Saturday Snippets

If there is one thing that often seems to be a stumbling block to people who want to lose weight it’s this….

They think there has to be an “all or nothing” mentality to get it done.

Either they have to exist off of kale and water ( both of which I have nothing against) and live a totally miserable existence constantly checking the scale to see if a pound or two has vanished.

They go back to counting down the days till they can get back to “normal” again because they don’t think there is room in a nutrition plan for having a hamburger or Chocolate cake on occasion.

I feel bad when I see people choosing a complete deprivation plan. Mainly because I know they are setting themselves up for failure.

It’s the same when they choose a specific diet that eliminates food groups or severely restricts foods that make life enjoyable.

We just aren’t wired for complete and total extremes. None of us are.

Who wants to be at a birthday party watching everyone else eat cake or not enjoy a meal out that you splurge a little?

Freedom is being able to do those things and knowing the end of the world won’t happen because you did.

In our daily nutrition we should strive to eat well with a good balance of all food groups. Little daily healthy choices add up for long term success.

Each meal should contain good portions of vegetables and fruits and a good amount of protein ( about 30%)

A healthy lifestyle means getting the appropriate nutrients we need but allowing ourselves a bit of freedom to have that treat.

It means that we can trust ourselves enough with those foods to eat and enjoy it and move on with life. When we blend our favorite things into a healthy eating plan we are less likely to binge because we’ve restricted ourselves

Building an awareness of food in our life will help us learn balance but also will lead to a slow steady weight loss that will be permanent

And …you’ll have your cake and eat it too 😉

More Nutrition And Diet Myths

Oh it’s been one of those weeks. Why does it seem like every time I turn around there is just another new version of craziness when it comes to diet, nutrition and exercise?

Sometimes, I don’t notice as much, but then when there is a lot of it I guess I’m more prone to thinking… stop… like stop it already.

Many times I’m glad I’m behind a computer when I see things so my eye roll isn’t apparent and obvious haha

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What’s got me bothered? 

Hmm, well I’ll tell you. Quite a few things. I guess I get troubled over information and shared ideas that people will gulp down as fast as a frog can gulp a fly.

I’m often horrified at how people believe things without their own research or fact gathering on a topic.

So what’s at the top of my list?

Can we please stop demonizing foods/food groups?

Really. Unless you have a medical condition, or a food allergy or abstaining from something just makes you overall feel better, then don’t get on the “exclude foods train” because Bob at work is doing it.

Worse yet are people who are on the train but have no idea why they are… like gluten free. Really, the only people who need to be on a gluten free diet are ones who have celiac disease.

Stop deciding foods are “bad” or that they offer no value.

Excluding entire food groups robs your body of essential vitamins and minerals not found in other foods you keep in your diet.

One of the worst things, like THE worst is how the diet industry has somehow made many fruits “bad”.

Fruit.

FRUIT!

Yes, I know I’m kinda yelling here, and yes I’m fully aware some fruits have a higher sugar content than others,

Big deal. Natural sugars found in fruits are not the same as sugars you get noshing on your donuts, cookies or candies. Or your 64 oz. big gulp soda.

Fruits are low calorie and loaded with so many amazing things for our body and really, you’d have to eat loads of high sugar fruits to make an impact on your health.

Stop demonizing fruit.

Is there a bumper sticker like that??

Listen you know what the enemy really is?

You… or more like you’re not controlling what goes in your mouth and the quantity of it. That is the problem.

Food is simply, food.

What we do with it becomes the bigger issue.

The magic diet bus.

Another one  bothering me, is constantly seeing credit given to a particular diet as if it holds the very unique and magical keys to unlocking permanent and successful weight loss.

Uh…if you believe that… I’ve got some diet pills to sell you…. 😉

All together now boys and girls, there is no great diet that is the be all and end all to successful weight loss.

I hate to keep throwing the same ‘ol science bubble around but here I go again…..

weight loss occurs, and only occurs, when there is a caloric deficit plain and simple.

Not because Diet “X, Y, Z” has made you lose weight.

You are simply consuming less calories, combined with maybe some purposeful exercise and that combination will lead to weight loss.

You’ve also most likely maybe made adjustments to some “non- essential” foods that has helped too.

And by that I  mean those extra snacks and treats you don’t need to live but make life worth living haha

Find what works for you, that gives your body real, nutrient dense food, and go from there. The idea is to do what is sustainable for you, for a lifetime, and not a few weeks or months.

And any plan that restricts, or eliminates foods is just not going to be long term sustainable. If it were I wouldn’t see people excited over having cheat days so they could feel normal again and have what’s been withheld from them. That’s a cycle you really don’t wanna be on.

You want a side of protein with that?

If there’s a marketing bus every company in the world has jumped on now, it’s the protein bus.

If it moves, let’s slap protein in it, and throw a big label on the package so the consumer who’s heard something about “getting more protein” will buy it up., even though they may not entirely know why. Kinda like the gluten free thing.

People really are sheep.

I mean after all, it worked for the “fat free” gimmick for years, right? I saw fat free on labels of products that would’ve never had fat in them to start with.  For example…A bag of jelly beans comes to mind ..

Honestly, I cannot tell you how many products that would never be a protein source I’ve seen on store shelves proudly displaying it “contains protein”.

Here’s a couple of my thoughts on this.

Protein IS important. It is the building block our bodies for skin, hair, cell growth, muscle growth etc

Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

There is also just a certain amount our bodies need and then excess is just flushed or stored as fat.

I swear by protein as the main thing in my meals that keeps me full, not sluggish and giving me that steady energy source….of course plenty of veggies and fruits go with that too to keep me full and give me all day energy.

Real foods with protein keep us satisfied longer and keep blood sugar levels steady ( meaning no crashing feeling)

The normal person has no trouble getting in their daily protein when they eat a balanced diet.

If you’re more athletic than the normal person, or a serious competitive  body builder, your needs may be different.

If at all possible, you should get your protein from real food sources and not added supplements.

Protein rich foods include dairy like Greek yogurt ( 23 grams of real protein in a cup serving of plain) cottage cheese, yogurts,eggs, lean meats, cheese, fish, milk  etc

Protein is also found in non meat sources like veggies and beans.  I wrote an article on that… find it here….https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2019/01/22/protein-rich-foods-for-weight-loss/

Always strive to eat real food for optimal nutrition.

Well boys and girls, that will wrap up my rants for the day.

Uh… for now anyways.

Now tell me, do you have any favorite things that make you a little crazy in the world of health and fitness?

 

 

 

Holidays And Healthy Eating

December. A month packed full of tasty possibilities.  You may have office parties to navigate, neighborhood get togethers, church gatherings, and of course your own family festivities to attend.

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Food. There’s an abundance of delicious fares available during the holiday season.

Eat, drink and be merry now because January will soon arrive and all you’ll see will be weight loss shakes, diet books, and new plans for starvation after all your feasting has gone on.

Tell me I’m wrong. It’s a sad dismal reality every…single…year.

Like anything, I believe balance and moderation are crucial during the holiday season. Not only in regards to weight, but really, overall wellness and how you feel. To much excess in food or alcohol will make you feel sluggish, bloated and not your best.

Maintain balance and moderation and you won’t need or want any of those awful shakes. Live a constant healthy lifestyle and you can move through this season and not have to think about doing anything different in January.

I get it.

Among other things I love doing for Christmas is baking and making candy.  I’m old school so it’s all from scratch. Really, nothing is better than sugar cookies made with real butter.

A fat Santa? A fluffy reindeer? A round snowman? Who can resist a fun sugar cookie with frosting and sprinkles?

christmas cookies

Not me that’s for sure. Those are my favorite Christmas cookies and I don’t restrict myself… but nor do I go crazy and over eat on them as either.

It’s all about that balance, right?

I think where people often fail is having an “all or nothing” mentality. They restrict so much that when they decide they are going to have treats, it turns into a feeding frenzy.

Neither approach is really helpful or healthy.

Let’s be honest. Of course you/I/we all know we are going to indulge. It’s just a matter of how you handle the indulging part.

Make healthy eating your main thing.

I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again, just because we are in the “holiday season” doesn’t mean you just need to go hog wild eating everything in sight. It doesn’t mean you proclaim you’ll worry about it “next year”.

To keep feeling your best, limit any weight gain and enjoy yourself, make sure you keep your meals as healthy as possible.  If you know you will be participating in a party later that day, eat well, but don’t go to the extreme of not eating because you are “saving your calories”.

All you’ll do is show up ravenous and most likely eat way more than you would have.

Eat sensibly, go with a plan to the party, and then be super selective about what you eat.

For goodness sakes, don’t eat everything on the buffet if there are some things you don’t like a lot.

Save your calories for your most favorite foods 😉

I wish I could claim the fat loss hack below….

I saw this and it was perfect to share here. I tend to operate this way and find it easy to do.  I especially love the second part. To often people think if they’ve had one “bad” meal they should just throw in the towel and eat bad the rest of the day.  No… you get back to sensible eating again.

I think this is a great reminder as we go through the holidays that one meal full of extras doesn’t have to be what the rest of our day is like.

Eat your normal foods more often than not, if you eat extra treats get back to normal at your next meal. Keep things simple.

fat hacks

Other things to consider…

Make sure vegetables and fruit are a big part of your daily diet. Well, you should even if it isn’t Christmas time, but more so now. They keep you full, give you energy and keep that sluggish feeling from setting in when you’ve had an overly laden high fat/carb meal.

Drink adequate water. This will help keep you hydrated, especially if alcohol makes it’s rounds with you.  Water can help flush excess sodium from foods we’ve consumed and it also helps prevent headaches that can come from to much excess.

Mindful eating. So often we graze and just load food into our mouths without even being aware of what it is or why we are eating it. Think about what you eat. If you aren’t hungry, walk away from it.  Find something else to occupy you till the desire passes.

Keep up with your exercise. Not only does it help reduce stress, it also allows time for you to think and sort ideas, clear your mind and help with creativity.  Not only that, it can help keep your weight in check as well. Don’t dismiss it as not having enough time. I am a big fan of HIIT workouts that are 20 minutes, but packed with lots of hard work.

Trust me, you’ve got 20 minutes in your day to do something positive for yourself.  Check out this weeks Monday Musings for one of my 20 minute workouts.

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/12/10/monday-musings-29/

Keeping a few simple strategies in mind will let you enjoy the tastes and flavors of the season you love while keeping you from gaining excess pounds to deal with in the new year.

Your turn. Do you have any tips or tricks for enjoying the holiday season but not being to self indulgent? Do you keep up with your exercise ?

 

Spotlight On Yellow Squash

It has come to my attention I haven’t done a food spotlight post in a red hot minute.  I selfishly love doing them because I usually learn a lot more about foods I love and enjoy than I knew before I started researching the details for a post.

Me like… “wow! I’m eating so healthy!” haha

Seriously though, can you go wrong with veggies ?? I think not.

I decided to focus on one of my favorite “go to” veggies, the humble yellow squash.

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Yellow squash, also called yellow zucchini or summer squash, is a hot weather vegetable picked in its immature stage to ensure a thin, edible skin and sweet, soft flesh. This squash typically ranges in size from 6 to 8 inches long, although it can be smaller, depending on when you pick the fruit

With the recent massive recall in the states on romaine lettuce because of e coli, the shelves have been stripped bare in stores and salads, well just haven’t been happening.

Yeah I know there’s “iceberg” lettuce, but really, why does that exist??

Anyway, I digress.

Not making salads ( a huge staple in my meals) I was looking at other creative veggie ideas while we waited for the lettuce to return.

One of my favorite ways to use squash is to mix it up with other things, like zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and some red onion, add some sea salt and crushed pepper, mix up with a little olive oil and roast in oven on a high heat. I then but it under the broiler for a few minutes to “crisp” the veggies a little.

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I cannot tell you how seriously amazing it is.

Wait. First you need some nutritional facts.

One medium squash has a whole 32 calories!

One cup of raw, sliced yellow squash contains 18 calories. This low-calorie vegetable is an ideal side dish if you wish to lose weight. Yellow squash essentially has no fat — a 1-cup portion provides only 0.2 g.

A 1-cup serving of raw yellow squash provides you with 3.8 g of carbohydrates, or 2.9 percent of the 130 g suggested daily. Carbs serve as the main supply of energy for your body. Yellow squash also helps you consume the fiber you need each day; 1 cup contains 1.2 g. Fiber can play a critical role in helping you lose weight. High-fiber foods satisfy hunger better than low-fiber foods by providing more bulk in your diet. Fiber also helps regulate bowel movements and decreases your chances of developing diverticulitus, a condition that affects your colon. Include 25 to 38 g of fiber in your diet every day.

Yellow squash serves as a good source of vitamin C — each 1-cup portion contains 21.3 to 25.6 percent of the amount your body requires daily. Ascorbic acid, another name for vitamin C, is an antioxidant that blocks cellular damage from free radicals, helping to slow aging and possibly decreasing your risk of heart disease, arthritis and cancer.

One portion of yellow squash also provides 8.6 to 11.1 percent of the daily recommended value of manganese, an essential trace mineral.

Have I convinced you to try it yet?

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Just ignore my massive tree in background photo bombing me 😉

Listen if you’re sitting behind your screen gagging a little ’cause the only way you ever had it is when your Mom boiled it to death in water on the stove turning it into a form of mush well… I’m sorry she ruined you for it 😉

But wait! You’re all grown now, you should give it another chance and try it in some different recipes or try it like I suggested to you, mixed and roasted with other veggies.

It’s a winning combo to eat foods that are filling, nutritious and low calorie.

Of course I’ll offer some recipes for you to try.

 

 

 

Your turn! Do you like squash? Have you tried it? If so what’s your fav way to eat it ?

Simple Nutrition

Yeah, hello, I’m still alive out here.  No, the duathlon didn’t leave me laying on the side of the road 😛  I promise, I am doing a recap but…well… they keep teasing us with all our free race photos and course I wanna toss one or two of those in as well… so hopefully sometime this week you can find it here so stay tuned. I had fun and I did ok so check back. 😉

However a busy Thanksgiving week and all my well intended plans to scratch something out for you seemed to sail out the window.

So much tasty food for Thanksgiving. Some new dishes shared as well as the traditional favorites everyone enjoys.

It goes without saying that eating comes pretty naturally for all of us. Where we differ is how we choose to eat and the foods that we put into our bodies.

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Every time we eat, we have the power to make choices.

Obviously, how I feed my body is important to how well I can potentially do my training sessions and also have energy for the rest of my day. I’ve learned that cutting back on food or not eaingt pre work out is the equivalent of taking off on a long trip with your gas tank sitting on or close to the empty mark.

In todays busy world food sometimes seems complicated and it shouldn’t be. I don’t spend a lot of time obsessing over food .. unless it’s 4:30 and the dinner hour is breathing down my neck, everything is frozen, and I’m completely clueless what to feed the crew.

THEN I might start obsessing a little.

Having healthy snacks or easy balanced and nutritious meals shouldn’t have to stress you out. I’ve personally found if I have healthy foods in my ‘fridge with easy access to them I’m always more likely to grab them.

No, I don’t meal prep or have 50 containers of the exact food waiting for me day after day. There are foods that I can easily grab or assemble as a snack if I feel like I’m famished ( and some days after long training sessions those moments can come on quickly) Maybe you haven’t done a long training session but maybe you’ve put in a long day at work and dinner is still in the process of coming together.

Taking a little time to prepare some things to keep on hand will help you make healthier snacks choices.

Consider things like:

Hard boiled eggs

Cheese sticks or cheese cubes

A variety of precut, prepared veggies you can grab

Ranch dip, made with non-fat Greek yogurt

Fresh fruit

Peanut butter ( in moderation)

Grilled or baked chicken ( works for so many different things)

Greek yogurt ( toss in some berries or raw almonds)

Raw nuts like almonds or walnuts

Homemade smoothies with your choice of fruit, milk etc. (be really mindful of buying smoothies when you’re on the go as they are often high in sugar and loaded with tons of calories. )

I also like to keep whole grain crackers around. I will put together a small plate with some cheese and fruit to carry me over till I can eat my next meal.

Or try this tasty little healthy snack:

Apple slice cookies:

Red delicious apple ( you need a nice firm apple for slicing) , peanut butter, unsweetened coconut, mini chocolate chips, chopped walnuts.

Core apple, slice into 1/4 inch slices. Lay out on cookie sheet and press with a paper towel to absorb excess water ( this will help peanut butter stay in place) spread a  thin layer of peanut butter then add coconut, walnuts and mini chocolate chips.

Enjoy 🙂

The more prepared you are the more likely you are to make good choices.

But back to that dinner thing….

I know I’m not the only one who sometimes bangs their head against the wall thinking of something clever for dinner. Personally, I could eat meat and veggies of some sort all the time but the rest of the crew.. well they have different ideas at times 😉

Mind you.. I have like… 5 thousand cook books so it’s not like I lack a place for ideas.  It’s just that they aren’t always with me if I’m out running around an realize I need food ideas.

Enter Pinterest

Who doesn’t always have their phone with them? And if you haven’t checked out Pinterest, will you should. All I have to do is open that app and search up some dinner recipes. Although now I actually have a board started with all kinds of tasty dinner recipes to choose from so I can be in the store, get the ingredients if I don’t have them and still put something new and delicious together.

( Click on my Pinterest link to follow me there and find a lot of my fav dinner ideas.. oh… and do I have some desserts for you too 😉 )

My favorite  new thing is one sheet dinners. I’m telling you… your life will never be the same again…ever.

All of the tasty goodness is cooked on one pan. Easy clean up. Nutritious. And there is a huge variety of ideas.

Simple nutrition my friends, simple.

Some of my favorites:

https://pin.it/4nqwlidnygrmkg  ( Greek Chicken with Green Beans And Feta Cheese)

https://pin.it/o5yrbbd2v3vx2l  ( Sheet Pan BBQ Dinner)

https://pin.it/mwxp5oounhzkdt  ( Roasted Garlic & Herb Sausage and Potatoes)

https://pin.it/2qaxgmnxitv3k6 ( Asparagus Sweet Potato Chicken)

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I’ve made this too. It was a huge hit, and totally delicious

 

 

Not only are these meals easy to prepare with minimal work and clean up they offer a good variety from many food groups. Some are stand alone meals, some I might add a salad or bread depending on what it is.

Eating healthy with a focus on good food doesn’t need to be complicated. It may take a little time for you to get into the routine and find what works for you but once you adapt you will find it easier than ever to make healthy meals and snacks that will keep you on track with your health and fitness goals.