TheFittChick Tips for a Healthy 4th of July BBQ…

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“You may favor a thick, juicy steak and heaping sides of your mom’s special potato salad at your 4th of July cookout, but your health and figure sure won’t. Here are some easy ways to have a low-cal day while maintaining all of the goodness of a true blue (and red and white) Fourth of July celebration.”

Fitt tip #1: Veg out
Instead of sitting down to a plate of high-calorie ribs as your first course, load up on salad and veggies before you hit the grilled meats. You’ll be less likely to overeat the higher calorie foods later if you fill up with a huge salad or grilled vegetables.

Fitt tip #2: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Drinking a large glass of water before eating a meal will slow you down and help reduce your caloric intake. It can also help you avoid dehydration, which can sap your energy and cause false-hunger signals.

Fitt tip #3: Go skinless
Before eating, remove the skin from chicken and turkey. If available, choose a boneless, skinless chicken breast or a extra lean sirloin burger as your main course. I always show up at a BBQ with a box of Bell & Evans chicken burgers. One for me and 5 to share. Most people will choose a healthy option if there is one available.

Fitt tip #4: Watch your alcohol
Cold beers on a hot day go down fairly easily — but that doesn’t make them calorie free. If you’re indulging in alcohol, it’s important to watch your carbs. To help reduce your alcohol intake, drink a glass of water in between each serving of alcohol.

Fitt tip #5: Don’t let the name “salad” fool you
Avoid potato and macaroni salads — they are loaded in saturated fats, carbs and starches — unless you know they are loaded with chopped veggies and have been made with a low-fat dressing. Even still, don’t overindulge on the carb-heavy fare.

Fitt tip #6: Use whole wheat buns
In addition to choosing whole wheat buns over white, eat your burger open-faced (one half of a bun) to even out your protein and carbohydrate ratio. Or even better, skip the bun altogether and load your burger up with veggies and healthy sides.

Fitt tip #7: Use your hand to determine portion control
Just because your plate is full doesn’t mean you need to eat it all. A serving of protein is usually the size of your fist. Eat about that much and load up on green veggies to fill up!

Fitt tip #8: Think Lean Protein
Grilling is actually a low-fat way to prepare food, but only if you choose lower fat option. Hot dogs and ribs, which are typical barbecue fare, are high in fat and calories. Steaks, bison burgers and chicken breasts, on the other hand, are the perfect pick for lean protein sources.

My FittChick “approved” meal tonight will be…

Appetizers..unlimited veggies and tons of water
Dinner…a huge salad, a burger loaded with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and mustard….and a mound of grilled veggies
Dessert…I will definitely skip the sugary stuff myself, but if your sweet tooth is kicking in, try and satisfy it with a plate of berries. BBQ’s can be extremely diet friendly, just focus on catching up with your friends and having a great time.

Live Fitt!…Be Fitt!

**some quotes and information were taken from Michele Borboa, MS**

Blueberry Cinnamon Protein Waffles!

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Check out my carb free waffles I made for breakfast! What? Is that even possible? Ok…there were 30 grams of blueberries, but the rest was all protein! Who would have thought! CINNAMON BLUEBERRY PROTEIN WAFFLES for 121 calories, 21 grams of protein, and only 6 carbs! Oh, and there were 6 of them and a huge bowl of oatmeal on the side! Losing weight doesn’t mean being hungry! Eating more and weighing less is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle for life!

Live Fitt!…Be Fitt!

5 Tips To Break Through Your Weight Loss Plateau!!!

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After months of steady weight loss, your new diet and fitness routine may seem like it just stops working. The big question is what can you do to get the scale to start moving again? Having a stretch where your weight loss slows is actually very common. You’re consuming fewer calories than you used to, so your metabolism has slowed down to conserve them. Your body will eventually figure out that it doesn’t have to work as hard because it has become used to your workout routine and healthy diet. With some simple changes, you can start to see the scale move a again!

1. BE PATIENT…Getting fit is not a destination, it’s a way of life. If you’re consistently eating right and exercising, the weight will come off. Remember that the closer you are to your weight loss goal, the longer it will take to lose your last 10, 20, or even 30 pounds!

