Total Nutrition Technology


Archive for April 2015

Asian Coleslaw Salad

Asian Coleslaw Salad
Makes 16 Servings (1/2 cup each)

If you don’t like regular cabbage, try Bok Choy or Napa Cabbage.  These are more like a lettuce instead of a cabbage.  Adding sesame seeds to this Asian dish is also a good addition and will add a different flavor and texture to it.

Crunchy Topping

- (1) pkg Ramen noodles (not the seasoning pack), broken into small pieces
- 3 oz. slivered almonds
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 2 Tbsp butter

1)      Heat a skillet to medium heat and allow butter to melt.  While butter is melting, break up the ramen noodles and add to skillet along with remaining ingredients.
2)      Stirring frequently until the mixture is golden brown.  Cool and set aside.

Salad Mixture

- 1 bag of shredded cabbage
- 1 bag of shredded broccoli
- 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) Edamame
- 4 green onion, chopped

1)      Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl or salad bowl.


- ½ cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
 - 2/3 cup sugar
 - 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1)      Mix sugar and vinegar together.
2)      Combine soy sauce and oil together.
3)      Slowly add the oil mixture to the sugar mixture while continuously stirring to allow emulsification.
4)      Add to the salad and right before serving garnish with the crunchy toppings.

Exchanges: 2/3 starch; 3½ fats; ½ vegetable 

TNT Success Story: Robin Gajdos

Robin's Story

It was almost three years ago that we decided to have kids. I was working out, eating healthy, in shape like I was all through high school and college. I got pregnant two months later, and gained 60 pounds during my pregnancy. I was walking and doing light workouts after my son arrived, but nothing too extensive.

I got a job about 9 months later and found myself struggling to find time to work out and eat right. Slowly, without me noticing, the pounds packed on. In December, I realized I was the heaviest I’d ever been (non-pregnant). I absolutely love food, and you could tell by my waist/stomach area. It was out of control! I felt so disgusted with the way I looked in pictures. I know it takes time to lose the baby weight, but there I was a year and a half later without much progress.

I met Stacey shortly after we moved to NC. I knew what she did and how she helped people. I started walking more, but I still wasn’t seeing results. I participated in one of Stacey’s TNT 30-day fitness challenges, saw results, and hosted my own challenge. But I knew I still wasn’t doing something right because I was always tired and I was still disgusted with my mid-section. I decided I needed Stacey’s help with nutrition! Now here I am 3 months later and 12 pounds lighter, down two pants sizes (finally back in those pre-pregnancy jeans!), with more energy than ever before! Bye bye naps during the weekend! Not only did I lose the weight, but I lost it the healthy way and still eating regular foods. My friends would all say “oh c’mon just have a little of this” or “you sure you don’t want some of this?” .It was hard, but I had to turn them down. Now they let me know in advance so I can plan my meals and still go out with them. The program not only helped me lose the weight, but it helped me understand how to eat and make better choices. I’m able to make better meal choices for my health – you can’t put a price on that!

TNT Health Educator, Stacey Gretka has worked in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years, beginning at her local YMCA. She graduated from Winthrop University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition: Dietetics, with a strong interest in endocrine and metabolic disorders. She has helped to develop nutrition programs in several fitness facilities, as well as an online support group for those with Diabetes, Neurofibromatosis, Multiple Sclerosis, and other endocrine-related disorders and diseases. Stacey is also a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, driven by the Diabetes and PCOS in her family history. 

Though Stacey is well-versed with metabolism, she has counseled those with a wide variety of goals and can help clients achieve their personal goals within their own lifestyle. She believes strongly in the TNT program because it is not a diet, it is a way of life. As a new mom, Stacey used her own TNT-developed meal plan to return to her pre-pregnancy health status in no time!

The team at Total Nutrition Technology believes that results-focused outcomes are the key to YOUR success. To learn more about how you can benefit from a nutrition program that is custom designed to your unique physiology, lifestyle and dietary behavior, contact Total Nutrition Technology today at 704-549-9550!

You succeed with TNT because your results are our commitment to you!

