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Spicy Hummus Dip…

20 Apr

Hummus is a healthy alternative to dips, mayo, and other sandwich spreads.  Try it as a dip with raw veggies or pita chips, and on sandwiches and wraps. It’s also very filling and chock full of protein.

Here’s a recipe for Spicy Hummus Dip posted by TWICEAGAIN at sparkpeople.com that I can’t wait to try:

Ingredients

      1 19 oz can Chickpeas, drained & rinsed
      Juice of 1 lemon
      Pulp of 1 whole Garlic bulb, roasted
        1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
      1 tsp ground Cumin
      1 tsp Paprika
      1/2 tsp Curry powder
      4 tbsp chopped fresh Cilantro
      1/3 cup Tahini
      2 tbsp Olive Oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Keeping skin on garlic bulb, carefully cut the top of the bulb in order to expose all of the individual cloves.

Place on tin foil and drizzel with 1/4 tsp of the Olive Oil. Wrap bulb up like a Hershey’s Kiss and roast in oven for 30 min.

Meanwhile, drain and rinse Chickpeas well. Place in food processor along with remaining ingredients. Once garlic has finished roasting, squeeze pulp in with other ingredients and whiz until well blended.

Feel free to add or reduce the amount of garlic and omit the cayenne pepper in order to personalize this recipe if you’d like

Serving size is 1/4 cup.
Goes great with whole wheat flat bread and raw veggies!

Makes 10 servings.

What’s your favorite hummus recipe?

P.S.

Sparkpeople is a great resource for finding healthy and low calorie recipes.  Check out their recipe section here.

Why You Should Eat Carrots. Every Day…

15 Apr

Did you know that the vitamin A found in carrots is not only good for your eyes but also helps to clear up your skin?  Me either!  How about the fact that it also reduces the development of skin-cancer cells?  I know, right!

Now that you know all of the good things carrots can do for your body make sure you pack some in your lunch everyday.

(via Women’s Health)

Dieters Beware!

14 Apr

What do The Cheesecake Factory, T.G.I. Fridays,  and Fuddrucker’s have in common?  They don’t publish their nutritional information.  WTF you may ask?  Yep, unless they are required by law to publish the information they are choosing not to. 

I don’t know about you but that makes it impossible for me to eat at their restaurants.  We know from the Up Your’s segment that dishes can be very deceiving when eating out.

Fitness Junke Tip:  When dining out choose the restaurant based on their online nutritional information.  This way you can get the most bang for your buck nutritinoally speaking and choose which dish sounds the best. 

(via Fitbe, image courtesy of fooda.org)

Fitness Junke’s Guide to Dining Out

14 Apr

Trying to eat healthy but craving a dinner out with the girls?  Not sure what to order at the restaurant that won’t blow the diet?  Here are my secret tips for dining out and still being able to button my pants in the morning:

  • Pick the restaurant before you leave home based on the nutritional information.  For example, if I’m craving mexican food I’ll look up the nutritional information at my two favorite mexican restaurants and pick based on what sounds the best and has the least amount of calories.  It’s not a perfect science but being prepared on what to order helps with temptation once you’re seated. 
  • When you’re entree arrives immediately ask your server for a to-go box and place 1/2 your meal in the box for lunch the next day.  Doing so will save you calories and money!  Hint:  If you’re like me, you think you can visually divide your plate in half and place it in the to-go box at the end of you meal.  Trust me, it’s way too easy to keep eating if the food is still on your plate.  Learn from my mistakes 🙂
  • Order water, skip the cocktails, and save the calories for the meal.  P.S. There are 243 calories in a Applebee’s margarita.  Just sayin’.
  • Order dressing on the side so you can control how much is on your salad.  Do the same with other toppings such as sour cream, guacamole, cheese, etc.  You can save 200 – 300 calories per meal this way.

Happy Dining,

Fitness Junke

Healthy Chicken Nuggets

12 Apr

Do you cringe every time your kids ask for McNuggets?  Me too!  Try this healthy receipe from Mom’s Who Think that’s really tasty and just may have your kids asking for seconds.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup cornflakes cereal
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Directions:

1. Remove skin and bone; cut thighs into bite-sized pieces.

2. Place cornflakes in plastic bag and crush by using a rolling pin.

3. Add remaining ingredients to crushed cornflakes. Close bag tightly and shake until blended.

4. Add a few chicken pieces at a time to crumb mixture. Shake to coat evenly.

CONVENTIONAL METHOD:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a cooking sheet.

