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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Quinoa & Shrimp Salad; A Healthy, Lowfat & Gluten free Lunch or Dinner!

I missed you guys last week! I had company and so I took a little break from CSG!  But I am back, and today I am sharing another great recipe with you; Quinoa & Shrimp Salad!  This makes a yummy Lunch or Dinner and once again, it has the perfect combination of protein to fat to low glycemic carbs!  This recipe serves 4 people.  You will love this dish!!!
Note: If you are not a fan of shrimp, you can use Salmon or Tilapia, and flake 4 ounces of that over each plate of salad. 

Quinoa & Shrimp Salad (Serve cold)
1 pound of Baby Shrimp (wash, place in a storage container, and refrigerate)
1 cup of cooked Red Quinoa (You can find both Red & Brown Quinoa @ Trader Joe's)
1 cup of cooked Brown Quinoa
3 stalks of chopped celery
1/2 finely chopped red onion (or onion powder)
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1 large chopped Avocado
1 chopped Tomato
1/2 cup of finely chopped Cilantro
1/2 cup of sliced Cucumber (optional)
2 Tablespoons each of Lemon & Lime juice
3 Tablespoons of Olive or Flax Oil (I prefer Olive Oil for this recipe)
Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper
In a large bowl mix together; Quinoa, Celery, Onions, Avocado, Tomatoes, Cilantro & Cucumbers.  Add a generous amount of Garlic Powder, Lemon & Lime Juice, and salt & pepper.  Drizze Olive Oil over the mixture and stir.  DO NOT ADD THE BABY SHRIMP.  It is best to add 4 oz. of baby shrimp to each plate, this way you know you are getting the proper amound of protein.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve.  Top off each plate with 4 ounces of chilled baby shrimp.  This is one of my favorite recipes and it's another well balanced meal, with just the right amount of healthy fat, healthy carbs and lean protein.  It's yummy and quite satisfying as well.  Enjoy this yummy salad while losing weight, and getting lean & healthy!
Until next time,
Be well :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Coconut Shrimp & Roasted Green/Yellow Beans; A Healthy Lowfat Meal!!

I've had so many requests for healthy meal ideas with weight loss in mind,  so today I am sharing a great recipe with you!!  :)  A lot of you are not used to eating low glycemic carbs, and have been wondering how to incorporate them into your diet, without having to sacrifice taste.  It's not as difficult as it may seem.  The following recipe serves 2, and makes a complete meal, with the perfect balance of protein, healthy fat and low glycemic carbs.

Coconut Shrimp (or Mahi Mahi boneless Fish fillets) w/ a side of roasted Green & Yellow beans. Serves 2.  (Green Bean preparation should be first, as the Shrimp or Mahi Mahi takes only a few minutes to make.)

Roasted Green & Yellow beans;
About 20 oz. fresh cut & cleaned green & yellow beans (which is enough to generously cover a large cookie sheet)
Fresh chopped garlic, (or garlic powder)
salt & pepper
Olive Oil
Pam Olive Oil Spray
Preheat oven to 450
Spray a cookie sheet with Pam Olive Oil spray OR line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Arrange the Green/Yellow beans on the cookie sheet and season generously with garlic, salt and pepper.  Drizzle Olive oil over the top and bake for about 25 minutes, depending on how well you like them cooked.  While the green beans are baking, start your fish preparation.

Coconut Jumbo Shrimp (or Mahi Mahi fish)
12 jumbo peeled & cleaned Shrimp, or 2- 4 oz. pieces of Mahi Mahi boneless fish fillets.  If you're using Mahi Mahi fish, I prefer to buy it from Trader Joe's; the portion size is perfect and they're not too thick, which is important when we're using so little oil to fry the fish.
1/4 cup coconut flour OR gluten free bread crumbs
3/4 cup egg beaters or egg substitute
Garlic powder and Lemon pepper.
4 teaspoons of Coconut Oil
Saturate each piece of shrimp or fish in the egg beaters, then lightly roll them in the coconut flour or gluten free bread crumbs.  Season with garlic powder & Lemon pepper.
Turn stove on medium high heat and spray a medium sized skillet w/ Pam Olive Oil spray.  Add 2 teaspoons of Coconut Oil.  Once the oil has melted, place fish in skillet and fry on one side for about 3 minutes.  When you turn them, you will need to add the other 2 teaspoons of Coconut Oil.  Cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Each plate should contain 6 shrimp or 4 ounces of Mahi Mahi, and about 10 ounces of the roasted green beans.

This meal is well balanced and geared towards weight loss, with the perfect combination of protein to fat to healthy carbs.  The fish is your protein, the Coconut Oil and Olive Oil are your healthy fats, and a 10 oz. serving of the green beans is the perfect serving size of low glycemic carbs.  This is also a prime example of using complex carbs to accent your meal; as I did with the Coconut flour, to batter the fish.

Enjoy this extra yummy meal while losing weight, & getting lean & healthy!
Until next time,
Be well :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lowfat & Healthy Dressing Recipes! Not Just For Salad Anymore!!!

As promised, I have a few Dressing/Sauce recipes for you!!  I experimented with my new find; Coconut Secrets Coconut Aminos, which is a Soy Sauce Substitute and is dairy, soy & gluten free.  If you don't have an allergy or intolerance to Soy Sauce, you can use that in place of the Coconut Aminos! This girl doesn't eat Soy anything!!  But that's your call.

