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! =)

 

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Garlic Chicken Pasta w/ Spinach, tomatoes and chives!

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SOOO Good! Made this the other night and everyone in the family liked it!!

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You’ll Need:

1 box Whole Wheat or gluten free linguini.

3 large skinless chicken breasts (cut into chunks, or you can buy the already cut up kind)

1 small container of mushrooms

3 cups baby spinach

8 small cherry tomatoes (halved)

1 small can sliced black olives

3 chives (chopped)

For the sauce – You’ll need:

2 tbsp. butter ( I used Earth Balance Brand)

4 Garlic cloves (mined)

4 tbsp. Whole-wheat flour or Gluten free flour.

1 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth ( I used chicken this time) -LOOK for LOW SODIUM!!

1 1/2 cups Almond milk, or low-fat milk will work too.

3 teaspoons Parsley flakes

2/3 cup graded parmesan or mozzarella cheese

Salt and pepper to taste.

HOW TO:

  • In large skillet, season chicken to taste with some chicken seasoning (I like Ms. Dash) and place in skillet. Add about 1/2 cup water and cover. (My mother taught me this trick when cooking chicken so it doesn’t dry out! =) …)

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  • Meanwhile, in another med-large skillet, put in butter and garlic cloves till butter is melted and garlic is starting to break down. Cook for around 1 min. (this will be your sauce pan)
  • Start noodles according to package in large pot. And drain when does cooking. Set aside.

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  • Go back to sauce pan, add flour and cook for 1 min, stirring so all the flour is dissolved evenly.  After, add broth and almond milk, stirring occasionally till sauce thickens and boils. Then add parsley, salt, pepper and cheese into sauce and cook till cheese is melted and sauce is thick. Turn to simmer-low until ready to serve.

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  • Meanwhile, to keep from burning your chicken, you can always add a little more water to pan and let simmer covered. Cook chicken till done (no pink in middle of the chunks) And when chicken is done, place in bowl and set aside to chop up. In same pan (leaving some of the chicken juices), put in a little olive oil, add spinach, tomatoes, chives, mushrooms and olives into the pan and sauté.

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  • Cut cooked chicken on cutting board into bit size pieces and add to veggie mix.

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Once everything is done, pile noodles on place, add as much veggie/chicken mix as desired and top with a little sauce … YUMM!!

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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%

Egg, Avocado, Bacon and Tomato Breakfast Sandwich

Breakfast sandwhich

You’ll Need:

1 Whole Egg

2 Egg Whites

1 Slice of Whole Wheat Toast, or a Gluten free option is fine too.

2 Slices of Tomato

An Avocado

1 Slice of Turkey Bacon

********And the Assembly!

Cut toast in half, and on both sides, spread 1/4 of the avocado on to the toast like you would Mayo.

Pile on the eggs, bacon, and tomato.

Feel free to add spinach, peppers or any other veggies! =)

YUM! and Enjoy!