I’VE MOVED!

•June 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Wondering why there haven’t been updates in while? It’s because I’ve moved to my new domain, where I’ve been doing all of my updates! Going forward, please visit http://nutritionfor.us/ for all of the exciting, delicious and motivating articles you’ve come to love!

Please also visit http://realisticwedding.wordpress.com/ for updates on my wedding planning!

Eat Skinny, Be Skinny: Kabobs

•May 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Summer is finally upon us, which means cool drinks, hot temperatures and bar-b-ques!  However, these summertime soirees can be serious diet busters if you aren’t careful! Instead of worrying about your calorie intake when you are supposed to be having fun with friends and family, grill up a dish that is not only delicious, but super healthy! Elliot and I made these kabobs recently and they were so good, we are doing them again tonight! You can switch up your proteins if you are not a beef person, chicken, pork and even fish work just as great!

Skinny Beef Kabobs

1/4 c. reduced sodium steak sauce
1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 t. dry mustard powder
2 dashes of italian seasoning
8 Portobello mushrooms, cut in fourths
8 oz 98% fat-free stew beef
3-4 green red bell pepper
2 onions, trimmed, cut crossways

Mix steak sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, mustard powder and italian seasoning. Add the beef cubes to mixture. Mix and saturate the beef in the sauce. Marinate for 1 hour.

Soak 8 skewers in water. Pre-heat grill.

On each skewer alternate protein with vegetable, or add more protein or vegetables to your taste. Grill until beef is tender, but not too pink.

Nutritional Info: 100 calories per skewer, 1 gm. fat

Superfood of the Week: Avocados

•May 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This green, soft and delicious superfood is more than just the main ingredient in guacamole, it’s chock full of health benefits and weight loss elixirs! The avocado is known as a fat fighter due to the fact that it is high in monounsaturated fats, or the good fats. According to SELF magazine, dieters who consumed these healthy fats lost more weight, especially in their stomach, than those who didn’t eat them. Your blood sugar can send signals to your body to store fat around your abdomen, however, these healthy fats stop this from happening, which prevents fat accumulation. Call them the super hero of all fats!

The fats found in avocados not only slim your waist, but they also keep your heart strong and healthy. According to the American Heart Association, the fats in avocados lower your risk for heart disease by lowering the amount of LDL cholesterol [bad] from your body. Avocados are one of the few fruits that provide this good fat.

And for an added bonus, avocados are naturally low in calories [50 for 1/5 or 2-3 slices of an avocado]! That is  half of the calories that are in a slice of cheese!

Are you one of the many who love the health benefits but can’t stomach the taste of it raw or the consistency? Don’t worry! Below is a recipe that even the pickiest of eaters will love! Courtesy of California Avocado.

photo courtesy of Maria Cooks.

Italian Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded and peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. shredded fresh basil leaves, or about 1/3 that amount dried
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  •  ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Instructions

    1. Coarsely mash (DO NOT PUREE) avocados
    2. Stir in vinegar
    3. Fold in remaining ingredients

    Serving Suggestions:
    Serve with crispy bread sticks or crostini.

    *Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.
    Guacamole is best made as close to serving as possible. For short-term storage, seal in an airtight container with a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the guacamole.

     Nutritional Information: 200 calories per serving, 18 gm. fat, 4 gm. protein [so enjoy sparingly!]

    Some big changes going forward…

    •May 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

    Hello friends, fans and readers! I wanted to let you all know of some changes being made to this lovely little blog! I’ve thought long and hard and think they will only make this a better, more informative and more interesting blog!

    1. I am no longer going to be doing resolution days. This was  a tough decision, but in the end, I think it will be in the best interest of the blog. I’m sad I wasn’t able to keep it up throughout the whole year, but am very proud of myself for what I have accomplished thus far. Life happens and I was unable to post everyday, which left me to feel stressed out and anxious  because I was behind, which is not feelings I want, especially about this blog! I will, however, finish my updates for April and will end in May. That doesn’t mean that I won’t still be posting new and exciting things I’m going to try to help me become fitter, smarter, healthier and happier, just not in the same format. I think this change will make my blog easier to follow, easier to relate to and easier to read! I hope you all still chose to stick with me as I continue to bring you top quality “stuff!”

    2. I will be moving over to my website [www.nutritionfor.us] in May! My fiance and I are doing some hard work on it to make sure it’s as fun and easy to read as this blog. I’m just ready for a new face and look to my blog and think this new platform will only increase my readership and gain more traction!

    3. I would like to introduce my exciting, new categories! Meal Makeover, Pump it Up and Keep On Smilin’. All of these will be updated once a week and will contain ways to make your favorite dish healthier, pump up your exercise regime for maximum results and daily tips on how to be happier. I’m definitly wanting all of these to be user friendly, so if any of you have any recipes you’ve made over, really great workout tips or happy advice, please send my way!                                                                                                                      

    I wanted to thank EVERYONE who is a dedicated follower, you are all why I do this :) I can’t wait to see how everythin unfolds!

