Fat to Fit at 59

My quest to lose 50 pounds in 150 days. (Now that you know about it, I'm committed.)

Day 81—Dining Out: Healthy Choices February 4, 2010

It IS possible to find great-tasting, healthy restaurant meals.

Rush here, rush there—By the time your day is done, you’re exhausted and just want to … you know, “Have A Break Today!” and grab something to eat on the way home.

Take heart. You can give yourself a break, and still stay on your healthy eating plan. Here are a few healthy eat-out options:

Applebees: Offers low-point (Weight Watchers) choices in appetizer, dessert and entree categories.

Chili’s: Nutritional information for lower-fat Guiltless Grill selections are listed on the menu.

Jack in the Box: The chicken fajita pita has only 10 grams of fat. Without the shredded cheese it plummets to 3 grams.

Olive Garden: Offers whole wheat linguine, which has three times more fiber and about 17% fewer carbohydrates than traditional pasta.

Pizza Hut: Fit N Delicious Pizza, which contains less cheese and more sauce, contains as little as 3.5 g fat per slice.

Schlotzky’s:

  • Zesty albacore tuna wrap—311 calories, 7 g fat
  • Chinese chicken salad—127 calories, 3 g fat
  • Fresh fruit salad—123 calories, 1 g fat

Taco Bell: Ordering your entrée “fresco style” (salsa instead of cheese and sauce) cuts fat and calories by about 25%.

Wendy’s: Grilled chicken without the mayo contains just 310 calories and 8 grams of fat.

So on those nights when you just can’t stand the thought of cooking on top of everything else you’ve done all day, go ahead. Give yourself a break.  😉   Just take a minute to check your options and make a healthy choice.

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Day 74—Healthy Pizza: NOT An Oxymoron January 27, 2010

Here's a healthy pizza recipe, compliments of my daughter Lauren.

It’s time for a great-tasting and healthy recipe. Feel free to make it your own by modifying ingredients to suit your tastes! And, feel free to comment and let everyone else in on your new secret recipes!

Lauren’s Healthy Pizza

1 whole wheat Boboli pizza crust
1 tsp. EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
1 tsp. minced garlic
spinach (fresh)
turkey pepperoni (about 40 pieces)
1 large tomato – diced
1 cup mozzarella cheese
crushed red pepper
Italian seasoning / basil / oregano (whichever you prefer)
* Preheat your pizza stone-I think the Boboli directions say 450 (check package to be sure). If you don’t have one, use a baking pan.
* While it’s preheating, brush EVOO all over top of crust
* Spread garlic evenly all over crust
* Cover entire crust with 1-2 layers of spinach leaves (depends on how much you like spinach & how much extra nutrition you want—I see no crust when I’m done with the spinach)
* Cover entire crust with turkey pepperoni—I literally have all pepperoni pieces touching from the edge of the crust to the middle—I want every ingredient in every bite. Just a personal issue, I guess 😉
* Spread/drop tomato evenly across pizza (no need for pizza sauce—the fresh tomato will make up for it)
* Evenly cover with mozzarella cheese
* Sprinkle crushed red pepper and/or Italian seasonings as desired
* Bake 8-10 minutes (according to package directions)

Here’s the nutritional info—Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Lauren’s Healthy Pizza

4 Servings

Amount Per Serving
Calories 198.4
Total Fat 10.3 g
Saturated Fat 5.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g
Cholesterol 51.9 mg
Sodium 816.4 mg
Potassium 306.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 9.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Sugars 0.4 g
Protein 18.0 g
 

Day 57—Potluck? Good Luck January 11, 2010

What tips can you add to the list below?

I attended a monthly potluck yesterday. Naturally, the thought occurred to me, How do I keep on track when there are sooooo many scrumptious offerings to choose from?

Here are 6 strategies for avoiding potluck remorse:

1. Pre-eat. Before you go, eat a small amount so you’re not ravenous as you walk the potluck line.

2. Be the Goody Two Shoes. Take a healthy dish. Vegetables and healthy side dishes are always in short supply at potlucks—but much appreciated by those of us who are watching our weight.

3. Avoid the choose blues. Select the healthy versions: a whole wheat roll instead of white; the brown rice dish instead of the white… You do have options. Exercise them.

