Here’s an easy and delicious stuffing put together literally with what we had available in our fridge. Of course, the vegetable ingredient possibilities are endless, depending on what you have on hand. It works very well with pork tenderloin (what we had – note that you can add apples for great flavour), or poultry.
¼ red pepper (10 calories)
1 slice whole-grain bread (110 calories)
5 mushrooms (25 calories)
2 slices onion (10 calories)
½ stalk celery (1 calorie)
- Finely chop vegetables and break bread into small pieces.
- Mix all ingredients.
- Add seasoning(s) of your choice (e.g. low-sodium poultry seasoning).
- Cut meat down centre.
- Add stuffing.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional Information (per ¼ of recipe)
Mark McGill, RD
There are many influences on a person's weight including physiology, psychology and the environment. The latter, in my opinion, has perhaps the greatest influence in our society. Case in point: this past Saturday I was in a large arts and crafts store and noticed something strange when I reached the cash – they were selling candy. From licorice to chocolate, the selection was huge. But why would a crafts store be selling these products? The answer is simple- to capitalize on impulse shoppers. We've all been there; you're tired and haven't eaten in several hours when you are suddenly faced with an array of sweets. And since you're hungry, deciding to purchase a chocolate bar is a much easier choice. Below are some strategies to help minimize the likelihood of impulse buys, but first think about how readily available food is today. It used to be that it was only available at markets or if you grew it at home. Now it can be purchased at gas stations, business supply stores, and hardware stores, to name a few.
a) Ensure organized eating. By this I mean having breakfast, eating every 2-3 hours and ensuring protein at all meals and snacks.
b) Stay hydrated. Many times we mistake hunger for thirst so make sure you are drinking throughout the day. As a general guideline, aim for 2-3 litres of fluid per day. Water is your best choice as it is calorie-free.
c) Utilize a car-kit. This is an easy way to avoid hunger and temptation at the checkout. Pack a lunch bag with nuts, protein bars, crackers and peanut butter for example and leave in the backseat or trunk. Remember to restock frequently.
d) Do not shop when tired or stressed. Doing so may result in choosing sweets as a way to cope. In addition, feeling tired lowers ones inhibitions making saying no to sweets that much tougher.
Mark McGill, RD
With breakfast and lunch ideas already provided, it’s time to finish off the meals with dinner. Amounts and calories will vary depending on individual needs. At a minimum, aim for ~300 calories and 20g protein minimum for woman, ~400 calories, 20g protein for men. For recipe/seasoning ideas, be sure to visit cookinglight.com
a) Baked salmon (~200 calories), quinoa (~100-200), grilled asparagus (~50)
b) Baked boneless, skinless chicken breast (~150), wild rice (~150), steamed spinach (~50)
c) Stir-fried tofu (~200), red peppers, snow peas, onions, bean sprouts (50-100)
d) Home-made pizza dough (~300), cheese (120), tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms (~50-100)
e) Lean, ground meat of your choice (e.g. turkey, chicken, beef) (~200), spaghetti squash (~50-100), crushed tomatoes (~50), vegetables of your choice (~50)
Mark McGill, RD
I have started a myfitnesspal BMI group. If you are using myfitnesspal and would like to join, send me your username and I will forward you an invite. It's essentially a forum where you can share tips, ask questions and support each other. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
My last post describing what often takes place when one stops tracking got me thinking: “How can one make tracking easier and more efficient?” The following are suggestions that will hopefully make food journaling the easiest part of your day. It’s important to note that when you are first starting out, it will most likely take more time and effort. Of course, this is true of almost anything including new jobs, new relationships, and new hobbies/activities (e.g. sports). Rest assured that it should get faster as time goes on.
a) Record in advance. If you know what you are having ahead of time, make note of it early. For example, record your breakfast the night before or your packed lunch made in the morning.
b) Make a cheat sheet. We normally cycle through roughly thirty different foods so recording the portion sizes and calories of these foods all in one place will save time. Hint: there is a cheat sheet located in the back of the BMI food journal. As time passes, you’ll also probably start memorizing the calories for these common foods.
c) Use acronyms or short-hand. Instead of writing peanut butter and jam sandwich, why not simply write pb&j sand? You can also condense your breakfasts by calling them “breakfast A”, “breakfast B”, etc… So long as you make note of the individual components at least once.
d) Use smartphone apps. If you have access to a smartphone, consider tracking via one of the many apps such as myfitnesspal, mynetdiary or Sparkpeople. Many apps include a “save meal”, “copy meal” and frequent or recent items options that make tracking as simple as a few taps. If you’re well organized from a meal-planning standpoint, it’s possible to pre-populate your entire week and then simply modify as required throughout. This is also possible via writing.
Once you get some tracking time under your belt, it should take no longer than about five minutes per day.
Mark McGill, RD
Most of us (myself included) go through a stretch where we stop recording our intake. This can be for a variety of reasons including family or work stress, vacations, illness or simply forgetting to track one day and then not resuming as it has not yet become a habit. Whatever the reason, when you stop tracking the following is what can and often does occur:
a) Calorie intake increases: when you are not writing your calories down it is next to impossible to know how many you are consuming. Estimating is unreliable and it is very easy to forget that mouthful of chili you tasted as you prepared dinner or the piece of chicken you finished off your child's plate. It's also easier to convince yourself that the piece of cake you had didn't count or have as many calories as it actually does.
b) Food quality decreases: It is much easier to consume chips, pop and fast food if you don't record it. As the saying goes: “out of sight, out of mind”.
c) Thoughtfulness decreases: When you diarize you take ownership of what you are eating which often results in more thoughtful choices. For example, knowing that the cookies you have for dessert each night have 300 calories will likely result in you having less per serving and/or not consuming them as frequently.
All of the above usually leads to weight gain and an overall less healthy lifestyle.
To stay in the habit of recording, make sure you track each day even if it is incomplete or involves guessing. Simply writing that you had a piece of steak and baked potato at a friend's barbeque is enough to keep you in the routine. And remember: do not get discouraged if you miss an entry. Simply resume the very next time you eat; treat each entry as separate. Perfection in anything is impossible so do your very best.
Mark McGill, RD