As some of us already know, pregnancy can wreak havoc on a woman’s figure. 27 year old Sasha Connor experienced just that 2 years ago with the birth of her second child Daniel, a short 2 years after giving birth to her first born son Ivan.
Having always been a curvy girl who enjoyed swimming and playing tennis to stay fit, Sasha added 16 kilos to her 64 kilo frame while pregnant with Ivan. She was able to lose 7 kilos after giving birth but struggled with the remaining 9 kilos. Her busy first year of motherhood flew by and before she knew it, Sasha was pregnant with her second child. “During my first pregnancy, I had this common misconception that I had to eat for 2 and of course gave in to all my cravings. For my second pregnancy I tried to eat healthier, but it didn’t help that I was still carrying around the baby weight from my first pregnancy.” Sasha gained an additional 15 kilos while pregnant with Daniel. Her previously hourglass figure had transformed into an apple shape, with the weight accumulating around her midsection.
6 months after giving birth to Daniel, and having had not much luck losing weight with her usual tennis and swimming routine, Sasha decided to visit BodySmart with a friend to have a complimentary trial and consultation. Her HYPOXI coach recommended a combination of HYPOXI, Vacunaut & LPG Lipomassage treatments to target the fat burning around her mid section. During her Vacunaut sessions, she wore an airtight neoprene suit similar to a scuba diving outfit while walking on a treadmill at a moderate pace, keeping within her fat burning maximum heart rate zone. The gentle vacuum and compression of the suit increased the circulation and blood flow to her problem areas, which in return burned 80% of her fat around her mid section. The LPG treatments, conducted by a highly trained LPG coach, complimented the HYPOXI sessions by using specialized rollers and a vacuum to manually stimulating the fat deposits, resulting in the break down and reduction of fat around her stomach, waist and arms. Her HYPOXI coach also helped her change her eating habits which was an important factor in her weight-loss journey. Sasha managed to cut out all sugar and switched to a balanced diet high in lean protein, vegetables,, fruit and whole grains.
To date, Sasha has lost 15.6 kilos and a total of 65.6 centimeters from her waist, stomach and hip area. She has more energy to chase after the little ones and has reshaped her body to a beautiful hourglass figure.
Ramadan is an excellent opportunity to shed some extra pounds. You are already resetting your metabolism by the protracted, long overnight fast, as well as the daily fasting. Your metabolism resets and your body begins to change the way it does things.
Weight loss during the first few days is just dehydration. It may be exciting to see that you lost 2-3 pounds in the first day or two, but that’s all water loss and dehydration. No human can lose 2 pounds of fat overnight. It’s just water. But it’s still exciting!
So how can we maximize weight loss during Ramadan?
The most important factor is to avoid gorging or “binge eating” at night. We have found that gorging once a day is the fastest way to gain weight. Your body thinks it’s in a state of famine, and will store everything you eat as fat, because it is worried about food supply. Further, eating once a day scares your body and your body starts to shut down and slow down your metabolism. You don’t want to slow down your metabolism or you will gain weight.
Eating small meals throughout the evening and morning (after sunset) is the best way to maintain an adequate metabolism level and avoid the highs and lows of blood sugar associated with eating one massive meal. After eating a large meal, our blood sugar level increases. In response to this, our pancreas secretes a ton of insulin to bring the levels back down. That extra sugar is stored as fat. That is very bad. We want to eat small, well proportioned meals and snacks throughout the evening to avoid the sudden rise in blood sugar. We want to maintain an even and balanced level of blood sugar. Certain foods raise blood sugar levels more than others, and we will discuss that thoroughly.
Why do I feel hungry?
A lot of people ask why they don’t feel hungry throughout the day if they skip Suhoor (breakfast meal before dawn), but are starving by 9AM if they eat Suhoor. It all comes down to blood sugar levels.
Eating a massive meal in the early morning hours (before dawn) leads to a large surge in blood sugar and a subsequent secretion of a lot of insulin to help bring down your sugar level. In about 2-3 hours your blood sugar levels will drop to lower than normal, and this triggers a hunger response. By 9AM you will feel like you are starving. And you have the whole day left. By noon that feeling will go away, but why do you want to do that to yourself? You can avoid that problem by eating the right things throughout the evening and early morning and you can avoid this feeling of hunger. Later on I will discuss what you can eat to minimize the hunger response.
