Tagged with eating healthy

…MORE Healthy Snacks Part 4…

Tired of trying the same quick snacks that you have gotten accustomed to eating? Well no worries! There is a WIDE variety of snacks that you can try that are not expensive, quick to grab, and yummy that will satisfy your cravings until your next meal!

These are some good snacks that you can keep in your purse, desk, or lunchbox that you can snack on to help keep you on track with your healthy eating habits.

1. Watermelon (serving size is about 1 cup cut into cubes or balls that can be created by scooping out with an ice cream scoop)

2. Cubed Apples and Cubed Cheese (suggested serving size is 1 cup)

3. Craisins (suggested serving size 1 cup. Also great to have on a salad or in yogurt!)

4. Goldfish Crackers (suggested serving size about 55 pieces)

5. Roasted Asparagus (you can also try four spears spritzed with olive-oil spray and topped with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, baked for 10 minutes at 400°)

6. Turkey Roll-Ups (Four slices smoked turkey rolled up and dipped in 2 teaspoons honey mustard you can also add low fat swiss cheese to add a little more taste)

7. Strawberry Salad (1 cup raw spinach with ½ cup sliced strawberries and 1 tablespoon balsamic dressing)

8. Oatmeal (try to stay away from the flavored oatmeal those add a lot of sugar. you can get plain oatmeal and add brown sugar or honey to add some flavor.  you can even add fruit or yogurt!)

9. Banana Smoothie (½ cup sliced banana, ¼ cup nonfat vanilla yogurt, and a handful of ice blended until smooth)

10. Lime Sherbet (1/2 cup suggested serving size ) with sliced kiwi or any other fruit

11. Apple Chips (dehydrated apples! My favorite are Fiji apples or honey crisp because those retain the best flavor and sweetness)

12. Black Beans (mix 1/4 cup black beans with 1 tablespoon salsa and 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt for an added twist! Can eat this plan or on ONE piece of whole wheat bread)

13. Lettuce wrap (try two slices honey-baked ham with 2 teaspoons honey mustard rolled in a lettuce leaf)

14. Pecans (try five pecans roasted with 2 teaspoons maple syrup and 1 teaspoon cinnamon this could also go great on a salad!)

15. Chocolate Covered Strawberries (dip 5 strawberries in 2 squares of dark chocolate)

16. Honeyed Yogurt (½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt with a dash of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon honey)

17. Tropical Juice Smoothie (¼ cup pineapple juice, orange juice, and apple juice, blended with ice)

18. Turkey and cheese wrap made with a whole wheat tortilla (Add mustard for flavor and don’t be afraid to add lettuce and other veggies)

19. Fruit and Cheese Kabobs ( You can alternate chunks of fresh fruit and cheese cubes and thread them on a bamboo skewer for a fun and healthy snack)

20. A couple of hard-boiled eggs with carrot, celery sticks, and hummus (roasted red pepper hummus of a low-fat cream cheese or peanut butter)

You can also check out past post for more snack options:

http://infinitelifefitness.com/2011/11/02/healthy-foods-that-are-unhealthy-part-1/

http://infinitelifefitness.com/2012/01/17/more-healthy-snack-ideas/

http://infinitelifefitness.com/2012/02/02/more-healthy-snacks-part-3/

So there should be No excuse as to why you can not snack on HEALTHY things during the day as opposed to a bag of chips of your favorite candy bar.  Those are good to have every once in a while BUT if you want to reach your health and fitness goals you have to dedicate yourself to eating things that are beneficial to your body.

Any day is a great day to start obtaining your own health and fitness goals!!






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…Guest Post: Wake Up Late? Check Out this Easy Solutions to Think Outside The Breakfast Box…

Wake Up Late? Check Out this Easy Solutions to Think Outside The Breakfast Box

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Is breakfast a frantic grab of coffee-spilling rush as you run out the door in the morning?

Relax – skimping on the most important meal of the day is often due to lack of knowledge, not lack of time.

The past decade has seen a gigantic amount of controversy over these low-fat but high carbohydrate ‘perfect breakfasts’. Many foods could be labeled mistakenly ‘healthy’ just because they are low in fat. The reality is, if you meal fails to contain a balance of fat/carbohydrate and protein, you may hit hunger over-drive and energy slumps far before you need to.

 

The main point is that there is nothing vastly different about breakfast than any other meal, and a balanced meal contains approximately 20-30% fat, 40-50% carbohydrate and 20-30% protein. For example; you probably would not aim to eat potatoes alone for dinner, but include meat and vegetables. Eating a bagel with a slab of cream cheese with your coffee is pretty much equivalent, nutritionally speaking, as eating potatoes alone for dinner.

 

The challenge is not about subtracting from your morning bagel or cereal, it is about adding to it. Expand your dietary patterns – eat your bagel whole-grain instead of white, with an apple instead of orange juice, use low-fat nut butter or a small handful of trail mix to balance your protein count. Mix your regular Cheerio’s with some old fashioned oatmeal, mixed with real fruit, soymilk or yogurt and almonds. Top your whole-grain English muffin with some low-fat cheese, and splurge on expensive out of season fruit like melon or grapes, before enjoying a latte on the gondola. Spending money on the little things that you enjoy in your diet can help avoid over spending later on weight loss and cover-up clothes – resulting from over-eating because your palette wasn’t satisfied.

 

Smoothies are great and quick – remember that fruits contain a surprising amount of ‘good’ carbohydrates. Add yogurt, skim milk and perhaps a protein powder with fresh fruit – you have breakfast in less than two minutes! Or take eggs on multi-grain toast, (limit the butter) add spinach or sautéed vegetables and low fat cheese, with an orange or apple. If all else fails, left over dinner can be the most balanced breakfast you can have – providing it covers all the major food groups. Experts suggest a breakfast consisting of excess bread and cereal may be far too low in protein, fiber and good fat – the ingredients needed to stabilize the blood sugar and insulin levels.

 

You don’t have to eat a lot of food to make it work for you; you just have to make the right choices. Breakfast needs to be as balanced nutritionally as any other meal, so get with the modern way of eating and break your high carbohydrate/low protein breakfast habits to keep your morning blood sugar levels under control. Think quality over quantity, start your day with a good breakfast and mornings will become as high-energy as the rest of the day.

 

gpCat is a renowned fitness personality and has been named Canada’s top trainer three times by the International Sports Science Association. She is the owner of Canada’s leading weight loss retreat for women, located in Whistler, B.C.

Facebook Page – click here

 






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…Portion Sizes…

When it comes to starting a new health and fitness routine PORTION SIZES are SO SO SO SO important.  You have to be able to know what is the right amount to have with each meal so you are not over eating.  Over eating will cancel out the hard workout you have that day! The key to losing those unwanted calories is working off MORE calories than you are consuming.

DO NOT starve yourself! Find healthy LOW CALORIE snacks you can have during the day to help you stop those hunger feelings and to get you to your next meal.

Here is a guide i found online…hope that it is helpful with helping you decide you portion sizes when preparing you meals

 

The goal to reaching your fitness goals is to set some goals, stick to them, stay focused, and work hard! Hard work will pay off! Passing on that key lime pie you like to have for dessert and having a bowl of fruit will help you to obtain those health and fitness goals you set for yourself.  It is OK to treat your some sometimes but not ALL the time.  Be mindful of the things you are putting in your body.

You have to make sure that you are eating enough AND also eating the right things throughout the day.  Yes you can consume less calories BUT if all of those calories come from poor quality foods it will not allow you to  reach your health and fitness goals as quickly as you would like.






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…Give Up Fast Food?…

Over 4 years ago I made a pledge to myself to give up ALL fast food.

