SparkPeople Healthy Eating Secrets http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets-category.asp?category=healthy-eating Learn some of the secrets of success for Healthy Eating from SparkPeople members. SparkPeople Healthy Eating Secrets http://www.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/nav_logo_v3.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets-category.asp?category=healthy-eating Benefits of Fruit Water http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44357_benefits_of_fruit_water Do you turn to soda, diet soda, sugary “juice” cocktails, vitamin enhanced waters, chemical-laden drops or other drinks with artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners to quench your thirst? Better options exist and the health benefits of fruit infused waters are numerous and delicious!<br><br>Fruit infused water is a great way to boost your metabolism. Containing zero calories, it’s water is the perfect way to cut your daily caloric intake without missing out delicious beverages.<br>Waters i... Fri, 12 Feb 2016 11:14:00 EST Benefits of Fruit http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44343_benefits_of_fruit Why is it important to eat fruit?<br> <br><br>Eating fruit provides health benefits — people who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Fruits provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.<br> <br>Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. None have cholesterol.<br>Fruits are sources of many essential nutrients that are underconsumed, including potassium, dietary fiber, v... Thu, 11 Feb 2016 12:49:00 EST Wash those calories away http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44340_wash_those_calories_away We're always looking for ways to eat healthy. I don't know about you, but I could spend hours researching eating plans and as much as I like to do this, I sometimes come away feeling a bit confused. <br><br>Recently, I was overjoyed to hear of a friend's success. Losing over fifty pounds has not only made her a healthier person, but she contends that she enjoys food for the first time in her life. I asked if she had any suggestions and she told me about the best tip she knew. <br><br>I figure... Thu, 11 Feb 2016 12:33:00 EST Make Convenience Work http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44336_make_convenience_work I know we're told that to be healthy we should avoid "Convenience Foods" but I am a single, working \woman and I have a slightly different idea - make convenience work for you - I buy Bagged Salads, and lots of frozen :lite" options - I make sure that if I'm going to splurge it's early in the day - Let's face it id you are like me and still working - you have got to find foods that work for you - Bagged Salad is one of my favorites - as is anything Progresso that is low in calories and/ or Ve... Thu, 11 Feb 2016 10:26:00 EST Green Tea Benefits http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44327_green_tea_benefits The green miracle drink from China made its way long ago into the mugs of Americans all across the nation for its touted health benefits. From a weight loss aid to targeting pancreatic cancer, green tea has evolved into a medicinal drink that caters to a myriad of illnesses. The reality is there are surprising benefits to reap from this magical drink in just one cup.<br><br>The hot beverage accounts for 15 percent of the tea consumed in the U.S., according to the Tea Association’s latest stat... Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:41:00 EST Food Groupings to save time http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44322_food_groupings_to_save_time I have some "go to" food groupings that I always keep in the house, so that if I don't have a food plan for a meal, I can always fall back on them. This keeps me out of the fast food drive-thru line!<br><br>For example, one of my food groupings includes a smoothie. The recipe for it is as follows:<br> - 40 grams of shakeology chocolate powder<br> - 14 grams of unflavoured fibre powder<br> - 1 tablespoon of smooth, natural peanut butter<br> - 250 millilitres of fat free milk<br> - 250 millil... Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:43:00 EST Benefits of Green Tea http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44303_benefits_of_green_tea Green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet.<br><br>It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body.<br><br>This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other incredible benefits.<br><br>Here are 10 health benefits of green tea that have been confirmed in human research studies.<br><br>1. Green Tea Contains Various Bioactive Compounds That Can Improve Health<br><br>Green tea is more than just green liquid.<br><br>M... Tue, 9 Feb 2016 12:56:00 EST Get The Water IN! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44300_get_the_water_in <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/d80611b5-f713-4e79-918d-875c03387a16.jpg">8 glasses of water a day? Really? I hate water period. If it didn't "fizz" I didn't drink it! It was an issue with me and a struggle to drink 8 glasses a day.<br><br>I started making my own "flavored" water and that did the trick for me. I have 4 Mason quart jars filled with water in my fridge. I put sliced fruit in each jar. Orange slices, lemon slices, lime slices! I have used watermelon, halv... Tue, 9 Feb 2016 09:51:00 EST No Middle Aisles http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44297_no_middle_aisles It's true that the periphery of grocery stores contain the healthiest foods. Produce, dairy, fresh bread, and animal mets all usually sit around the edges of a food store.<br><br>It's to health-conscious persons' advantages that after the first display of seasonal goods the next thing they encounter is produces. brightly colored fruit and vegetables are a healthy eater's best friends. Filling half of one's plate with these goodnesses, especially with all manner of leafy greens, helps battle t... Tue, 9 Feb 2016 07:38:00 EST homemade tv dinners http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44291_homemade_tv_dinners We set aside time on the weekend to cook and package up meals for the week. This makes eating health easy for the week, less chance of stopping and grabbing something at the fastfood places.<br>We ordered two and three divided container with tops so can throw them in the fridge. Also makes them easy to toss in the personal cooler with an ice pack. This works with salads, sandwiches, pasta, etc. <br><br>1: The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by ... Mon, 8 Feb 2016 20:52:00 EST Whole Grain Benefits http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44282_whole_grain_benefits Why is it important to eat grains, especially whole grains?<br><br>Eating grains, especially whole grains, provides health benefits. People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Grains provide many nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of our bodies.<br> <br><br>NutrientsSliced whole wheat bread image<br><br>Grains are important sources of many nutrients, including dietary fiber, several B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, ... Mon, 8 Feb 2016 10:46:00 EST Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day to Feel Full and Eat Less http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44275_drink_8_glasses_of_water_a_day_to_feel_full_and_eat_less To help with my weight loss efforts I have been working to drink more water each day, and also to cut soda from my diet and replace it with water as my drink of choice. <br> <br>Drinking 8 glasses of water each day helps me stay hydrated and avoid overeating. I have read articles about how people confuse thirst (dehydration) for hunger, so they’ll tend to eat rather than drink water, which adds calories to the day’s food intake. I have learned that if I’m craving a mid-afternoon snack, I’ll... Mon, 8 Feb 2016 05:38:00 EST Herbs and Spices to Curb Cravings http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44234_herbs_and_spices_to_curb_cravings If I am craving some starchy foods that really are not good for my goals for the day, I have discovered that what I actually crave about those comfort foods are actually not the starches at all! So, if I want to eat a whole pan of lasagna, or about ten pieces of pizza, I think about what flavors I really am looking for. For those two, it is usually the combination of tomatoes with oregano and maybe basil and thyme. When I know what the flavors I want are, I can usually prepare a salad with th... Fri, 5 Feb 2016 19:44:00 EST Pros of Paleo Diet http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44209_pros_of_paleo_diet You need to read this list. You need to read it because once you do you’ll realize the Paleo Diet is unquestionably the best diet for you. There are no special pills and you don’t have to starve yourself for 40 days and 40 nights.<br><br>All you have to do is eat in a similar fashion as your paleolithic ancestors. These are foods that you’ve adapted the ability effectively convert into energy. <br><br>The problem with your current diet is that you think just because your body is the best mach... Thu, 4 Feb 2016 12:16:00 EST HYPNOSIS Helped me STOP CHOCOLATE!!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44203_hypnosis_helped_me_stop_chocolate <em>524</em> Hello Sparkpeople!!! <em>252</em> <br><br>It's the beginning of February 2016 & I'm back to SP, after 6 months away, during which time, unfortunately, I regained the 25lbs I'd lost, <br>doing SP from April to July of 2015. <br> <em>15</em> <em>9</em> <em>15</em> <em>39</em> <br><br>Although I've actually been back since the beginning of January, it's taken me some time to getting around to writing my 1st Blog.... Not only is this a Blog... <br>It contains a "SE... Thu, 4 Feb 2016 06:07:00 EST Drinking your 8 glasses of water http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44196_drinking_your_8_glasses_of_water People don't realize the importance of water in a healthy lifestyle. Water is essential to one's health and wellbeing. Water carries nutrients to the body's cells and aids in the removal of waste materials and toxins from the body. When a person does not drink enough water, the body becomes dehydrated. The cells are unable to be rid of the toxins and wastes, which then build up in the system. This causes a general feeling of illness, and cause headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, and dizziness. ... Wed, 3 Feb 2016 13:30:00 EST TRACKING MY FOOD DAILY http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44187_tracking_my_food_daily I have been working out a minimum of 120 minutes a day. I only do 30 minutes at a time, so I do not get frustrated or burnt out. It has been good so far.<br><br>I have been dealing with weight issues since I was about five or six years old. I have done lots of diets, exercise, and even a medical fast. I have had many levels of success and failure over the years. However, now I believe that I have a grasp on what I need to do to be successful. I have a compulsive eating disorder. I have to rem... Wed, 3 Feb 2016 08:37:00 EST 6 minis a day http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44155_6_minis_a_day I have found that as I have hit the over 40 mark, I need to actually eat MORE and more often. 6 small meals a day at 200-250 each is best to help me lose weight and feel better. I increased my water intake and that also helped tremendously. I consider my carefully and plan out my snacks (mini-meals). I Have extra supplies at work too, in case I forget anything. I also have increased my lean protein intake and that has also made a huge difference. By having Sparkpeople and the trackers, I have... Mon, 1 Feb 2016 15:22:00 EST TIME TO MEAL PREP http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44153_time_to_meal_prep I am a big supporter of meal prep. You don’t have to be a body builder to partake, and it saves heaps of time in the week when you normally have little to spare. I know it seems like an arduous task, but it’s importance in achieving your goals really can’t be underestimated. Knowing what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat and then preparing your meals is one of important aspects of achieving a healthy, balanced diet.<br><br>The key to getting ahead with meal prep is to have a few staple foo... Mon, 1 Feb 2016 14:12:00 EST Benefits of Juicing http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44151_benefits_of_juicing Whole fruit or juice<br>Did you know that 95% of the vitamins and enzymes our bodies need are found in the juice of raw fruits and vegetables? We would need to eat 2 lbs of carrots, 10-12 apples, or 8 lbs of spinach to get the same amount of nutrients you receive in one 16 oz juice. When you drink juice, highly concentrated vitamins, minerals and enzymes rapidly enter the bloodstream absorbing all of the nutritional benefits of the fruits and vegetables and giving your digestive organs a much... Mon, 1 Feb 2016 11:53:00 EST Gradual food changes http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44150_gradual_food_changes One of the best ways of making changes in the way you eat is to make gradual changes in food choices. Pick one item that you eat, making sure it is NOT your favorite food item. Switch out that item for a healthier option. Begin by doing this one meal a week. Then move on to two meals, and so on until you have switched out a food item in one meal each day of the week. Once this habit has taken hold, begin switching out items at two meals per day, working up to seven days or 14 meals per week. ... Mon, 1 Feb 2016 11:40:00 EST meal prep for the upcoming week http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44148_meal_prep_for_the_upcoming_week Meal prep on the weekend for the <br>upcoming week. <br>1. roast and steam veggies for the week. <br> <br>2. sautee onions and peppers for omelets. <br><br>3. hard boil eggs for a quick and easy snack <br><br>4. Casseroles are quick and easy to prepare and freeze. So this way you wont get bored.<br><br>I feel that i have more success when i meal prep than when i don't. I will make every excuse during the week to not cook. When i do this i end up binging because i... Mon, 1 Feb 2016 10:45:00 EST Eat more fiber http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44133_eat_more_fiber I have been eating more fiber and I am amazed at the difference it has made. I feel satisfied when I eat fiber. Snacking is not a problem for me any more..<br>Starting the day with about 10 grams of fiber is the best way to start the day. ( it also helps to keep you regular).<br>I have found several snack bars that contain a lot of fiber and are delicious. I also add lots of fresh spinach throughout my day.<br>Beans are a great source of fiber. I like adding them to soups and salads, as well ... Sun, 31 Jan 2016 14:00:00 EST Veggie and fruit Smoothie- Daily! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44108_veggie_and_fruit_smoothie_daily Every day I have a veggie smoothie. This way I know I am getting in my veggies!<br><br>3 big handfuls of a mixture of spinach, kale and chards<br>1 fuji apple<br>1 banana<br>About 4 cups of water<br><br>Optional- instead of water, add OJ. This will sweeten up the smoothie. When I started making these, this is how I started.<br>Another option is to add more fruit and cut back on the veggie mix. This will also sweeten up the smoothie.<br><br>Place all in high powered blender (I use a Vitami... Sat, 30 Jan 2016 08:28:00 EST Veggie and fruit Smoothie- Daily! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44107_veggie_and_fruit_smoothie_daily Every day I have a veggie smoothie. This way I know I am getting in my veggies!<br><br>3 big handfuls of a mixture of spinach, kale and chards<br>1 fuji apple<br>1 banana<br>About 4 cups of water<br><br>Optional- instead of water, add OJ. This will sweeten up the smoothie. When I started making these, this is how I started.<br>Another option is to add more fruit and cut back on the veggie mix. This will also sweeten up the smoothie.<br><br>Place all in high powered blender (I use a Vitami... Sat, 30 Jan 2016 08:28:00 EST Veggie and fruit Smoothie- Daily! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44106_veggie_and_fruit_smoothie_daily Every day I have a veggie smoothie. This way I know I am getting in my veggies!<br><br>3 big handfuls of a mixture of spinach, kale and chards<br>1 fuji apple<br>1 banana<br>About 4 cups of water<br><br>Optional- instead of water, add OJ. This will sweeten up the smoothie. When I started making these, this is how I started.<br>Another option is to add more fruit and cut back on the veggie mix. This will also sweeten up the smoothie.<br><br>Place all in high powered blender (I use a Vitami... Sat, 30 Jan 2016 08:28:00 EST Veggie and fruit Smoothie- Daily! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44105_veggie_and_fruit_smoothie_daily Every day I have a veggie smoothie. This way I know I am getting in my veggies!<br><br>3 big handfuls of a mixture of spinach, kale and chards<br>1 fuji apple<br>1 banana<br>About 4 cups of water<br><br>Optional- instead of water, add OJ. This will sweeten up the smoothie. When I started making these, this is how I started.<br>Another option is to add more fruit and cut back on the veggie mix. This will also sweeten up the smoothie.<br><br>Place all in high powered blender (I use a Vitami... Sat, 30 Jan 2016 08:28:00 EST Coconut Oil Benefits http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44097_coconut_oil_benefits Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.”<br><br>Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health.<br><br>This includes fat loss, better brain function and various other amazing benefits.<br><br>Here are the top 10 health benefits of coconut oil that have been experimentally confirmed in human studies.<br><br>If you want to try coconut oil for free, then get this organic virgin and fair-trade coconut oil from Thrive Market.<... Fri, 29 Jan 2016 17:02:00 EST Best Thing I Bought This Year: Nutribullet http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44093_best_thing_i_bought_this_year_nutribullet I have many different types of juicers, blenders and smoothie makers. After about a week of excitement they all now reside in my forgotten items cupboard in my kitchen above the stove. You know that one- the hard to get to shelves so when something goes there it is literally forgotten. That shelf.<br><br>But last year (2015) I bought a nutribullet and I cannot explain to you how it has changed my life. I love this thing and i think it loves me back. I use it for so many different things... Fri, 29 Jan 2016 14:05:00 EST Portion Control and Other Healthy Eating Tips http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44092_portion_control_and_other_healthy_eating_tips Ever have a problem with portion control? Use a ½ cup measuring cup instead of a serving spoon to put your veggies on your plate. If you are supposed to get a cup of something (like salad) just use it twice, or use the 1 cup measuring cup. This takes the guesswork out of portions. For meats, use a food scale. Put your entire plate on the scale and reset the scale to zero, and then add the meat. You can add more or cut off some if the amount is off. You can also do this for lunch meat. I b... Fri, 29 Jan 2016 12:21:00 EST Track ahead of time http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44090_track_ahead_of_time I know what I'm supposed to eat, and I have great intentions. I usually start out great in the morning, with a walk and a healthy breakfast. Unfortunately, I often succumb to temptation later in the day. It's especially easy to make unhealthy choices if I wait until I'm hungry to decide what to eat. If I do that, I often pick the easy, quick choice instead of the healthier choice which might require a little work.<br> So -- I've decided that when I'm having a hard time staying on track ... Fri, 29 Jan 2016 11:24:00 EST Sugar Is Not Your Friend http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44086_sugar_is_not_your_friend News flash: We're all dipped in honey and rolled in sprinkles. The average person shovels in 300 calories from added sugar every day, according to a recent report from the University of North Carolina. Roughly 20% of Americans exceed 700 calories of added sugar on a daily basis. That's an entire cup of sugar. Whoa. (See how easy that is to do with these 10 surprising foods that list sugar as the first ingredient.)<br>"Not only are we getting added sugar from obvious places like cakes, candy, ... Fri, 29 Jan 2016 09:21:00 EST Win With Food! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44082_win_with_food Many people have succeeded with their health goals and will continue to do so. The reality is that everyone has the freedom to choose HOW they will tackle their journey to health.<br><br>I have personally been on my journey for the last month and lost eleven pounds and a wee bit. I had read expert information prior to embarking on my journey that 80% of weight gain, loss, or maintenance is what we consume and 20% of it is about how much we move.