You had me at goat cheese. Seriously, you could put goat cheese on cardboard and it could make it taste good. So, when I saw a goat cheese and arugula salad on a menu, I just had to try it. The beets (in my mind) were my cardboard I thought, but I just had a feeling that this salad was going to surprise me – and it did. So, over the weekend, I picked up some beets and decided I’d repeat this yummy salad I had on vacation. I searched google for something similar to the menu item and this is what I found.
First, I must confess, I’ve never even bought a beet before, much less cooked one. I don’t even know if I had ever had one (that wasn’t pickled or something). This means I actually had to follow directions, which were simple: Peel, chop, boil. I just had to boil them like I would a potato. It was kind of fun getting my hands “dirty” in this new experience – literally! I never thought about the extreme red juice that would come from this vegetable while cutting it up and boiling it. I swear I think I could have dyed clothes with the water I boiled it in. It reminded me of coloring Easter Eggs. What can I say, I am so easily entertained.
All in all, this recipe was super simple – and SUPER yummy! I added grilled chicken, which I marinaded in Lemon Pepper marinade and topped with seasonings, to complete my meal. Besides my typical substitutions, like trading sugar for stevia and diluting olive oil with water, I pretty much followed this recipe (for once) to the T!
I don’t think Steve was as excited about my beet salad as I was, but judging by his empty plate and full tummy, I’d say it was a success in his eyes too when it was all said and done! The sweetness of the beets paired with the flavor of the goat cheese complimented each other so well! This salad will be a regular treat at the Pfiester Pfit Cafe for sure!
Arugula Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese Recipe
- Beets – (boiled until a fork easily goes in it, about an hour), peeled, sliced into strips
- Fresh arugula – rinsed, patted dry with a paper towel
- Goat cheese – chevre (just a little if you are watching calories!)
- Walnuts – chopped (don’t use too much)
- Olive oil (as always, I cut my olive oil with water)
- Dry powdered mustard
- Sugar (I used Stevia)
- Salt and pepper
Get the rest of the directions and measurements at Simply Recipes.com
Let’s be practical here. In this fast-pace world, sometimes we need a fast-pace lunch. Unfortunately, new dieters panic at the thought of having to eat fast food because they think that means they don’t have a lot of choices. Or worse, they think it means complete failure.
The truth is, fast food chains give us more healthy choices than ever. We just need to order smart. It’s just up to us to do some investigative work so we can make the best choice possible.
Here are 10 tips to help you keep your calories low and your spirits high while dieting on the go.
10 Fast Food Tips for Dieters:
1. Go simple. The fewer ingredients the fewer the calories.
2. Go small. Avoid biggie sizing meals just because it’s a good deal. Believe me, you will eventually pay for it.
3. Avoid bread. Bread can account for 200-300 extra unnecessary calories. Try to get the majority of your calories from whole foods, instead of processed fillers.
4. Know what you’re eating. Don’t play guessing games when making your order. If you want to be sure you get results, be sure about the food you are eating. An average low-calorie meal for a dieter should be between 300-400 calories.
5. Don’t drink your calories. Stick to water, unsweet tea or diet coke. Drinking liquid sugar is just plain silly.
6. Salads aren’t always low-calorie. Just because something looks healthy, doesn’t mean it is healthy. A salad can easily add up to be more calories than a burger if you are not careful.
7. Think with your mind, not your stomach. Don’t let yourself get so hungry you can’t think straight. Many people blow their diet simply because they are starving by the time they face the drive through menu.
8. If you don’t love it, skip it. Removing one slice of cheese, or one condiment, can save you 100 calories or more. Prioritize the toppings you love, and skip the ones you can do without, to save calories.
9. Share your findings. Help others by sharing your healthy discoveries so other people can also benefit too. Education is key to success.
10. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Although you will likely find some foods you are pleasantly surprised with, many times people will continue to order something when their gut is telling them something isn’t adding up. Listen to your gut, not your taste buds.
If you want to tone up, you need to put more muscle in your workouts – and in your kitchen. The problem is, most people don’t know how much protein they eat – or how much they need. Well, after you read today’s blog, you will not only know “your number”, but you’ll know how and when to take it too.
First, I want to hit some key pointers.
1. Budget your protein intake. Before you start gulping down protein, you want to make sure you realize you are also gulping down more calories. Many people who start a fitness program hoping to lose weight and tone up ADD protein to their diet, but forget to SUBTRACT calories from carbs and fat. Another words, they are increasing their protein AND calories. Then they wonder whey they GAINED weight trying to get healthy. If you need to lose weight or lean out, remember that adding protein to your diet is great, but you have to account for the extra calories – and protein shakes and bars can add up fast if you aren’t paying attention.
