All posts by Emily Filloramo

Are fruit and nut bars fattening?

Many people wonder what they can eat for a healthy snack.  One of the main things I recommend to my clients is to have a stashes of home-made trail mixes in snack size baggies everywhere… in the car, at the office, in your purse, in your locker, etc.

fruit and nut trail mixWhy?  These nuts not only help you tie you over from one meal to the next, they also keep your blood sugar steady so that you don’t get into that state of “I’m so hungry, I can eat a whole cow”.  When you are that hungry of a state, you don’t make wise choices, you eat everything in sight and you end up “breaking your diet” again.

It’s best to make your own trail mixes with mostly unsalted nuts and a few craisins/raisins.  The store bought trail mix bars are o.k. but they tend to have too much sugar.

Aren’t nuts fattening?  Studies have shown that people who eat nuts on a regular basis do not gain weight.  Yes, they have calories…the key to not gain weight is to refrain from eating the whole can of almonds in one sitting.  Nuts provide healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.  The key is moderation.

If you want the geeky scientific explanation of how nuts don’t put on weight, you can click on this video by Dr. Michael Gregor.

Do you incorporate nuts as part of your healthy diet?  Leave your responses below.

Healthy Buffet Food…It’s Really Possible

Waistline shrinking, healthy promoting foods at the buffet line.

I was at a conference in San Diego and there were all sorts of things to choose from at lunch. Here’s a picture of what I decided to put on my plate and explain to you how you can make wise choices and not sacrifice your healthy eating plan.

buffet line food

Pile your plate up with the healthy green stuff first.

Salad, vegetables, sweet potatoes, etc. Then, if you want to have a taste of the beef, or chicken or fish dish, go ahead a put a little bit of that on your plate. You won’t feel deprived and your belly will be filled up with nutrient rich plant foods that will serve your energy. And the best thing is…you won’t feel sluggish after the meal.

This full plate of green is what helps to fight inflammation in your body so that you decrease your chances of sick.  In the picture above, you can see that my plate was filled with greens.Broccoli, tomatoes, avocados (healthy fat) & shrimp salad, salad green, and a little bit of pulled pork, & tortilla.

“Scrape” off most of the fatty sauces from entrees and just leave enough to add to the flavor of the meat or fish item.

Does this plate seem filling to you? It certainly was for me. The avocado and pork provided the fat and protein for satiety – which means that you will feel full longer (by keeping your blood sugar steady) and not get the munchies later.

Limit how much “bread” or starch you eat. Although the tortilla was on my plate, I only ate half of it since it was a “white flour” product.  Just try to eat as little of the white flour product as possible. As you know, “white” stuff isn’t the best.

As for dessert – by the time you eat your full plate of healthy stuff, you probably won’t be tempted to eat the whole slice of pie or cake. If you want to taste it – go ahead – just take 2 or 3 bites – that’s it.

When you are traveling or you are at a social function– the goal is to maintain your current weight when you are away from home. It’s not that easy when you are away from the home environment….so no need beat yourself up about it.

 

How to Eliminate Sugar Cravings

Can sugar cravings really be eliminated?

Sounds too good to be true, huh…

Yes! Sugar craving can definitely be eliminated.

Here are some tips to get you started to eliminating your sugar cravings.

Eat more vegetables and whole grains!  I know, I know, I sound like a broken record…you’ve heard it all before…eat more healthy foods.  It’s not your fault you are not doing it because nutrition information is soooo confusing.

Sugar can do a lot of bad things to your body….including feeding into the growth of cancer cellyikes!!  When you eat more vegetables and whole grains, your body will not want sugar – it will crave more vegetables and whole grains….really!

Some suggestions below on what to do at each meal so that your cravings for sugar will disappear on their own.  Eat as much of the “good for you foods” first – fill your belly up with bulky veggies, whole grains (brown rice, beans, quinoa, etc.), and a SMALL portion of animal protein, if desired.  Then, if you still really want a cookie (or some other sugary item), you will eat 1 instead of 5.  Over time, you will not want any cookies and the sweetest thing you will crave is fruit….I promise.

Breakfast

  • 5 minute Old Fashioned Oatmeal, sweetened with minimal amount of maple syrup/honey, add raisins/craisins and nuts.
  • Kale Green Smoothies (recipe available in the Free Report you received 3 weeks ago).  If you need the free report again, please go to the home page of my website and enter your name and e-mail address.

