Secrets to Enjoying Your Night Out Without the Guilt

steakI have had several people ask me what they should eat when they go out to dinner. My two questions are: What do you like to eat? How often do you eat out? Someone who eats out regularly needs to be more choosy then someone who eats out twice a month. Picking a food you don’t particularly like but think is healthy kind of negates the point of eating out.

When possible, look up the menu on line when you aren’t hungry. Make your choices then and stick to them when you get to the restaurant. Order first so you aren’t swayed by your dining companion’s order.

Skip the bread basket and start your meal with a mixed green salad with an oil & vinegar based dressing, a non-cheesy vegetable based appetizer, or a broth based soup rather than a cream based one. These will help fill you without leaving you feeling sluggish.

Choose an appetizer as your main course. They are usually large enough to serve as a meal. Want something off the the entree – eat 1/2 of the meal.  Most meals, especially pasta, are enough to feed at least two people.

I eat chicken at home pretty often, I rarely order a chicken dish when I go out to eat. If you dislike fish, don’t order it because you think you should. Order something you are going to actually enjoy eating.

Alcohol should be kept to a glass – two max. It lowers your inhibitions so you order foods you might not generally be tempted by, it adds unnecessary calories, and adds no real nutritional value. Mixed drinks tend to be calorie bombs so decide if you want a drink or some desert.  I have been known to order a chocolate martini as a dessert, especially if they have the mini versions.

Desserts are generally big enough to share. Some restaurants also offer mini versions and I like those because you get a taste of what you want without overload. A cappuccino can also be a nice treat to end a meal. Sorbet, while sugary, is low in calories when served in normal portions.

Are you struggling with making healthy food choices? Maybe you’re just not sure with all the information out there what you should be eating. Schedule a complimentary consultation with me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, and end the diet confusion. Find an eating plan that works for you without guilt, deprivation, and calorie counting.

Insider Tips to Busting Stress

stress (1)It’s been a crazy week. I was going to write about better choices while eating out since I’ve had lot of questions on that lately. My next post will address that. This week I want to know what you are doing to take care of the stress and tension you may be feeling from current events.

It’s been a week of bombings, explosions, poison via mail, gun control vote and a city on lock down. We may not be immediately impacted by the tragedies but it doesn’t mean that they don’t affect us. You may not realize that you are eating a little more than usual or reaching for sweets or crunchy foods to comfort yourself.

There are other ways to deal with the uncertainty. Meditation is a great one. If meditation seems challenging I recommend some easy guided meditations that the Chopra Center has made available, free of charge. You can choose the length, relax, and follow along.

If you believe in a higher power prayer is another helpful stress buster.  I read an article by a rabbi that cited we were a nation that became much more in tune our spirituality and taking care of one another after the 9/11 attacks. We have lost some of that along the way.  You can see people stepping up again after recent tragedies. It restores some faith in our fellow man.

Exercise is another great stress buster. It helps clear your brain of the relentless cycling of thoughts. It pumps you full of feel good endorphins and triggers the problem solving side of the brain. Plus, it’s hard to be annoyed with yourself for exercising. Unlike, say eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Creative work can also be a great stress buster. I have friends who scrapbook, knit, crochet, paint, or write. All of them feel like they get to put their emotions in creating something and it soothes them as they work. Even just dumping thoughts in a journal can help.

How do you comfort yourself? If there is something that works best for you, please share it in the comments below.

Need help in making better choices? Send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com,  for a free 40 minute strategy session.  Together we can come up with a plan that works just for you.

 

Juice – Healthy Drink or Sugar Bomb?

Green JuiceI’ve been asked what I think of juice quite a lot lately. My answer is it depends on what your drinking and how much. Are you having a big glass of fruit juice? Then you are starting the day with a lot of sugar and no fiber to balance it out.

A serving of orange juice is 4 – 6 oz. It’s the juice of 1 – 2 oranges. It takes 6 oranges to make a large glass of juice. That’s a lot of calories and sugar (about 12 teaspoons) for a drink, vitamins or not. When you eat an orange the fiber in it regulates the sugar from entering into your system all at once. If you tried to actually eat 6 oranges you’d probably be sick before you got to number six.

I like to start the day with a green juice that I make at home. I stick to mostly vegetables with a beet or carrot and 1/2 an apple or pear for sweetness. Again, a lot of the fiber is lost in this process so keep the sugar content down by using more green vegetables than sweet ones.

Why juice? It’s a way to get the vitamins and nutrients of vegetables without actually having to eat a bag of produce.  Fiber does slow digestion so these vitamins will enter into your blood stream more quickly. It’s better than swallowing a bunch of vitamins. It’s a great immunity boost if you feeling run down or like a cold is coming on.

Benefits of juicing:

  • Get the most essential nutrients quickly and easily
  • Get valuable minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids
  • Get an immunity boost
  • Have clearer skin
  • Have glossy hair
  • Have more energy
  • Get more vitamins and nutrients without eating a whole bag of produce

Simple green juice (serves 2)

  • 3 large kale leaves (or use a combination of spinach and romaine for a milder taste)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 apple
  • 1 inch chunk of ginger

Are you tired of feeling tired? Do you want to feel your best but aren’t sure how? Send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for a complimentary 40 minute consultation. For more information about my programs visit: empoweredplate.com.

My Favorite Sneaky Dessert

chocomoleI am obsessed with fat this week, it was the topic of my April newsletter as well. I think too many of us are brainwashed by the low-fat diet crazed and we’ve become afraid of fat. Our bodies need healthy fats, it’s one of the macro-nutrients that we require to function.

The other thing I’m obsessed with is how much processed and junk foods we eat. I like snacks and sweets too but I want to be able to enjoy the foods without worrying about the ingredients and what they could be doing to my body.

So I’m going to share a recipe for Chocomole with you. It’s a raw chocolate pudding that doesn’t have dairy, refined sugar or unrecognizable ingredients. It does have healthy fat. It does taste just like chocolate pudding and has that creamy mouth-feel. I use it in place of pudding regularly and no one ever realizes what they’re eating. I’m sneaky like that.

This is a good blend of healthy fat and carbohydrate, making it a perfect snack for runners.

Chocomole

Adapted from Jason Mraz’s recipe

2 ripe avocados, pitted and skin removed

10 – 12 medjool dates, you may need a few more if you prefer it sweeter. (You can use stevia if you are on a low sugar diet).

1/2c raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder will work)

1Tbs coconut oil, warmed so it’s liquid

1 cup of room temperature water

1 tsp vanilla

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. The food processor gives it the best consistency.  Add additional dates if needed and blend again.

Do you want to start eating better but just don’t know where to start? Tired of trying to figure out what food plan is the “right one?” I can take the leg work out for you. Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, to schedule a complimentary 40 minute strategy session. Together we can come up with a plant that works just for you.