2. ADD INTERVALS…Interval training is a great way to up your calorie burn. Interval training is exercising at a high intensity for a period of time followed by low intensity exercise for a period of time. This method keeps your muscles and metabolism guessing! I always recommend HIIT(High Intensity Interval Training) workouts to get the most out of your cardio days.

3. STAY HYDRATED…Drinking water is essential, and can increase your metabolism and curb your appetite. Increasing your metabolism can help you burn more calories and end your weight loss plateau. I always recommend drinking your weight in oz. everyday!

4. DON’T SKIP MEALS…A lot of people mistakenly think that if they skip the calories of breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it will help with weight loss. By skipping meals, you’re slowing down your metabolism even more. Your blood sugar actually drops and you’re more likely to be famished and overeat at your next meal. Eating 6 small meals throughout the day will speed up your metabolism and help you break through your plateau.

5. LOAD UP ON GREEN VEGGIES…Vegetables can be an important part of any weight loss diet. Eating more veggies will help your stomach feel full, which makes it easier for you to eat less. Green vegetables are especially helpful because they help in regulating blood sugar levels, and slow down the release of sugars into the bloodstream.

Have you ever experienced a weight loss plateau? What did you do to break it?

Could Giving Your Fridge A Makeover Help You Lose Weight?

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Get Organized…
“Organizing your fridge will help you make healthier decisions when it comes to food, and being able to see all the different ingredients might even inspire you to cook. A de-cluttered fridge also helps you keep track of staples so you never run out of healthy snacks like Greek yogurt or breakfast basics like eggs. Versatile plastic storage bins, from The Container Store, which are clear and stackable, make it easy to see the variety of healthy foods available at your fingertips.”

Get Snacking…
Create a “snack center” in your fridge, so you have a go-to spot to find healthy munchables when hunger strikes. Place the bin in front at eye level, and stock it with pre-made baggies of veggies, string cheese, trail mix, hard boiled eggs, fresh fruit, fruit leather, and other healthy faves.

Pre-cut Veggies…
Veggies are low in cals and jam-packed with fiber; when you eat them you feel full longer, which keeps hunger at bay and prevents mindless snacking later. But your veggies can’t help you lose weight if they sit in the crisper and go moldy before you have a chance to eat them. You’re more likely to nosh on veggies if they’re ready to eat. After hitting the grocery store, immediately wash, cut, and store carrots, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, celery, and cherry tomatoes in reusable containers.

Fruit Bowl…
Fruit is also a perfect snack or dessert because the sweetness satisfies your sugar cravings, but it’s much lower in calories than a chocolate bar or cookie. Ensure that you eat those nutritious apples, pears, kiwis, peaches, melons, and citrus fruits by displaying them in a bowl, so when you open the fridge door you’re inspired to grab a piece.

Ditch the Junk…
If unhealthy, nutrition-less food is in your fridge, you’ll quickly push the carrot sticks out of the way to reach them. Get rid of everything from cans of soda to the half-eaten jar of nacho cheese sauce. What’s that? You buy that stuff for your hubby or kids? Well don’t. If it’s there to tempt you, it will. If this health kick you’re on rubs off on your family, it’ll be that much easier to stick with it and drop those pounds; and your loved ones will be healthier too.

Store Healthier Alternatives to Your Faves…
“You know that ice cream is your weakness, so don’t deprive yourself — it’ll only lead to cravings. Make sure you have a lower-calorie option, such as sorbet bars, available to satisfy your sweet tooth. The same goes for other high-fat or high-calorie foods. Stock up on healthier alternatives so you can still enjoy the foods you love without derailing your weight loss train.”

So as long as its time for spring cleaning, head inside your fridge for the makeover that just might get you losing those unwanted pounds!

Live Fitt!…Be Fitt!

-quotes/information credited to Jenny Sugar-

TheFittChick’s Memorial Day BBQ Survival Guide…


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Summer is for baring skin and showing off that bikini body you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Don’t let summer cookouts and holiday BBQs add inches to your waistline. The following diet tips for summer BBQ season will help you stay slim and healthy, while having the confidence to bare skin throughout the warm weather months.

Fitt tip #1: Veg out
Instead of sitting down to a plate of high-calorie ribs as your first course, load up on salad and veggies before you hit the grilled meats. You’ll be less likely to overeat the higher calorie foods later if you fill up with a huge salad or grilled vegetables.

Fitt tip #2: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Drinking a large glass of water before eating a meal will slow you down and help reduce your caloric intake. It can also help you avoid dehydration, which can sap your energy and cause false-hunger signals.

Fitt tip #3: Go skinless
Before eating, remove the skin from chicken and turkey. If available, choose a boneless, skinless chicken breast or a extra lean sirloin burger as your main course. I always show up at a BBQ with a box of Bell & Evans chicken burgers. One for me and 5 to share. Most people will choose a healthy option if there is one available.

Fitt tip #4: Watch your alcohol
Cold beers on a hot day go down fairly easily — but that doesn’t make them calorie free. If you’re indulging in alcohol, it’s important to watch your carbs. To help reduce your alcohol intake, drink a glass of water in between each serving of alcohol.

Fitt tip #5: Don’t let the name “salad” fool you
Avoid potato and macaroni salads — they are loaded in saturated fats, carbs and starches — unless you know they are loaded with chopped veggies and have been made with a low-fat dressing. Even still, don’t overindulge on the carb-heavy fare.

Fitt tip #6: Use whole wheat buns
In addition to choosing whole wheat buns over white, eat your burger open-faced (one half of a bun) to even out your protein and carbohydrate ratio. Or even better, skip the bun altogether and load your burger up with veggies and healthy sides.

Fitt tip #7: Use your hand to determine portion control
Just because your plate is full doesn’t mean you need to eat it all. A serving of protein is usually the size of your fist. Eat about that much and load up on green veggies to fill up!

Fitt tip #8: Think Lean Protein
Grilling is actually a low-fat way to prepare food, but only if you choose lower fat option. Hot dogs and ribs, which are typical barbecue fare, are high in fat and calories. tuna steaks, bison burgers and chicken breasts, on the other hand, are the perfect pick for lean protein sources.

My FittChick “approved” meal tonight will be…
Appetizers..unlimited veggies and tons of water
Dinner…a huge salad, a burger loaded with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and mustard, with a mound of grilled veggies
Dessert…I will definitely skip the sugary stuff myself, but if your sweet tooth is kicking in, try and satisfy it with a plate of berries.

BBQ’s can be extremely diet friendly, just focus on catching up with your friends and having a great time.

Live Fitt!…Be Fitt!

**quotes/information taken from Michele Borboa, MS**

“Fitt” Find from TheFittChick…

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Mustard is often promoted as a smart diet choice because it is low in fat and calories. However, some mustard contains twice as many calories and as others because of added ingredients. Make sure to check the label of your favorite brands for added honey, sugar, white wine, or pectin.

My favorite FittChick “approved” mustard is Kosciusko. I add it to everything from omelettes to veggies. I like to add hot sauce to my mustard for an added kick! What’s your favorite mustard?

Are You Not Eating Enough Calories To Lose Weight?

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Even though you’ve been dieting for a month or so, eating low calories and working out, the scale hasn’t seemed to budge. It can be so frustrating when you think your doing everything you can, and you aren’t seeing the results you had hoped for.

Even people who understand that to lose weight, the calories consumed need to be fewer than those that are expended through activity, can have trouble losing weight. In some cases, this is due to reducing the amount of calories consumed too much, resulting in the metabolism slowing down as the body tries to conserve calories.

One thing that happens is you think your eating within the right calorie range to lose weight, but its entirely possible that your eating more than you think. Most Americans underestimate the number of calories they consume. To be sure you’re not one of them, keep a list of every single bite of food you eat-even its just a handful of pretzels or one french fry off your daughters plate. Use a kitchen scale to measure portions when you can, as its easy to make mistakes when you rely just on eyeballing it. A detailed list can help you determine if “picks and nibbles” or underestimating portions is the reason behind your weight loss plateau.

The body needs a certain minimum number of calories for daily activities. If you decrease the amount of calories and fat that you consumer to drastically, the body will think its in starvation mode and slow down the metabolism so you will actually loss less weight than if you ate more calories.

Those who choose to eat 1200 calories a day or less will have a slow metabolism, feel cranky and tired, and make it difficult to have the energy to exercise. You can also be at risk for anemia, low thyroid function, bone loss, decreased immune function, and infertility.

“Your goal should be to eat as many calories as possible and still lose weight. You always want to start high and then come down with your calorie intake. It’s much easier to do this than come up in calories after your weigh loss has stalled and you’ve lost your motivation. There is no perfect number to lose weight because each person’s metabolism is different. Try using a calorie calculator to find your weight loss number.

Weight loss is a patience game! The problem is most people want the weight gone, and they it gone now. It takes time and consistency to make it work. Losing 2 pounds per week is a great goal. It will ensure that the majority of your weight loss is coming from stored body fat instead of muscle.

“So if your progress has stalled, but you think you’re eating the right foods and exercising intensely, more than likely your problem is that you’re not eating enough calories to lose weight. Eat as much as you can, get in as many nutrients as possible, and your weight loss will be moving forward again before you know it!”

Live Fitt!…Be Fitt!

 
-portions taken from livestrong and coachcalorie-

Clean Eating…Fast and Easy…No Excuses Allowed!

 

I love saying the more you cook the better you look!  So if you love to cook, go for it! You have a leg up. But if you are like so many busy adults who want to look great but don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen, I found this list of the tools and tricks at JillFit.com you can use to make fast, clean(er) meals while also not slaving around the kitchen daily.

 

Much of this list involves pre-made and pre-prepped items. Yes, they may be a little more expensive, so there’s a consideration there. But personally, for me, the few extra bucks is worth it to save you time.

 

1) Buy and use fresh cut and washed veggies as much as possible. Most grocery stores are doing this now, but you can definitely get plenty of variety at places like Whole Foods and Trader Joes. Like these shredded Brussels spouts that you can use at home all the time (below). Focus on veggies that present the biggest cutting/prepping challenges like onions, peppers, etc.

 

2) Utilize low sodium cold cuts. Admittedly, for those who eat clean, the thought of hitting the butcher counter for cold cuts seems a little dirty. But when in a bind, using low sodium cold cuts can work if you do a little research. Choose a leaner cut like turkey or chicken. Is it perfect? No, but it’s lean protein on the go.  I like Applegate products for nitrate free deli products.

 

3) Buy pre-cooked grilled chicken breasts. Almost every grocery store offers this now. So super simple. Are there a few more preservatives? Yes. But don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. There’s 25 grams of protein, zero carb per serving, and ~200mg sodium. Add to salads, quick stir-fry meals (see veggies above) or even mix with scrambled egg whites and a dollop of avocado for a pseudo-California omelet.

 

4) Do a protein shake every day, preferably post-workout as one of your “meals.”  They have digestive enzymes, probiotics, additional omega-3s and fiber. One scoop offers at least 24g protein. Mix with unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup of frozen berries and throw it in the Vitamix or Magic Bullet.

 

5) Cook hard-boiled eggs on the weekend and split them up into 3-4 per baggy for quickgrab & go egg whites during the week. About 6g protein per egg, I will usually eat these as a snack with an apple or berries. You can get hard boiled eggs already made and peeled, which most stores offer now too.

 

6) Get the OXO Salad Chopper and use pre-bagged greens. Buy bagged salad greens that are already pre-washed and use the Chopper to stuff as many greens down your throat as possible. Add any fibrous veggies you’d like, plus lean protein a meal is made!

 

7) Spend the money to get a high-quality blender. For fit gals, this is absolutely money well spent.  It is amazing and can chop, blend, mince or shred anything–protein pancake batter, the most ice-y protein shake, frozen fruit, etc. Other options include the Magic Bulletand the Ninja blender.

 

8) Use the “New” TV dinners. I’ve found protein-only pre-cooked meals at Trader Joes and they taste amazing (already seasoned, etc). There is a small amount of sauce that accountsfor ~10g carb, but the rest is protein. Sodium intake (once again, not the biggest factor) is around 500mg/serving so a tad on the high end (but then again eggs are high in sodium too). These take 2 minutes to microwave. See pic.

 

 

 

9) Get frozen veggies or fruit. Frozen veggies are just that–veggies that have been frozen. No preservatives, extra ingredients, etc. Use these for stir-fry, quickie dinner sides, etc. For dessert try a cup frozen raspberries with a packet of Truvia sprinkled on top. Honestly, I was never one to consider fruit a LEGIT dessert (just being honest), but this is amazing. Try it!

 

10) Do take-out salads. Admittedly, I do a lot of take-out. Probably at least once a day and my fav option for take-out is a salad because a) I can see every single ingredient in it, b) I can take things I don’t want off it (like dried fruit, croutons, fatty cheese, etc) and c) it offers a few servings of veggies that I don’t need to work that hard for. Find a place that has a salad you love and do it a couple times a week in a pinch.

 

11) Know what to order at restaurants. You don’t have to be so nuts within your healthy lifestyle to not be able to eat out! Use restaurants if you have to. Knowwhat to order  wherever you end up, and eating out will never be an issue. I’ve written about how I order at restaurants before. Make good choices and you can literally eat well anywhere. One of my favorite places for easy ordering is Chipotle, and you can find one of these guys pretty much in any city.

 

12) Salad bars at Whole Foods or other grocery stores. The best thing about salad bars is, once again, someone else has to do the dirty work for you (cutting, washing, etc) and you get to enjoy the outcome. This can be expensive so you’ll have to watch it, but it can be an easy convenience option when you just don’t feel like grocery shopping until tomorrow!

 

 

13) Use easy no-cook snacks like nuts, jerky, fruit.   Use snacks that take absolutely no prep, like unsalted nuts, fruit that needs no prepping like apples, pears, frozen berries, etc and jerky or protein bars. Great as on-the-go and travel options.

 

 

Hopefully this list can help you cut some time corners and still be able to get you to get closer to the lean summer body you have been dreaming of!

Live Fitt!…Be Fitt!

 

And thank you http://jillfit.com for this great article! I couldn’t have said it better myself!

“Fitt” find from TheFittChick…


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Since it’s taco night in my house, I thought I would spotlight my family’s favorite tortilla. I found the La Tortilla Factory brand years ago when I was trying to up the fiber in my diet, and today my husband and children use these tortilla’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

So many of you think carbs are the enemy, and try to eat as little as possible. One thing to remember is that carbohydrates are a necessary part of a healthy diet; they supply essential vitamins and minerals. Some carbohydrates supply better nutrition than others. Whole-grain foods are preferable to refined products because they break down more slowly and cause a slower rise in blood glucose. Whole-wheat tortillas are a healthy choice because they’re low in fat, sodium and simple sugars and high in fiber.

Check out the nutritional stats for one size La Tortilla Factory Low-Carb tortilla…

Calories: 50 cals
Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 10 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Fiber: 7 grams

Where the La Tortilla Factory Low-Carb tortillas really shine, however, is in their fiber and protein content. In terms of fiber, they have a whopping 7 grams which is 32% of the recommended daily allowance of fiber. They also have 5 grams of protein, which hands-down beats both the traditional flour and corn tortilla.

The combination of high-fiber with high-protein (ounce-for-ounce) means that the La Tortilla Factory tortillas are not only filling, but they keep your blood sugar levels stable. This starves off hunger and discourages overeating later in the day. And at 50 calories a tortilla, you can eat three of them and get nearly two-thirds of your daily fiber without sweating the calories.

For some perspective, two slices of 100% whole wheat bread would put you at around 200-300 calories, without nearly the amount of fiber or protein in three La Tortilla Factory tortillas.

Make these tortilla’s a staple in your house, and they are sure to become a family favorite!

Live Fitt!…Be Fitt!

Happy Mother’s Day from TheFittChick…

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Check out my amazing mom who supports me in everything I do! She has always been my inspiration, and now hopefully she can inspire some of you!

She is 65, had surgery on her knee 2 times, and broke both her wrists last year, but she never uses an excuse not to do something active everyday!

Let my mom motivate you to stay young, healthy, and fit!

Live Fitt!…Be Fitt!