How much should I eat? (portion control)

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So measuring up portions can be tricky when people are constantly telling you to eat this and eat that. Or their telling you to have 4oz chicken…. Well that’s all fine and dandy if you have a food scale but lets get honest, most of ya’ll don’t have one. So how do you know how much if right for you personally? The average 4oz is fine but say a bodybuilder at 210lbs is going to need more than a young 20 year old girl at 130lbs…. so here are some basics when it comes to portions and knowing how much to eat for you.

Keep in mind portion and serving sizes are different too. Serving size is just a standard way they measure food. Portion is how much you actually pile on your place. Both are a part of weight loss and very important.

1. Close your hand into a fist. This usually amounts to anywhere around 1 cup depending on your hand. If you look at your spouses fist it may be bigger than yours, that’s because his/her body may require more calories and thus bigger portions.

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  • Veggies (portion is 2 fists worth (2 cups) ..but in reality you can eat as MUCH veggies as you want!!!)
  • Carbs – brown rice, sweet potato, cereals, quinoa, beans, oats, fruit.

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2. Open up your hand and just look at the palm. Depending on how big your hand is its usually around 3-5 oz size. This is your protein sizing. Turn your hand to the side, this is how thick your meat should be and or make up for the size if your piece of meat is thicker than your hand.. (you know… use common sense haha) ** ONLY the palm, no fingers included lol**

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  • Meats (chicken, turkey, game, tofu, steak, fish, eggs etc.)

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3. Now give yourself a thumbs up! =) (hee hee) this is your fats and dressings. Usually keep it at about a tablespoon.

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  • Almond/peanut butters
  • Salad dressings
  • Seasonings (I like Mrs. Dash – no salt! )
  • Sour Cream and Cream Cheese – if your trying to lose weight .. limit these.

4. Tip of your thumb is about a teaspoon.

  • oils
  • butters

Hope this helps for those of you without a scale or for when your out to eat and the restaurant gives you a HUGE serving …. just eat “your portion size” and take the rest home. You can have the rest at another time =)

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** Count your calories and macronutrients , don’t go over or under but get them as close to your goal as you can. Workout and be patient.. the rest will fall into place! YOU GOT THIS! =)

 

Tip of the Week #15 Grocery Shop after you Workout

I’m telling you, I almost always stop into the grocery store after my workout. I feel great, awake and eager to make healthier choices after I’ve just spent an hour sweating. This is why you should try grocery shopping after you workout. grocery0000 ENDORPHINS! YAY! The happy hormone is naturally coursing though your body after you workout. Along with all that happiness, you usually just feel good after a workout in general, along with  a sense of self accomplishment and pride. You just worked your butt off, wanting more for yourself and health.. why not take it to the grocery store with you and load up on some clean eats! Also when you go… make sure you’ve brought a snack with you for the road to munch on while you’re on your way to the grocery store. Or when you first get there, hit the produce isle and grab some fruit or even an already made protein shake . I like to make my shake before I head to the gym so then when I get out, its right there ready to chug lol. workgroc2 Good post-workout snacks – Click on this link –Good Post-Workout Snacks!

Now this is where everyone gets it wrong, I used to do (and think) the same way… but man things start REALLY kickin’ along when you don’t use the excuse of    “I just worked out, I deserve this” …. so therefore you use the fact that you basically just busted your butt at the gym so its ok if I eat this ice cream or girl scout cookies…. No, your undoing what you just did its a catch 22… Yeah  every once in a while is fine, don’t get me wrong there but if its an every time occurrence… you might want to think about what goals you have in place and how much you really want something. Also, just as an experiment, you should try the other way around and see how much different you feel. =)

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Strawberry-Almond Cracker Snack!

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You’ll Need:

2 flatbread flax crackers

2 tbsp. of Almond butter

About 5 Strawberries

Lay out the crackers on a dish. Put 1 tbsp. almond butter on each cracker and top with sliced strawberries! YUM.

Simple. Easy. Healthy.

Tilapia with Quinoa and Veggies!

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You’ll Need:

1 large tilapia fillet

Olive oil cooking spray

3-4 lemon slices

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon rosemary

pinch of oregano

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup quinoa or whole grain brown rice

Veggie of choice (preferably green)

How to:

Preheat oven to 400

Spray oven safe dish with a little olive oil, and place fish into dish. Sprinkle spices and seasonings on top place lemon slices inside dish as well.

Bake for about 15- 20 min. Until cooked all the way through.

Cook quinoa or brown rice according to package and steam your veggies! add a little salt and pepper to taste!

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Healthy Nut Butters!

I love nut butters! Especially almond butter (if you cant tell haha). Nut butters are a great way to get protein too!

When looking for nut butters, look for more natural ones that contain less sugar. Ones that have sugar listed as the 2nd or 3rd ingredient- put it back on the shelf and find a different one! Also try to avoid partially hydrogenated oils – they are high in trans fats!!

