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10 Tips for Portion Control and Your Favorite Foods

10 Tips on Portion Control

Portion control is something that every American most likely struggles with. Why? Because every restaurant you have ever walked into since you were a kid has probably served you extremely oversized portions. Overeating has become a normal part of the S.A.D. or Standard American Diet; however, even  the healthiest people run the risk of over eating. Maybe not on kale and spinach, buton healthy foods like nuts, nut butter, avocado and protein.

A couple of months ago Cory and I were in L.A. and we wandered down to a very un-chic yet deliciously indulgent establishment. This restaurant had a bull you could ride for fun and live music so we took a seat outside and let the good times roll. I ordered a summer chopped kale salad with grilled chicken and a side of truffle mac and cheese; obviously the angel/devil debate was a total wash! Cory ordered pasta for his main course and when it arrived I literally almost fell off my chair. A normal size portion is 1/2 of a cup of pasta. Which is the size of your fist and almost always a european portion, and enough to fit a small bowl. Cory literally had a PLATTER of ziti the size of 2 1/2 dinner plates with sausage and cheese sauce in front of him. I could not believe my eyes! It was literally enough pasta to feed a small army, and NO, he was not running a marathon the next day.

 I wanted to share a few measurements today to help you on your portion control journey and offer a few tips from my friends over at Baptist Health South Florida.

 Natalie Castro, R.D., (pictured), chief Wellness dietitian for corporate wellness at Baptist Health South Florida offers her tips for portion control:

1. Use small plates: When serving yourself a meal or a snack, try using smaller plates.
2. Pick veggies: Load up on vegetables first. Reach for 1 cup or a large handful.
3. Measure protein: After the veggies, put protein on your plate. The amount of protein on your plate should equal the size of a deck of cards.

For more from Natalie, check out THIS POST !

Lucette Talamas, a registered dietitian, (pictured) with Community Heath at Baptist Health South Florida:

1. Downsize creamy dishes: Reduce your portions of high-calorie foods like creamy dishes, pastas, thick salad dressings, pizza, cheesy items, fried foods and desserts. Research shows that consumers eat less high-calorie foods when served a smaller portion.
2. Ask for to-go boxes: If eating out, share a meal or ask for a to-go box at the time you get your entrée. Before eating, pack your to-go box. Remember:  Even half a restaurant entrée can still be too much for one meal.
3. Use kiddie plates: If eating at home, stock your cabinets with smaller dishware to encourage smaller portions.  When serving food, consider using children’s tableware or a salad plate instead of the entrée plate.

For more from Lucette, check out THIS POST !

Tips for Portion Control

Over the next couple of weeks I challenge you to focus on your portions and measure them at every meal. You will most likely be surprised at what an actual portion of your favorite foods look like.

Lean Protein: 4-6 Ounces for a meal. 2-3 For a snack.

Oatmeal: 1/2 Cup

Starchy Vegetables (Squash): 1/2 Cup

Grains: 1/2 Cup

Popcorn: 3 Cups

Bream: 1 Slice

Hummus: 2 Tbsp

Beans: 1/2 Cup

Non-Dairy Milk: 1 Cup

Dairy Milk: 3/4 Cup

Cottage Cheese: 1/2 Cup

Yogurt: 3/4 Cup

Whole Eggs: 2

Egg Whites: 4

Berries 1 C

Banana 1 Small

Cheese 1 ounce

Oil and Dressing 2 tsp

Avocado 1/4

For more tips on portion control make sure to head on over to Baptist Health South Florida.


***This has been a sponsored conversation brought to you by Baptist Health South Florida.

 

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet


I have a love/hate relationship with food and protein bars.  On the upside, protein bars are a convenient way to have an on-the-go snack that is packed with a satisfying amount of protein and fiber to keep your blood sugar stable and keep you full between meals. You can even find certain food protein bars that act as meal replacements; however, you need to be careful as many food bars moonlight as nutritious when in actuality the amount of added sugar and preservatives is comparable to a candy bar.

The ingredient list on any packaged food is actually more important than the actual nutrition label itself. You see, when consuming packaged items the ingredients are listed from highest quantities to lowest. For example, most granola bars that we find in the grocery store like: Nature’s Valley, Power Bars and even the beloved Quest Bars all have high amounts of sugar and preservatives. For example, a typical granola bar should have granola or oats listed first. If you are buying granola bars with high-fructose corn syrup in the first, second or third spot or there are tons of ingredients you cannot even pronounce JUST WALK AWAY. I repeat JUST WALK AWAY. There are tons of health bar options that I love and I am here to share my favorites. Most of these bars cost more than your average bar, but the quality ingredients are well worth it!

