Happy New Year! 2012

It is a new year indeed. With new goals and motivations set, I am off to a running start, literally.  My new year is off to a fast pace and this year I am setting the bar high.  It is going to be a challenging one!  These past few days I have been working on creating some tips and strategies to boost start my plan of “getting in shape”.  The past two weeks have been minimal caloric intake, no sweets, and exercise! I have all these life goals and they need to start getting crossed off!  So I reached out to some of my friends and asked what some new year resolutions have been determined, on January 1 at 9:50am.

Typically people set goals to loose weight and change some of their lifestyle habits with the start of a new year.  Why not, I guess you can look at it as a clean slate, new start, new goals.  When it comes down to it though, each day is a new day so you don’t have to wait until the “New Year” to make healthy lifestyle changes.  Reach out to a dietitian or even your physician if you want to make changes and are just not sure where to start.

Comments received:

    • Angela Lamberty I’m so glad for you! Fresh new year, fresh new start! 🙂 *hugz*
    • About advice I would like some meal recommendations for late night dinner (when coming home late from work). Tks! 🙂
    • January 1 at 10:36am
    • Elaine Sinclair I would love to know as well. I usually it junk, yogurt or a bunch of ramen noodles. Help please !

     

    Oh and Yes Uncle Scott I agree we need more love in this world!!!  Food is love too!

 

Angela: Recommendations for late night dinners would start with meal planning.  I do encourage balanced meals. For example:

Prepare your proteins for the week.  Know which day you will have chicken, fish or other protein foods.  Cut them up and portion them out when you get home from the store.  This makes it easier to throw a quick meal together.

– Buy frozen fruits and vegetables, they are cleaned and ready to eat (once thawed). Yes, they are just as good, if not better than fresh.  Why? They are cut, packaged and shipped.  No handling by sick kids at the store or rolling around on trucks prior to delivery, per-say. Nutrients in the vegetables basically get “preserved”.

– Portion out your grains! Try new grains. Choose side dishes such as Quinoa or Barley.

If I know that I am going to have a late night at work or have to run errands after work, I have my food semi-prepared and ready to throw in a pan, or even already have them cooked ahead of time.  I would not grocery shop during this time especially if you are hungry. Start by figuring out how many people you will need to feed, and how many meals you need.

For example, I am feeding me, so when I buy 3 chicken breasts in a package that can last me all week.  If you don’t want chicken all week freeze some of it! I would suggest cutting and portioning your meat and storing it in baggies or sealed containers.  If you need help with portion sizes refer to My Plate Method, previously known as the Food Guide Pyramid.  Furthermore I do suggest cooking your meat the day before your late night.  If late night is every night, try to find a weekend day where you can shop and portion out your food.  Food safety is a must!  So remember to avoid cross contamination when preparing meat and vegetables in the same area.  I would suggest buying frozen vegetables.  They are already prepared and super quick to cook. If you prefer fresh, like your meats, buy in bulk and cut them up and portion them out for the week.  Most produce will stay fresh, as long as refrigerated at the correct temperature.  Freezer: 0 degrees F or lower.  Refrigerator: I say less than 40 degrees F!  41 is considered safe, however, I prefer to keep my food a bit cooler to prevent the growth of mold!

Back to the point: When you get home, throw your prepared/portioned meat in a pan and sauteed until cooked, add your frozen vegetables and additional sauces/ seasons you might like.  *Suggestion: Use low sodium, fat free broth to cook with!  Adds flavor, moisture and very little fat, rather than slathering your pan with butter or oil.  Meantime you can cook your whole grains. About 15 minutes later your done!  A complete healthful meal can be on your table ready to eat!

Elaine: I hear that a lot, people having snacks for dinner. It’s ok to eat light at night but do remember that it might not hold you over and lead you to indulge in a higher calorie snack later.  Yogurt is great! Try adding some frozen fruit or granola to make it a complete meal. That is quick and easy and full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Ramen noodles!  Ah we all have a craving for that at times, but all it is giving you is salt and sugar!  Great for when you are sick, but more like “empty calories” if you aren’t.  Try adding sauteed chicken pieces, or frozen vegetables to your ramen, if  ramen is a must.   Cool cheap Ramen recipes!  If they are not a must I would recommend buying whole grain noodles, or brown rice and adding that to frozen vegetables and meat.  If you prepare your meals ahead of time, you may see the that cost of your ramen (1$? ) and the cost of the meal, may be worth it to switch. How?

– Bag of frozen mixed vegetables = $1.50

– Package of 3 chicken breasts = roughly $5.50 depending where you shop, and of course it is higher for organic meat.

– Box of whole grain pasta or 3 cups of brown rice or other grains = we’ll say $2.25

Total = $9.25 Measure out each serving of the stir-fry. See how many you get, and divide the cost by the number of servings.  Typically will make 6 servings, (3 ounces of chicken, 1/2 cup of vegetables, and 1/2 cup of gains per serving).

= Roughly $1.25 cents per serving.. not bad considering the nutrition value of your stir fry to that or the ramen!

*Of course this is a quick calculation and is not exact and I am assuming you have seasonings at home.

 

I f you need help with a menu or additional recipes let me know!

Best of luck everyone and I hope your new year is off to a great start!

 

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