To fulfill the religious recommendation of Suhoor (not obligation), just wake up and drink some water. Water has no consequences in terms of blood sugar levels. You could also just skip it altogether and continue the overnight fast into the day, you are already living off your fat stores, and can continue to do so throughout the day. You won’t feel hungry. Overnight, your liver makes sugar for you to live off of, but can only do so for a limited period of time. If you continue this overnight fast into the day, you can start living off your fat stores. Isn’t that the best way to lose weight? By burning fat?
So what can you eat?
What we are talking about is “Glycemic Index”. This is a measurement of your blood sugar response to certain foods. For example, consuming 50 grams of pure white sugar, has a glycemic index of 111. That’s really high. The idea is to eat foods that don’t raise your blood sugar level. This will keep you from feeling hungry and will fill you up with very healthy food choices.
Vegetables like celery, lettuce, cucumbers, onions, and spinach have a glycemic index of less than 15. They have almost no effect on your blood sugar levels. Berries like strawberries, blue berries, raspberries as well as apples, have a glycemic index of 20-30 and are better than other fruit options. Some fruits like mangos and bananas have a glycemic index in 40-55 range. The fruit with the highest glycemic index is a pineapple with a GI (glycemic index) of about 66. This is still better than eating bread and baked goods.
Some vegetables are higher in sugar than others and have a higher glycemic index. Potatoes, corn, tomatoes (really a fruit), and carrots are all higher in simple sugars than other more fibrous vegetables. In fact, a baked potato has a GI of 115! That’s about as high as it gets. The reason is that a baked potato is so processed, that it is very easy for our stomach to get at the simple sugars. The stomach has to do almost no work at all to get to the sugars. They are all there and readily accessible. Leaving the skin on and eating the baked potato with the skin, decreases the GI to 98, but it’s still high. The skin acts as a fibrous buffer that keeps some of the sugars away from the stomach. The more fiber you eat, the harder it is for the stomach to get at the sugars. Leave the peel on apples, cucumbers, peaches, apricots, dates, kiwis, and other edible peels. Eat a lot of fiber!
Foods with the highest glycemic index are baked goods and simple carbohydrates like bread, cake, desserts, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit juices, candy, soda, pop, and coffee and tea that you put a lot of sugar into. Some of these have glycemic indices as high as 100 or more. The food with the highest glycemic index is Corn Flakes breakfast cereal with a GI of 132. Breakfast cereals have some of the highest GIs. Instead eat real oatmeal with fruits slices! Real oatmeal doesn’t have as high of a GI as the prepackaged ready to eat stuff. Or make your own yogurt parfait with real fruit slices and sprinkle oat meal on top.
There is an entire section on Glycemic Index on the Alo Diet Website. Check it out!
What can I eat?
The key is to eat foods that have a minimal glycemic index impact, yet still eat healthy and nutritious foods. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, eggs, and lean meats are all very natural and very good for you. They also don’t cause a significant increase in blood sugar levels.
Timing of meals
Here in the US, most Muslims indulge after sunset and don’t wake up to have an early meal. Busy work schedules and busy lifestyles promote this bad eating behavior. This is a major contributor to gaining weight. The human body is very smart. The body figures out that it is only getting one meal a day and decides that it needs to store everything. So everything you eat gets stored as fat.
Normally, we tell our patients to eat small frequent meals throughout the day. Well, you can’t do that in Ramadan. So you have to eat small, frequent meals throughout the night. This helps avoid the spikes in blood sugar levels and will keep you even and balanced.
So what do you eat?
At Iftar time (break-fast time), eat the traditional three dates and drink plenty of water. If you are really concerned about the amount of sugar in the dates, eat one date, but take three bites (or skip the date). Then take a break, go pray Maghrib (sunset prayer) and come back for the actual meal. For your meal, drink plenty of water, start with soup and salad, and pace yourself. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it is full. So slow down your process. Drinking plenty of water also starts stretching the stomach earlier and lets you know you are full earlier.
Then you can go to Taraweeh (the Ramadan nightly prayers), afterwards eat a small snack like a cheese stick or a handful of almonds or a bowl strawberries and light whip cream. You could even drink some unsweetened tea or coffee (or use a sugar substitute). Then you can go to sleep.