Snack:

  • Healthy trail mix (nuts/raisins) – watch the portion size – measure out into snack size baggies.  Keep them everywhere – in office, car, briefcase, lunchbox, etc.  Emergency healthy food on the go.

Lunch:

  • Big salad or big plate of veggies, 1/2 avocado, beans (chickpeas, red beans, black beans, etc.) with small portion of animal protein.
  • Stay away form eating sandwiches with processed luncheon meats (full of chemicals) – it will feel o.k. going down but later on you won’t feel that great you ate it.  If you really want turkey or chicken, go for the real turkey or chicken – not the deli meat.
  • Fruit for dessert.
  • (If you want to sneak in a couple of potato chips…go ahead…just have 3-4 chips, not the whole bag.)

Dinner:

  • Always have a big plate of veggies as your “main entree” and a “side dish” portion of animal protein.
  • Fruit again for dessert.

Here’s an example of a dinner with foods that will eliminate sugar cravings:

tomato-avocado-chix salad

  • red, yellow, green tomatoes
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 chicken breast
  • 1 fig
  • items from the antipasto bar at Whole Foods – feta cheese, olives, marinated mushrooms & onions

Notice that the plate is full of veggies, with a sprinkling of the “fattier” items from the antipasto bar (including cheese).  No need to deny yourself of anything as long as the majority of the plate has “good for you” foods.

Eating healthy foods first means that you will not want as much of the “bad” foods.  If you keep eating this way, I guarantee that you will lose your cravings for sugar.

 

 

 

Guiltless Dessert Balls

Guiltless Dessert Balls

Dessert Balls

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut Cranberry Nut Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups of toasted pecans, almonds or walnuts (or a mixture of them)
  • 3/4 cups of dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup almond or peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey

Directions:

  • Put coconut in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Place remaining ingredients in food processor until it forms a stiff paste.  Form into ping-pong size balls and roll into the coconut to coat.
  • Keep in room temperature for 3 days or place balls in freezer and take a few out at a time to enjoy.

(adapted from “Clean Food” by Terry Walters)

Note:

This dessert is a healthier alternative to traditional desserts made with sugar and butter.  You can adjust the amount of sweetener to your liking…..less sweet is always better than too sweet.

Just because this is a good alternative to sugary sweets, it doesn’t mean you can eat as many as you would like….it still has calories.

Enjoy!

Healthy Bones….Without Dairy

Healthy bones….without dairy.  

Dairy industry does a fabulous job of advertising to get you to think that you need dairy everyday to get the calcium you need for  strong bones.  In fact, T. Colin Campbell, PhD, author of the “China Study”, has shown that the countries that consume the most amount of dairy products (North America and Scandinavian countries), have the highest rates of osteoporosis and fractures.

Adding green smoothies into your daily diet of greens will give you the calcium you need without resorting to dairy products.  (Besides, dairy products are very inflammatory…will cover that topic in the future.)

Have you got your kale mustache on everyday?

See how easy it is to make smoothies in this VIDEO.

 

Not only is kale rich in calcium (collard greens, mustard greens, bok choy, bok choy are rich in calcium, too)…

  • Kale and other greens are loaded with fancy sounding compounds that destroy cancer cells in laboratory tests – (dairy products can’t claim this.)
  • Green smoothies fill up your belly and helps kill hunger pains.
  • Greens help you to poop everyday – no need for Metamucil – yippeee! (Gets rid of those pesky toxins lurking in your digestive tract that can promote all sorts of diseases.)

Kale Green Smoothie recipe here.

If you are a beginner, try the beginner version 1st…

has more fruit so that it is easier for you to get use to the taste and texture.  As this becomes a regular part of your diet, you can gradually switch over to the advanced version – made with water, not fruit juice…..we don’t want an excess of fruit sugars in our diets…..too much fruit sugars is just too much for your system.

Time saving tip: make the kale smoothie the night before.

If you are rushed in the morning, this is the perfect solution.  And, the kale smoothie freezes well – just pour some into a travel mug, put it in the freezer.  It takes a few hours to defrost – so plan accordingly.  (Take a frozen thermos full of the smoothie to the office and it will be defrosted by lunchtime.)