    Days 24-25: Add a dab of excitement…

    •May 24, 2010 • 2 Comments

    It’s not that my life is boring, persay, it’s more that it can be rather seriously lackluster at times, which is normal, I know. However, as I mentioned in a previous post, I tend to get very stir crazy and can go a bit mad if there isn’t something exciting on the horizon. Although I have plenty to be excited about in a few months [my trip to Italy] and this year [My wedding!] there are still gaps of dullness that drag me down. Sadly, I’m also on a tight budget [due to the two exciting things I just mentioned] so I need some low-budget, free ideas to add some pizzazz to those boring days and weekends. So below, you will find some ideas on how I plan to spice up my life. I’m open to suggestions and more ideas, so leave a comment or drop an email if you know of any! It took me two days to compile this list, but I”m excited!

    Learn to cook

    I’m not a horrible cook, but I’m not great either. So what better way to spice up my life than to add some zest to my meals? Before I sought help from a professional [a cooking class] I wanted to try to teach myself the culinary arts. [Obviously with a little help from my hubby-to-be].  Now learning to cook is not a one, or even two, day thing, but is something that I can do when I’m feeling bored with my life. 

    So how do you teach yourself to work? Well with help from Food & Wine magazine, it’s rather easy! If you want to add some spice to your life [AND your dishes!] top chefs [like Tom Callichio] would read cookbooks, cover to cover. If you don’t have the time for that, try following a few simple pieces of advice I’ve picked up from friends, family members and colleagues who have mastered their kitchen.

    1. Commit to cooking everyday. Whether it be something small like scrambled eggs or something larger like a roast chicken, find time to be in the kitchen everyday. You can’t learn if you don’t practice!

    2.  Find a technique cook book, that not only gives recipes, but helps beginners [like me, who barely know the difference between a tsp and a tbsp!] Some good suggestions are Tips and Techniques to Cooking Like a Pro, Anthony Bourdain’s Less Halles Cookbook and Betty Crocker Cookbook.

    3.  Focus on fresh ingredients. The best dishes are made with the best ingredients and the best cooks only use fresh food. So follow in their footsteps and try to use fresh fruits, produce, meats and breads in your recipes.

     

    Sign up for a fun, reoccurring dance class

    I am  an embarrassment when it comes to dancing. My skills rival that of Carlton, but not nearly as cool. I’m a klutz and uncoordinated, which make dancing something to dread.   So to overcome my fear of dancing and lose some weight at the same time, I decided to sign up for dance classes.

    Now, finding dance classes for serious beginnings was a bit tough, but I found a great resource local to DC! Joy of Motion Dance Center in Bethesda caters to the worst of the worst [me] to near perfect dancers. I signed up for the Intro to Hip Hop dance classes. The price is a bit steep [$85 for 5 weeks] but I think the benefits totally outweight the cost. You can burn up to 500 calories per hour doing hip hop dances and dancing will add some spice to my social life!

     These tasks should add some excitement to my life, and if I start to get bored again, you better believe I’ll feature another post with more fun, easy ways to add a bit of fun and spice to your everyday!

    Calorie Counter

    •May 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

    This is, by far, the coolest online calorie counter. It really motivates you to put down that donut and grab a peach! [Or in this case, a stick of sugar-free gum!]

    Interactive Calorie Counter

    Day 20 [Wedding]: The big O

    •May 16, 2010 • 1 Comment

    I know what you are all thinking…and no, I’m not referring to that O. [Not in this post, at least!] I’m referring to the big ol’ O of organization! Not quite as exciting but just as necessary for a healthy, happy life…and a successful wedding.

    I was in desperate need of an organizational game plan for my wedding. My house was cluttered with wedding magazines, notepads with inspirational ideas, wedding books and photos. Even worse off was my hard drive, which was loaded with saved internet pages, wedding documents and to do lists and thousands of emails between my bridal party, my vendors, and myself.  My wedding life, put frankly, was a f***in’ mess! So on day 20 [a day that will live in my mind as the one that saved my life] I gathered all my documents from the house and printed all the documents on my computer and sat down to organize, color code and stick them into a wedding binder. A daunting task, but at this point, I was in need of some serious help and was willing to try anything.

    As a girl who never understood the power of organization, I was shocked  to see how much easier [and less stressful] it made planning my wedding. After my binder was built, I became a devout believer in the big O. [See pictures of this paper miracle below.]

    As you can see from the photos above, this binder has a place for everything and anything that relates to my wedding. It has theme inspirations, accessories, favorite dresses, vendor contracts, gift bag ideas and our menu. It also has wedding day timelines and to-do lists. This baby has it all and it has already saved me from a few major meltdowns.

    So brides to be, I highly  recommend making a wedding binder. If you aren’t a fan of the binder [or don’t want to lug around something that weights 20 pounds] create a wedding folder on your desktop or in your inbox where you can save all of your emails, to-do lists and inspirational ideas. Having one place that houses all of your wedding information will not only save you time, but can also save you money and keep you from unnecessary freak-outs.  It may seem time-consuming to build this binder or save EVERYTHING, but in the long run, the extra few seconds will be worth it. I can’t tell you how many times, already, this binder has come in handy during conversations with a few of my vendors. It is such a time and life saver to have everything easily accessible and in one place.

    If you’d like more information on my binder and what I included, comment your question or shoot me an email! I’m more than happy to assist anyone! [claire.gllam10@gmail.com]

    I can’t stress enough, an organized bride is a happy bride!

     
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