food-portions-soda250Americans as a group simply eat too much. We have lost perspective. In the 1960s, Coca Cola was served in 16 ounce bottles and their advertising claimed that “one bottle serves a whole family.” Today, we buy 32 ounce “large-sized” drinks and then go back for a refill before leaving the restaurant.

20 years ago a coffee was about 8 ounces and contained 45 calories – and that was with a bit of milk and sugar. Today, a Grande Café Mocha at Starbucks is 16 ounces and contains 330 calories. Movie popcorn used to come in containers that held about 5 cups. Today, you buy it by the tub.

And our portion distortion follows us home too. When we dish up food for our family meals, we often load each person’s plate with far more than they need. Suggested portion sizes are listed on the back of most packaged food products, on the Nutrition Facts panel. They’re often listed in cups, tablespoons, or ounces.

To help you better control your portions, whether you’re eating at home or in a restaurant, here are some simple guidelines that compare serving sizes with common objects:

1 teaspoon = 1 quarter or 2 nickels
1 Tablespoon = A walnut or a 9 volt battery
1/4 Cup = 1 large egg or a golf ball
1/2 Cup = A light bulb or 1 cupped hand
1 Cup = The size of your fist or a baseball
1 ounce = Ounces are a little harder to measure, since different foods weigh different amounts. For many foods, including meat and vegetables though, a 3 ounces portion is about the size of a deck of playing cards.

Recommended portion sizes for different foods can vary widely, depending on the food’s density and calorie content. But, in many cases a recommended portion size is around 3-4 ounces, 3/4-1 cup, or 6-8 ounces. Be sure to check the recommended serving size for the particular food you’re interested in. A good source is WebMD. They have recommended serving sizes for most foods, and the size equivalents above will help. Keep these in mind the next time you’re in a restaurant or serve up dinner for your family.

Remember, healthy choices you make each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?

Do You Wish Your Kid’s Ate Better? Check out our FREE eBook at www.HealthyFamilyFuture.com. Many of the strategies in this book can be used by both children and adults.
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You may also want to read: We Need a Plan to Combat Obesity, Being Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be HardIs Healthy Eating Becoming Chic?

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We are inundated with “helpful” infomercial producers, authors, friends, and family telling us how to eat healthfully. There are books, CDs, and whole coaching programs focused almost exclusively on teaching us about health, nutrition, and eating.

There are so many sources that, in fact, it may seem overwhelming. These people are (mostly) well-meaning. They really do want to help, but health and nutrition are confusing, right?

Well, healthy eating can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Sure, there are people that spend thousands and thousands of dollars studying healthy eating. There are people who devote their lives to fully understanding nutrition and how the body converts food to energy. But for the vast majority of us, there is an easy way to eat healthfully.

If you want to ignore the latest fads and never be confused about healthy eating again, just follow these 3 tips:

Plan Ahead. If you wait until 6:00 to look in the cupboards and plan dinner, it’s going to be hard to make healthy choices. Without planning ahead, you’re likely to be missing key ingredients, or lack the time to cook, so you’ll “default” to the easiest meal you can think of. Even planning one day ahead can help. What’s interesting is that planning ahead encourages you to think about how to cook a healthy meal, while at the same time reducing last minute stress.

Divide Your Plate. To eat healthfully, nutritionists tell us we should be eating about 50 percent fruits and vegetables, 25 percent lean protein, and 25 percent whole grains. So that you don’t have to think about it, just divide your plate into 4 equal parts (quarters). Fill 2 quarters (1/2) of your plate with vegetables and a bit of fruit, then fill 1/4 with carbohydrates like rice, beans, or sweet potatoes, and use the remaining 1/4 for lean protein like meat or fish.

Splurge on a (Small) Treat. Do you crave cake at the office party, or ice cream after dinner? Instead of loading up your plate and then overeating, try dishing up the equivalent of just 3-5 bites. Eat those 3-5 bites and then pause. Have a conversation or read a book for 15 minutes. If you still crave the dessert, then dish up another 3-5 bites and repeat. For most people, the first 3-5 bites of a treat are enough to satisfy their urge and they don’t need to go back for more.

By following these 3 tips, you can eat healthfully without becoming a nutrition expert. Try them and see just how much difference they can make in your eating.

Remember, healthy choices you make each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?

