Snacking can be healthy too.

A big part of healthy eating is eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat milk products. Healthy snacks are a great way to make sure that you get plenty of these nutritious foods every day. Snacking is often thought of as a “bad” thing mostly because  of the snack choices that people often make but it doesn’t have to be that way. Healthy snacks are a great way to get needed energy between meals and be healthy while doing it.

Make smart snack choices
•Find healthier substitutes for high-fat snacks. If your favorite high-fat snack is potato chips and dip, try baked tortilla chips with bean dip or hummus instead.
•Make snacks interesting. If the idea of a plain piece of fruit doesn’t appeal to you, try dipping fruit slices in low-fat yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon or nutmeg.
•Be prepared. Have snacks ready for when you get hungry. For example, keep healthy snacks with you at work or school, in your car, and at home. If you have a healthy snack easily available, it’s less likely that you’ll pick a candy bar or bag of chips instead.

Foods that make quick, healthy snacks
•Yogurt
•String cheese
•Low-fat microwave popcorn
•Canned fruit or applesauce in single-serving containers
•Raisins and other dried fruit
•Whole wheat crackers
•Pretzels
•Flavored rice cakes
•Unsalted nuts
•Baby carrots
•Cherry tomatoes

Snack ideas
•Use peanut butter as a dip for raw apples, carrots, celery, and pretzel sticks. This spread also tastes great on whole-grain crackers.
•Mix fresh or frozen berries with low-fat yogurt. Top with sliced almonds or granola to make a fruit parfait.
•Top whole-grain crackers with low-fat cottage cheese or ricotta cheese and sliced tomatoes or red pepper strips.
•Make your own healthy trail mix with high fiber cereal, dried fruit (such as cranberries, blueberries, and dates), and nuts such as almonds. This mix also makes a great topping for yogurt.
•Spread low-fat cream cheese on a whole-grain bagel. .
•Dip colorful sliced vegetables in low-fat salad dressing or hummus. Try red, yellow, and orange bell peppers; broccoli; cauliflower; and cherry tomatoes.

What counts as physical activity??

After doing something physical like moving boxes or having to walk far; a common phrase we say is “ Oh I got my workout in” OR “I need the exercise anyway”. Is that just something we say or do those things really count towards our amount of physical activity??

It counts! Any activity that raises your heart rate or causes you to breathe faster counts as physical activity, even everyday household chores. From pushing a lawn mower to taking a dance class or biking to the store – all types of activities count; as long as you’re doing them at a moderate or vigorous intensity for at least 10 minutes at a time. The term intensity refers to how hard your body is working during aerobic activity. The talk test is a simple way to measure relative intensity. As a rule of thumb, if you’re doing moderate-intensity activity you are able to talk, but not sing, during the activity. If you’re doing vigorous-intensity activity, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.

A rule of thumb is that one minute of vigorous-intensity activity is about the same as two minutes of moderate-intensity activity. Some people like to do vigorous types of activity because it gives them about the same health benefits in half the time. For example, if you only have 15 minutes of time to be active you can increase your intensity level and reap the benefits as if you did that activity for 30 minutes at your normal intensity level. That is a great incentive to pick up the pace or push a little harder for a shorter amount of time. Sometimes we only feel like we have 15 minutes to devote to being active and increasing your intensity is a way to get more out of that time.

Even if you are not doing higher intensity movement for 10 minutes or longer, your efforts can still contribute to your health. You are still burning more calories than if you did nothing. Recently a reality TV star was asked about her weight loss. Her response was that she did not have surgery or go on a diet but because of the filming schedule of the show she was moving a lot more than she used to and that left little time to sit around. Proof that moving more does count!

5 meals under 500 calories….Burger King

Burger King

Meal One
Cheeseburger Kids Meal-280
Apples-25
Low Fat Chocolate Milk-160
Total Calories-465

Meal Two

4pc Chicken Nuggets Kids Meal-190
Apples-25
Dipping Sauce-40-140
Fat Free Milk-90
Total Calories-345-445

Meal Three

Whopper Jr., no mayo & cheese-260
Value Size Onion Rings-150
Value Size Sweet Tea-90
Total Calories-500

Meal Four
2pc Homestyle Chicken Strips-240
Side Salad w/ Caesar Dressing-220
Small Light Lemonade-5
Total Calories-465

Meal Five
Hamburger-240
Value Size Onion Rings-150
Small Sweetened Tea-90
Total Calories-480

Keep your family healthy with a healthy kitchen!

Don’t let your kitchen get in the way of your healthy eating habits. Create a kitchen environment that helps you meet your goals by following these smart tips.
•Keep tempting foods out of the house. Have healthy substitutes handy such as fruits and vegetables. Put cut vegetables or fruits at eye level in your fridge, that way its the first thing you see when you open the door.
•Buy less-healthy foods in smaller portions and don’t eat directly out of the package. Most people will eat more from a big package than from a smaller one.
•For many families, the kitchen is the room for hanging out, watching TV, catching up, and doing homework. This also makes snacking easy. Make another room in your house the “hang-out” or family room.

When it comes to a healthy kitchen, food safety is a big concern. It’s important to follow proper food handling instructions when cooking to avoid food poisoning.
•Wash your hands before cooking.
•Use a separate cutting board for preparing raw meats.
•Check foods for expiration dates.
•Don’t leave food out for more than 2 hours.
•In hot weather (80 degrees or above) reduce that time to 1 hour.

