Category Archives: Diet & Nutrition Tips

The Amazing 63 Calorie Quiche

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Daisy Cottage Cheese. 

63 Calorie Quiche RecipeEating healthy is always easier when you plan ahead. Part of my planning ahead includes making a healthy breakfast that’s easy to heat and eat! This week, my breakfast of choice is a low-fat spinach quiche made with Daisy low-fat cottage cheese.

One thing I love about adding Daisy Cottage Cheese to my quiche is because it’s packed with protein (13gms per 1/2 cup 90 calorie serving). Since I like to get the majority of my protein from whole foods, Daisy Cottage Cheese is a great way to boost protein in your diet naturally. (FYI: Daisy Cottage Cheese has no preservatives, thickeners or additives and only has ingredients, where other brands have more than 10).

Shopping Tip: Look for the LIGHT blue lid (that’s the low fat one. Daisy’s regular cottage cheese has a dark blue lid). Also, alway look at ingredients when shopping. Less is more!  I took a photo of the ingredients for Daisy (below left) compared to another popular brand (below right). Look at all the extra ingredients. Who wants to eat Xanthan gum and Guar gum? lol

Daisy Cottage Cheese Daisy Cottage Cheese

63 Calorie Quiche

Daisy Cottage Cheese

16oz Bag of Defrosted & Drained Spinach
1 Cup Egg Beaters
2 Cups Low-Fat Daisy Cottage Cheese
1/2 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 Cup Crushed Crackers or Croutons
6 1 Medium Tomato, Diced
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Cook the spinach in a pan and drain well. Mix spinach in with all the ingredients. Pour in well greased muffin pan (I use Pam) and cook on 325 for 45 minutes. The recipe makes 12 63-calorie yummy low-fat, high-protein, low-carb mini quiches! BAM!

Change it up

63 Calorie Quiche RecipeUse this same recipe and just make some subtle changes to make your own new creations. Swap cheddar cheese for feta cheese or tomatoes for mushrooms. Change spinach for broccoli or asparagus. Dress your recipe up but adding a sliced cherry tomato on top. Don’t care about calories? Use 2 cups of cheese instead of 1/2 cup of cheese to richen the recipe (NOTE: that will make each quiche 120 calories instead of 63 calories).

Nutritional Information

Enjoy 2 quiches for only 125 calories, 16.4g of protein, 3.9g carbs and 4.8g fat. Look at this awesome pie graph! See all that light blue – that’s ALL PROTEIN!! WOOOT!

63 Calorie Quiche Recipe

I log my recipes in the LoseIt app to track calories and nutrients. What I love about making quiche in a muffin pan is that I have 12 perfect individualized portions, making tracking calories a breeze!

10 Ways to Cook With Cottage Cheese

cottage cheese recipesIf you are like me, and aren’t a big fan of eating cottage cheese solo, here are some great ways to enjoy the benefits of Daisy Cottage Cheese to eat healthier, reduce calories and boost protein.

1. Use cottage cheese instead of sour cream to add creaminess and a bunch of protein to a baked potato.

2. Use cottage cheese to thicken homemade dressings (using blender)

3. Use cottage cheese in place of Ricotta cheese in Italian dishes. (90 calories per half cup vs 216 calories)

4. Add a nice dollop of cottage cheese to a salad.

5. Use pureed cottage cheese instead of sour cream for a creamy healthier chip dip

6. Add cottage cheese to your smoothie for a creamier protein shake with even more protein.

7. Use cottage cheese in place of oil when baking.

8. Use cottage cheese instead of mayo when making tuna salad. (Puree it to make it creamy if you don’t like it chunky)

9. Mix cottage cheese with salt, pepper and herbs for a yummy and healthy cracker spread.

10. Mix or layer with fresh pineapple, apple sauce, peaches, pear or mandarin oranges and top with a dollop of whipped cream for a healthy dessert or breakfast.

HOW DO YOU EAT COTTAGE CHEESE?

twitter chatJoin us in our Twitter Chat! Daisy wants to know how you “Power Your Way Through the Day”. Getting the proper fuel we need can be hard on the go. Getting protein, outside of eating meat or having a protein shake, can also be challenging. Daisy Cottage Cheese is the perfect protein source. Daisy is extremely versatile and can help power your breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and pre/post workout. Learn more about the Daisy Difference April 10, 2014 at 9:00 pm EST #DaisyDifference! See you there!

