Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Week 1 of Healthier Eating

Welcome to a new feature we are adding onto our blogosphere! In an attempt to help you (and us!) reach your goal of healthier living, we are now writing articles that provide food tips and ideas!

My very first tips that are essential to actually following healthy eating is:

Tip #1: Prepare your snacks and meal plan ahead of time!
When we don’t have a plan on what we are going to eat, we tend to just grab whatever sounds good. This is folly because when we just grab and go we either do not grab food that is nutritious or we grab too much and snack on food that we don’t need. Preparing your snacks and meal plans a head of time will help portion control and will help us make sure that we are eating all the necessary vitamins and nutrients.

Tip #2: Physically prepare the food the day before.
This tip is essential! The morning before work or school or any other form of activity that has us rushing out the door, preparing a healthy salad, snack or meal is the last thing on our mind. That is why the junk food and candy industry is such a success. They have made their food products easy to access and grab. It is imperative to take 10-15 minutes the night before preparing our food for the next day.

Tip #3: Don’t forget to indulge yourself once in awhile.
No, you do not have to stay away from chocolate. And no, you do not have to give up ice cream. Eating them is totally fine! Believe me, my chocolate covered sundae is being appreciated right now. But the key is to eat it in moderation. Yes you can eat it, no you probably shouldn’t scoop out half the container of ice cream or eat 2 bars of chocolate every day. You’ll find that eating fruits and vegetables can actually help deter your sweet tooth since there are natural sugars in fruit.

Tip #4: Find foods that you like.
The worst part of dieting is finding recipes that absolutely do not appeal to you. This is a deterrent. If you don’t like spinach don’t eat it! Find a substitute that can give you the necessary nutrients but without having to eat the icky, or find a recipe that masks that food taste. You’ll find that a lot of the time, vegetables take on the flavor of the food it is being cooked in.

Now you have the prep work all completed, let’s look at a couple of snacks that can help fill the day!

Cinnamon Yogurt Dip
Yields 4 servings (101 calories, .8g fat, 3 mg cholesterol)
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Choose your poison: Precut apples, melons, bananas, grapes, and berries

All you need to do is mix all these ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour (which you should have done the night before so it should be refrigerated for almost 7 hours!). If you have any spare time before bed, make sure to distribute the yogurt into individual containers and baggy up your dippable fruit to grab and go the following morning.

Sweetened Frozen Grapes
Yields 4 servings (105 calories, .5g fat, 0 mg cholesterol)
1 cup seedless green grapes
1 cup seedless red grapes
¼ cup white sugar

Wash all grapes and place within a ziplock gallon sized bag.
Pour the sugar onto the grapes and gently shake the bag to evenly coat the grapes with sugar.
Arrange grapes on a paper towel to air-dry any remaining water (approximately 15 minutes).
Place grapes in a single layer on a shallow pan or baking sheet. Freeze for at least 2 hours.
Once frozen, baggy them up into different containers to take with you the next day.

Caramelized Apple Bites
Yields 4 servings (123 calories, 1.3g fat, 1 mg cholesterol)
6 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped and chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 apples – pelled, cored and diced

Place the caramel and light corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl (approximately 30 seconds or until melted).
Place the apples in the bowl and toss until coated.
Allow to cool.
Once cooled, be sure to baggy them up into individual containers or baggies to take with you the next day.

Recipes compliments of allrecipes.com


  1. I'm going to try the frozen grape snacks.

  2. That’s a great site you folks have been carrying out there.rational oven

  3. Thanks!

    Hope you've tried at least one of these awesome sweets.