* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA. Values obtained by entering them in myfitnesspal.com
A side note on the lemon juice & strawberries
A recent study from Pickwise revealed that the average American consumes up to 8,083 calories watching the Super Bowl (See Article).
Some people are even using the day to compete in the 20,000 calorie day challenge. Here’s one such video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOop2bLiSFw
In an effort to stay healthy but still have tasty food for the Superbowl, I will share some healthy alternatives to the standard wings, pizza, chili, chips and dip, and the list goes on. Each day until the Superbowl, I’ll add another. So, check back here each day.
Recipe #7 "Whiskey" Sour
I am super excited to share this recipe and normally I wouldn't say that about alcoholic drinks given their empty calories and other negative impacts, but guess what? This one is a non-alcoholic "mocktail." It's a whiskey alternative drink that tastes very much like whiskey and is only 10 calories!
Wouldn't it be great to have a few drinks and not have to worry about the drive home or how you'll feel the next morning, especially when the next day is a workday? Give this one a shot. This recipe comes from the maker of this particular whiskey alternative called Ritual Zero Proof
If you decide to have the real thing during the Superbowl, please drink responsibly.
Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and shake until frothy. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon slice or wedge, if desired.
*If you don't want the egg white, you can substitute with one ounce of chickpea juice--also known as aquafaba
Recipe #6 Apricot-Glazed Chicken and Corn
For those of you that love a good bucket of fried chicken during the game, try this instead. This tasty chicken dish only takes 30 minutes to make and it's sweet and spicy goodness will quickly make it a family favorite. This recipe is brought to you by womansday.com.
PER SERVING 500 calories, 19 g fat (5 g saturated), 51 g protein, 310 mg sodium, 33 g carb, 2 g fiber
Recipe #5 Greek Pita Cups
Calories: 218 Fat 12g Saturated Fat 2g Sodium 403mg Carbs 21g Fiber 4g Protein 7g
Recipe #4 Sweet Potato Nachos
Nothing needs to be said about nachos. They are NACHOS. Nachos are so good. Just thinking about them makes you want some, right? NACHOS! All that cheesy, meaty, crunchy goodness. Oh wait, cheesy equals saturated fat, meaty equals saturated fat, crunchy equals saturated fat and carbs. So, maybe they're not so good after all. Maybe they are the gateway food to heart disease. Don't be sad. There's an alternative. Sweet Potato Nachos. If you're worried about heart disease at all, rest a little easier, this recipe comes from the American Heart Association. Enjoy!
Recipe #3 Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
Would you rather have chicken nuggets made out of who knows what parts of the chicken dipped in flour and deep fried in oil, or would you rather have homemade, chicken breast pieces breaded in italian bread and panko bread crumbs cooked without all that oil? If you choose the obvious, homemade version, it's another great idea for Superbowl food. This recipe comes from skinnytaste.com
Recipe #2 Air Fryer Bacon-Burger Bites
Recipe #1 - Broccomole
As a kid, having a nice warm bowl of oatmeal on a cold day was such a nice comforting way to start the day. This wasn't your ordinary oatmeal that you pour out of the packet, mix with some water and heat up in the microwave. This was the kind of oatmeal that your mom made over the stove. It took twenty minutes to cook if I remember correctly and it had no flavoring, other than the warm goodness nature and my mom gave it. Of course I would pour sugar on it because, well, I was a kid.
The health benefits of oatmeal are plentiful. Oats are a good source of whole grains, containing a starch called beta-glucan that is known to protect the heart and help lower cholesterol. They have plenty of fiber which can prevent hunger and improve digestion.
The toppings for oatmeal can either improve upon the health benefits are lessen them. I saw one recipe lately that called for peanut butter and jelly. While that sounds tasty, it adds a lot of fat and sugar to your day. So, stick with additives like whole fruit, chia seeds, non fat yogurt and nuts.