 

Diet Tip: Eat More Veggies, Eat More Food

You can have 1 oz of pasta and have a big empty plate OR you can have 2-3 times the amount of veggies for the same amount of calories. Check it out!

calories in pasta

Trade 1/2 cup of pasta for 1 FULL Cup of:

1. Asparagus: 27 calories
2. Broccoli: 35 calories
3. Brussel Sprouts: 38 calories
4. Cabbage: 41 calories
5. Cooked Cabbage: 65 calories
6. Cauliflower: 23 calories
7. Lettuce: 8 calories
8. Fresh Spinach: 20 calories
9. Cooked Spinach: 41 calories
10. Cooked Collard Greens: 62 calories

The less high-carb foods you eat, the MORE you can eat. Avoid large amounts of pasta, potato, rice, beans & bread. Increase green veggies to increase portions without INCREASING your waistline!

 

GREEN FOR GOOD LUCK: 25 Low-Cal Low-Glycemic Greens

25 Greens to get u leanIf you want to eat healthy, and store less fat, start eating more low-glycemic foods. Foods that have a higher glycemic index (like potatoes, rice and corn) increase your blood sugar, and are higher in calories too. High-glycemic foods don’t tend to last as long in our system, therefore have a chance of being stored as fat quicker. A lower-glycemic food will stay in your system longer so you have more chance of burning it up, and using it for energy. Low-glycemic foods will also help you keep your blood sugar more stable, which means a nice steady flow of lasting energy. All in all, low-glycemic foods have a lot of perks – especially for weight loss!

(Read this article to learn more about the Glycemic Index by the Mayo Clinic.)

Tip: Choose lower-glycemic foods for snacks and dinner (since you want to keep calories low for snacks and you don’t need a lot of calories (energy) to sleep). Eat high-glycemic carbs during the morning or middle of the day (so you have a chance to use that blood sugar for working, working out and staying active).

Low-Calorie Low-Glycemic Greens 

Try adding these greens to your grocery list and daily menu.

  1. Green veggiesArugula  (salad greens)
  2. Asparagus
  3. Bean sprouts
  4. Broccoli
  5. Brussels sprouts
  6. Cabbage
  7. Celery
  8. Chicory (salad greens)
  9. Cucumber
  10. Endive (salad greens)
  11. Escarole (salad greens)
  12. Green Beans
  13. Green Onions
  14. Greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip)
  15. Iceberg lettuce
  16. Kohlrabi
  17. Okra
  18. Pea pods
  19. Peppers (green)
  20. Romaine
  21. Spinach
  22. Sugar snap peas
  23. Swiss chard
  24. Watercress (salad greens)
  25. Zucchini

High Glycemic Index Vegetables (over 60)  LIMIT THESE

  • artichokes
  • carrot
  • corn
  • dried beans
  • lima beans
  • oyster plant
  • parsnips
  • potato
  • squash
  • sweet potato
  • yam

31 Days of Motivation: What’s Your Body’s Balance?

the scaleHave you ever looked at your checking account and been surprised to see the balance was lower than you expected it to be. I think we’ve all been there before. At first you think, “there’s no way I spent that much money”. Then, as you look further, you begin to uncover all the small stuff that created the big problem.

It’s funny how the little stuff adds up so quickly, and the same applies to our diet. It’s all the extras that can get us in trouble. Condiments, salad dressings, snacks, cream and sugar – they all add a lot of extra calories to our diet. Unfortunately most people have no idea how many calories they are taking in.

scaleDieting is all about checks and balances. The only difference is, most of us don’t ‘balance’ our diet account to see where we stand. That habit would never fly when it comes to our money. Most of us can’t afford to just keep writing checks without reconciling our account. The truth is we really can’t afford to ignore how much we eat either. Eventually it will catch up with you.

We can fool ourselves into thinking we don’t have to count calories, but just because we don’t count them doesn’t mean that the calories aren’t there. The only difference is no one is there to cut you off once you’ve gone ‘over the limit’ like the bank does when you are in the red.

Managing calories is like writing a budget. It takes a little time in the beginning, but as you begin to journal your food, you quickly learn what you can and cannot afford to eat. The good news is, unlike managing your bank account, you don’t have to do it forever. Part of the initial discipline is just a learning process.

You may be a good steward of you money, but are you a good steward over your body? Your body is the most valuable asset you have. Maybe it’s time to do some checks and balances with your health this year.