2. Know when to take it. Protein is not a good source of fuel. That’s why marathoners carb up, not protein up. Protein is best for repair. So, the 2 best times to take protein, besides getting it in whole foods throughout your day, is post workout and before you go to bed. Our body is most receptive to absorbing protein within 30-40 minutes of your workout, and it needs protein to help our body repair muscle while we sleep.
3. Know how to take it. If you are taking protein post workout, you want to pair it with simple sugars to help speed up absorption so you can use the protein in that 30-40 minute window. For instance, a protein shake with water and honey, or protein with orange juice would be a good post workout shake. Any other time, you want to slow digestion down so you can absorb as much nutrients as possible. The longer it’s in your stomach, the more protein you absorb, and the longer you’ll stay full. In this case, adding milk or peanut butter is helpful.
4. Know your number. GNC put together a cool calculator to help people know how many grams of protein they should take a day. Note that it also gives you a window – minimum to maximum. For example, my number is 95 – but my range is 78-111. For me, the only way I can get that much protein is to supplement. I can get about 60 or so grams of protein in whole foods (I’m not a big meat eater) and then I supplement with a couple of shakes or a shake and a bar to reach my daily goal. CLICK HERE to find YOUR number.
If you’ve ever done the Paleo diet, you probably had that moment where you were wondering how in the world you would be getting your carbs from. Since there is no rice, pasta, bread, oatmeal, quinoa, beans or cereal – it’s easy to go into a full-on panic attack! I know I did.
Although there are TON of green veggies, I was craving something that would stick to my ribs more. Here are just a few healthy Paleo carbs you can add to your meal plan and stay fit and trim:
Lucky for me I LOOOOVE plantains so I opted to cook the following yummy Cuban recipe!
Easy Shredded Pork over Caramelized Mashed Plantains by http://www.paleOMG.com
- 1-2lb pork loin
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 2 cups beef broth (no sugar added) – add 3 cups if you go with a 2lb pork loin
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 brown plantains, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 3-4 tablespoons canned coconut milk
CLICK HERE for the entire recipe
Have a Sweet Tooth?
It’s no surprise that our eating habits have changed over the years. Meals used to be simple, and eating out used to be a big deal. In the 50s, you were probably lucky if you ate out once a week. Even our beverage habits have changed. Having a soda use to mean leaving the house and going to the soda shop, not grabbing a can of coke in the fridge. Also, most of our desserts were homemade, not store bought. Having ice cream at my grandparent’s house was an event. We’d all take turns turning the crank on an ice cream machine to churn the ice cream into perfection from the simplest ingredients. Now people turn down ice cream unless it has chopped up candy bars and chocolate syrup swirled in.
Unfortunately, food is all about entertainment and convenience, and less about nutrition and spending quality time with the family. Variety is a demand and eating out on the go is a daily ritual for many.
In addition, we not only eat more, we physically do less. Adults spend more time in the chair in front of a computer for work and less time doing physical work. Kids spend more time on computers too. They play computerized games instead of doing traditional activities like jumping on the trampoline, playing ball, riding bicycles and playing chase.
The Dinner Table is Empty
Dining room tables have become more of a decorative piece of furniture than a place the family gathers to eat. Why? Because the whole American lifestyle has changed. Families live fast-paced lives, more women are working, and high calorie food is more accessible to nearly everybody. Here are some other reasons why America is continuing to fatten up.
- Families dine in a hurry
- Eating out is the norm
- Sweets are no longer limited to dessert after dinner
- Weekly treats are now daily habits
- Soda is a staple beverage
- Families eat dinner in front of the TV
- Furniture companies enable TV snacking, by offering built-in cup holders for the couch
- Companies make fancier, tastier and flashier pre-packaged snacks
- People have more access to high-calorie gourmet recipes, via the web, to cook like a chef
- There are more ready-to-eat products to choose from
- Restaurant chains use bigger portion sizes to attract customers
Eat Like It’s 1950
Maybe we should eat like it’s 1950 again. Bring the family back to the table, limit pre-packaged foods, save sodas for the weekends only, and cut back on eating out. Get more creative with activities and less creative in the kitchen. When it comes to fitness, there is something to say about going back to the simple life. Simple eating and living may result in a slimmer, healthier household.
Biggie Size Me
Just portion size alone has gone through quite a transformation over the years. No wonder Americans are getting bigger by the minute. Look at this graph from Making Health Easier that really puts things into perspective.
SHOW & TELL
What changes have you noticed over your lifetime?