You can use the following Dressing recipes over a salad or as a sauce; I like to put a Tablespoon of it over my protein, or over a side of sliced tomatoes, cucumbers or Bell Peppers! It adds tremendous flavor and for me, it prevents boredom, and we all know that boredom usually leads to failure when it comes to weight loss! Right????  

The following recipes are not my own; They are the recipes of Susana Belen, Founder of The We Care Holistic Spa, and author of the book, "Detox & Revitalize, The Holistic Guide for Renewing Your Body, Mind and Spirit." She is truly an amazing person and unbelievably creative in the kitchen.  You can order her book at http://www.wecarespa.com/ I highly recommend it!

A good quality blender is needed for these recipes!  I have a Vita-Mix Blender and to me, this is the best blender ever made. It is of commercial quality and it does amazing things!  It's an investment, but well worth it. The Magic Bullet Blender is also a good blender for making Dressings, if you're looking for something that costs a little less! (Actually a lot less)

You will lose your mind over these yummy recipes!  I'm not kidding! Soooo good!

Cilantro Dressing/Sauce
Juice from 2 Lemons
1 cup of Water
1 chopped Red Onion
2 fresh green Chile's, seeds removed
1 small bunch of Cilantro
1 pinch of Cayenne Pepper
2 cloves of garlic (or Garlic powder)
1 small bunch of Parsley
Mix in a blender until chopped coarse, and serve.



Avocado Green Dressing/Sauce
2 teaspoons of Coconut Aminos or Lite Soy Sauce
1 medium ripe Avocado
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
1 clove of Garlic (or Garlic Powder)
1 pinch of Cayenne Pepper (optional)
Mix in a blender until smooth and serve.

Lemon Garlic Dressing
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 clove Garlic (or Garlic Powder)
1 Clove
1 chopped Yellow Onion
1 tsp. Oregano
1/2 tsp. kelp
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
Mix in blender until smooth.  Refrigerate for 1 hour, and serve.

Tahini Dressing/Sauce
12 oz. Raw Tahini Sesame Butter
Juice from 3 Lemons
1/2 cup of Coconut Aminos or Lite Soy Sauce
dash of Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper, & Kelp
Mix well in blender until smooth.  Keep refrigerated.  This is yummy over Quinoa, in soups, as a salad dressing, and as a sauce served over your protein.  This dressing/sauce would count as added fat to your meal, so keep that in mind. Due to the fat content, I prefer to use this one as a sauce only, pouring 1 Tablespoon over my protein or over a side of sliced cucumbers, Tomatoes, or Bell Peppers. It's great over steamed or roasted veggies as well.

Italian Herbal Dressing
2 Large Tomatoes
1/2 peeled Cucumber
1 chopped Yellow Onion
1 Clove Garlic (or Garlic Powder)
1 tsp. Dill
2 Tbsp. of Organic Lemon Juice
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
Pinch of Sea Salt
Pinch of White & Black Pepper
2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil (optional, but I think you need it)
Mix in blender. Refrigerate for 1 hour and serve.

Remember this; Dressings aren't just for salads anymore!  They can be used over your steamed veggies, over your protein, or over a side of sliced raw veggies as well! 
Please note: If you suffer from IBS, you should avoid the recipes that call for onions, or you can substitute with onion powder. Everyone is different, but most people with IBS cannot tolerate onions, or raw garlic.  I do well however, with both garlic & onion powder.
Enjoy these yummy Dressing/Sauce recipes while getting lean & healthy!!

Until next time,
Be Well :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

FINALLY! A Soy, Dairy & Gluten Free Soy Sauce Substitue!!

I have so many yummy healthy & lowfat salad dressing and various sauce recipes I want to share with you, but for me the problem has been finding a soy, dairy & gluten free soy sauce substitute!  My diet does not allow for fermented foods as well, so this has been quite a challenge for me.

Today, I FINALLY found the perfect Soy Sauce Substitute!  And this product does NOT contain a fermentation booster.  I am so excited about this!!
It is certified 100% organic
Raw-Enzymatically Alive
Gluten, Dairy & Soy Free
Contains 17 naturally occurring Amino Acids
Vegan

It is Coconut Secret's Raw Coconut Aminos and you can find it at Whole Foods or you can find a store locator online at coconutsecret.com  They have a list of online stores as well!!

I just noticed they have Coconut Flour too!!  How cool is this? Here's what they have to say about Coconut Flour:
40% Dietary Fiber
100% Organic
Gluten, Dairy & Soy Free
Raw- from unheated Coconut
Unbleached
Unrefined
Low calories, Low carb, & Lowfat
Aids Digestive Health
Helps Balance Blood Sugar
promotes lipid oxidation (helps burn fat)
Vegan

I am going to experiment with both of these wonderful new products and in my next post, I will have some yummy, healthy & lowfat recipes for you!!
Until next time,
Be well :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Deadly Diet Sin; Eating High Glycemic Carbs with Fat; Failure at its Best!!