4. Exercise portion control. When so many options clamor to be sampled, try taking smaller (start with half a spoonful) samplings. You can always go back for a larger helping of a favorite.

5. Take your time. Savor the conversation and eat your meal slowly so your brain can keep up with your belly and register “FULL” before you’ve consumed everything on your plate.

6. Un-friend the Clean Plate Club. Once and for all, admit to yourself that the starving children will not be saved if you finish everything you’ve taken. But you might be saved if you don’t.

Until tomorrow, stay confident and resolute! We can do this! And if you have tips to add, be sure to comment!  😉

 

Day 56—Beware The Nutritional Analysis January 10, 2010

Nutritional labels aren't always what they seem.

If you depend on the accuracy of nutrition labels for your food diary and your weight loss strategy, you need to know that they’re not always accurate. According to ABC News yesterday morning, the FDA allows for a whopping 20 percent variation in labels’ accuracy!

So if your frozen diet dinner says it contains 350 calories, it may legally contain as much as 420. (Or, to be fair, as little as 280—but I wouldn’t count on it!  😉 Does that make me a cynic? If so, so be it.)

The reason: Food really does vary in composition. (Read: A green bean is not a green bean is not a green bean.) But ABC’s research found that food labels varied by as much as 31%—way over the legal leeway. So beware the trusted food label. I’ll put the nutrition label in the same category that I put the expiration date: a guideline, not an absolute.

 

Day 55—Dairy And Berries January 9, 2010

Try this quick and easy smoothie. Photo from sparkpeople.com.

Sometimes ya just gotta have a sweet snack. What better boost for your energy than dairy and berries?

I posted my favorite smoothie recipe on SparkPeople.com—http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=873136 . All you need are berries and milk, and 2 or 3 ice cubes. You can use whatever combination of berries you like or have on hand, and sweeten it if and to whatever degree you like.

Here’s the nutitional breakdown:

With sugar      Without sugar

140                    116          calories

0.7                     0.7          g fat

2.4                     2.4          mg cholesterol

66.3                   66.3       mg sodium

30.3                   24.3       g carbohydrate

5.5                      5.5          g fiber

5.1                      5.1           g protein

I hope you enjoy it!

 

Day 53—Pile Your Plate January 7, 2010

You'd be amazed how much you can eat ... if you just eat the right things.

Tonight I ate a meatless meal. My plate was full—and it was a big plate. And, I ate a bowl of salad. My total calorie count? 557. That was counting the generous slice of (delicious!) homemade whole wheat bread (Thanks, Shellie!) with butter, and a carton of yogurt with fruit.

That’s about one-third of my daily calorie goal. And that’s about half of my usual dinner’s worth when meat is on the menu.

My challenge seems to be the protein factor. Even with meat in the meal, my protein tally tends to fall short. I guess that means I need to eat more beans, nuts/peanut butter and nonfat or lowfat dairy and eggs.

How do you reach your protein goals? Share, please! 😉

 

Day 33—Holiday Treat Temptations December 18, 2009

Is there such a thing as weight-friendly holiday treats?

I believe there is such a thing, to a degree. Take these peppermint meringues. Pretty much egg whites mixed with sugar, with crushed candy canes sprinkled on top. Granted, they’re not sugar-free (although I wonder about making them with Splenda or something similar??).

Here’s the recipe and the nutritional breakdown:

Peppermint meringues

Whites of 2 eggs at room temperature

1/8 tsp each of salt, cream of tartar

1/2 c sugar

2 crushed peppermint candy canes (red and/or green)

Heat oven to 225 degrees F. Beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar ’til soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. Gradually beat in sugar, beat 5-6 minutes ’til smooth and glossy. Drop teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet (lined with foil or brown paper), close together. Lightly sprinkle the crushed candy canes over. Bake 1 1/2 hrs. Turn oven off and let cool with oven door ajar. Loosen with metal spatula or peel off gently. Store loosely covered in cool, dry place (tin works great). Makes 3-4 dz.

Nutritional Info: Serving size one meringue.

Calories: 15

Fat: 0

Cholesterol: 0

Sodium: 11.5 mg

Potassium: 4.8 mg

Total carbohydrates: 3.6 g

Dietary fiber: 0

Sugars: 3.3 g

Protein: 0.3 g