<br><br>Being we're having a colder and rainy ... Thu, 28 Jan 2016 22:59:00 EST Green Super Foods http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44072_green_super_foods Superfoods are a special category of foods found in nature. By definition they are calorie sparse and nutrient dense meaning they pack a lot of punch for their weight as far as goodness goes. They are superior sources of anti-oxidants and essential nutrients - nutrients we need but cannot make ourselves. <br><br>We all may be adding more salads and vegetables to our diets, but concern over the quality of foods grown on mineral depleted soils makes Superfoods an intelligent choice. <br>Greens ... Thu, 28 Jan 2016 12:12:00 EST Good Breakfast FTW http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44055_good_breakfast_ftw I don't care how the rest of my day goes, as long as I get a good fibre & protein heavy breakfast, I know I've started it off right. <br><br>My favourite is a tasty yogurt with Chia Seeds & Hulled Hemp Hearts topped with a crunch granola or cereal for texture. I've found that I can get away with non-Greek yogurts because the Chia thickens it even better.<br><br>With that I know I'm going to get a good start on my fibre for the day, which is usually my biggest challenge. I can also keep my sod... Wed, 27 Jan 2016 15:41:00 EST READY TO GET HEALTHY http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44049_ready_to_get_healthy Want to feel your absolute best? It all starts with food. It’s proven that what you eat directly affects your health, your immune system, and can even prevent disease. The best way to take care of your body is to feed it! By consuming real, whole foods daily, you’ll notice an incredible difference in your energy levels, your overall well-being, and you just might drop a couple pounds in the process.<br>So what does eating real food look like? With Larabar, it means following the philosophy th... Wed, 27 Jan 2016 09:34:00 EST Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day to Feel Full and Eat Less http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44043_drink_8_glasses_of_water_a_day_to_feel_full_and_eat_less To help with my weight loss efforts I have been working to drink more water each day, and also to cut soda from my diet and replace it with water as my drink of choice. <br> <br>Drinking 8 glasses of water each day helps me stay hydrated and avoid overeating. I have read articles about how people confuse thirst (dehydration) for hunger, so they’ll tend to eat rather than drink water, which adds calories to the day’s food intake. I have learned that if I’m craving a mid-afternoon snack, I’ll... Wed, 27 Jan 2016 00:54:00 EST Frozen Berries Get You Over Late Night Cravings http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44038_frozen_berries_get_you_over_late_night_cravings If you're like me, especially in the cold winter months, you're binge watching a great TV show. And that means You Want to Eat At Night. <br><br>I've read all the articles. I know night cravings are not at all the same as actual hunger. And I know watching television makes it worse - all those junk food commercials! Burgers! Fries! FOURTH MEAL. Even if I hadn't been thinking of food, my easily-influenced brain wants something. Now.<br><br>That's why I turn to frozen berries. <br><br>As you pr... Tue, 26 Jan 2016 16:19:00 EST Start your day with lemon water http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44031_start_your_day_with_lemon_water Lemon helps detox the body of impurities. I begin every day with a mug of warm water and 2 tbsp. lemon juice to get my internal systems working properly right from the start. <br><br>5 Health Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water<br><br>1. Helps Digestion<br><br>The biggest benefit may be from the temperature of the water and not even the added lemon. Drinking any water, or especially warm water, first thing in the morning can help flush the digestive system and rehydrate the body.<br><br>Think ab... Tue, 26 Jan 2016 11:17:00 EST Track the Foods (and Drinks) you Consume Every Single Day (Even those Small Snacks at the Office!) http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44020_track_the_foods_and_drinks_you_consume_every_single_day_even_those_small_snacks_at_the_office I was most successful in my weight loss efforts when I took the time to track the foods I ate every single day. When I took the time to track the calories in that slice of cake I had at the office or the pizza slice one of my co-workers sent in my direction, it was a real eye-opener how the calories consumed would add up.<br> <br>I think the most important lesson I learned from tracking my food consumption, was in learning more about calories in foods I eat on a regular basis. For example, ... Tue, 26 Jan 2016 06:51:00 EST calculate before a meal http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44015_calculate_before_a_meal I have been using Spark People for just 2 1/2 weeks and have lost 5 pounds. I wanted to get a baseline for where I was before I decided to make major changes. I entered my data and started tracking away. Just by tracking my meals I have a better handle on my nutrition (or lack thereof) and have already seen weight loss and a more positive attitude about health habits. Boy was I surprised to find out that my daily stop at a major coffee shop-which included not only my sugary coffee drink, b... Mon, 25 Jan 2016 18:50:00 EST Groceries and Planning http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44014_groceries_and_planning Something that has worked for me --I have found that if I wash,slice, dice, etc my veggies, fruits( and whatever else I buy) and put them in the proper portions into baggies as I'm putting away the groceries, this really helps. Then, when I want something, it is ready for me to grab and go! Instead of going for unhealthy, fattening chips and cookies which are in an easy- to- grab bag, you now have a healthy snack to easily grab instead. For me, the few extra minutes that this takes on shoppi... Mon, 25 Jan 2016 18:00:00 EST Kale 101 101 http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44013_kale_101_101 Kale 101<br>kale-basketAccording to this comprehensive profile by the USDA, the American diet has drastically changed over the last 30 years. Here are the sad and shocking facts from the National Center for Health Statistics. They say an astounding 62 percent of adult Americans were overweight in 2000, up from 46 percent in 1980, and that figure is on the rise every year.<br><br>In 1999, consumption of sugar reached an all time high. Americans increased their annual intake by 43 pounds (or 39... Mon, 25 Jan 2016 17:13:00 EST Margarine versus Butter http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=44008_margarine_versus_butter For years I was a margarine girl. My mother, the anorexic, raised me on margarine, because it was "lower calories". Remember this is in the 60s and 70s when we had no clue what healthy eating was and skinny was the rage. <br><br>I took this into my first and second marriages, forcing my poor farm-raised husband to change from butter to margarine even though we ate beef and pork from the farm and made our weekend pancakes and waffles with (horror) margarine heaped on them.<br><br>I think my... Mon, 25 Jan 2016 11:14:00 EST Eating Protein at Breakfast Every Day To Lose Weight http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43987_eating_protein_at_breakfast_every_day_to_lose_weight For years I did not eat breakfast. As a child I sometimes did, sometimes didn't. I remember eating hot cereal, like cream of wheat or oatmeal. Less frequently I remember eating eggs, usually with toast and sausage or bacon. But at some point between there and my late twenties-early thirties, I became a non-eater of breakfast. At the time, it wasn't a problem because I didn't have a weight problem. <br>After having some health issues in the 1990's, I gained weight. It crept up on me. I hadn't ... Sun, 24 Jan 2016 14:15:00 EST Bananas help more than you think http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43975_bananas_help_more_than_you_think <br>1. Bananas Contain Many Important Nutrients<br><br>Bananas are among the most popular fruits on earth.<br><br>Native to Southeast Asia, they are now grown in many warmer parts of the world.<br><br>There are many types of bananas available, which vary in color, size and shape. The most common type is the yellow banana, which is green when unripe.<br><br>This is what ripe bananas typically look like:<br><br>Whole and Sliced Bananas on Board<br><br>Bananas contain a fair amount of fiber, as ... Sun, 24 Jan 2016 08:48:00 EST More about Balancing Meals http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43967_more_about_balancing_meals I posted the other day about balancing meals. I wanted to share my breakfast today as an example because I think that is the hardest meal for me to balance. After all, it's easy to add a veggie to lunch and supper, but who eats green beans or broccoli at breakfast!<br><br>The easiest way is to drink a serving of low sodium V8 juice, but I try to eat my veggies instead of drink them! So how else can you get your morning veggies in?<br><br>Here is my breakfast for today:<br>1/4 cup of onion a... Sat, 23 Jan 2016 13:37:00 EST Take This Detour! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43952_take_this_detour I work for the City of Grand Rapids Minnesota and am an Administrative Assistant. I am part of our wellness team and am in charge of writing a quarterly newsletter. <br><br>I recently came across an article that I think really speaks volumes and wanted to share it with you. This is nothing new but we sometimes need to be reminded how fast we can make pour decisions with our eating. Even though I am over weight and have struggled with these issues since I was a kid I still try and eat heal... Fri, 22 Jan 2016 16:54:00 EST Perfect/healthy portions for on the go eating http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43951_perfecthealthy_portions_for_on_the_go_eating I have a hard time choosing healthy foods when I'm busy. I'm a mother of 6 and we are always on the go, with doctor appointments or some type of event. In the past "Fat Food" joints have been my go to for quick eats. We all know a small fry and double cheeseburger is not healthy. It left me feeling sick and guilty & a huge expanding waistline.<br><br>A few weeks ago, I was shopping when I came across some portion containers. I was skeptical, but I purchased some.<br> <br>I purchased 2cup serv... Fri, 22 Jan 2016 15:52:00 EST Am I Hungry? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43943_am_i_hungry A friend of mien sent me a rather long essay on hunger, why it happens and how it happens. Here is the link if you are interested:<br><br>https://aeon.co/essays/<BR>hunger-is-psychological-and-dieting-on<BR>ly-makes-it-worse<br><br>The article makes a convincing argument that hunger is controlled not only in the stomach but also in the brain and that the brain is taking a lot of things into consideration before making the decision to release the information that you are hungry or you are ful... Fri, 22 Jan 2016 11:20:00 EST Balancing a meal http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43932_balancing_a_meal At first I was just trying to stay withing my caloric range, but thanks to the Full Nutrition Report that I ran at the end of each day, I discovered a few things about my eating habits. My calories were fine, but my nutritional values were all over the place. Too much protein one day, too much cholesterol another day, etc. For example, if I have 2 eggs and 1 piece of whole grain toast, my cholesterol is too high at the end of the day. If I have 1 egg and 2 pieces of toast, I'm just as full,... Thu, 21 Jan 2016 20:05:00 EST Diet Drinks Harmful http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43927_diet_drinks_harmful When taken at face value, diet soda seems like a health-conscious choice. It saves you the 140-plus calories you'd find in a sugary soft drink while still satisfying your urge for something sweet with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. But there's more to this chemical cocktail than meets the eye.<br><br>It confuses your body<br>Artificial sweeteners have more intense flavor than real sugar, so over time products like diet soda dull our senses to naturally sweet f... Thu, 21 Jan 2016 12:43:00 EST Darn those "Night Cravings" http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43913_darn_those_night_cravings What Causes Late-Night Cravings<br>Most people are familiar with the midnight sugar attack. While some people do crave junk food in the morning, and other people just keep craving it all day, the most common pattern is for the cookies to start looking better and better as the day goes on.<br><br>In fact, in extreme cases this, there’s actually a diagnosable eating disorder. Night Eating Syndrome (NES) includes symptoms like:<br>Eating large amounts (25% or more) of your total daily food intak... Thu, 21 Jan 2016 00:37:00 EST Cook for your Health... http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43910_cook_for_your_health I am from the South and things get fried if it stays still long enough... I saw them fry Twinkies and I thought that was crazy but the matter is I had to stop the insane way I was cooking... I have done a lot with foods that never thought I would sneak in ... My kids didn't know half the things they were eating and if I had said this they would have not tried it.. I grew up and we had to eat what ever was on your plate so if I wasn't sure if I liked it I would hold back to see what it was .. ... Wed, 20 Jan 2016 18:12:00 EST Always Plan Ahead http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43904_always_plan_ahead You should always be prepared for meals. Being caught off guard is where I found myself either struggling to find a meal or struggling to make the "best" of bad choices!! <br><br>Meetings that provide meals or snacks tend to be provided based on budget and not on the fact that you are trying to eat a balanced meal. I prepare my meals from the weekend. I cook enough proteins to carry me through several meals. I do a mix of chicken or fish. Or ground turkey and lean beef are also great choices.... Wed, 20 Jan 2016 16:07:00 EST Importance of Breakfast http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43900_importance_of_breakfast Some people skip breakfast in an effort to lose weight, but that's not a good idea. It can backfire.<br><br>Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can actually make weight control more difficult. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more food than usual at the next meal, or nibble on high-calorie snacks to stave off hunger.<br><br>Some studies suggest that people tend to add more body fat when they eat fewer, larger meals than when they eat the same number of calories in smaller, more frequent meals... Wed, 20 Jan 2016 13:31:00 EST It's Not That Complicated http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43869_its_not_that_complicated <br>1<br>It's not that complicated.... eating less and moving more is the best, most popular strategy among those who successfully lose weight.<br><br>In contrast, the cavemen, the Atkins-ish and Ornish-ish, the liquid diets, the fasts, and all the specially designed diet foods—all those “reduced-calorie delivery systems” with appealing pitch people—just don’t work. Liquid diets, nonprescription diet pills, and popular diets had no association with successful weight loss.<br><br><br><br><br><... Tue, 19 Jan 2016 08:57:00 EST Track the Foods (and Drinks) you Consume Every Single Day (Even those Small Snacks at the Office!) http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43867_track_the_foods_and_drinks_you_consume_every_single_day_even_those_small_snacks_at_the_office I was most successful in my weight loss efforts when I took the time to track the foods I ate every single day. When I took the time to track the calories in that slice of cake I had at the office or the pizza slice one of my co-workers sent in my direction, it was a real eye-opener how the calories consumed would add up.<br> <br>I think the most important lesson I learned from tracking my food consumption, was in learning more about calories in foods I eat on a regular basis. For example, ... Tue, 19 Jan 2016 07:07:00 EST Doing What's Best http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43863_doing_whats_best When I began my journey here on Spark People, I didn't know a thing about anything health and fitness related. It was like the big bad wolf and the little red riding hood scenario in my mind because I really believe that it's all mental. It's all about our mindset, once that becomes controlled you become unstoppable in a way and I don't intend on veering off subject but I had to relate those thoughts into words. But back to what my point is, after all the hype , info on all these different f... Tue, 19 Jan 2016 01:56:00 EST Morning Coffee Pit Fall Avoidance http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43841_morning_coffee_pit_fall_avoidance Coffee is in! It's been in for a long while. I love coffee and I'm not alone in this. However how I drink my coffee is key. I have a flavourful dark roast no cream or milk with a packet of Stevia. I can drink it without the stevia as well but I don't drink a lot of coffee so a packet of Stevia is okay. One special coffee a week on Fridays is my limit. I stop at the local starbucks for a Caramel Macchiato. I get mine with lactose free milk to avoid the stomach upset I get from regular milk. Th... Mon, 18 Jan 2016 08:20:00 EST More on Salt http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43824_more_on_salt Yesterday I showed a significant weight gain over night, two whole pounds. I knew this was water weight resulting from a high sodium Friday and yesterday I embarked on a program to rid myself of the water. Step one, low sodium Saturday. Step two, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.<br><br>I was careful what I ate all day long, using the tools on my smart phone and choosing the foods with the lower sodium content. In only one instance was the food sort of tasteless and in need of salt but I resiste... Sun, 17 Jan 2016 12:09:00 EST Consider what you eat wisely http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43823_consider_what_you_eat_wisely Honestly, as long as you count the calories, you can eat whatever. Just make sure it wont be empty calories so when you eat it you wont feel hungry and dissapointed. Like, you can eat and eat bread and will never feel full, and you will pack on the calories. You can also eat a bunch of junk like snack cakes and potato chips, but you will feel greasy and you will have not gained satisfaction. If i eat 2 bananas, thats more than 200 calories! I will still be hungry, and I will have gained more... Sun, 17 Jan 2016 11:45:00 EST GOTTA KEEP MOVING FORWARD http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43815_gotta_keep_moving_forward I have been dealing with weight issues since I was about five or six years old. I have done lots of diets, exercise, and even a medical fast. I have had many levels of success and failure over the years. However, now I believe that I have a grasp on what I need to do to be successful. I have a compulsive eating disorder. I have to remain very structured in what I do every day. I am not somebody who can just come into work when there are doughnuts, have one and be fine about it. I have to be v... Sun, 17 Jan 2016 00:33:00 EST my morning tea http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43800_my_morning_tea Each morning I have a tea made with 16 ounces of hot water, a tbls. of honey, a tbls of lemon juice, 1/4 tsp of tumeric, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and a tbls of organic apple cider vinegar. It helps with my morning blood sugar levels and curbs my appetite for the day. Seperately these ingredients are so very good for you anyway that putting them into one drink in the morning just simply cant go wrong. The tumeric itself is known to help and aid in fat loss and the honey and lemon juice are helpf... Sat, 16 Jan 2016 12:25:00 EST Delay Tactic for Workplace Sugar/Fat Traps http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43786_delay_tactic_for_workplace_sugarfat_traps I know I'm not alone. I've seen many Spark posts related to the constant barrage of workplace treats. My favorite term for this is "toxic food environment," though I was actually told to "shut up" by a co-worker a few years back when I chose to be vocal with it. <br><br>I work on a floor that houses a department of 50+. More than one of them are excellent bakers. Unfortunately for me, they like to bring treats to share with co-workers. One even brings both a sheet cake (for the floor) and a p... Fri, 15 Jan 2016 13:01:00 EST Healthy Drink Choices http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43784_healthy_drink_choices Healthy Drinks<br> <br>in<br> <br>Stumbleupon<br> <br>RELATED<br><br>This recipe for a fruit cooler will keep you healthy and hydrated<br>Water is the best choice for quenching your thirst. Coffee and tea, without added sweeteners, are healthy choices, too.<br>Some beverages should be limited or consumed in moderation, including diet drinks, fruit juice and milk. Alcohol in moderation can be healthy for some people, but not everyone.