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10 TNT Tips for Exercise Success

Get the most out of your workouts. Here are 10 TNT exercise tips to keep in mind:

1. Be sure to warm-up and stretch before you start. Begin exercising slowly, start at a lower intensity and duration and gradually work up to higher levels.

2. Select activities you enjoy, and consider the following questions:

 - Do you like exercising alone or with a group of friends?

 - Do you enjoy indoor or outdoor activities?

3. Choose a time of day that fits into your schedule — if you are not a morning person, schedule it at lunchtime or in the evening. Also take into consideration work, family and the weather. No specific

4. Exercise does not have to be expensive, you do not have to join a health club or buy equipment and all you need is a good pair of walking shoes.

 - Choose exercise shoes with proper support and balance to protect your knees, back and ankles.
 - Consult your health educator if you need some ideas of what type of shoes to purchase.

5. Listen to your body — exercise should not be painful. Don’t believe the phrase, “No pain, no gain.”

6. Make a strong commitment to a minimum of eight to 12 weeks. Your body may respond in four weeks, but it may take eight weeks to notice the benefits and to make exercise a part of your daily routine.

7. If you don’t enjoy the exercise you have chosen, be flexible. Try a different activity, join a friend or add variety.  Try a challenge like this Guns Bun & Abs 30 Day Challenge.

8. Set up an exercise schedule; make appointments with yourself to exercise.

9. Have perseverance — this is time devoted just to you.

10. Keep exercise records to assess your progress.  Refresh yourself with the FIT Principles and get the most out of your workouts.

Are you mindful of hard you are working out?  Here are some Guidelines for Exercise Intensity

The following charts are two different ways that you can gauge your exercise intensity.


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7 Essential Tips for Prepping Fruits and Vegetables

Proper cleaning and storage of fruits and vegetables is essential for health.  Cleaning produce properly helps kill bacteria to ensure your fruits and vegetables are safe for consumption.

Here are 7 Essential Tips for Prepping Fruits & Vegetables:

1. Before handling your fruits and veggies, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands.

2. Be sure to remove outer leaves or peels in order to reduce the amount of pesticides on your fruits and veggies.

3. Rinse of all fruits and veggies with cool water to remove any dirt and pesticides.

4. Any firm produce should be scrubbed with a clean produce brush to insure that any pesticides and bacteria are not transferred from the knife to the inside of the produce.
  • Dish detergents can be used to remove pesticides off of your fresh produce.
  • Vinegar has also been proven to remove pesticides, as well as wax, off of fresh produce.
5. Avoid cross-contamination by using clean cutting boards.

6. Be sure that your countertop has been cleaned before preparing your fruits and veggies.

7. Place your cut produce in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cutting. If produce is left at room temperature for longer than 2 hours, discard it.

When to Buy Organic - The Dirty Dozen:
When possible, be sure to purchase organic of these 12 fruits and 

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Grapes
4. Bell Peppers
5. Peaches
6. Strawberries
7. Imported Nectarines
8. Spinach
9. Lettuce
10. Cucumbers
11. Domestic Blueberries
12. Potatoes

When is it Unnecessary to Buy Organic? The Clean Fifteen:
These fruits and veggies contain the lowest amount of pesticides, so if you are on a budget, it is unnecessary to spend the extra money to buy these organic.

1. Onions
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocados
5. Cabbage
6. Sweet Peas
7. Asparagus
8. Eggplant
9. Mangoes
10. Kiwi
11. Domestic Cantaloupe
12. Sweet Potatoes
13. Grapefruit
14. Watermelon
15. Mushrooms

Serving Tips:
  • Keep fresh produce over ice or in a cooler to prevent growth of bacteria. 
  • Don’t eat produce that has been sitting at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. 
  • Immediately refrigerate any perishable produce. To maintain the quality or your produce, place them in your refrigerators’ crisper drawer.
Fruit/Vegetable Proper Storage Additional Info 

So tell us, do you always wash your produce?