*the top two are my personal favorites! *

So which are some good picks?

  • Earth Balance – Most of their stuff is vegan, 100% natural, Gluten-free, Non- GMO.

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  • Justin’s- Most of their stuff is vegan, gluten-free, kosher, Non-GMO, and Organic. (its also made in Colorado ;))

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  • Teddie All- High Protein, low carb, no cholesterol, all natural.

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  • Barney Bare-  Doesn’t use sugar or salt. They have different flavors too. . .

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  • Smuckers Organic Natural- Natural, low sugar, high protein.

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Quick Grab & Go Snacks!!!

So I don’t know about you, but Im pretty busy myself so some quick grab and go snacks are always great to have stashed all sorts of places! (work, car, gym bag, …everywhere! ) Here are some of my favorites.

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  • Health Warrior Chia Bar- All kinds of flavors, some fav’s include (Acai Berry, Banana Nut, Apple Cinnamon, Chocolate Peanut Butter)
  • Two Moms in the Raw- They make all kinds of things but the main things you’ll find is granola and bars. Favs include ( Blueberry Granola, Gojiberry Nut Bar, Tomato Basil Sea crackers)
  • Kale Crunch-  I like the Southwest Ranch
  • Nut Thins Crackers- Tons of flavors, I like sea salt kind.
  • I Heart Keenwah Clusters- YUMMM Clusters!! Cranberry Cashew is good!!
  • Raw revolution Bars
  • Quest Bars

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  • Hand full of Pistachios or Almonds
  • Purely Elisabeth Granola Minis
  • Veggie Chips
  • The obvious fruits and veggies …. duh
  • Goodness Knows
  • Go Raw Real Live Food Bars
  • Nude Food
  • Fruit strips

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HAPPY SNACKING!

Cinnamon Waffles with Almond Butter and Banana

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You’ll Need :

2 Waffles- Cinnamon Flavored ( I like the Vans Natural Foods Brands ; I used the Gluten free, Cinnamon Apple Flavor for this.)

2 tbsp. Almond Butter

1 Tbsp. Agave Nectar

1 banana

Assembly:

Toast waffles in toaster. Spread almond butter over waffles while they are still warm to the almond butter melts a little bit. Cut up as much banana as you want to top it. And finally drizzle agave nectar on top of it all. Enjoy!

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Rasberry-Banana Bites!

Depends on how many people your going to serve, so estimate how much you’ll need that way. (3 pieces is about 80 calories)

2 bananas  (cut into 1-inch pieces)

1 container of red raspberries (other fruits that are good= blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries)

about 1/2 cup of almond butter (you can use peanut butter, Nutella or any other butter too if you choose) .. I like the Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut butter too!!!

Assembly: Place a small dollop on almond butter on top of banana chunk and top with raspberry!

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes (WW)

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You’ll Need: 1 1/2 Pounds of Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks (I left some of the skins on..better fiber that way)

4 garlic cloves , peeled (I used like 6 haha, I’m a garlic fan)

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (I used Earth Balance)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

1/3 cup low-fat (1%) Milk . (I used Almont milk)

Put potatoes and garlic into large sauce pan, add enough water to cover potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer and cover. Let cook until potatoes are tender (about 15 min)

Meanwhile, combine milk, butter, salt and pepper into pot and set over medium heat. Bring to a boil. remove sauce pan from heat and set aside.

Drain potatoes and garlic , return them to the pot and mash until smooth. with spoon, slowly stir in milk mixture until creamy. And serve!

SERVES 5 : WW points: 3  per serving: 2/3 cup

(Note: I took this out of a Weight watchers cookbook, I did not make this recipe up on my own…. besides recipes are meant to be shared 🙂 )

Almond Butter Cups

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You’ll need:

1 bag of chocolate chips (around 10 – 12 oz)

2 tablespoons of almond milk (or you can used regular milk too)

a dash of salt

1 cup of almond butter (creamy is what I used but I bet crunchy is good too!)

1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 tablespoons of confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

mini muffin cups (it makes around 16 ..give or take)

How To:

Line your mini muffin tin with about 16 muffin liners. Pour out 1/2 of chocolate chips into a small bowl and melt the chocolate (I melted mine in the microwave for about a min , but I’m sure you can used a double boiler or stove top.) Once chocolate is melted, sir and then coat the mini cup liners with a layer of chocolate (around 1 teaspoon).

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Chill chocolate liners in fridge for about 10 min (or until hardened). Meanwhile, in a small bowl , mix the almond butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract milk and salt together. Once the chocolate shells are hard and chilled, fill with the almond butter mixture and chill in fridge again while your melting the rest of the chocolate.

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Melt the rest of the chocolate and pour on top of each cup covering the almond butter mixture. Chill for about 10 min and Ta-da! you have delicious Almond Butter Cups! YAY.