<br>Avoid sugary drinks like soda, sports beverages, and ... Fri, 15 Jan 2016 11:57:00 EST A LIFETIME OF STRUGGLES http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43782_a_lifetime_of_struggles I have been dealing with weight issues since I was about five or six years old. I have done lots of diets, exercise, and even a medical fast. I have had many levels of success and failure over the years. However, now I believe that I have a grasp on what I need to do to be successful. I have a compulsive eating disorder. I have to remain very structured in what I do every day. I am not somebody who can just come into work when there are doughnuts, have one and be fine about it. I have to be v... Fri, 15 Jan 2016 10:20:00 EST Soda, Chili Peppers, and Dehydration http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43775_soda_chili_peppers_and_dehydration Drinking soda is linked to higher stroke risk. The more soda (regular and/or diet) you drink, the higher your risk of stroke, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers analyzed soda consumption and incidence of stroke among 43,371 men and 84,085 women between 1980 and 2008. Men and women who drank more than one serving of sugar-sweetened soda per day were more likely to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, while those who consumed d... Thu, 14 Jan 2016 20:29:00 EST Eliminate Soft Drinks http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43767_eliminate_soft_drinks One of the major causes of obesity is soda. If you want to lose weight, giving up your soda consumption is probably one of the best beginning moves. Within weeks you will see a difference.<br><br>The Great Addiction<br><br>Soda consumption accounts for more than a quarter of all drinks consumed within the United States. Starting at toddler age, children are drinking soda and adding more sugar to their bodies than cookies, candy and ice cream combined. Along with the high sugar content, caffei... Thu, 14 Jan 2016 11:21:00 EST Secret to feeling full... http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43762_secret_to_feeling_full My secret to feeling full is to add filling foods to my diet. I eat high fiber foods like leafy greens and I add one apple to my Chobani 0% yogurt and some walnuts to make myself a filling snack or meal. I can eat this for a meal and feel full until my next meal. And its really delicious and healthy too! Try it...its great! I used to limit myself to low calorie simple ideas but have found that those choices have left me wanted something else. Other choices that I make that really are fil... Thu, 14 Jan 2016 10:13:00 EST One day fasting http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43759_one_day_fasting I have been doing my best, all things considered, eating healthy, working out, reducing alcohol, drinking more water. This has been the longest I have ever done this. Frankly speaking, I am really on the verge of saying I have begun a behavioral change. I am not sure when you can actually say you have changed behavior because like addictions, the tendency is always there in the back of your mind to fall back to previous bad behaviors. Getting older, getting wiser, maybe. Sparkpeople definitel... Thu, 14 Jan 2016 08:07:00 EST Mediterranean-Style Diet, Berries, Vitamin D-3 http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43752_mediterraneanstyle_diet_berries_vitamin_d3 A Mediterranean-style diet protects brain blood vessels. Following a Mediterranean-style dietary pattern may protect the tiny blood vessels in your brain from damage, according to study findings in the Archives of Neurology. A Mediterranean-style diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plant proteins and contains minimal amounts of red meat, saturated fat, processed foods, and sweets. In the study, participants whose diets most closely resembled a Mediterranean-style eating p... Wed, 13 Jan 2016 18:27:00 EST Pre-Track Your Meals to stay in line with nutrition goals http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43749_pretrack_your_meals_to_stay_in_line_with_nutrition_goals When I first decided I was getting a little heavier, and I wanted to do something to control my weight and my health, I was lost. There are so many competing articles out there that insist on what is right and what is wrong. I sought the help of a nutritionist, which ended up being covered by my health insurance. After learning the basics of limitations and other aspects rather than calories, I was on my way right? Wrong. It is so hard to do the mental math in your head! This is when I develo... Wed, 13 Jan 2016 15:50:00 EST Reasons to Eliminate Soda from Your Diet http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43743_reasons_to_eliminate_soda_from_your_diet So you love a glass of soda as much as the rest of the world loves their first cup of coffee in the morning. What most people don’t realize is that soda is terrible for your body and overall health. Soda is bad for your stomach and bones and has a number of significant side effects that will make you wish you’d never become addicted (and many of you are)!<br><br>With that in mind, here are 7 reasons why you should eliminate all forms of soda from your diet.<br><br>Soda is addictive. Don’t bel... Wed, 13 Jan 2016 12:49:00 EST Eating Clean and the Dirty Dozen http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43741_eating_clean_and_the_dirty_dozen Watching the labels and the fruits/vegetable information in your store might help you fight off serious infection later. A lot of the food in our stores now comes from corporate farming, and its laden with products that, if we ingest too much, can be harmful to us now and in the future. <br><br>1. I grew up in the 60s and 70s in suburban Chicago. I think most of what we ate back then was still farm-fed, non-antibiotic , fresh off the farm vegetables and fruit. Yes, a lot of our stuff cam... Wed, 13 Jan 2016 11:04:00 EST Silence the Demanding Child http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43735_silence_the_demanding_child From the book "Skinny School" by Julie N. Gordon, I've learned that the Demanding Child in me is not going to help me reach my healthy eating goals. To the contrary, she will sabotage my goals. She wants what she wants and she wants it now. She has no discipline. She will justify her wants and behavior and make excuses to get her own way.<br><br>When I hear her, the Sane Adult in me recognizes her behavior, a tantrum of sorts, and silences her. I would never follow the dictates of an unre... Wed, 13 Jan 2016 08:07:00 EST Healthy is as Healthy Does http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43731_healthy_is_as_healthy_does I loved the movie Forrest Gump, especially when Forrest would rattle off all his mother's words of wisdom. One in particular was when he said that his mama said, "stupid is as stupid does." Along those lines, I believe that "healthy is as healthy does." <br><br>I say this because I've seen plenty of woo around weight loss; to lose weight you must eat clean, you must give up all sugar, you must eat low carb/high fat, you must...you must....you must! <br><br>In my book, the only "must" is to... Tue, 12 Jan 2016 23:43:00 EST Starchy Vegetables: In A Class All Their Own (cont.) http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43730_starchy_vegetables_in_a_class_all_their_own_cont How many carbs are too many? In recent years, people have become much more aware of the amount of carbohydrates that they eat. Part of this is due to the popularity of low-carb or no-carb diets like the Atkins diet. But most Americans have realized that completely cutting out carbs is not only difficult, it also can rob the body of important nutrients. Instead of treating carbohydrates like the enemy, you may find it easier to limit the amount of carbohydrates that you eat daily.<br><br>A... Tue, 12 Jan 2016 22:54:00 EST Coffee is Good - and Good For You http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43720_coffee_is_good_and_good_for_you Coffee isn’t just warm and energizing, it may also be extremely good for you.<br><br>In recent years and decades, scientists have studied the effects of coffee on various aspects of health and their results have been nothing short of amazing.<br><br>Here are 7 reasons why coffee may actually be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.<br><br>1. Coffee Can Make You Smarter<br><br>Coffee doesn’t just keep you awake, it may literally make you smarter as well.<br><br>The active ingredient i... Tue, 12 Jan 2016 12:19:00 EST I'm a smoothie fanatic! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43719_im_a_smoothie_fanatic Right from the start, I resisted trying green smoothies. Even though I love veggies, I just didn't see myself wanting to have them in liquid form. One of my spark friends would write about smoothies and I just thought it was not for me. (actually I thought she was a health food fanatic..shhhh don't tell her I said that..lol ) BUT..one day I decided to try one just to shut myself up and see what all the hoopla was about. WELL, I haven't looked back. I absolutely am addicted to them and e... Tue, 12 Jan 2016 11:52:00 EST Fuel your body like you would your car or truck http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43716_fuel_your_body_like_you_would_your_car_or_truck You don't pour sugar in your car or truck's gas tank, right? If you did, it would ruin your vehicle's system, gum up the works, and maybe even make it shut down. Pouring sugar in the tank is one of the worst things that vandals do.<br><br>Your body is no different. Whatever you are eating is the fuel your "truck" runs on. If you feed it sugar, you're doing nothing but gumming up the works and making your engine wear out too early.<br><br>Give your body premimum fuel mix of plenty of veggies, ... Tue, 12 Jan 2016 09:45:00 EST Starchy Vegetables: In A Class All Their Own http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43704_starchy_vegetables_in_a_class_all_their_own Many healthy-eating guidelines emphasize eating more vegetables, but it's also the types of vegetables you eat that make a difference. Although foods like potatoes and beans are technically vegetables, it's better to think of them as carbohydrates when planning meals.<br><br>"High-carbohydrate veggies contain more starch than veggies that are lower in carbs," says Lynn Goldstein, RD, a dietitian at Weill Cornell Medical College. "This starch makes them higher on the glycemic index, which me... Mon, 11 Jan 2016 22:17:00 EST Skip the Drive Through http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43701_skip_the_drive_through I'm really trying to journal my food, and find out what's going on with my weight. I'm throwing money, time, prescription medications, personal trainers, physicians, nutritionists, dieticians and all kinds of whining and crying at this and have been for more than four years.<br><br>If you read back at some of my blogs or posts since about 2010 you'll see the slides, and a lot of it I blame on metabolism. And I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that I've gone through a lot of the la... Mon, 11 Jan 2016 21:16:00 EST Benefits of Oatmeal http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43695_benefits_of_oatmeal In the battle of sugary cereal versus oatmeal, as kids, most of us would go against the grain and succumb to the sweet taste of Frosted Flakes. However, as we get older, our health forces us to end our love affair with everything sugar and realize oatmeal is more than just a healthy breakfast food. The power food is rich in vitamins, minerals, and lipids, which possess endless benefits for our health.<br><br>According to a Decision Analyst survey, in the U.S., Americans consider oatmeal to be... Mon, 11 Jan 2016 11:46:00 EST Make a New Meal with Leftover Meat - for Mealtime Variety (and Save Money too!) http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43693_make_a_new_meal_with_leftover_meat_for_mealtime_variety_and_save_money_too When cooking the usual meat, potatoes, and vegetable dinners at home, we are often left with a small portion of leftover meat after everyone has had their dinners. We like to reuse leftovers, but there is always the question of what to prepare with such a small quantity of leftover meat. <br><br>Ideally, we like to reuse the meat towards a brand new meal for the next day's lunch or dinner. Here are some suggestions of things we have made specifically to use leftover meat.<br><br>Leftover chic... Mon, 11 Jan 2016 11:09:00 EST Choosing The Healthiest Fish (continued) http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43684_choosing_the_healthiest_fish_continued Causes for confusion: Consider, too, that some fish that environmentalists consider harmful continue to be readily available in stores and restaurants. Organizations such as the New England Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Aquarium provide information to educate consumers on which fish to eat and which to avoid.<br><br>Top Picks: Considering such factors, Giannopoulos says some of the best fish choices based on nutritional value and safety include salmon, shrimp and catfish. She also notes t... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 20:43:00 EST Changing on the Fly! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43683_changing_on_the_fly Aye, wee mousie, the best laid plans of mice and men aft gang aglee. In modern English that means no matter how well we plan, stiff happens.<br><br>Slept is a bit this morning, then went to the kitchen for my usual breakfast of high fibre cereal, juice and coffee. Just enjoying the newspaper (remember them?) and the wife comes down and says our son has invited us to join him and his family for late breakfast at Cracker Barrel. We have a policy of not turning down an invitation from one of ... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 18:27:00 EST Plan to try making a whole wheat healthy bread this week! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43679_plan_to_try_making_a_whole_wheat_healthy_bread_this_week Living in the country shopping choices are scare and rarely is the food choices at small markets the healthiest. The country offers a very comfortable lifestyle. With comfort also comes the challenge to stay healthy and fit. It is so easy to just relax and lead a sedimentary life style. But it is not really a wise choice. I feel like I for my health and for the hubby have to strive to enjoy the benefits of the country life yet daily work to stay healthy and fit. The wild life such as dee... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 17:14:00 EST Be persistent. Eat healthy. Track your food. http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43678_be_persistent_eat_healthy_track_your_food Eating healthy is THE number one factor to leading a healthy lifestyle. Tracking your food helps you choose healthier options and smaller portions.<br>Being accountable for what you eat not only helps you eat healthier but by doing so you learn proper nutrition and portions.... and doing this over and over creates a habit :)<br><br>Additionally, if you not only track what you eat, but if you use a logging tool, preferably one that you can scan your food, it will calculate calories and more im... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 16:44:00 EST "Mindful" Eating on a Car Trip http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43677_mindful_eating_on_a_car_trip I have always been skeptical of the "mindful" eating premise. And I know that eating at restaurants is a recipe for overeating. So when my husband and I took a month-long, cross-country car trip (vacation) I was sure I would return home heavier and more out of condition. <br><br>But we took a cooler and finger food. Every hotel had a small refrigerator and I took water bottles with us. I filled them at the hotels and let them sit in the refrigerator overnight so that we had cold water in... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 16:40:00 EST Eat less bread http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43674_eat_less_bread I showed my food diary to my doctor, and instead of him telling me to limit the things I thought were 'bad" (eggs, butter, meat, cheese, etc.) he told me I ate too much bread and pasta. Since then i have paid more attention to my consumption of refined grains, and have noticed an increase in my general physical energy, and have lost about seven pounds.<br><br>I still love bread and pasta, but they are now a much smaller part of my overall diet. For example, if i have toast with breakfast, I w... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 14:33:00 EST Substituting Water in place of Sodas - Better for You and Less Calories http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43664_substituting_water_in_place_of_sodas_better_for_you_and_less_calories I've been doing some reading online about the dangers of soda. Soda can really do some damage to your bones, kidneys, teeth, weight and overall health, as it is often loaded with high fructose corn syrup, caffeine and calories.<br><br>One thing I did fairly early in my weight loss process, was to try and reduce calories gained through beverages, because it was always my preference to "eat" my calories rather than "drink" them.<br><br>Here are some tips to help reduce the intake of soda, and ... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 09:35:00 EST Choosing The Healthiest Fish (con't) http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43657_choosing_the_healthiest_fish_cont Fish facts: Giannopoulos recommends starting with basics. There's fatty fish, (also called oily fish), such as salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, trout and sardines. These contain unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids that help keep the heart, the brain and the immune system healthy. Then there's non-fatty fish, which includes popular varieties like cod, grouper and snapper. Non-fatty fish don't have the same high levels of omega-3 fatty acids as oily fish, but they're still a high-quality sourc... Sat, 9 Jan 2016 21:52:00 EST Bring Your Own Lunch to Work to Save Money - and Make It the Night Before to Save Time http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43650_bring_your_own_lunch_to_work_to_save_money_and_make_it_the_night_before_to_save_time I have been trying to economize wherever I can. I try and cook at home as much as possible, and whenever there is any leftover food, I will package up a separate single serving and take it to work for my next day's lunch. <br><br>Some foods that package up and reheat well the next day include: <br>- spaghetti with sauce;<br>- casseroles with rice, meat cubes, and/or vegetables;<br>- leftover pizza;<br>- a single serving of any meat, potatoes, and vegetables.<br><br>To save time, I package u... Sat, 9 Jan 2016 12:46:00 EST Hungry and Full http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43647_hungry_and_full I am really bummed out. I had written over 2000 words on this subject and my computer made a unilateral decision to close Google Chrome and wipe out all of my brilliant prose. I don't know if I can remember everything I said but I will try so here goes.<br><br>Several years ago one of my colleagues gave a speech at a Toastmasters entitles "How to Lose Weight". His whole premise was that the world is full of people who have discovered the one and only way to lose weight and keep it off bu... Sat, 9 Jan 2016 11:42:00 EST Supplements and sleep http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43638_supplements_and_sleep So today i purchaed hydroxycut. i used to take xenadrine when it had ephedrine and it really worked got down to a size four. this supplement is a thermogenic. Anyway one side effect of all that caffeine is frequent urination. i'm already diabetic so i run to the loo constantly. i've literally been peeing every 5-10 minutes because of this supplement. major insomnia because of this. i do have increased energy though and managed an insanity workout in the evening which i could never handle befo... Sat, 9 Jan 2016 03:22:00 EST Dehydrating Fruits and soon Vegetables http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43629_dehydrating_fruits_and_soon_vegetables One way that I get in my 5-6 fruits and vegetables is dehydrating fruits. Bananas are one of my favorites and part of the reason is less waste. I seem to waste a couple bananas do to them becoming to rip. I tried freezing for smoothies but didn't really use them that often either. <br><br>But dehydrated bananas are wonderful. They are so much more healthy than the banana chips are fried in oil. Dehydrated bananas are easy to transport to work. They are lighter in the lunch bag... Fri, 8 Jan 2016 15:54:00 EST Choosing the Healthiest Fish http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43627_choosing_the_healthiest_fish Fish, which has long been touted as "brain food," is now at the top of many healthy foods lists due to findings that eating fish is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, vision loss, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.<br><br>In fact, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week, and recent guidelines from health officials in Europe echo that advice.<br><br>But there's so much information circulating about fish---which varieties have wh... Fri, 8 Jan 2016 13:11:00 EST The Secrets are Spreading! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43620_the_secrets_are_spreading Earlier this week I shared the secret of filling up your plate by using a smaller plate rather than by adding more food. This morning, one of the Instant Inspiration topics was a fifty-nine second video on cutting your calorie intake by twenty percent. What was his big secret, stop using a twelve inch plate and start using a ten inch plate! It gives one a feeling of satisfaction and validation when his ideas are being spread by others.