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet Primal Kitchen

Primal PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Chocolate Almond

Like all PRIMAL KITCHEN™ products, there are no artificial ingredients in these Dark Chocolate Almond Bars. Just: Almonds, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Grass-Fed Collagen, Isomalto-Oligosaccharides (Cassava Root), Water, Coconut Flakes, Honey, Natural Flavors, Coconut Oil, Bitter Chocolate, Cocoa Powder, Himalayan Pink Salt, Monk Fruit Extract, Tocopherols (Vitamin E).

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet Strong and Kind

STRONG & KIND

Sweet KIND bars are yummy, but can be high in added sugar and preservatives. The newish Strong & Kind line pack a whopping 10g of protein and only 5g of sugar. These bars are chock full of healthy spices and are a yummy alternative to their sweeter counterparts. They get their protein from nuts and pea protein and are a good pre or post workout snack.

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet SHANTI Bar

SHANTI BAR

Organic Energy Bars are 100% USDA Organic Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified, Paleo Certified, Paleo Vegan Certified, Kosher Certified, Gluten Free, RAW, Vegan and are made with only real ingredients like celtic sea salt, coconut, maca, goji berries, hemp, spirulina and more! Each bar houses at least 7g of plant-based protein and what you see is what you get.

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet RX Bar

RxBar

The “Real Food Protein Bar”. RxBar is list the ingredients on the front of every bar. The last ingredients being: No B.S. Just the way I like it! These bars are quit chewy, but are great for a pre-workout and come in a variety of flavors! The blueberry is my fav!

Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Bars

I love all of the Health Warrior Bars, but the ingredient list in the Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Bars are short, sweet and to the point!

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet GO MACRO

GOMacro Bars

Are certified organic, NON GMO, Certified RAW, Vegan and gluten free. I believe GoMacro bars are great for pre-workout purposes because they do use brown rice syrup which is sugar substitute derived from brown rice. It will elevate blood sugar levels so eating one about 45 minute to one hour before your workout will give you the resources needed to fuel your next workout.

 

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet LARA BARS

LÄRABar

LÄRABar is known as the the original fruit and nut bar. I absolutely love the apple and cherry pie flavors. They are great for curbing a sweet tooth and are made simply of dates, fruit and nuts.

 

 

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet Perfect Bars

Perfect Bar

Perfect Bar is has the best name because in my opinion this bar is literally PERFECT! I am addicted to the Peanut Butter and limited release Pumpkin Pie bars. They have a blend of 20 expertly hidden superfoods and complex carbohydrates that will fuel even the most intense workouts. Peanut Butter Perfect Bars pack a whopping 17g of protein are are a great way to recover and restore glycogen burned during a grueling workout. You can find a variety pack of 12 bars at Costco for $19.99.

If there is a bar you love, but is not listed here send me note in the comments below!

 

Forward Food: A Plant Based Approach With Baptist Health South Florida

***This Forward Food conversation is presented by Baptist Health South Florida. As always all opinions are my own.

Forward Food Check Wanda White

Forward Food Check Wanda White

Forward Food Baptist Health South Florida

The concept of Forward Food is helping grow a healthier, more sustainable food system that eventually we as a community can help bring food forward.

Did you know that if you swapped three meals per week to a plant-based breakfast, lunch or dinner you would save you and your family $1,500 dollars per year? Over the course of your lifetime that is some serious coin! Last week, Baptist Health South Florida held a plant-based chefs training to encourage plant based cooking within their hospitals. When I was first introduced to the Baptist Health South Florida team at the Grow2Heal garden I was so impressed about the way they spoke about their health system. Their main goal is actually to offer programs that keep patients out of hospital beds; which is why education is a key component in their process.

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Eating Organic: The Clean 15 vs. The Dirty Dozen

Let’s face it, eating healthy in today’s society takes work. Eating an apple or potato today is not the same as it was when our grandparents sat down at their dinner tables. GMO’s and pesticides have become the new norm and food shopping can be more like navigating a jungle than a walk in the park. Organic produce is not sprayed with with pesticides or grown with genetically modified seeds. Organic foods are foods that are grown to comply with the organic standards of farming and restrict the use of certain pesticides or fertilizers. Pesticide induced diseases include: certain cancers, autism, Alzhaimer’s, endocrine disruption, fertility issues, asthma, allergies, diabetes and more! Crazy, I know.