Wake up before dawn, and do not eat cereal! Eat an omelet with spinach, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, and some other healthy alternatives. Even a few nuts and an apple are fine. Or you could eat a banana and dark chocolate. Or another bowl of strawberries and bananas and light whip cream, but put some cocoa powder on the whip cream this time!
What should I avoid?
Avoiding simple sugars, processed foods, and baked goods will go a long way towards improving your metabolism, your health, and your well being. You will also feel more energetic and feel happier. Simple sugars (carbohydrates) are the culprits we discussed above; sugar, bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, ice cream, sweets, candy, dessert, baked goods like cakes, muffins, and many others.
You don’t have to avoid these every day. You can have these once a week. But you must cut down on portion size. Eat a third of what you normally would eat. Cut a slice of cheese cake into thirds and eat just a small amount. You have to control your portions. Otherwise, you are just going back to your previous state of metabolism and gluttony.
Ramadan is meant to be a month where Muslims feel what poor people feel. We are supposed to empathize with the poor and needy. We are not supposed to be gorging and over-eating at night. That is the opposite of what Ramadan is supposed to be about. Ramadan is supposed to be an exercise in control of our basic human desires. It’s supposed to give us a taste of hardship. It is not supposed to be a month of feasting.
What about desserts?
Ramadan is a time when families make certain desserts and foods that they don’t normally make. Kanafa, Katayif, Baklawa, special ice creams, and sweet rice puddings are all traditional Ramadan treats. You have to restrain yourself. Once a week is ok, but very small portions. Do not indulge. Otherwise, you will put weight back on. It’s very hard to control yourself sometimes. But remember what Ramadan is supposed to be about.
Go on! Lose Weight!
The LPG Wellbox
With the summer holidays just around the corner, there is a rush in the remaining weeks to look good while you are away – whether you are visiting friends and family at home, exploring a new destination, or lying on a tropical beach.
But the good work doesn’t have to stop as you board a plane. If you are a fan of LPG’s lipomassage cellulite banishing and slimming techniques, you can take it with you, all neat and compact in the form of the LPG Wellbox – the ultimate personal beauty care device.
Available for sale at BodySmart, the targeted body shaping experts, The LPG Wellbox costs AED5,750 and the BodySmart team will ensure that you know how to make the most of your purchase so that you look fresh and toned every day of your holiday.
The LPG Wellbox is a slimming, body contouring, cellulite-busting and anti-ageing device for use at home or on your travels. It enables you to continue and maintain the salon experience while travelling out of town or on those days when you can’t make it to the studio.
The Wellbox is designed for use on the face and body. By stimulating the cells, it firms and rejunvenates the skin, defines facial contours, smoothes lines and wrinkles, reduces the appearance of sagging skin and targets the fat that is resistant to diet and exercise.
The Wellbox comes with a variety of treatment heads designed for self-use – three lift treatment heads are for the face, neck and neckline, and two rollers work on the body. The widest head is fitted with two rollers for effective mechanical massage over the main areas of the body while the smaller treatment head is designed to firm more sensitive areas, such as the inner arms.
The treatment heads are set in a rhythmic mode to allow micro-pulsations which stimulate micro-circulation, smooth out lines and firm the skin in a painless procedure, without the use of heat, laser or gels. The process is 100% natural and non-invasive. The mechanical roll stimulation reactivates fat release and encourages the body’s production of collagen and elastin.
Based on a popular Chinese dish, these fun wraps also make appealing appetizers for entertaining. Make it a meal; Serve with chile-garlic sauce and rice vinegar for extra zip; toss diced mango and strawberries with lime juice for a quick dessert.
4 servings, 1 1/4 cups filling for about 6 wraps each/ Active time: 30 minutes / Total Time: 30 minutes
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/2 cup instant brown rice
* 2 teaspoons sesame oil
* 1 pound 93% – lean ground turkey
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
* 1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
* 1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
* 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
* 2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce, (see note)
* 1 teaspoon five-spice powder, (see note)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 heads Boston lettuce, leaves separated
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro, basil, mint and/or chives
* 1 large carrot, shredded
1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rice; reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey and ginger, cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, bell pepper, water chestnuts, broth, hoisin sauce, five-spice powder and salt; cooked until heated through, about 1 minute.