There are so many fad diets out there, that people often get confused and forget about the basics of nutrition!!  Based on my experience, the Deadly Diet Sin is this:  Eating meals that are high in complex carbs and other high glycemic carbs high in fat,  at the same time!! In my opinion, this is the quickest way to gain weight; This is Failure at its Best!!!
AVOID EATING HIGH GLYCEMIC CARBS WITH FAT!!!  But there is nothing wrong with eating low glycemic carbs with fat!  Complex carbs and other high glycemic carbs are meant to accent your meal, not be the primary source of it.  I'm not saying you should never eat complex or high glycemic carbs, but when you do eat them, be sure you are eating a minimal amount of fat with them.  I make it a habit to eat complex carbs only once a day, and usually for Breakfast or ocassionally for Lunch, but never for Dinner!!
In a previous post, I provided you with a list of healthy proteins, healthy fats, & healthy carbs.  I have also explained the importance of eating healthy fat to lose fat!  Just remember to eat your fat with low glycemic carbs, and add 4 ounces of protein for a well balanced meal.  For me, this is a Golden Rule!!
Many years ago, I discovered a book called, "A Week in The Zone."  The book is written by Barry Sears, and you can find it at Amazon.com and probably at most bookstores as well.   And no, I am not getting paid to promote his book.  This book changed my life and my views in regards to eating.  It became my food foundation so to speak, and I have since learned how to work with and around my complicated issues to develop a perfect eating plan.  This plan will result in a leaner, more fit, healthier and happier YOU!!  It's a lifestyle for me, and it really works!!  I believe in it because I have lived and experimented with it for over 15 years!  I have made modifications to make it a better fit for me, but it all started with this book.  Barry Sears has written many books, but this one is my favorite because it is the condensed version, while providing you with a wealth of information!  I highly recommend this book. It's also a great way to familiarize yourself with good and bad carbs, fat and protein.  

So the bottom line is this: Avoid eating complex carbs and other high glycemic carbs with fat if you are on a mission to lose weight!!  While something that works for you may not work for others, this one is a definite Golden Rule and in my opinion, applies to everyone!
Avoid "The Deadly Diet Sin!"  It is failure at its best, and a great way to pack on the pounds!!
Until next time,
Be well  :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Thoughts on the HCG Diet; Don't Waste Your Time or Money!!

I'm sure you've all heard about the latest, greatest fad; the HCG Diet! If you're a fan of this diet, you may want to pass on reading my opinion on this!  I have been researching HCG since 2006, and the outcome of my research is less than positive!! 
For starters; HCG is only available through a licensed M.D.  That's right you must see a Medical Doctor; it is available by prescription only, and you will most likely undergo a physical examination, as well as a series of blood tests before receiving HCG injections.  The FDA has not approved HCG for weight loss, and if your doctor does approve this weight loss method, you will more than likely be monitored on a regular basis!  This is no joke!

And then there's the over the counter, so called HCG drops sold at Health Spas and also available online, at ridiculously high prices!  Beware of these products!  Because here's the deal; Why on earth would HCG be available over the counter, when it is a serious drug and available by prescription only?  If you or someone you know is losing weight with the so called "HCG Drops," I'm pretty sure you are only losing weight because of the ridiculous 500 calorie a day diet, which has little or nothing to do with HCG!!  Who on earth wouldn't lose weight on 500 calories a day???  Honestly!!  You are also putting your health at risk if you are attempting to survive on 500 calories a day!! If you are purchasing HCG without an actual prescription, chances are, you are receiving only a trace if any, of the actual HCG!  In my opinion, this is a huge ripoff!!  Again, this is only my opinion, but my opinion is based on years of research and actual conversations and experiences with Medical Doctors!  

In 2007, I was able to get the HCG injections through a medical doctor, as I was wanting to lose 10 pounds.  The sad part of this story is that the doctor worked at a Health Spa and was less than honest; meaning she diluted my injections!  This meant I was not receiving enough of the HCG to benefit in any way.  I, of course stayed on the ridiculous 500 calorie a day diet, so I did lose weight, but I can tell you; it was not pleasant; it was not easy; and at no time was my hunger curved in any way.  I did it on pure will power.  I do feel that a pure HCG injection can probably assist you in weight loss, but only when supervised and prescribed by a medical M.D.  It is quite costly as well.

This is MY opinion, based on MY research!! My suggestion is this; Do your own research!  I would love to hear what you learn about HCG!! I am confident you will draw the same conclusions as I have! 
Feel free to give me a shoutout; I would love to hear what you have to say about HCG!
Until next time,
Be well  :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Eat Healthy Fat to Lose Fat!!!! Yep; It's True!!!

Healthy Fat plays a vital part in our diet!  I know this scares a lot of you, but it IS absolutely necessary!  Healthy fat can actually delay hunger pangs; yes it's true! Healthy fats & oils are a concentrated source of energy & are necessary for good health & fitness! Too much fat in our diet isn't healthy, but too little fat can have some serious consequences. For the most part, I add 9 grams of healthy fat to each meal, but it also depends on what my meal consists of.  For example; If I am eating Salmon I do NOT add fat because 4 ounces of Salmon contains roughly 12.5 grams of fat, in which case the Salmon would serve as both my protein and my fat in my meal.  If I am eating 2 eggs for Breakfast, I add only 5 grams of fat to my meal, because each egg contains 4.5 grams of fat.  Do you get what I am saying?  Am I making any sense to you! So use your common sense on this one! 
Healthy fats also add tremendous flavor to our meals, making it easier for us to stay on track, but more importantly, healthy fat when combined with healthy protein and low glycemic carbs will actually delay your hunger!  Believe it!! 
In one of my previous posts, I provided you with a list of healthy fats.  Pictured below are just a few of my favorite healthy fats:
From left to right; Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pam Olive Oil Spray, Follow Your Heart Lowfat Ranch Salad Dressing, Cold Pressed Sesame Oil, Coconut Oil, Tahini, & Almond Butter! My  favorite healthy fats also include Barleans Flax seed Oil, Cold Pressed Walnut Oil, Coconut Milk Plain Yogurt, Lite Butter, Follow Your Heart Vegenaise (tastes like Mayonnaise) Avocado's and Lowfat Rice Cheese.