31 Days of Motivation: Why Calories Count

calories countWouldn’t it be nice if every food item came with a label on it? If only we knew how many calories were each home-cooked meal, baked good and menu item, many of us would make much better decisions. The hardest part about dieting is trying to guess how many calories are in these types of foods. We tend to underestimate calories when we leave it up to our own guess work. We want to believe certain foods are OK to eat. Then after we talk our self in to believing we’ve made the right choice we expect to lose weight as if our guess was always accurate.

I made a major mistake one time that enlightened me on this very subject. I picked up a low-calorie snack on a recent road trip. I noticed the snack was a little over 200 calories. I wasn’t too thrilled about this since I try to keep my snacks to 150 calories or less but I thought I should bring it in case I got hungry. I found myself picking up the snack while I was driving along, re-reading the package over and over – contemplating whether it was worth it or not. I ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it and would prefer to eat something better later. 

I decided to stop at Starbucks to stretch my legs and refuel my body with a fat-free sugar-free latte. I found myself staring at the pastry case looking for anything that could be the least bit healthy. The store had only one “healthy” item – ‘no sugar added’ banana nut bread (AKA: Cake). I thought that would be an OK choice. Besides, it had real bananas and whole nuts in it which sure beat my processed 200 calorie snack. The bread was larger than my wimpy snack so, even if it had a few more calories, I thought it would be worth it. I love how I try to talk myself into feeling good about my decision, but this was my thought process.

After I ate the snack I began to feel a little guilty, second guessing my choice so I looked up the calories for that banana nut bread and found that my little ‘no sugar added treat’ had over 475 calories and 30 grams of fat!! That’s more calories than an entire lean cuisine meal. I couldn’t believe it! I knew it was probably a little higher than my 200 calorie snack, but I had no idea it was going to be more than twice the calories. In addition I had my fat-free sugar-free latte which was 180 calories so in one quick trip to the coffee shop I had over 655 FREAKIN’ CALORIES! This little boo-boo would probably take me about 6 miles to erase! Ugh!

I am sure I’m not alone here. I hear stories like this all the time in the gym, but mistakes like this can be EASILY prevented. It’s simple: If you are dieting and you don’t know how many calories are in a particular food – DON’T EAT IT. It’s not worth throwing away your hard work in the gym and all your other sacrifices you make to control your caloric intake.

Dieters eating food without knowing how many calories is in it is like shoppers shopping for items that have no prices on them. How in the world are you supposed to know if you can “afford” something or not? How in the WORLD are you supposed to make an intelligent decision if you have no knowledge to base your decision on? You can’t! Like me, you can fool yourself into thinking something is okay for you – but just because you don’t know how many calories is in something doesn’t mean they aren’t there. And, like our poor spending habits reflect on our bank statement – your poor choices will eventually reflect on the scale.

The moral of this story: Know what you are eating or don’t eat what you don’t know – because what you don’t know can hurt you!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to get more diet & fitness tips! Also, be sure to connect with me on facebook & twitter for fun fit tweets! :)

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Sweet and Spicy Turkey Quinoa Chili

turkey quinoa chiliAs many of you know, I’m not a huge “recipe follower”. I own measuring cups and spoons but rarely use them. I like to start with a thought and build my creation as I go, with my mind (and tongue) as my only guide. With that said, I decided to make some Chili Sunday. Although I can’t tell you EXACTLY what I put in it (but, don’t fret, I will try!), I can tell you about a discovery I made that was a huge success – RED QUINOA!

I’ve been cooking with quinoa for a while now and have added to meatloaf, salads, burgers, rice and all kinds of stuff – so why not chili right? That’s what I was thinking!! My chili was becoming a little too soupy and I wanted to thicken it up a bit. As I started to think about what I wanted to add to it, quinoa popped in my head.

I cooked up 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water, and added the cooked quinoa to my huge pot of chili. It was AWESOME!! It blended with the ground turkey very well and gave it a great hearty consistency. Here’s (approximately) what I threw in the pot if you’d like to give it a try!

My Un-Recipe Turkey Quinoa Chili Recipe

  • turkey quinoa chili 2.5lbs of ground turkey
  • 2 cans of Rotel diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 large can tomato paste
  • One small onion
  • 3 small sweet peppers (red, yellow & orange)
  • 3 cans of medium chili beans
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1 cup of frozen fresh organic corn
  • 1 cup uncooked red quinoa (cooked as directed prior to adding)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • A few shakes of your favorite hot sauce
  • Brown Sugar or Stevia to sweeten (to taste – I used both)
  • Cumin, Chili power, salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper, cayenne pepper & all that jazz. I did my own thing, but you could just use a chili seasoning pack to make it simple.

