Simple Ways To Choose Food For Weight Loss

If you ask ten people what the hardest part of losing weight is, nine of them will say shopping for food. When you are dieting and trying to slim down, the most daunting place you can go is your local supermarket. There is just so much food and you can’t get in and out without passing by your favorite sweet treat or deli counter. Shopping for groceries when you are trying to lose weight takes a bit of practice, but once you’ve learned the basics, you’ll be able to sail right past those cookie samples without even a glance.  Here are a few tips to get you in and out without a hitch.

Shop the Perimeters

A good rule of thumb when shopping your local grocery store is to hug the outer lanes of the store to find the healthiest foods. Typically, grocery stores line the perimeter of the store with the produce cases, the dairy case, and the fresh meats and fish.  The inside aisles hold the majority of the prepackaged foods that you want to avoid.  This is generally speaking, of course, but give it a try at your grocery store and see if it works that way for you.

Shop for Color

As you push your cart along the outer walls of the store, look for the bright and vibrant-color foods.  We have learned in our nutrition classes that foods with rich, bright, or dark colors generally have more nutrients than those with a pale color. For instance, strawberries and eggplants have a higher nutrient-density than potatoes or onions. Even though potatoes and onions are perfectly fine and offer nutrition, to get the most bang out of your dieting buck, go for the bright colors. You can apply this to proteins in many instances, as well.  You know a deep red salmon fillet is going to be more nutrient-dense than a salmon fillet that has a light color.

Avoid Sugar by Any Name

You would be surprised at all the places sugar can hide in a grocery store. It is practically around every corner. Since sugar will rob you of your weight loss goals, it is important to turn into a detective in order to avoid it. Just for reference, here is a laundry list of aliases for sugar.

Agave nectar
Barley malt syrup
Brown sugar
Cane sugar
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids
Dehydrated cane juice
Fruit juice concentrate
High-fructose corn syrup
Invert sugar
Malt syrup
Maple syrup
Powdered sugar
Raw sugar
Rice syrup
Sorghum or sorghum syrup
Turbinado sugar

Of course, not all sugar is created equal.  Raw sugar may be a better choice than refined sugar.  However, when it comes to weight loss, your body isn’t going to know the difference.  It’s going to want to turn that sugar into fat.  Learn your sugars and learn what levels are tolerable for your diet.  Be aware also that most processed foods that are labeled low fat have added sugar to adjust the taste.  Here again, you need to know what is better for you and know your tolerable limits.  Labels are your friend’s get used to reading them.

Whole Grains vs Refined Grains

One of the easiest tips to remember when buying bread, pasta, flour, and any type of baking ingredients is to go for whole grains rather than refined grains. Eating whole grains add much needed fiber and nutrients to your healthy diet.  Fiber helps speed digestion and metabolism both.  Refined grains have all that goodness cleaned right out of them during the refining process.  Eating whole wheat pastas and breads, and baking with whole grain products, will take some getting used to, but you can ease into it by using half refined and half whole grain to get started. It won’t be long before you prefer the firmer texture and nuttier flavor of your favorite muffin recipe made with whole grains.

You don’t have to carry a big list of foods allowed on a special diet along with you to the grocery store.  You just have to shop smarter with these simple rules.  It’s easier to eat healthy when you have simple tricks to use when you’re in the grocery store. If you fill your cart with foods from the perimeters, brightly colored foods, foods without added sugar, and whole grains, you are well on your way to eating a diet that will help you lose weight now and keep it off for a lifetime.


Which Form Of Vitamin D Is Best?

By now you may have learned what vitamin D can do for your bones, muscle, your heart, and even your telomeres (those protective caps on chromosomes), but are you getting the right amount in the right form to boost levels optimally? 

Vitamin D is perhaps the most unique and certainly the most broadly influential vitamin in our diet. Given the scope of its action it may be no surprise this vitamin is not a vitamin at all, but works more like a hormone. Supplement users are acquainted with vitamin D in two forms: vitamin D2, available in plants and fortified foods, and vitamin D3, the natural form produced in the partnership between skin and sunshine and also found in some animal foods like egg yolks and oily fish. 

Vitamin D3 seems to be the best bang for your buck when it comes to supplementation. With the majority of people vitamin D deficient, the need for supplementation is vast. Though our bodies do make vitamin D from sun exposure, the amount of sunshine in northern countries is not sufficient, especially during the winter months, for the body to produce enough vitamin D. This makes it absolutely necessary to get adequate vitamin D from foods naturally rich in vitamin D, fortified foods, and dietary supplements.Even in the summer months, as people actively try to avoid excessive UV exposure and take protective measures, which should absolutely be taken to avoid sunburn and higher risk of skin cancer, vitamin D status may still be in peril. This research emphasizes that there’s no need to change your defense against too much sun, even for the sake of vitamin D. High-quality dietary supplement such as Ageless Actives are available and offer more than two times the recommended daily value of vitamin D3.Stay on top of your sun protection and take comfort in knowing that you don’t have to compromise your skin for your nutrition when it comes to this hormone, the best defense against deficiency or low status may be offensive supplementation with D3.


5 Ingredients Clean Grill Recipes

We are just 4 short weeks away from the unofficial start of summer Memorial Day. For some of you that means pulling out the grill and hosting your first BBQ. Personally I grill year round provided it’s not snowing or raining to hard =). I really enjoy the way food tastes on the grill, put it make cleaning up a cinch! Here are 2 of my favorite recipes.

Grilled Steak Tips In Sweet Balsamic Marinade

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dark brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound steak tips, trimmed
salt and pepper

In a large glass bowl, whisk together the balsamic, Worcestershire, brown sugar, and garlic.

Add the steak tips to the mixture, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 25 minutes at room temperature. Turn the meat in the bowl several times during the marinading process.

Prepare grill to medium-high heat and put on some non-stick spray one the grate or prepare a grilling pan for the steak tips.
Remove steak tips  from the bowl and discard marinade.

Sprinkle both sides of steak tips with salt and pepper, then place steak tips on grill, close lid, and cook for just 3 minutes, flip and cook another 3 minutes or until done to your liking.

Remove steak tips from grill and let the steak tips stand at room temperature for 5 minutes; cover loosely with a foil tent, but do not close tight.

Mango Chutney Turkey Burgers On The Grill

1 medium sweet onion
1 pound ground turkey
4 Tbsp mango chutney, divided
2 cups shredded lettuce

Prepare the grill to medium-high heat.

Cut onion in half, around the equator, and dice half finely and slice 4 thin circles out of the other half.

In a large bowl, put the diced onion in with 1 tablespoon chutney and all the ground turkey; then mix together with your hands and form 4 burgers.

When grill is ready, put round onion slices on and cook 2 or 3 minutes on each side just until charred; remove.

Put burgers on at the same time and grill, flipping once, until meat is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes each side; remove.

I’ve made recipes using wheat rolls as well as whole wheat wraps, both are pretty yummy!

Makes 4 servings.