<br><br>In all honesty, it would be presumptive of me t... Fri, 8 Jan 2016 10:08:00 EST Eat More Fruits and Vegetables for Snacks for Vitamins and Minerals http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43618_eat_more_fruits_and_vegetables_for_snacks_for_vitamins_and_minerals I've come to find that eating more fruits and vegetables really matters when it comes to losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight. Eating more fruits and vegetables may even reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease and high blood pressure. <br><br>The great thing about fruits and vegetables is that they are low in calories, are nutritious in any form (fresh, frozen, dried, canned, etc.), and are rich in vitamins and minerals that help you feel healthy and energized.<b... Fri, 8 Jan 2016 05:57:00 EST Coffee Linked to Lower risk of Stroke, Skin Cancer and Depression (continued) http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43610_coffee_linked_to_lower_risk_of_stroke_skin_cancer_and_depression_continued The cancer study also found that about four cups of coffee a day was associated with the lowest risk of basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. The study did not prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship between coffee or caffeine and basal cell carcinoma, however.<br><br>Similarly, researchers who published their stroke study in he American Journal of Epidemiology could not pinpoint exactly how coffee protects the brain against stroke. However, they noted that the brain-protective ... Thu, 7 Jan 2016 16:51:00 EST Smarter Fast Food http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43609_smarter_fast_food Ten years ago, if you pulled off the highway for a quickie lunch, your healthy menu options were a sad-looking side salad or a bland chicken sandwich. But now, "not only is fast food healthier—thanks to restaurants cutting out trans fats and loading up on fresh ingredients—there are many more good-for-you tasty choices," says Joanne Lichten, RD, author of Eat Out Healthy.<br><br>But just because menus are stacked with better options doesn't mean healthy-sounding diet bombs have vanished. So w... Thu, 7 Jan 2016 14:33:00 EST Have a food scale at home and work http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43594_have_a_food_scale_at_home_and_work One of my big pitffalls is that I can't easily visualize how much a portion size should be of something, even when I use the guidelines of comparison (like a deck of cards is the size of a serving of meat). I always way overestimate how much I am eating. <br><br>I found that using food scales really help out with being able to measure how much a serving size is. I initially bought one to use at home. It's wonderful - I started using it to measure exact amounts for recipes, measuring out s... Wed, 6 Jan 2016 17:26:00 EST Coffee.......Good For Us??? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43590_coffeegood_for_us Coffee Linked to Lower Risk of Stroke, Skin Cancer and Depression<br><br>That extra cup of coffee in the morning may do more than give you a quick energy boost. Recent research indicates that drinking coffee is associated with a lower risk of stroke and basal cell carcinoma, and it may lower the incidence of depression in older women.<br><br>In both the cancer study, presented at the International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, and the depression study, published in t... Wed, 6 Jan 2016 15:34:00 EST Kick the soda habit http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43587_kick_the_soda_habit I know many many people have a soda addiction. I had one big time for so many years. Soda is the worst thing to get addicted to. The calories are high, the nutritional value is extremely low, and don't even get me started on the sugar intake! Well, I have fantastic news to share with everyone. I finally found a way to kick the habit several months ago. <br>The secret to kicking the soda habit is to trade soda for carbonated water. You can get flavored or plain old seltzer water. I buy mine at... Wed, 6 Jan 2016 13:23:00 EST Healthy Drink Alternatives http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43581_healthy_drink_alternatives A report claims that sugary drinks are responsible for 8,000 new cases of diabetes a year. What should you sip instead?<br><br>We all know that fizzy drinks are bad for our health, but the latest research proves just how terrible they are. News that sugary sodas cause 8,000 diabetes cases each year follows a government report last week calling for consumers to minimize their intake of squash and fizzy drinks. Even sugar found in unsweetened fruit juice should be counted as added sugar, the re... Wed, 6 Jan 2016 11:40:00 EST 10 Simple Ways To Eat Less Without Noticing http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43568_10_simple_ways_to_eat_less_without_noticing 10 Simple Ways To Eat Less Without Noticing<br><br>1. Use smaller plates<br><br>A full plate sends the signal that you’re eating a full meal and a partially full plate looks like a skimpy meal, regardless of the actual quantity of food.<br><br><br>The same amount of food looks like more on a smaller plate<br>Using smaller plates and filling them up is a proven way to eat less without noticing.<br><br>2. Serve yourself 20% less<br><br>The mindless margin is about 20% of any given meal. In othe... Tue, 5 Jan 2016 18:59:00 EST Make big batches of food on Sunday http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43565_make_big_batches_of_food_on_sunday I make 10 egg muffin cups, 5 salads, and a large pot of soup on Sundays to have lunch and dinner ready for the whole week. It's a great way for me to relax while cooking and covers what I am going to eat for the week - especially busy weeknights when there's no time to cook! <br><br>Making egg muffin cups is the easiest thing to prepare for my week ahead. 5 eggs, milk, cheese, and some kind of deli meat whisked together and baked in muffin tins. I eat two muffins for breakfast. They're lo... Tue, 5 Jan 2016 13:59:00 EST Try to Cook at Home Whenever Possible to Enjoy Numerous Health Benefits http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43561_try_to_cook_at_home_whenever_possible_to_enjoy_numerous_health_benefits With work and schedules being so crazy sometimes, it's not always possible for me to cook and enjoy a home-cooked meal. But it is a habit I'm trying to get into more and more, as I'm finding there are numerous health advantages to eating at home:<br><br>1) Food is More Nutritious – <br>Eating at home allows me to be in control of the food I cook and the food I consume. I can cut out ingredients that add calories, or make substitutions that add less calories. Restaurant foods, on the other... Tue, 5 Jan 2016 10:01:00 EST An apple a day... http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43556_an_apple_a_day I never cared much for apples. When I was growing up, the apples they'd provide as school snacks were bland and mealy. So once I reached adulthood, if apples weren't in a pie or cobbler I wasn't interested. <br><br>But when I first got started with a weight loss and fitness program offered via my health insurance, there were weekly challenges that I enjoyed a lot because I always learned from them. One of the first challenges was to eat two small or medium apples a day. <br><br>Two! I couldn'... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 21:44:00 EST Avoid The Energy Rollercoaster http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43553_avoid_the_energy_rollercoaster If your energy level surges and then drops at different times of the day, making some adjustments in your diet can help even out those peaks and valleys. In addition to what you eat and drink, when and how much you consume also contributes to your energy levels.<br><br>"Food is your body's fuel source," explains Alissa Rumsey, RD, a senior dietitian at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, "Food boosts energy in three ways: by providing enough calories for your body to run,, b... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 18:41:00 EST 7 Healthy Tips When Traveling And Eating Out http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43548_7_healthy_tips_when_traveling_and_eating_out I had jobs for decades that expected and required travel and that I take clients out to eat. This was a phenomenal perk and I ate my way through cities in the US such as Boston, D.C., San Francisco, San Diego, and several cities in countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, Australia. <br>The food, people, and diverse cultures are memorable and priceless moments I cherish. <br><br>The problem? Unconscious eating and little exercise caused major weight gain. In addition, I never learned ... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 12:18:00 EST Picking Vegan Lifestyle http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43546_picking_vegan_lifestyle So you’ve decided that you’d like to become vegan, but where do you start? Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle can seem really daunting but often the idea of a big lifestyle change is a lot scarier than actually doing it. If you focus on making one change at a time the progression to veganism will feel quite natural. It’s important to go at your own pace and to decide on a method that works best for you. Here are some ideas and guidelines to structure your transition to veganism, just be sure ... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 11:32:00 EST BACK TO WORK TODAY http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43544_back_to_work_today As I sit on my sixteenth floor balcony overlooking the ocean in Puerto Rico, I am feeling very blessed this holiday season. I know that I am very lucky. I have my health, loving family, fantastic friends, a rewarding job that I love, financial security that most people do not have at this time, and the personality that enables me to go on a trip like this. My wish for the season, is that everyone is happy, healthy, and has everything they need. <br><br>I am watching these surfers in the water... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 11:20:00 EST Start the Day with a Good Breakfast http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43543_start_the_day_with_a_good_breakfast After years of trying various diets, one thing I have come to find is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I always make sure I set myself up for success for the rest of the day, by having a healthy breakfast in the morning.<br><br>Eating a healthy breakfast in the morning helps me to reduce hunger throughout the day, and helps me to make better food choices at other meals. In times where I have skipped breakfast, I give in to hunger and make unwise food choices, including ... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 10:12:00 EST Size Does Matter http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43542_size_does_matter Perception is sometimes so much more important that reality. This is oh so true when it comes to eating. We are programmed to want our food to look good, taste good and fill the plate. Maybe filling the plate is the most important factor.<br><br>Try an experiment, take a twelve inch dinner plate and a nine inch luncheon plate (you may have to go to a yard sale to find one). Place them side by side and put 4 oz of meat, a half cup of starch (potatoes or rice) and a half cup of a vegetable ... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 09:33:00 EST Substitutes for Salt http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43527_substitutes_for_salt I've gone to the other side of nutrition. I used to love sweets, now its salts. I've noticed a couple things about my eating patterns; see if you can relate:<br><br>1. More butter on my food<br>2. Salting more<br>3. Eating more salty foods: salad dressing, salsa, spices<br>4. More bacon and eggs or sausage and eggs in the morning instead of fruit and oatmeal or fruit and waffles.<br><br>The butter alone was killing my Spark nutrition reports so I've done some research and made some cha... Sun, 3 Jan 2016 11:26:00 EST Stop Challenge Choose http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43516_stop_challenge_choose This was an activity from the "2015 Fall 5% Challenge Community" team. It's about trigger situations and foods that trigger over consumption of calories. The exercise is to explore these three areas to help keep you on track.<br><br>I told myself for many years that I was not an emotional eater. I've always said "I just like food" but that doesn't explain why I eat past the point of fullness or choose to snack all evening while watching tv after a perfectly decent sized dinner. I've given thi... Sun, 3 Jan 2016 00:00:00 EST Great way to have healthy meals ready on busy nights. http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43512_great_way_to_have_healthy_meals_ready_on_busy_nights I have found that I can always have a meal ready whenever I need something quick. I have begun making larger quantities of foods and freeze them.<br>Example: soup - I put lots of different vegetables in a big pot then I take out what I will eat for my meal and freeze the rest in individual servings to have when I don't want to cook or don't have time to spend cooking and preparing. <br>When you need a really quick meal just take a container of soup out of the freeze and heat in the microwave ... Sat, 2 Jan 2016 18:37:00 EST Tracking for accountability http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43508_tracking_for_accountability I always find that tracking is one of my most useful tools. Tracking accurately means that I think more carefully about what I am putting into my mouth and thus making it count, so that I feel satisfied, and not cheated, by running out of available calories etc.. before my actual day has ended. There is no nicer feeling than that of discovering that I am able to have a tasty snack or delicious dessert during the evening, maybe even a glass of wine or a special liqueur!<br>I also enjoy varying... Sat, 2 Jan 2016 16:02:00 EST Licorice Herbal Tea http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43507_licorice_herbal_tea So much of my trouble with weight came from soda pop calories. Of course I had to quit drinking pop all the time. I began by drinking more water, but that got old quick. Most teas I like are loaded with sugar (Snapple with Lemon is my favorite) since they are full of sugar that wasn't a good swap. And don't even get me started on diet pop and diet teas. Let's just say I am not a fan of em. My sister had me try licorice tea and it tastes sweet, but does not contain any sweeteners! It's al... Sat, 2 Jan 2016 15:26:00 EST Too Much Fiber http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43494_too_much_fiber I am not a huge fan of chocolate, but I don't hate it. I'm not a huge fan of nuts, but I do like them. That being said, I do like fiber bars, and I admit to spending some time lately in my local grocery store taste testing one of the popular brands of a protein fiber bar. I believe the bar had more fiber than protein if memory serves me correctly.<br><br>Granted, we need protein and fiber in our diets, especially if you, like me are monitoring our food intake on a daily basis. I feel that... Sat, 2 Jan 2016 10:04:00 EST Start your own garden http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43492_start_your_own_garden One great way to eat healthily is to have a continuous supply of fresh greens at your fingertips, and the best way to get them is from your own vegetable garden. You can grow your own fresh salad for every day! Lettuce grows quickly, is really easy to harvest (just snip the tops off the plants or pick leaves as needed), and takes up very little space. They can even grown in containers, perhaps accompanied by flowers or tucked under taller plants. You can grow lettuce in containers in any brig... Sat, 2 Jan 2016 05:37:00 EST 5 Best Good-For-You Foods http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43488_5_best_goodforyou_foods 1. Green Beans: High fiber foods like green beans can help you prevent weight gain and even promote weight loss---without dieting.<br>Research shows: Boosting fiber by 8 grams for every 1000 calories consumed resulted in losing an average 4.5 pounds. <br>Also try: Raspberries, Chickpeas and Strawberries.<br><br>2. Salmon: The omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish can boost your skin's defenses against UV damage.<br>Research shows: Those who ate a little more than 5 ounces of omega-3-rich f... Fri, 1 Jan 2016 21:33:00 EST Sticking With It http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43487_sticking_with_it I’m not a big fan of “dieting” — a word that conjures up images of hunger and chewing on celery or doing some kind of fad diet — but I do believe in trying to eat a healthier diet.<br><br>Don’t diet, but do stick to a healthy diet, in other words.<br><br>But that’s easier said than done, as we all know. The healthy diet goes out the window around the holidays, for example, or when there’s a family party or a function at work full of unhealthy food, or when we go out to eat with friends, or wh... Fri, 1 Jan 2016 21:17:00 EST Always Drink Water First http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43480_always_drink_water_first I have a really bad habit of wanting to eat a lot of candy, and I know that this isn't healthy at all. So now, whenever I feel like I'm hungry, or just want something to snack on, I always drink water first. It fills up my stomach, gives me something to do with my mouth (which is really important for me), and it lets me know if I'm actually hungry, or just bored. If just plain water doesn't work, I make myself a cup of tea. It's basically the same thing, but with a flavor, and heat. If n... Fri, 1 Jan 2016 17:06:00 EST Drinking Hot Tea and Cranberry Juice and less Soda http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43468_drinking_hot_tea_and_cranberry_juice_and_less_soda I drink hot tea to help me. It helps in cleaning out the toxins like water does. It doesn't matter if you add a sweetner, cream, or milk in it, it helps with the weight loss. I've also tried it when I'm on my TOM and its help the length of time you're on it. Make sure that you drink plenty of water while you're drinking the hot tea. It doesn't matter what kind of hot tea you drink, drinking it helps you lose weight. I drink it at least once or twice a day depending on how much I am craving it... Fri, 1 Jan 2016 08:52:00 EST Nourishing Herbal Infusions http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43466_nourishing_herbal_infusions I started drinking NHIs a last spring. "An infusion is a large amount of herb brewed for a long time. Typically, one ounce by weight (about a cup by volume) of dried herb is placed in a quart jar which is then filled to the top with boiling water, tightly lidded and allowed to steep for 4-10 hours. After straining, a cup or more is consumed, and the remainder chilled to slow spoilage. Drinking 2-4 cups a day is usual. Since the minerals and other phytochemicals in nourishing herbs are made mo... Fri, 1 Jan 2016 00:30:00 EST White Whole Wheat and Sea Salt http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43465_white_whole_wheat_and_sea_salt I've recently seen breads made with white whole wheat in my grocery store. What is white whole wheat, and is it as nutritious as regular whole wheat?<br><br>What is referred to as "regular" whole wheat is actually red wheat, the most commonly grown type of wheat in the U.S. White wheat is simply a different variety of wheat that is much lighter in color than red wheat; it also has a different flavor and texture. White and red whole wheat are both good sources of fiber and contain magnesium... Thu, 31 Dec 2015 23:34:00 EST Try New Foods http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43462_try_new_foods I've always enjoyed salads but I tried the Dole Chopped Salads and find they are easy to pack for work, filling and help meet those 5-a-day goals. Delicious! (and if you pack them in a Mason jar, you can prepare lunch for a week ahead of time!) <br> At first I was not including the "extras" - the slivered almonds, cheese, bacon pieces or noodles but I've begun including them and find they add great texture without lots of calories... and don't hesitate to try the dressing too - very flavo... Thu, 31 Dec 2015 19:23:00 EST I think I will just have a little... http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43456_i_think_i_will_just_have_a_little <em>211</em> I think I will just have a little...<br><br>Then a little becomes a little bit more which then becomes a lot. A large portion of the blame for our national obesity is just that, portions. Weight gain is based on the golden rule calories out must be greater than calories in for weight loss to result. Problem is, calories in. We all eat more than is necessary. The amount of food we eat is likened to having a car with a fifteen gallon gas tank and putting twenty-five gallons ... Thu, 31 Dec 2015 09:32:00 EST Drinking Your Water http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43447_drinking_your_water It may seem daunting at first to drink 8-10 8 ounce glasses of water every day. You may be thinking to yourself, how in the world can I ever drink all that water in one day? Here are several tips to help you develop this excellent habit:<br><br>Tip #1: Start gradually. Add an extra glass of water every day.<br><br>Tip #2: Choose a designated water glass, one that you know holds 8 or 16 ounces. Keep it filled!<br><br>Tip #3: Take your water with you. Whether you choose to use bottled w... Wed, 30 Dec 2015 21:14:00 EST Dispelling Microwave Rumors http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43440_dispelling_microwave_rumors Is it true that heating food in a microwave oven destroys most of the nutrients while creating byproducts that affect your brain and hormones?<br><br><br>In fact, says Irwin H. Rosenberg, MD, editor of the Tufts' Health and Nutrition Letter, the opposite is true: "Foods cooked in a microwave oven may keep more of their vitamins and minerals, because microwaves can cook food more quickly and without adding water-----nor do you have to add fat. At worst, microwave cooking reduces nutrient lev... Wed, 30 Dec 2015 14:40:00 EST Portion Control Tips http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43439_portion_control_tips 1. Before Eating, Divide The Plate<br>Here’s a simple rule to portion a plate properly: Divide it in half. Automatically fill one side with fruits or vegetables, leaving the rest for equal parts protein and starch. This way, you begin to see what a properly balanced meal looks like. Spaghetti and meatballs? Steak and potatoes? They’re only half a meal, incomplete without fruits and vegetables.<br>2. Pre-Portion Tempting Treats<br>The bigger the package, the more food you’ll pour out of it. Wh... Wed, 30 Dec 2015 12:12:00 EST Start each day with a Healthy Smoothie! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43438_start_each_day_with_a_healthy_smoothie I'm not a huge breakfast eater and I used to often skip breakfast. This, however, led to disastrous binge eating later in the day. For the past several months, I've been starting my day off with a healthy smoothie. It's easy to drink on my way to work and doesn't take a lot of effort to prepare. I have a mini blender that I use where the blending cup doubles as the serving cup. After I blend, I insert a straw and I'm off. Easy peasy for those busy mornings!<br><br>For my daily smoothie, I sta... Wed, 30 Dec 2015 11:53:00 EST Buy Food in Large Sizes to Freeze as Single Servings for Later Use http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43436_buy_food_in_large_sizes_to_freeze_as_single_servings_for_later_use One way to save money when grocery shopping is to buy large packages of food, then prepare the food and freeze in single serving bags or containers for later use.<br><br>This savings can apply to both meat and vegetables.<br><br>For meat, I usually buy a large size of ground beef. When I get the meat home, I will open the package, slice the quantity of meat down the middle (creating two half-portions of meat), and then I freeze the ground beef. When I would like to make spaghetti sauce, or ... Wed, 30 Dec 2015 10:07:00 EST Cranberry Juice Modestly Lowers BP http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43424_cranberry_juice_modestly_lowers_bp Low-calorie cranberry juice might be a new weapon in the battle against high blood pressure. Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, director of Tufts' HNRCA Antioxidants Research Laboratory, says, "Although the phytochemical profile of cranberries is, of course, different than that of cocoa and tea, it now appears that cranberry juice can join these other flavonoid-rich foods as having a modest effect on blood pressure."<br>At a recent meeting of the American Heart Association, USDA researchers reported on... Tue, 29 Dec 2015 18:07:00 EST Green Tea Benefits http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43414_green_tea_benefits Green tea is so good for you that it's even got some researchers raving.<br><br>"It's the healthiest thing I can think of to drink," says Christopher Ochner, PhD. He's a research scientist in nutrition at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital.<br><br>Of course, no one food will protect you from disease. Your health is wrapped up in your lifestyle and your genes, so even if you drink green tea all day long, you also need to take care of yourself in other ways, like not smoking, ... Tue, 29 Dec 2015 10:59:00 EST Can Fish Oil Keep You Young? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43405_can_fish_oil_keep_you_young Tilting the body's balance between the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and omega-6 fats from other foods---in favor of more fish oil---may slow the aging of cells. A "provocative" new clinical trial reports that omega-3 supplementation helps improve the body's ratio of fatty acids and slow a biological process related to aging---the shortening of DNA sequences called telomeres. The study supports a 2010 observational study similarly linking higher levels of omega-3s to slower cell aging i... Mon, 28 Dec 2015 16:36:00 EST Can Fish Oil Keep You Young? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43404_can_fish_oil_keep_you_young Tilting the body's balance between the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and omega-6 fats from other foods---in favor of more fish oil---may slow the aging of cells. A "provocative" new clinical trial reports that omega-3 supplementation helps improve the body's ratio of fatty acids and slow a biological process related to aging---the shortening of DNA sequences called telomeres. The study supports a 2010 observational study similarly linking higher levels of omega-3s to slower cell aging i... Mon, 28 Dec 2015 16:36:00 EST Getting Real with Food http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43401_getting_real_with_food Rather than going with "lite" anything and accepting the cheap, plentiful foods for my table, I use real, healthy food. The secret is to use less and make better food choices Here are a few of the things I do. <br><br>Desserts are easy because an ounce of good chocolate makes me happy but my dear mother loves ice cream. I don't really like ice cream but when I want it, I am happier with a heaping tablespoon of Cherry Garcia than an entire pint of Blue Bunny "anyflavor" diet special.<br><br>I... Mon, 28 Dec 2015 14:23:00 EST Apples are my favorite http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43388_apples_are_my_favorite I have yet to meet anyone more in love with apples than myself. I love all fruit; it has been that way since day one. I love anything from oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, star fruit, cantaloupe, honeydew, mangos etc. I have been a fruit loving person since I was born. I somehow came out craving anything fruity. I cannot help the way I was born. I have always wondered what makes me love fruit so much. I have to have it and shop for fruit on a weekly basis so that I don’t’ run out. Although l... Mon, 28 Dec 2015 00:00:00 EST Substitutions http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43375_substitutions Good food substitutions were key to my loosing about 50 pounds & keeping it off for several years now. <br><br>What got me started was the cable TV show 'Cook yourself thin'. They take a high calorie recipe & show how to remake it for less calories while keeping the taste. Taste is very important. If you don't actually like the food, you will revert to unhealthy options sooner or later.<br><br>The shows are also entertaining. Friendly women invade someones kitchen and show them how to remake... Sun, 27 Dec 2015 12:19:00 EST A king, A prince, A peasant http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43371_a_king_a_prince_a_peasant I try to eat my heaviest meals early in the day to give myself the energy to move and do the things I want to accomplish - then for dinner I try to eat something lighter but nutrient-dense and high fiber so I don't feel so full going to bed. I seem to have the most success when I follow this strategy.<br>Since I also have problems with IBS this strategy really seems to make that condition better as well - a second bonus. I know my body is in sync when I can go to the bathroom comfortably fi... Sun, 27 Dec 2015 10:24:00 EST Cooking for One http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43368_cooking_for_one Most of the time I live alone. Right now, my son is home from school on winter break so I am constantly cooking. My latest thing is when I make a big meal for him (he eats like there is no tomorrow) I take a little of that, place it in a container and freeze it. I made him a chicken and shrimp dish (he helped and made a fabulous sauce), and I froze a single portion.<br><br>I'd like to mention my son works out nearly every day. He has very little body mass but he has incredible muscle mass... Sun, 27 Dec 2015 08:41:00 EST Take a sip of water between each bite of food http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43367_take_a_sip_of_water_between_each_bite_of_food It's no secret that slowing down while eating will help you to recognize fullness signals better and hopefully help you pay more attention to the food that you are eating. When I first tried to eat more slowly, I had a difficult time breaking the life-long habit of wolfing down food. I read several places that you should "set down your fork" between bites. That never made sense to me because I could set the fork down while I was chewing, then pick it right back up, and have it loaded and r... Sun, 27 Dec 2015 02:20:00 EST Fry or not to Fry.. That is the question.? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43359_fry_or_not_to_fry_that_is_the_question Well when I grew up in Alabama .. They fried everything .. If it was still long enough it was fried.. I went to a small Fair when I visited and they even had Fried Butter... Twinkie's ... Even Snicker Bars.. I just looked at them ... and I was one who grew up around that... But my hubby loves Fried Chicken and I do not make is like I use to.. I found a way to do it with out frying and it is crisp and crunchy and I can make it go so many ways.. I found Planko Crumbs.. It is located int the sam... Sat, 26 Dec 2015 12:27:00 EST Use Leftovers for the Next Day's Meal(s) to Save Time and $$ http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43355_use_leftovers_for_the_next_days_meals_to_save_time_and_ With food prices being so high these days, I like to try and use leftovers for the next day's lunches and dinners, so that I don't waste food that I've spent money to buy.<br><br>Often the leftovers from the previous night's dinner is just the right amount for the next day's lunch. All I have to do is package the food up in a single serving container with a lid and take it to work with me. By eating the leftovers, I keep the food from being unnecessarily wasted. Since the food is already p... Sat, 26 Dec 2015 09:14:00 EST Watch Your Weight and Help Protect Your Brain http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43352_watch_your_weight_and_help_protect_your_brain Healthy eating and lifestyle pay off in lower risk of mental decline. Staying healthy and maintaining a normal weight may be good not only for your body but also for your brain. A 10-year study of 6401 British civil servants, initially ages 39 to 63, reports an association between being overweight or obese and impaired cognitive function. Combined with other health issues ("metabolic abnormalities") such as diabetes or high cholesterol, extra weight also increased the odds of mental declin... Fri, 25 Dec 2015 20:19:00 EST Tips for Portion Control http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43343_tips_for_portion_control I've been counting calories a lot these days and trying hard not to overeat.<br><br>One strategy that has helped me greatly is switching to a 9-inch plate for my meals, rather than using a full dinner-size (12-inch) plate. By using the smaller plate, it forces me to select smaller portion sizes of each food, thus consuming less calories in each meal.<br><br>Also relating to plates, another strategy that has helped me towards portion control is the use of a colored plate at each meal -- red, ... Fri, 25 Dec 2015 08:01:00 EST Eating Berries, Vitamin D3 and Chili Peppers http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43340_eating_berries_vitamin_d3_and_chili_peppers Eating berries may help postpone memory decline. Women who consumed two or more servings of strawberries and blueberries each week were able to avoid memory problems for an average of two and a half years longer than women who didn't regularly eat berries, according to study findings published in the Annals of Neurology. Between 1995 and 2001, memory was measured at two-year intervals in 16,010 older women (mean age 74) participating in the Nurses' Health Study. Researchers attributed the ... Thu, 24 Dec 2015 20:48:00 EST Natural fruits and vegies taste much better and bring us on the path to better our life http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43337_natural_fruits_and_vegies_taste_much_better_and_bring_us_on_the_path_to_better_our_life Once one starts eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, then we can appreciate the taste of each item much better and I find it rewarding. That re-discovery of the natural flavour of these basic foods, motivates each of us to carry-on and do it every day. It gives us the whole range of vitamins and supplements that our body needs, for a proper balance.<br>Adjusting it with the suggested percentages of carbs, fat, proteins, fibers and vitamins, then our body starts feeling better and gives ... Thu, 24 Dec 2015 11:27:00 EST Discovery 101 http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43329_discovery_101 Well. first off I found out that the whole truth isn't being told or written the way that it really is. It's sugar coated, hyped up or just plain lied about. I'm here for the truth, I wanna know the real deal and so I researched and researched until I found answers , answers to all of my burning questions. I began solely on a fitness mission or so I thought, it started with me being focused on fitness, fitness only but I was still eating, indulging and going overboard on the same old foods th... Thu, 24 Dec 2015 02:48:00 EST Protein is your friend http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43321_protein_is_your_friend Protein is what helps keep your hunger and cravings away and helps you build muscle. A hard boiled egg can usually "hit the spot" when I feel the need for something in my tummy. I also like to keep some cooked chicken breast in the fridge for that time when you open the fridge and you just stare into it looking for something to snack on. <br>Many times I will also keep cooked turkey burgers in the fridge and they are delicious too. I use that food spray that tastes like soy sauce (Amino Acids... Wed, 23 Dec 2015 19:09:00 EST A breakfast to keep me full for hours http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43318_a_breakfast_to_keep_me_full_for_hours I have discovered that a breakfast of bread, butter and jam does not keep me full nearly as long as my new favorite porridge: an ounce of rolled oats cooked with soy milk, three finely chopped dates (they also add sweetness!) a tablespoon of ground flax seed, and a small grated apple. <br><br>I add the apple after I pulled the porridge off the stove, to keep as much vitamins as possible intact. The pectin in the apple will thicken the porridge considerably. If you can find organic, don't peel... Wed, 23 Dec 2015 16:40:00 EST Bring a Lunch to Work to Save Money and Watch Calories http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43308_bring_a_lunch_to_work_to_save_money_and_watch_calories When trying to lose weight, I sometimes find that counting the calories in each meal can be a challenge, particularly when you're buying restaurant food. With restaurant food, it's often difficult to estimate the portion size you've eaten and to guess what ingredients are used in the preparation of the dish. In turn, this makes it difficult to accurately track calories consumed.<br><br>Lately, I've begun preparing my own lunch in the morning and bringing it to work with me. This way, I can... Wed, 23 Dec 2015 09:31:00 EST Clean Eating http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43304_clean_eating Wow! What a year this has been! The great thing is there is continuous improvement in my health. I am better than I was yesterday, and preparing for a stronger tomorrow. I have not been perfect; I allow room for failure as opposed to perfection. With that I am more successful at getting back on track quicker when I fall off. When I look back, coming from 309 pounds, I am so proud of myself. Even though I am coming upon my halfway mark, I am persevering forward. My secret to success has been e... Wed, 23 Dec 2015 07:42:00 EST Not really a secret http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43297_not_really_a_secret Last week I took a road trip with my daughter from Chicago to my home state of Alabama. It was my daughter's winter break, and I figured it was a great time to visit my family and give us all an opportunity to spend some time together. .<br><br>While I was there I wrote the following that was shared with a Facebook group that I am involved in. I wanted to share it as a blog because I think it can offer a different perspective on some things. So here it goes………<br><br>The topic of how to keep ... Tue, 22 Dec 2015 20:07:00 EST Holiday Eating http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43294_holiday_eating The holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends. Unfortunately, for many it also becomes a time for over-eating and weight gain. According to the National Institutes of Health, holiday eating can result in an extra pound or two every year. Over a lifetime, holiday weight gain can really add up. The holidays don't have to mean weight gain. Focus on a healthy balance of food, activity, and fun. By implementing a few simple tips you can stay healthy through the holiday season.<... Tue, 22 Dec 2015 16:49:00 EST Daily Secret http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43293_daily_secret Although, I've had weight loss surgery, contrary to some peoples beliefs it is not the easy way to lose weight. I take a daily multi vitamin plus vitamins for hair, nails and skin and keep to a high protein food diet with plenty of water! I must do this or I lose muscle tone as well as getting dry skin, lifeless hair and/or brittle nails. My hair can and does fall out even if I forget my vitamins or enough protein on a busy weekend. Not having enough fluids can make my skin itch or land in th... Tue, 22 Dec 2015 16:34:00 EST Have Healthy Snacks Prepared and at Eye Level in your Fridge http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43280_have_healthy_snacks_prepared_and_at_eye_level_in_your_fridge For me, when I am hungry, it is very tempting to open the fridge and just reach in and grab the first thing I see. Often, that first thing I see isn't always the healthiest choice.<br><br>What I try to do lately is pre-prepare some healthy snacks (fruit and vegetables usually) which I place on shelves at eye level in the fridge -- so that these foods will be the first ones I see when I open the door.<br><br>Some of my favourite snacks include celery and carrot sticks. I will wash, pat dry, ... Tue, 22 Dec 2015 09:17:00 EST Complete turnaround http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43271_complete_turnaround Before coming to SparkPeople, I had the worst eating habits. Fast foods, deep fried foods, comfort foods, and sweets. I didn't have just one or two bad habits, I think I had them all. Vegetables and fruits were absent from my diet except for fruit pies! No wonder I almost hit 400 lbs. While I had bariactric surgery, I had to relearn the right way to eat. First of all, I pitched my deep fryer and replaced it with a Foreman grill. Learning to grill my meats gave me a new experience of ta... Mon, 21 Dec 2015 21:35:00 EST Cooking for myself http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43268_cooking_for_myself Sooo.... Yesterday I posted about how I have managed to creatively eat healthy when I am not cooking for myself. (which truly is sad because I love to cook). But today I decided, since our dinning facility on campus is closed, (and I still have to eat) that I would cook for myself rather than going out to eat. I started my day with shopping I knew that I wanted something healthy and since I am lucky enough to love cooking and vegetables... Mon, 21 Dec 2015 20:26:00 EST Can't Eat It If Its Not There http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43241_cant_eat_it_if_its_not_there One of the biggest lessons to be learned in a healthy lifestyle is if your favorite snack is present, you will eat it. This means you need to clear everything that is not conducive to reach your weight loss goal out of your home. Humans are short on will power. We are geared to giving ourselves pleasure. We take whatever we want, eat whatever we want. If we deprive ourselves, we will want it even more. So its best not to have it there to tempt us at all. Sure, you can say you will ... Sun, 20 Dec 2015 23:09:00 EST To eat or not to eat! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43240_to_eat_or_not_to_eat To eat or not to eat! That is now the question. Before I started on my journey of healthy life style, I didn't really know or care what I ate. If it tasted good, I ate it. I grew up in a poor family, so great food choices were not always possible, we bought what we could afford. When we had kids, we tried to lead by example and eat the healthiest stuff possible, but one son was so picky and would only eat grilled cheese, hot dogs and chicken tenders! Once kids grew up and moved on in li... Sun, 20 Dec 2015 22:13:00 EST Eating Healthy when you don't cook your own meals http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43217_eating_healthy_when_you_dont_cook_your_own_meals I know the title of this blog sounds a little strange, but this is exactly what I have to do. In the job I work, (I live on a college campus), a meal plan is provided for myself and my partner. We rarely go to the grocery store and when we do we are really just picking up unhealthy snacks or drinks, so we typically try to avoid shopping at this point. The dining facility that we eat at, we are very fortunate, has a lot of options. I ... Sun, 20 Dec 2015 10:00:00 EST Have to eat positively! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43212_have_to_eat_positively Eating positively is important!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<BR>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<BR>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<BR>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<BR>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<BR>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<BR>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<BR>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<BR>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<BR>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<BR>!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<BR>!!!!!!!!!!... Sun, 20 Dec 2015 05:50:00 EST Portion Control http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43204_portion_control I had a problem with Portion Control and I was trying to measure and was getting nowhere.. So I had seen a video on Sparks that made me aware of the dangers and how to avoid pitfalls... It showed two plates .. at first they looked the same at the side but lifted up one was smaller that the other.. I would have called it a Desert Plate.. So I decided that I was going to give it a try.. Well adding as much water to my day as possible... I went to a local chain store and found a container that f... Sat, 19 Dec 2015 21:49:00 EST Healthy Holiday Parties http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43194_healthy_holiday_parties picurious editors are no strangers to the temptations of the holiday season—an ever-growing period of time that stretches from before Halloween through New Year's Eve (and returns for the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day). As food writers and editors, our holiday season is even longer than the average person's: We conducted our Halloween Candy Taste Test in September and started developing Thanksgiving menus back then, too.<br>Giving up great food isn't an option—eating is our job and passion—s... Sat, 19 Dec 2015 11:57:00 EST Yes you can have that! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43190_yes_you_can_have_that When you have a "treat" in the house, i.e., something that you would only eat on occasion, tell yourself that you can have it. Yes, do not let it become a "no no". As there will always be foods around that should only be eaten occasionally. But the deal is that you have to eat something nutritious first. Then if you still want the "treat" enjoy it! Most likely you won't over eat the "treat" since your body knows you have fed it something good. Your brain will realize that you have had f... Sat, 19 Dec 2015 09:42:00 EST Stock your refrigerator with healthy foods http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43189_stock_your_refrigerator_with_healthy_foods I have been working on changing my behavior with regard to my eating, my exercise and my overall health. I retired in August, 2014 and was very concerned that I would gain weight. I love to cook and oh, by the way, I love to eat. My Motto: so many recipes, so little time. So, in October, 2014 I joined a gym and signed up with a trainer. Costly, but now, one year plus, it was the best investment I made. I am no longer working with the trainer three days a week, but am able to do it on my own. ... Sat, 19 Dec 2015 09:14:00 EST Get cooking!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43187_get_cooking Because I live alone, sometimes I just don't eat as well as I should. Going grocery shopping isn't always that easy because I don't need much. What I also don't need is junk food.<br><br>I have discovered that the best way to keep on track is to make a few meals at the same time. When I decide to cook, I make several batches so I can freeze some and have it another time.<br><br>For instance, when I make my pasta sauce (I use turkey meat and turkey sausage) I make a big panful. It's such a... Sat, 19 Dec 2015 08:37:00 EST Drink, drink, drink your water! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43177_drink_drink_drink_your_water <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/020d94f9-b792-4004-a9b4-3482a8d42e88.jpg"><br>I have a tendency to snack all day long, often just because I can. It has gotten so bad that sometimes I can't tell if I'm even hungry.<br><br>I also feel hungry when I'm actually thirsty. And I feel yucky when I'm dehydrated. And I make bad choices when I feel yucky.<br><br>I made a rule that I have to drink water before making any food decisions. I drink two glasses when I wake up and a glass any ... Fri, 18 Dec 2015 22:13:00 EST Holiday Eating http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43167_holiday_eating Planning Ahead <br><br>Holidays can be a time of great anxiety for people with diabetes because it is so focused on food.<br><br>Don't let questions about what to eat, how much to eat, and meal timing dampen your holiday. Plan in advance, so you can fend off stress and fully enjoy the day and keep your diabetes management on track.<br><br>Think About the Timing of Your Meal<br><br>Many families eat large meals at odd times on holidays. For example, Thanksgiving dinner may be served in the mid... Fri, 18 Dec 2015 15:26:00 EST Forget about dieting, focus on food consumption & prevention http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43166_forget_about_dieting_focus_on_food_consumption_prevention By default, most of us already live in a society that serves high calorie, high fat, high in everything foods. Most meals are rich in nutrients, carbs, vitamins, etc. Minimal food consumption of food and drinks is the true path to weight loss or healthy eating. The focus ought to be place on how much food does our individual body truly needs for healthy growth (youth) and sustainability.<br><br>My recommendation to the world is "Only eat as much as your body needs!" That is the fundamenta... Fri, 18 Dec 2015 14:49:00 EST Learning to eat healthier than ever before! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43158_learning_to_eat_healthier_than_ever_before In 2010 my husband was diagnosed with esophageal cancer & I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both knees. Before this time we weren't eating healthy at all so this was a wake up call for us. Dennis battled cancer for 3 years plus & then passed away but we were eating healthier. After Dennis passed away through the grieving process I ate a lot of fast food and put on a lot of weight. I then had to start eating healthy again. I started having raw nuts, and fresh and raw veggies and fruit wi... Fri, 18 Dec 2015 09:10:00 EST Make drinking water second nature.... http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43142_make_drinking_water_second_nature Make drinking water second nature is a key ingredient in my success. I never liked to drink water so this was a challenge I had to overcome. I used to be a serious soda drinker and I did not like sugar free drinks at all. I kept trying to wean myself of the sugary drinks and I somehow managed to switch to diet coke. I became hooked on the diet cokes and drank very little water. When I got serious about my health because of a health scare I decided to try water and green tea. <br><br>I sta... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 21:57:00 EST Being aware of what I eat http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43141_being_aware_of_what_i_eat I read the labels on all the food that I eat now. I am mindful of the ingredients in my food. I try to limit the amount of processed foods and sugar that I eat. I try to buy mostly whole or unprocessed foods by shopping mainly on the outside aisles of the grocery store and limiting what I buy from the center aisle.<br><br>Anytime I eat processed or prepackage food, I try to buy the version with the fewest ingredients. I also try to avoid foods that include sugar as one of the first three ingr... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 21:52:00 EST How I lost 200 pounds http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43139_how_i_lost_200_pounds When I started my journey the hard part was I was always hungry...or thought I was..<br>A friend told me to try smaller meals..so I can up with a plan ..I eat 6-7 mini meals a day...I eat a protein and a carb with each meal....I also have a fruit or veggie..it was hard at first to plan and keep with in my calories but after a while it got easier and easier...I also learn to find less calorie foods.when I needed a sweet treat I ate fat free sugar free jello pudding, chocolate is my favorite..... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 16:35:00 EST Make my breakfast ahead of time so I can grab & go in the mornings http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43138_make_my_breakfast_ahead_of_time_so_i_can_grab_go_in_the_mornings On Sunday evenings I plan out what I am going to eat for breakfast during the week. Then I make six servings (for Monday through Saturday) and put it in the fridge/freezer. That way when I leave my house each morning all I have to do is grab my breakfast and take it with me to eat at work (on Saturdays I eat it after my Weight Watchers meeting/weigh-in). <br><br>My current favourite thing to make for breakfast is baked oatmeal. It is made up of rolled oats, egg whites, skim milk, fruit pu... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 15:37:00 EST How to sneak in more fruits and vegetables http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43135_how_to_sneak_in_more_fruits_and_vegetables I know how important it is to get 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. But that is hard to do. For me, I found that I had to find ways to "sneak" more into my day.<br><br>Here is what has worked for me:<br><br>1. Adding a lot of veggetables to my morning egg scramble.<br><br>I mix 1 egg, 1/2 cup egg beaters and a whole lot of veggies. My latest concoction is 1 cup of kale and one half cup of mushrooms. <br><br>I know how good kale is for you, but I do not like the taste. By cooki... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 13:54:00 EST Control http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43132_control Without a doubt, one of the biggest changes you can make is to accurately journal every calorie of food you intake on a consistent and daily basis. Like they say, "you can out-exercise a bad diet" and the only way to know is to journal. <br><br>Spark has many tools that facilitate the accurate journaling process and give you the ability to "look up" calorie count on many popular store and restaurant items. <br><br>Wondering how to keep a food journal? Here are ... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 13:27:00 EST Planning is key http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43126_planning_is_key Planning ahead before your busy week begins works well. If your work week starts on Monday, planning your meals on Sunday will help deter you from going off track during the week. I plan my grocery list before my grocery shopping trip on Sunday, that way I have time to prep and have everything ready to go Monday morning. <br><br>I chop all my veggies when I get back from the grocers, this helps me stay on track...because if I put them in the fridge I may forget about them. I put my fruits ... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 11:06:00 EST Listen to your body. http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43124_listen_to_your_body I have learned that I eat only when I am hungry and not based on the time of day. Anything else is just mindless eating or nibbling. That doesn't work at all for me. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables help to keep me from overeating on all the starches. My body tells me when and what it wants me to eat so I listen closely to my body.<br>In the past I had eaten when everyone one else ate based on the times of the day...breakfast, lunch and dinner. Why? Because that's how I was raised.... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 09:38:00 EST Portion Control is King http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43121_portion_control_is_king It has been theorized that we eat the first two bites of something because we are hungry and it tastes good. We eat the rest of it because it is there! After all, there are children starving in India, or China, or somewhere. <br><br>If you take smaller portions and correspondingly smaller bites, the food will last just as long, you will be just as satisfied and take in far fewer calories.<br><br>We live in a society of larger and larger portions. forty years ago, the standard hamburger was... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 09:17:00 EST We use smaller, navy blue plates to eat less! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43108_we_use_smaller_navy_blue_plates_to_eat_less We use smaller, navy blue plates & it is not so appealing. Our healthy food does not look so yummy and delicious. So, we eat less. <br><br>And... eating less is great for our weight loss!<br><br>We used to eat our healthy food on large, white plates. Everything looks great on a white plate. <br><br>The bright, green, yellow, orange, and red vegetables especially just 'pop' on a white plate!<br><br>We love all of the bright fruits, also! We like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawber... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 01:29:00 EST Stay Away From White Refined Sugar Treats http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43105_stay_away_from_white_refined_sugar_treats At one point in my life, I ate only sweet treats with no real food for several days in a row. As I looked into healthier ways of eating, I found out how bad the white refined sugar really is for the human body. It is likened to a toxic poison in our bodies.<br><br>I decided to see if there was really a difference between natural sweetners.<br>Shockingly, I first experienced a major headache and huge sugar cravings. After a few days, I was able to make clear choices in my eating habits.<br><br... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 00:47:00 EST Reframe Those Long-Held Beliefs to Make Important Changes to Your Diet http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43101_reframe_those_longheld_beliefs_to_make_important_changes_to_your_diet Letting go of or reframing long-held family beliefs, can be just as important in reaching your healthy lifestyle goals as important as developing a new healthy habit. <br><br>Most everyone in the baby boom generation has heard words similar to these: "Don't be wasteful, eat everything on your plate; there are people starving in China." As much as we all would like to help feed those who are food insecure, the reality is that eating food your body doesn't need or that will contribute to your g... Wed, 16 Dec 2015 23:43:00 EST Tracking Food http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43100_tracking_food SInce I started tracking my food over a year ago..I have lost 30+ pounds. Since I am VERY honest with what I eat, I notice what I am doing wrong and where I need improvements!! SparksPeople has really made me motivated!! When I eat something that is not a great choice, I just try to improve the next meal or next day. I do not beat myself up, I just learn from my weakness and move on! When I first started tracking, I never realized how many carbs I was eating. I am not for total elimination of... Wed, 16 Dec 2015 23:13:00 EST It can be done http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43093_it_can_be_done I have used this app to lose more than 100 pounds twice now. The first time I wanted to run in a marathon, which I did in 2010. Then after several surgeries and a time of depression I gained back all the weight I had lost. This time I did it for me, my health was suffering because of my weight. What I have learned is there are certain trigger foods that if I try to eat just a little will cause me to continue on the wrong path. I have removed them from my house. Then there are some foods that ... Wed, 16 Dec 2015 22:04:00 EST Meal planning http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43090_meal_planning I've had the most success when I've made sure to pre plan, prep and cook my meals. <br><br>When something is ready and I have easy access to it, I tend to stick to my plan. <br><br>If I'm not prepared and get hungry, I tend to grab whatever is on hand and eat things I shouldn't. <br><br>I spend a lot of time prepping on weekends for meals to last the weekend through mid week. I use two different crock pots and make big batches of things to use through out the week. One big batch of salsa chic... Wed, 16 Dec 2015 21:28:00 EST Half portions, smaller plates and special sweet treats http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43088_half_portions_smaller_plates_and_special_sweet_treats I am committed to being as healthy as I can be for the rest of my life. And being on a hyper-restrictive diet is NOT part of my happily ever after.<br><br>So, I've come up with some ways of bringing my weight loss/maintenance and happily ever after all together.<br><br>SERVING SIZES: Since DH is the cook in the family, he tends to serve up man-sized-portions. <br><br>After realizing that I was eating way too much, I started putting half of the serving back.<br><br>Well, it's still too much... Wed, 16 Dec 2015 20:15:00 EST What I've Learned http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43087_what_ive_learned It's all about your attitude. If you think you can, you can do it! Only you know what's best what you're doing when no one is watching and the results of those actions. My commitment to exercise, allows me to continue to feel and look better than I have in years. Mondays are Zumba and body combat. Tuesdays are for body building/pump. Wednesdays I do Hip Hop Zumba. Thursday and Sundays are my days of rest. Bain in the swing of things on Fridays with Zumba and Saturdays are a mixture od body co... Wed, 16 Dec 2015 20:13:00 EST I love water! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43074_i_love_water When I first started my journey my biggest effort has been placed into drinking plain water. When I drink only water with no additives I feel so much better. <br><br>I believe that by drinking water I don't add any (well mostly not any) chemicals or things to my body that require additional efforts to move out of my body. <br><br>I believe that by drinking water I am cleaning out or flushing my body of other contaminates or chemicals or wastes that are put into my body from eating and drin... Wed, 16 Dec 2015 17:16:00 EST REAL FOOD http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43072_real_food I needed to get myself healthy so I joined Sparks. I was also embarking on a journey to remove all the unreal food from ,y meals. I try to eat real food at all times. We do not shop for any foods that have artifical ingredients. I read the label and if I cannot prone c emit I cannot digest it. We eat whole real foods. Nothing with the words lite, reduced fat etc as All these have artificial ingredients. We select harmony free meats. As soon as we started this plan, we are not hungry b... Wed, 16 Dec 2015 16:48:00 EST prep ahead http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43069_prep_ahead I plan my menus a day ahead and put ALL my food for the entire day in 2 spots.."my" shelf in the fridge, and a spot on the counter. When that food is gone, i'm done. no room for error!