Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer Friday Tips, Tricks and Inspiration

Happy summer Friday! I hope your long summer days have been filled with fun! Now that I've adjusted to school being out, I am buckling down to focus on (all of our) health and fitness.

Tips - Get in Your Potassium

Even healthy eaters can have a deficiency. Recently I was suffering from night-time leg cramps and thought potassium might be the culprit.  Just in time, Fooducate posted this article on the topic:  Potassium: You're Not Getting Enough.

The article lists several good sources for potassium -- and yes, it includes more than bananas. In fact, several foods offer twice as much potassium as bananas. Check it out.

Top Tricks for Restaurant Dining

This week delivered some shocking  news on how quickly restaurant calories add up from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

But you certainly can be successful eating out. Your best bets? Check out these restaurant tricks:

Ordering Tricks

  • Start with a brothy --not cream -- soup, eaten slowly. Research shows this single action can greatly reduce the number of calories you consume in your meal.
  • Avoid anything with these words: breaded, fried, cream sauce, creamy, buttery, buttered or gravy.
  • Ask for sauces and dressings on the side.
  • Have your meats and seafood broiled or grilled and,
  • Let your server know you are watching your waistline.
  • Share an entree with a friend; you can always order an extra salad or soup.
  • Order a to-go box WITH your entree and put half your meal in the box; you'll never miss it.

Cocktails, Anyone?

  • If you won't enjoy your outing without alcohol,by all means have a drink! But take a minute to Google the company's nutritional info and know the cost in sugars and calories before you order.
  • Easier: order wine or beer instead of a cocktail.
  • Order a bottle of sparkling water with wine and dilute it 50/50. It is still delicious(!) and you get twice the beverage for the same calories. 

Mealtime tricks:

  • Push the breadbasket to the far end of the table. 
  • Eat slowly, beginning with all the vegetables on your plate. 
  • Try your baked potato plain! They are surprisingly flavorful
  • Dress your salad sparingly at first and only add more dressing as needed. 2 tablespoons of dressing is a serving.
  • Drink a full glass (or two) of plain water with your meal.  
  • If it's a special occasion and you want dessert, split it with a friend or better still, the whole table. 
  • Finally the best eating out tip of all: If it isn't delicious, don't eat it! 

Inspiration from an Unlikely Source: Fast Food!  

Good news for fast food lovers: Amy's Kitchen is opening a quick-serve restaurant  Amy's is well known amongst vegetarians, gluten-free eaters, and healthy eaters nation-wide. Their organic, vegetarian frozen meals have been around for over 25 years and were the standard-bearer for a heathy, organic, non-GMO  frozen food. Amy's Kitchen's labels read like recipes; to wit, the ingredient label onn their famous black bean burritos: Ingredients: (Vegan) Organic wheat & whole wheat flour, filtered water, organic black and kidney beans, organic onions, organic potatoes, organic broccoli, organic corn, organic bell peppers, expeller pressed high oleic safflower and/sunflower oil, organic tomato puree, organic sweet rice flour, spices, sea salt, organic garlic, cilantro, organic tapioca starch, organic green chiles, organic jalapeƱo peppers. Contains wheat. 

Amy's Kitchen was a dream come true for vegan eaters, those avoiding gluten, and other folks just trying to eat with awareness. Now there are other contenders in this specialty frozen food market but Amy's Kitchen has found a new way to make waves with a quick-serve restaurant.   Fooducate reports that the restaurant will serve fresh cooked, affordable, high quality foods and will feature a drive-through. This outlet, an antithesis of fast food (healthy, local, and vegetarian), will open this year in northern California, near the companies headquarters.

I am pulling for the success of this venture and hoping it leads to a chain!. Busy parents and professionals could use a fast food restaurant with a whole foods, healthy eating mindset! Yay Amy's!

Those are your Tips, Tricks and Inspiration for this week. Next time look out for "Nerd Fitness," an android game that is encouraging exercise and some great news from the FDA.  Cheers!