You might also like:


1. "Proper Care of Fruits and Vegetables." Penn State, n.d. Web. 14 June 2012. <>.
2. Scott, Amanda. "Safe Storage of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables." AgriLife Extension. Texas A&M, n.d. Web. 19 June 2012. <>.

3. Shreeves, Robin. "The Dirty Dozen: Eco-Group Reveals Lists Of Pesticide Heavy Fruits And Veggies - Forbes." Information for the World's Business Leaders - Forbes, 20 June 2012. Web. 21 June 2012. <>.

4. "Cooking Manager » Blog Archive » Tips for Choosing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables." Cooking Manager . N.p., 11 May 2010. Web. 21 June 2012. <>.

10 Underrated HEALTH Foods

By: Total Nutrition Technology

We all know about the foods that are touted as "healthy" by food manufacturers and their marketing departments and fall short in reality (see 10 Overrated "HEALTHY" Foods) but what about all the truly wonderful healthy foods that don't get the attention they deserve?

Well we put together a list of 10 of our some of our favorite healthy foods that need to get more of your attention.

10 Underrated HEALTH Foods

1) Sunflower Seeds – You don’t often hear many things about sunflower seeds like you do other nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans. I bet you didn’t know that ¼ cup of sunflower seeds has 6 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, and 25-75% of your daily Vitamin E, Copper, Manganese, and Selenium. It also has about 10% of your daily Zinc, Vitamin B6, and Magnesium. But you have to be careful as you do with all nuts because sunflower seeds have 180 calories in ¼ cup. To help keep those calories low, buy them in the shell, which will keep you from just popping handfuls in your mouth, since you actually have to work for the seed inside the shell.

2) Garbanzo Beans – Most people have forgotten about these beans, but recently they are starting to come into the spotlight and you are seeing them everywhere. These handy, versatile beans can be used in almost any dish. You can add them to your salad or you can add them to soups and chilies. You can also use them as your main bean in a bean salad or add them to your starchy dish at dinner like couscous or brown rice. You can even toast them until they are crunchy and have them as a healthy snack……even kids love them. These beans are full of fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc so they are not only versatile, they are rich in nutrients too!

3) Unsweetened Yogurts – People will take one look at unsweetened, plain yogurt and turn their head because it doesn’t have a flavor that everyone is used to in sweet, fruity yogurts like Yoplait and Dannon. Those sweet, fruity yogurts have about 4 teaspoons of added sugar and some brands use artificial sweeteners. Unsweetened yogurt has been pushed to the side because of the tart flavor and no sweetness when it is rich protein, calcium, potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and zinc, whereas the sweetened yogurts don’t have all of these minerals and nutrients, making them not as healthy as we think. If you don’t like plain yogurt, try adding fruit to it, which will help calm down the tartness or add it to your sweetened yogurt and ease yourself into it gradually.

4) Watermelon – Everyone loves watermelon, but I bet everyone doesn’t know its benefits! Watermelon, contrary to what you might have heard, is chock full of nutrients and its serving size is about 2 cups for 85 calories, which is a lot more than most fruits you can find. It has 7% of your daily Potassium, 32% of your daily Vitamin A, and 38% of your daily Vitamin C. So its not just water like people claim, it actually is full of healthy benefits, plus it is one of the “Clean 15” fruits because the rind is so thick, not allowing any bugs or pesticides in to the juicy goodness.

5) Leafy Greens – When you think of leafy greens, lettuce is probably what comes to your mind first, but you’re forgetting about the best ones yet, which are kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, and Swiss chard. These greens are full of fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, lutein, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K making them one of the best nutrient rich vegetables out there. It also will help lower your risk of stroke, colon cancer, diabetes, bone loss, memory loss, and cataracts. The problem...most people don’t know how to cook them, which turns them off of the idea of having greens as a side dish at dinner. When buying, buy the ones in a bag with all the stems chopped off. Start with kale first because it is one of the milder greens among the many and sauté them with some other vegetables with a little extra virgin olive oil. You can also cook them in some stock with a turkey kielbasa or ham hock until tender or add them to a bean soup or vegetable soup. These greens are such a versatile vegetable, you can include them in almost any dish.

