Friday, April 23, 2010

Delicious Discovery

Ostrim Beef and Ostrich Sticks


For those of you who love beef or turkey jerkee...you are in luck.  My cousin recently turned me on to a new type of jerkee--one that is much healthier and in my opinion tastier.  Ostrim Beef and Ostrich Sticks are delicious, high protein, low calorie snacks.


Ostrim Beef and Ostrich Snack, Teriyaki 10 - 1.5 oz sticks [15 oz (420 g)]The sticks is only 80 calories and comes in 3 flavors: pepper, terriyaki and barbecue.  My favorite is the barbecue then the pepper.  I'm not a fan of terriyaki taste but if you are...I'm sure you will find it delicious.  For all of you vegetarians out there..these are clearly not for you.  But for those of you who like meat...it basically tastes like stick pepperoni except it is much healthier.  Ostrich is an extremely lean, low cholesterol meat making it ideal for meat-eaters.  


The only caveat is the sticks are high in sodium. This is to be expected for a packaged meat product but just be aware if you are watching your intake.  Click here to find out where you can purchase Ostrim Sticks or just order them on Amazon.com.


NOTE:  Weight...That's It will be taking a short hiatus.  Posts will resume again on Monday, May 3rd.  


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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Technical Issues

I just wanted to apologize for the technical problems wreaking havoc on the blog lately.  Hopefully they will be resolved (or better yet...non existent!) soon.


Thanks again for reading!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Foods to Ponder

Diet Soda


Diet soft drinks are a favorite of many of us.  They are cold, refreshing not to mention sweet and tasty.  The question is...are they bad for you?  


Diet soft drinks are calorie-free, which makes it a better choice than drinking high calorie regular soda.  However, it is not the key to weight loss.  In fact, some studies have found that minimal diet soft drink intake can increase your risk for health problems such as obesity.  


They do contain some type of artificial sweetener (usually aspartame aka NutraSweet or sucralose aka Splenda), sodium, caffeine and phosphoric acid.  There is no scientific evidence that the artificial sweeteners used in sodas cause cancer.  Sodium content is minimal but considering the amount of sodium in most foods we eat, it is certainly unnecessary.  Then there is the age old question of whether or not caffeine is good for us.  Regarding diet soda, I agree with this advice -- it won't keep you hydrated but it will help to keep you awake...provided you aren't already addicted!


Crystal Light On-the-Go Red Tea Natural Mandarin Flavor, 10-Count Packets (Pack of 6)The long and short--diet soft drinks aren't going to hurt you as long as you consume them in moderation.  One or two cans a day is ok.  This being said, there are plenty of better choices. Try flavored seltzer water, sparkling water with lemon or lime, iced tea or even a Crystal Light in your water bottle.  The most important thing is to stay hydrated and if you can't bear to give up your diet soda--you don't have to.  Just drink a little less!






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Friday, April 16, 2010

Delicious Discovery

Golden Oreos


I have recently become obsessed with cookies.  Any kind really but Golden Oreos are my favorite new treat.  I know...they are Oreos.  But...did you know that the size of an Oreo is the perfect serving size for a cookie?  Well, that is according to nutrition professionals--obviously not according to the rest of the world.  
Oreo Golden Sandwich Cookies, 18-Ounce Packages (Pack of 12)
These cookies are delicious.  I won't go as far to saying they are nutritious--but they aren't horrible for you.  Three cookies have 170 calories and 7 grams of fat.  Basically they taste like vanilla Oreos but they are better than they sound.  Nabisco does make a Double Stuff version but those aren't as "healthy" (I'm using the word healthy loosely here).  They make a great treat for your lunch or after dinner when you don't know what you want to nibble on.  Just listen to your favorite dietitian and eat your Oreos today!






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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Trim Down Tip

Run a Race


It is the perfect time of year.  The weather is quickly changing from cold to a little less cold.  The sun is out.  The trees are beginning to bloom. I don't know about you but all I ever want to do is be outside in this kind of weather.  Walking/running the same route day in and day out can get a little monotonous.  So my suggestion is to sign up for a race.


My husband and I just completed our first one this past weekend, a short little 5k run/walk.  It was totally laid back but such a great change of pace.  Cool Running is a great website for those of you living in the Boston area.  It lists all of the local runs from short to long distances.  Don't be intimidated--try something short to start.  Walk if you want to.  Maybe you will get bit by the bug :).






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Monday, April 12, 2010

Foods to Ponder

Cannellini Beans


Beans are one of those super foods you always hear about.  They are full of fiber and high in protein...a healthy eater's dream!  To be honest, I'm not a fan of most of them--it's a personal taste thing.  However, the cannellini bean is my one exception.  


Eden Organic Cannellini White Kidney Beans, No Salt Added, 15-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)
Also known as white kidney beans, cannellini beans are delicious.  One half cup has 110 calories, 6 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein.  That is A LOT of nutrition.  One of my favorite salads ever from Legal Seafood was comprised of grilled calamari, caramelized onions and cannellini beans.  It was heaven and I wish they still had it.  The beans give it a creamy-ness you need to feel like you are eating something more hearty than a salad.  


