Tip of the Week # 18: Quality vs. Quanitity

quanity

When it comes to the food you put into your body, its more than just “calories in and calories out”… The food you consume is either going to benefit you nutritionally or its not, its either going to give you energy, vitamins, minerals, fiber and everything else or it may make you feel lethargic, worn out or give you a sugar rush that will most likely die within a few hours. So when picking out your food according to price vs. nutrition is a huge thing that a lot of people have a hard time doing.

All the time I hear “eating healthy is expensive” Yeah sure, some of it can be, not gonna deny that. But… I dare you to go to your produce isle and look at how much a bag of 10 potatoes is, or how much a bunch of spinach or romaine is…. a bag of potatoes is about $4 (and there usually are like 10 potatoes in there!) Then go over to the lettuce options you have (not he pre-packaged pre-made salads the actual bunch of leafs… they usually are about $1 $1.50 each bunch ) If your buy 2 or 3 of those, make your own salad mix A. you usually get more than the pre-packaged salads and B. its usually half the price. Key to buying healthy foods is to know where you can save money.

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Now that I got that rant off my chest with a little example were gonna discuss how quality is so much more important to quality. Sure have a few cookies or a pop tart here and there but not every day. Your goal is to get healthy right? Well here are some things to consider when you reach for that junk food.

  • Fake sugar and sugar in general – Now I’m not saying a little sugar is bad. Sometimes you need a little to keep your sanity hahaha.. and sugar from things like fruit aren’t as bad as your actual table sugar…. When you eat sugar or too much sugar is spikes your insulin levels .. which can result in diseases like diabetes and whatnot. When  you insulin levels are spiked you body is constantly trying to “burn that sugar off” first. And with that insulin being spiked your body is going to have a  harder time getting to that fat burning zone. Needless to say sugar any kind, fake or not, your body isn’t used to the amount we normally put into it  now-a-days. Do you really think our systems as humans were meant to eat potato chips, Oreos and sugary cereal all day? or at all for that matter? Limit your sugar intake and you’ll see a change, guarantee it. (I’ll do a post on how to curn sugar cravings and other options you can use that are better than sugar soon if ya’ll would like.)

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  • Ok so as we talked about Oreos and Cereal …. lets take a look at that. So  yeah its yummy don’t get me wrong and like I said, enjoy a fricken oreo here and there (you need to find a balance) but do NOT eat the whole pack in 2 days haha. So when looking at cereal, have you actually looked at the ingredients in Captain Crunch? (I’m picking Captain because its one or was, one of my favs =)) Besides looking at how many calories are in the food and calling it done, I want you to grab a box of a sugary (usually Kellogg’s) cereal and go over to Kashi cereal. Look at the ingredients on the bottom of the nutrition panel. Do you recognize everything in the Captain Crunch? Do you in the Kashi? I bet there is less in Kashi as well. Now…… here is where people don’t realize. . . . yeah Kashi is $4 and Captain is probably $1 .. $2 I don’t know.. So with that and looking at the ingredents, I bet one of the first few ingredients in Captain is “Enriched Bleached Flour” .. Yup! Its exactly what it sounds like, I might as well go grab my flour, bring it down to the laundry room and make my own. sad to say but yes, its true… they bleach it. and I bet the ingredient sugar isn’t far behind it on the list. On the flipside, Kashi probably says something like “Whole Wheat rolled Oats” or something. Now that should like something healthy right ? … and it definitely doesn’t sound like a chemical shit storm… Pay attention to ingredients and look for as minimal as possible.

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  • Lets talk about nutrition (the main point). So which do you think will fill you up faster? A burger from a fast food place? Or a salad? Well the thing is, they both “fill you up” just depends on how long your going to stay full for, which is going to provide your body with the nutrients, vitamins and fiber your body needs to run at top notch and which one is healthier (because being healthy is the main goal here). If your keeping track of your calories (which you should be because you’d be surprised how much you actually eat sometimes). You will notice how easy it is to get up to 1800 calories by eating crap foods. I mean good grief, 2 chips ahoy cookies is 150 calories alone, and between you and me… I cant just eat two at a time, its usually like 4 or 5 ( which equals 300+ cal) haha. Whereas, if you were to cook up 4oz of chicken and some fresh broccoli or whatever veggie you’d like .. the calories is going to be around 180-200 in that. So now that you see you would get to consume more food by eating healthier foods, you have to stop and think about which one is going to “fuel” your body. 4 cookies or a piece of chicken and veggies. The choice is yours but I think I made my point… plus I don’t know about you… but id rather eat a lot, then only have a small amount of food and feel groggy all day.