6) Peppers – Peppers, whether they are hot like jalapenos or habaneras or mild like a green bell pepper or a sweet pepper, are all full of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are an antioxidant that helps reduce your chances of getting cancer and other terrible diseases. If you choose hot peppers, you also will get the benefit of capsaicin, which is also a phytochemical that has been shown to help in weight loss and weight control.

7) Oats – This small, but powerful cereal is loaded with tons of fiber and it’s a great source of energy. Oatmeal has been shown to hold you longer than other cereals and it helps keep your digestive tract regular. They can also help lower bad cholestrol, lower your risk of a stroke, and lower your risk for heart disease. Combine these oats with some juice and a piece of toast with Jam and you have a heart-healthy, fiber-full breakfast.

8) Potatoes – I know you’re thinking, “how can this be?” Why are potatoes on the list of underrated, healthy foods? Well, if you don’t consume them as fries or potato chips, they can be very healthy. They are full of phytochemicals and vitamins and minerals like manganese. The phytochemicals are antioxidants that help prevent cancer and other diseases. To get the healthy benefits of this vegetable without all the fat, try eating is a baked potato with some reduced-fat sour cream, chives and a little pepper.

9) Tomatoes – I’m sure that you know tomatoes are good for you, but I bet you, as well as most people, have forgotten about how healthy they can be for you. Tomatoes are full of lycopene, which is an antioxidant that can help prevent cancers and other deadly diseases. You get the most from a tomato when you eat is as a sauce or cooked like a spaghetti sauce, stewed tomatoes, or okra and tomatoes.

10) Eggs – “The Incredible Edible Egg!” That’s what has been all over the television
 these last couple of years. Well they are right... it is incredible. Even though it has a high amount of cholesterol, we still need cholesterol for fat to be utilized in our bodies, so you shouldn’t worry about the cholesterol unless you are eating a lot of eggs. If you want to eat a lot, try using 1 whole egg and the rest as egg whites. Eggs are rich in Choline, which is a chemical that helps with the development of your brain and memory. It also aids in your learning capabilities. Not only it is full of Choline, but it is rich in vitamins and minerals too. When you eat eggs, keep it as simple as possible, keep it all-natural.

What are your favorite unappreciated health foods?

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5 Common Questions About Fueling Your Workout


How to Fuel Your Workout

Reviewed by Sharon Denny, MS, RDN
Which is better fuel for spinning class—protein or carbohydrates? Should you consume a sports drink on a long run? Is it safe to eat before a workout? Listen to locker room talk at the gym and you'll hear lots of conflicting tips about what you should eat and drink before and after you work out. These answers to five common questions about fueling your workout sort fact from fiction.

Will protein make my muscles grow?

Protein is an important part of a balanced diet, but eating more protein will not magically make you stronger. The only way to grow muscles is to put them to work. "Carbohydrates are the best fuel for working muscles," says Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Heather Mangieri, MS, RDN, CSSD.
Carbohydrates are partially converted to glycogen, which is stored in your muscles to power your workout. "Fifty to sixty percent of energy used during one to four hours of continuous moderate to hard endurance activity is derived from carbohydrates," says Mangieri.

Do sports drinks, gels and energy bites live up to the hype?

There's nothing special about the many sports drinks, gels and energy bites on the market. But it is important to replace lost fluids and provide carbohydrates to maintain blood glucose levels while working out. "Gels, energy bites or sports drinks can be an effective way to supply the body with energy, but they are not necessary. Real food will provide the same benefit as these pre-designed workout fuels," says Mangieri.
For some athletes, eating solid food in the middle of a workout can cause digestive upset. In these cases, easily consumed sports gels, chews or drinks may help. "Food and fluid intake around workouts should be determined on an individual basis with consideration for an athlete's gastrointestinal tract tolerance, as well as duration and intensity of the workout," says Mangieri.

Is it best to work out on an empty stomach?

