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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!!  :)