Monday, May 20, 2013

How Much Do You Know About Your Food?

For all my inability to cook, I think I know a lot about food. I am aware of the issues surrounding GMOs and hormones in meat.I understand what foods are important to buy organic and why fast food is bad for you. Sometimes, though, it's good to be reminded where our food comes from and what to be concerned with

If you've never seen Food Inc. you should check it out. Its a bit graphic, but it's an eye opening experience. Here is the trailer for the film. The full version is available on Netflix and Hulu.

Friday, May 17, 2013

What To Snack On

Another time I find it hard to eat as well as I should is when I'm extremely hungry and everything looks edible and I don't want to cook. Some nights on my way home from class the call of the McDonalds' drive through is strong. So I make sure I have some easy and tasty snacks on hand at home.

I've found that I'm more likely to reach for something that I don't have to prepare, but I want it to be as natural as possible. 

I found this nifty option a little while ago and it's become one of my go-tos....

Single Serving Avocado! This may seem a bit odd, but I love guacamole and there's always waste when I buy avocados and make it from scratch. At 90 calories for the whole cup I can add some chopped up onion and cilantro or even just some garlic and onion powder. With some veggies or corn chips, it's very satisfying and full of really good fats.

Another of my favorites is caprese salad. This usually consists of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. Since my laziness knows no bounds, I usually prepare some mozzarella ahead of time using this great recipe and pair it with some cherry tomatoes. 2 oz of the prepared mozzarella and tomatoes will cost you 140 calories.

Finally, if your in the mood for something sweet there's no need to reach for the Ben and Jerrys pint. I make my own macerated strawberries and mix them up with some Cool Whip. It's sweet and light and if you want to turn it into a real desert all you have to add is a biscuit. 

What do you reach for when your stomach is growling?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What To Eat Out

If you are anything like me, you may find it hard to eat healthy when you have a busy schedule. Somedays I leave the house at 7am and don't make it home until 10pm. What's a girl to eat?

I make a habit of always bringing healthy food to the office. Most days I have soup and veggies for lunch and snack on almonds or oatmeal. The meal I struggle with is dinner. I usually can not sit down and eat a home cooked meal. I usually have an hour in between work and school at night. Most days I find myself at the gas station or in a drive through.

Over the years I have found some tried and true options that leave me feeling a lot less guilty when I do find myself eating out.

Dunkin Donuts : This is my favorite dinner stop. Sounds strange, I know. But they serve the same food all day at a relatively low price point. Here's what I recommend there.

  • Egg White Flatbread : There are two flavor options here, Veggie and Turkey Sausage. Both weigh in at 280 calories. Eggs give great energy and are really good for you. The flatbread keeps carbohydrates to a minimum but still helps you feel full. 

  • Wake Up Wrap : Another egg option also available with sausage, ham or bacon. These are not too substantial, I usually get two with just egg. The wrap with ham comes in at 170 calories, while one with just egg is 150 calls. 
I avoid their bakery sandwiches as they are high in calories. They are usually on a bagel or croissant and most lean to 500 calories a piece! Another way to cut a few more calories out is to order the sandwich without cheese. This is what I do and I don't miss the slimy american cheese at all. 

Starbucks : A little pricier, but the food is much more substantial and higher quality. Again, I go for breakfast options here, they seem to give you the most bang for your buck and calories. 
  • Spinach and Feta Wrap : Egg whites, spinach, feta, and sun dried tomatoes give great flavor and the wrap makes this option very portable. This option is 290 calories and well worth it. Warm and tasty, it doesn't feel like a drive-through option at all. 
  • Protein Plate : This is a very popular option at Starbucks at all times of the day. It is one of their bistro boxes and it contains an egg (I really like eggs) cheese, grapes and apple slices, organic nut butter and a piece of muesli bread. At 380 calories, it is on the high side, but for the amount of protein and the quality of the food, I don't view these as empty calories. This option keeps me full and focused at school. 

Its hard to go to Starbucks and not indulge in a Frappacino or some other sugary drink, but when committing 380 calories to real food, I usually go for a Passion Iced Tea. Unsweetened it costs me no calories at all, while a grande with sweetener comes in at 80 calories. 

Wendy's : For those of you that can't stomach eating breakfast foods for dinner, I recommend Wendy's over McDonalds or Burger King. They have quite a few healthier options. 
  • Plain Baked Potato and Small Chili : A small chili is 180 calories and the plain baked potato can vary based on the size, but usually is around 270 calories. This is on the higher side for calories, but it is very filling and does not contain the same fat content of other menu items with a similar calorie count. For the whole meal the calories from fat is only 45!
I avoid salads at fast food restaurants because they are so high in calories. The lowest calorie count on a Wendy's Garden Sensation Salad is 340 calories for a side salad. I personally don't find a little lettuce and a few pieces of chicken to be satisfying enough to warrant the calories.

I hope these options can help get you through without feeling like you fell off the diet wagon when you can't eat at home.

What are your favorite options for on the go eating?