I do not cook with Sesame Oil, Walnut Oil, or Flax seed oil; I usually drizzle this over my protein or add it to a hot bowl of soup, or I use it to make salad dressings.  You will ruin the integrity of these oils if you cook with them.

As far as opting to use Lite Butter and just a few other lite products; This is a personal choice for me.  I am a clean eater, but I wouldn't say I'm perfect!  What I know is this; 1 Tablespoon of Butter has 14 grams of fat, and 1 Tablespoon of lite Butter contains 5 grams of fat.  I will get much more flavor out of 2 Tablespoons of the Lite Butter, than I would using 2 teaspoons of regular Butter.  This girl needs flavor!  My organic lite Salad Dressing contains 1.5 grams of fat for 2 Tablespoons, which means I can have 1/4 cup of this dressing on my salad, rather than less than 2 Tablespoons of Regular Salad Dressing!  There is just no way less than 2 Tablespoons of regular Salad Dressing is going to add any flavor to an 8-10 ounce salad!  Are you with me on this?  By choosing to use just a few lite products, I am adding tremendous flavor to my meals, therefore making it easier for me to stay on track!!  Again, this is a personal choice!  Do what works best for you!

Until next time,
Be well  :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spice It Up!! Get Creative With Your Food for Weight Loss Success!

Losing weight and getting healthy doesn't mean your meals have to be bland or boring, but it does require you to be creative.  I keep an inventory of about 35 spices in my pantry; I experiment with and use them constantly to make my meals more appealing!  I enjoy my every meal and I never feel deprived because I have learned how to spice up my food to make it taste really really good!!  I actually enjoy my every meal!!
For example, when I steam or roast my vegetables I sprinkle them with Yellow Spike Vegit, and Garlic & Onion powder.  I also drizzle them with Olive Oil and a little salt & pepper.  That sounds a lot more appealing than just a side of plain steamed or roasted vegetables, doesn't it?  When I bake, roast or grill my protein, I also use a variety of spices such as Salt Free Garlic & Herb Seasoning, Garlic & Onion Powder, Cayenne Pepper & Lemon Pepper.  I even put Yellow Spike Vegit and Garlic Powder on my eggs!  I am telling you, this is the difference between a bland and boring meal and a satisfying and yummy meal!!  Don't be shy with your spices!!  Use them on everything; even on a salad, or on your sliced tomatoes or cucumbers, etc., etc.,

~My Spice Cabinet~

I am sharing my Spice Cabinet with you!!  I took this picture earlier today!  And behind the spices you see above, there are even more spices. My favorite store to buy spices is Smart & Final, but if you don't have one near you, Costco is another great store for spices.  I also use a few  spices that I can find only at Whole Foods.  I am sharing with you a list of spices that are necessary for creative cooking and weight loss success!!  Have fun with them, get creative and spice up your meals to add great flavor!!  You will not be disappointed!! 
Suggested Spices-
Garlic Powder (Smart & Final has the best garlic powder; it looks more like powder & less granulated)
Onion Powder
Sea Salt
White Pepper
Black Pepper
Cajun Spice Rub (for Fish)
Cayenne Pepper
Cinnamon
Kelp
Pumpkin Pie Spice (Great in coffee or tea)
Lemon & Herb Seasoning (I can only find this at Smart & Final)
Lemon Pepper
Basil Flakes
Cilantro Flakes
Dill Weed (great on fish)
Marjoram
Poultry Seasoning
Sage
Rosemary
Tarragon
Thyme
Turmeric
Cumin
Fennel Powder
Chili Powder
Tarragon
Nutmeg
McCormick's Salt Free Garlic & Herb Seasoning
McCormick's Salt Free Lemon Pepper
McCormick's Salt Free Spicy Seasoning
McCormick's Salt Free It's A Dilly (great for fish)
Mrs. Dash Original Blend (Salt Free)
Mrs. Dash Citrus Seasoning Blend (Salt Free)

Spices available only at Whole Foods-
LoSalt (a 66% reduced salt product; really good)
NuSalt (a healthy salt substitute)
Spike Vegit (the one with the Yellow lid; I use this on EVERYTHING!)
Seven Seasons (all natural, all purpose seasoning & low sodium)

Fresh herbs and spices are great too; but I am limited in that area, due to my severe IBS!  Only you know what your body will tolerate; so experiment a little and do what works for you.

Have fun with it and add great flavor to your meals for weight loss success!!
Until next time,
Be well :)





                                             






Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chicken, Artichoke & Quinoa Casserole! Easy, Healthy, & YUMMY!

I recently found a great Chicken, Cheese & Artichoke recipe; but for the Complicated Skinny Girl, who is trying to get lean & healthy, it needed some serious tweaking. So I played around with it; with weight loss and all of our complicated issues in mind, and I came up with a great alternative!!  Check out my yummy recipe! 

