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31 Days to a Healthier Diet - Mar. 4th - Watch Restaurant Red-Flag Words

Friday, March 04, 2011

Nothing tastes as good as being healthier and slimmer feels! ~ Author Unknown

Today's tip from SP's "31 Days to a Healthier Diet" is

"Know your "red flag" menu words. Avoid restaurant items described as battered, bottomless, breaded, buttery, cheesy, country, creamy, crispy, fried, giant, loaded, smothered and stuffed."

has some great tips for eating out that should be followed whether you're on a diet or not.

1. Check online menus before going out. Most restaurants post them online. If not, call the restaurant and ask them to fax the menu to you or pick up a takeout menu on your next visit. Choose the healthier options before you arrive at the restaurant so you won't be tempted by other less healthy choices.

2. Order your main dish from the appetizer menu. They are more reasonably portioned with less calories and will save you money. Order a side salad or soup if the appetizer portion isn't enough. If you must have a dessert, plan on sharing it with someone.

3. As mentioned above in SP's tip, watch out for high-fat buzz words. Other "red flag" words are au gratin, Alfredo, batter-dipped and with gravy. The extra calories just aren't worth it.

4. Most restaurants want your business and they do aim to please. Don't be afraid to ask to have your food prepared in a more diet-friendly way and ask for any dressings on the side.

5. Order chicken steamed, poached, roasted, broiled, boiled, grilled or baked and preferably without the skin or remove it yourself before eating. Choose white meat as it has fewer calories than dark. If you are "chickened-out" allow yourself red meat a couple of times a week, just be sure to choose the leaner cuts of meat like loin or flank. And of course fish grilled or broiled is always a good choice.

6. When eating Italian and pasta is your choice, keep in mind that an average sized portion is 1/2 cup. And pass on the breadsticks!

7. If ordering a regular sized restaurant portion, don't be afraid to ask your server to wrap up 1/2 your meal before you eat to take home. I'm seeing more and more people doing this all the time. By doing this you won't be tempted to eat more than you should and you'll have some great leftovers for the next day.

8. Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets. Studies have shown that when we're given more choices, we eat more without realizing it.

9. If it's take-out you want, most eateries have healthier options, but once again watch the portions. Take out your half portion before you start to eat - once again, you'll have great leftovers for the next day.

10. Eat smaller meals during the day when you're planning to dine out. Not too sparingly though as you don't want to be famished and overeat at the restaurant.

When dining out, planning ahead ensures you can still have a nice meal, not feel deprived and still stay within your daily eating guidelines.

Bon Appetit!!!

The more you eat, the less flavor; the less you eat, the more flavor. ~ Chinese Proverb

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEE107 3/5/2011 10:51AM

    wow Thanks for sharing I know I read all you do but you bring it to a new level not just the quote from the calender but how to look the quote in a new way

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EGRAMMY 3/5/2011 6:10AM

    You are so good, you should be on staff. Til then I say thank you so much for sharing.

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31 Days to a Healthier Diet - Mar. 3rd - Eat Fruit

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Today's tip from SP's "31 Days to a Healthier Diet" is

"Enjoy 2-4 servings of fruit each day. Fruits are rich in nutrients, fibre, phytochemicals and antioxidants, which all help prevent disease. One serving is equal to 1/2 cup."

Besides being delicious and not expensive, fruits are full of vitamins, minerals & fibre and should be part of a healthy diet that reduces the risk for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.

I've often been confused as to what is actually a fruit and what is not. The Free Dictionary at www.thefreedictionary.com/fruit tells us that,

"To most of us, a fruit is a plant part that is eaten as a dessert or snack because it is sweet, but to a botanist a fruit is a mature ovary of a plant, and as such it may or may not taste sweet. All species of flowering plants produce fruits that contain seeds. A peach, for example, contains a pit that can grow into a new peach tree, while the seeds known as peas can grow into another pea vine. To a botanist, apples, peaches, peppers, tomatoes, pea pods, cucumbers, and winged maple seeds are all fruits. A vegetable is simply part of a plant that is grown primarily for food. Thus, the leaf of spinach, the root of a carrot, the flower of broccoli, and the stalk of celery are all vegetables. In everyday, nonscientific speech we make the distinction between sweet plant parts (fruits) and nonsweet plant parts (vegetables). This is why we speak of peppers and cucumbers and squash all fruits in the eyes of a botanistas vegetables." OK, now I understand - I think!

www.fruit-guide.com/ gives us the types of fruit and their classification which I found quite interesting.