Do You Wish Your Kid’s Ate Better? Check out our FREE eBook at www.HealthyFamilyFuture.com. Many of the strategies in this book can be used by both children and adults.
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You may also want to read: Obesity is Unintended Side Effect, A Calorie is Not Just a Calorie, 5 Quick, Tasty Meals Everyone Can Fix Their Own Way

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Healthy Meals in a Snap

Football season is upon us again and that means football parties! When you host one of these parties, or even when you’re just enjoying a game with your family, make healthy snacks to munch on.

How do you go beyond simple “chips and dips,” while still keeping it quick and easy? How do you create tasty, healthy appetizers that don’t require long hours in the kitchen? There are lots of great appetizers that can be created in a snap.

Here are 5 ideas for your next party:

Parmesan Zucchini Sticks. Healthy finger foods that are both salty and crunchy are a must at any party. And they’re really easy to make. Cut 3 large zucchini in half crosswise, then cut each half into wedges. Dip wedges in a scrambled egg or egg substitute, then roll them in a mixture of 1 cup breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Bake on a wire rack for 25 minutes at 400 degrees, or until golden brown. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce for dipping.

Orange-Spiced Pecans. This is another great crunchy snack. Combine 1 Tbsp of grated orange rind with 1 Tbsp or orange juice and 1 egg white. Stir in 2 cups of pecan halves and stir to coat. Add 1 Tbsp brown sugar and a sprinkle of salt and toss well (you can also add some ground chile pepper if you like things spicy!). Spread mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour at 225 degrees, stirring occasionally.

Tomato-Mozzarella skewers. A great appetizer and a nice contrast to salty or spicy foods. This snack is healthy and super-easy to make. Place a cherry tomato, a small cube of mozzarella cheese and a fresh basil leaf on a wooden skewer. Repeat to fill skewer. Place completed skewers in a bowl or arrange on a plate. Drizzle with a bit of Balsamic vinegar for added flavor. That’s it.

Guacamole/Salsa Hard-Boiled Eggs. This is a great twist on traditional deviled eggs, and by eliminating the egg yolk, you cut down on both calories and cholesterol. Hard boil a dozen eggs and when cooled, peel and slice each egg in half. Remove the yolk and replace it with guacamole, your favorite salsa, or a combination of both.

Cucumber-Shrimp Bruschetta. Another great finger food, this appetizer is filling and healthy too. Chop a large cucumber and mix with 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt, 1 tsp dill. Slice a baguette (small, thin loaf of French bread) and toast slices. Chop precooked shrimp into bite-sized pieces. Spread cucumber mixture on toasted slices and top with 1 or 2 shrimp bites.

Try any one or all of these healthy appetizers at your next party. They are each a “cut above” the ordinary, and they’re easy to prepare.

Remember, healthy choices each day can transform families for generations! What choices will you make today?

Do You Wish Your Kid’s Ate Better? Check out our FREE eBook at www.HealthyFamilyFuture.com. Many of the strategies in this book can be used by both children and adults.
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You may also want to read: Healthy Foods More Filling, Cookware Essentials for the Everyday Chef, What to Cook When You Think You Don’t Have Time

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Healthy Meals in a Snap

When people think about salad, they often think of lettuce with maybe a sliced tomato  Salad_as_mealtossed in. But salads can be so much more. In fact, they can be an entire meal by itself, and they don’t have to include lettuce at all.

Salads make sense any time, but especially now with the weather heating up. Now is a good time to think about fixing meals that are cool and refreshing, as well as healthy. So, just what can go into a healthy salad?

Step 1: Decide on the base. Iceberg lettuce may be the most popular variety in the U.S., but we recommend that you try other varieties of lettuce. In terms of taste and nutritional value, iceberg lettuce is at the bottom of the ladder, and you’ll find that varieties like Romaine, Boston, and Oak Leaf each have their own unique flavors. You can also use Arugula, Kale, spinach, or watercress for a salad. Experiment with different types and see which you and your family like best. One general rule of thumb: usually, the darker the green, the more vitamins, nutrients and flavor the plant will have.

tomato_basil_feta saladAs a tasty alternative, you can take a cue from Europeans and build up salads using ingredients like tomatoes or bell peppers as the base; good salads don’t necessarily need to incorporate lettuce at all! And they don’t have to be complicated, either. One of the salads that we like best is one that’s simply sliced tomatoes and feta cheese, topped with fresh basil and a bit of garlic-infused olive oil. It’s quick, easy and tastes great!

