Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Little Planning Goes A Long Way!

A little planning can go a long way when it comes to eating healthy.

Most of us are too busy with work and family during the weekdays to be able to come up with quick healthy meals. Here are a few hints.

When you grocery shop, make sure you shop for the week if possible and not just for that evening’s meal. I like to buy all of the veggies and fruits for the week on Sunday and about once every few weeks buy chicken. I usually buy some 15-20 chicken breasts and clean, marinade and cut them into portion size containers that I freeze. Then during the week as I use a container of chicken from the fridge, I pull out another from the freezer. This is a great way to always have some meat ready to throw into a salad, stew or stir -fry.

Another idea if you have a family or crazy schedule is to make a couple dishes on the weekend such as a stew or chili that can be eaten throughout the week. Stews and chilis are great because you can eat them over rice or quinoa or with veggies and create a little variety throughout the week. You can even freeze some of the chili/stew to use in future weeks.

One misconception that some people have is that healthy meals have to be complicated or time consuming to prepare. Not so. Sometimes for dinner I throw together three veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli and squash into a steamer and then sautee the prepared chicken with some nice olive oil and garlic. I like to brown the chicken a tiny bit and then add the veggies and mix it all together. I then squeeze a lemon over the dish and perfection! This dish is easy, healthy and fast to throw together. If I am out of meat or don’t feel like eating meat, an omelette stuffed with veggies is always a healthy, quick option as well!

Make a list, plan and see how less stressful preparing meals during the week can be!

Bon Appetit! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

All Calories Are Not Created Equal

Do you count your calories?

It’s a good idea to learn approximately how many calories are in the foods we eat but I believe that counting calories is not such a great idea. First, most people underestimate the amount of calories in
their food and tend to not be able to accurately determine what a serving size is. In the end, although they are counting calories with all the best intentions, the numbers could be way off. 

Another issue that I have with people wanting to count calories is that I don’t think it is sustainable over a long period of time. I have met very few people that could do this for more than a few days. People tend to either quit after a couple days or get obsessed with calories when in reality they should be caring more about what kinds of food they are eating and NOT the number calories in the food. All calories are NOT created equal.

Which foods you choose to get your calories from will determine how full you get and also whether the calories will be used quickly by the body or stored as fat. When you eat empty calories (calories with little or no nutrients), your body usually begins to crave the missing nutrients. This often leads to overeating. Protein and foods high in fiber will keep you satiated longer. Foods that are mostly sugar lead to an increase in insulin and fat to be deposited into your body. 400 calories from donuts are not the same as 400 calories from a turkey and veggie omelette. As I said before, all calories are not created equal.

Sugar covered deep fried donuts.
2 egg omelette with turkey and veggies.

 Text and Photos by Maria