Chicken, Artichoke & Quinoa Casserole

2 cups chopped cooked Chicken Breast
1- 6 ounce jar of Artichoke Hearts, (not the marinated type) drained & finely chopped
3 Tablespoons of Organic Light Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon of Dijon or grainy mustard
2 teaspoons of Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon of Onion Powder (or if your tummy can handle onions, then 2 Tablespoons of finely chopped Red Onion)
Salt & Pepper
1 1/2 cups of Cooked Quinoa
3/4 cup grated rice cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine Chicken, Artichokes Hearts, Mayonnaise, Mustard, Onions, and all spices. Mix well, set aside.  Spray a small shallow glass baking dish with Pam Olive Oil spray.  Spread the Quinoa evenly along the bottom of the pan.  Spread the Chicken & Artichoke mixture evenly over the Quinoa.   Sprinkle the top with 3/4 cup of grated rice cheese.  Bake @ 350 until hot, and the cheese is melted.  Serves 4.  This dish contains protein, fat and carbs, making it a full meal, but you could add a side of sliced tomatoes with garlic powder, salt & pepper if you need a little more.  A side of spiced up sliced cucumbers would also be acceptable.

I usually eat grains for Breakfast only; This is my guideline for weight loss success.  However, today I have opted not to eat my grains for Breakfast, so that I can enjoy a serving of this casserole for lunch or dinner.  This is not something I would do on a regular basis, but every now and again this is acceptable.  I am going to eat 1 serving and freeze the rest, since this is NOT something I should eat day after day. 

For those of you who are not familiar with Quinoa, it is a low carb, wheat & gluten free grain.  You basically cook it like you would rice.  You can find it at Trader Joe's. 

Our eating may be complicated, but that doesn't mean our meals have to be bland or boring!!!
Healthy eating can be pretty yummy if you get creative.
Enjoy!!
Until next time,
Be well  :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lighten Up!

Have you ever let a few extra pounds turn your world upside down??  What I mean by this, is we sometimes go into 'Panic Mode" when we gain a few extra pounds, and from there it turns into an unhealthy obsession!!  I myself have been guilty of this!  Who hasn't at one time or another??
This unhealthy obsession can straight sabotage our weight loss goals and actually cause us to gain even MORE weight!  Yes, it's true!!
So my advice to you, is to LIGHTEN UP!!  So you've gained a few extra pounds!!  It's not the end of the world!!   You've lost the weight before, and you can lose it again!!  Something tells me if you are reading this,  you already have all the necessary tools to get lean & healthy!  That in itself puts you ahead of the game, meaning you already know what you should be doing; healthy food choices, meal planning, etc., etc.,  So be Thankful that you have these wonderful tools, put them to use, and make a conscious effort to getting back on track!  There is just no need for the mental beating!  Honestly!!  I hate to sound like a Nike commercial, but "Just Do It!"
If you walk by the mirror and suddenly feel bummed because you've gained a few pounds and maybe your skinny jeans aren't fitting as comfortably as they did a few months ago, I suggest you have a little talk with yourself;  Follow up that negative thought with, "I'm back on track, so I don't need to worry about this, I will be rid of those extra pounds in no time!"  Positive affirmations will save you during this common crisis!!  We are not perfect human beings and we will have our off moments, so to speak.  So LIGHTEN UP!! 
That's not to say you should take your weight gain lightly, but if you want to obsess, then obsess on spending 2 days a week in your kitchen,  preparing your food, planning ahead, making healthy food choices and being aware of your trigger foods!!  Remove any and all trigger foods from your pantry!!  Why torture yourself??
Am I making any sense to you??  Are you proactive or reactive??  Proactive would be the correct answer.  Reacting to your weight gain usually results in panic mode, and old behavior! So don't go there!  And if you do find yourself there; make a U turn!!  It is never to late to turn it around.  Do not procrastinate!  "I'll start tomorrow" never works!  Why not start today??
You are stronger than you think you are!!
Until next time,
Be well :)





Monday, February 28, 2011

Skinny Soup in about 30 Minutes!!

There is just nothing better than making a big batch of soup when it's cold outside!!  It's a yummy & nutritious way to get lean & healthy AND it makes your whole house smell yummy too! But it CAN be time consuming!  I'm about to un-complicate your soup making process!!
Today I made a quick batch of veggie soup in about 30 minutes!  It makes a perfect meal or snack, it was beyond easy to make, PLUS you can buy all the ingredients at Trader Joe's,  for one stop shopping!   If you're a gourmet cook, you will probably want to cover your eyes on this one.   LOL!  This recipe is for someone who wants a quick & healthy meal, but may be short on time.  Or maybe you're just exhausted after a long day!!  Either way it's a quick Skinny Soup fix, and by adding protein & fat, you can make it a complete meal as well.

Your Trader Joe's Shopping List:
2 boxes of Organic Chicken Broth (one of them low sodium)
1 package of Green & Yellow beans (in the produce section)
1 Red Bell Pepper, 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
Celery
1 frozen package of Zucchini Squash & Carrots
1 package of Grilled Chicken strips (in the deli section)

How to make:
Cube the Chicken strips, place in a storage container and refrigerate.
Pour both boxes of Chicken Broth into a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add 2 cups of water.  Once the water gets near the boiling point, add garlic powder, onion powder, basil flakes, Vegit Spike (the one with the yellow lid) Rosemary, Thyme, Marjoram, Cumin and white pepper.  I do not cook with salt.  I prefer to salt each bowl of soup as I eat it.  This way, you will use less but you will taste it more! Add your chopped Celery & Bell Peppers. (Yes, you have to chop them)  Add your Green & Yellow Beans, Zucchini & Carrots. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes.  That's it! You're all done!  And now your house smells yummy too!  You will love this soup!  It is YUM!!
If you want to make this soup a complete meal, weigh out 4 oz. of the cubed chicken, and add it to your bowl of soup.  By the way, you can use a fairly large bowl.  :) You will also want to add about 2 teaspoons of fat, such as Olive Oil or Flax Oil.  Maybe even Sesame Oil!  And you can eat Skinny Soup as a snack as well;  just fill a nice sized coffee mug, but do not add protein or fat!  :)

If you are one of the lucky ones who does not suffer from IBS, you can also use Onions, raw or crushed Garlic, Broccoli, Cauliflower and many other Cruciferous vegetables.  And you can use organic Vegetable broth, or Turkey broth in place of Chicken broth if you prefer.   I actually prefer to cook my protein myself; whether it be Chicken breast, Turkey breast, ground Turkey, or any other protein you wish to add to your soup to make it a complete meal!  But if you're pressed for time, the grilled Chicken strips do make it easy & will save you time.