I a not writing today’s post to scare you, but more to sprinkle some knowledge upon you to help you navigate this difficult landscape and help you decide what items to purchase organically. A good rule of thumb for me when food shopping is that if I am going to eat the skin I always buy organic. Greens, no question! I learned my lesson in non-organic greens last year when I was in a bind. I opened the bag, washed and prepared my salad, only to take a bite and it literally tasted like cleaning fluid!  Although organic may be better for you it can also be quite expensive; however, if you shop with the seasons, take advantage of weekend farmers markets and go to stores like ALDI and Trader Joe’s you may be surprised to find affordable organically grown options. Produce that is grown organically is always going to be a better option for you. So today, I am sharing what is known as the “CLEAN 15” and “THE DIRTY DOZEN”.

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Hydration Station: How Much Water Do You Really Need?

This hydration conversation has been sponsored by Baptist Health South Florida. As always, all opinions are my own.

Hydration_How Much Water Do You Need

Summer is still in full swing here in South Florida and since I have been on the road for two weeks I almost completely forgot what true humidity was until I walked out of the American Airlines terminal on Tuesday evening. As the doors whizzed open I was immediately engulfed by the warm, moisture filled Miami air. Everyone is New York was complaining last week about how hot and humid it was, and honestly, I cannot believe I used to be one of them! Living in South Florida, has taught me a little something about the two H’s: humidity and hydration.

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Collagen Peptides by Vital Proteins

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

You may have been hearing all about collagen lately from TV to magazines to your favorite blogs. I started using collagen protein peptides about a year ago when to “upgrade” my coffee with coconut oil, butter and collagen. I have kicked the butter to the curb a little while ago as I do not follow a strict Ketosis diet; however; Vital Proteins collagen peptides and powders are  here to stay. In my coffee I combine collagen peptides, coconut milk creamer, MCT oil and cinnamon into my Nutribullet to whip  up into a protein packed, gut-healing energy drink to start every day.

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides are sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides to ensure a natural, high quality, and sustainable source of this ancient nutrient. Vital proteins collagen peptides are flavorless, odorless, can be used in cooking, baking and can be dissolved in cold or hot temperatures. Throughout the next few months I will show you you how I incorporate the peptides into everything from soups to donuts (Yes, donuts!) and like I said before…C-O-F-F-E-E!

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

So what are the benefits?

 1-Collagen Peptides improve hair, skin, nails, joints, tendons and ligaments. If you are above the age of thirty the odds of you experiencing tendon, ligament or joint related pain is very high. I struggle with tendonitis and after using collagen peptides consistently my flair ups have been reduced dramatically.

2-It is bioavailable, which means it, is available for absorption into the body immediately.

3-As stated above Vital Protein collagen peptides actually dissolve in hot or cold liquids for use in almost any of your kitchen creations. Vital Proteins also offers collagen “beauty water”, bone brothwhey protein, beauty greens , marine collagen and on-the-go packs to make consistency convenient.

 Vital Proteins collagen peptides yield only 70 calories per serving and offer a whopping 18 grams of protein. Which is what I have been adding to my for a quick and easily post-workout pick-me-up.Over the next few months I will be sharing my favorite recipes using the collagen peptides, bone broth and marine collagen.

Flexible Meal Planning: My Week in Food

Strict meal plans work for some people and others like flexibility! I LOVE flexibility and a flexible meal planning is the only way find balance in my hectic life. I love to cook. I know what works for my body and I love offering my clients new recipes and ways to “un-diet”.  My goal through this blog and my health coaching is to help men and women create lifestyles that are abundant in nutrient dense foods like complex carbohydrates, whole grains, healthy fats and more greens than you could ever ask for! And YES, complex carbs and healthy fats have been clinically proven to aid in weight loss and a healthy well rounded diet. Carbohydrates are NOT the enemy; however, processed carbohydrates are.

 My style of coaching is a guided discovery approach to weight loss which is why I feel a flexible meal planning is a great way to stay on track while feeling completely in control of what you consume. The number on the scale should not be a major focus, but with a lifestyle overhaul and a focus on healthy eating, weight loss will simply be a bi-product of a healthier lifestyle! [HOW BOUT DAT?!]  When you feel good on the inside I guarantee you will glow on the outside.

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Baptist Health South Florida “MeLaβ” at the Frost Science Museum

Last week I had the honor to spend some time with Baptist Health South Florida at the grand opening of the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami! The Frost Science Museum is located a hop, skip and a jump away from the American Airlines Arena and Bayside Marketplace and is the perfect place to spend an educational and super fun weekend with your family. The museum boasts a planetarium, aquarium, a space exhibit, a seeing exhibit and of course The MeLaβ brought to you by Baptist Health South Florida.