I cooked this chili nearly all day. I like to serve it the NEXT day! It’s just always SO more flavorful the next day!! Let all those seasonings soak in for a phenomenal chili! Top with light sour cream for a peace of heaven. Yes, I’m literally eating a bowl RIGHT NOW!!!! yummmmmmmmmm

diet tipDIET TIP: Track calories by adding ALL the ingredients up (I use the recipe builder in the LoseIT app, putting the total amount and weight of everything). Add how many servings it will serve (you can do this based on how many ounces or quarts your pot is, and divide it by cups so each cup is a set amount of calories so you can easily track each cup). Once you have the recipe in your app, you will always have the calories for that meal! If you are like me, you stick to the same favorite recipes anyway, so you won’t have to build too many recipes. If it seems too hard to track challenging recipes, stick to whole foods while you are dieting (a meat, a veggie, etc) until you get the swing of managing calories while cooking mutli-ingredient recipes like this one. Remember, just because you don’t  know how many calories something is, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Moderation is key – but in order to know how MUCH you can have, you need to know how MANY calories it has! :)

CLICK HERE for more information, recipes and nutrition tips on Quinoa!

31 Days of Motivation: The 1st Step to Fitness Success

Surrender to Win: Part 1

In this 2-part blog, I will be talking about surrender, deliverance and denying ourself. I know, you are probably already looking for the EXIT key. Believe me, it may not be the motivational words you think you want to hear, but they are words (packed with truths) I believe you need to hear before you can chase your goals and begin to really change once and for  all. By the time you are done with these 2 blogs, I believe (if you apply them) it truly can change your life. With that said, put on to your big-girl (or boy) britches and get ready for some tough talk.

SURRENDER

sur·ren·der  (s-rndr)
1. To relinquish possession or control of to another because of demand or compulsion.
2. To give up in favor of another.
3. To give up or give back (something that has been granted): surrender a contractual right.
4. To give up or abandon: surrender all hope.
5. To give over or resign (oneself) to something, as to an emotion: surrendered himself to grief.

In order to change, you must first surrender the things that have kept you from your goals so you can become who you want to be. You may need to surrender certain food, or surrender your time, so you can exercise more. You may need to surrender laziness and decide that is not who you want to be anymore. Whatever your goals, I guarantee it will require a certain level of surrendering.

Deliverance vs. Surrender

desperateI believe many people are waiting around to be miraculously delivered from their addictions, struggles, weight, health, financial stress, bad habits and selfish ways. They might even pray for deliverance, that God would just take away their desires completely. I personally believe, most of us can’t be delivered until we first surrender.

Seriously, think about it this way. If you are holding on to something SO tight, how hard is it for it to be pulled away from you? It would be very difficult. However, as you loosen your grip, it becomes easier to take away (not that God needs to workout harder so he can win an arm wrestling match). But how fair is it to ask God to rip something out of your hands that you refuse to let go of? Even if He did take it from you, if your mind hasn’t let go and you will likely just take it right back.

We have to surrender. We have to take the first step and let go – in our mind, in our heart and in our actions. It may take weeks or months of letting go before you are completely delivered. You may have to let go every morning and decide to continue surrendering certain things every single day of your life.

tradeoffLook at the first and second definitions of surrender. It explains surrender is often used in reference of giving up something for something else, something better. Surrendering to either avoid something bad, or in favor of something good. In war, someone may surrender (or wave the white flag) to save their life. In that case, a warrior may even lose his rights to land or freedom (something that is rightfully his), but it’s a trade-off. The same applies for us in many cases.

surrenderWe have the right to eat whatever we want. We have the right to say whatever we want. We have the right to be as fat and lazy as we want ….BUT that doesn’t make it right or best for us. We choose to surrender those things in order to have life (and a better, happier, more peaceful and joyous, healthy life).

Of course most of us are not held at gunpoint, forcing us to choose and wave the white flag, but there comes a time in our life where we come to the end of ourselves. We get tired of feeling bad. We get tired of the repercussions of our poor choices. Then we finally realize that surrendering is the only way to deliverance – AND that it will be SO worth it!

