Tip Jar

Here's a whole bunch of assorted nutrition tips! In the interest of saving time, I did only minimal editing from prior posts, so bear with me. It's tax season, yo.

*I* found a bunch of good tips just re-reading my own stuff (man, this chick is smart...oh, wait!) so I can almost guarantee you'll find a nugget or two...here we go:

If it's not in your house, you can't eat it. Get rid of the crap.
Alcohol: all calories, no nutrition, your body doesn't need it. Cut it out.
Reduce carbs by adding protein.

Your cells don't just need calories, they also need nutrition: vitamins, minerals, amino acids. So don't stuff yourself with plain chicken and broccoli every meal, nor eat your daily allotment of calories in junk food. Eat a wide variety of healthy stuff to keep your body happy.

Try intermittent fasting. I used to eat 6 meals a day and thought I’d die without food every 2-3 hours. Now I’m down to 4 at most, often 3, and sometimes 1. Or none. And I'm FINE.

I devised a strategy to combat my addiction to delicious flavored almonds that I can’t stop eating: they have been removed from my desk. I kept one "emergency" ounce, but all of the rest are in "my" fridge drawer in the break room...so I can eat them if I want to, but I have to be hungry, not just snacky, to make the trip to get them.

When you find yourself addicted to some tasty snack, here’s a strategy: I designated today as nut-free, simply to log one full day to break free from the addiction. Just can’t have ‘em. Maybe tomorrow, when I have control again. 

Make a ton of food on Sunday so you have a bunch of meals ready to go all week long: chop veggies to make salads; egg bake; put meat & veg in the slow cooker (you can do several of these over a weekend!); make a tasty time-consuming soup that you'd never make during the week; healthy breakfast sausage; stir fry.

French toast: bread & egg & cinnamon. Top w/ SF syrup. Tastes like dessert but ain't much different than a fried egg & toast!

Cottage cheese = low-calorie, high-protein, super functional and delicious food. I miss it like crazy.

You can't go wrong with seafood, unless you drown it in butter. You don't need that much butter, my friend.

Balsamic vinegar is good on salads, meats, roasted/steamed veg, damn near anything.

An EXCELLENT dieter's meal: 3c spaghetti squash + .5 sauce = 216 calories. That's a whopping 537 calories fewer than you'd have with three cups of pasta noodles. While it's not exactly the same texture/flavor as pasta, it's very filling, it's delicious, and it doesn't feel the least bit restrictive! (Unless perhaps you are seriously craving pasta...in that case, your cravings might hang 'round.) You could probably cut even more calories if you have a homemade sauce; I had Prego.

Give yourself a deadline (4-6 weeks) so you can keep your eyes on the prize. Last night at Elden's I looked at the cookies and in the moment when I'd normally feel deprived, I told myself that I've only got two more weeks of dieting and THEN I have a maintenance week where I can eat some junk. And I did not feel deprived! 

Give yourself a weekly meal that's an all-out splurge (Saturday date night?) and a mid-week meal that's semi-indulgent as well. It's called a re-feed, and it keeps your hormones AND brain happy.

Really helpful for fat loss? Sleep. Lots and lots of sweet, blessed sleep.

When you're feeling snacky as all get-out leaving the grocery store, put the groceries in the trunk...you can reach the backseat.

I made s'mores-in-a-bag & bagged Goldfish to sell at the Relay for Life fundraiser. To avoid snacking as I made these things, I promised myself I could have some. When I came down to the last scoop in the bowl, which was only about 1/3 of a serving, I bagged that up to eat post-workout. That way I didn't feel deprived as I worked, since I knew I could have some eventually, AND I guarantee that I would have eaten far more if I'd grazed as I went along!

Sugar-free Jello pudding mix is a very tasty (and very low-calorie) addition to protein shakes. I used butterscotch, and it was like dessert!

Mix your canned tuna or chicken with mustard, not mayo. 

I should do my best to avoid evening cooking in general, instead sticking to Sundays whenever I can. This would reduce time in the kitchen, and less time around food should help reduce the bingey and snacky urges.