<br>For instance:<br>I set out a measured portion of cereal. I put half a cup of blueberries in the fridge, and a cup of skim milk. I like my fruit cold, so I put an apple in the fridge for a midmorning snack. <br>For lunch i have a 6" tortilla, warmed, with half an ounce of cheese and a slice of lunch meat and... Wed, 16 Dec 2015 16:33:00 EST Lunch and Snack Idea http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43064_lunch_and_snack_idea My issue with food has always been snacking, whether after lunch or in the evenings after dinner. I have found a lunch recipe that seems to keep my hunger at bay for the afternoon now. Cooking is not my best asset so this is really ridiculously simple. I also create a variation of this for the summer as a dip with homemade whole wheat tortilla chips using fresh garden tomatoes instead of canned diced tomatoes and omitting the chicken. <br>Recipe: <br>1 cup of low sodium chicken broth ... Wed, 16 Dec 2015 15:09:00 EST Healthy lunch and snack http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43063_healthy_lunch_and_snack My issue with food has always been snacking, whether after lunch or in the evenings after dinner. I have found a lunch recipe that seems to keep my hunger at bay for the afternoon now. Cooking is not my best asset so this is really ridiculously simple. I also create a variation of this for the summer as a dip with homemade whole wheat tortilla chips using fresh garden tomatoes instead of canned diced tomatoes and omitting the chicken. <br>Recipe: <br>1 cup of low sodium chicken broth ... Wed, 16 Dec 2015 15:09:00 EST Healthy lunch and snack http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43062_healthy_lunch_and_snack My issue with food has always been snacking, whether after lunch or in the evenings after dinner. I have found a lunch recipe that seems to keep my hunger at bay for the afternoon now. Cooking is not my best asset so this is really ridiculously simple. I also create a variation of this for the summer as a dip with homemade whole wheat tortilla chips using fresh garden tomatoes instead of canned diced tomatoes and omitting the chicken. <br>Recipe: <br>1 cup of low sodium chicken broth ... Wed, 16 Dec 2015 15:06:00 EST Measuring http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43037_measuring Marks Sun, 15 Nov 2015 19:01:00 EST Don't like to drink water? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43029_do_you_like_drinking_water I do not like drinking water, but I learned how to increase the amount I drink. I just take a full swallows here and there during the day. After this, I find that I have more of a taste for how plain it is. I actually then I find I want to drink juice less. Also drinking hot water (without a tea bag even) also makes water more appealing. Sat, 10 Oct 2015 11:55:00 EST Control your Snacking http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43027_control_your_snacking If you like to snack on favorite 'junk' food, set it out in front of you where you can see it. Put a label on that reads, "Award? or an "I'm bored" ? Do yourself a favor and consider it carefully. After having a good day, why not award yourself. If you're not doing so great, remind yourself not to eat something mindlessly. Eat with a purpose. <br><br> <em>334</em> Sun, 4 Oct 2015 23:46:00 EST extra fibre to your protein shake http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43017_extra_fibre_to_your_protein_shake I add frozen spinach, chia seeds and ground flax seed to my protein shake. They add extra fibre and veggies to my day and help keep the shake thick. Fri, 11 Sep 2015 15:36:00 EST breakfast http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=43008_breakfast I use fresh vegetables from my garden like tomatoes onions beet greens radishes or swiss chard, and stir fry them with an egg for breakfast. Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:28:00 EST Secrets of Success http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42996_secrets_of_success I pay more attention to nutrition information and stay away from things that are high calorie. I have decreased (not stopped) the amount of soda I drink. Instead of 8 Dr. Peppers I have cut this to 4 and am drinking more water. <em>381</em> Sat, 1 Aug 2015 14:47:00 EST Candy http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42993_candy I stay out of the candy aisle and get fresh or frozen fruits for when I have a craving for something sweet Mon, 27 Jul 2015 08:54:00 EST Summer Treat http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42981_summer_treat When bananas get overripe, I slice them and freeze them on wax paper on a cookie sheet. Once frozen I store them in a freezer bag. If I feel like a little something sweet, I can pop out a slice of banana and it tastes like ice cream to me. Not many calories at all in a slice of banana! Tue, 14 Jul 2015 14:26:00 EST Water Intake http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42963_water_intake Set a value above or equal to the minimum recommended for water intake and stick to it. Sun, 14 Jun 2015 02:40:00 EST little tricks to help http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42961_little_tricks_to_help 1st tip get 8 rubber bands, put them around your wrist, then when you drink an 8 oz glass of water take it off, so easy to keep track. I do the same for fruits and veggies, just use blue for water, green for veggies and purple for fruits or whatever color. 2nd tip is buy a clear see thru jar and for each pound you lose add a marble to the jar. This is good visualization. 3rd tip is drink a glass of water first thing in morning. Its suppose to jump start your metabolism. Hope these work for y... Wed, 10 Jun 2015 15:51:00 EST Secrets of success http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42953_secrets_of_success Only keep healthy snacks on hand. Wed, 27 May 2015 12:13:00 EST Egg and Spinach Scramble for Breakfast http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42951_egg_and_spinach_scramble_for_breakfast Starting my day with this simple recipe, sets the tone for better choices throughout the day. The basic recipe starts with 1/3 - 1/2 C. eggwhites and 1 C baby spinach. Add fresh or leftover veggies, sauteed in spray oil. I like zucchini/summer squash, mushrooms, onion, sweet red/yellow peppers. Add some type of lean meat (like turkey breast) - 1 to 2 oz. chopped. Other great additions, pico de gallo, black olives, or parmesan cheese. Any combination makes a great start for your day. Sun, 17 May 2015 17:00:00 EST Follow food plan and avoid cravings http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42950_follow_food_plan_and_avoid_cravings I'm in maintenance but still cravings and overeating bothered me. I learned that making a food plan and sticking to it+ eating everything slowly, mindfully and sitting down prevents cravings. Sun, 17 May 2015 13:44:00 EST more veggies and whole grains http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42943_more_veggies_and_whole_grains 2 secrets - I took large bags of frozen vegetables into individual steamer bags with just 2 cups each - you can find these near the plastic sandwich bags in most stores. That way I can pull out a bag and make a serving batch quickly with no waste. (you could do one cup instead) Thu, 7 May 2015 07:54:00 EST On Hand http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42938_on_hand I keep many different kinds of frozen vegetables on hand so I don't get sick of the same thing. Frozen veggies don't go bad and are more convenient than fresh. I do buy fresh in season. I live alone and had to learn how to have good choices on hand and not have to throw unused/spoiled food away. Tue, 21 Apr 2015 23:39:00 EST Snacks at the ready. http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42928_snacks_at_the_ready I keep a small tray of measured snacks in the fridge for those moments when "I just have to eat!" Right now I have a bag with a few carrots and celery sticks, 2 bags of walnuts (1/4 cup each), and 2 packages of roast beef (2 oz each). I found some mini bagels at 100 calories each and have cheese sticks on hand. This is keeping me sane, somewhat!! <em>381</em> Mon, 6 Apr 2015 20:28:00 EST my go to snack foods when I get hungry (especially at night) http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42921_my_go_to_snack_foods_when_i_get_hungry_especially_at_night I try water first, wait twenty minutes, do something different, and then if I am still hungry I grab dense calorie foods like almonds, sunflowers and craisens to eat. I use the STOP program , I Select, Taste, Observe, Pause while eating. This way I can really enjoy my portion. Like always I stay faithful to staying within my calorie limit. <em>227</em> Wed, 1 Apr 2015 08:42:00 EST Stocking up on produce the inexpensive way http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42920_stocking_up_on_produce_the_inexpensive_way I recently re-joined a produce co-op in my area. I have also learned about a local "produce rescue" that allows the public to pay $10 for and shop for up to 60 lbs. of produce! I had no idea these options were out there. In addition to being inexpensive ways of buying produce, it rather "forces" me to get creative and find new recipes for healthy foods. <br> <em>550</em> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 10:46:00 EST Eat Mindfully http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42903_eat_mindfully Eat consciously and calmly, focusing on the flavours and textures of the food. With an attitude of gratitude and appreciation slowly savour every mouthful <em>434</em> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 17:18:00 EST Make a "Middle of the Store" shopping list to shop sensibly. http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42898_make_a_middle_of_the_store_shopping_list_to_shop_sensibly I have a hard time planning meals and making a shopping list because what I've planned for may turn out to be too expensive, or I unexpectedly find another (healthy!) option that sounds better than what I planned. However, mindless wandering ends in disaster! Instead, I let myself wander the perimeter of the store, where even impulse buys will be healthy, but make a specific list for items I need from the center aisles. It gives my more freedom when I shop, but still keeps me from buying cook... Tue, 17 Feb 2015 18:52:00 EST Decadent Water? http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42897_decadent_water I fill a gallon pitcher with water and keep it in the fridge. What motivates me to drink it? The cucumber slices I put in it! It makes the water so crisp and refreshing, just like a day at a fancy spa! Tue, 17 Feb 2015 14:19:00 EST Oatmeal sticks with you http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42849_oatmeal_sticks_with_you I have oatmeal for breakfast. I add a Tbl of raisins, 2 dried apple rings and cinnamon. After cooking I add 12 chopped almonds and sweeten with an artificial sugar (only 1 a day). Then I add a splash of milk. It keeps me satisfied most of the morning and tastes great! Sat, 13 Dec 2014 23:19:00 EST Healthy options means making healthy choices http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42843_healthy_options_means_making_healthy_choices My downfall is potato chips, crackers and chocolate. I love these! Of course, the sugar and salt don't contribute to healthy eating. The other day, I bought some "baked" potato chips that were low in fat. As I sat eating them, I read the label. Yuck - that was enough to say no to even this supposedly healthy option. My secret - don't buy them and bring them in my house to tempt me. Making healthy choices means having healthy options. Wed, 3 Dec 2014 10:58:00 EST Counting saturated fat grams http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42840_counting_saturated_fat_grams I counted calories and walked (and walked) for several years. I was stuck! I knew it had to be a food thing, but couldn't eat any less. I went to my dietician and she suggested counting saturated fat grams too. After that, I have dropped a pound a week! Mon, 1 Dec 2014 18:18:00 EST work on portion control http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42837_work_on_portion_control Before I serve a meal, I determine exactly what the correct portion is ahead of time and serve just that amount on the plate. Any left-overs are immediately put away so i'm not tempted to give myself seconds because its still sitting in the pan. <em>104</em> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:26:00 EST Watch the carb http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42827_watch_the_carb Nothing is off limits but eating more fruits/veggies & less bread, rice & pasta is working. I'm not tracking but try to eat fewer servings of starches and eat them earlier in the day. It is good for me to eat a lean meat, veggies & skim milk for dinner. It is pretty simple and it is doing the trick. Mon, 10 Nov 2014 12:30:00 EST Drink water lose weight http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42819_drink_water_lose_weight While I am preparing my breakfast, lunch and dinner, I drink 2 cups of water. The water helps to keep me from over eating because it fills me up and it adds to my over all health during the day. After my daily workout I drink 2 cups of water to replace what I have lost and this brings my total up to 8 cups already. If I work out twice there is 10 cups of water and then in the evening when I am relaxing, I will have another 2 cups. How easy is that to get your H2o into your daily recommendatio... Sat, 1 Nov 2014 13:29:00 EST A newsy sugar determining fact http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42816_a_newsy_sugar_determining_fact When looking at how many grams of sugar are in a food, or drink, divide by 4(32g divided by 4 =8). This tells you how many tsp of sugar are in a serving! 8tsp is far to much for this Sparker!! Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:33:00 EST Seltzer Water http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42812_seltzer_water I love the fizzy feel of soda pop, but didn't like the calories and nasty ingredients. I was also trying to lower my sodium. I switched to seltzer water, which I can flavor with real fruit juice like lemon and lime. This has saved me money, improved my health, and I even like the taste of it quite a bit more! Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:01:00 EST Have 1.5 litre water available all day http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42804_have_15_litre_water_available_all_day I've started stopping at a small grocery store to buy a 1.5 litre bottle of water every day on my way to work. It's only a dollar and having that bottle on the desk all day allows me to make sure I get at least 6 glasses of water throughout the day. Sat, 11 Oct 2014 11:55:00 EST Trigger Foods - Binge Eating http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42802_trigger_foods_binge_eating If you are a food addict and have certain "trigger" foods DO NOT KEEP THEM IN THE HOUSE! If you are craving them get a single serving size while you are out and eat what you want of it (while tracking the calories). Then you won't be able to binge on it but still satisfy your craving! Fri, 10 Oct 2014 13:38:00 EST A Food Combo I enjoy http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42801_a_food_combo_i_enjoy I love to get a serving of veggies and fruit with an Outshine Carrot/Tangerine popsicle Fri, 10 Oct 2014 13:03:00 EST water intake http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42793_water_intake I drink an enormous amount of water each day. Each serve has a small squirt of packaged lemon juice added. Thu, 2 Oct 2014 19:39:00 EST 5 Fruits & Vegetables http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42773_5_fruits_vegetables To get in your fruits and vegetables make a smoothie using healthy ingredients like yogurt. With a nice size smoothie you can get 2 to 3 servings at once. Thu, 4 Sep 2014 19:21:00 EST fruit and vegetable http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42764_fruit_and_vegetable I like to eat apples and celery with peanut butter. They are a quick snack and the peanut butter helps you stay full longer. Sat, 30 Aug 2014 19:17:00 EST Smoothing away! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42761_smoothing_away I am staying on my 2 smoothie <em>306</em> per day as long as I am enjoying the results that I am achieving. <em>274</em> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:09:00 EST food http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42760_food I make up my salad, fruits and lunch . So I can just go into the fridge and get something healthy. If i am going to get something i should not have i try and talk myself out of it. Do you really need it? <em>521</em> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:37:00 EST The 3 color , 3 plate rule http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42742_the_3_color_3_plate_rule To add a wider variety of fruits and veggies to my diet, I made sure that I ate at least 3 colors of the rainbow on 3 plates of food a day. Mon, 18 Aug 2014 03:42:00 EST ordering food http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42740_ordering_food think/rethink.<br>so often we go out to eat and we often wait until we are really hungry.<br>when going into a restaurant, look at the menu, make your selection, lay it down and wait a few minutes, then look again. giving yourself a few minutes to reconsider your first choice. this also goes for fast food.<br>allow the next person in line to go ahead of you, giving yourself time to look at the board once more.<br>at home, look in the fridge, close the door, wait 5 mins, then look again. Sat, 16 Aug 2014 10:35:00 EST cottage cheese http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42731_cottage_cheese I liked cottage cheese but it did not agree with my stomach. Can't take credit, saw it on youtube. I blend the cottage smooth in the blender Now its fine and a good source of protein. Great tip. Wed, 13 Aug 2014 18:01:00 EST How to drink 8 cups of water a day! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42721_how_to_drink_8_cups_of_water_a_day I found it hard to drink big glasses of water each day and only got through 2 1/2 the first day. The next day I remember a friend tell me she used small 8 oz glass and could drink all eight. I tried it and it work!! Thu, 7 Aug 2014 17:11:00 EST Cheat Day?! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42700_cheat_day Everybody here has probably tried having a cheat day, a day where you're free to indulge (hopefully still in moderation). Of course there have been concerns about how healthy- and if cheat days are even healthy- they are. I don't agree with cheat days, I personally cannot handle doing them. But I reccomend that if you can handle having a cheat day, that you do it during the week! Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:05:00 EST Eating A sandwich http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42689_eating_a_sandwich Take the top off your sandwich and just throw it away, you save at least 100 calories and the sandwich is still very good Sat, 26 Jul 2014 23:31:00 EST Fabulous snack and very refreshing http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42675_fabulous_snack_and_very_refreshing frozen grapes! Sun, 20 Jul 2014 21:02:00 EST Greek yogurt for extending salad dressings. http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42671_greek_yogurt_for_extending_salad_dressings Use non fat greek yogurt to extend salad dressings or salsa to add volume - not fat. Sat, 19 Jul 2014 16:21:00 EST Tuna http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42664_tuna It's a phenomenal protein. Lean, healthy, portable. I could be anywhere (work, home) and eat healthy protein with good fats to help satisfy my hunger and help prevent a fast-food run. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:23:00 EST munching http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42663_munching I have a terrible urge to munch on something crunchy! I used to eat chip and switched to veggies but sometimes I get tired of veggies! so I started crunching ice cubes! zero calories and it really helps with the munching motion that I seem to crave! keeps you cool in the summer too! Wed, 16 Jul 2014 17:05:00 EST snack secret http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42652_snack_secret I've always loved to snack, and recently my physician advised me to eat 2-3 snacks a day in addition to 3 light regular meals. Whoopee! But how to keep the calories in check? I've learned to prepare 50- calorie snacks of my favorite healthy snack foods ahead of time. Just now, I ate a 30-calorie slice of light cheese. Tonight I'm looking forward to my homemade 50-calorie trail mix baggie right before turning out the lights. And my favorite is barley mixed with sugar free strawberry syrup. Yu... Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:22:00 EST Honey Roasted Peanuts and Banana Hummus http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42647_honey_roasted_peanuts_and_banana_hummus My new favorite snack. Puree 2 cups honey roasted peanuts (or almonds) with a banana. Makes a super healthy hummus dip. Dip with celery or carrots. Mon, 7 Jul 2014 21:16:00 EST First Track Then Eat http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42645_first_track_then_eat Before eating use your Spark Tracker to find out the nutritional numbers and know the calories you are about to consume. If the numbers are too high then make a different, healthier choice. Mon, 7 Jul 2014 13:21:00 EST Taste and See! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42637_taste_and_see We know that those who eat slow give their bodies time to realize satiety and eat less. I eat alone a lot and find this a challenge. Here are two ways I slow down:<br><br>1. Look at my bite before I put it in my mouth. Realize what it is and looks like. Be grateful for the benefit I am about to receive.