Warning signs you may be in bondage with food:

Here are some warning signs you need to take your relationship with food more seriously and make some serious changes (surrendering) in order to WIN the fight with fat once and for all!

  1. bondageWhen you are stressful, blue, mad, sad or excited – you reach for food. It’s your coping strategy.
  2. You panic if you can’t have it.
  3. You plan your whole diet around still trying to have certain foods or beverages.
  4. You focus on adding good habits, to avoid getting rid of bad ones.
  5. You look for fitness, diet plans, supplements and diet pills that allow you to keep doing/eating what you want. You buy every gimmick you see. (Why do you think stupid gimmicks like the “Cookie Diet”, “The Ab Belt” & Diet Pills does well? Because they prey on this type of person.)
  6. You work out more than you need to, to make up for eating more than you are supposed to.
  7. You can’t control yourself around it. If you have one, you have to have 5. If you can’t control yourself around something, then it is more than an indulgence, it’s an addiction.
  8. You binge. Maybe you deny yourself something, and when you finally do give in you go crazy.
  9. It is always on your mind. You talk about it, think about it, plan your day around it.
  10. You think you need it to be happy.

Homework (for the brave and determined:

While I’m not expert of food addiction, I can tell you that I’ve seen plenty of people be fully delivered from their prior addictions. You don’t have to fight a chemical dependency like a cocaine addict, but in some ways you likely have developed a coping strategy and a dependency on food to help you through life – to comfort you, to reward yourself, etc. In a way, food addiction is just an extreme bad habit that can be broken. Breaking habits take work, a lot of practice and a lot of introspection. So be honest with yourself and be openminded to the idea that your weight issue (or food/drink issue) is more than just a luxury you aren’t willing to part with – it could be more serious. If you treat is seriously, you CAN conquer it. However, the same way you can’t expect to put a bandaid on cancer and it heal, you can’t put a bandaid on a food addiction and expect it to go away. Some things must be cut out, removed, treated, operated on – until it’s GONE. :)

  1. What are the things (types of food, alcohol or habits) you need to surrender?
  2. Do you admit you are powerless around food, or certain types of food or drink? (this is actually the first step to recovery for true addicts. And it typically takes a while before someone come to grips with acknowledging they really are powerless. However, if you haven’t been able to give “it” up yet, it’s likely you are truly addicted to “it” or the lifestyle. Once you realize you are powerless, then you can begin “treatment” to gain back control.
  3. How do you plan to “let go” of these things? You have to know what this is going to look like. You also need to realize there’s a reward – you have to lose something to gain something (even better).
  4. What kind of support do you need? Are you willing to get the help you need no matter the cost (time, money, effort)? Put it this way, if you had cancer, would you do whatever it takes to get help?
  5. What actions and guidelines can you apply in your life that can help prevent you from falling into temptation. Drug addicts might change phones so drug dealers or friends don’t have their number anymore. They would quit frequenting their favorite hang outs, and start spending time with people who are on the same path. They would not allow whatever it is they are addicted to to be in the house, or around them. They would go to weekly meetings and they would join a 12-step program to learn what their triggers are so they can identify signs they may act out. They would require their friends and family to be supportive – and they too may join groups to learn how to be more supportive and understanding.

Note (the good news):

Realize, while some people will never be completely free from an addiction, as you separate yourself from the things that have ruled your life, it is likely those things will become less and less important to you. Over time, a rich food will likely not taste as good to you. Feeling healthy will feel SO good that you will know there is no comparison to your old past and old ways – so it will be easier to “say no”. The same way an true addict goes through withdrawals in the beginning, the hardest part will be the beginning of your journey. It will get easier, but also like an addict, you must never let down your guard. You have to guard yourself against things that can sabotage progress, as well as guard yourself against those same things when you reach your goal to avoid a relapse.

Next Up: Don’t forget to read tomorrow’s blog for PART 2 of this series. Subscribe (above right) to get notified when blogs are posted.

Scariest Candy: Tricks to the Treats

Some food just go straight to my BUTT! (Sorry, I know this picture is hideous and you will probably not be able to get this image out of your mind for a bit. But, like Larry the Cable guy says, Loooord, I apologiiiize) :)

Why can candy go straight to your backside? Because, unlike most food that actually has some nutrients in it, candy is nothing but useless empty calories that would love to hitch a ride on your favorite trouble spot – like your butt!

