It’s holiday time, and chances are, cocktails are flowing. If you’re not careful, one festive drink can tip the scales at over 400 calories. If you choose to kick back over several, you’ll be gulping more than half your recommended calories for the day (not to mention the bad hangover)! There are ways to slim down your favorite holiday cocktails – here are simple tricks to do so.
Tag: healthy tips
Presented with the likes of cookies and candy, most people keep their guard up — or at least try. But even if you’d never dream of going overboard on those foods, there are less obvious culprits that could be derailing a healthy diet. Go easy on these saboteurs, and you’ll be better for it.
Whether you’re traveling home for the holidays, getting away on vacation, or are a frequent flyer, air travel presents a common challenge to healthy eating. Understanding the unique needs of your body in flight, along with a little bit of planning, can go a long way in getting you to your destination energized, not exhausted.
It’s Halloween and the candy aisle is the popular spot. According to The Nielsen Company, Americans spent about $1.9 billion on candy in 2013 – that’s the equivalent of 600 million pounds of candy! We don’t recommend taking the fun out of Halloween by banning beloved sweets, but some choices are better than others. Read more
The ever-expanding frozen-foods section of the grocery store has no shortage of affordable vegetables and vegetable combinations. Sliced green beans, peppers, onions, carrots, broccoli, spinach, peas, corn, soybeans/edamame, and vegetable medleys abound. Since most frozen vegetables are harvested at their nutritional peak, don’t relegate them to boring, steamed, side dishes. Some ideas to inspire you:
• Nestle into potato and cheese casseroles (like scalloped potatoes) before baking; add ham, chicken, turkey, or cooked shrimp to make a complete meal
• Add to egg and cheese frittatas, quiches and omelets
• Puree into hot and cold dips and serve with whole grain crackers and pita triangles
• Pre-cook pasta and rice on the weekend and store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator (no oil necessary). When ready to prepare the meal, reheat the pasta in your favorite sauce (and add vegetables and cooked meat, chicken or fish) and stir-fry rice with soy sauce, mixed vegetables, nuts, tofu, meat, chicken or shrimp.
• Marinate chicken, steak and pork loin chops in low-fat salad dressing for up to 48 hours (use a zip-top bag for easy clean up). Grill or roast when ready to prepare the meal. Read more
There are a variety of non-dairy “milks” and products ranging from “cheese” to “ice cream” to “yogurt” available at most mainstream supermarkets. Depending on your reasons for choosing them in place of conventional cow’s milk, you may need a refresher on the difference between dairy-free and lactose-free products.
Lactose-free milk and milk products are beneficial for people suffering from lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is very common, especially in adults. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, about 30 million Americans have some degree of lactose intolerance by the age of 20. Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk products. In order to digest lactose properly, the body produces an enzyme called lactase. In people with lactose intolerance, the body stops producing adequate amounts of lactase, causing symptoms such as bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea and nausea. Individuals with lactose intolerance may find that they are able to eat small amounts of products that contain lactose without experiencing symptoms. Sometimes they may be able to tolerate products such as yogurt or goat’s milk more easily than cow’s milk. Lactase tablets are also available for lactose intolerant individuals to help them digest lactose.
Cost-conscious cooking is on everyone’s to-do list these days. Selecting healthy and affordable food might seem like a challenge, but nutritious and inexpensive are not mutually exclusive concepts. Follow these tips so you can enjoy delicious fare at a great price.
• Use weekly grocery store ads to plan your weekly menu (do it on the weekend and make it a family affair)
• While reading the circulars, check for foods you buy regularly
• Get a coupon app for your smart phone and use that too (like coupons.com)
• Generate a shopping list for the week that you can stick to
• If your favorite store isn’t offering competitive prices, ask them to price match
A common tip for eating healthier is to take cooking into your own hands. In theory it sounds good: when you control the ingredients, you control the nutrients and calories. Less butter and salt, more veggies and spices, etc. But when push comes to shove, we often end up staring at a recipe – and a big pile of spoiling ingredients in the fridge – while calling for take-out. If we only had the time, knowledge, energy and/or desire to cook! Here are three tips to make the process easier:
Cutting, dicing, slicing and chopping can take a lot of time. Save time on a busy weeknight by having all of the chopping done ahead of time: set aside a half-hour or so on a Sunday evening to slice and dice the vegetables you’ll need for the week. Then when you’re ready to snack or make a meal, half of the work will be done for you. Pre-cut, packaged vegetables cost a little more at the store, but you may find it worth the cost if it gets you cooking at home more. Buy a big bag of prewashed and cut lettuce so salad- making is a snap. Frozen veggies can be steamed or microwaved in minutes. Frozen fruit can be blended with yogurt or milk (and spinach!) for a quick five-minute morning smoothie, mixed into a bowl of whole grain cereal or scooped on top of some yogurt. You can pick up already marinated poultry, fish or meat from the supermarket and throw it on the grill or in the oven.
Using cooking spray as a replacement for oil and butter can help cut back the calories. Since butter and oil have 100 to 120 calories per tablespoon (respectively), switching to a spray can mean fewer calories (and grams of fat) in your cooking.
Many brands use actual oils (such as olive and canola) as the primary ingredient, others rely on other types of oil and artificial flavorings– check ingredient lists on your brand of choice.
When used in a nonstick pan, a light coating of spray can allow for grilled cheese, French toast and eggs that aren’t glued to the pan. Spray is also good option to help give oven-baked breadings a crispier crust. A neutral flavored spray (like canola oil) can also be used to grease baking dishes and cupcake pans.