{May 6, 2012}   Take time to give back

The purpose of eating better and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is, in essence, to give back to ourselves. We are maintaining a lifestyle that will make us feel the best that we possibly can. But most people find that feeling better about yourself comes about internally. Instead of focusing all of your energy on how a dress looks or if pants make you look fat, do something productive with your time: give back. There are plenty of ways to help people less fortunate. No matter what you choose to do, you will be taking your mind off of your insecurities for just a short while, and helping someone who really needs you. You might even find that doing community service can help improve your self-image and feeling of self-worth. There is no better feeling than knowing you have made a difference. It is truly what makes you beautiful. It’s not how well the clothes fit that matters; it’s who you are and how you live your life. So today, forget about how your appearance impacts you and do something productive. It might just make a difference you never expected.


{May 2, 2012}   Give yourself a break

Diets are hard. We say “no” to ourselves constantly, keeping our sub-conscious cravings in check. But this can become a tiring, 24-hour job, and immersing ourselves in it can actually be counterproductive.

I’ve talked about body image before, but it can’t be stressed enough. We punish ourselves for bad food choices, for not being strong enough or having enough will-power to say no. What many people don’t know is that self-criticism is actually harmful to a diet, and can make you indulge more. Instead of punishing yourself for eating badly, reward yourself by eating well. Remember, no one is forcing you to make healthy choices. This is a lifestyle, and it cannot be maintained without a desire to be healthier and in-shape.

Dieting isn’t about denying yourself; it’s about giving yourself what your body needs to be at its strongest.  When you eat something off your diet, don’t lose your mind in a frenzy of self-loathing. Instead, take a portion that will give you a taste of what you’re craving; don’t go over the top. And when you’re done, you will have enjoyed something. Food is meant to be enjoyed, by the way…remember that. And then plan the rest of your day accordingly. For example, if you get dessert with lunch, make sure your dinner is a bit more calorie-conscious. You’re not doing yourself any good by giving in to self-hatred. Life is about enjoying what you have, not depriving yourself. Just make good portion choices, and keep “everything in moderation” in your mind.

{April 18, 2012}   I have a problem.

It’s true: I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic. I love chocolate in basically any form. Before I started eating healthier, I ate an amount of chocolate per day that scares even myself. Now that I’m eating better, I still have chocolate every so often (ok, once a day) just to pick my day up a bit. There’s a reason for this, other than my obvious addiction. It’s been proven that chocolate is not only good for you, but can also help your diet.  No, you’re not dreaming. Recent studies have shown that dark chocolate may actually improve cholesterol and lower blood pressure. But now, research shows that people who eat chocolate on a regular basis have lower BMI’s (body mass index) than those who do not. The reasons behind this are unclear, though it could be that the antioxidants found in dark chocolate can also serve to give your metabolism a boost. But why question it? To me, this is a diet win. Remember, however, that eating chocolate is not a replacement for working out, nor should it be used as a constant source of nourishment. It is, and always will be, a nice little treat to come back to at the end of a hard day. Emphasis onlittle. Be mindful of portion sizes, people. But enjoy 🙂

Continuing with the trend of highlighting healthy foods, this week I’ve chosen granola to focus on. Granola may sound like a bland way to start your day, but it’s actually full of essential nutrients for a healthy diet; it’s loaded with fiber, potassium and iron, to name a few. Not only that, but its many nutrients have the ability to make you healthier.

Granola happens to be a very versatile food. Include it in trail mix for an energizing snack, or use it as a great complement to yogurt. You could add milk for cereal, or mix it with cottage cheese and fruit for a little crunch. To switch it up, try some unique recipes. By taking the time to prepare your own food, you can be in charge of what you put in your body. When it comes to making your body healthy, granola is a great way to add a nutritious, filling food to your diet.

{March 28, 2012}   An apple a day

It isn’t news to anybody that fruits and vegetables are healthy, especially for someone on a diet. But there are some fruits that are so good for you, they should be given the honor of their own post. Apples are one such fruit. Not only do they have fiber which leaves you feeling full, but they also boast a wide range of nutrients that will leave your body happy. Those nutrients have been proven to keep people healthy and stave off some unpleasant conditions. If you’re not the type of person to bring an apple with you to munch on (which is  a great snack during the day, by the way), there are quite a few healthy recipes that include apples. We all know how beneficial it is to cook your own meals. So sometime this week, take a trip to the kitchen, slice up a few apples, and get cooking.

{March 26, 2012}   Carrots!