3. To serve, divide lettuce leaves among plates, spoon some of the turkey mixture into each leaf, top with herbs and carrot and roll into wraps.
Per serving:285 Calories; 11 g Fats; 3 g Sat; 1 g Mono; 66 mg Cholesterol; 24 g Carbohydrates; 26 g Protein; 5 g Fiber; 543 mg Sodium; 390 mg Potassium
1 Carbohydrate serving
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat
TIP & NOTES
* Make Ahead Tip: Prepare the filling (through step 2), cover and refrigerate for up yo 1 day. Serve cold or reheat in microwave.
* NOTES: Hoisin sauce is a spicy, sweet sauce made from soybeans, chiles, garlic and spices. It will keep in the refrigerator for at least a year.
* Often a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns, five-spice powder was originally considered a cure-all miracle blend encompassing the five elements (sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, salty). Look for it in the supermarket spice section.
The Dubai “stone” is infamous here. Expats arrive and as they settle into their new lives, the pounds/kilos creep on. This happened to German expatriate Sonja Brix, and when added to post-baby weight, before she knew it her once svelte size 36/38 pre-pregnancy figure blossomed to a size 46! The photos tell the tale!
Sonja sought help from the BodySmart targeted body shaping team in The Meadows. She was keen to lose weight but wanted to do it steadily so that it would stay off – not just a quick fix solution. The trained BodySmart coaches, guided her through the process of HYPOXI, beginning with an assessment, body analysis and measuring parts of her body (arms, thighs, torso) to track progress.
Her coach recommended a series of 18x thirty minute sessions, three to four times a week on the HYPOXI stationary bike, having calculated Sonja’s optimum fat burning heart rate zone for best results. Sonja also followed the healthy eating recommendations: out went burgers, evening beverages and pizza, replaced by three balanced meals a day, and two healthy snacks in between. Sonja ate more vegetables, a small carb meal with salad and vegetables prior to sessions and no carbs for four hours after a HYPOXI session. She also upped her water intake to two plus litres a day to accelerate the elimination of fatty acids and toxins.
In three months Sonja lost 10 kilos. Her skin texture improved. Her legs were toned but she needed to tackle her middle. So she moved on to a series of HYPOXI Vacunaut treatments. Similar to a treadmill, Sonja wore a pressure suit made of airtight neoprene, which she admits took some getting used to. While she walked on the treadmill at a steady pace within her fat buring heart rate zone, the 122 vacuum chambers built into the suit alternated between negative and positive pressure, stimulating targeted fat burning on the stomach and hip area.
Sonja began to drop clothes sizes but still lacked muscle definition, so she incorporated PowerPlate routines, for a full body workout, that use gravity against body weight to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability.
In total Sonja lost 25 kilos (55lbs or 4 stone) – the equivalent of a holiday suitcase – and is now back to her pre-baby figure and couldn’t be happier. She enjoys her food and lifestyle but keeps her food portions in check and two or three times a year, she follows another course of HYPOXI and Powerplate to help her stay in shape. Even her husband follows a programme when all that corporate entertaining takes its toll.
Sonja says, “I could have lost the weight on my own, eating healthily and going to the gym, but having a booked appointment and knowing a coach was waiting for me gave me the discipline and encouragement I needed to stick to the programme. All the team were very helpful and supportive, and some of my friends are now also taking sessions.”
¼ cup dry quinoa
1 large red bell pepper
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup minced red onion
¼ tsp minced garlic
¼ cup baby spinach
¼ cup sliced white button mushrooms
½ tsp salt free Italian herb dressing
¼ Cup finely shredded low fat cheddar
Preheat oven to 350º F. Place quinoa and ½ cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed (about 5 minutes).
Set aside and keep covered.
While quinoa cooks, use a sharp knife to cut the top off the pepper and remove the seeds and membranes; keep the pepper whole. Set aside.
Heat a medium skillet on medium-high; add olive oil. Add onion and sauté until vegetables are slightly tender ( about 4 minutes)
Transfer sautéed vegetables to a bowl. Mix in cooked quinoa and gently fold in cheddar.
Fill pepper with the mixture
Place in a baking dish and bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until pepper is slightly charred.
