are high in fiber, delicious and very easy to make, even if your on the go!
The possibilities are endless here. Keep your base as plain, unsweetened oats. You can even use the instant kind. To keep your oatmeal creamy, use unsweetened almond milk. My favorite oatmeal combo is oats mixed with cinnamon and raisins.
You can mix in any type of fruit or nuts. For example, chopped apple, with chopped almonds and cinnamon is delicious. Like I said, go ahead and buy the plain, instant oatmeal and add the mix ins!
Top cereal off with berries or a banana. Go for cereals that have at least 3 grams of fiber. Add some fruit and you could have a great 5 grams of fiber for breakfast! One of my most favorite combos for cereal is: cereal, peanut butter (1 tsp.) and chopped bananas. These days my cereal of choice is Cheerios (plain). Kashi also makes great tasting, fiber filled cereals.
OK, so you can't go wrong with non fat Greek yogurt, topped with fresh berries and drizzled with honey! Not only do you get your fiber from the fruit, but you also get a great protein punch from the Greek yogurt! Just make sure you don't use too much honey. You can also mix in dry cereal for a crunchy, textured yogurt!
English Muffins:
If you are going to have an English Muffin in the morning, make sure it is made from 100% Whole Wheat flour or sprouted grains. My favorite English Muffin is by Ezekiel's. I love smearing a teaspoon or two of peanut butter and topping with sliced banana. Such a great fiber and protein filled breakfast.
I hope I was able to give you guys some quick and healthy breakfast options that you'll try. What did you have for breakfast today?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Shape Up in 2011 - Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Salad

Hey Guys, I hope Day 1 of Shape Up in 2011 went well! Today, I thought I'd give you guys a Roasted Vegetable Salad recipe. This recipe is so easy and healthy that you'll want to roast a big portion of veggies for another salad! Roasted veggies are also great on sandwiches or just as a side for lunch or dinner. Ingredients: 1 beet, cubed 2 zucchini's, cubed 1 large onion, cubed 1 small bag of cubed squash 1 small bag of broccoli florets 2 tomatoes, cubed A few sprigs of rosemary, chopped 1 tablespoon of olive oil salt/pepper to season 1/2 cup of crumbled goat cheese Balsamic Vinegar Preparation: Place all the veggies on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until veggies are slightly charred. Place veggies in a bowl, top with goat cheese and vinegar. Enjoy!! Servings: 4

Monday, January 3, 2011

Shape Up in 2011, in a nutshell....

Here's a breakdown on everything we've gone over so far:
  • Plan healthy meals
  • Workout at least 5 days a week
  • Get your healthy snacks together
  • Write down everything you put in your mouth (food journal time)
  • Make note of your weight and waist size (we will be checking every week)
  • Watch out for portion sizes (maybe buy cheap food scale)
  • Check out and to for calories in food and your body mass index

I'm going to add one more, which is: drink at least 8 glasses of water through out the day!

How was your day today?

Shape Up in 2011: Helpful links

Here are a couple of helpful links to help you eat healthy and lose weight: a huge database of foods; type in any food you would like calorie counts/fat/fiber/protein/carbs and this will give it to you. a great resource to track your food and fitness. Click on Get Fit and find out your body mass index by clicking on BMI calculator.

Calculate your calorie goal by going to:


Shape Up in 2011: Day One

Good Morning Everyone, I hope you are all ready to start your year off to a healthy lifestyle! Now that you've already read some of the basic points of your new healthy lifestyle, I wanted to give you a few tips. Write down EVERYTHING you put in your mouth. Even if it's just a spoonful of yogurt write it down. This will better help you realize where your calories are coming from. Make note of your weight and waist size. Every week you should record this to track your progress. Watch your portion sizes. This may be a good time to invest in a food scale. I bought one from Target for less than $10. Remember, start your day off right with a healthy breakfast, and get your exercise in!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year: Shape Up in 2011

Happy New Year!!! A new year has started and this is a great time to work on living a healthy and happy lifestyle. There is no better time to start a healthy lifestyle than now, this is why I'd like to kick off Shape Up in 2011! To start, the first thing you need to do is plan. Plan out your meals so you know you are brining healthy lunches to work and eating a healthy dinner. Lets not forget about breakfast, plan on buying a box of instant oatmeal and making it every morning, or buy a healthy cereal to keep at your desk. If going out to eat, try to get the menu ahead of time and look at what you can eat Next, plan out your day to include exercise. You NEED to set aside one hour a day to work out for at least five days a week. Remember, this is your time to make a positive change. Exercise is a necessity in this process. Plan on bringing healthy snacks wherever you go. This can be fruit, low fat/non fat yogurt, granola bars or portion controlled nuts. In a nutshell: Plan healthy meals Workout at least five days a week Get your healthy snacks together Here is what I will try to do for you: Give you healthy recipes Motivate you with workouts Positive posts for a healthy lifestyle January 3, 2011 will mark day one of Shape Up in 2011 and I hope you all will join me in this journey!