{April 30, 2012}   We’ve all been there

It’s late. You’re working on the last few pages of a paper you put off working on until this evening. You’re tired and frustrated, but worst of all, you have the muchies. Every treat in your dorm seems to be calling to you.

Avoiding late-night snacking is one of the hardest parts of any diet. For years, many of us have been told that late-night snacking is the worst possible thing anyone can do when trying to lose weight. But you might be surprised to learn that this diet law is being questioned. New studies show that snacking at night doesn’t cause a difference in weight gain other than affecting total caloric intake. So for example, eating a healthy snack at night isn’t bad; the problem comes in if you’re snacking on donuts like a champ at 1:30 in the morning. Calories start adding up where you least expect them.

So long story short, if you’re hungry late at night, reach for something that won’t ruin your healthy day.  Plus, there are tons of options to go for when you’re fighting evening hunger pangs. All is not lost when the sun goes down, people. Just like everything else, make healthy choices and the rest works itself out. Happy eating!


{April 23, 2012}   It’s just life

This post is somewhat timely in my life, and (sorry, folks) not very much related to food. People tend to worry too much about seemingly everything and anything possible. We stress ourselves to the point of not realizing the importance of simply living. It’s a cliche, but sometimes the most important thing to do for yourself is just be happy. So, that’s my healthy challenge for this week. For the next seven days, instead of focusing on all of the negatives in your life (and there may be many), turn it around and remind yourself of the positives. Give yourself a week off from worrying and stressing to the point of exhaustion. Being healthy is just as mental as it is physical.

Take time to help yourself this week. You still have to go to work or school (or both), but you can give your mind a bit of a vacation. Becoming healthier and happier is a choice. What will you choose this week?

{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 22, 2012}   The Joys and Evils of Fast Food

Perhaps one of the easiest slip-ups of any diet is that 5-minute trip to the local fast food joint. It’s a simple, easy way to get off track and lose your motivation. Fast food restaurants offer all the foods we love at tantalizing prices,practically begging for our patronage. But when you’re trying to eat healthy or lose weight, those same restaurants become a guilty pleasure we find hard to resist. For most people, stopping for a quick burger is a cheap way to get some sustenance during a hectic day. But believe me: there are easier, healthier ways to satisfy your hunger. If you’re going to be on the run, try packing a healthy snack to eat wherever your travels take you. Eating healthy meals and snacks will make you feel more awake and energetic, and won’t slow you down like greasy fast food. Also, remember not to get caught up in calorie count. Nutritious living is about what’s IN your food (fiber, protein, calcium, etc.), and how it’s good or bad for you. So when you’re preparing snacks based upon recipes, try to aim for foods that will nourish your body as well as your hunger. Your body needs nutrients (and yes, carbohydrates) to survive, so don’t deprive yourself of food for the sake of a diet. Instead, make smart choices that fill you up, without ruining your day.

{February 20, 2012}   Working out…the smart way

When most of us work out after being away from the gym for a while, we feel invincible. Stepping onto that eliptical, we feel motivated and ready to take on a new year of health and fitness. But about a minute into the workout, all that gung ho spirit seems to disappear with our energy. So when you’re working out for the first time, or even for the first time in a few weeks, remember to take it slow. Your body isn’t going to be used to such exertion, and taking your first few workouts too far can lead to pulled muscles and a lot of frustration. Perhaps the most important thing to do before starting any workout routine, is to make sure you know what you’re doing. Playing the guessing game when it comes to your workouts is never smart or healthy. Do your research and find out which workout routine will fit your body and lifestyle. Build up to a workout schedule you know you can stick to, and write down which days and times you plan on going. If you make it a priority, you will find time to do it. Know your body and its limits. It’s good to push yourself, but remember the goal is to make yourself fit, not run yourself into the ground. Instead of looking at working out as a temporary chore, make it a part of your weekly schedule.

And while you have healthy living on your mind, check out this video offering a quick, healthy snack option.

et cetera