What's the difference between the packets of oatmeal and the slow cook stovetop oatmeal? They're both oatmeal so they must both be good, right? I don't like to tell people what they should eat. Instead, let me share some facts and let you decide. The oats in the packets are instant and heavily processed for longer usage. The rolled oats usually used in stovetop oats are more raw in nature. They both have similar nutritional profiles. The instant oats take less time to cook because they have been pre-cooked, dried, and then rolled and pressed slightly thinner than rolled oats.
Let's take it one step further. Take the rolled oats and don't cook them at all. That' right. There's a growing health trend regarding this breakfast cereal. It involves soaking them overnight and eating them uncooked. By soaking them overnight, they soften and absorb the liquid so that you can get the full benefits of all those nutrients because they are not cooked away. Some believe this is a much healthier way to go. Personally, I like it because I can still get my rolled oats without taking all that time over the stove. If you prepare some servings (they can usually last up to four days in the fridge) and have them ready, it can be as easy as grabbing a spoon.
With overnight oats, you are able to increase their health benefits by adding things like skim milk, non fat greek yogurt, and chia seeds to the soaking process. Just like regular oatmeal, you can make or break the health benefits with the toppings.
I found this easy recipe for overnight oats on www.feelgoodfoodie.net and tweaked it a bit for my liking:
In a mason jar or glass container (with a lid) add the following:
Nutrition: 333 calories, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 16 g protein, 9 g fiber, 53 g carbs, 457 mg potassium, 78 mg sodium, 6 mg cholesterol
Have you ever felt like reaching in the fridge for a snack only there was nothing there ready to eat? Maybe you're in a time crunch or maybe you just don't feel like rinsing and cutting up the fruit or vegetables. When that happens, what do you grab? Do you grab that old slice of cake or some cookies or chips because all of those things are easier? There's one easy way to fix that behavior.
You could be super ambitious and prep snacks and meals for the week but if you are new to food prep, it's best to start slowly. Otherwise, the task could be overwhelming. Living a more nutritious life is not a diet and it shouldn't be hard work. It is a change of lifestyle. Eventually, eating nutritiously becomes habit. Until then, give yourself as many "wins" as possible, even if they are small. Nothing says VICTORY better than needing a snack, going to your fridge and grabbing some of your favorite fruit and simply eating it, with no work. It's satisfying and you can feel great about it because you made a great choice. YAY YOU!
If you go to a restaurant, maybe going to a tapas place is best since they have small plates with smaller quantities, right? Well, maybe. Last night, I went to eat with my husband and cousin to a new tapas restaurant at Jacksonville Beach. It's called The G.O.A.T. Tapas and Bar and it was delicious. However, this is not a restaurant review. It is more of a menu analysis for people who need to eat healthy. Pictured below is our menu for the evening. Let's go through the dining experience step by step and see if there were better choices,
Drinks: The server came and asked what we wanted to drink. I chose a bottle of sparkling water. No need to waste any of the calories I've been saving for dinner on drinks. Was this a good decision? Definitely!
From the garden: There were six choices here. We chose the potatoes (sliced potato fingerlings fried with paprika and garlic aioli sauce on the side). They were tasty but knowing fried potatoes are full of fat, I chose to only eat two pieces without the sauce. The guys I was with had no problem finishing it up. I focused mostly on the next garden choice, the crispy brussel sprout salad. The brussel sprouts were cooked perfectly with soft centers and crispy outsides. I ate almost the whole thing and then I realized that the Nuoc Mam sauce (Vietnamese fish sauce) the brussel sprouts were coated in was probably loaded with salt. Sure, enough, when I looked it up, the sauce has about 1500mg of sodium per tablespoon. The third thing we got from the garden was a pair of mushroom and corn empanadas. They were super tasty, and my favorite dish of the night, but again, fried. I only ate half of one. Were these good decisions? No they weren't.
From the sea: The choices here were crispy whole fish, a couple of shrimp dishes, one mussel dish and one octopus dish. Nothing in this section really screamed out to me so the guys chose the octopus and ate it. Was this a good decision? Yes. Don't eat something just for the sake of eating.
From the land and air: There were seven choices here: chicken liver mousse, Wahoo tartar, charred quail, a short rib, hanger steak, grilled chicken and pork belly. We chose the Short rib and the grilled chicken. The rib looked amazing sitting in that sauce and I was told it was. However, I knew a healthier choice was coming, grilled chicken, so I waited. The chicken came out and it was good and had a smoked paprika sauce on the side. Was this a good decision? Yes, a lean protein with just a dab of the sauce was enough to satisfy.
We all chose to forego the meat and cheese appetizer place full of saturated fat and processed meats. We also did not get a dessert. So those were definitely good choices.
All in all, I was able to manage fairly well (except for the sodium levels) so my choices were okay. Would I have been able to eat more with better choices? Definitely. I did not leave hungry though. Would I recommend a tapas restaurant to someone who is new to trying to eat healthy? No. It's much easier to manage what you're eating in an environment that gives you the necessary nutrition information before you eat. Otherwise, you get hit with surprises. Still, going out to eat isn't always about the food. Sometimes it's about just getting out with people and being happy. Overall health is both physical and mental. So, if you find yourself in a situation that might put you in a panic over the menu, just take a deep breath, do the best you can with the food, and enjoy your night with good people.
Sodium is not all bad and if your doctor does not have you on a sodium restricted diet, then it is okay to consume it. With most things, moderation is the key. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines which states that foods high in sodium should be limited and that the average American should have less than 2300 mg per day, even less for those under the age of 14.(1) According to the CDC, most Americans consume over 3400 mg per day. (2)
Sodium is an important mineral. It helps maintain the balance of water in your cells and is important for muscle and nerve function. It also helps maintain blood pressure levels (3). Too much sodium, however, can cause high blood pressure leading to heart disease and strokes (4). Healthline refers to a number of studies that show too much sodium is associated with stomach cancer. It also points out that short term effects include swelling due to the body's need to maintain a water/sodium balance. The more sodium you have, the more your body retains water and the swelling occurs, usually starting in the hands and feet. (5) I've noticed that when I have too much sodium, my rings become tight.
All in all, your diet is up to you. Is it going to kill you to eat that tasty salt-filled meal from that restaurant tempting you to "Savor the Spice of Life?" Probably not today. If you decide to start that day off with a salty breakfast (biscuits and sausage gravy for example), then have a sub filled with deli meats and cheese for lunch, and then go to the restaurant, well then, that's probably not going to kill you either, this once. If you choose to eat like this everyday, that's a different story. It's about your lifestyle, your overall diet, and moderation. For me, living with a low sodium diet was really hard at first. I never realized how much it was part of my everyday food or how much I liked it. Now, it's not as hard and it can be just as tasty.
If you want help with meal planning and overall nutrition, let me help. I truly believe that a Nutritious Life is a Pleasant Life. If you are thinking of choosing a more healthy lifestyle, please know that you do not have to be on that journey alone.
Homemade Tomato Soup
The anthocyanins from these beautiful purple hues help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer (breast, colon and esophageal just to name a few), and obesity. It also serves as an antimicrobial and helps promote visual health (3). Eating it raw has the best benefit since the heating process can decrease the nutrient levels (4).
(1) WordReference.com Dictionary of English. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
5/2/2021 0 Comments
Many look at these numbers and this picture and think it's time to head to the drive-thru for a juicy double quarter pounder with cheese. After all, it's within the RDI for the day. However, other items come into play when looking at overall nutrition. Eating the RIGHT types of fat, carbohydrates and proteins helps promote a healthy lifestyle and reduced risk of many diseases that could lead to a shortened lifespan. So, when choosing fats, stay away from saturated fats, trans fats, and high cholesterol. When choosing proteins, keep them lean, and when choosing carbs, stick with high fiber, low sugar foods. This burger has 20 grams of saturated fat, 2.5 grams of trans fat and 186 milligrams of cholesterol. It only has 2 grams of fiber and 10 grams of sugar. Hopefully, these numbers make you rethink the drive-thru.
Marie, Boyle. Personal Nutrition. 10th ed., Cengage, 2019.
Lisa Pleasants is a Nutrition Consultant certified by the American Fitness Professionals & Associates. Nutrition is her passion and the articles you find here are just some tips on achieving better nutrition.