Cool Snacks for Summer 

Try these easy, low-calorie snacks this summer to help cool off! They’re also great to serve at your next get-together.

Cool Recipes.

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Sneaky Salads

It may be surprising to some that salads are not always the healthiest option on the menu. Unfortunately, there is a misconception out there that just because it’s considered a “salad” it is low is calories and fat; however, that is not always the case. For example, salads topped with “crispy” chicken or shrimp are loaded with extra calories and fat. Additionally, salads with creamy dressings (ie. ranch, blue cheese) can be as much as 500 calories more than a salad with a more oil based dressing (balsamic vinaigrette, oil and vinegar).

Below is a link to some of the most unhealthy salads out there. However, if you find that one of your favorite salads has made the list, there are some strategies you can use to help make it a more healthful meal. For example, if you can’t do without that creamy dressing, make sure it’s on the side and dip your fork in it as you take a bite in order to decrease the amount you use. Also, ask for the meat to be grilled, instead of fried (ie. crispy). Lastly, if they have a smaller size available, try that. You may be surprised to find you are just as satisfied with the half portion.

The Worst Salads for Your Body – 12 Salads Worse than a Big Mac – Shape Magazine.

Quinoa (KEEN-wah)

More and more hype is surrounding quinoa, and it’s for a good reason. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a highly nutritious grain native to South Africa. It’s high in protein, iron and calcium, making it a great option for vegans and vegetarians. Another bonus, it’s gluten-free, making it safe for those with Celiac disease to consume!

Although quinoa is somewhat new to the grocery store scene, there is no reason to be intimidated. It’s very easy to prepare, and due to it’s neutral taste, it goes great with most any dish! Below is a quinoa “salad” I made the other night. It includes roasted vegetables (corn, red peppers and brussel sprouts) mixed with quinoa (available in most any grocery store next to the rice and pastas). Boxed quinoa usually takes about 10-15 minutes to prepare and you cook it the same way you would rice. Also, it’s very affordable!

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Try quinoa this week as a side dish or atop a fresh salad and see how you like it. It may become your new favorite food! For more information on this super food, visit http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442451737&terms=quinoa.

How to Lose Weight at Work 

If you work full-time, you are spending more than a quarter of your week at work; therefore, eating poorly while on the job can result in significant implications to your waistline and overall health. Unfortunately, many find it difficult to eat healthful while at work. Between the break room donuts and the pizza at that afternoon meeting, it’s no wonder why. Below are some great tips for sticking to your healthFUL lifestyle while working.

How to lose weight while chowing down at work – CBS News.

HealthFUL Dinner Idea

Although Mexican food has gotten a bad rep in terms of healthfulness, it is possible to have Mexican and still be healthful. Another bonus- it makes for an easy and affordable dinner for the family! Below is a picture of the dinner I prepared for my family the other night. All that was required:

20 oz Package ground turkey (lean ground beef would also work)

1/2 Chopped onion

1 Packet taco seasoning

1 Cup shredded light cheddar cheese

1 Cup low-fat sour cream

1 Cup salsa

1 Cup shredded lettuce

4 Whole grain tortillas or taco shells

Yield= 6 burritos

Brown the meat along with chopped onion. Add taco seasoning. Assemble the burrito or taco as desired and enjoy!

**Use this opportunity to increase your veggie intake! Include chopped bell peppers and/or carrots on the side for people to add to their dish. Another idea, use tortilla chips and make a taco salad!

Parmesan Kale Salad with Raisins

Try this healthful recipe for your next picnic or get-together! It’s a great source of fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and it also serves as a great way to be introduced to kale. Kale is a green that is packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, iron and potassium, while still being low in calories (only about 55 calories in 1 cup)! It only requires a few ingredients and no cooking is involved. Enjoy!

Eat. Drink. Smile. » Parmesan Kale Salad with Raisins.

Yo-Yo Dieting

The world of nutrition today is packed with fad diets (ie. cabbage soup diet, cookie diet, HCG diet, etc.). Often-times, individuals find they achieve quick weight-loss success with these diets due to their very low calorie limits. However, soon after stopping the diet, they return to their normal weight, and possibly then some, leaving them feeling frustrated and defeated. This cycle is called yo-yo dieting, and it can get the best of us. Although these diets may work quickly, they are not only dangerous, but that can be counterproductive in your weight-loss journey. Most fad diets out there achieve their low calorie restrictions by eliminating one or more food groups, which if followed long term, results in a multitude of nutritional definiciencies. Fortunately, many cannot follow these diets for more than a few weeks due to their severe restrictions; however, once stopped, individuals are left with a reduced metabolism and extreme hunger. This combination is never good when looking to lose weight, and it is often what causes quick weight gain after stopping a diet.

In order to lose weight successfully, research has found losing about 1-2 lbs/week is a good, realistic goal that allows for healthier, more long-term outcomes. Additionally, when losing weight it is important to still consume all of the food groups in the proper amounts. Any diet which eliminates a food group entirely can be very risky. Of course, it is always a good idea to consult a local dietitian when trying to lose weight, as they serve to provide reliable, evidence-based information as well as support you in your journey.

For further information on the risks of yo-yo dieting click here!