Finding Progress After You Plateau

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Have you ever wondered why your workouts just don’t seem to do it for you anymore? You probably have switched it up a little, riding the bike instead of running or lifting twice a week rather than once. Here are … Continue reading

What are you Really Dipping in to?

pic for blogWe all know that French fries, pretzels, carrots, sandwiches, etc. all taste better dipped and lathered in your favorite sauce. Ketchup, mayo, honey mustard, ranch: they all are so delicious but have you ever thought that maybe those small additions to your meals are causing a set-back? Condiments are packed with lots of fat, sugar, and calories. It’s time to swap the bad and find new ways to still enjoy your favorite foods!

Let’s start with KETCHUP. One of the most popular American condiments but don’t let the “tomato” part fool you. Studies have found that about one-fourth of a bottle of ketchup is pure sugar. So not only do the French fries pack on the pounds, but adding a simple side of ketchup racks up those calories even more. Something to try in place of delicious ketchup is tomato hot-sauce, tomato vinaigrette, or even a big slice of tomato on your favorite sandwich! If you are desperate for something that resembles ketchup a little more, try this homemade, healthier option… Homemade Ketchup

Next up, MAYONNAISE. One of the worst condiments you could possible consume. Just one tablespoon of mayo has around 90 calories and 10 grams of fat. That 10 grams of fat is about 15% of your daily intake of fat. Is that really worth it for just ONE tablespoon. Even the “light” versions are just as bad. Sure they say “less fat” but where that fat is reduced, extra sugar is added. So really, you are just swapping bad for worse. Try making your own mayo using Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and your favorite spices. Like this recipe…. Greek Yogurt Mayo

Want a salad…with some RANCH? Ranch is popular on salads, but the newest favorites are breadsticks, chicken wings, pizza, and I won’t lie, one of my favorites is French fries. Did you know that just 2 oz. of ranch dressing is equal to 10% of your daily calorie intake on a 2,000 calorie diet? Now be honest with yourself, do you only really eat a 2 oz. serving? Exactly! The easiest thing to remember is just staying away from creamy dressings. Vinaigrettes or mustard is one of the easiest swaps you can make. If you still are dying for that creamy Ranch flavor though, try this delicious homemade version! It really is a smarter and MORE delicious swap….. Homemade Ranch

Last but not least, BARBECUE. This is my absolute favorite. As Americans, we put it on everything and it comes it a million different flavors and varieties that you really can’t get sick of it. Do you know what dipping your chicken into barbecue is similar to? Dipping your chicken into liquid sugar! It is loaded with the same amount of sugar as ketchup, but ALSO has high carbohydrate content. Add that to your lean chicken and you might as well just eat it deep fried! Instead of your Sweet Baby Rays sauce or Masterpiece BBQ, try mixing some soy sauce with a little stevia for that sweet yet tangy kick! You can also try one of these homemade recipes that have fewer calories, but double the flavor….. Paleo BBQ Sauces

I am not encouraging you to cut out condiments all together! Just try to think a little more about what else ketchup, mayo, ranch, barbecue, etc. adds to your favorite foods other than just flavor!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

Nuts: Let’s Crack the Truth

57422040 Mixed nuts

I am a believer in reading nutrition labels with everything that I eat. I want to know what I am eating, how many calories, and all of the information I can get.  I won’t lie, when it comes to nuts, I try to stay clear. Not only are they high in fat, but you only get a small handful for around 200 calories. Think of the things you could eat for 200 calories that are much larger in size?

My parents have always tried making me eat almonds as a snack, and I asked them “Are you nuts? Have you seen how high in fat they are?” They laughed at me, and I wondered why? Watching my friends consume all different types of nuts every day really made me wonder, what are the benefits of such a small snack? So I did my research and found this:

AlmondsThey are packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fibers that are needed for a healthy diet. Just one serving of almonds equals 1/8 of the amount of protein you need each day. Almonds do contain a high level of unsaturated fat, but as you would have read in previous blogs, unsaturated fat is HEALTHY (in moderation of course)! Also, eating a handful of almonds a day is a great way to get the vitamin E your body needs to stay healthy. That was enough proof for me to believe that they were good for me. I also found that snacking on almonds kept me more full than other snacks I choose. Looking for more reasons why almonds are HEALTHY and AMAZING? Check out What are the health benefits of almonds?.

PistachiosMy favorite part is cracking them! I only go for the salted ones, but I can handle a little extra salt in my diet because I have low blood pressure (Blood Pressure). Jessica Bruso, holder of a science degree in food policy and applied nutrition, states “Pistachios contain fewer calories and more potassium and vitamin K per serving than other nuts.” (Health Benefits of Pistachios) She also researched and found “A 1-ounce serving of dry-roasted pistachios contains 160 calories, 6 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 15 grams of fat, including only 2 grams of saturated fat.” The biggest thing with pistachios is limiting your portions. In reality, that is with all foods! Pistachios are my personal favorite so over-eating them does happen. One trick I like to do is measure out a serving and put them in separate bags. That way, when I want a snack, I can finish the whole bag and know that it was one serving.

PecansThey are enriched with many health benefiting nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are essential every day. Pecans are also great source of energy. According to Power In Your Diet, Pecans “are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and an excellent source of phenolic antioxidants. Regular addition of pecan nuts in the diet helps to decrease total as well as LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good cholesterol” levels in the blood.” Does this mean you should load up on the pecan pie? Probably not, but adding a hand full of pecan nuts every day in your diet will help keep sufficient levels of minerals, vitamins, and protein. Be smart, and snack on!

WalnutsIf you can handle cracking the shell open, then do it! Walnuts are not only delicious, but the soft, easy-to-chew texture makes it one of the world’s favorite nuts. They are very rich in Vitamin E and also help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and breast cancer. (Walnut Benefits) Walnuts are also very high in fat. In 1 cup there is about 52 grams of fat but only 4.2 grams of that is saturated fat. (The Walnut) That is still a lot of fat, but remember, everything is good in moderation.

PeanutsThe most common nut out there due to the cheap price. Peanuts are more readily-available and cheaper to grow which is why they are so cheap. According to Nutrition and You, “Peanuts are an excellent source of resveratrol, another polyphenolic antioxidant. Resveratrol has been found to have protective function against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and viral/fungal infections.” (Facts of Peanuts) One thing that makes a peanut odd is that it is referred to as a legume, not a nut. (Peanut) They also contain more saturated fat so be careful when consuming and make sure you only eat one serving.

Nuts taste great and can also be great for you. When you see high calorie food labels with such small portions, don’t avoid them. Check out the nutrition facts and ingredients and usually you will be able to detect why. I can honestly say that now, Almonds are my absolute favorite snack!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman