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Top 12 Easy Food Tips & Swaps for Weight Loss

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 25, 2013

My Top 12 Easy Food Tips & Swaps for Weight Loss — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted catherine-morgan.com)

If you are the kind of person who loves to take the time to cook and try new healthy recipes — that is great (I honestly wish I were like that).  If that is you, then you are super lucky, because there are thousands and thousands of healthy eating cookbooks (and just as many of them are free on Amazon with Kindle Reading App).  But, if you’re like me, and you don’t have the time or the inclination to go out and buy specific foods and ingredients to whip up exciting healthy recipes — then you are in luck.

Here are some of the ways I eat healthy without following recipes.  For me it’s all about having my staple healthy foods always available so I can easily make quick and healthy meals.

My top 12 easy food tips and swaps.

1.  We all know how important eating fish is.  It is a high protein food that is also very low in fat and calories.  My problem was that, whenever I bought costly fresh seafood, it either didn’t seem very fresh or I didn’t eat it quickly enough…so I ended up wasting a lot of money that way.  Then one day, I found out that most (or all) of the so-called “fresh” seafood was merely thawed-out frozen seafood.  I also found out that I could get the exact same fish still frozen, and then I could keep it frozen until the time I wanted to eat it, so I would never waste any of it.  Now what I do is buy individually wrapped frozen fish (I like salmon, tilapia, cod, mahi, and shrimp), I thaw it when I am ready to use it, season it, wrap it in foil, and then cook it in the toaster oven.  It is quick and easy, and it always turns out tasting wonderful.

2.  I also like to buy 97-98% lean ground turkey.  If I have time, I make it into patties and cook them on the grill or frying pan, and then I put some in the freezer and some in the fridge to be heated up whenever I am hungry.  If I don’t have time to cook the ground meat all at once, I separate it into single servings and place into storage bags and freeze.  Then I can quickly make one burger by thawing out an already portioned amount of ground turkey.   Once I have my burger ready, I put it on one of those low calorie roll-thins, and top with spinach, salsa, and avocado.

3.  I try to keep several low calorie frozen dinners on hand for times when I feel I need something fast, but have little time to cook.  Of course, it is much healthier to avoid processed foods, but a low calorie frozen dinner is still better than fast food or other high fat/high calorie foods.  These meals are also great to take to work for lunch when you don’t have time to prepare something. TIP:  Whenever possible, add fresh or frozen vegetables to your frozen meal (this will make it much more filling, as well as add to the nutritional value without adding too many calories).  Keep an eye out for sales on these meals, rather than paying full price.

4.  Chicken breast is another easy and lean meat you can prepare ahead; keep some in the freezer and some in the refrigerator.  You can do so many things with chicken breast: add to salad, heat with vegetables, make a hot or cold sandwich on a low calorie bun, or just keep bite size pieces in the fridge to munch on when you need a healthy snack.  I often get my chicken breast frozen; this way I always have some in the freezer.  Like I said before, one of the best tricks to eating healthy is never running out of healthy food.

5.  Instant oatmeal is a quick and easy meal.  You can eat it alone or with fruit, and it is basically one of the best sources of fiber you can get.  It’s also something you can easily bring with you to work.  TIP:  Eating breakfast is the best way to get your metabolism started in the morning, and studies show that people who eat breakfast lose more weight than their breakfast-skipping counterparts.

6.  Pre-washed lettuce, spinach, and other greens can come in handy if you are too busy to clean and chop it yourself.   And if you are hungry, being able to make something fast can be critical.   You can also buy cleaned and chopped bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and more.  IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT SPINACH: Most experts say that if you can’t get organic spinach, then don’t get it at all (chemicals and pesticides make most spinach unhealthier for you than healthy, so the benefits of eating it don’t outweigh the risks). I’ve been buying organic spinach from my grocery store, and it is a bit more costly, but worth it.

7.  I like to buy fresh and frozen vegetables that come in microwavable bags.  This way, they can be quickly added to any meal with very little effort.  You can also get frozen rice that cooks in just a few minutes in the microwave.  TIP:  Keep an eye out for sales; I like to stock up when they are buy one, get one free.

8.  What about bread, pasta, rice?  On many diets, you are encouraged to eat little or none of these foods, but as long as you are keeping track of your calories, these carbs can be eaten in moderation as part of your healthy diet.  However, you NEVER want to eat the “white” version of these foods.  Don’t eat white bread; find a whole wheat bread.  Don’t eat regular pasta; take some time to acquire a taste for whole wheat pasta.  

9.  Mrs. Dash seasonings have many flavors, and they are all salt-free.  Using these specially combined seasonings is the easiest way to add a wonderful flavor to your food.  My favorite is Hot & Spicy (I add it to just about every meat and fish I cook).  And, if you Google “Mrs. Dash.” you will find an unlimited number of recipes.

10.  If you haven’t already, try some of the Laughing Cow spreads.  They are very low in calories and fat, and can really enhance a plain sandwich that you might have previously used mayo or cheese on.  There are at least a half a dozen different flavors to choose from.