Your body needs fuel to function, especially if you're asking it to run, jump, swim or lift weights. Don't skip breakfast. "Eating before exercise, as opposed to [exercising in] the fasted state, has been shown to improve exercise performance," says Mangieri.
Eating in the morning helps replenish liver glycogen and steadies blood sugar levels. If it's hard to stomach solid food first thing in the morning, try a fruit smoothie, or a liquid meal supplement, and don't forget to hydrate before you exercise.

Regular exercise means I can eat what I want and not gain weight, right?

Wrong. Working out isn't license to abandon portion sizes and healthy eating guidelines. It's easy to overestimate the amount of calories you burn while working out.
You should adjust your calorie intake if you’re engaging in serious training, such as for a triathlon, where you might be working out more than once a day. "Recovery nutrition is necessary if you are an athlete participating in strenuous activity, especially if you are participating in multiple events in the same day," says Mangieri. "For the casual exerciser working out for an hour or less, a healthy balanced diet will work just fine."

Is chocolate milk really an athlete's best friend?

Because of its favorable carbohydrate and protein content, chocolate milk is indeed an effective recovery aid, but it's not your only choice. "Yogurt or half a turkey sandwich on whole wheat can be just as effective," says Mangieri.

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10 Overrated "HEALTH" Foods

By: Total Nutrition Technology

Eating healthy is certainly a goal for many of us and it's a great one at that.  But what exactly does "healthy" mean these days?  Food trends and food manufacturer's marketing departments have certainly made that harder to answer!  Many of the "healthy" foods you see aren't actually as nutritious as you many think.  Here are 10 Overrated “Health” Foods and why you many need to rethink them before you eat...

1) Energy Bars – When you’re working out and you get hungry, most people would eat an energy bar or, if you’re dieting, sometimes you eat a meal replacement bar.  Basically, all in all, it is the same in the end. So why are energy bars overrated?  They are loaded with sugars like fructose and glucose. In PowerBar Performace Energy it contains a majority of sugar and in Clif Bars, which have more nuts, dried fruit, and seeds, it still contains 4-6 teaspoons of sugar to hold those nuts, dried fruit, and seeds together. If you need energy, eat real food with benefits like berries or whole grains. You’ll be better off with those than any energy bar of any brand, but if you are on the run and all you have time for is a quick energy bar, then every once in a while it is okay.

2) Protein Powder – If you are working out like a mad man, you probably think that more protein powder in your “after-workout drink” will help you add more bulk, faster, right? Well, you’re wrong because you can actually overwork your kidneys and liver if you take in too much protein. When you take an excessive amount of protein, your body can’t absorb it all, so it gets turned into amino acids, which are processed by your liver and kidneys to be excreted from your body. Also, when you consume too much protein, the excess protein that you’re body doesn’t use can get turned into glucose. If you are going to add protein powder to your “after-workout drink” then make sure you add only the correct amount, your body will thank you!

3) Fruit Juice – Unless the ingredient list on the bottle of fruit juice says only what that juice should be, then it is okay. (Notice the word “okay” and not great!) Fruit juice is good on occasion, but you shouldn’t consume fruit juice everyday. The major thing that fruit juice doesn’t have that an entire fruit, like oranges and apples, does have is FIBER. Fiber helps you feel full and keeps your digestive tract regular. Fruit juice can also be very high in sugar, which is something that no one needs these days. Added sugar can lead to weight gain from those unnecessary calories. So next time you have a choice between fruit juice and the actual fruit, choose the actual fruit, you’re body will appreciate it because you will be cutting out unnecessary calories and adding fiber!

4) Red Meat – When we go out to eat, almost every menu you come across has Steak on the menu. Better yet, when you walk through a restaurant and see what everyone else is eating, a majority of them are eating a steak and baked potato with all the works. This isn’t a good thing. Too much red meat in your diet can lead to a greater risk of colon cancer, high cholestrol, and excess weight gain from those extra calories and all that saturated fat that beef contains. Instead of eating steak more often than not, try eating fish, which is loaded with Omega-3s that are good for your heart, body, and brain. If you aren’t that big of a fish fan, try poultry items like chicken and turkey.