Why do we look to food for entertainment? It’s nothing new. Countless Kings have held feasts that lasted for hours and even days – and honestly, we still do it. A feast like that was once in a lifetime for many, and now we dine like Kings and Queens every single day.
God gave us 5 ways to enjoy life and only one of them involves the tongue, yet we rely on the tongue to give us the majority of our daily pleasure instead of our other 4 senses. As a result, Americans have a huge obesity problem and an equally large lazy problem. We do less activity and more eating. No wonder America is getting fatter by the minute.
There’s more to life than eating. Yes, I said it. If all you think about is what you are going to have for your next meal, maybe you have an eating problem and are relying on food for more than it’s nourishment. Food’s number one purpose is to keep you alive. The quality of food greatly determines your quality of life. Food is fuel, not entertainment.
If you want to change your life, don’t neglect your other senses. You know, the ones that don’t cause weight gain?
Here are 4 ways to entertain yourself without tilting the scale.
1.) Sight: If you’re looking for entertainment, there are a ton of things to see. Movies, sights, nature, broadway, plays, zoos, amusement parks, museums, art shows, sports events and countless other things can give us hours of great entertainment without packing on the weight.
2. Hearing: Have you been to a good concert lately? How about a comedy show? Even a good podcast can be a great way to spend time you might be tempted to entertain your taste buds. Broaden your horizon and step out of your comfort-food box!
3. Touch: Besides the obvious, like good old fashioned romance, there are so many ways to be entertained by touch. Petting a dog and holding a child are not only fun but they are actually healthy. In addition, exercise stimulates and invigorates our entire body. Don’t believe me? Try exercising intensely and think of all the things you feel. Your skin tingles and sweats, your heart pounds, and your body feels different after you exercise. Another great way to entertain your touch receptors is with a massage, pedicure or facial. Even a nice long bath can be a great way to pamper yourself in place of loading up on an excess of calories.
4. Smell: Aromatherapy is proven to have amazing affects on the mind and body. If smells didn’t matter, we wouldn’t spend thousands of dollars on perfumes, bath and body products, and home fragrances. Research studies on many of the essential oils in aromatherapy show positive effects for a variety of health concerns including pain, anxiety, depression, stress and even coping with a terminal illness. That’s just how much the power of smell impacts your entire body. This is also why making time for a relaxing bath with aromatherapy is a double-whammy. Your skin and nose are both entertained, all in one awesome healing experience.
If you have followed me for any length of time, you probably know how much I love Mexican food – and breakfast is no exception. Since I love fajitas, I decided to trade flour tortillas for egg whites and it was a hit!
Trade the Tortilla for Eggs!
Low Fat Shredded Cheese
Cold Topping #1:
Fresh Diced Tomatoes
Diced Small Sweet Peppers
Diced Pickled Jalapeno Peppers
Fresh Minced Garlic
Tablespoon of Apple Cidar Vinegar
Lime Juice (one lime)
Cold Topping #2
Low Fat Sour Cream
Pour egg whites in frying pan, prepared with Pam. Add Fajita mix with a small sprinkle of low-fat Cheddar Cheese and fold. Top with Cold Topping and serve with a few sliced Avocado and a dollop of sour cream.
Have a favorite breakfast recipe? Share it with us below!
If you’re like me, and crave salty snacks, then you are always happy to discover something healthy to feed your craving. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of salty healthy snacks available beside popcorn, so imagine my sheer joy the first time I tried edamame (boiled or steamed soy beans in the pod).
My first edamame experience was at a local asian restaurant, Bangkok. After they came out, I remember thinking “what do I do with that? Do I eat the whole thing or am I supposed to pop the beans out?” Yes, Steve and I were edamame tards. After gnawing on the whole thing for a bit, shell and all, it didn’t take long to discover the stiff stems were not very chewable. We quickly figured it out and they became a part of our regular diet.
They are easy to cook too. I buy the bag of frozen edamame and steam them (which can be done traditionally or in a microwave oven for 5 minutes). Then I sprinkle soy sauce, and/or salt, on them and begin snacking!! Today I cooked them and then threw them in my cooler for the beach. They were an awesome cold snack too.
The greatest part of this salty wonder is they are truly healthy. Most people are just happy to find snacks that are just “not unhealthy”, but edamame is as healthy as it is tasty. Half a bag of edamame is only 150 calories – and a very equal balance of calories I might add! 12.5gms of protein, 6gms of fat, 11gms of carbohydrates and 5gms of fiber. Look at the graph to the left. You can see that edamame gets 31-36% of the calories from each substrate.