<br><br>2. Chew for a count of 20-25, noting taste and texture. <br><br>I find I eat more slowly and actually enjoy what I am having. Thu, 3 Jul 2014 10:28:00 EST Curbing late night hunger http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42625_curbing_late_night_hunger One of my goals is to not eat after 7pm, however I sometimes get hungry or want a snack about 9-9:30p. Instead of ice cream, cookies, etc I will have a glass of unsweetened coconut almond milk (45 calories) and sometimes add 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries or strawberries and ice and blend for a quick shake of less than 100 calories. Fri, 27 Jun 2014 14:54:00 EST Shopping in the Grocery store http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42597_shopping_in_the_grocery_store when going to your local grocery store its better to do all your shopping on the outside of the isles. you have your fruits and vegges, salads, healthy dressings, dairy, orange juice, poultry items, seafood, etc. try to skip the middle isles Tue, 17 Jun 2014 18:10:00 EST Dealing with sweets http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42591_dealing_with_sweets I made a cake for Sunday lunch. I made a bowl of fruit salad, too. By the time I served dessert and coffee, the cake was gone. Always have something healthy to stay on track! Sun, 15 Jun 2014 17:55:00 EST Nutella and Fruit http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42589_nutella_and_fruit When I'm craving something sweet, like a cookie or candy. I'll eat fresh fruit and a tablespoon or two of nutella. It tastes just like chocolate to me but is healthier. The sweet fruit always hits my sweet tooth and the chocolate taste makes me forget that I'm not actually having candy. Sat, 14 Jun 2014 22:23:00 EST SparkPeople Meal Plans http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42587_sparkpeople_meal_plans The suggested meal plans provided by SparkPeople has really helped me to cut calories. Even when I make substitutions, they help me with my menu planning. I found that before I was getting too many carbs (bread, rice, potatoes) and not enough fruits and veggies or protein. I, also, found out that it's ok to use canned applesauce or fruit instead of fresh which helps me stick to a healthy eating plan. It's not about perfection. It's doing the best that you can. Fri, 13 Jun 2014 11:45:00 EST Shop Aldi's - They Have Healthy Options, I Swear http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42584_shop_aldis_they_have_healthy_options_i_swear I used to think that Aldi's was only full of super processed junk food. However, I have found my favorite things there like hummus, light cheese sticks, produce, low sodium/sugar canned fruit and soups. While there are certainly temptations if you are looking to lose weight and save money Aldi's can't be beat! Thu, 12 Jun 2014 14:35:00 EST No bite tastes as good as the first bite http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42583_no_bite_tastes_as_good_as_the_first_bite Anytime I am about to eat something that is high-cal (e.g. dessert) I think about how much satisfaction I will get from that first bite. The satisfaction with the second bite is a little bit lower than the first. And so on. So I choose however many bites I think I can balance between enjoying myself and not overeating, always remembering that no bite will ever taste as good as the first! Thu, 12 Jun 2014 12:56:00 EST Eating schedule http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42582_eating_schedule Rather than forcing myself to eat 3 meals a day, or 6 meals, or whatever - I plan what I can eat for an entire day and track it. I then eat the food I've allotted for the day at my own pace whenever I'm hungry. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 11:48:00 EST Snacking healthy http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42572_snacking_healthy When I get a craving for something sweet, I make myself a fruit smoothie. It takes care of my craving and I am having all natural sweets, which are healthy, delicious, and nutritious. Sun, 8 Jun 2014 07:54:00 EST Snacking healthy http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42571_snacking_healthy When I get a craving for something sweet, I make myself a fruit smoothie. It takes care of my craving and I am having all natural sweets, which are healthy, delicious, and nutritious. Sun, 8 Jun 2014 07:54:00 EST Asparagus Guacamole http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42569_asparagus_guacamole Replace 1/2 of the avocado in your guacamole recipe with well cooked asparagus for half the fat and calories! Use a blender to puree the asparagus for a smooth texture. Bake your own chips using low-carb, high-fiber tortillas. <em>4</em> Sat, 7 Jun 2014 20:03:00 EST Eat Sunbutter instead of peanut butter http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42558_eat_sunbutter_instead_of_peanut_butter A friend told me about this product. i tried it and it was really good.<br><br>here is the nutrition facts its<br><br>Nut-free<br>Peanut-free<br>Tree nut-free<br>Gluten-free<br>Dairy-free<br><<BR>br>27% RDA of Vitamin E<br>8% of iron<br>Double the fiber of peanut butter with the same level of protein<br>No hydrogenated oil<br>0% trans fatty acid<br><br>Egg-free<br>Processed in a strictly nut-free facility (Our employees aren't even allowed to bring in peanut butter sandwiches for lunch<br> Thu, 5 Jun 2014 10:40:00 EST Quick Snack http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42556_quick_snack Sometimes I just want Crackers and Cheese. My satisfying substitute is a wedge of the Laughing Cow Light Queso Fresco & Chipotle cheese and Rold Gold Pretzel Thins (1 serving) = 155 calories total for all!! Yummo!! Wed, 4 Jun 2014 11:37:00 EST Sweet Cravings http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42555_sweet_cravings Whenever I am craving a chocolate, I try to limit myself to the serving size. When I am feeling like I am out of bounds and need a second I remind myself that I will have to add another 10 minutes on the treadmill if I need it that badly... <em>224</em> Wed, 4 Jun 2014 09:56:00 EST Dr Oz says http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42553_dr_oz_says According to the "OZ" he reported yesterday that eating "Fava" beans or adding them to your meals,in your salad or where ever you'd like will decrease your food craavings!!<br>AND if you stick to a one chosen food and include it in all your meals(example; Spinach) it will help your urges to quiet down and accept what we offer our bodies!<br>Hey its worth a try.<br>I will try the Fava beans first!!! Tue, 3 Jun 2014 09:42:00 EST Plate salad http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42544_plate_salad Often for dinner I create a huge salad on a plate with lots of variety. Then I have a small burger (veggie or meat) or a slice of pizza or a bowl of soup with it. The activity of crunching up the huge salad makes me feel as though I've had quite a big meal. Of course, watch the dressing and extras on the salad or you defeat the purpose. Sat, 31 May 2014 14:12:00 EST Put healthy snacks in your way http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42538_put_healthy_snacks_in_your_way I have been making healthy snacks mostly cut up fruit & veggies and putting them in attractive bowls everywhere in my kitchen & dining room. So when I want to grab something to pop in my mouth it's the first thing I see. This is helpful when I'm cooking so I eat healthy snacks instead of looking for something not so healthy. It's just more convenient not to get something else out. Wed, 28 May 2014 18:55:00 EST Cravings http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42535_how_to_crave_healthy_foods If a person says "don't think about this. don't think of that." That is exactly what they think of. I try to make an effort to think about the healthy foods that I want to eat, instead of restricting any kind of food from my diet. For example if I want to eat more oranges, I think on purpose daily of citrus, yummy fruit, and how much I enjoy the particular taste. Suddenly I find myself craving an orange. Our thoughts are very powerful! Tue, 27 May 2014 20:30:00 EST my secret http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42531_my_secret I eat the things I love and love what I eat! Mon, 26 May 2014 07:19:00 EST Getting veggies for breakfast... http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42515_getting_veggies_for_breakfast I have been using Green Giant frozen veggies that already have seasoning on them in my eggs this week! For delicious scrambled veggies that are quick and easy.<br><br>(I use Aldi's Fit & Active Egg whites)<br><br> Wed, 21 May 2014 10:38:00 EST Explore the Produce Department http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42503_explore_the_produce_department It's important to me that I replace less healthy choices with better alternatives. I have given myself permission to eat ANYTHING in the produce department. It gives me so many healthy options and reminds me that a plant-based diet is the way to eat! Tue, 20 May 2014 14:16:00 EST Convenience Store $1 purchase http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42500_convenience_store_1_purchase I've noticed that bananas are sold in most convenience stores. When I'm feeling hungry and find myself faced with all the unhealthy stuff sold in those places, I turn to bananas. In the stores near where I live, they are usually priced 3 for a dollar or 49 cents each. I buy 3, eat one, and bring the others home to use later. They are usually perfectly ripe since they sit out as everyone else is buying up the candy and chips. Tue, 20 May 2014 00:32:00 EST Cups & Scale http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42478_cups_scale I like to keep measuring cups that range from a teaspoon all the way to a cup and a scale, on my kitchen counter all day. That way I can easily measure whatever I eat through out the day. This really helps me keep portion control in check. Fri, 16 May 2014 09:23:00 EST Keep measuring cup with nuts to control the portion http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42477_keep_measuring_cup_with_nuts_to_control_the_portion I like nuts as one of my daily snacks. I do not have the ability to stop once I start unless I pre-measure a quarter cup. So now I keep a small measuring cup with my nuts at work. Maybe I should post this in saving money too because the pound of nuts lasts much longer. Fri, 16 May 2014 07:12:00 EST Divide and Conquer http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42475_divide_and_conquer Whenever you go out to eat, immediately divide each food into two equal portions. You'll eat HALF the calories and have a meal for the next day!<br>Ask the server for a take-out container at the beginning of the meal so you don't forget or over-eat. <em>550</em> Thu, 15 May 2014 13:28:00 EST PIC THE PLATE http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42467_pic_the_plate Take a photo of your meal when you go out to eat. It will serve to remind you of what you ate and the size of the portions. Wed, 14 May 2014 12:24:00 EST Track before eating http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42462_track_before_eating I track what I eat before I eat it so I know where I'm at with calories. That way if I want a little extra, I can see if I've got the calories for it before I give in and eat it. It's like balancing a checkbook. Tue, 13 May 2014 09:49:00 EST Less is More http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42459_less_is_more Most foods it seems are loaded with sugar, fat, or salt. Who says everything has to be "super duper delicious". Learn to cook from scratch. Keep it simple, just use a few ingredients. Use salt free herbs & spices to flavor meals. learn to enjoy the natural flavor of a food. I use cumin for meats and chicken, paprika & pepper with lemon zest for chicken. Cook veggies and meats on low heat to carmelize and sweeten them. <br><br>I use no cheese, butter, salt , oil at all. I don't even miss it. Mon, 12 May 2014 02:31:00 EST Raw Green Beans Make a Great Snack! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42458_raw_green_beans_make_a_great_snack Buy a half pound of fresh green beans. Wash thoroughly, then remove stems and ends.<br>Put half in a zippered baggies and put half in a cup. Snack on the raw green beans. They will be crisp and slightly sweet. Sun, 11 May 2014 21:31:00 EST No Self-Control? Toss half before starting to eat http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42455_no_selfcontrol_toss_half_before_starting_to_eat If I'm going to have a bad treat (think Hersey bar or ice cream from a stand), I find it easier to toss half of it BEFORE I start eating it rather than just eating half. I can't eat just half if it's in front of me. So for those few seconds when I still have a bit of self-respect and self-control, I toss away half. Sun, 11 May 2014 07:52:00 EST Ice Cream Substitute http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42451_ice_cream_substitute Sometimes I crave something cold…usually in the form of ice cream in a bowl. Popsicles are okay once in awhile….but now I buy a big bag of mixed frozen fruit…I put a portion in my bowl still frozen. Tastes delicious, fills me up especially if I add yogurt and it's all on my food plan….takes longer to eat too…melt in your mouth goodness! <br> <em>334</em> <em>244</em> <em>381</em> Thu, 8 May 2014 06:54:00 EST Gum or brushing teeth http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42445_gum_or_brushing_teeth After eating even a snack, I either go and brush my teeth or get a piece of gum. It deters me from wanting to eat more. <em>30</em> Tue, 6 May 2014 19:05:00 EST Don't eat anything that comes through a window! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42442_dont_eat_anything_that_comes_through_a_window Eating while driving can be more dangerous than texting. The word search in Fast food is FAT just take out the s for speedy. Plan ahead using SparkPeople and than go in and eat or wait til you get home. Cut the meal in half and use .5 as the serving size and have an entire meal for tomorrow. <em>252</em> Mon, 5 May 2014 09:07:00 EST Sweet Healthy Snack http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42434_sweet_healthy_snack Squash Snack or Dessert Wed, 30 Apr 2014 12:13:00 EST Getting enough water is as easy as 1,2,3,4 http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42426_getting_enough_water_is_as_easy_as_1234 Many say it's hard to get enough water. Here is how I worked up to getting my water:<br><br>1. 8 glasses is daunting, but 4 seemed easy. So I started with 1 glass with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. <br><br>2. 4 was easy (8 still seemed like too much) so I made my 4 bigger. 4 bottles of water (16oz each) and suddenly I was drinking my 8 glasses.<br><br>3. I increased the size of my bottles by 4 oz at a time (first 20 then 24) now I drink 4 24 oz bottles<br><br>4. you can finish o... Sun, 27 Apr 2014 10:33:00 EST Ice cream replacement http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42420_ice_cream_replacement Put your favorite 0% fat fruit flavored yogurt in the freezer for 3 hrs and it'll have the texture and taste of ice cream in a fraction of the calories! (My favorite is Elle & Vire 0% fat strawberry yogurt at just 51 kcals!) Fri, 25 Apr 2014 03:36:00 EST Protein Powder http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42419_protein_powder Adding Protein Powder to water, milk, or juice can really aid your protein intake, give you energy, and jump start your day. Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:22:00 EST Same food; different presentation http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42409_same_food_different_presentation The basic breakfast of eggs, bacon, and cheese can be presented so that it appears to be quite different meals. <br>Chop up your veggies and bacon and heat in skillet, pour over the scrambled eggs, put lid on top, put on low for 20 mins is a fritata. Add cheese at the end of cooking.<br>Or line a muffin tin with cooked strip of bacon, add the scrambled eggs, bake for 20 mins at 400 -- now you have a breakfast muffin. Top with cheese.<br>Or keep it simple and just scramble the eggs and baco... Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:59:00 EST Exploring Super Foods using Sparkrecipes http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42407_exploring_super_foods_using_sparkrecipes When I come across foods that are so-called super foods, I go immediately to Sparkrecipes to find ways to use them. The latest super foods are quinoa, chia seed and kale. I've never cooked with those foods, so it's a new culinary adventure. It's great that I have a husband that will try anything new! <em>252</em> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 20:26:00 EST Shredded Parmesan vs shredded cheddar http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42406_shredded_parmesan_vs_shredded_cheddar Parmesan has about 30 less calories per 4 Tablespoons, and half the fat. For me it's a better choice for an omelet. <br>Also I've noticed that already shredded cheddar frequently is coated with something that has carbs. Sat, 19 Apr 2014 19:23:00 EST Never beat yourself http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42403_never_beat_yourself Never tell yourself you made a mistake, you really just gave your body a greater challenge and your mind more motivation to work harder in the gym! Calling yourself out on double snacking or what not will only bring you down and ruin your mood with your friend or family when really ther is nothing you can do but to work harder in the gym and/or let it go. Stay Positive! :) Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:19:00 EST Hypnosis http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42402_hypnosis When I decided that I had to lose weight and get healthier I had several visits with a hypnotist. We worked on helping me to commit to healthy eating most of the time, tracking what I ate, staying at my calorie goal and moving every day. This is a lifestyle change that I've stuck with since October 2011 and down 80 pounds. <em>244</em> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:43:00 EST Asian Hot Pot is easy to do at home http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42394_asian_hot_pot_is_easy_to_do_at_home I like that Asian hot pot means you can eat for hours and nibble on small pieces of food, and large veggie portions and the leftovers are soup for lunches.<br><br>The hot pot pan was only $40 at my asian market that also sells the specially sliced shabu-shabu meats.<br><br>Nutritious and frugal Sat, 12 Apr 2014 22:41:00 EST cocoa/chocolate packets- use half- and save the rest for later in the day! http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42391_cocoachocolate_packets_use_half_and_save_the_rest_for_later_in_the_day I discovered Carnation Instant Breakfast packets at the gym when they gave them away for free in the locker room. I happened to have a 16.9 oz bottled water and shook it up on my way to my car. I felt great after! I only buy two boxes/year. One of the variety pack and one lower sugar. So... when i'm below my goal of 6 cups of water/day- i mix half a packet and the water is down in a minute and I'm saving 1/2 the calories. I personally think we pee out most the added nutrients. Thu, 10 Apr 2014 23:04:00 EST eat lots of veggies before going food shopping http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42377_eat_lots_of_veggies_before_going_food_shopping Just that. You're full, so hopefully no impulse buy and you are full with the right kind of food. Tue, 8 Apr 2014 11:10:00 EST Hot Lemonade http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42369_hot_lemonade I love coffee but am not a tea drinker and know it's not a great idea to drink coffee right before bed but I do love a hot drink in the evening so I came up with a caffeine free alternative. I squeeze out the juice of a lemon (a Meyer lemon is best if you can find it). I add boiling water and calorie free sweetener. This hot lemonade is very satisfying on a cold winter night. Mon, 7 Apr 2014 00:20:00 EST Weekend Cooking http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42360_weekend_cooking Cook several meals for the upcoming week. I cook at least 2-3 different meals (and usually 2-3 of each meal and put extras in freezer) for the up coming week and all you have to do is add your veggies! Wed, 2 Apr 2014 13:25:00 EST Cough drops....your best friend and you didn't even know it. http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42357_cough_dropsyour_best_friend_and_you_didnt_even_know_it It happens to us all. A craving hits. You can't seem to stop yourself from eating whatever unhealthy food you think you "need". My solution? Cough drops. Pop a menthol cough drop in your mouth. Trust me when I say NOTHING tastes good following a cough drop. I use this at parties as well. I'll eat the healthiest things I can put on my plate and when I'm done, pop in a cough drop. It usually does the trick. I hope it works for you as well. Tue, 1 Apr 2014 10:59:00 EST sugar http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42340_sugar I started my weight lost by reading a good doctors book on food and what it does to your body I now have the least amount of sugar I can possible have during a day. first two months I lost 12 pounds. Fri, 28 Mar 2014 11:18:00 EST adding veg. and fruits http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=42339_adding_veg_and_fruits work on adding vegetable in my omelet each day and fruit was never my favorite thing but now eat apples, blueberries, strawberries and oranges. this is filling. Fri, 28 Mar 2014 11:14:00 EST