Remember your weak points when grocery shopping! Honey roasted cashews are. absolutely. incredible. I am using them in Thursday night's banana ice cream, so I only bought a tiny bit from the bulk bin. This is the sort of thing I can't keep stocked in my house, because I am pretty sure I could eat my bodyweight in them.

Egg-white omelets are super filling. For this one, I had some leftover chicken broth in the pan from the prior night's stir-fry. This added loads of extra flavor with virtually no calories!

Experimented with what I called “dieter’s kettle corn.” I measured out .5oz popcorn & popped it in a nonstick pot with no oil. That worked! But without oil in which to melt the Truvia, all I could do was sprinkle it on afterward w/ the salt...and thus, most of it was in the bottom of the bowl. So, it was mostly a fail as far as true kettle corn taste, but it was totally edible. Maybe you could spray it with some Pam to get sweetener or salt to stick?

Tonight is a work party, featuring a menu of things I can't eat. I called them yesterday and requested a plain chicken breast, no soy, no dairy, no nothing. They were more than willing to accommodate! Between that and the dressing-less plain salad, I've got a sufficient supper. Then I'm bringing along my own balsamic, plus almonds & grapes, so I don't feel deprived watching everyone else dive into potatoes, bread, and cupcakes.

Make some freaking stir-fry already! Skip the unnecessary oil in favor of natural waters & juices of the foods you're using. Chicken or seafood, and tons of greens, and assorted spices, you’ve got an easy, healthy meal or two or three.  

There are healthy recipes all over the place. Find a better alternative to your old sugar- and oil-filled favorites.

Make a list of the things you enjoy in life (big or small) and how often you indulge in them. Add more time for these positive things! Even if it's just 10 minutes of quiet time to read, or walk, or sip your morning coffee while petting your cat. If we do not indulge in these enjoyable things, that's when we tend to binge.

Don't focus on removing negatives. Focus on adding positives habits that will eventually "crowd out" the negatives. Focus on drinking lots of water and eating more healthy vegetables & fruits at every meal or snack; don't worry about removing your wine or chips. Focus on adding positives.

Experiment with new recipes & foods; shop the organic vegetables, buy fresh herbs, visit your local farmer's market. Try something new.

Daily habits add up. The best metaphor: it's like pulling a weed or two every single day. Another metaphor: think about how much work it is to start pedaling a bike…but once you’ve pedaled enough to build up some momentum, you aren’t working as hard, but you’re moving even faster. Every effort builds on the last and brings you closer to your goal.

Dish out your food; never ever ever eat from the package. Extra especially important if you eat while reading, watching TV, internetting, etc. When multi-tasking, you're almost guaranteed to eat everything in front of you. Make sure what's in front of you is one reasonable serving.

Don't keep going back for more at a buffet. Literally take everything you think you'll eat. This in-your-face display will make you think twice about the quantity you're eating.

Restaurants can KILL your fat loss plans. A good strategy: look at the menu's nutrition ahead of time, so you can clearly see the calories and decide what may be worth indulging in, and what's definitely not.

When stress is high, give yourself as much sleep as you possibly can. You are probably really busy and don't think you can add any more time, right? But even half an hour can make a big, big difference. Watch less TV; get your ass off Facebook; lower the cleanliness standards for your house (or hire someone to come in once a month to get the "deep clean" stuff); dial back a little bit on your social life (but don't ignore all your friends); pre-make food over the weekend to save time on weekdays...lots of options. Quality sleep during a high-stress time can make all the difference for your mental and physical health.

When going low-carb and/or low-calorie, fruit might be limited. One trick to doing this and making it easy for your brain is to purchase small fruit: select small apples, tiny tangerines, small bananas, grapes, etc. Or for root vegetables: baby potatoes, small yams, etc. If you are still eating bread, get the 45-calorie bread that is simply cut with thinner slices, or mini bagels rather than the giant ones. You eliminate the feeling of deprivation because your brain will receive the same satisfaction as a full-size serving, without it actually being a full serving. GENIUS!

And finally, a picture is worth 1000 words, right?

If it's got a label, you probably shouldn't be eating it.

If anything here helps you out, feed my ego and let me know! 

Or if you have questions, please ask. I'd love to be your helper monkey!

Wait, this is a bad example.

That's more like it.
Drop the cupcake, NOW!!

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