Healthy Tips for the BIG GAME

Originally published February 6, 2016

The BIG GAME is Sunday and everyone is excited about the matchup between the Broncos and the Panthers! However, the real matchup is YOU vs FOOD during your Super Bowl festivities.

At the start of the year, you made a goal to lose weight, change your eating habits, exercise more, etc. Now, it’s time for the BIG GAME and you’ll be faced with lots of temptation regarding your food choices. For many, while in the beginning stages of changing your diet, out of sight, out of mind works really well; but what do you do when you’re staring all the foods you love face to face?

I’ve composed a few tips to help you survive the day.

  1. Don’t go to the party hungry. Eat a nutritious meal prior to going to the party. You’ll be less likely to overindulge on the fatty, sugary options.
  2. Drink plenty of water. Drinking water will help keep you full and prevent you from overeating.
  3. Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol is filled with lots of empty calories. If you must drink beer or other alcoholic beverages, consume a bottle of water between drinks. The water will make you feel full and in turn drink less.
  4. Eat in moderation. Don’t feel bad if you have a few of the high fat snacks you enjoy. If you do decide to indulge, just limit your proportions.
  5. Take a healthy dish to the party. Find a healthy version of your favorite food and let that be your contribution to the party. No one will know they’re eating the healthy version unless you tell them 😉

Below are a couple of recipes to try:

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip

A quick and easy creamy ranch dip that is completely guilt-free and tastes just as indulgent as the original!

YIELD: about 1 cup  PREP TIME: 3 minutes  COOK TIME: 0 minutes  TOTAL TIME: 3 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Fresh, chopped chives garnish

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together all of the ingredients: Greek yogurt, garlic, onion, dill, salt, Worcestershire, and cayenne. Garnish with fresh chives and serve.

Recipe Source:  wellplated.com

Debdoozie’s Blue Ribbon Chili

Prep  10 m  Cook  1 h  Ready In  1 h 10 m

Recipe By:Deb

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar salsa
  • 4 tablespoons chili seasoning mix
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light red kidney beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the ground beef and the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease, if desired.
  2. Add the ground black pepper, garlic salt, tomato sauce, salsa, chili seasoning mix and kidney beans. Mix well, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour.

Recipe Source:  allrecipes.com

**To make this chili healthier, use the leanest cut of beef, turkey (my preference), or chicken.  Use low/no sodium canned goods.  Use a fresh salsa vs jarred.  Aldi sells a delicious fresh salsa if there is one located in your area.

I hope you find these tips useful as you prepare for the BIG GAME.  If you try any of the tips or the recipes, please let me know what you think.

Fiesta Salad

Originally published January 28, 2016

This is a quick recipe that you can whip up any day of the week.  It’s a great meal to enjoy on a cheat or high carb day!

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages chicken breast
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • lettuce
  • salsa
  • cheese
  • sour cream (may substitute plain greek yogurt)
  • tortillas
  • any other toppings you enjoy on your salads

Directions:  Heat chicken in skillet on medium heat.  Add 1 tbsp taco seasoning to chicken.  Heat until warm.  Place black beans in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until warm (1 min-1 min, 30 sec).  After chicken and beans are heated to your desired temperature, layer your salad as desired.  I layered mine as follows:  tortillas, lettuce, chicken, beans, and salsa to top it off.

Calories:  340 Protein:  23g  Carbs:  43g  Fat:  10g

*Nutritional info will vary if adding cheese, sour cream, or other toppings

Happy New Year

Originally published January 1, 2016

As the year comes to a close, this is the time that many of you begin to reflect upon your year, thinking about all of your accomplishments as well as areas of improvement.

As I reflect upon my own year, I realize this year has brought upon many changes in all aspects in my life; some good, some not so much.  Learning how to deal with the changes that occur within your life aids in your personal growth and development.  Have you had changes in your life that have forced you to grow?  I certainly have!

Traditionally on New Year’s Eve, people make New Year Resolutions.  By definition, a resolution is a firm decision to do/not do something.  Unfortunately, many people go year after year and never keep those resolutions.  Rather than making resolutions, it may be more effective to set goals.  By definition, a goal is a desired result or something you are aiming towards.  Therefore, if it is your desire to lose weight, eat healthy, etc., set a goal, not a resolution.  Listed are a few of my goals for 2016:

  1. Be a better me
    1. This is always a goal of mine.  This is something that I work on daily.  Daily, I strive to be a better Christian, a better mom, a better daughter, sister, etc.  The saying, “New Year, New Me” is very cliché, but, daily I’m striving to be a new and better me.  When you constantly remain the same, your situation remains the same as well.
  2. Better business woman
    1. This, and all of my goals could fit under my first goal because it’s all about personal development.  I have several business goals that I would like to achieve.  I am elated to report that I have already began putting them in place.
  3. Fitness, health, and wellness
    1. I’m sure this one doesn’t come as a surprise to you.  My goal with this is to remain consistent with both my workouts and my nutrition.  There are many times that I am not consistent with both of them at the same time.  I know that being consistent with my workouts and nutrition (at the same time) will yield the results that I would like to achieve.

