Friday, April 29, 2011

Low Fat and Sugar Free Homemade Granola - Mmmmmm!

I am a sucker for anything with crunch - mix that with the cold, creaminess of Unsweetened Almond Milk and I am in HEAVEN!  Which is why I don't buy cold cereals...they were and always will be a trigger for me for overeating and portion control. 

But that doesn't mean I cant enjoy my crunch!  My all time favorite was always granola.  But so many granola's are choc full of calories, fat and lots of SUGAR...mostly from the dried fruits and added sweetness that is not needed in this awesome healthy breakfast or snack.

I found a way to combat my portion control, do away with the sugar, and still get my crunch - homemade granola!  It's simple, delicious and takes 15 minutes total!  And the best part- NO SATURATED FATS OR SUGAR - it's all healthy fats that your body needs.  99% of women do not get enough healthy fats in their diet.  I tell all my clients to follow the 'Rule of 3' - put 3 healthy fats in your diet a day from sources like olive oil, flax, salmon, avocado, all natural nut butters, raw almonds - but use correct portions:
Olive Oil: 1 tsp
Avocado: 1/4 of avocado
Salmon: 3-4ounces
Flax Seed: 1 tsp
Almonds: 1 ounce (about 20 nuts)
Almond Butter: 1 TBS

Adding healthy fats to your diet will actually help to combat tummy fat and help you get lean!

Back to granola: I make an individual serving in the evening and store it in an air-tight container for the next morning.  This way, I can't eat 2 servings...I only have one!  If you want to make more than 1 serving, just multiply the recipe :-)

1/2 Cup Whole Rolled Oats
2 tsp sliced raw almonds
1 tsp flax seed
Cinnamon, nutmeg and clove spice to taste
1 egg white

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until moist.  Spray a 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray and spread the oat mixture onto the bottom of the pan.  Place in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes and checking to make sure mixture does not burn. 

Remove from the oven and let cool!

1 serving of dry granola:

Try it with 1 cup of Silk Unsweetened Almond milk, 1/2 cup raspberries, stevia to taste and a side of 4 egg whites with 1 c. spinach and 1 TBS of salsa and you have an AMAZING high protein/complex carb combo breakfast for less than 380 calories!

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You can't eat healthy when you eat out? Sure you can!

A client and friend of mine recently told me she didn't want to accompany her husband to his favorite restaurant, Outback, because she 'couldn't eat anything healthy there'.  To which I challenged her because I eat healthy there....and for that fact everywhere anytime I venture out for a meal.

I don't eat out often - for the simple fact that restaurants add a LOT of junk into food that doesn't need to be there:  butter, sugar, heavy cream, lard and sodium to name a few.  Most think they are eating 'healthy' by choosing chicken dishes and the like but more often than not, you aren't.

A fellow trainer said many of his clients say the same, 'but I can't eat healthy there so I just ordered something bad.'  Well never again.  You MUST become an educated consumer if you have a fitness goal you are trying to reach.  If you turn a blind eye to food labels and restaurant food - you will never get there.

I try to only eat out once every few weeks but when the occasion arises, I always check the restaurants website before going.  This is imperative if you want to make good choices.  Almost all restaurants have websites and nutrition information...and what you will find will shock you!  Grilled chicken sandwiches at Chili's for 1300 calories?  88 grams of fat in chicken fajitas at Applebee's?  Yessir!

So here is my biggest tip:  When eating out - DON'T ORDER OFF THE MENU!  What?  Yup....Order a dish and alter it.  For example: Outback.  Order the Atlantic Salmon dish - dry - no butter or oil just the salmon grilled.  Order steamed veggies (which they offer as a side dish) and a baked sweet potato dry and viola!  You have turned a 760 calorie and 51 gram of fat dish into a 415 calorie and 22 grams of fat (with no trans fat and only 2.5g of saturated). 

It's all in how and what you order.  With all the food allergies and intolerance out there these days, most chef's and cooks are accustomed to making changes.  You should never feel bad for making changes.  You are the consumer.

I am known to make up my own salads when nothing on the menu will suffice.  For example - recently at a sports bar, everything was calorie ladden and choc full of fat.  So I ordered grilled chicken on salad greens with tomatoes and a side of broccoli and side of salsa.  Combine it all and you have a nice, filling, healthy salad.

Your friends want to go out for Hibachi?  Perfect!  But you don't have to take part in the buttery fried rice with fried eggs and oil to boot - order steamed brown rice instead (they all offer it) and ask the Hibachi chef to please not add extra oil and sugary teryaki sauces to your meat and veggies. 

It's simple really - just order foods that you would cook at home for your healthy lifestyle.

Do I ever cheat?  Sure - but when I think about consuming 88 grams of fat (3 days worth), 1300 calories (almost a days worth) and quadruple the amount of FDA recommended sodium a day in ONE's just not worth it to me.  So I make different choices and still feel that satisfaction of eating something off my meal plan. 

Food for thought.

Happy Eating!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The BEST salad EVER

Salad: It can be both your best and worst enemy when striving towards good nutrition as a lifestyle.  So many people believe they are doing good by ordering the salad selection rather than a sandwich or other entree when in fact, the opposite is true in many restaurants.

Take for example the Bistro Chicken Salad at Einstein Brothers....a salad I used to frequent in my not-so healthy days....but I believed it was healthy.  Thus my lesson to everyone in becoming an informed consumer...don't just 'think' its healthy because it's choc full of greens, read and research.  My beloved Bistro salad from days past packs a whopping 940 calories and 71 grams of FAT!  71 grams!  Yikes!!  Then there is the Grilled Shrimp and Spinach Salad at Applebees - sounds harmless right?  WRONG: 1,050 calories!!  In a salad!  You are much better off making a salad at home and you can add a lot more fresh ingredients to your salad at home.

I have tons of great salad recipes - some I will save for later :-)  But today I am posting the mother of all salads that is so flavorful, nutrient rich and colorful it will make you crave it all day long!  The crunch is out of this world!  I created it as part of my raw foods cleanse, however, I will continue eating it and add proteins in once my cleanse is over.  I will include protein in this recipe:

1.5 cups of Spring Mix or Romaine mix
5 cherry tomatoes chopped
1/4 cup chopped zucchini
1/4 cup red bell pepper chopped
1/4 cup banana pepper chopped
1 individual cup Dole No Sugar Added Mandarin Oranges in own juices
1/4 of an avocado chopped
1/2 cup fresh sugar snap peas
4 ounces rotisserie chicken
Italian Seasoning
Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions:  Place all ingredients in a medium size bowl and sprinkle with Italian Seasoning.  For Dressing, pour the juice from the mandarin orange cup into container and top with 1-2 TBS of apple cider vinegar.  Pour mixture over salad - ENJOY!

Nutritional Info:
Fat10.9g (All mono and poly - no saturated)