Another thing I like about edamame in the shell, is it takes work to get the bean out. Not that it is a big job, because it’s not a bother at all. However, it slows down how fast we typically eat snacks. I enjoy the taste more and the entire snack takes longer to eat than many other similar snacks. Any snack that can slow us down from inhaling it is a good snack!
So, instead of reaching for a bag of chips, next time you are craving something salty to snack on, go steam up some beans!
Does food have a grip on you, or do you have a grip on food?
I can’t tell you how many people tell me they are so sick of themselves. Sick of not controlling their food intake and weight. Food clearly has a grip on their life and they are eating themselves unhappy. Today we’re going to dive deep into the seriousness of letting food control your life. Get ready, because this isn’t going to be pretty!
Gluttony: to gulp down or swallow, means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or wealth.
You don’t have to be FAT to struggle with food
When I think of gluttony, I think of seriously overweight people like ”Fat Bastard” in the Austin Powers movie. However, you don’t have to be morbidly obese to struggle with gluttony. Just ask Steve and I. We’ve seriously gulped down hideous amounts of food at times, and not once did we ever push away from the table feeling good about it. And we make a boatload of excuses to match the boatload of food we consume.
“We deserve it”. “We’ve been training so hard”. “At least it was all healthy”. But no matter what our lame excuses are, too much is too much – and it’s not healthy.
We humans like to rationalize pretty much everything. We’re the first people to judge someone else’s “sin” and then make excuses for our own. Of course, most of us don’t think of ourselves as gluttons, but if you are gulping down too much food, then you are indeed a glutton. Sorry, but it’s true.
If you can’t control it…
Sure, it would be super easy to look at someone addicted to crack and think “wow, I can’t believe someone would do that to themselves”, yet you maybe addicted to food. Just because food is legal, doesn’t mean we should abuse our bodies with it.
This is not a fun topic, but I think it’s important to address. Coming from a strong Christian home, I was taught to take care of my body – and treat it like a temple. However, I’ve treated my body like a saloon, garbage dump, and smoke stack in the past. I would have NEVER brought some of the things I put in my body into a church. Ironically, when I was the least disciplined with what went into my mouth, I was also the least disciplined in other areas of my life.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to target alcohol, cigarettes and drugs as the evil things you should get rid of – but what makes us think we can continue overeating and not practicing self-control with the rest of our life?
It’s not about Vanity
Interestingly enough, most of us know better. We know we should be working out and eating healthier, but we don’t do it. Did you know that just knowing what to do and not doing it is wrong? I’m not just suggesting it is not good for you, I’m saying it’s flat wrong.
“It is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” James 4:17
You don’t have to believe in God to benefit from scripture – and I believe most of us want to do the “right” thing. I think the problem lies in that we don’t think of eating poorly as right or wrong, but just a matter of vanity or choice. I mean, there are no food police giving out tickets for poor eating. We have the “right” to eat however we want – right? We may have that right, but that doesn’t make it right.
Maybe, if you’re struggling with self-control around food, you should treat the problem less like a vanity thing, and more as a right and wrong thing. You probably know what’s best for you, now you just need to start doing it.
1.) Decreases self esteem
2.) Increases jealousy
3.) Causes us to hide (especially from cameras)
4.) Makes us tired and lazy
5.) Makes us look and feel unattractive, which can be harmful in relationships
6.) Makes us physically ill
7.) Can be expensive (dining out/cocktails)
8.) Makes us unhappy
9.) Causes depression and added stress
10.) Makes us insecure and lack confidence in our work
If those are just a FEW things unhealthy eating habits can do to our lives, then why would even hesitate to get help and get healthy? It’s time to get healthy and happy again!
NOTE: If you think for one minute I’m judging you, or anyone struggling with eating – think again. We ALL struggle. I struggle. If you put a basket of nachos in front of me, I’ll out-eat any of you if I don’t practice self-control – and even my best self-control will still be overeating I guarantee!! The only difference is, I may go run it off. This is something I will continue to improve and manage for the rest of my life. When it comes to my body, I don’t want to look bad as much as I don’t want to disappoint God by mistreating this body he gave me. I want to be a good steward of my physical body as well as my life. When I’m done with this life, I want Him to say “Well done”. I will never be perfect, and I will always fail, but I will never stop trying – and I think that’s all He asks for.
So you’re on a diet and you are craving a burger. It would be so easy to say “I deserve it” or “I’ll burn it off”, but the fact of the matter is giving in and splurging on that burger can set you back in a big way. For every 100 calories you cheat, is how many miles you’ll need to walk or jog to erase it so you better think long and hard before you let your tummy talk you into hitting the drive through!
CALORIE ALERT: 6 SAMPLE CHEESEBURGER MEALS
#1 DAIRY QUEEN: 850 CALORIES (No Drink)
1/4lb GrillBurger with Cheese: 540 calories
Medium Fries: 310 calories
Burger with 1 piece of bread, no cheese & no mayo: 340 calories.
#2 MCDONALD’S: 890 CALORIES (No Drink)
Quarter Pounder with Cheese: 510 calories (they don’t list topping calories
Medium Fries: 380 calories
Get their 6 piece nuggets for 280 calories or the Grilled Chicken BLT Ranch loaded for only 380 calories.
#3 WENDY’S: 1,000 CALORIES (No Drink)
Wendy’s Single with Cheese: 580 calories, 33gms of fat, 220 calories just from the bread
Medium Fries: 420 calories
Wendy’s Single without mayo & 1 piece of bread: 420 calories
JACK IN THE BOX: 1,020 CALORIES (No Drink)
Big Cheeseburger: 570 calories
Medium Fries: 450 calories
Get a Chicken Fajita Pita for 320 calories instead.
#4 SONIC: 1,130 CALORIES (No Drink)
Cheese Burger with Mayo: 800 calories
Medium Fries: 330 calories
Get the Grilled Chicken sandwich instead for 430 calories
#5 BURGER KING: 1,170 CALORIES (No Drink)
Whopper with Cheese: 760 calories, 40gms of fat, 240 calories from the bread, 140 calories in mayo
Medium Fries: 410 calories
Whopper with no mayo & one piece of bread: 500 calories
#6 FIVE GUYS: $1,460 CALORIES (No Drink)
Cheese Burger: 840 calories (not including toppings!)
Regular Fries: 620 calories
Heavy Hitting Toppings: Mayo (100 cal), Cheese (70 cal), Bacon (80 cal), BBQ Sauce (60 cal)
Add Jalapeno peppers for TONS of flavor and only 3 calories!
Dine Out Instead of Drive Thru? Don’t think so fast!
Maybe after reading this, you just convinced yourself to go to a nice restaurant to have a better burger. Think again! A burger at Ruby Tuesday’s averaged over 1,000 calories JUST for the burger alone – not including sides! Even the Turkey burger was 801 calories, not including french fries! OK, so you decide to get the “Ruby Minis” – wrong!! Once again, the deceivingly named food maybe mini in size, but it’s maxi in calories, raking in 915 calories not including sides!
Have a Burger YOUR Way!
Who says you have to go to Five Guys to get a good tasting burger? And who says you have to blow 1,000 calories to satisfy your craving? No One!
I’m here to tell you, you can make a delicious healthy low-calorie burger and fries that tastes just like the real thing! The trick is not just fresh ingredients, but layering your burger just the way they put it together in the restaurants.
How Does Your Burger Stack Up?
There’s a reason why those fast food burgers are good – and it’s not just the grease it’s dripping in. It’s a strict policy set for every employee to follow to make sure every single burger is exactly like the company intended it to be. So what’s the “Right Way?”. Well, since Steve worked for Burger King during high school and college, he quickly rang off the order they were to stack their burgers. You have a cold side, and a hot side.
Cold Side: Bread, Mayo, Lettuce, Tomato.
Hot Side: Bread, Meat, Cheese, Pickles, Onion, Ketchup, Mustard. Then you smack it all together and serve it up while the hot is still hot and the cold is still cold.
Of course all restaurants may do it a little differently, but there is no reason you can’t make your own healthy burger at home and it taste just as good (or even better) than any restaurant pumping out high calorie burgers all day. I proved that last week when I was craving a burger myself! Instead of cheating on my diet, I decided to get my burger fix at home and stick to my diet. Here is what I threw together to satisfy my craving.
Turkey Burger: (approximately 200 calories)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup egg beaters
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onions
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used whole grain sandwich thins)
TOPPINGS – From Top to Bottom:
- Sandwich thins (100 calories)
- 1 tablespoon Low Fat Hellman’s Mayo (only 15 calories)
- 2 Lettuce leafs
- 2 Sliced Tomato
- 1 tablespoon Ketchup (15 calories)
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Goat Cheese (38 calories, 1/2 oz.) or 1 slice low-fat cheese
Serve with 2 cups baked French Fries sprayed with Pam and sprinkled with Season Salt for 153 calories (vs 400 calorie fast food fries!).
TIP: Who says you have to have bread? Or pickles? Or other popular toppings. Put your hot burger on a plate, top with your favorite cheese and sauces next to your favorite fresh sides and eat like a regular meal or salad. Other fun hot toppings: grilled pineapple, sauteed mushroom, green pepper or onions.