Step 2: Add protein. Once you’ve decided on the base, add some protein to make your salad into a meal. You can do this in a variety of ways, so think about what sounds best to you. While shredded ham or roasted chicken are great ways to get started when it comes to adding protein to your food, don’t forget things like eggs, crab meat, tofu, or even ground beef.

You can even use meat that has been seasoned during cooking. We love making a “Tex-mex” salad by adding ground beef that’s been cooked with taco seasoning. Another quick idea is to use chicken that’s been cooked with a teriyaki sauce to give your meal an Oriental flair.

Step 3: Finish it up. Don’t be limited to just greens. You can add artichoke hearts, beans, hearts of palm, peppers, cucumbers, nuts, and Chef_saladseeds. And, don’t forget about fruit, too. Adding Manderine orange slices, chopped apple, dried cranberries, fresh strawberries, or even melon balls to a salad can give it a wonderful flavor “kick.”

Step 4: Top it off with a dressing. Here’s where you need to be careful, though. Many dressings are loaded with fat and calories. It doesn’t help to create a healthy, flavorful salad and then smother it with creamy, high-calorie blue cheese dressing. Instead, try a light oil and vinegar dressing, or if you really want to go healthy, try just squeezing a fresh lemon or fresh lime over your salad. Once you get going, you’ll find that there is no end to the combinations you can create. And, as long as you pay attention to the dressing, salads can be very healthy.

So, the next time you’re looking for something different to fix for dinner – something both healthy and refreshing – try salad as a main course. You might even try a salad bar, so that each member of your family can pile on the ingredients they like the most! With a great salad, you can create a healthy meal in a snap!

chef-michael

Remember, healthy choices you make each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?
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You might also want to read: Quick and Easy: How About a Taco Bar for Dinner?, Quick, Healthy Grocery Shopping, Want Your Kids to Eat Better? Here’s How

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compulsive eatingDo you feel like you are losing control of your eating?  Compulsive eating is characterized by frequent episodes of uncontrollable eating and consequent weight gain.  An estimated eight million Americans are estimated to have an eating disorder with compulsive eating being one of the most common.  Compulsive eating is using food and eating as a way to hide from or manage emotions.  It may be to fill a void you fill inside or to cope with the daily stresses or problems that life brings.

Signs and Symptoms of Compulsive Eating
Compulsive eaters feel out of control and are aware that their eating patterns are abnormal.  Common signs and symptoms of compulsive eating may include:
•    Eating uncontrollably or binge eating even if you aren’t physically hungry
•    Eating much more quickly than normal
•    Eating by yourself due to feeling shamed or embarrassed
•    Feeling guilty after overeating
•    Depression or mood swings
•    Awareness that your eating patterns are abnormal
•    History of weight loss or fluctuations
•    Withdrawal from social activities because of feelings of embarrassment about weight
•    History of many unsuccessful diets
•    Eating small amounts of food in public and then eating a lot of food when alone
•    Hiding food in strange places such as closets, cabinets or under the bed
•    Secretive eating patterns
•    Self-defeating statements after eating
•    Weight is focus of life
•    Loss or sexual desire
•    Fatigue, always feeling tired

Effects of Compulsive Eating
If left untreated, compulsive eating may lead to serious medical conditions including:
•    High cholesterol
•    Diabetes
•    Heart disease
•    High blood-pressure
•    Sleep apnea
•    Depression
•    Kidney disease
•    Arthritis
•    Stroke
•    Bone deterioration

Take Control of Compulsive Eating
If you think you may suffer from compulsive eating you are not alone.  If you have failed to control it on your own, an effective an effective coaching program like the Eat Great Live Well Personalized Wellness Program, will help you develop a healthy relationship with food and address root of the problem—any emotional triggers that may lead to compulsive eating. With the right help and support, you can learn how to develop a healthy relationship with your food and control your eating once and for all.

Find out how you can develop a healthy relationship with food with the Eat Great Live Well Personalized Wellness Program.   Discover the secret to reaching your healthy, natural weight and living well…without giving up the foods you love!

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