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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Be-YOU-tiful

Good morning everybody,

There are so many people who aren’t happy with themselves, and a lot of this unhappiness stems out of body image issues. So here is something I thought everyone should see, and something that I think it so true.

Of course we all wish we could have these features wrapped up into one amazing body, but most of us don’t. We are beautiful because we are different. Heck, most of the time I wish I had the abs of a lesbian gym owner (that one cracked me up) and various other features that are not mine … but I was given this body and it is my vessel for life.

Treat yourself right and be proud of what your mama gave ya!

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Super Spaghetti Squash

I love pasta, but I try as much as possible to avoid it. There are 200 calories in one serving of this carb-filled ‘staple’, but hardly anyone stops there. The average pasta dish in a restaurant is 3 or 4 servings, and even people who make it at home use more than one handful-sized serving. So when I found this recipe for spaghetti made out of a vegetable … I was amused, but pretty skeptical. Squash = spaghetti? Can it be? IT CAN. I made this today and it tasted like a slightly crunchier version of spaghetti, with an amazing taste. And at only 45 calories a cup, it can’t be beat! Plus, the cooking process is so easy. With only three ingredients and NO added oil/ butter/ salt, there is no pasta dish simpler and healthier than this.

Step 1) Scoop all seeds out of half of squash and fill the space with 1/3 cup water. Microwave on high for 8 minutes.

Step 2) Bring pasta sauce to a simmer. I use Classico’s Florentine Spinach and Cheese tomato sauce. It has 80 cal per 1/2 cup, but I’m going to try and find a lower cal sauce next time I go shopping. This tastes really yummy though! 

Step 3) Remove squash from microwave and scoop out flesh with a fork (it will automatically take the shape of spaghetti). Top with sauce and sprinkle with cheese.

– 125 cal –

Surviving Theme Park Temptations

Anyone who has been to a theme park will know that it is one of the hardest experience in the life of living healthy. I went to Six Flags Great Adventure yesterday, and let me tell you: scarier than the rides and roller coasters were the smells that were EVERYWHERE. Each corner you turn gives you the scent of something new, be it pizza, burgers, fried goods or funnel cakes. And don’t forget about the little stalls and vending machines. Even in the areas where you wait in line for the coasters, there are machines chock full of M&Ms, sodas and other snacks. And when your wait can be up to 90 minutes … these little troves of sugar can become pretty irresistible.

Sadly to say, Americans have given in to these theme park temptations. I saw 4 times when an obese person had to be asked to get off the ride because the employees could not lock the harness. And there are many people who let their kids roam around while they sit in place and eat plates of fried potato chips – what has the world come to? 😦

So here are some tips to help you out:

Celery w/ peanut butter and pretzels can go a long way!

Theme Park Tip #1: PACK YOUR OWN FOOD. This is the most important tip of all. Having a lunchbox full of healthy munchies is the trick to resisting temptation. Most of the time, you are not actually hungry and just want to eat because you are tempted by the sights and smells: having your own nuts, veggies or fruits can stave the craving. Pack sandwiches so you don’t have to buy a high calorie lunch.

Theme Park Tip #2: STAY HYDRATED. Carry a water bottle and take a few sips every 15 minutes. When you’re dehydrated you often mistake it for hunger, causing you to mindlessly munch on things that will derail your diet. Stay fueled on water and you might even feel too full even nibble on the things you brought yourself – it’s amazing what a little H2O can do. And since you are in the sun for long periods of time, drinking lots of water is essential.

Theme Park Tip #3: POSITIVE THOUGHTS. A lot of the time, my own silly nut bars

My new boyfriend Flash!

were not enough to keep me from wanting a huge plate of churros with chocolate sauce. But then I looked at the people eating them, and thought twice. I thought of the obesity in America that was fueled by places just like this. I kept thinking “You are stronger than a plate of junk, you have come this far and you’re having fun anyway, so why waste all that for a few minutes of indulgence?” Keep your eye on the prize!

Theme Park Tip #4: DON’T CARRY MONEY. Just bring enough with you to buy your entrance ticket and maybe play a few games. If you have lots of extra cash on hand, you’ll be far more likely to splurge on the goodies in sight. If you have no money, you can’t afford them anyway!

My brother & I on the carousel. I chose to ride the awesome chicken!