I was so excited to spend an afternoon at the museum and learn all about eggplants at “Veggie Phobia” where we learned tons of fun facts about eggplants and made the most delicious eggplant dip known as Baba ghanoush. Wow! It was one of the best  I have ever tasted and here is the full recipe!

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Inflammation Fighting Foods

Inflammation has been a very  hot topic of discussion this year. If you struggle with gas, bloating and constipation  you are most likely dealing with inflammation of the digestive tract. Inflammation i caused by a variety of processed foods we consume such as: sugar, processed carbohydrates like pizza and white pasta, vegetable oil, processed meats and grain fed meat. The Standard American Diet otherwise known as S.A.D. (Ironic right? I think not.) is full of processed foods that can lead to inflammation, allergies, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. All of which are plaguing our country today.

The good news is that if you struggle with any of the above issues you can actually tackle your inflammatory issues with antioxidant rich foods such as: leafy greens, berries, tomatoes, nuts and seeds, olive oil and fatty fish. This article from Baptist Health South Florida states that it is best to get your nutrients from the natural source, food, rather than supplements. “The reason is that supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, so their potency levels can’t really be trusted.”

Here is a short meal plan to help fight inflammation:

Morning Detox Drink: 8 oz water, 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar,  juice of one lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper.

Breakfast: 2 egg whites plus one yolk scrambled with spinach, onions and tomatoes.

Lunch: Quinoa grain bowl with avocado, grilled chicken, greens, red onion, 1 oz. feta cheese and slivered almonds topped with a drizzle of olive oil, red w one vinegar and oregano.

Dinner: Macro platter with 4-6 oz. salmon, asparagus and 1/2 sweet potato.

Dessert: 1 C Berries with coconut whipped topping.

For more advice on inflammation fighting foods check out this post from my friends over at Baptist Health South Florida.

 

6 Ways to Get Your Man to Eat Healthy Without Him Knowing

My husband is an Ohio guy through and through. He loves meat and potatoes and has little to no concept of portion control. If you would have told me four years ago  last year that he would be eating quinoa, kale and black bean burgers I would have thought you were N-U-T-S. These days, he still likes to indulge, but he is  more dedicated to his health and wellness than ever before and I could not be more proud!

Today, I have six tips to help get your man living a healthier lifestyle…Without him really knowing it.

Pre-Make a Healthy Breakfast or Keep a Fruit Bowl Front and Center: I love making overnight oats or breakfast burritos that Cory can warm up or eat on-the-go. If he has healthy options available to him first thing in the morning he is more likely to make healthier decisions throughout the day.

Lighten Up his Favorites: Does he like fried buffalo wings? Yea mine too! Opt for lighter options that still have the same flair. For example: Grill a chicken breast, slather it in buffalo sauce and top it with diced celery, red onion and a sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles.

Just Add Bacon: Think salty, sweet, creamy, crunchy and savory when you create a dish and your man will never be dissappointed!  If I am making a kale salad with avocado, mango, red, onion, quinoa and pumpkin seeds; a sprinkle of bacon takes this salad from good to great with the added salty crunch! If you tell your man it has bacon in it. I guarantee they will go back for more.

Send Him Articles Here and There: I could not get Cory to even think of quitting soda for the longest time. I would explain how bad it was for him and how diet soda was even worse for his body. He was addicted and I had to give up! That was until he read an article in the Wall Street Journal about the health hazards of soda. he quit cold turkey that day! Let’s face it. Some of the stuff we say is fluff, but if there is hard evidence from a publication he knows and loves. There is no more denying it!

Take Him to Your Favorite Local Healthy Spot: Miami Squeeze is a local dive juice and health food spot here in North Miami. I love going there during the week for a veggie wrap, grain bowl or a ginger shot. Cory used to come with me reluctantly and order the only unhealthy thing on the menu….a chicken or tuna melt. Now, he gets a large ginger shot and a vegetarian platter or Wrap Me Wrap (a mediterranean wrap). The waiter even knew his order yesterday before he said it! He now goes there right after the gym and is making healthier choices every day! (I am one proud wifey)

Positive Reinforcement: It may sound silly, but telling your man you appreciate them making an effort or that they look  “hot” when they drop a few lbs. really helps makes all the difference!  We feel good when they tell us we are beautiful; so why not place the shoe on the other foot?!

If you have any more tips to add make sure to write them below!