Tip of the Week # 8 Portion Control

So you may be “eating healthy and a clean diet” but if your overdoing it, it could have a negative effect. And may be a reason why you’re not loosing weight at the speed you may like or should be. So here are some tips and tricks I personally have used and/or heard of to help with knowing what’s the right portion, how much do you really need.

  • Eat off of smaller plates. Even if you put that same amount of food onto the smaller plate, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. So eventually, your portion will become slightly smaller over time. Do the same with bowls and drinks. (ideally water should be your main drink, if it gets boring, add some fruit to your water or have some unsweetened tea)

plate

  • Separate your food on your plate, I like half my plate to be veggies 1/4 protein and 1/4 a starch. That way you get used to the look of normal portions. Also when you go our to eat at restaurants, they usually give you double the amount of what you should be eating, cut that meal in half and save the other half for another night.
  • Turn the TV and other distractions off! You don’t realize how much mindless eating you do when your distracted. shut off the TV and actually focus on the meal in front of you. Enjoy it. Have dinner with family, a date, a friend… anyone besides the TV.
  • Keep the foods that you can splurge on in plain sight. (Dinner salad, veggies, fruits) Set those on the table and keep the other foods like the potatoes on the stove top during dinner, the more you get used to seeing it right there all convenient, the more you’ll be inclined to grab it over something else, say the potatoes.
  • Also just avoid second helpings in general. Like I said above its ok to gorge on the salad and stuff but usually seconds consist of the potatoes and meat foods. They “sound” good, but are you really still hungry? Drink 1 glass of water between getting a second helping and consider if your truly hungry. If the salad in front of you doesn’t look  appealing but a huge dollop of potatoes sounds good, your not hungry. (its most likely a habit you need to break)

salad in table

  • Why are we still drinking sugary drinks when we KNOW they are horrible for us? LOL . Drink some water, tea, coffee with your dinner. There are a few natural sodas out there, but look at what your actually drinking and think if its really something you should be putting in your body. If you must- some natural sodas to help wean you off of all the soda drinking (note: I said wean you off) include: Reds Ginger Brews, Boylans, Hansons, Fizzy Lizzy, Steaz, Izzie, Jones, G-U-S, Oogave, Zevia.
  • Make your own pre-packaged foods. when you buy a bag of veggie chips, don’t you just open the bag up and stick your hand in and begin munching…. yes. Were all guilty of it. Instead buy the little snack size sandwich bags and look at the serving size and make your own portion controlled snacks to go. Great for you when your running late, on your way to a ball game, concert, picnic, have kids, want just a light snack… you name it!

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  • I know this may seem stupid and tedious at first, but buy a scale to help you measure and weight your foods when you first start off.it will be really time consuming and annoying but pretty soon you’ll just be able to eyeball the portions naturally. I got a food scale at my local Bed Bath and Beyond for like $15 bucks. Not bad at all… I’m sure they have fancier ones, but for what your going to be doing, a average one will work just fine.

HOPE THIS HELPS! =D

“Healthy” Fajitas

fajitas

So I love me some Mexican food but when you drench everything in gobs of cheese and green chili, things can get a bit  unhealthy. Here is my “healthy version of fajitas!” …. man I love fajitas

You’ll Need:

  • Steak or chicken, cut into strips.
  • Green, yellow, red bell peppers
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • Big Romaine lettuce leafs
  • Guacamole ( or make your own with about 1 avocado)
  • Salsa (the hotter the better!! YUM)
  • Low fat cheese (optional)
  • Fajita seasoning

How to:

  1. Heat skillet on medium and put a tablespoon of olive oil in skillet
  2. Cut up peppers and onion into strips. Put into skillet and sauté’. Once they are getting soft add meat strips.
  3. Sprinkle fajita seasoning in mixture.
  4. Place 3 romaine leafs on plate (these are your “taco shells” and spread guacamole in bottom of “shell”
  5. Once mixture is cooked, place an even amount of meat and peppers into each “shell”
  6. Top with salsa and cheese. Serve!
  7. Enjoy!