11.  We all know that salad dressing can quickly add to your calorie and fat intake.  Always buy light dressings…and if you can, water them down even more.  I try to keep an empty bottle or two, and then make my own dilution depending on the dressing.  You may be surprised at how quickly you begin to enjoy the watered-down versions of your favorite dressings.  TIP:  When you are out at a restaurant, you can discretely dilute your dressing by using lemon wedges.

12.  Avocado is a great way to add healthy fat and omega-3s to your salads and sandwiches.  The problem is that avocados are often expensive, are hard to peel, and go brown quickly. Instead of using avocados, I have been buying fresh guacamole I find in the produce section…the one I buy is 95% avocado.  It’s just another way you can get the benefits of a healthy food without the time-consuming preparation.

Update:  If you are a South Beach Diet Fan, you have to check out Kalyn’s Kitchen (she has the best healthy recipes around).

So, there you have it.  I hope you find these tips and swaps helpful.  Do you have any personal food swaps or tips for losing weight?  If so, please share them with us in comments.

**If you like these tips, you will love my new book (coming in November) Love the Diet, Lose the Fat.  For a pre-release offer to get the book for $1, go to the Love the Diet website and sign-up with just your email address.

Posted in cooking, fitness, food, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, healthy living, lose weight, nutrition, weight loss, women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Top 12 Easy Food Tips & Swaps for Weight Loss

Healthy Low-Fat Chicken Recipes

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 3, 2013

Healthy Low-Fat Chicken Recipes — by Catherine Morgan

Here are some great low-fat, low-calorie chicken recipes from Love the Diet…Lose the Fat.

Chicken Salad Wrap

chicken salad wrap

Calories per serving:  180

Fat:  4g

Sugar:  4g

Protein:  27g

What you need…

4 ounces cooked chicken (cubed)

¼ cup baby spinach

2 tablespoons tomatoes (cubed)

2 tablespoons frozen peas

1 tablespoon light ranch salad dressing

What to do…

Combine chicken, spinach, tomatoes, peas and dressing.  Wrap in a whole-wheat tortilla.  Enjoy.

*Change it up and try kale instead of spinach.  Kale is an excellent source of antioxidants.

Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli

Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli

Calories per serving:  285

Fat:  8g

Sugar:  6g

Protein:  40g

What you will need…

4 ounces chicken breast

1.5 cups steamed broccoli

½ cup low fat cheddar cheese

¼ cup water

What to do…

Just chop your already fully cooked chicken breast into cubes and place in small sauce-pan.  Add steamed broccoli, cheddar cheese and water.  Heat on medium-low until warm, and serve.

You can also add spinach and other vegetables you enjoy.

*I like to boil my chicken in sodium free chicken broth until it is fully cooked.  When you do this, you keep a few pieced in your refrigerator for use with both cold and hot chicken recipes.

Posted in blogging, cooking, dieting, food, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, healthy living, nutrition, recipes, weight loss | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Healthy Low-Fat Chicken Recipes

Eating Healthy in Three Easy Steps

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 25, 2008

Top Three Tips For Eating Healthy — by Catherine Morgan

I am a firm believer that the number one thing any of us can do to promote good health…Is to eat a healthy, well balanced diet. Regardless of your weight (even if you are thin or at an ideal weight), it’s important that we all try to eat healthy. Unfortunately, that is sometimes the hardest thing for many of us to do.

It can be overwhelming for someone with “questionable” eating habits to make the changes necessary for good health. But, it’s also the best thing you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and chronic illness. So, what can we do? Well, I recommend you take it slow, and not put too much pressure on yourself.

Don’t decide today to make radical changes in your eating habits. If you do that you are setting yourself up for failure. Instead, let’s look at what I believe are the top three changes you can make that won’t be hard for you to stick to. Once you have conquered these three things, you will become empowered to continue taking a step at a time toward healthier eating habits and a healthier life. So, let’s give it a try.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in cooking, dieting, empowerment, food, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, healthy living, life, lose weight, nutrition, thoughts, weight loss, women | Tagged: , , , , | 11 Comments »

BlogHer Health and Wellness Roundup

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 15, 2008

BlogHer

BlogHer Health & Wellness Blog Roundup — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

Tonight I am surfing the BlogHer Health and Wellness Blogroll. So many great blogs, I wish I could tell you about every one…But you could always do a little surfing yourself.

So, in no particular order, here are eleven blogs that are new to me.

Delicious Wisdom

Delicious Wisdom was created by a person who wants to help you get processed food out of your diet. And,because it brings about such good things, keep it out of her own.

About Nicole…

Nicole deVries, HHC is a natural foods chef, non-practicing artist and certified Holistic Health Counselor. After eating this way–with the more than occasional cookie or Waffle House break–for over a decade, she’s figured out how to turn basically any unhealthy, processed food recipe into a whole food one. Follow along and you’ll be able to do it too.