Theme Park Tip #5: STAY ACTIVE. This is a given when you’re in a theme park, but there are lots of little ways you can burn more calories. Walk across the park instead of taking the cable car and move your legs while you’re waiting in line. Try to avoid sitting around as much as possible, and you’ll realize that you had a healthy day full of exercise.

Staying away from theme park food will make you feel proud of yourself, and will actually keep you up and running longer – a big serving of saturated fats will leave you bloated and lazy. Walking around for hours and enjoying the rides is a lot more exciting anyway. Have a fun time!

Summer Nut Salad

Here’s something quick and easy that you can bring to the next lunch together. This salad tastes good, is packed full of nutritious nuts and is not too filling. Light and cooling, it’s the perfect side dish for a meal in the sun.

Step 1) Roast sunflower seeds and cashews in a pan, spray with PAM spray and season with salt and garlic powder. This step is optional, I do it to add more flavor. If you want to create this salad quicker, you can just add the nuts without this step. 

Step 2) Chop walnuts and put on top of lettuce, along with other nuts.

Step 3) Drizzle with Cucumber Yogurt Dressing – get the recipe here –  and sprinkle parmesan cheese.

– 200 cal – This depends on the quantity of nuts you use. 

*NOTE: Use unsalted nuts for this recipe; this is what makes it healthy.

Turkey Burger with Cucumber Yogurt Dressing

With summer around the corner, people are firing up their grills and preparing the burger patties. But barbecues, although a fun social affair, can be detrimental to your healthy habits if you don’t know how to accomodate them into your eating plan. Beef burgers pack high fat and calorie content, and adding cheese and condiments makes it worse. So here is a super solution! Turkey burgers are much lower in fat content and have fewer calories, yet taste just as good and juicy. The Cucumber Yogurt Dressing is the perfect substitute for fat-filled cheese and condiments and had barely ANY calories. Put it all on half a whole wheat bun and you got yourself a light and refreshing entree that’s perfect for a hot sunny day!

FOR BURGER: 

Step 1) Place patty on George Foreman Grill.  I use the George Foreman because it’s so quick and easy and drains all excess fat from the meat, but you can put your patty on a pan or the grill with PAM non-stick spray. Just avoid using oil or butter. 

Step 2) Place half of whole wheat burger bun face down on a hot pan or grill until brown and crispy.

Step 3) Place lettuce on bun, add patty.

FOR DRESSING 

Step 1) Put all ingredients into a blender and blend for 1 – 2 minutes.

Step 2) Refrigerate for 5 – 10 minutes.

– 230 cal- This comes from the burger and the bun, the dressing has barely any calories. 

Zuchocky Muffins

Zucchini + Chocolate = Zuchocky! These muffins contain an equal amount of veggie health and chocolatey goodness, with full on yummy flavor. The zucchini gives these muffins moisture and added flavor, leaving you with a satisfying snack that you can even have instead of meals – Zuchocky for breakfast, anyone?

Step 1) Place shredded zucchini in a bowl and pour boiling water over it.

Step 2) Add flour, sweetener, cocoa, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix.

Step 3) Add eggs (already beaten in a small bowl), applesauce and vanilla extract. Mix.

Step 4) Distribute batter into a 12-space muffin tray.

Step 5) Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes (the smell will get to you! Yum!) 

– approx. 75 cal/ muffin – 

DWTS: Kirstie’s Krazy Weight Loss

For those of you who didn’t watch Dancing With the Stars’s Season 12, shame on you! The dances were spectacular and the celebrities were so talented.

Before

The actress who caught a lot of attention was Kirstie Alley – not necessarily for her dancing, but for her dramatic slim-down. She starts off the first week looking rather tubby, but as the season progressed, every week brought a new gasp. She seemed to be shedding before our eyes!

Kirstie did have a slight mishap one week, where she kept falling during practice and claimed

After

to be feeling weak. When partner Maks questioned her eating habits, she admitted she was taking in 1400 calories a day and, due to her vigorous dancing sessions, needed to eat more.

But in the end, all her hard work paid off. As of October 2010 she had lost 50 lbs, and has now lost  75 lbs in total. She’s looking so fantastic that heck, even I want to start dancing again!

Watch Kirstie’s freestyle dance: