Tag Archives: low calorie

What’s In YOUR Cart?

15 Aug

Today, I went grocery shopping after work. It’s funny, but in the last few months I’ve begun to really look at what is inside someone’s grocery cart. I constantly hear from people that they don’t understand why they’re overweight, but it never occurs to them to change what is being purchased at the grocery store. I don’t say this to sound sanctimonious now that I’ve figured out how to eat healthy, I say it because I think the ignorance is genuine. People don’t realize what is in food both in terms of fat and calories, but also preservatives, sugar and sodium.

Many foods advertised as low fat/low cal are often compensated by being sky high in sugar and sodium. If you buy anything within the interior aisles of the supermarket, chances are your food is loaded with preservatives and other unpleasant chemicals, fillers and calories.

When you go grocery shopping, really try to stick to the perimeter of the store. This is typically where fresh produce, meats and the bakery are located. Once you start venturing down the aisles, you will encounter foods that come in a box, can or frozen section which usually means chemicals, preservatives, extra fat/calories/sodium. Go grocery shopping with a clear list and a clear head. Don’t shop while you’re on the phone or otherwise distracted. This can cause you not to read labels and buy impulsively. Take the time to read labels—look not only for nutritional information but find out if the meat or produce is organic or where it’s from.

Shopping healthy is, unfortunately, fairly expensive. My grocery bill for me this week was nearly $65. The majority of the food I bought today will only last me one week, though some of it can be frozen and saved for a later date (i.e. chicken breast strips were buy one, get one free, so one went into the freezer). That’s a lot of money for a single person. Try to watch the mail for grocery store inserts to see who is having sales on lean meats and produce. This will help in your overall bill reduction.

For example today, I didn’t have time to stop at Sunflower Market, which is where I typically buy most of my produce and all of my meat. It’s usually all organic but incredibly cheap (a 6-pack of chicken drumsticks is as low as $1.50). So I had to hit the main supermarket for everything. Their organic chicken was $8 a package, which is crazy expensive. Non-organic chicken was $4.50 for a package, but this week with my shopper’s card, I could get two packages of the organic chicken for $8 since it was BOGO. Watch for these kind of deals and stock up.

Try shopping the perimeter for one week. Make all of your meals fresh at home. If you are working or busy with a family, make large quantities and freeze it for the week so you have more time. Although I still seriously heart my ice cream, I can guarantee you will feel so much better cooking with only fresh ingredients. So put the Hamburger Helper back on the shelf and give this challenge a try.

Share your grocery cart contents!

What I Bought at the Grocery Store Today
Blueberries, Strawberries, Plums, Cherries, Watermelon, Red/Green/Orange Peppers, Corn on the Cob, Sliced roast beef from deli, 93% lean ground beef, organic chicken breast strips, whole grain white Wonder bread (I can’t get on the whole wheat band wagon, just can’t do it!!!), fettucini noodles, egg noodles, 1 healthy request cream of mushroom soup, 2 quarts of Greek yogurt, low-fat string cheese, parmesan cheese, reduced fat cream cheese (for a recipe).

Quick Link: Prevention Magazine’s Healthy Eating Plan

22 May

3-Day Healthy Eating Plan From Prevention Magazine

Jump start your lifestyle change of healthy eating habits by trying this 3-day healthy eating plan devised by Prevention Magazine.

Simple Substitutions

9 Jan

As everyone kicks off their New Years resolutions with a healthy diet and exercise plan, many fail within the first few weeks as they tend to go too extreme with their new plans.

Overnight they go from eating 3500 calories a day and no exercise to 1200 calories and 5 days a week at the gym. No one can keep up with that type of drastic change when it happens so quickly. Besides, then it turns into a diet, not a lifestyle change. A diet has a definite end point, changing your lifestyle is permanent.

Trainer Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser once said if you want to lose weight, make 5 small changes. It’s true, a big change starts with small steps. So, instead of making very drastic, overnight changes to your life, do some small, simple substitutions instead.

One thing I’ve learned very, very recently is that Greek yogurt makes a fantastic substitute for sour cream and heavy cream when used in cooking sauces. I had a recipe from Rocco Di Spirito for Penne With Vodka Cream Sauce that contained neither vodka nor cream. Instead he substituted those ingredients with Greek yogurt. It tasted fabulous—not like some of that cardboard fat free stuff out there and it was only 316 calories per serving instead of 655.

After having success with that recipe, I decided to try it on my own. The other night, I got home from work late and needed something quick and easy to make. I love hamburger stroganoff, and it’s super easy. Unfortunately it’s fairly bad for you because it takes an entire container of sour cream. So I used 93% lean ground beef (120 calories for 3 oz), 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup and 1 container of Greek yogurt instead. I seasoned with onion and garlic, and I honestly could not tell the difference from the old recipe. I saved hundreds of calories with this simple substitution, but didn’t sacrifice flavor.

Lots of baking recipes call for apple sauce instead of the same amount of butter or eggs. You can’t tell the difference, but it tastes great. Try using whole wheat bread or pasta instead of white. Saves a few calories.

Changing your life to be healthier doesn’t mean having to give up your favorite foods or eating fat free cardboard the rest of your life. Small changes and substitutions are the key.

If you have any healthy substitutions you’d like to share, please comment. I’m always interested in how to make recipes healthier, but not taste like they’re healthy. :)

30 Healthy Snacks from SELF Magazine

2 Nov

This was a great post on the SELF Magazine website for 30 healthy snack options. I typically don’t snack throughout the day, but there are certain days where I’m starving non-stop. I may not have changed any food habits, but my appetites is crazy. It’s good to find healthy snacking options that aren’t processed foods for the most part.

Check it out: http://www.self.com/fooddiet/2009/06/30-healthy-snacks

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