Eat, Pray, Run

The title of this blog is inspired by the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Eat, Pray, Love is Gilbert’s story of how she found contentment during her journey across Italy, India and, Indonesia.

This blog is my first Elizabeth Gilbert-esque step toward discovering, and rediscovering, myself — someone who I seemed to have lost touch with a bit somewhere along the way. Join me in discussions about health and nutrition, inspiration, fitness and, of course, good food to eat!

Mirror Image – Healing The World From The Inside Out…

What’s wrong with the world is what’s wrong with me. That’s why “there are no accidents” and “everything happens for a reason.” Instead of judging external problems, it’s my job to see them as a reflection of the internal me, and act accordingly.

Family In Shape

Are you looking for new ways to get your family in shape? This blog is to inspire families, like yours, with ideas that will get you on the right path to a healthier lifestyle. I am a military spouse and busy mom of four and a Certified Group and Personal Fitness Trainer, but you can call me Spin Diva. Finding the time to exercise, energize and revitalize is not easy, but we can do it together. I am passionate about teaching others how to reach their fitness goals and bring the kids along with them.

Get on board and spin along with me. Turn your wheels my way again soon and see what new ideas are cycling through this site!

We Are One World Healing

To help individual heal their own immediate world first, this blog covers alternative health therapies, such as aromatherapy, chakra balancing, crystals, healing energy, reiki, wicca, etc; spiritual topics, inspirational healing stories and healing ‘how to’s.

Nicole’s Weight Watchers Journey

Join me as I get healthy, lose weight, overcome depression, nurture my family, open my mind and generally try to do my part to make the world a better place.

Weight 1 Day – Fabulous @ 50

Sharing my story of weight loss, and gain, and loss… as I work my way through a 200 lb weight loss on my way to becoming and fabulous at 50.

Taking Care of Ourselves – A Small Person;s Guide To Self Defense…

We can take care of ourselves. Self defense isn’t limited to those with the talent and fortitude for mastering the martial arts, nor is it the sole domain of certified “tough guys.” Anyone can learn the basic skills of self protection.

And while learning a few strikes or blocks can be useful, self defense rarely requires a fight. By paying attention and trusting their instincts, most people can protect themselves without punching someone out.

This blog challenges the myths that leave far too many people scared and helpless and provides information to those interested in practical self defense.

Non-Toxic Kids – Helping Your Kids Stay Safe, Healthy, and Smart…

Americans make the assumption that all products on our store shelves have been tested by someone, somewhere. Well, obviously in light of the recent recalls, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. We here at Non-Toxic kids are researching products, data and information that will help you make your consumer choices healthier for your kids, families, and our environment. From sippy cups and baby bottles, to baby carriers and sleepers, we will give you a summary of an issue or concern, product reviews and recommendations, and where to go for further information. From my family to yours, in good health.

The Body Chronic

Life, love and laughter with insulin resistance, PCOS, pelvic floor dysfunction and everything else my body cooks up. Daily inspiration and new insights.

Autismville

I’m the happily-married, forty-something, retired CPA/mom of one drama-queen/second-grader and a preschooler with autism. I write a blog for Parents.com about parenting a child with autism. The view here in Autismville is guaranteed to refocus your perspective in ways you never imagined. Stop by and take a peek.

Thanks for taking this stroll down the Health and Wellness Blogroll. Have a great weekend. 🙂

Posted in Blogroll, body image, Coaching, cooking, daily life, empowerment, goals, Happiness, Health & Wellness, metaphysical, nutrition, parenting, Positive Thinking, self help | 9 Comments »

Have A Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 22, 2007

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Posted in cooking, family, food, life, Thanksgiving, thoughts | Comments Off on Have A Happy Thanksgiving.

Dieting, Weight Loss, and Healthy Living. All kinds of links, for all kinds of dieting and nutritional needs.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 19, 2007

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I didn’t lose any additional weight this week…but don’t worry, I didn’t gain any either. Not much to report this week so I thought I would do something a little different. Here are some links to articles with tips, inspiration, facts, and links to other dieting sites. Some you may have seen before, some you may not have. I’ll be back with next weeks “dieting update” as usual.

Until then, here are some great weight loss blogs for you to check out.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, Blogroll, cooking, dieting, food, goals, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, healthy living, inspirational, life, lose weight, medical, nutrition, Positive Thinking, weight loss, women, women's health | 5 Comments »

Eat Healthy And Lose Weight — With The All-You-Can-Eat Diet Plan

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 15, 2007

Welcome to my kitchen
picture by © evaaase

 

THE-ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT DIET PLAN — by Catherine Morgan

You heard right. All you can eat. And it’s not a gimmick. How can that be? All you can eat diet? No diet is all you can eat? Well you are right, and wrong. No starvation or quick fix theme diet, is ever going to be an all you can eat diet. And we all know there is no pill or powder that allows you to eat anything you want and still lose weight. So, what exactly is an ALL YOU CAN EAT DIET?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Blogroll, change, cooking, dieting, food, health, healthy foods, healthy living, life, motivation, nutrition, women | 35 Comments »

 
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