Baked Garlic & Herb French Fries (no oil)

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Story time first! … (recipe is below if you don’t want to hear my story lol… but I think it was kinda funny personally)  Ok so my boyfriend actually has been doing pretty good through this whole “I want to do a competition” thing. Hes been helping with food prep, supporting me when I lose my shit and dealing with my low-carb mood swings haha. I’m very blessed, that’s all I have to say! … so anyways…..We were driving around and it was becoming dinner time soon for him anyways ( I still had like 2 more meals to eat) But for the most part he’s been eating what Ive been eating give or take some extra carbs or something for him… So the other day he was like “I’m gonna get Good Times” and kind of gave me a look of “please don’t hate me … and is that ok?” lol and I understand … I’m not going to deprive him from things just because I have a goal… its not his goal he can eat/do what he wants… So we order it and he gets the bag and puts it in-between himself and the driver-side door so its not staring at me in the face (aww so considerate)…. So I’m all “you can put it on the center console so it doesn’t fall and spill everywhere” so he does…

I literally looked out the window because all I can smell is those fries… (and if you know me, I’ve never really been a fry fan anyways … but ohhhh Good Times fries just sounded good.. ) .. so I looked down and there is seriously a little fry sticking out of the bag, I swore it was like mocking me. hahha.

So I looked at him and was like .. ” yeah put this back over to your side and we need to go home NOW, so I can make my chicken and asparagus” lol… he just laughed at me and headed  home…. So that’s my story.. I think it was funnier in person, oh well… but anyways I made these and they weren’t “Good Times” fries, but they definitely curbed that craving!!!  ENJOY!

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Recipe:

You’ll need:

As many potatoes as you want ( I used Red Gold for this and I only used 2 potatoes total… but then again I can only have so many carbs right now … so keep that in mine, One potato this size measures out to be about 1 cup)

and Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasonings …

THATS IT! BOOM!  ( p.s. I love minimal ingredient recipes!!! )

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How to:

  • Put potatoes into desired shapes or slices
  • Pre- Heat Oven to 345
  • Lay a piece of parchment paper onto a baking sheet and spread out the potato chunks evenly on the baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle Ms. Dash seasoning onto the pieces – jut enough to lightly cover them (it helps if you flip them too so the seasoning gets everywhere)
  • Bake for about 20-25 min depending on how fast your potato cooks. … (I did turn on the broiler for out 5 min just so they came out a little more golden and crisp! )
  • Let cool and Enjoy!

nom nom nom

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Side note: You can basically do this with any potato and any seasoning, no need for oil which helps save on calories!! =) – I might try a southwest Chipotle seasoning next time!

Also, I found a lower sugar Ketchup that’s not too bad either!  But different flavored mustards are delish too!

kats5 cal per tablespoon – 1g sugar! BOOM

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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! =)

 

Benefits of Cucumbers

Since I’m eating an entire cucumber right now… lets talk about the benefits =P

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  • Very high in water. (95% water actually) So they are good for hydration and eliminating toxins that are in your body.
  • High in vitamins, and almost all vitamins that you need for the day. Remember to eat the skin (which is high in vitamin C)
  • Since its high in vitamins (Including vitamin B) they can be eaten as a snack to help pick you up when you’re body starts to feel tiered. . . . (any food will do this that has a good source of vitamin B by the way…. vitamin b is a mood and energy lifter!)
  • Good for you party people out there. . . eat a few cucumber slices before you go to bed after a night of partying and since it has a good source of water, vitamins and electrolytes …. its none to help with hangovers… (haven’t tried this, just heard about it.)
  • Can be used as a skin soother for sunburns… like aloe does.

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  • Not only on the outside does it help with burns though, its a natural heartburn reliever too.
  • Good source of silica which can help with joint pain.
  • High in fiber so helps aid digestion and keeps ya regular 😉
  • Helps with bags under your eyes. (eat it or put slices on your eyes like they do in the movies… )
  • cancer fighting food. YAY
  • Helps with weight loss because since its a super food (very high-density, high vitamin, and full of fiber and nutrients) you’ll actually feel fuller and wont eat as much.

 

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Bring on the WATER!!

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We are going to start off this with a quote from Leonardo Da Vinci “Water is the Driving Force in Nature”.

Water is what fuels is, it makes up two thirds of our weight and without it we would die. Water helps with everything from memory, digestion, focus and .. well pretty much everything. So were going to talk about how non- water (thinks like soda) can impact that, foods with water in them (you get a twofer), how to make water more fun to drink when it gets boring and even tips on drinking more water in general! YAY! Here we go!

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Dangers of caffeine, coffee, sodas ….. So caffeine is a natural diuretic, whether it comes from soda, tea or coffee its a diuretic. It causes you to go to the restroom more because it caused your body to excrete through urine. This is especially an issue if its super hot outside or your just in a hot environment because it can cause dehydration more easily. While water does the opposite, keeps you hydrated and you can be out in those climates longer.

Foods with water in them – ohhh natures bounty! I’m just going to list a few. Because there is a TON! Holy Moly. Google that shit! =O

  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Radishes
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Plums
  • Peaches
  • carrots
  • Peppers
  • Cabbage

Spice up your water- Flavor it or buy flavored kinds. (again stick to more natural – less sugar and fake crap) add orange or lemon slices to it. OR even other fruits like strawberries and blueberries. Mint is good as well.

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Tips on drinking more (water that is ;P ) 

  1. Get a fun re-usable water bottle and make it a goal to drink as many of those suckers you can throughout the day! Put a favorite quote or a fun sticker on there to keep you motivated.
  2. When you go out to eat, make it a goal to drink n entire glass before you place your order, while your waiting for your meal, and then another during your meal.
  3. Having a glass of water before or while your at a family get together or a company party will help pace you for food, plus you’ll eat less because you’ll be more full.
  4. Find different waters. There are tons of vitamin enhanced waters out there. Experiment.  (stick to the more natural kinds, like HINT water, or Smart water)
  5. Put a few rubber bands at the bottom of your water bottle, after you finish one move it to the top.
  6. Make a bet with someone (co-worker, boyfriend, whoever your around) to see who can drink more water throughout the day.
  7. Keep bottles everywhere. (I have one on my night stand, one in the bathroom by the sink, one in my car, one in my gym bag, one in my locker at work…. ohhh where else can I put one lol???)
  8. Try to make it a  challenge to have a glass every hour on the hour. Make it a game.
  9. When you have a food craving, drink a glass of water, more than likely your actually thirsty and NOT hungry.
  10. Drink water while your doing everyday things around the house, after you load a load of laundry, after you do the dishes, While making dinner, While watching tv or a movie. (Sneak water into the movie theatre lol)

water 4     See she has got the right idea! =)

My Everyday Grocery List!

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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)

How to get a Faster Metabolism!

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  1. Up your Vitamin B! This vitamin helps increase energy production in the mitochondria (which is the main part of our cells)
  2. Don’t skip breakfast! When you do that your body freaks out and goes into starvation mode. Its called Break-Fast for a reason, your breaking your fast from sleeping. Refuel your body with some good breakfast. Eat within 2 hours of waking.
  3.  Drink Green Tea! It contains smaller amounts of caffeine than coffee and it also has an antioxidant that I cant even pronounce (EGCG) but that antioxidant helps you burn more calories… so drink up!
  4. Have protein for lunch! It takes you more energy to digest protein than fat or carbs. Protein is crucial for building muscle and well… The more muscle you have the more calories you burn.. But don’t go overboard either.
  5. Add your spices! anything spicey has been known to rev up the metabolism .. so spice it up! Add some cayenne and some peppers!
  6. Workout! – doing some cardio will definitely help. Alternate between high intensity and moderate intensity every 5 min, it will keep your body guessing.
  7. Hit the sack at a decent time. If you don’t rest your body it will be overworked and stressed out. And then you’ll just start packing on the pounds. Figure out a schedule and stick to it.
  8. This is going to sound weird, but eat A LOT.. haha the more you eat the more your body burns (and that’s if your active and your not eating crappy foods.. don’t try to cheat the system because THAT WILL NOT WORK HAHA) But your basically ensuring your body that you aren’t going to go into starvation mode every time you eat so the more your body will be inclined to “let go of” instead on “hang on to”. Eat every 3 hours or so… and Good Foods! High fiber, nutrient dense foods… not a candy bar and chips.
  9. Skip the Alcohol – There are studies out there that show that your body will burn off the alcohol BEFORE it burns off the food, sometimes not even getting to the food- leaving it as stored fat.
  10. Break up your workout into two smaller workouts. That was your get your heart pumping in the morning and later in the day.
  11. Chill – relax- take a breather. Stress can be a number 1 culprit to weight loss so try not to stress yourself out. Learn different techniques on how relaxing works for you. Maybe its mediation, boxing or even reading a book, figure out what works for you. And then do it!