Enjoy this yummy Skinny Soup while getting lean & healthy!
Until next time,
Be well :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Healthy & Easy Weight Loss Plan for You!!

I know that many of you are feeling overwhelmed and as a result, have not yet started a healthy eating plan!!  That's where I come in; I am going to simplify things for you in the best way I know how, & I am going to show you how to put it all together for weight loss success; Because I want to help you get lean & healthy!!  I really want this for you!!

I am going to break it down for you in terms of what each meal should consist of, in regards to the protein to fat to carbohydrate ratio.  I am going to provide you with a list of healthy proteins, healthy fats, & healthy carbs.  Then I am going to show you how to put it all together! Yes!! It is just that simple!  We may be complicated but our eating plan and the road to weight loss doesn't have to be!!  I want you to enjoy the journey!! I want to you to enjoy your food too!!

Before we get started, know this; You will definitely need to purchase a digital food scale!!  They're easy to use, and very inexpensive; I purchased mine at Bed, Bath & Beyond for like $20 bucks!  Go get one!!  And find a permanent place for it on your kitchen counter. 

 I eat a very small realm of foods;  A list of about 25 foods.  I do this for weight loss success, but I also do it because of all of my complicated issues.  This is by far the healthiest way to eat.  (Dr. Oz talks about this)  I give myself 2 Breakfast meal choices, and a total of 4 meal choices for my lunch & dinner menus.  Sound easy enough so far??
Okay, let's start with our healthy proteins, healthy fats, & favorable carbohydrates & grains:

Healthy Protein Sources:
Skinless Chicken Breast
Skinless Turkey Breast
Lean Ground Turkey
Fish (Sea Bass, Cod, Crab meat, Lobster, Salmon, Scallops, Snapper, Tilapia, Tuna, Trout, Ahi, Mahi Mahi, Halibut, etc., )
Eggs
Egg Whites
Egg Substitute
LowFat Rice Cheese


Healthy Fats-
Olive Oil
Flax Oil
Canola Oil (some may disagree on this one)
Coconut Oil
Sesame Oil
Walnut Oil
Tahini
Avocado
Almond Butter
Almonds
Lowfat Organic Salad Dressing made with Rice Vinegar (no Distilled vinegar dressings)
Lowfat Organic Mayonnaise
Lite Butter
Sunflower Butter (similar to Almond Butter)
Coconut Milk

Favorable Carbohydrates-
Almond Milk
Rice Milk
Artichokes
Asparagus
Beets
Green & Yellow Beans
Jicama
Mushrooms
Zucchini & yellow squash
Tomatoes
Eggplant
Pumpkin
Red, Yellow & Orange Bell Peppers
Sea Vegetables
Spaghetti Squash
Sweet Potatoes or Yams
Celery
Coconut Milk Plain Yogurt
Cucumber
Kelp Noodles
Shallots
Water Chestnuts
Watercress (IBS sufferers need to test the waters on this one)

For those of you who eat fruit- ( Due to Candida, I only eat lemons, blueberries and apples)
Apples
Applesauce
Apricots
Blackberries
Blueberries
Cherries
Fruit Cocktail (canned in water)
Grapes
Kiwi
Lemons
Nectarines
Peaches
Pears 
Plums
Raspberries
Strawberries

Favorable Grains- (to be used sparingly)
Quinoa
Gluten Free Bread
Coconut Flour
Oatmeal (for most, but I cannot eat Oatmeal)
Polenta (yes, you read that correctly)

Due to my IBS, Candida, food allergies/intolerance's, & annoying digestive issues & problems, I have excluded many favorable carbohydrates. :(

I've already talked about planning ahead by spending 2 days a week in your kitchen!  So get busy!  In my refrigerator right now, I have prepared a batch of Quinoa, grilled Turkey Burgers, Grilled Chicken Breasts, a batch of Tuna fish made with lowfat Mayo, a batch of Green & Yellow Beans, celery sticks, and a large bowl of salad made with mushrooms, shoestring beets, tomatoes, and grated zucchini! :)

Here's the breakdown again on the protein to fat to carbohydrate ratio:
At every meal you should consume 4 oz. of protein, 8-12 oz. of favorable carbohydrates, and you should add 9 grams of healthy fat to each meal.  Grains should only be eaten for Breakfast; I usually eat 1/2 cup of grains or 1 slice of Gluten free bread with my Breakfast.  I will often eat 2 eggs, or 1/2 cup of egg whites or egg substitute in place of my 4 oz. of protein for Breakfast.  I rarely have to weigh my Breakfast because of this, but I do measure, when eating grains! I  use the scale for lunch and dinner!!
So turn your food scale on, set your empty plate on it, press the button to get it back to zero, then add 4 oz. of protein.  Press the button to zero it out again, and add 8-12 oz. of favorable carbs (maybe 6 oz. salad stuff and 6 oz. of veggies). Then add 9 grams of fat!  That's it!  You're all set! It really is just that simple! 

