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Protein Pumpkin Squares

Posted on September 23, 2016 by

0If you missed our event on Monday – make these at home & enjoy this tasty snack!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup ground flax seed or almond meal

2 Tbsp Chia seeds

1/2 Tbsp of ground cinnamon

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk

1/4 cup Splenda

4 scoops vanilla protein powder* (about 1 1/3 cup)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree

 

*We used Leaner Living – Vanilla Ice Cream

 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and combine well.
Grease an 8×10″ baking dish and pour the entire mixture and spread out in pan and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting.
Recipe makes 24 Squares.

Nutrition Per Pumpkin Square:

Calories 45

Fat 2g

Protein 3.25g

Carbohydrates 3.5g

Fiber 2g

 

Bacon and Mushroom Smothered Chicken Breasts

Posted on September 16, 2016 by

Genuine comfort food – without the carbs!

A warm & comforting dish anytime of the year!

A warm & comforting dish anytime of the year!

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 Tbls vegetable oil

2 tsp Italian seasoning

Salt & Pepper

Sauce

6 oz sliced white mushrooms

6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled

2 cups half & half

Fresh thyme, snipped

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add vegetable oil to skillet and place over medium-high heat.
  3. Wash chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towel.
  4. Sprinkle each chicken breast with Italian seasoning and place in hot oil.
  5. Cook for 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
  6. Spray 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  7. Remove chicken from skillet and place in baking dish. (Leave skillet over heat)
  8. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear.
  9. While chicken is baking, add sliced mushrooms to the skillet and allow to caramelize.
  10. Add crumbled bacon and half & half. Bring to a low boil and reduce to simmer.
  11. Cook for 2-5 minutes or until sauce starts to thicken.
  12. Remove chicken from oven and plate. Spoon cream sauce over each chicken breast to serve. Garnish with fresh snipped thyme.

 

Note: if using light half & half, you will need to adjust the nutritional information.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 365

Total Fat 19g

Total Carbohydrates 6.5g

Dietary Fiber 0g

Protein 45.5g

Print Recipe  Bacon and Mushroom Smothered Chicken Breasts

Think Like an Olympian

Posted on September 05, 2016 by

better than yesterdayThe excitement of the Summer Olympics in Rio has ended, leaving us with fond memories and looking toward Tokyo 2020. Watching the greatest athletes in the world performing their sport was awe inspiring. We might not dream of following in their footsteps, but we admire their talent. Michael Phelps dominated swimming, ending his career with a whopping 23 gold medals. Simone Biles soared to Olympic gold on the floor exercise, including leading her team to a Women’s All-Around gold medal. Is there an Olympic sport that makes you want to jump off the couch and participate? Did any of the Olympic athletes inspire you to eat healthier or train harder? You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete, but for health and weight loss it helps to think like one!

HAVE A DREAM AND SET A GOAL

The goal of an Olympic athlete is to master their sport and achieve their wildest dreams. In order to excel on the balance beam, a gymnast must possess superior balance. Marathon runners need to achieve endurance and speed. Volleyball players’ training includes agility and coordination drills. Being an athlete may not be your goal, but in order to feel healthy and be physically fit, exercise needs to be a part of your daily life. Decide what type of exercises you like. Swimming is a very effective workout that strengthens all of your muscles. But, if you wince at the thought of getting into a pool, it’s not the right choice for you. If you’re an outdoors person, you can bike, jog or hike. If you prefer the indoors, fitness centers offer a vast variety of exercise classes. Set short-term and long-term goals using the SMART acronym. Goal setting helps you stay focused and on track.

DONT BE PUSHEDEAT TO LIVE

Depending on the sport, athletes require a variation in the number of calories every day. They require more calories during training due to the long hours they log. Most Olympians are meticulous eaters, choosing clean, natural, and unprocessed foods. During their training they don’t overeat, choosing salads, fresh fruit, yogurt, and lean meats. Nutrition can make all difference when an athlete is at the starting line. Some of the athletes express excitement about being able to eat their “cheat food” following the Olympics. For The Fab 5 gymnasts, that cheat food is pizza. Consistently eating overly processed food will lead to disease, especially in the absence of movement. Choose nutritiously dense foods to keep your body functioning properly. Protein is crucial, as it fuels the muscles and helps increase lean body mass. Lean body mass drives your metabolism and helps with weight loss.

