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Healthy Easter Tips, Recipes

Enjoy your Easter celebration without ruining your diet.  Use these healthy Easter recipes and tips to make your celebration fun, festive and fit.

Calorie Counts, Swaps for Easter Candy
Weight Loss Spotlight10

Tips to Avoid Wasted Fruit and Veggies

Friday April 18, 2014

fruitDid you see the recent news reports about the rising cost of fruits and vegetables? Ugh!  According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, fresh produce will be more expensive in the coming months because of the recent drought in California.  Author Eric Morath notes that tomato prices may increase by .45 cents  bringing the cost of a pound of tomatoes to $2.84.  So where does this leave those of us who eat fresh fruit and veggies as part of a weight loss or healthy eating routine?

Tips to Avoid Wasting Fruits and Vegetables

If healthy eating is a priority, you don't want to stop buying fresh produce. Frozen and canned foods are good alternatives, but you'll get more flavor and texture from the food in its original form.  If you can shop more often and buy less at each visit, you're more likely to keep waste to a minimum.  But that isn't possible for many busy dieters.  So here are a few ideas to use what you have, waste less, and benefit from the fiber and nutrients you find in fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • Eat produce at every meal. Even if you make a microwavable meal, you can chop up your extra tomatoes or mushrooms to add flavor, fiber and other nutrients - without adding calories!
  • Make omelets. I love eggs. They are full of leucine, an amino acid that helps you build muscle and maintain a healthy metabolism. I often use my week-old veggies in omelets or egg scrambles in the morning. They add bulk to my meal without adding fat or calories.  Watching your cholesterol?  Use egg whites or egg substitute.
  • Saute and freeze everything. I always keep chicken stock in my refrigerator.  If any veggies are going bad, I saute them in stock and freeze them in small containers.  Then I add them to meals as needed.
  • Pre-slice veggies for snacks. Get organized to lose weight and save money. Avoid the convenience packs of veggies - like carrots - and buy the less expensive bulk packs instead. Then take one day per week to slice and package the food into snack packs.  Put them in the door of the fridge or on a front shelf so you see them right away when you are hungry for a snack.
  • Freeze fresh fruit. Don't throw away fruit that is going bad! Peel it and freeze it. I make diet-friendly smoothies when I'm too busy to cook.  I also just got a Yonanas Banana Ice Cream Maker that will help me turn frozen fruit into soft serve ice cream.  YUM! (I haven't tried it yet, but look for my review in the coming weeks)

Got a tip to save money on produce?  Add a comment below tweet me or visit my Facebook page and let me know what it is.

(photo source: morguefile)

How to Talk Yourself Into a More Effective Workout

Thursday April 17, 2014

effective workoutThere are hundreds of gadgets on the market that will help make your workouts more effective. If you're trying to lose weight, this is key.  You not only have to burn enough calories to manage your daily caloric intake, but you also need to burn extra calories to create an energy deficit big enough to slim down.  The whole process can seem overwhelming.

Self Talk Increases Effectiveness, Says Study

So what's the best tool to help you achieve your goals at the gym?  Your own voice, says a new study.  In new research published in Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercisers scientists confirm for the first time that positive self talk can help you to work harder and work longer during exercise.

Techniques to Improve Your Workout

Many people are skeptical about the power of self-talk.  It seems wishy-washy and for some,  it's easier to rely on expensive tech gadgets that provide hard data. But why not give this technique a try?  It's free, it's easy and there are no risks if you include it in your workout. In addition, weight loss researchers have known for some time that the way you talk to yourself about your abilities has a measurable effect on your ability to reach your goals. 

Take a week and give it a try.  Connect with me on Facebook and tell me if it worked for you.

(photo source: Medioimages/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Quick Diet Trick Helps You Eat Less

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Malory BandLooking for a simple way to eat less during the day?  A clever gadget from Great Britain might do the trick. It's called a Malory Band and it serves as a reminder to stick to your diet throughout the day.

The Malory Band is simply an adjustable cord that you wear around your waist.  You put it on in the morning, then throughout the day, if your belly expands from overeating, it serves as a reminder to back off.  According to the company, "It acts as a psychological alarm bell to your conscious mind, warning you not to over-eat."

Of course, this isn't the most sophisticated way to change your eating habits, but it might work for some dieters.  How often have you stopped eating because your jeans were getting too tight or because you had to unbutton your waistband?  The band serves a similar function.

In the United States, the Malory Band is only available through Amazon.com.  I asked a representative from the company why a dieter wouldn't just tie a ribbon around their waist rather than paying  nearly $40 for the band from the company.  They told me that aside from the fact that the band is pretty, it provides certain benefits over a ribbon.

"Our band does not stretch, will not break, snap, rot, rub or fray and doesn't retain water (so you can shower in it). Also, it's fully adjustable: the band has a unique button-hole system running its entire length. As you lose weight, you simply adjust the band to the next button-hole. This means you only ever have to buy one Malory Band and also that you can chart your progress through the number of button-holes that you have moved."

The Malory Band isn't a comprehensive diet fix and it certainly isn't the solution for everyone.  But it's a clever idea that might work for some.  I would suggest, however, that if you try the band (or simply tie a ribbon around your belly) that you examine the factors that affect your eating so that you can reach and maintain a healthy weight over the long term.

(photo source: Malory Band/Amazon)

Faith-Based Weight Loss Programs Show Promise

Tuesday April 15, 2014

faith based weight lossIf your church provides you with a sense of community and support, you may be able to use those pillars to make your weight loss program more effective.  Churches across the country are beginning to offer faith-based weight loss programs.  According to research into the programs, they often work, especially among minorities.

Get Support, Honor Your Values

So why should you go to your church to lose weight?  It might seem odd to head to the chapel instead of the gym to slim down, but in many ways it makes sense.  The people who share your faith are also most likely to share your values and your priorities.  They can offer meaningful input when you are struggling to maintain your commitment to a diet or exercise program.  In addition, these are people who you are likely to see on a regular basis when you attend services.  Seeing and communicating with them may help to hold you accountable.

Find or Start a Faith Based Weight Loss Program

If you are ready to lose weight, ask your local pastor or rabbi if there is a weight loss program in your community.  If not, consider starting one.  You don't need to be an expert to begin.  Simply gather friends and members of the congregation to meet and share recipes, walk or participate in other physical activities, and communicate about diet successes and failures.  The group can also follow any of my free e-courses together and support each other through the process.

And remember to connect with me on Facebook, on Twitter, at Google+ and through my newsletter.

(photo source: morguefile)

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