What are your goals for 2016?  I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!

Miss Sherri

Whatsa Macro?

Originally published February 19, 2015

If you’ve checked out fitness posts on Facebook or Instagram, you may have seen the term “macro” mentioned within the post.  Everyone is talking about their macros and you may be wondering, whatsa macro?  Macro is short for macronutrients.  Let’s break it down.  Macro means large.  Nutrients are substances needed for growth and metabolism in the body.  Therefore, macronutrients are substances needed in large amounts for growth and metabolism in the body.  There are three macronutrients:  Protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

Importance of Protein

Protein can help you lose fat, build muscle, and improve your overall general appearance.  It aids in growth, tissue repair, helps with your immune health, makes essential hormones and enzymes, provides energy when carbohydrates are not available, and preserves lean muscle mass.  The daily recommended protein intake is 0.8-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.  Currently I’m taking in 1 gram per pound of body weight, putting me at 140 grams of protein per day.

Importance of Carbohydrates

Generally speaking, the majority of your caloric intake should come from carbohydrates (may vary depending on your specific goals).  Carbs are the body’s main source for fuel and energy.  They provide glucose to all of our tissues and cells in the body.  Carbohydrates are needed for the central nervous system and other main organs such as our brain, heart and kidneys to function properly.  Carbohydrates can be stored and later used for energy.  Carbohydrates also play a role in our intestinal health.  Your carbohydrate intake is your total daily calories less your protein and fat calories.  My total carb intake per day is 160 grams or 640 calories.  Again, the amount of carbohydrates you take in will depend on your current goals.

Importance of Fats

Contrary to popular belief, consuming fats do not make you fat.  Consuming an excess of calories, whether it comes from fat, protein, or carbs, makes you fat, not the intake of fat alone.  Now that we have that settled, let’s continue.  Fats help with normal growth and development, gives you energy, helps with the absorption of some vitamins, gives cushion to your organs, maintains your cells, and gives taste, stability, and consistency to foods.  There are three main types of fats:  trans, saturated, unsaturated.  Trans fat is the unhealthiest of all the fats.  It has been shown to lead to an increase in your bad (LDL) cholesterol and increase the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.  They should be avoided.  Trans fat is typically found in fried foods, fast foods, chips, cookies, etc.  For the most part it is found in all the foods we know we shouldn’t be eating anyway.  Saturated fat is not as unhealthy as trans fat, but it’s still not good for you either, especially in large amounts.  Saturated fat has been known to cause high cholesterol.  Saturated fats can be found in beef, veal, lamb, pork, butter, lard, and cream just to name a few.  Intake of saturated fats should be limited.  Unsaturated fat has been shown to decrease the risks of heart disease as well as lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol.  Unsaturated fats are most commonly found in fish, nuts, nut butters, avocados, olive oil, and seeds.  The majority of our fat intake should come from unsaturated fats.  Fat should be 20-30% of your diet.  Personally, I choose 25%.  My daily fat intake is 44g.  Calculate your macros here.

For myself, this is the diet that I am currently following.  If I were competing, I would follow a stricter plan or incorporate some form of carb cycling to get my desired results.  At times, people take the IIFYM approach to the extremes.  Some will consume a lot of unhealthy foods and then give the excuse that it fits their macros.  Yes, at times I will have Oreos, skittles, or peanut M & M’s and yes, it does fit into my macros but there’s a downfall.  Per example, 1/4 cup of skittles is 37g of carbohydrates with no nutritional  value.  They’re 160 calories, contain 1.5g of fat and 30g of sugar.  1/4 cup of fresh pineapple is only about 5-6g carbs and provides vitamin C.  The pineapple is only about 20 calories and only has about 4g of sugar.  It’s obvious which snack would be more beneficial to you but if you just have to have the skittles or your favorite snack, have them; just know that you are giving up a lot of calories for non-nutritional foods and will need to adjust your macros accordingly.  Many people feel less restricted when following the IIFYM method.  Which method of eating works best for you?