Tips for asking for Green Smoothies at eateries that make smoothies.

Many coffee shops/eateries make fruit smoothies – they don’t have green smoothies on the menu.  Drinking an all fruit smoothies is TOO much sugar – even if it is sugar from nature.  Ask the shop if they have spinach, salad greens, cucumbers, kale – most do – and just ask them to make you a “custom” smoothie without so much sugar.

Drink these smoothies regularly and you will be sporting your own kale mustache for strong bones.

How NOT to gain weight at Thanksgiving

green beans
photo by CarbonNYC

What am I supposed to do to not gain weight at Thanksgiving?

Ok, it’s that time of year again – family and friends gather for the annual Thanksgiving feast.

If you are like a lot of people – at the end of the Thanksgiving meal you wish you hadn’t eaten so much.  Many people don’t eat much of anything before Thanksgiving dinner thinking that they will be saving calories so they can indulge during the feast.

Bad idea!!!

How can you prevent yourself from doing that this year?  Here are some tips.

1.  Eat breakfast – a hearty and healthy one. 

  • E.g. Old fashioned oatmeal, green smoothies, hard boiled egg, peanut butter on whole wheat bread, fruit, etc.

2.  Have a hearty snack about 1-2 hours before you are off to wherever you are going.

  • E.g. – Handful of nuts, peanut/almond butter on apple/celery/wholegrain cracker or bread, big salad with beans and avocados.

3.  Lots of water, of course – (will trick your stomach into feeling full).

If you eat healthy before you go to a party or a holiday meal – your blood sugar won’t be low and you will be able to control the amount you eat.

If you know that the host of the dinner does NOT provide healthy offerings, it’s even more important that you eat before you go and…

it’s important that you’re the one that brings the “healthy” side dish – at least you can control the fact that there is 1 item on the menu – yours – that will be good for you.

You won’t be upsetting the host – you will still be eating her food – you just won’t be indulging in seconds.

Typical turkey dinner:

turkey dinner

This is soooo bad – why?

Too much animal protein, too much fatty and bready stuffing, white potatoes (a little better than fatty mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie (too big of a slice – a small sliver of it would be much better).

Eating this dinner will create unwanted acidity and inflammation in your body (refer to my free E-book that  “Lose a Dress or Suit Size in 7 Days without Counting Calories or Starving Yourself”.  Get the book delivered to your e-mail by signing up here – for an explanation on the deleterious effects of chronic acidity and inflammation).  You’ll also continue to get tips likes these every 2 weeks by signing up to get my free book.

Because this meal causes so much acidity and inflammation, this is the reason you feel NOT SO GREAT after eating it.

How to make this meal better?

green beans

Load it up with greens, decrease the amount of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie.

Load your plate up with a big helping of whatever looks the healthiest to you – then take a piece of turkey – size of a deck of cards – add some cranberry sauce and as little gravy (lots of fat) as you can stand.

Avoid the mashed potatoes (or put a minuscule amount on your plate) and avoid the sweet potatoes if you know that it is full of butter.

Drink seltzer or water in between glasses of alcohol.  Wine spritzer is preferred alcohol since it is diluted with seltzer – saves calories, too.

Just have a good time eating the meal slowly and enjoy the conversation.  If you wait at least 20 minutes before reaching for seconds – this will give your belly enough time to signal your brain that you are full.

What do I do with the pies and desserts?

If the pies and desserts are to die for – have a very small portion.  Studies have shown that 3 bites of a rich food is enough to satisfy the craving for that food.

And again, fill up your tummy with hot tea or decaf coffee (or hot water with lemon) as you are tasting the desserts.

How do I detox the day after the decadent meal?

If you feel that you have eaten a little too much on Turkey Day, the next day – just detox your system by eating brown rice, LOTS of vegetables, green smoothies, and fruit.

green smoothie

Green Smoothie Recipe here.  Your body will love you for detoxing and you will be back on track to healthy eating pretty quickly.  Your body will love you for detoxing and you will be back on track to healthy eating pretty quickly.

Each time that you overindulge on rich foods, it will remind you how awful you can feel afterwards and it will propel you to go back to your healthier ways.

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!