This means no McDonald’s, No Burger King, No Taco Bell, No Sonic….No place that was a “fast food” chain.  And to this day that had been one of my best choices.  I did it for several reasons…

1) To save money! After calculating how much I spent each month on fast food that was DOUBLE my budget for my grocery bill!  I learned to plan out my meals, make a menu, and stick to my monthly budget and it has helped me save HUNDREDS of dollars each year.

2)To eat healthier.  I am not saying that fast food places do not have healthy options for you.  Now they have done a great job at having alternative to offer families instead of the usual menu items.  Like offering fruit instead of fries.  Or having milk or juice instead of carbonated beverages.  They have done a great job over the years to add some healthier options to their menus.  But, for me, I felt that the variety of things that the grocery store was better and most cost-effective for me than going to grab something at my local fast food place.

3) To help me learn what I need to eat and to be more mindful of the things that I put in my body.  Since then I have gotten leaner and gotten better results physically.  Not having the luxury of just driving up someplace and getting food has made me actually think about what I want and what I need to eat on a daily basis.  I have adopted a much healthier eating habit not to mention I have saved money!

 

There are tons of articles and studies on how “healthy” some of the items fast food places sale to you.  And yes most of them are true.  Hence why it is better to take your own pledge to limit or cut out fast food from your diet.

You do not have to quit cold turkey! And like I said before, they do have some healthier options on the menu. But make sure that the healthy option is not tainted with double ranch dressing or with other things that will help diminish its healthy intentions.  You have to learn what is on the menu, how much of it you can have, and what to add/take away to keep that healthy meal within the “healthy meal” range.

One of the most important things about starting on a new health journey is know what is the right and wrong things to eat.  And the things in the image above are the WRONG things to consume on a regular basis.  I am not going to lie to you and say that I do not enjoy a nice burger.  But I enjoy that burger every once in a while.  You have to learn what you need on a regular basis and what you can have in moderation.

Each fast food restaurant should have a “Nutritional Facts” guide posted in their store or on their website (and to be honest most regular restaurants are starting to have them as well).  It would be smart to look at them before you go to get your food so you can have in mind what are the best things and the worst things they have on their menus.

It is wise to NOT super size/enlarge your meals when asked.  Also, limit the kind of condiments that you use on your meal. Even though Buffets are good for your pocket-book it is best to stay away from them! This is just a sure way for you to overeat, or eat several plate full of items that should be eaten in moderation. If you do go to a buffet try not to go up for seconds.  Try to know what is a good portion size and make sure to get those portion sizes when you go up for your first entrée. And if you are still hungry, drink some water and wait a bit until you make your second trip.  Sometimes it takes a little bit for your brain to realize that you are full so waiting will allow your food/drink to settle and for you to realize if you are truly full or not.

There are some more great tips in THIS article that will help you when making your fast food decisions.

Hope that this was a great tip to get your guys through the weekend! Happy Friday! And do not forget…ANY DAY is a GREAT DAY to start being healthy!






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…When is enough food enough?…

When you go out to eat at almost ANY restaurant, the plate of food that you order is almost ALWAYS more than the suggested serving size.  As a culture we are all wanting to get the best and the most we can out of our money.  But is that necessarily the healthiest thing for you?

One of the things you can do to help you start learning what is enough is learning what the correct portion sizes are! You can look at my post HERE to get a sense of what is the correct portion size for most meals.

Learning what your body NEEDS and not what you want (or what you are craving) is a hard thing to do!  Some people crave food because food can be a comfort for them.  Emotional eating is one of the top listed reasons as to why most people gain the unwanted weight that they do.  To get over this, it helps to plan out your meals, try to have a variety of items when you do eat meals and snacks, and learn your biological food clock.  This “clock” is the indication of when you should eat food to nourish and replenish the body.  Not just because it is 3:00 and you want a candy bar.

Example…here is my biological food clock…

I usually get up around 7AM. When I wake up in the morning I usually eat within 1 hour of waking up.  If not, my stomach will be sure to let me know.