I’ve always loved vegetables. Not only are they good for you, but most actually taste good (at least I think they do). My roommate and I always keep a bag of baby carrots in the fridge, which I can devour in a day. Carrots are not only rich in nutrients, but they’re also very low in calories, making them a great filling snack for any time of day. Plus, you can enjoy them with a low-calorie dip to mask the vegetable taste a bit. And if you’re not the type to munch on plain vegetables all the time, you can try some tasty recipes to turn your carrots into something delicious and nutricious. Who knows? You might just become as addicted to veggies as I am. Happy snacking! 🙂

{March 14, 2012}   No Soup for You

Or maybe there is? Today is National Chicken Noodle Soup Day. When you’re feeling sick, there’s nothing quite like chicken soup to brighten your day and lift your spirits. It’s been known for its “healing” qualities for ages, but as far as diets are concerned, is soup a positive or a negative? As it turns out, soup might be just what the doctor ordered for a healthy diet.  Eating soup with/before your lunch or dinner helps make you full faster, thus curbing your hunger and making you eat less during the meal. It’s filling and delicious and can be made in a variety of forms. Plus, it’s something that you can make yourself. There are countless healthy soup recipes that are easy on your diet and fun to eat. Eating right doesn’t have to mean depriving yourself or sticking to a strict diet. In fact, it can actually be a great opportunity to try your hand at new recipes and cooking ideas. Be creative, have fun, and be healthy…one cup of soup at a time.

{March 11, 2012}   Here’s to Home Cooking!

There’s nothing quite like making your own meal. It’s true that eating out is easier and less strenuous and depending on your cooking abilities, it might even taste a lot better. But cooking your own food is a great way to watch what you eat and become an active participant in your healthy lifestyle. In the kitchen, you can control portion size and ingredients, making it that much easier to choose healthy options. Last night, my roommate and I ventured down to the dorm kitchen and made some pasta with tomato sauce. Pasta isn’t the healthiest way to go, but portion control makes it an “ok” food now and again (try whole wheat noodles to make your pasta more diet-friendly).  We made an entire box, gave some to our friend down the hall, and bagged up the  rest for dinners throughout the week. I checked the serving size and had about one serving, which brought me to under 400 calories including tomato sauce; that’s pretty good for a dinner portion. If you’re not sure what to make, print out some healthy recipes and go shopping throughout the week to make sure you’ll have the proper ingredients for your evening cooking experience. Making your own food is a smart way to control your own meals while having a good, stress-relieving time. So get cooking!

{March 5, 2012}   Eat Right; Be Healthy

Dieting is a learned habit. Over time, people learn the “right” and “wrong” ways to diet, and use that to shape their healthy eating during their lives. But oftentimes, what we learn about food isn’t necessarily correct, and many so-called “good” and “bad” foods are mistakenly placed in the wrong categories. Take peanut butter, for example. It’s not a secret that this creamy treat famous for it’s addition to PB&J’s is full of fat. But what many people don’t know is that, in moderation, it’s an excellent food for your body. It has protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium, and quite a few other nutrients. So it seems, peanut butter is one of those guilty pleasures that might not be as guilty as you think. Another food many people shy away from while on a diet is popcorn. Oftentimes, the word “popcorn” conjures up images of that heavily buttered movie treat that leaves us feeling bloated and guilty. But eating un-buttered popcorn is actually a healthy treat with fiber to keep you full longer. Try a single serve pack of Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop; with only 100 calories and 2 grams of fat, it’s a great snack to keep you feeling good with your diet, and happy with your waistline. For an even better snack, try air-popping popcorn. This allows you to control the seasonings and make your snack even healthier.

{February 27, 2012}   Tips for Eating Right

It’s hard enough picking out food without worrying about calories, but once you factor a diet into the equation, things tend to get even more difficult. Unsurprisingly, the best way to diet healthy is to read the nutrition facts before you buy. After a while, it will become habit and you’ll find yourself opting for healthier foods all the time. But for those of us who need a bit of help figuring out what should go in the cart, there is hope

1. Fruits and vegetables are always a great snack. Apples, for example, are a filling source of fiber, and won’t give you too many calories.

2. Pick up some mushrooms for recipes you would normally cook with meat. They fill you up as if you’re eating meat, but won’t add to your waistline.

3. Buy some cereal for a low-calorie nutritious snack to curb your appetite throughout the day. 

4. Invest in a low-calorie salad dressing. Don’t buy dressing just because it boasts “low fat” on the label; keep a closer eye on the calorie count.

5. Pick up some eggs while you’re out. Studies show that eating eggs for breakfast makes you feel full longer, and has a nice amount of protein and fiber as well. There has been quite a bit of debate over the egg yolk. Some say it should be avoided because of its cholesterol content, and others say that the yolk contains valuable nutrients needed for a healthy diet. I did a bit of research of my own, and found that most people recommend eating yolks, just in moderation.

With the right foods, eating healthy can be easier than you expect.

et cetera