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  • One more point, sure at first eating healthy sucks (been there, I used to live on ramen, Tostitos pizza and all kinds of horrible things that I usually don’t eat now .. only for a treat do I do that)  But once you start getting used to it, its really not that bad. You start to get creative in the kitchen, you get a fun cookbook, you start to have fun looking for different spices and herbs. Learn to make it fun, get the whole family in on it and don’t look at it as a chore, your taking care of yourself. I personally like to think that my body is the only one I get, I either spend the money on fresh food or I will spend that money at the dr. later on in life. You’ll also notice a significant change in things like energy, sleep patterns and much more.

Plus I saw brown rice, dry beans and frozen veggies at the dollar store … so don’t tell me its expensive, you’re making excuses.

And don’t feel like you have to do everything at once, I didn’t, take baby steps.. this way you don’t quit or get overwhelmed.

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How to pick a Healthier Bread

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So there are like a bazillion different kinds of breads out there. Gluten-free, whole-wheat, oat, honey oat, white, potato, rye, sourdough, high-fiber, low cal, and the list could just continue. . . . .

So what the heck do I eat?!?! … Lets look into this.

  • If one of the first ingredients are “Enriched bleached flour” or “wheat flour” Stay away! (Its just a disguised word for white flour)  So if it looks like its whole grain and brown or it even says Wheat bread, doesn’t  mean its necessarily healthy. Even if it says multi-grain or 100% natural doesn’t mean its healthy either.. and rye isn’t necessarily the high fiber choice like you thought.. and don’t even get me started on white Wonder bread… if your eating that.. we are going to have some issues. . . . .

Now your super confused huh!

  • Look for “100% ” Whole Wheat. or 100% Whole Grain. Nothing less. Whole wheat isn’t good enough because its usually made with enriched wheat flour. Look at some labels next time your in the bread section at your local grocery store. You will be surprised how many bread have that ingredient listed as one of the first ingredients.
  • Why you want to shoot for whole grains is because they are naturally low in sugar, cholesterol and high in fiber.
  • Make sure you look at the serving sizes because one loaf will say “145 calories per slice” and some other ones will say “200 calories per 2 slices” make sure you do the math. Companies like to make it difficult when it comes to advertising.
  • Watch out for unhealthy fats such as : Trans fats, hydrogenated vegetable oil, vegetable oil shortening, partially hydrogenated oils.
  • Also stay away from high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, and high sugar.
  • When you go to buy bread squeeze it (don’t crush it! ) but if its super soft and too easy to crush.. its not the best choice, pick a denser bread, it will have more nutrients.

How to choose a good bread:

  1. look for 100% whole wheat (should be first ingredient)  AVOID “enriched flour” !!!!
  2. The shorter list of ingredients the better! (that usually goes with ALL food.)
  3. Try to get less than 200mg of sodium
  4. Shoot for 100 calories of less (per slice)
  5. look for high fiber, 3g or more!

Some good bread options:

  • Oroweat 100% Whole Grain
  • Oroweat Whole Grain + Flax
  • Natures Pride 100% Whole Wheat
  • Sara Lee Hearty and Delicious 100% Multi Grain
  • Arnold Sandwich Thins 100% whole wheat
  • Brownberry whole grain 100% Whole Wheat
  • Ezekiel  4:9 organic sprouted 100% whole wheat
  • Rudis organic bakery- whole wheat 100%

You think it’s an easy way to cut calories but……….

So cutting calories for weight loss is an ideal thing to do if your consuming too many (most Americans are), but here are some tricks and tips that may have you thinking your being healthy, when in reality they may be hurting you…. or helping you keep on the weight you want to drop.

chicken thigh fats fats good

  • Picking poultry instead of beef– So yes, lean chicken and turkey are about as clean as clean eating can be but things like the ground up turkey for turkey burgers and such, often have the skin and darker meat ground in as well (things they don’t tell you- those bitches!). Darker meat has more calories when it comes to poultry by the way, that’s why whenever you read most diets, the often revolve around the breast of the bird since its all white meat. Where in retrospect, beef (LEAN beef), can be only 155 calories with 6 grams of fat, as compared to the ground up turkey at 205 calories and 14 grams of fat. *So how to fix– Look for labels that say lean (90%) on either one, beef or turkey.
  • No fat at all! – I know they have had this on the news but there are still people out there that think all fat is bad, and that just isn’t the case. The way fat works is……… Monounsaturated fats  and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol,  and your overall health.. It’s the trans fats, and saturated fats you have to avoid. Fat helps you stay fuller longer and it takes longer for your body to digest, therefore its a good thing because you wont be wanting food every hour on the hour. *So how to fix – Add good, satisfying fats to your food, think avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil. Plus good fats add loads of yummy flavors! – say no to boring food my lovely’s!
  • Think to yourself if your truly hungry – I have to do this sometimes because we get bored and out of habit, we eat. Its only human and natural to do that I think. But take a minute ( I like to drink a whole glass of water because sometimes your body is honestly just thirsty and wait about 10 minutes to figure out if I’m really hungry or not.) Take a deep breath and decide, if you are ..great eat a small healthy snack, if carrots and hummus or something along those lines doesn’t sound good, then you probably aren’t hungry and your bored. *So how to fix – find something else to take your mind off it. I like to pop some of that Deserts Extra brand gum in my mouth because it craved that sweet taste I’m looking for. They have all kind of flavors from root beer float to strawberry shortcake. I also go for a run, read a book, blog, play fetch with the dogs or even just watch a TV show… anything can help, you just have to find what works for you.

gluten sport real

  • Everything Gluten Free – Don’t get me wrong I personally love gluten free foods. But not all of them are good for you. Just because fruit roll ups say they are gluten free, doesn’t mean you should eat them – don’t, they are full of sugar hhahah. But a lot of gluten free products like take baking with a GF flour for example, its sometimes made with things such as white rice or potatoes.. or both (double whammy). – This kind of flour doesn’t have as much fiber and nutrients as a regular whole wheat flour with the same amount of calories and sometimes even more! *So how to fix- Look for products that are made with quinoa or brown rice, they are a much healthier option and still gluten free. I like Bob’s Red Mill brand personally.
  • Sweet Drinks and Energy Drinks – OK… seriously? Do you really think that double espresso Rockstar is a wise choice for your health? Its full of caffeine (which your probably addicted to if you “need” it or it “helps you wake up and get going” in the mornings), not to mention full of sugar and just plan crap for your body. Do you think our bodies were meant to consume that??? Not so much. Also, most of those sports drinks are virtually calorie free, meaning they are full of fake sugar, even worse, your body doesn’t know how to digest that fake shit.. quit it. *So how to fix- Just stick to water, add fruit to it to make it taste better if you have to.
  • Giving Fruits and Veggies a quick rinse – Yes you should wash them. And yes it does kill off the pesticides, but you have to wash them for long enough. Usually people just lightly dip it under the sink and call it good, and that isn’t enough. Most pesticides have shown to slow metabolism and even mess with your thyroid gland. So yea, you may be getting all your nutrients because you’ve added more produce, but it might be sabotaging your weight loss. *so what’s the fix – Wash for 30 seconds each time. Also you technically can buy organic (another reason why you want try to buy organic when you can…) but not have to worry about washing it because there are no pesticides used in growing it. I wash mine anyways just to be safe…and clean.
  • Store Bought Smoothies- Yes they are healthier, but they may have as many calories as a cheeseburger- depending on which ones you get. They can have as low as 200 to as high as 1000. They add tons of fruit veggies but unfortunately, a shit ton of sugar (which usually fake sugar or syrups.) *So how to fix– Make your own and take it with you. They make serving size smoothie machines that make it super easy as a quick breakfast in the morning.. so you don’t really have an excuse A. not to make breakfast (because so many people don’t eat breakfast) And B. if your trying to loose weight and get healthy.. you need to be eating breakfast. Its just as serious as working out.

banana granola wash

  • Ice cream vs. Frozen yogurt- You’d think so, but it actually have about the same amount of calories and sugars. So how to fix – Make your own yummy healthy “ice cream” I posted a link below about some healthy ice creams on Bodybuilding.com and I also posted an ice cream that’s made out of bananas.

Bodybuilding – http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/5-healthy-versions-of-famous-ice-cream-treats.html

Frozen Banana recipes – http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/1-ingredient-banana-ice-cream-10-flavor-twists/two-ingredient-banana-cookies-cream-ice-cream/

  • Granola – Yeah it may seem so great with the oats and grains, your getting some good carbs right?? Wrong. If they didn’t use so mush sugar for one, but a lot of those little oats have added fats too to make it “granola”. But good news is that all granola isn’t bad and its super easy to make your own “healthier” version too.  This goes for granola bars as well. Most granola bars are bonded together ..to make them a “bar” with all kinds of syrups and sugars. … And then some add chocolate into the mix too and then they almost become worse than some candy bars!! So… I’m sure you can make your own bars… (***OOO Striking a recipe challenge to post in future!) So how to fix –  make your own! I attached a link below on some fun recipes to try. Also, When picking out granolas in the supermarket try to make sure sugar isn’t in the first 3 ingredients.. and I know its hard, but try not to pic the ones with all the candies in it. . . . its supposed to be a healthy choice, not desert.