2. Place chicken pieces on cooking sheet so they are not touching.

3. Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 14 minutes.

MICROWAVE METHOD:

1. Lightly grease an 8×12 inch baking dish.

2. Place chicken pieces on baking dish so they are not touching. Cover with waxed paper and cook on high.

3. Rotate chicken every 2 to 3 minutes. Cook until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.

 

Makes 4 Servings, about 3 ounces each
PER SERVING:

Calories 175
Total fat 8 grams
Saturated fat 2 grams
Cholesterol 67 milligrams
Sodium 127 milligrams

 

This Ain’t Your Momma’s Food Pyramid…

8 Apr

Dr. Weil's Food Pyramid

Dr. Andrew Weil is considered a health and wellness guru by many.  He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005 by Time Magazine and is best selling author many times over.  He has developed a food pyramid based on his recommended anti-inflammatory diet.  Dr. Weil explains:

“Following an anti-inflammatory diet can help counteract the chronic inflammation that is a root cause of many serious diseases, including those that become more frequent as people age. It is a way of selecting and preparing foods based on science that can help people achieve and maintain optimum health over their lifetime.”
Dr. Weil

What do you think?  You can read more about Dr. Weil and his theories on health and nutrition here.

3 Steps to a Healthier Grocery Cart

6 Apr

3 steps to a healther grocery cart

Ever tried going to the grocery store right before lunch and come out with a cart full of processed, sugary, and packaged junk?  Yeah, me too.  Here are 3 tips that can help you get out of the grocery store with foods that won’t pack on the pounds.

Shop the perimeter: The good for ya stuff is along the outside of the grocery store.  Fruits, veggies, lean proteins, milk, and eggs are located along the perimeter of the store.  Sugary, over processed, junk food fill up the middle aisles.  Make sure at least 85% of your cart is full of items from the outside perimeter.

Don’t go to the store hungry: Unless you want to end up with a grocery cart full of cookies, cake mixes, and ice cream.

Read the labels: You’d be surprised how much sodium is in that box of hamburger helper.  If you have to buy prepackaged foods, make sure they are low in sodium and made with whole grains.  Try to avoid white flour products such as white bread, white rice, and spaghetti.  Their whole wheat counterparts are much healthier for you.

P.S.

I’m not a doctor, holistic healer, or dietician.  These are the things that work for me.

(photo via Moms Need to Know)

Just When You Thought You Knew Everything…

1 Apr

Obesity

One thing I have read over and over when researching losing weight is that everyone, doctors and nutritionists alike, recommends eating 6 small meals a day to help keep your metabolism up and burning calories.  A new study suggests this may be incorrect.

In a study conducted by Purdue University and published in the journal, Obesity, it was found that participants who ate three regular-sized meals with high amounts of lean protein felt more full than when they ate six smaller meals.

Participants also had a reduction in the desire to eat late at night and experienced more weight loss.  Watch your portion sizes though.  The researchers  pointed out that the three larger meals “were restricted in calories and reflected appropriate portion sizes to be effective in weight loss.”

Read more about this study here.

 

(via Obesity, a research journal, photo courtesy of Men’s Fitness)

So Easy A Caveman Can Do It…

31 Mar

The Paleo Diet

Have you heard of the Paleo diet?  It’s generating some buzz around blogland.  Its based on the premise that our bodies are designed to eat lean proteins, fruits, veggies, and omega 3 fatty acids that you would find in fish.  You know, the kind of food you would find during the caveman days.

I’m not sure if I would have the will power to cut all the carbs from my diet.  I would miss the heck out of my whole wheat wraps.  What do you think? Have any of you gotten results from this plan?

Find out more about the Paleo diet here.

Size Does Matter…

30 Mar

WebMD Portion Control Guide

Portion size that is.  The geniuses at WebMD have come up with this handy-dandy portion control guide to help us account for how much food we’re eating.  They even have a wallet sized one so you can make good eating decisions while you’re on the go.  How cool is that!?!  I am going to put one on my fridge and laminate the wallet sized one for my purse. You know, because I’m a geek like that.  Get your nutrition on and print your own here.