White beans are also a great substitute for fat in baking.  I'm serious.  I've tasted brownies made with cannellini beans and they are really good--you wouldn't know unless the baker divulged his/her secret.  However, I can't find a good recipe so if you know of one let me know.  Other than baking my favorite TV chef, Giada De Laurentiis, has a fabulous salad recipe that I have brought to parties and is a big hit.  Edamame and cheese..you can't beat it!






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Friday, April 9, 2010

Delicious Discovery

The Slow Cooker


Today, I am deviating from the typical "Delicious Discovery".  Instead, I am talking about the amazing mini-appliance that helps me to create some delicious meals.  Yes, I am in love with the slow cooker.  


It was a wedding gift that sat in my cabinet for a while.  That is until my sister-in-law started talking about how much time she saved by prepping dinner in the morning and then leaving it to cook in the slow cooker.  Well, that's all I needed to hear.  I pulled it out of the cabinet, blew the dust off and ransacked the internet and bookshelves for slow cooker recipes.  It is genius.  Healthy meals in very little prep time--you can't beat it.


Around the same time, I was flipping through the channels and watched a story about a fellow blogger determined to cook every meal for 1 year in a slow cooker.  A Year of Slow Cooking is a fabulous resource for delicious and simple recipes - ranging from appetizers to desserts.  My new discovery are the two iPhone/iPod apps from Crock-Pot.  The Crock-Pot Virtual Cooking Timer is awesome -- you can set your cooking time on your iPod and it will let you know when your food is ready.  The Crock-Pot app is great too--search every recipe by ingredient or season etc and you can find just about any meal in seconds.  I highly recommend both--plus they are free!


As for the slow cooker itself I have this version.  But, there are a million types out there from manual to programmable.  Just head to your local Macy'sKohl's or home store and find the one that is right for you.  






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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Trim Down Tip

Panera Bread


For the past few years, I have lived very close to a LOT of chain restaurants.  So, I like to call myself a connoisseur of sorts.  One of my frequent stops for lunch or dinner on the go is Panera Bread.  I will admit, I haven't always been a fan.  However, recently, I found lots of great options...and then there are the not so great options.


Top 3 Healthy Choices


1.  French Onion Soup - A serving of 13.25 oz (that's a lot of soup!) has just 240 calories.  Ask for it light on the cheese (or without) to save some extra calories and fat.  Just be careful if you are watching your sodium intake--2200 mg is a lot for one meal!


2.  Full Asian Sesame Chicken Salad - This salad is delicious and really big.  It has chicken, almonds and really tasty dressing.  Plus it only has 400 calories.  It is delicious and nutritious!


3.  Breakfast Power Sandwich - Eggs, cheese, ham and whole grain bread...sign me up every single morning.  360 calories of pure yummy-ness.   






Top 3 Unhealthy Choices


1.  Full Italian Combo on Ciabatta - It sounds good...ok, really good...but, lots of deli meat with cheese and special sauce usually translates to lots of calories and weight gain.  The stats: 1040 calories and 45 grams of fat.  YIKES.


2.  Sierra Turkey of Focaccia with Asiago Cheese - How can a turkey sandwich have 970 calories and 54 (yes 54) grams of fat?  Well, there is a massive amount of bread, mayonnaise and cheese.  It adds up...fast.  


3.  Signature Mac and Cheese, Large - The cheddar cheese sauce on this mac and cheese along with the serving size adds up to 980 calories and 61 grams of fat.  Stay away....far, far away.  




I bet you thought I was going to tell you that the muffins and cookies and other tasty treats are terrible for you.  Well, they are BUT they are treats and you should look at them that way too.  I love a Panera chocolate chip cookie--just not every time I go there.  So treat yourself and find a good balance.   


Panera provides a downloadable version of their nutrition information on their website and has a fabulous nutrition calculator where you can add your menu choices and find out exactly how much you are consuming.  Check it out.  

Monday, April 5, 2010

Foods to Ponder

Artichokes


I think artichokes are one of those vegetables that are often overlooked and undervalued.  They are extremely versatile and taste delicious no matter how you cook them.  One half cup serving of artichoke hearts has just 4o calories, 4.5 grams of fiber and are loaded with vitamin C, folate, magnesium and potassium.  YUM.


When choosing an artichoke look for one that feels heavy for its size.  Leaves should be green or purple and should be closed tight.  Preparation typically entails cutting off the stem and removing the outer, tough leaves.  This recipe is great for a simple side dish that will wow your guests.  Then of course there is always the delicious spinach and artichoke dip.  This healthy version uses canned artichoke hearts--which can be a lot easier and faster!


Either way--incorporate some artichokes into your diet.  Something different may be just what you need.






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