• 4 Servings
•PREP: 15 mins
•COOK: 20 mins
•READY IN: 35 mins
• 120 g Chicken Breast Sliced and Grilled
• 8 Large Strawberries Quartered
• 120 g Red Seedless Grapes Bunch
• 1/4 Cucumber Chopped
• 1/2 Romaine Lettuce Roughly Shredded
• 1/2 Small Radicchio Lettuce Roughly Shredded
• 1/2 Red Onion Thinly Sliced
• 120 g Feta Cheese Cubed
• 60 g Wholemeal Bread
• 1 Clove Garlic
• Cooking Spray
• 80 ml Rapberries
• 1 teaspoon Honey
• 80 ml Raspberry Vinegar (or use red wine vinegar)
• Salt and Pepper To Taste
1.Preheat an oven to 200c or 400f
2.Lightly toast the bread, then spray with some oil, place on a baking sheet. Cut the garlic clove in half and rub this all over the bread. Then roughly chop bread into crouton sizes. Place in the oven and bake until golden all over and crisp.
3.Mix together the two types of lettuce with the cucumber and red onion. Divide this among two plates.
4.Top each plate with the strawberries, grapes, chicken, feta and croutons.
5.Blend all the dressing ingredients together with a hand blender and drizzle over the salad.
Supplied by Carole Holditch – Good Habits Dubai
Bring your Good Habits on your holidays!
Going on holiday? Well, have a great time! Just keep in mind that even when you’re travelling, you can keep your healthy eating habits intact and lose pounds… or maintain your healthy weight!
Of course, if you’re travelling, you’re going to have to be creative and smart about your choices. You will probably be dining out a lot – perhaps all your meals will come from restaurants. So now is the time to prepare to succeed, because knowledge is power.
First, modify your goals. Holiday time is not the time to diet, but it doesn’t mean you should forget all the good habits you’ve learned. Making healthy choices wherever you go is the secret to staying slim. You’ve developed these healthy habits, so have fun.
Or maybe you’re tempted to go for broke – you only go on holiday once a year, after all. But ask yourself – do you really want to come home with all your hard work undone? Do you want to start your weight loss from scratch all over again? That holiday excess could leave you with another kind of holiday hangover – on your hips! So ask yourself – is it really worth it? A few simple and smart choices can make all the difference…
- Plan ahead (of course, that’s why you are reading this).
- Learn about food substitutions. Eating healthily doesn’t mean you have to miss out – just make smart replacements. A large magnum at around 300 calories, swap for a water ice lolly around 75-100 calories.
- No people pleasing. Eat only what you want, not as an obligation to others for cooking your favourite dish. You are the one who will have to live with your decision. Others may actually respect you more for standing up for yourself.
- Practice assertiveness skills so you can refuse foods or activities without feeling guilty or hurting others’ feelings.
- Choose to eat healthily ahead of time. Be prepared especially on long journeys. Have plenty of healthy snacks and lots of water on hand and also a good read to keep boredom at bay and mindless eating.
- No skipping meals. Being overly hungry can result in loss of control and a binge at meal time. Keep to your normal regular eating pattern.
- Smaller portions. Allow yourself to taste what you want in smaller portions so you don’t feel deprived. Healthy eating is not punishment so don’t set yourself up for a binge by depriving yourself of your favourites. You’ll only resent it.
- Visualise yourself eating healthily prior to going to your holiday family event.
- Be conscious of what you are doing and eating.
- Chew slowly and enjoy your food. Put your fork down between each bite.
- Check out the local shops and markets and try new fruit and vegetables and other local specialties that are healthy and different from the norm.
- Exercise a little longer and a little harder during your holidays. This will burn off the extra calories, keep your metabolism revved and help you beat stress. Use every opportunity to walk more, it all adds up. Don’t forget to pack your exercise gear!
- No guilt. Make a conscious effort to choose what you are eating without the guilt attached.
- Stop eating when you are physically full. Start learning now to recognise the difference between physical and emotional hunger.
- Manage your emotions. Have a plan for what you will do in the event strong emotions arise when faced with certain situations or family members. Don’t follow a row with a trip to the biscuit tin.
- Plan to wear the same snug fitting outfit on your outbound trip as on your inbound journey. Pack only clothes that fit you snuggly not a larger size for the second half of your holiday.
