What a healthy day of eating looks like

I’ve had many people ask me what I eat. What do I eat for dinner? What’s a good breakfast? What do you snack on? I do plan out what I’m going to eat the day before and make sure that I have my snacks lined up (very important) and make sure I’m sticking to my appropriate calorie intake per day. We know that input = output. What you put into your body is what you will get out of it. You can’t take in more calories than you expend, otherwise you will gain weight. I follow a really easy way to figure out if I’m taking in too much. Chef Candice Kumai says it best – take your ideal weight, add a 0 to the end of that number and that is the net caloric intake you should have per day. Visit her site for good for you recipes – http://www.candicekumai.com/ Now this does mean that you have to count calories but after a few days it gets easier to calculate.

Here is an example from my own nutrition plan. This is what I had to eat one day this week:

2 coffees with cream & sugar = 102 Calories
oatmeal with 4 strawberries and 1 tbs flaxseed = 170 Calories

Morning snack greek yogurt = 100 Calories

Lunch lean cuisine 250 Calories

Afternoon snack banana = 72 Calories

broiled chicken breast with garlic & olive oil = 175 Calories
red skinned baked potato with salt & pepper = 130 Calories
broccoli = 80.00

Evening snack handful of dried apricots = 75 calories

Total Calories = 1154 Calories

Try counting calories for a week. You can use a tool to assit you. The one I like is http://www.calorieking.com/foods/

Good Luck! Let me know how you do!


Hydration, Hydration, Hydration!

Are you still exercising outside or has the hot July weather chased you indoors to the gym? Or has summer vacation taken over your fitness goals altogether? Regardless of your current physical output level at the moment we need to stay hydrated.

Drinking water is of course the easiest way to make sure our hydration levels remain adequate…but it’s not the only way. caffeine and sugar tend to offset our efforts and a lot of sports replacement drinks have unnecessary levels in them.

One way we can help our bodies maintain proper fluid levels is to eat certain foods in addition to our water intake.

– We know watermelon is good for this. It is named “WATERmelon” because it’s over 90% water. It also has good-for-you sugar that helps stabilize your blood sugar
Cucumbers also have a high water content and are a nice cool summer snack
Celery is another vegetable containing a lot of water – not the most flavorful in my opinion but with a schmear of low-fat peanut butter or other nut butter it packs a satisfying protein & hydration snack
Bananas & Kiwis don’t have a high water content but they contain the potassium that’s necessary to help your muscles keep in the water they need to keep you hydrated

Blackberries for Health

I was at the farmer’s market this morning picking up my weekly stash of fresh fruits & veggies and the very first thing I put in my basket were blackberries. And then I had to move them because they would have been squished by the cantaloupe :-). Blackberries are one of summers best fruits because they are not only convenient, but they do triple duty for your health!

They are sometimes a little pricer that strawberries or blueberries but they are well worth the splurge. The better known benefits are they the are high in Vitamins A & C but did you know they are stocked with fiber, folic acid, and potassium too? They battle free radicals which helps against cancer AND wrinkles! The fiber in them helps keep you fuller for longer. And there’s yet another benefit – the same compound that reduces these free radicals is linked to reducing the effect if histamine. How timely that these little berries are ripening around the same time that allergy season hits. Hmm…nature’s way of telling us something?

So, by eating these little powerful jewels you can get all these benefits with fewer calories. Eat them fresh and within 2-3 days of purchase for maximum freshness & nutrition. You can also get them frozen or freeze them yourself. I love to save a few of them in the freezer to add to yogurt to make a smoothie – perfect for a spring/summer afternoon snack. Yum! You can also put them in your cereal, pancakes or salad.

Do you have any good ways to make blackberries part of your diet?

References: Jerry Baker’s Kitchen Counter Cures

Snacking Healthy

I love chocolate. There, I said it.

So if you’re anything like me, you may have some challenges when it comes to snack choices. I’m always looking for something sweet, especially after dinner. I was doing my due diligence to make sure my meals were healthy, but by not planning my snacks, I was sabotaging my own efforts.

Your body does a pretty good job of regulating blood sugar and it’s a very efficient process (unless you are diabetic) assuming that you feed it the proper nutrients at regular intervals throughout the day. However, the typical American diet dictates that we eat three meals a day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In those three standard sittings, we’re sometimes overly hungry by the time we sit down to eat and wind up consuming more calories than we need. When we’re overly hungry, our blood sugar is lower and our body tries to compensate by craving calories quickly – usually empty ones – and we oblige. And the cycle continues…

The solution? Plan your snacks!

Ensuring that you have 2-3 healthy and gratifying snacks in your back pocket greatly minimizes your risk of overeating at mealtime. Our blood sugar begins to drop about two hours or so after we’ve finished our last meal.

Try this:
1 – Mid-morning snack – eat it about 10-10:30 am and try something with calcium that’s low fat like yogurt, cheese, or cottage cheese. The protein in these snacks fills you up to keep you satisfied to lunch.
2 – Mid-afternoon snack – eat around 3-3:30 pm. You want some belly-filling fiber here becuase this needs to carry you to dinner time. Try raw fruits or veggies because your body takes longer to break these down but they won’t weigh you down like the more complex carbs. Apples, bananas, carrot sticks, broccoli, etc. Extra pionts for a smear of protein like peanut butter or hummus. I also like a granola bar here – Kashi makes one with almonds and mocha…yum! Watch the sugar on these though – check the labels!
3 – After dinner snack – This one is tough for me and try not to eat it too late. About 8-8:30 should do it but if you’re hungry earlier that’s fine too. I like to have whole wheat pretzels or pita chips dipped in hummus, guacamole, or even salsa. You have a little bit of carb, little bit of protein, and it still feels like you’re having a fun snack. You can also have dried fruit. It’s gives you the sweetness without the unnecessary calories as long as you get the kine without the added sugar.

Happy Training!