I always have a mid morning snack around 10 AM. This snack is a SMALL snack (which is about 300 calories).  It is only a filler until lunch time which is around 12:30.

After lunch I usually have a mid afternoon snack around 3.  This is an important snack for me because I usually work out around 5 so this snack usually has a few more calories to help me through the day and to help me through my workout.

After my work out I usually have dinner.  Depending on how heavy or light my lunch was will depend on how heavy or light my dinner is.  When I refer to how “heavy or light” it is I am speaking of if I have a meal with a lot of meat and starches for one meal I will try to refrain from having those things again with the next meal.

 

Learning your clock will take some time and you will have to learn what it feels like to eat until you are satisfied.  If you feel full or over embellished with your meal you have eaten more than you should have.

Another thing to be mindful of is what your body is telling you…not necessarily how full or empty your plate it.

Example:

If I have prepared a meal with correct portion sizes and I get done, I usually have something to drink to make sure that I am satisfied.  If I still have an unsatisfying feeling I will add a few more veggies or something not so “heavy” to my plate.  I am NOT a big fan or advocate of starving yourself if you have reached your daily calorie intake.  But if you do consume those extra calories you have to be mindful to eat healthy things that will not make you regret eating the extra food.

It is also suggested that if you start to get on a regular eating schedule it will be easier for you to know how to handle your cravings and how to consume your meal portions correctly.  Also, DRINK WATER!! It may be a form of cheating…but it has also been found that if you consume water regularly through your meal it will help you to realize that your stomach is full and to help limit the probability that you will overeat during your meal.

Here is an important tip for those who go out to eat regularly…when you order your meal, as soon as it comes to the table split the meal in HALF! Only eat HALF of your meal.  If it is hard for you to stick with that ask your waiter for a to go box before you start to eat and put half of the meal in the to go box so you do not have to see it on your plate.  This will not only help you stick to your portion sizes but it will also help you to have another meal for the next day!

Hope that some of these tips helped you to get a better understanding what kind of eating habits you have.  It is about eating food that will satisfy and nourish your body.  Consuming excessive amounts of food helps to account for gained weight.  Embarking on your own health and fitness journey will take a lot of work until you get use to your body and what you need!






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…healthy “butter”…

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Peanut (and other nut) butter is a great food to incorporate into your diet (if you are not allergic to it).   When searching for your favorite peanut butter try to find the most natural peanut butter that you possibly can. When you find your peanut butter grab the jar…and turn it around and look at the ingredients label.  The only ingredients that should be in the jar should be peanut butter, salt, and possibly oil.  NOTHING ELSE. Buying the peanut butter that is “Low in Fat” or has other health phrases on it are usually not the best for you.  They usually have MORE ingredients, more calories, more sugar, and are not as healthy for you!

Peanut butter has a good serving of fiber and protein.  You will not want to go overboard with the peanut butter seeing as there is 180-200 calories per servings (which is typically 2 tablespoons).  Try to stick with the serving size and you will be ok!

Peanut butter has a ton of the “good fats”.  These fats are called “monounsaturated fat” and are great to help you reach your health and fitness goals.

There are some companies that have made peanut butter that are nut free (they have the flavor or peanut butter) but they do have a lot of ingredients as well.  They also have powdered peanut butter (you simply add water to the mix and stir it up).  These versions are lower in calories and fat and are a great options for those who have to watch those macro-nutrients.  They have also made some peanut butters that are higher in protein and that come in various flavors (such as dark chocolate, white chocolate, and many other sumptuous flavors.

Spreading peanut butter on vegetables, fruit, crackers, or even a slice of bread can be a great snack or small meal for you and your family. You can also get almond butter, cashew butter, and a variety of nuts made into butter.  But also be cautious because those may have higher calorie, fat, and sodium macro-nutrients.

So the next time you head to the head to the grocery store make sure to stop when you are walking down the aisle with the peanut butter and try to find a new treat to add to your menu!






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…Friday FITspiration…

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Three of the KEY goals Infinite Life Fitness strives to do each day.

This website was created for YOU!

I post things to help YOU!

Without YOU we would not be able to do the things that I currently do

so THANK YOU!!!

You guys think this page is for you but you guys really do keep me inspired and motivated.

Each day i am always researching and looking for things to share with you guys.

I love when i am able to create images or post to share with you guys.

Please let me know if there is anything that you guys would like for me to talk about or share.

My goal is here to help YOU!

I look forward to creating more and more things to share with you guys!
Happy Friday!

Stay Dedicated, Motivated, and Inspired!






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…”Healthy” foods that are UNhealthy: Part 1…

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If you see any of the following words on a package make sure to think about how “healthy” they actually are for you…

  • Reduced Fat
  • Sugar Free
  • Diet
  • Fat Free
  • Low Fat
  • No Added Sugar

These type of words are used to help grab your attention and to help you think that they are indeed the healthier option for you. In most cases it is “healthier’ than the regular product that they sale. But is that product good for you to eat in the first place?

Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter:

Why is it good?

It contains monounsaturated fat. This is the “good” kind of fat that you can have in your diet.

Why is it bad?

Most of these types of products that are made to be “reduced fat’ are jammed packed with MORE sugar! And, in most cases this sugar is HIGHLY processed which makes it not as good for you. So how is it “reduced fat” with more sugar? great question!!

Eating an excess amount of this kind of sugar has been proven to cause tooth decay and lead to unwanted weight gain.

Both regular and reduced fat peanut butter carry about the same amount of calories. The biggest and most problematic issue is that the reduced fat usually contains a lot more sugar.  It is safe to steer away from store-bought and try to get all natural peanut butter in this case. There are all natural organic peanut butters available (or almond butter).  You can also find these items for a great price if you look around and maybe consider purchasing it online.

Bran Muffins Bagels with Cream Cheese:

Why is it good?
To be honest it is not good. They have been given the reputation for being healthy and a healthy option for breakfast or a snack.
Why is it bad?
These are jammed packed with sugar and refined flour. Two things that you should try to limit in your diet or steer clear from it.  Yes it does contains a small amount of fiber, but other than that there is actually minimal nutritional value in bran muffins.

Bagels with Cream Cheese:

Why is it good?

This is a quick and easy meal option and is filling.  It is great to have on the go!

Why is it bad?

First of all it is just a lot of bread to consume at one time for one meal.  It has about 60 grams of carbohydrates and could also have MORE than 300 calories.  And that is without the cream cheese or jelly most people pile on top of both slices of their bagels.  Again items like this are made with the over processed flour you should shy away from and of course corn syrup.  It also has minimal nutritional value.  So it is wise to have only one 1/2 of the bagel with eggs or some other kind of substitute to increase nutritional value and to get more nutrition with your meal.

You always want to reach for the 100% whole grain or whole wheat options when it comes to bread or pasta.  It is better for you and has more nutritional value than regular “white” bread or pastas.

Granola Bars:

Why is it good?

They are packed with oats, nuts, dried fruit, and can also contain seeds.  All of these are indeed good for you! So why would you think negative about a snack containing all of these things?

Why is it bad?

Granola Bars are not as good for you because of one simple thing…the “glue” that holds the granola together to create that delicious granola bar you like to snack on. That glue is nothing more than high-fructose corn syrup.  All this does is quickly increases your blood sugar which in returns limits how you actually digest the oats and nuts and other healthier things that are in the granola bar.  Along with the high sugar content comes the high calorie count.

Yogurt cups with the fruit or granola in the bottom:

Why is it good?

Yogurt is high in nutrients.  It also contains active cultures which are great for digestion and your immune system.

Why is it bad?

Despite the high calorie count, this too is packed full of sugar! And yes that preserved fruit in the high fructose corn syrup mixture is not any better for you either.

Try plain yogurt with you favorite FRESH fruit (or thawed out frozen fruit that was not preserved in syrup).  It is a healthier options not to mention cuts down the calorie count dramatically!