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Olive Garden Healthy Options

So.. I love me some Olive Garden. And its safe to say that its one of my fav’s and I almost ALWAYS get a gift card to that place from a family member for Christmas or my birthday. So needless to say its a known fact that I LOVE OLIVE GARDEN! haha

But not everything there is healthy either. Just like other restaurants, they have good healthy options, and … eh, lets just go with the fact that they have poor decisions as well…So.. which do you choose? How do you know what’s a “healthy” option without bombarding the waitress about all the nutritional information and looking like a crazed, obsessed dieter.

And that my dear friends, is why  I’m here!

AMANDA to the RESCUE!!!

So being the salad and breadstick lover I am, I’m sad to say that one serving of their delicious salad (that’s drenched in awesome dressing I might add) and one breadstick is a whopping 500 calories alone. Sad, but true. And don’t go and try to blame the breadstick either! ok. One breadstick is around 150 calories, so most of the issue is actually coming from the drenched salad… ironically. So, quick fix, as for the dressing on the side! YAY! (don’t drench it when you get it on the side either- that’s defeating the purpose) Instead, dip the prongs of your fork into the dressing and, then, get a fork full of salad. Tastes the same, saves some un-needed calories.

  • Next .. say you want an Appetizer.

Stuffed mushrooms is probably your best option – 280 cal.

Mussels de Napoli which is 180 calories but extremely high in sodium so … only have a few.

Unlike the Lasagna Fritta that’s around 1,030…HOLY SMOKES!

  • Next, the main meal!

Soups and salads are always a better choice (usually) depending on where you go….

Now I know I just bashed the famous Olive Garden salad, bit its not that bad, if its your main course, just go light on the dressing.

Best Soup option – Pasta e fagioli  (it has the lowest amount of sodium)

Other options include

  • Cheese ravioli with marinara sause
  • Linguine alla Marinara
  • Parmesan Crusted tilapia
  • Plain ol’ Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Herbed Grilled Salmon
  • Apricot Chicken
  • Ravioli Portobello
  • Chicken marsalla (kind of high in sodium , so if you cut in half, that would be ideal)

And as good as that Tour of Italy dish looks , its almost your entire days worth of calories along in that one dish! oh my.. – 1.450 calories and 3,800mg of sodium. WOW

To make your dish even healthier .. you can always ask for Whole grain or Gluten free noodles. Regular linguini and penne are the other two better options.

And choose marinara over any white cream sauce.

Also – here is the link to Olive Gardens Menu and Nutritional Information if you want to look for yourself. https://www.olivegarden.com/Menu/Nutrition/

appri

Tip of the week #1 : Wreack Havoc

dinnin

I don’t know about you , but when we’re out to eat, and I’m full and I put my fork down….. I will sit there and pick at my food until the waiter comes and takes it away. Same with the bread basket or the chips and salsa. So my new motto is to ruin it. Once I’m done ( and if there isn’t enough to take home with me as another meal) I will ruin my dish.

And I know I’m going to hear, there are little children starving in third- world countries … but lets face it… my 2oz of left over spaghetti isn’t going to them, its going in the trash… ok.

So pour salt and pepper all over it, pout your water on it .. it works, and people will look at you funny but … who cares people look at me funny when I’m being just “me” lol  😛

Now if your out with other people and they want the extra bread, just put it on the other side of the table so then its not staring you in the face…. lol. Be considerate, but think about your health too. P.S. also when you start making these little changes you’ll get the “one breadstick isn’t going to kill you” line from your friends .. believe me I’VE EVEN SAID IT … but if my friend was allergic to it, I wouldn’t be trying to push it on them, look at it that way and maybe if your friend needs an explanation, explain it that way too… “I’m on a special diet and I intend to stick to it” .. most likely they will understand. 🙂