You're probably thinking, "BORING," but trust me, this is not the case at all!!  You need to learn how to spice up your meals by using lots of healthy and yummy spices.  I have a cabinet in my kitchen dedicated to spices, and I keep an inventory of about 35 or more spices!!  This is what saves me from boredom.  I can get pretty creative!!  I thoroughly enjoy my every meal, and my meals are NEVER BORING!!  I never ever feel deprived!! 

In my previous posts, I have listed healthy snacks, I have listed my food menu for an entire day, & I have talked about planning ahead & preparing your food for the week.  I hope you will find all of this helpful in helping you to achieve your weight loss goals!  And please!! If you have any questions at all, just give me a shoutout and I will do my best to help you! 
Until next time,
Be Well :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Healthy Snacks!!

I want to talk about healthy snacks!!  I decided to talk about this because I suffer from Hypoglycemia, and lately it's been forcing me to squeeze in a few snacks each day!  This is something I would rather not do, but since I just recently got back on track, I suppose it will take a week or two for my blood sugar levels to get back on track as well!!  I do notice when I eat according to my plan, my blood sugar levels remain steady, therefore eliminating the need for snacks, but it's always nice to have a go to list, so to speak!  So here's the deal; a snack does NOT need to be some huge presentation.  It is simply a snack!  So don't make it a meal!  I try to make sure I have a snack with me in my purse at all times, in the event my blood sugar decides to try and ruin my day!  Here are my healthy snack suggestions:

1 organic unsweetened cinnamon applesauce cup
1 hard boiled egg
1/2 apple cut into squares and 2 teaspoons of Almond Butter to dip them in
2 Celery sticks stuffed with 2 oz. tuna or Almond Butter
2 oz. of cold Chicken or Turkey
1/2 of a cucumber with 2 oz. Tuna
1/2 of a sliced cucumber with lemon juice, garlic powder, salt & pepper
1 cup of Skinny Soup
1 slice of Rice cheese
1/2 of a Gluten, soy and sugar free Lowfat Meal Replacement Bar

Be careful when selecting a meal replacement bar, because in my opinion most of them are just glorified candy bars!!  But there are a few good ones out there!  READ your labels!  Always READ your labels!!

I have also found it helpful to make sure I eat at exactly the same time, every single day! I think this is a good habit to incorporate, even if you don't have blood sugar issues!
Here are my meal times-
Breakfast-  8:30
Lunch-      11:30 or 12:00
Snack-      2:30 or 3:00
Dinner-    5:30 or 6:00
Bedtime-  1/2 cup of Chocolate Almond Milk (if needed)

I hope you find the above healthy list of snacks helpful!  :)
Oh!  And Happy Valentine's Day!! :)  And don't even think about eating those Chocolates; so not worth the guilt you will be feeling later!!
Until next time,
Be well :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Planning ahead for Weight Loss Success!

As a Complicated Skinny Girl who wants to be lean & healthy, I need to plan ahead!!  I've already talked about preparing our food for the week, which is critical to our success!! But have you taken the time to plan your menu for the DAY??  What I mean by this, is when you wake up in the morning, you should already know what's on your menu for the day!!   That's right; you should know exactly what you will be eating for the entire day; all meals!!   You should have many choices if you've taken the time to prepare your food for the week!!  I want to share with you, what I will be eating today:

Breakfast-   2 scrambled egg whites (using Pam Olive Oil spray)
                   1/2 cup cooked Quinoa with garlic powder, lite butter, and lite salt
                   1/4 sliced avocado on the side
                   1/2 cup Hot Chocolate Almond Milk

Lunch-       4 oz. lean turkey boneless chops pan fried with 2 teaspoons of Coconut Oil
                   Large (about 10 oz) salad with mushrooms, tomatoes, shoestring beets, 
                   grated zucchini, and 4 TBSP of my lowfat "Follow your Heart Ranch Dressing"

Dinner-      4.5 oz of pan seared boneless Salmon (using Pam Olive Oil spray)
                  Large (about 8 oz.) serving of roasted green beans with garlic powder
                  and drizzled with olive oil, salt & pepper

Snack-       1 /2 cup hot Chocolate Almond Milk
                  (I think this helps me sleep well, due to my Hypoglycemia )
             

Knowing your menu for the day will make for a less stressful day, allowing zero room for mistakes!!  This makes perfect sense, doesn't it!  The rewards for planning ahead are HUGE!!

My good friend Dawn @  Easy2bThin.blogspot.com has set the standard for the perfect weight loss eating plan.  She's not complicated like us,  BUT she has lost over 100 pounds by planning ahead! Her eating guidelines will help you tremendously!  She's also really creative when it comes to cooking; She shares her recipes with us on her You Tube Channel, "The Fountain of Health"
Check out her videos.  She's a wealth of information; so creative & fun!!
Until next time,
Be well  :)

                  
                   

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Little Push to Help You Get Back on Track!!

As a Complicated Skinny Girl,  I know exactly what I should be doing and how I should be eating!!  But here's the deal; I am not a perfect human being!!  I have my off moments, and I make my fair share of mistakes!!  So..... What do we do when we are off track?  How do we get back on?  Well, we get back to basics, that's what we do!!  Do not get overwhelmed; this only makes things worse!!  The worse thing you can do is say to yourself, "Well,  I've already screwed up, so I will just start tomorrow!!  Wrong answer!!  Do not turn one single mistake into endless days of crappy eating!!