5 meals under 500 calories…..Kentucky Fried Chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken  

Meal One
6 Hot Wings-420
16oz Diet Pepsi-0
Total Calories-420

Meal Two
Original RecipeDrumstick-120
Potato Wedges-290
16oz Lipton Brisk Tea-0
Total Calories-410

Meal Three
Original Recipe Chicken Breast-360
Mashed Potatoes with Gravy-120
16oz Diet Pepsi-0
Total Calories-480

Meal Four
Original Recipe Chicken Thigh-250
Side of Cole Slaw-180
16oz Lipton Brisk Tea-0
Total Calories-430

Meal Five
Extra Crispy Chicken Drumstick-150
Snack-Size Bowl-260
16oz Sugar Free Lemonade-10
Total Calories-420

Health Consequences of Drinking Soda

As the weather heats up we tend to crave cold refreshing liquids to quench our thirst. And depending what we choose to drink, it can really have an impact on our health.
Soda was once considered an occasional treat, but consumption has steadily increased over the last three decades. Drinking too much soda could have health consequences according to the Mayo Clinic. Here is a quick breakdown of how drinking soda can impact our health.
Weight gain: Many concerns about soda center on sugar. Research has shown that adults and children who regularly drink beverages high in sugar tend to have higher calorie intake overall and experience weight gain. As weight increases, so does the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Metabolic syndrome: A study in the journal Circulation found that middle-aged adults who drink one or more regular or diet sodas daily had an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that includes high blood pressure, excess weight gain around the waist, high cholesterol and insulin resistance.
Osteoporosis: Those who drink soda are less likely to consume milk, an important source of calcium. Lower calcium levels can increase the risk of osteoporosis, a condition in which bones are weak and prone to fracture. It’s possible that the phosphoric acid and caffeine found in soft drinks may promote the loss of calcium in bones.
Kidney stones: Some evidence indicates that sodas are linked to the formation of kidney stones. Drinking two or more diet or regular sodas daily may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease.
Promotes tooth decay: Soft drinks have emerged as one of the most significant dietary sources of tooth decay, affecting people of all ages. Acids and acidic sugar byproducts in soft drinks soften tooth enamel, contributing to the formation of cavities
Next time you quench your thirst try one of these options:
•Water: Try water with added citrus or sliced cucumbers. Always refreshing and is great for the skin.
•100% fruit juice: A sweet treat full of vitamins and it counts as a serving of fruit. Don’t overdo it though, limit yourself to 6oz.
•Vegetable juice or V8: Packed with flavor; high in vitamins C, A, and potassium and around 50 calories per cup. If possible choose the low sodium versions.
•Non-fat or low-fat milk: High in calcium and protein—and you need both. You could also try soy milk, rice milk or almond milk.
•Light yogurt and fruit smoothie: Creamy and sweet, high in calcium and only about 170 calories per cup.
•Tea, unsweetened: Get a boost on less than five calories per cup, plus it’s high in antioxidants.

We will be kicking off our Soda Free Summer campaign very soon so be looking for that!

5 Meals under 500 calories–WENDY’S

WENDY’S  

Meal One
Crispy Chicken Sandwich-380
Garden Salad-25
Light Classic Ranch Salad Dressing-50
Small Brewed Unsweetened Tea-5
Total Calories-460

Meal Two
Jr. Cheeseburger-290
Small Chili-210
Small Diet Coke-0
Total Calories-500

Meal Three
4pc Chicken Nuggets-180
BBQ Dipping Sauce-45
Value Fries-230
Small Light Lemonade-5
Total Calories-460

Meal Four
Grilled Chicken Go Wrap-260
Value Fries-230
Small Brewed Unsweetened Tea-5
Total Calories-495

Meal Five
Cheesy Cheddarburger-300
Caesar Side Salad, no croutons, with light ranch-130
Small Wild Berry Tea-70
Total Calories-500

Our latest post for 5 Under 500… McDonald’s Breakfast

We have created five meals under 500 calories for several fast food restaurants. Check out this week’s posting for McDonald’s breakfast. If you eat out, choose as healthy a meal as possible. More meals to come…

McDonald’s Breakfast 

Meal One
Egg McMuffin-300 calories
Hash Brown-150 calories
Small Premium Roast Coffee with creamer & sweetene-20 calories
Total Calories- 470

Meal Two
Sausage burrito-300
Hash Brown-150
Small Premium Roast Coffee-0
Total Calories-450

Meal Three
Sausage McMuffin with Egg-450
Small Premium Roast Coffee-0
Total Calories-450

Meal Four
Grilled Chicken Go Wrap-260
Value Fries-230
Small Brewed Unsweetened Tea-5
Total Calories-495

Meal Five
Hotcakes without syrup & butter-350
Hash Brown-150
Small Premium Roast Coffee-0
Total Calories-445

TV Turn off week is this week!

This week is TV Turn off Week! TV Turn-off week is a fun way to promote reducing the amount of television, video games and other screen devices. It is recommended that children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. That doesn’t have to mean joining a sports team but it probably does mean less TV watching. If we cut back on entertainment TV time for our kids — and for ourselves — we can make more time for physical activity and help reduce both childhood and adult obesity.
Walking the dog, riding a bike around the block, and dancing in the living room all count as physical activity. And these are things that whole family can enjoy doing together.
Give your TV the week off!  Join with us and do the best you can to reduce the amount of TV you and your family watch this week.