We are about to enter one Holiday after the other, and if you aren’t careful, you WILL pack on the pounds with the extra fluff calories “just because it’s a Holiday”. Halloween candy starts the vicious cycle of an endless flow of crap entering our homes – from candy to pumpkin pie. And we have 9 weeks of these crazy calorie-filled celebrations, ending with New Year’s Day, which is when we all seem to finally realize just how bad we blew it!

Be In Control

How bad is Halloween Candy? I mean, they are all just little bite size pieces so what’s a few pieces, right? WRONG!! There are 40-100 whopping calories in almost every bite size Halloween treat from Snicker Bar to Sweet Tarts – that’s an average of 70 calories a treat.

Tricks to Treats for Adults

RULES! We MUST have rules. If you are watching your weight, whether you like it or not, every calorie counts. If you really want chocolate, are you willing to shave the calories off your meal or drinks to “afford it”?  How many treats can you have without blowing your diet and allowing it to change your physique? The key is realizing you can’t just eat more if you want your body to remain the same. You have to make a trade off, and you must hold yourself accountable. Just because you don’t look up the calories doesn’t mean they aren’t there. They are there – and they will cost you a price (and I’m here to tell you what that cost is).

The average Jack-O-Lantern bucket holds about 250 pieces of candy, totaling approximately 9,000 calories and three pounds of sugar. (California Milk Processors Board)

Tricks to Treats for Kids

What are your Halloween candy rules for your kids? Do you just let them dive into the candy bowl anytime they want? Even if they are skin and bones – what is this teaching them? It’s saying there are no limitations – and that will change as they grow up. Teach them NOW how to make good choices. By limiting how many treats they can have, they learn to not just eat whatever they grab, but they learn to pick their favorites and make each bite count. This is a very practical lesson we all learn with life – money, food, purchases, etc. It is important they learn the same discipline with eating than you would teach at the toy store.

Just 5 bite size pieces of candy could be more calories than a 6-inch sub or a baked potato, chili and salad at Wendys! 

I know we don’t think of a few pieces of candy that way – but that’s the truth. Here are 5 tips for your family, and caloric information for popular Halloween treats.

5 Tips to for your Trick-or-Treater

halloween candy tips1.) Keep their tank full. Make sure your child aren’t hungry BEFORE it’s candy time. You both need REAL food, not JUNK food! It is super important to keep your family’s tank full of real fuel while you have sweet temptations in the house.

2.) Make treats TREATS. Each bite should be special. Let your kids know they can have a treat after dinner or after the complete a task. Tell them how many pieces they can have and let them choose which pieces they get to eat.

3.) Take the time to teach. Use the information below to reference calories and show them how many calories are in candy versus whole food. For example, 30 grapes are 60 calories, an entire small green apple is 77 calories, a banana is 90 calories, 6 cups of popcorn is 100 calories or an entire cucumber with vinegar, salt and pepper is 45 calories. Give your child options like “you can have 150 calories in treats. Which would you prefer: 4 pieces of candy or 1 piece of candy and a bag of 100 calorie popcorn. This is super helpful for the tweens to help them prepare for the real world and making healthy choices.

Family fitness4.) Talk about the price of food. We talk about how much items cost when shopping, it is just as important to teach your kids the cost of food. Let your children know how much work it takes to burn off what you eat. For example, it takes approximately 1 mile to walk off 100 calories. Although they may not need to worry about this right now, it’s great to show them that you have to worry about it, and that is is reality for many people trying to manage their weight. It takes 3,500 calories to gain 1LB of fat – that’s 1 1/2 pieces of candy each day for 30 days or 50 pieces of candy for the month. That’s equal to 35 miles  to erase, which would be an average of just under 9 extra miles a week.

5.) Make the candy go the distance. If you decide to keep the candy in the house, only keep a little candy actually out and keep the rest in the freezer so your family can have an occasional treat for weeks, instead of gorging yourselves for a few days. If your family has a weight issue, it’s just best to keep a few pieces and give the rest away.

Fun-Size Facts

The average kid can easily consume 10 – 20 bite sized pieces of candy. Let’s cut that down to only 5 pieces for this demonstration. Since all the calories below are for bite size pieces, we don’t realize how fast it adds up until you actually bring out the calculator.