The basics are this: You should be in your kitchen at least two days a week, preparing your food! 
People like us need a heat and eat situation at all times!!  We all know that if our healthy food is not readily available, and we get hungry, we will reach for whatever is available!!  Right?  So get busy in your kitchen!!  Make a batch of quinoa, prepare some chicken breasts and turkey burgers!!  Steam a couple batches of veggies!!  Think ahead!!  I also make it a point to keep my pantry loaded with quick foods; such as canned tuna or chicken breast,  frozen healthy veggies, brown rice tortillas, avocados, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggs and  egg beaters, and my favorite salad dressing, "Follow Your Heart, Organic Lowfat Ranch Dressing!  I also make sure I am always stocked with both Flax oil & Olive oil. All these things make it easy for me to get back on track!

So I woke up this morning, and I haven't been feeling well, and  I haven't really been with it in regards to preparing my food!  I was feeling guilty, but not overly ambitious about preparing my food for the week.  Fortunately, I always have a fresh batch of quinoa in my refrigerator, as it is one of the few grains I can eat.  So I turned to my quick foods!!  I scrambled 2 eggs with mushrooms, added 1/2 cup of quinoa, and had a side of avocado with it. A  perfectly well balanced meal requiring little effort. :)

Remember this: You are human!  You will make mistakes!!  But that is no reason to give up!! Pick yourself up and get right back on!!  You can do this!!

Here are my dietary guidelines;  At every meal you should consume 4 oz. or 21 grams of protein, 12 oz. or 30 grams of carbs (and I'm not talking complex carbs; please refer to a list of low glycemic carbohydrates), and 9 added grams of good fat.  I'm not talking 9 total grams of fat per meal, I am saying that you need to add 9 grams of fat, such as Flax or Olive oil, Avocado, or Salad dressing, etc.,

Are you feeling better after reading this?  I know I am!!  :)

So what's for lunch?? I think I'll have a tuna salad, with 4.5 oz. of tuna, shoestring beets, 1/2 avocado, sliced mushrooms, and my "Follow your Heart" salad dressing!  Yummy!!

Tomorrow, I hope to spend some time in my kitchen and prepare my food for the week!  I hope you will make it important and do the same! :)

You know what they say; When you fail to plan, you plan to fail!!  How true is this???

Until next time,
Be well  :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Living with IBS

IBS is a chronic problem with the large intestine.  This can cause severe pain & discomfort.  IBS is very common and occurs more often in women!! (Lucky us, lol!)
IBS is very tricky and can be difficult to treat, because no two people are alike; it requires us to pay special attention to what we are eating and how we feel afterwards.  However I do know that there are so called "trigger foods," that affect most people with IBS! 
Here is a list of trigger foods for IBS, and foods you should avoid completely:

Coffee
Soda & carbonated beverages
Alcohol
Gluten
Dairy Products
Red Meat
Fatty & Fried Foods
Cruciferous Vegetables
Lettuce
Garlic 
Onions
Beans & Legumes
Gassy fruits & vegetables

So... you're probably thinking, "Wow!!  What can I eat?"  Well you must be creative for starters, but more importantly, you need to get sick & tired of being sick & tired.  It wasn't until I reached this point, that I began to make changes in my diet.  And as a result, I feel so much better! 
IBS leaves very few vegetables for us to eat, but I have found that I am able to eat zucchini & yellow squash, spaghetti squash, green beans, mushrooms, asparagus, and red and yellow bell peppers.  I do miss the Cruciferous vegetables so every now and again I will indulge in a little broccoli or cauliflower, but I do it in the evening and once I am in for the night.  I also make sure I have a men's large Tshirt to put on, so I don't get too overwhelmed with that feeling of bloat.  LOL!  AS for fruit, I suffer from Candida, so I do not eat fruit; with the exceptions of lemons!  No lettuce you say?? No problem; I just make my salad but leave out the lettuce and it tastes just as good!  It really does!  Garlic and onions were a tough one for me to part with, but I found that I can use garlic and onion powder, which adds tremendous flavor. Coffee was a difficult one to give up, but I now have a hot cup of Chocolate Almond Milk or a cup of Herbal tea in place of coffee.  Every now and again I will indulge in a cup of Decaf, but to do that on a regular basis would cause me problems.  Again, no two people are alike!!  But you can start by avoiding the above foods. 
Need help with an eating plan for IBS?  Just send me a shoutout and I will do my best to help you!
Until then,
Be well :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What makes you a Complicated Skinny Girl??

The question is; What makes you a Complicated Skinny Girl?? 
I can tell you that over the years, I have had to overcome many obstacles when it comes to my health!!  I am Hypoglycemic! I am allergice to dairy, soy & gluten!  I also suffer from Candida, however I will say I have become a pro at treating this awful condition!  But it still likes to rear its ugly face from time to time!  I also suffer from severe IBS, which means I don't get to enjoy all those yummy vegetables that are so good for us!  And that's just for starters! (Seriously!) It can definitely be challenging at times!! 
So you see; I really am your true Complicated Skinny Girl!!I I have been studying health, beauty, fitness & nutrition for over 15 years, and in doing so, I have been able to get lean & healthy while working with and around these issues!  I am here to share nutritional information and weight loss tips with you!   And I'm here for all of you;  NOT just the Complicated Skinny Girl! So please!!! Don't be shy!! If you have a question, simply email me and I will do my best to help you!  I'm quite sure you aren't any more complicated than I am!!
Until then,
Be Well!!  :)