•Tropical and Exotic (Bananas, Mango, Pineapple, Carambola…)
•Fruit-Vegetables (Cucumber, Tomato, Green and Hot Pepper, Avocado…)
•Citrus (Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Orange, Tangerine, Pumello…)
•Berries and Small Fruit (Strawberry, Raspberry, Huckleberry, Currants, Grapes…)
•Tree fruit (Apple, Apricot, Cherry, Peach, Nectarine, Fig, Pear…)
•Melons (Watermelon , Sweet Melon, Papaya, Galia, Casaba and more)
•Nuts (Peanuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts, Chestnuts, Macadamianuts, Groundnuts)

An enlightening list for sure especially regarding nuts as I thought they were in a category all their own and the Fruits-Vegetable category makes perfect sense to me

Here are some interesting facts that I came across while looking into just exactly what fruits are.

■Many years ago, before the invention of canteens, explorers would use watermelons to carry their water.
■Apples belong to the same family as roses. Next time you eat an apple remember that there are over 7,000 different types of apples in the world.
■Kiwi fruit is named for the national bird of New Zealand, the Kiwi bird, because of its brown fuzzy skin.
■Strawberries are the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside, rather than inside the fruit and are grown in every state in the US and every province in Canada.
■Pineapples are berries, just like strawberries and blueberries.
■Pumpkins are fruit. Their name is a Greek word for large melon.
■Dried fruits are just as nutritious as fresh fruit and they're easier to carry with you.
■Citrus fruits grew in Asia 20 million years ago.
■ British sailors used to be called “Limeys” because they ate citrus to prevent scurvy on long sea voyages.
■The expression “you're a real peach” originated from the tradition of giving a peach to the friend you liked.
■Blueberries have more antioxidants than most other fruits and vegetables.

I could go on and on ... indeed I can see why it is said that fruit is a gift of the gods.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EGRAMMY 3/4/2011 8:19AM

    Another awesome blog. So informative yet so enjoyable. Thanks so much. emoticon

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DEE107 3/3/2011 9:00PM

    thanks for sharing

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31 Days to a Healthier Diet - Mar. 2nd - Eat Breakfast

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art. ~ La Rochefoucauld

Today's tip from SP's "31 Days to a Healthier Diet" is

"Eat breakfast. It boosts your energy, metabolism and mental focus. Plus, breakfast eaters consume fewer calories throughout the day than people who skip this meal."

Skipping breakfast is the worst nutritional mistake people make. In fact, the American Dietetic Association says it's the most important meal of the day as it is the body's first opportunity to provide the body with its main energy source glucose. And it's glucose that fuels our muscles that we use throughout the day. Breakfast gets the metabolism running and studies have shown that breakfast eaters are less likely to binge during the day and thus helps people with weight loss and management.

has "25 Easy Breakfast Ideas for the Bleary Eyed!" tells us that a healthy breakfast should consist of

•One serving of a whole grain carbohydrate.
•One serving of calcium containing food.
•One serving of fruit.
•It’s also fine to have a protein serving, for example meat, or an egg, but it’s not necessary for most people.

A few of their suggestions for a quick breakfast that I like are:

- High fibre cereal, topped with mixed nuts, dried fruit, and a small glass of calcium fortified soy milk.

- Natural yoghurt mixed with a chopped apple, berries, and whole grain cereal; served with 100% whole orange juice.

- Healthy granola bar, one orange, and a glass of low fat milk.

- Natural yoghurt, topped with mixed berries, a teaspoon of ground flaxseeds, a slice of whole grain toast; and a cup of green tea.

- Whole wheat English muffin topped with melted reduced fat cheese, a sliced tomato, and a sliced hard-boiled egg; served with a small glass of 100% pure fruit juice.

- Cooked oats topped with raisins, dried cranberries, sliced bananas, and calcium fortified soy milk.

- Brown rice or barley - cook the night before, then in the morning top with some raisins, sliced apple, a sprinkling of cinnamon, and a little reduced fat milk.

- Fruit smoothie – add strawberries, kiwi, and a banana to the blender, a cup of natural yoghurt, one teaspoon of ground flaxseeds, and a cup of crushed ice.

- Mini wheat cereal, dried fruit, mixed nuts, place in a plastic bag and eat on the way to work with a thermos cup of low fat milk.

- Breakfast burrito – scrambled eggs, chopped tomatoes, and a little grated reduced fat cheese, wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla, served with green tea and a slice of fresh ginger.