- Know that putting on a couple of pounds will NOT cause you to go back to square one. It’s okay!
- Resume your lifestyle of balance and wellness just after the holiday has passed.
There are plenty of temptations on the road to divert you from your diet – but with some planning, you can stay committed.
Get back to a Good Habits meeting at the very first opportunity!
1 Peach cut into 1/2 inch slices (1/2 cup)
2 Kiwis peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
3/4 Cup strawberries, finely chopped
1/2 Cup blueberries
1/2 Cup raspberries
1 & 1/2 cups of sugar free fruit punch or 100% white-grape juice
You can find ice pop molds at grocery stores and drugstores, or just use small cups and Popsicle sticks. Each recipe will make 6 to 8 pops, depending on the size of your molds.
To finish each recipe, pour the mixture into molds and insert sticks. If using cups, freeze until partially frozen and slushy, about 30 minutes, then insert sticks. Freeze until firm, at least 6 hours.
To remove, run hot water over the outsides of the molds for a few seconds, then gently pull the sticks
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut peppers and squash into bite-size pieces (leave skin on the squash). Tip all the veg into a baking tray, add garlic, 2 tbsp oil and seasoning, then mix and roast for 20 mins. Add onion, cumin, harissa and almonds. Roast for another 20 mins, then cool.
- Put couscous into a large bowl, pour over the stock, cover, then set aside for 10 mins. Fluff up with a fork.
- In a bowl, mix zest, juice and remaining oil. Squeeze garlic pulp from skins into the bowl, mash well and fold in the mint. Pour over the veg, then toss with the couscous.
399 kcalories, protein 11g, carbohydrate 58g, fat 18 g, saturated fat 2g, fibre 5g, sugar 14g, salt 0.86 g
Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins
Preparation and cooking time: 10 mins
Low -fat, Super healthy
- Flake the fish into a bowl, then stir in the quark and horseradish sauce to taste. Season with black pepper and squeeze of lemon juice.
- Toast the bread, then top each piece with cucumber and watercress. Spoon half the trout pâté on top of each and serve with halved cherry tomatoes on the side.
Qark is a low-fat, low-salt, soft cheese. You could also use light soft cheese or half-fat créme fraìche.
Trout is a fabulous fish. It has lovely, delicate flavour and, while an excellent source of those all-important omega-3 oils, contains just a third of the calories of salmon.
268 calories, protein 29g, carbohydrate 25g, fat 7g
Source: Good Food Magazine August 2009
What can you bring for lunch on the go? When all we have time for is to pack a brown paper bag or an insulated lunch box, it can be tough to find some tasty, portable options. While it sounds like a simple problem, it does take some thought , a trip to the grocery store, and some serious brainstorming. Luckily, the work has been done for you (well, except the grocery shopping!). Here are a few suggestions:
Sandwiches and Wraps
Chicken, turkey, lean cold cuts, and low-fat cheese on 100 percent whole-wheat bread (“whole grain” must be the first ingrediant in the package’s list) are all great options. Wraps, whole-wheat pita bread, and tortillas (not fried) are also good, but always check the number of calories. A 1-ounce corn tortilla has about 70 calories. Avoid mayo,tartart sauce, creamy dressings, and full-fat cheese. Use mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper, or vinegar.
Use whole-wheat pasta add vegetables and low-calorie sauce (50-60 calories per half cup). Pack the pasta in a container like GladWare or Tupperware. One cup of cooked whole-wheat spaghetti has 170 calories.
Buy prepackaged bags of salad and keep them in a cooler, then add your low-calorie dressings at lunchtime. Avoid nuts, croutons, noodles and creamy salad dressings.
Hot (in an insulated container) or cold soups are great, especially because research shows that low-calorie soups (fewer than 120 calories for 8 ounces) are very filling and help you eat less. But soups can have a lot of sodium. Your best bets are those with less than 600mg per serving, such as those made by Healthy Choice and the low-sodium versions of Progresso and Campbell’s soups.
Snacks and Sides
Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, nutritious, and filling, and they don’t have to be refrigerated or reheated. Apples, pears, grapes, and cut-up melon are durable and portable. You can also tote unsweetened all-natural applesauce packs or a small box of raisins. Other good choices:
- Nonfat yoghurt is a great portable snack, but it’s perishable, so pack it in an insulated bag or freeze it the night before.