5 FUN SIZE TREATS:
1 Reese Peanut Butter Pumpkin Halloween Treat
1 Mini pack of Peanut M&Ms
1 Bite Size Snickers
1 Mini bag of Skittles
1 Mini Pack of Candy Corn
503 KING SIZE CALORIES!

Bite-Size Chocolate Treats:

Top Candy Sales: Reese’s took the number one spot with sales of just under $510 million in the past year. M&M’s trailed behind as the runner up with sales of $500.82 million, and Snickers came in at number three with past year sales of $456.91 million. (24/7 Wall St.’s list of America’s top 10 chocolate treats.)

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins (34 g) – 180 calories
  • Butterfinger Crisp Bar, Snack size (20 g) – 100 calories
  • M&Ms, peanut – 93 calories
  • Mr. Goodbar Snack size (17 g) – 90 calories
  • M&Ms, plain, Fun size (18 g) – 88 calories
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (snack size (17 g) – 88 calories
  • Baby Ruth Bar, Fun size (18 g each) – 85 calories
  • Butterfinger Bar, Fun size (18 g each) – 85 calories
  • Snickers, Fun Size (18g) – 80 calories
  • Almond Joy Snack size (15 g) – 80 calories
  • Heath Bar, Snack size (13 g) – 74 calories
  • Kit Kat, Fun size (14 g) – 73 calories
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars – Fun size (14 g) – 67 calories
  • Tootsie Roll – 50 calories
  • Raisenetts – 53 calories
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (miniature) – 44 calories
  • Hershey’s Miniature Bars (mixed) – average of 42 calories
  • Hershey Kisses – 26 calories
  • Mini Musketeers – 25 calories

Hard, Sweet, Tart, Chewy or Fruity Bites:

  • Skittles - Fun size (20 g) – 80 calories
  • Candy Corn – 70 calories
  • Mini Dots – 70 calories
  • Jolly Rancher Lolly Pops – 60 calories
  • Jucyfruits – 9 pieces – 60 calories and 16 g carb
  • Tootsie Pops – 60 calories
  • Lifesavers Gummies (2 rolls per ounce) – 52 calories
  • Blow Pop, Junior – 50 calories
  • Wonka Nerds – small box (13 g) – 50 calories
  • Chewy Sweat Tarts – 50 calories
  • Hot Tamales – 50 calories
  • Starburst, Fun size (2 pieces per stick) – 40 calories
  • Laffy Taffy, Chocolate, small bars (8 g each) – 32 calories
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Dieters Scream on Halloween: 10 Diet Tricks for Treats

HalloweenCandyBowlIt’s that time of year again (and let all dieters scream)!

If you weren’t a grumpy dieter before Halloween, being around that much candy can turn any dieter into a wicked witch in a hurry. If you aren’t grouchy from being around it, you are grouchy from guilt of giving into it. Either way, with a rise in diet and fitness awareness, it is very likely there will be a lot of witches working front door this Halloween.

If you struggle with your weight here are 10 tips to keep the candy off your thighs and grouchiness out of your heart! <3

  1. photoBuy candy you personally don’t like.
  2. Don’t over buy, to avoid leftovers.
  3. Eat a healthy big meal the night of halloween.
  4. Walk with your kids (don’t drive them),
  5. Look up the calories for every bite you eat.
  6. Have healthy snack alternatives nearby.
  7. Cut up a Designer Whey bar into bite size pieces for your own treats (pictured right).
  8. Chew gum, not candy.
  9. Do an extra cardio, and plan an active day following Halloween.
  10. Set candy rules for everyone in the house, including you.

You know, it also wouldn’t kill you to just give the candy away. One of the biggest problems wives have is feeling like they need to keep treats in the house for their husband or kids. If you are dieting and don’t want to “punish” your family, remember, candy is just not healthy. Even if the rest of your family is not overweight, that still doesn’t mean having candy in the house is good for them. Know your limits, and do what is right for your family too. Some families aren’t tempted to abuse candy in the house, while others…well, not so much.

 

Snack SMART: Breakfast, Cereal and Protein Bar Comparison

Smart BarI recently was introduced to a new kind of protein bar, called the SMART bar. If you have followed me for any length of time, it probably didn’t take long to see that I like my protein supplements.

When it comes to bars, I’m a bit picky. I want at least 10gms of protein, but I also don’t want that many calories. I also want it to taste good. I’m not going to eat cardboard just because it has protein in it. Sorry, I want to enjoy my food thank you very much. :) Ufortunately, many bars are extremely high in calories. Thank goodness, more bar companies are making smaller versions of the old 30gms-of-protein-and-a million-calories kind of bars. Even if it’s packed with protein, it normally tips the caloric scale for most calorie-conscience people. Then SMART enters the world.