Pretzels:

Why is it good?

It is a healthier option that potato chips.  Not to mention that there is a low-fat content in each serving size.

Why is it bad?

These are nutritionally empty! They don’t have a big nutritional value at all. Not to mention all the sodium that is packed into the salty seasoning covering every small piece of the pretzels. Not to mention it too is made of the over processed flour that should be limited in your diet.

Try to find a whole wheat or whole grain option.  You can also substitute pretzels for other things such as vegetable, fruits, or even a handful of nuts.

I hope this gave you an insight on some food to watch out for the next time you go to the grocery store to buy your food.

Stay tuned for part two! There are dozens of food on grocery store shelves masked as “low-fat” or “healthy” when they indeed are not as healthy as you think they are.

 






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…Bad eating consequences…

I wish that food labels had “workout equivalents” rather than calories on them.  If I knew that I would have to do 100 burpee to enjoy a bite of a candy bar I would instantly double think enjoying too much of any type of bad food.

I am not saying that you can not enjoy some of your favorite foods! You can enjoy them BUT in moderation.  I think that if I knew that I would have to do 100 crunches to burn off that “one extra bite” I would for sure re-think it.

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…Knowing what you eat: Counting Calories…

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Do you know exactly what you are putting into your body?  Do you even know how much food you are consuming each day?  It is said that most people consume as little as TWICE as many calories than they actually need each day.

One of the most important things you need to do to help you reach your goals is to figure out what you are eating and how much you are eating!! There are DOZENS of applications you can download onto your smart devices and they are also accessible on your computer.

You can find an easily accessible and FREE calorie counter site at: http://www.nutracheck.co.uk/

Once you get singed up with these programs feel free to play around with it!! You need to get use to how the program works so you will become efficient as being able to navigate and use the program properly.

Using these types of programs will allow you the change to closely monitor HOW much food you are eating and what kind of foods you are eating.

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I suggest a few things:

- when you decide you want to make a healthier change, sign up for one of these programs and track what types of food you eat for a FULL week

- when the week is over go back and look at what you eat a lot of and what you need to eat more of.  You will be surprised to see that you consume too much salt, sugar, or another type of food.  You will also be able to see that you do not eat enough veggies, fruits, or protein.  This will allow you the change to actually see what areas you need to improve on.  

- next find some healthy recipes and go shopping! You have to find recipes that will be fitting to your needs!  Usually breakfast will be around 300-400 calories  snacks will be around 200-300 calories, and lunch and dinner should also be around 300-400 calories!  The goal is to spread your meals out throughout the day so you do not feel like you are going hungry!  YOU DO NOT WANT TO SKIP MEALS!! THIS CAN HINDER YOUR WEIGHT LOSS!  You want to try to stick to a regular eating schedule.  I would suggest eating about every 2-3 hours.  have breakfast, and then a small snack, lunch, another snack, dinner, and if you are still hungry in the evening have another SMALL snack.  You want to try to stop eating about 2-3 hours BEFORE you go to bed.  But you do not want to go hungry and you should try NOT to skip any meals

-keep track of what you eat in these applications.  They will let you decide if you have the right serving size or more than the suggested serving size.  If you stick to the proper serving sizes, a steady workout routine, and drink water you should start to see results in about a month!

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Reaching your goals will take TIME! You will have to be patient! You can not eat healthy for a week and expect 15-30 pounds to just vanish!  Yes that would be nice but it is not realistic.  You have to stay consistent with eating right AND working out.  Eating right is the MAIN priority.  If you are not feeding your body the right foods it will hinder the results you want to see!! You can spend all the time you want in the gym, but if you eat junk food all of that hard work will go to waste.  So this is why it is SO important to get your diet under control so you are able to reach the results you want.

And there you have it! I just gave you the tools you need to help you jump-start your new health and fitness journey!

Any day is a great day to start living healthier…why not start today!?






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