- Low-calorie cereals work well in a sealable bag. Choose cereals with no more than 160 calories per cup and avoid added sugar and partially hydrogenated oil.
- Hard-boiled eggs pack well, and you can eat only the whites or go for the entire egg, for about 80 calories.
- Whole-grain rice cakes vary widely in calorie and fat content but are a better alternative to candy bars. One bar shouldn’t exceed 200 calories.
- Soy chips and baked chips are available in 1-ounce portions. Look for brands with fewer than 120 calories per ounce (potato chips have about 160).
- Nabisco has created 100-calorie portion-controlled snack packs (oreo Thin Crisps. Wheat Thins Minis and others) that have no trans fat. They’re a decent snack once in a while, but don’t use them to replace fruit.
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup dried currants
- 1/4 cup warm orange juice
- 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-grain pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
- 1 package quick-rise yeast
- 1 cup warm fat-free milk
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 large egg white
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon 2% reduced-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- To prepare rolls, combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; let it stand 10 minutes. Drain fruit in a colander over bowl, reserving fruit and juice.
- Weigh or lightly spoon in 510 grams ( 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) all purpose flour and pastry flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, salt and next 5 ingredients (through yeast) in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached; mix until combined. Combine reserved orange juice, fat-free milk, honey, butter and 2 eggs in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. With mixer on, slowly add milk mixture to flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed 7 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Add reserved fruit. Knead 2 minutes or until smooth and elastic; add enough of remaining 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm, dry place, free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch dough down, cover and let it rest 5 minutes. Divide into 24 equal portions, roll each portion into a ball. Place rolls in muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until almost doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Combine 1 tablespoon water and egg white; stir with a whisk. Gently brush rolls with egg white mixture. Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden, rotating pans once during baking. Remove from pans, cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.
- To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stirring with a whisk. Microwave at HIGH for 20 seconds or until warm. Spoon glaze into a zip-top plastic bag. Seal bag, snip a tiny hole in 1 corner of bag. Pipe a cross on top of each warm roll.
Nutritional Information (amount per serving)
- Calories 179
- Fat 2.8g
- Saturated fat 1.4g
- Protein 4.5g
Easter might conjure up images of fluffy chicks, daffodils and hot cross buns. But for slimmers, chocolate is likely to be the first thing that springs to mind. With numerous opportunities for indulging in the odd egg, Easter is a time of temptation, especially for dieter’s who’ve avoided chocolate in an effort to loose weight.
According to Jason Vale, author of Chocolate Busters, in the UK we spend a massive 4 billion GBP a year on chocolate. This averages at 65 GBP per person and 53,000 extra calories – enough to help us gain 15lb in a year!
With figures like these, it’s clear that many of us have a real love affair with the dark stuff. Indeed, some surveys reveal that many woman would choose a chunk over a hunk any day , opting for chocolate rather than sex!
Surprisingly, there may be a good reason for this. Chocolate contains a naturally occuring chemical called phenylethylamine, which allegedly stimulates the same reaction in the body as falling in love does.
Meanwhile, a second chemical in chocolate called theobromine is thought to trigger the release of “feel good” endorphins, giving us a sense of pleasure. And of course, the caffeine in chocolate can act as a stimulant, potentially providing the “lift” in mood that many chocolate lovers claim to experience. However, there’s little evidence that chocolate truly has any physical effect on our emotions and most health experts agree it’s a psychological effect. In other words, it tastes and feels good in our mouths! No wonder chocolate gift baskets are such a popular choice amongst Gift Tree customers – it’s just too good!
It’s not just our emotions that appear to be affected by chocolate. Research shows chocolate may not be bad for our health as we once thought – and small amounts may even be good for us! First off, the cocoa bean – a major component of chocolate – is a good source of naturally occuring plant compounds called flavonoids, which may keep the heart healthy and reduce our risk of diseases like cancer. Flavonoids act as antioxidants and help to mop up an excess of free radicals that if left unchecked, can damage cells, increasing the risk of health problems like heart disease and cancer.
But before grabbing a huge bar of Dairy Milk, it’s worth bearing in mind that plain chocolate is richer source of flavonoids than milk or white chocolate, as it’s less processed.