- Homemade granola – mix 2 cups rolled oats, 1 cup of wheat cereal, 1 cup dried fruits and seeds, 1/4 cup of flaked coconut.

- Multi grain English muffin, toasted and spread with peanut butter, topped with sliced apples, and served with a small glass of calcium fortified soy milk.

- Sandwich made with lean ham or turkey, in whole grain bread, topped with sliced tomatoes, and a small glass of reduced fat milk.

With the above, it's quite easy to have a "breakfast of champions" and give yourself the best start to your day that you can!

The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be your medicine. ~ Hippocrates

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_CYNDY55_ 3/3/2011 12:20AM

    ✫(.·´ )✫( `·.)✫ emoticon ✫(.·´ )✫( `·.)✫
emoticonRight-On with Your Cool emoticon

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DEE107 3/2/2011 10:40PM

    thanks for sharing

wheat chex banana and coffee for me

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JARMOOZLE 3/2/2011 10:36PM

    Awesome suggestions :) I always find that when I eat 2 eggs on wholemeal toast + a glass of milk, that I am more energised and I am also fuller for longer :) emoticon emoticon

~ Jardan

(health and fitness motivational blog)

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GLAMNGLOWDIVA 3/2/2011 10:22PM

    Great suggestions. There was a time when I was a coffee and doughnut kind of gal for breakfast, but the past year have learned to embrace it and make a healthier breakfast every morning. Thanks for sharing.

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TBJE125 3/2/2011 10:20PM

    Excellent ideas! I will refer to this when I can't think of what to eat for breakfast :)

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31 Days to a Healthier Diet - Mar. 1st - Keep a Food Diary

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

One should eat to live, not live to eat. ~ Cicero, Rhetoricorum LV

Today's tip from SP's "31 Days to a Healthier Diet" is

"Keep a food diary. Before you can improve your diet, you have to know where you stand. Record everything you eat and drink for five days and use these tips to improve your diet a little bit each day."

Tracking your food does make you so much more accountable for everything you put in your mouth and it's very often an eye-opener as we often find that we eat more than we think we do. Even if no one else see's your diary, just knowing that you have to write down everything you eat might just prevent you from taking extra portions of food or stop you from eating empty calorie snacks such as chips, cheezies, doritos, etc. Being able to refer back to your food diary, a week, a month, a year is often motivational when you see how your eating habits have improved over time and the progress you've made. It doesn't have to be fancy, just a small notebook will suffice. I've also created my own form of shorthand to help when logging. Best of all, studies indicate that keeping a food diary can double a person's weight loss. (See www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/0
for details)

A diet is the penalty we pay for exceeding the feed limit. ~ Author Unknown

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEE107 3/2/2011 12:46PM

    thanks for sharing

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EGRAMMY 3/2/2011 6:50AM

    emoticonThanks for the reminder. And i got a smile from your quote. Thanks.

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    I do good when I have one and bad when I don't. So the moral of the story is I should do one. Thanks for sharing and putting all you do into posting the blogs. I love the ending quote.

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Getting to the Heart of the Matter - Feb. 28th - It's Never Too Late To Start A Healthy Lifestyle

Monday, February 28, 2011

Happiness lies, first of all, in health. ~ George William Curtis, Lotus-Eating

Today's tip from SP's "28 Days to a Healthier Heart" is

"It's never too late to start a healthy lifestyle. By implementing small lifestyle changes like these each day, you can improve your heart health and quality of life. The important thing is to stick with it."

getphysicaltoday.com/archives/273 tells us that

Changing how we live has been shown to be a much more powerful intervention for preventing heart disease than any medication. In faCt, studies indicate that changing lifestyle by

- not smoking
- exercising 3.5 hrs. a week
- eating a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds and limited amounts of meat
- and maintaining a healthy BMI under 30

could prevent at least 90% of all heart disease.

It’s never too late to start making healthy choices!

The greatest wealth is health. ~ Virgil

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Thank you for posting this. We should keep on taking care of our hearts.

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NINJACHEF 3/1/2011 9:42AM

    I turned 52 yesterday so this blog is for me. Thanks. emoticon

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DGFOWLER 3/1/2011 6:20AM

    Great article and one I must have missed. Glad I caught it here. emoticon

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EGRAMMY 3/1/2011 5:37AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Thanks for your reminders. I need to focus on BMi.

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DEE107 2/28/2011 10:41PM

    thank you so much for sharing this and all the extra you put into your blog thanks

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