Make your on granola!- http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipes.asp?food=granola&a=#topresults

  • Anything with the word DIET- Just stop. You know what’s healthy, fruits, veggies and lean meats. Its really not that hard, so stop trying to “wiggle” your way around it and find ways to cheat. You either want to be healthy, or you don’t. Just because something says calorie free does NOT mean its healthy and you should consume it …much less all the time! Whether its soda, a “vitamin-enhanced” water, or even a diet drink (i.e.. Slim fast) if it had fake sugar… its not healthy. Just hear me out…. When fake sugar (sweet n low, aspartame. Just to name a few) enters your body it turns into formaldehyde, Formaldehyde is something scientists use to “preserve and protect”. …..  Ew. Think about it for a minute. Google it. Quit preserving your butt with diet soda ok. So the fix- Drink waters, add fruit to it to make it taste better of your getting boded, I think they do make carbonated waters now a days too if its the carbonation your craving …. but make sure there isn’t fake sugar in it.
  • Bread Galore- Sandwich making has become a “fit” and “healthier option” when your on the go or at work. Well lets take the fact that people love their meat, so you know we either add a bunch of meat (Usually lunch meats, pre-package, and FULL of sodium) Or we get the Meat-iest sandwich we can at Subway. “Cold-cut trio me please!” Then we pile on the mayo, or sugar-laden salad dressings (because you know that don’t buy Organic and Natural brands!) Pile on the smallest amount veggies and a lot of cheese ….on a foot long. So the fix is – So when you do make a sandwhich on some Eziekiel bread, or Udis. … Some OTHER form of Healthy Bread, (how to pick a healthy bread- **coming up in a post soon!) to put your sandwich on.        http://shop.udisglutenfree.com/ppcdo/search/google?gclid=CKuO-IbtlLgCFc1cMgodXUgAzA and please, make veggies the main part of it.

bread diet

My Everyday Grocery List!

Grocery 555

So I get a lot of questions on what to buy at the store. How do I know how to pick out produce, and such. So without further ado.. Here is my “everyday grocery shopping list”.

  • Most of the things like condiments I already have stocked up so you’ll only have to buy things like that every so often.
  • Also when buying produce keep in mind that this stuff goes bad fast, so only buy what you think your going to eat within that week. (Learned that lesion the hard way!)

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VEGGIES – feel free to add other favorites!

  • Spinach
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Any other “salad” Mixes you’d like
  • Baby carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes (baby ones, and big ones)
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Bell Peppers (Red, Yellow, Green, and Orange)
  • Radishes
  • Green Beans
  • Chives and Onions
  • Corn
  • Asparagus

Fruits -Feel free to add other favorites!

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Oranges
  • Lemons (for cooking with and water)

Lean Meats and Protien  ***grass-fed and hormone-free is ideal**

  • Shrimp
  • Tuna (in water)
  • Skin-less Chicken Breasts
  • Ground Turkey
  • Low- Sodium Lunchmeat
  • Turkey Bacon
  • Salmon (wild caught)
  • Lean Beef
  • Eggs and Egg Whites
  • Other fish is good too.
  • *** Any kind of Game meat is awesome for you as well because its in its natural environment and its “grass-fed”. (Antelope, Deer, Bison, Elk, Pheasant etc. )

Carbs

  • Brown Rice
  • Baby red Potatoes
  • Quinoa ( this also comes in a noodle form-by far the best gluten-free choices)
  • Whole-wheat Bread (or Gluten-free)
  • Yams
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • OLD-Fashion Oats
  • Low-Sugar and Low-Carb Cereals

Dairy

  • Skim or Low-Fat Milk
  • Almond or Coconut Milk (Dairy Free)
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Low-Fat Cheese (string cheese options are available in this too)
  • Low-Fat Cottage Cheese

Healthy Fats!

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Avocado
  • Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews and Pistachios

Condiments

  • Stevia (liquid and sugar form )
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Salsa
  • Balsamic Vinegar (almost any “clear” type of dressing is better than the creamy kind)
  • Mustard
  • Agave Nectar
  • Flax-Seed Meal (to put in oatmeal and any baking goods)

Drinks

  • Water (obviously) -try to get a BPA free glass container then your saving the environment too!
  • Coffee
  • Green tea (not pre-made, but the tea bags)