5) Sports Drinks – Most people don’t realize that the drinks they consume when they are working out are full of unneeded calories. The average person that goes into a gym and works out isn’t going to need those calories from a “Sports Drink”. Remember, sports drinks are for those people who are constantly working out and need the extra electrolytes because they are doing 2X-3X more than the average person. We have electrolytes in our body and most people can do without sports drinks that are high in calories. If you feel you need some extra calories post- workout, eat a handful of salted peanuts or a piece of fruit. Save the sports drinks for events lasting 90 minutes or longer.

6) Natural Sweeteners – Natural or not, all sugar is the same. Just because honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup is all-natural doesn’t mean that it is better for you. All kinds of sugar contain about 15 calories per teaspoon and have no beneficial nutrients for your body. If you have to have your sugar, make sure to keep in mind how much you are using because those 15 little calories can add up in a big way that can lead to weight gain and a multitude of health problems. Try eating fruits instead of sugar, they have greater health benefits with a touch of sweetness.

7) Granola – There are many problems with Granola that people don’t usually see because of the goodness that it brings when you eat it. Granola is loaded with calories. The serving size on most granolas is ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) and the calories range from 150-250 per serving. Along with calories, there is the problem of added sugars like in Bear Naked, which they use corn syrup. McDonald’s also adds to their granola “crisp rice”, which is just crispy white rice, which has no health benefits. If you have to have granola and cant live without it, which I admit is wonderful, then add a tablespoon to your yogurt or mix it with your cereal that you eat in the morning that contains a lot less calories because in moderation, this tasty treat isn’t a bad choice at all.

8) Smoothies – Most people think of dieting and weight loss when they think of smoothies, but it seems that smoothies have the same problem as granola. Smoothies can be high in sugars and calories. The perfect example would be a smoothie from Smoothie King. Just a small smoothie can contain anywhere from 250-350 calories, which is a 20 oz and a large, 40 oz, smoothie can contain from 500-700 calories. These numbers don’t even include their “healthy smoothies”, which can contain between 500-1,100 calories. Most calories in all smoothies made consist mainly of added sugar and excessive fruit juice. Why do people think they NEED to add all this sugar? ...Because it sells. So from now on, if you want a smoothie, make it at home. Take ½ cup orange juice, 1 cup Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla Yogurt, and ½-1 cup of your favorite fruit and you have yourself a home-made smoothie that will have way less calories than those smoothies you would get at a smoothie specialty store.

9) Vegetable Juice – When you see a can of V8 vegetable juice on the shelf in the grocery store, most people would think that it would be a healthy choice. It should have a lot of different vegetable juices in similar amounts, but besides, the reconstituted tomato juice, the next ingredient is carrot juice, followed by other vegetables, which knowing the further down you go on an ingredient list, the more scarce the ingredients get. If you were to drink 1 cup of carrot juice, you would receive 900% Vitamin A, whereas V8 only provides 40% Vitamin A in 1 cup. Plus, there is 600 mg of sodium (40% DV) in a 12 oz can, which is way too much. No wonder you get thirsty after you drink a can of V8. If you don’t like many vegetables, this will be okay to get a serving in here and there, but if you can, try the carrot juice by itself or low-sodium V8 instead.

10) Pita Chips – Pita chips have been portrayed as a healthy food, but in reality the ingredients consist of white flour, oil, salt, and seasonings. Where is the whole wheat? Most people think that if it is a pita chip, then it has whole wheat. That’s why you should always check the ingredients list. In one serving of Stacy’s Pita Chips (about 10 chips), there is 130 calories and 270 mg sodium. A bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos contains 150 calories and 180 mg sodium. Where is the real difference? Essentially, there isn’t anything healthy about pita chips, unless the oil is extra virgin olive oil, but my guess is that it is too expensive to use, so they will use soybean oil or cottonseed oil.

Separating the hype from what actually matters to your health can be a challenge but it's not impossible to do.  Hopefully these 10 examples show you that just because a food is labeled as "healthy" doesn't mean that you can eat as much as you want or that it's as good for you as you think.  