Before I give you the scoop on SMART, I should tell you I have probably 5-6 types of bars in my pantry right now. I like chocolate ones, peanut butter ones, caramel ones, crunchy ones and gooey ones. Some are higher in calories and protein, some are lower in calories and protein. Some make great snacks, and some are more like a meal replacement when I’m in a bind. What I’m saying is, there are different bars for different people and different purposes. The SMART bar, however, is definitely one of my favorites for light snacks and breakfasts.

Taste

I could tell you how healthy it is, that’s gluten free, low in sugar, and all that jazz (and don’t worry, I will in a sec), but first I’m going to just tell you what my taste buds say about the bar – because honestly, if they don’t like it, it ain’t going to make it past them to my belly!

SMART barAs a coffee lover (don’t hate! Everyone has their vise, and mine is coffee – LOVE IT!), I really enjoy having a bar with coffee when I don’t have time for a sit-down breakfast. However, some bars are too sweet for me and they upset my stomach. The SMART bar is an oatmeal bar that is mildly sweet, which makes for a great breakfast bar on the go. Unlike regular cereal bars, the SMART bar is low in sugar (only 4gms!), which is 50-80% less sugar than many of it’s competitors. It has 10gms of protein and 3gms of fiber so it is filling and stays with me. And the best part, is it’s SUPER low in calories – only costing me 130 calories to eat!

Convenience

smart barNot only is this bar low in calories and tastes good, this bar is sure easy to take on the go because it doesn’t melt or crumble like a lot of chocolate covered bars. This makes it a great bar to keep in your car, purse or gym bag in case of emergencies. It also makes it a great bar to grab for the car ride to work (like you see at the top of this blog). I actually took this on the way to work last week when I discovered I nearly forgot about an early morning appointment. Since this bar is a soft bar with a nice moist solid consistency, it makes eating and driving mess-free. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten out of my car only to discover a doo-doo brown chocolate smudge on the back of my pants because a bar crumbled in my lap with each bit! ha! (Please tell me I’m not the only one this happens too???!!!!) :P

Nutrition

After I read the label, I knew it would crush a lot of snack bars. Most low-calorie breakfast and snack bars are much lower in protein, but higher in carbs and sugar. Protein bars that have 10gms of protein or more are normally much higher in calories, carbs, sugar and fat. And, if you are going gluten-free or paleo, a lot of those bars are high in fat and/or carbs but lower in protein than I prefer – and normally way higher in calories. While I will still enjoy all these type bars too, (like I said, there is a place for all of that), I just love having a low-calorie healthy option.

It’s one thing for ME to tell you I like this bar, but it’s another thing for YOU to see how it compares for yourself. So, I did a little research. I picked a few different types of snack-like bars (from cereal bars to paleo bars) that were comparable to the SMART bar to compare nutritional information.

After doing the research and listing the information, it is clear that SMART bars are a SMART choice if you are looking for a bar low in calories, carbs, fats and sugars with a healthy dose of protein in it. Awesome snack bar! Check it out!

protein bar comparison chart

Smart Bar FAQs

  • Low in Calories
  • Low-fat
  • 50-80% less sugar
  • Certified gluten free
  • 9g of whole grains
  • 3g fiber
  • Certified gluten free, organic rolled oats
  • Real organic or baked fruit
  • 38% organically raised ingredients
  • No hydrogenated oils
  • Cocoa and palm kernel oil is certified by the Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Fairtrade, and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
  • Minimal artificial sweetener (Stevia) because it relies mainly on the sweetness mainly from fruit
  • Not Vegan or Kosher (however they do use a certified porcine free gelatin source.)

See all the FAQ information on their website.

WIN A BOX OF SMART BARS

What flavor would you like to try? Apple or Blueberry? Comment below for a chance to win a box of SMART bars to try out yourself! I’ll pick 3 winners HERE and 2 winners on Facebook when you share this comparison chart from my facebook page!

(Note: Cranberry coming soon)

Detour SMART bars are available online at www.detourbar.com and bodybuilding.com, and in select retailers including GNC, Vitamin Shoppe and Vitamin World, with the bars becoming more widely available over the coming months.

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