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Spicey Foods!                                                            Relax!                                             Workout and pump Iron!

A little bit of Hydration!

So when thinking of hydration and making sure your body stays hydrated… you automatically think of the one and only….WATER. (well at least I hope you do anyways..).

But we all know what can be boring and its nice to spice it up a little here and there. So what do you choose? Vitamin water? Gatorade? Water with a hint of flavoring in it? Which is the best and which ones do you avoid because if you read the labels .. they all claim to be “good” for you…. which my lovelies, we know isn’t true!

Now I’m not saying replace your water intake with these, I’m saying its ok to add one of these every one in a while. Your body LOVES water and thrives on it at its purest form. It makes up around 60% of your body and every system depends on it. There is a reason they say 8 glasses of water a day, I tend to shoot for 9 because I like to be an over achiever like that…. =P   (standards are around 2.2 liters for woman and 3 liters for men)

OK .. On to the drinks!

The Good:

  • Smart Water- 0 sugar, 0 fat, 0 calories + electrolytes .. how can this get any better? .. plus for some reason this water tastes sweeter to me. . . . IDK why…
  •  Function: Light Weight – 11 Calories, 2g sugar, 0 fat. High in EGCG ( which is a potent antioxidant that’s known to have therapeutic treatment for disorders like cancer, endometriosis and other things.  Usually found in green tea. ).
  • Hint Water:  – 0 calories, 0 fat, 0 sugar. “Drink water, not sugar” is its slogan and it means just that. No artificial sweeteners.
  • So.. some Vitamin Waters are better than others. Original ones were loaded with fake sugars and society caught on to that little fact and the company decided to wise up. so which is good? Vitamin Water 10 Lemonade Multi-V : 25 calories. 0 fat. 7.5 g sugar. the new 10 line replaced the artificial crap with rebiana (from the stevia plant). the bad? Vitamin Water Focus : 125 calories. 32.5 g sugar. what a difference!
  • Zico Pure Coconut Water: Amazing for electrolytes, no artificial sweeteners or add-ins. less sugar than Gatorade. 60 calories. 14 g sugar. (But its natural sugar)
  • Gatorade Natural : Provides the same hydration without all the fake sugar and using natural ingredients like sea salt, natural sweeteners and fruit. High in electrolytes.
  • Propel: Low in sugar, carries tons of vitamins, and has no artificial coloring. (I like the berry kind)
  • Activate Water : Love these! Loads if vitamins, 0 sugar (sweetened by stevia plant). o calories.

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The Bad :

  • Fuze : Yeah it carries amazing amounts of vitamin A and E but … it had the same amount of calories as two Pepsis and WAAAYYY to much sugar  . 209 Calories. 58 g sugar
  • SoBe Life Water : ummm it has like 20g  of sugar alone, enough said. Usually sweetened with fake sugars too.
  • PowerAde : Full of fake sugars, usually around 200 calories unless you get the PowerAde Zero, which is worse because it has even MORE fake sugars (Sucralose= Splenda).
  • Regular Gatorade : Sure it has electrolytes and low calories, but its also filled with high fructose corn syrup and artificial coloring and sweeteners… I’d skip it.

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Hope this helps! =) … win and doubt, when your not craving a little sweetness, stick to pain ol’ water, …… its free lol.