Thursday, January 24, 2013

The 3 Ingredient Healthy Late Night Snack

Are you hungry right before going to bed? If you want to snack late at night, drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. You might just be thirsty! After these 10 minutes, if you still feel the need to eat something, try to stick to something small and healthy. Here is something you can try! 

- 1/2 cup of green peas
- 2 egg whites
- any amount of pepper 

1. Heat up a pan to medium heat
2. Add green peas and stir for about a minute
3. Add the egg whites and mix until cooked
4. Turn off heat and add pepper to the mix


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Breakfast On The Run

Sometimes we just don't have time to eat breakfast at home because we need to rush off to work or we have to drop our children off to school early in the morning. On our way to our destination, we are likely to stop by a Starbucks, a Dunkin' Donuts, or a Tim Hortons to purchase a breakfast item. I advise against this and instead, I suggest you try making breakfast quickly before you leave or grab something out of your fridge along with a water bottle and take it with you. You can even grab extra servings for your loved ones!
Here are five quick and easy ideas:

1. Banana and Yogurt
The most simple solution. Take a banana and a small container of yogurt. Once you have time to eat, slice the banana with a spoon and mix it in your yogurt. Word of advice: don't buy yogurt that is highly processed. And also, don't forget your spoon!

2. Almonds and Dry Fruit
In a ziplock bag, add a handful of almonds and a handful of your favorite dry fruit. Try to buy dry fruit that doesn't have added sugar or preservatives. The dry fruit will give you energy while the fat in the almonds will prevent your blood sugar from rising too quickly. 

3. Pita Bread Stuffed With Banana and Peanut Butter

Try to buy whole wheat pita bread so you feel full for longer. Take one pita bread, spread about one tablespoon of peanut butter on it and put it in ziplock bag. Once you have time to eat, cut up the banana into thin slices and put inside the pita bread. 

4. Avocado and Chickpea Bagel 
Toast a bagel. While toasting, take half an avocado and empty it in a bowl. Add chickpeas or your choice of beans into the avocado and mix. Once your bread is toasted, spread the avocado mix on one slice. Put the other slice on top of the other and put finished product in a ziplock bag.

5. Tomato and Cheese English Muffin
On top of one slice of an english muffin, add a slice of tomato and a slice of cheese. Put the other slice on top of the other and put it in a ziplock bag.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Olestra: The 0 Calorie Fat

If you walk into a supermarket you will see all sorts of products that claim they are “low fat” or “fat-free”. One specific ingredient can allow products to claim it is “fat- free”: this ingredient is called Olestra.
What is Olestra?
Olestra is an FDA approved fat substitute that is used as an alternate to full-fat snacks. It has the same functional properties as fat, but provides no fat or calories. This is because olestra cannot be digested in the human digestive track therefore it passes straight through the body. This fat replacer was approved by the FDA in 1996 and has been used in the United States since. It is currently illegal in Canada, the United Kingdom, and several other countries.

The Olestra molecule is made up of six to eight long fatty acid chains which are linked to sucrose (a disaccharide) instead of glycerol (a normal fat). This structure can resist high temperatures and can give a creamy texture that is pleasant to the taste buds. This molecule passes straight though the body because the protein (enzymes) in the body cannot breakdown this molecule.

Olestra can help individuals lose weight because it has no calories. It also doesn't taste any different from other full-fat snacks, so individuals can consume and enjoy products that have the same taste for less calories. 

Olestra takes down crucial nutrients down with it as it passes though the digestive track. More specifically, it takes down fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E, and K. This prevents vitamins from being absorbed by the gut and used for cellular function. More research needs to be done in order to understand the potential long term effects. 
Olestra can also cause over-consumption of certain highly processed foods. 

Foods That Contain Olestra
Olestra can be found in some highly processed food products such as chips and crackers. Here are some specific examples:
-       Lay’s Light Original
-       Ruffles Light Original
-       Doritos Light Nacho Cheese
-       Fat-free Pringles

"Don't Buy These Products €” They Contain OLESTRA! Center for Science in the Public Interest." Don't Buy These Products:They Contain OLESTRA! Center for Science in the Public Interest. N.p., n.d. Web. [Website accessed from:]

"Ingredient Spotlight: Olestra." The Calorie Control Council. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013. [Website accessed from]

Image taken from

Healthy Tuna and Kale Pasta Sauce

I didn't have too much time to cook dinner this evening so I didn't want to make anything too fancy. I decided to add vegetables into a pot, followed by tomato sauce and tuna and I made a delicious pasta sauce! 
TIP: Usually when I buy vegetables, I cut everything up that day and put them into separate containers so I don't have to worry about chopping each individual ingredient the day of. I hope you enjoy this recipe! 

- 3/4 cup of frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, green beans)
- 2 cups of celery
- 11/2 cup of kale
- 1/2 jar of Whole Foods 365 Days Roasted Vegetable Tomato Sauce
- 1 tuna can 

1. Boil water in a pot
2. Add celery and heat until soft
3. Add kale and heat for about 2 minutes
4. Drain the water out of the pot 
5. With the kale and celery already in the pot, add the tomato sauce and the frozen vegetables and stir 
6. Turn the heat down to medium heat and wait until all the ingredients warm up 
7. Add tuna into the tomato sauce 


Monday, January 21, 2013

Simple Diet Rules

With all the ways companies advertise to lose weight today, it could get confusing and frustrating. I believe only two things are needed for a healthy self: diet and exercise.

Don't over complicate it. The most important advice I could give you is to listen to your body. Think of it as you in a relationship with your body; you need to keep both you and your body happy. Here are some simple rules I stick to on a daily basis:

- EAT YOUR VEGGIES AND FRUITS: Incorporate a handful of veggies and one fruit at every meal
- EAT ANYTHING YOU WANT IN MODERATION: This was a hard topic to grasp since I was a health freak at some point. I avoided my favorite guilty pleasures for months and when I did buy these products, I would binge on them and then feel guilty afterwards. I learned that it is okay to eat your favorite foods, like chocolate and cookies, just in moderation.
- PORTION CONTROL: This is probably the hardest and most important part of weight loss. For months I had difficulty with portion sizes and I couldn't lose weight. I realized that I was eating about 1.5 times as much as I should have been. I started using smaller plates to make my portion sizes look bigger when in fact they were getting smaller. This helped greatly.
- EAT WHEN HUNGRY, STOP EATING WHEN FULL: I know this is easier said than done but you need to put effort into your diet. If you don't change your eating habits, your body will never change.

Exercising is an important component of weight loss. Several people do not like to exercise, however. Here is a simple solution: add some moves into your daily life. Here are some examples:

- While brushing your teeth, walk in place or move your hips
- During each commercial break, do 10 push-ups
- Before eating a meal at home, do 10 normal or jump squats
- Before going to bed, hold a plank for 30 seconds 

I personally do interval training for about 10 minutes everyday. I could hardly breathe after each workout but I feel much more energized and can go on with my daily routine. Remember that in order to lose weight, you need to exercise.

If any of this was easy, everybody would be fit, healthy, and happy.