There’s even evidence that the fat in chocolate may not be too bad for our heart! There’s no doubt that chocolate is high in fat – a 50g bar contains around 15g fat. However, around a third of the fat in chocolate is oleic acid – a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that’s also found in olive oil. The remaining fats in chocolate are predominantly saturates, risk factors for heart disease. But research shows that one of the main saturated fats in chocolate – stearic acid – appears to have no impact on “bad” or LDL cholestrol levels, neither raising nor lowering it.
Meanwhile, chocolate is a reasonable source of some nutrients, including bone-building calcium and magnesium. But bear in mind you’d need to eat large amounts to make any significant contribution to your diet. Ultimately you’d be better off getting these nutrients from lower -calorie foods such as skimmed milk or low-fat yogurt.
Chocolate lovers Tips for Easter…
- Down size your eggs – if someone is planning to buy you an Easter egg, ask for one designed for small children – it will be smaller, so you’ll be less likely to overindulge. Even if someone has presented you with Easter gifts consisting of chocolate, it doesn’t mean you have to get rid of it completely. Just try not to eat everything in one go. Like people say, everything is good in moderation. Plus, by eating small portions at a time, this means the chocolate and treats will last longer.
- Enjoy the accompanying chocolates or bars and give the egg to someone else. It’s an easier way to control the amount of chocolate you eat and you’ll be more likely to have easy access to calorie information.
- Ask for an Easter egg that’s filled with fruit sweets such as jelly babies reather than more chocolate – they’re virtually fat free and so lower calories.
- Go for plain chocolate – as well as containing more heart-healthy flavonoids, the more intense flavour will satisfy your taste buds more easily so you won’t want to eat as much.
- Don’t “guestimate” the number of calories in a chocolate egg. Instead, try to work it out. Many eggs now give calorie information per 100g and the weight of the egg itself.
- To calculate the calories in the wholel item , multiply the calories per 100g by weight and then divide by 100. For example, the calculation for an egg that contains 530 calories per 100g and weighs 175g is as follows: (530 x 175) = 92,750 ÷ 100 = 927.5 calories.
- Beware of constantly nibbling at chocolate eggs – you’ll find it easy to polish off the whole egg. Instead, break off a piece and put the rest out of reach.
- Keep chocolate in the fridge – as well as keeping it out of sight, chilled chocolate will last longer in your mouth.
- If you do overindulge, cut down the next day or up your exercise intake to compensate.
- And, if you really want to be good, ask people to buy you flowers instead of chocolate.
Source: Dietitian , Juliette Kellows Bsc RD
Full Portion of Hot Chips
Saturated Fat 15g
=2.5 unbalanced meals
- A full portion of hot chips, about three fistfuls, provides more than double the energy recommended for a light meal.
- Potatoes are not a vegetable. Apart from having no colour from salad or vegetables, a meal of hot chips is far too high in fat and concentrated starch.
- A single fistful of 10 chips or 100g (the preferred portion for women), is actually equivalent to two starch portions and three fat portions.
- Potato chips are deep-fried in oil and therefore very high in fat. One full portion of hot chips in fact contains almost your daily fat allowance.
- Frying food in oil that is kept hot continuously, may greatly increase the trans fatty acid content of the fried food. Trans fatty acids are implicated in many diseases.
- As hot chips are salted, one full portion contains three times the sodium recommendation for a healthy meal. Not ideal for those with high blood pressure.
SMART CHOICE HOT CHIPS AND SALAD
One Fistful of Chips With a Large Salad Topped With Some Protein and No Dressing
Saturated Fat 6g
OPTIMISING THE SMART CHOICE
- Hot chips are the biggest culprit in making meals away from home unhealthy. In most cases chips are unnecessary as they only add excessive calories and fat.
- To make hot chips part of a balanced meal, you need to add a large salad topped with some lean protein such as grilled chicken strips, grilled calamari, tuna in brine, low-fat cottage cheese, a boiled egg, ham, smoked salmon or trout. Serve this salad with only one fistful of chips.
- Oven chips, baked in the oven without added oil, contain half the fat of regular fried hot chips. However, the correct serving size would still be a fistful of oven chips as one medium potato would make one fistful of chips.
- Eating only a few hot chips from somebody else’s plate may be equivalent to a whole starch portion with fat. Think twice before nibbling on those hot chips.