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6 Smart Tips For Healthy Eating On A Budget

With food prices going up and the economy going down, the thought of preparing tasty, healthy meals on a regular basis can seem daunting. Not only is it easy to get sucked in by grocery store merchandising tricks, but it is also almost normal for most of us to fall into a mealtime rut, eating the same foods over and over. Remember, you are in control of your own kitchen. If you shop smart and cook smart, you can likely trim some real “fat” from your food budget.

So to help we've put together these 6 smart tips for eating healthy on a budget


1. Start by reserving some time each week for preparation. Chopping and peeling will ensure the fresh, healthy food is ready to eat and won’t spoil before you use it. 

2. Invest in clear, stackable storage containers. This too, will enable all family members to see what’s ready for them to enjoy.

3. When cooking a big meal, double the recipe, then freeze half, or use for leftovers or lunches.

4. Keep your dishes simple to stay in your budget. Complicated recipes that require exotic ingredients (only to be used once) will increase the cost per meal.

5. Consider investing in a slow cooker. One pot meals are both time and money saving.

6. View cooking as an adventure the whole family can enjoy. Even small children can be taught to mix.

There is no magic formula to cooking on a budget. Like anything else worthwhile in life, it does take a little planning, creativity, and work. Think of the rewards – better health and more money – you’ll find it’s worth the effort. No doubt, there will still be those days when you might have to fall back on a microwave meal or even food through the window. It goes back to that age old argument, time verses money. Now, when you factor in the investment of good health, spending a little time now can save you countless dollars in you and your family’s future!

13 Tips For Smart Snacking

Don't let snacks derail your weight loss progress.  Use these 13 Tips for Smart Snacking and stay on track!

1. Snacking will not make you fat: However, consuming to many calories will. To take the edge off your hunger, have a 100 – 200 calorie snack approximately two or three hours before a meal to help keep you from overeating. 

2. Snacks are not extras or freebies: Incorporate them into your food plan for the day! A calorie is a calorie and at the end of the day they all add up. 

3. Plan the day’s food around the food guide pyramid choices for your snacks and meals: An apple and a few whole-wheat crackers count towards your daily quota of fruits and grains. 

4. Think of snacks as mini meals: Have them fill in the voids left by what you didn’t eat, or won’t be eating, at meals. Take advantage of this time to get in your daily servings of fruits and vegetables. If you are lacking on veggies, try a small can of low-sodium V8 Juice.

5. Make your snacks count: Keep your blood sugar levels steady by having a nutritious snack. Mix carbs with protein or fruit with fat. For example, dip apple slices into a teaspoon of all-natural peanut butter or dip raw veggies into a tablespoon of low-fat dip. 

6. Plan snacks ahead of time to avoid grabbing the first thing you see: Be sure to pack your snacks with you and know what you will be having. For example, my afternoon snack will be 10 wheat thins with 1oz low-fat cheese and a small apple. 

7. Budget higher-fat snacks: You do not have to give them up completely; just be sure they fit into your day’s total for fat and calories. 

8. Be Careful! Even low-fat snacks will cause you to gain weight if you overdo it. Low-fat foods often contain extra sugar and calories to enhance taste.

9. Snack only when you are hungry: Not when you are bored or anxious. Be mindful of mindless grazing; don’t nibble just because you want something to do!

10. Pay attention to your snacking to avoid overdoing it: Focus on what you are eating and enjoy your snack. 

11. Be prepared: Keep snacks in convenient places (such as your car, desk drawer, briefcase, and workout bag). At home, make sure you stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain breads and crackers. 

12. For good health, eat high-fiber snacks: Fiber makes you feel full without adding a lot of additional calories. The recommended daily fiber intake is around 25 grams per day. 

13. Better to eat a snack when you are slightly hungry than pig out when you are ravenous: Try to limit your snacks to between 100 and 200 calories, anything more then 250 calories is considered a meal.

Do you have a smart snacking tip that helps keep you on track?  We'd love to hear about it!


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