PLAN AHEAD

Olympians usually train 4-8 years before making an Olympic team. They plan training schedules up to 4 years in advance. They enlist the help of a coach, exercise physiologist, sports medicine specialist, and a nutritionist. Formulate your exercise plan every day, just like meal planning. Make exercise a priority every day, even if you only have 20 minutes. Quality is more important than quantity. If you struggle with motivation or need that extra “push”, hire a personal trainer.

championsDETERMINATION

The definition of determination is “a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult.” Olympians are determined to win, no matter how difficult it gets. Cutting back the carbohydrates is difficult and might lead to carb withdrawal symptoms. Push through the difficulties and it will get easier. Walking a mile could be daunting at first, but as your endurance builds a mile won’t seem so far. Exercise is supposed to be challenging. Don’t forget the end prize: losing weight and getting healthy. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

SACRIFICES

Olympians have to sacrifice tremendously to get to the top. They miss out on family events, time with friends, holidays, and go into debt. At age 14, Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas had to move 1000 miles away from her mother to train with a world-class coach in order to fulfill her dream. To achieve weight loss goals, you will need to make some small sacrifices. You might have to wake up 20 minutes earlier to fit in your workout, forgo your favorite mixed drink every night, walk/jog during your son’s soccer practice, or be the only person at your birthday party not eating cake. The goal for exercise/fitness is 10,000 steps a day which equals 5 miles. Move your body as much as possible.

STRONG WORK ETHIC/MENTAL TOUGHNESS

Olympians are taught to finish the race regardless of the score. Volleyball player Kayla Banwarth of team USA is on the number 1 ranked team in the world. Unfortunately at the volleyball semifinals in Rio, her team couldn’t pull through and Kayla fought back tears. It was shocking to realize the gold was out of the question. However, they banded together, fought back and took the bronze metal. Olympians are focused and comprehend that success will occur as a result of physical and mental strength. Are you at a point in your life where you are mentally prepared for change? Are you ready to put your health number one and get your priorities in check?

DON’T LET SETBACKS GET YOU DOWN

The Williams’ sisters won gold at the last 3 Olympics. Unfortunately, in Rio they lost in the first round to women from the Czech Republic. Russian diver Llya Zakhavov was the defending Olympic champion in the 3-meter springboard. In the semi-final round he did a belly flop and was out of the competition. French gymnast Samir Ait Said suffered a broken leg during the vault qualifying round, abruptly dashing his Olympic dreams. We’re all going to suffer setbacks and distractions: changing jobs, relocating, marriage, divorce, children, illness, or injury. Perhaps you’re struggling to get the 40 pounds of baby weight off. Maybe your boss is making you work overtime and you can’t get to the gym as frequently. You have bad knees and it hurts just to get out of bed. Or, you’ve gone through divorce and the stress has caused weight gain. First of all, tomorrow is another day to get back on track. Pool exercise is a great choice for bad knees and stiff joints. Try massage, relaxation techniques, or regular exercise to reduce stress levels. And, 20 minutes of body weight exercises at home is effective if you can’t get to the gym. There is no time for excuses when our health is on the line.

see life differentlyOlympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton said, “Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.” We’re not all born to be athletes, but we can think like one. Set goals, and turn those goals into action. In order to lose weight and be healthy, you’re going to have to make sacrifices, plan ahead, and be tough mentally. Remember, life is not a destination, it’s a journey.

Blackened Chicken

Posted on September 02, 2016 by

blackened chickenQuick & easy for a juicy, spicy treat!

 

Ingredients

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 Tbls paprika

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp onion powder

¼ tsp cayenne pepper (use a little more if you like it hot but be careful!)

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Wash chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towel.
  3. Spray 8 x 10 baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Mix spices together in shallow dish.
  5. Spray chicken breasts with cooking spray or rub lightly with olive oil.
  6. Dredge chicken breast through spices, coating the top side of each piece.
  7. Place in glass dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until juices run clear.
  8. Serve with colorful veggies and a salad! Enjoy~

 

Makes 48 servings

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 135

Total Fat 1g

Total Carbohydrates .5g

Dietary Fiber 0g

Protein 31g

 

Print recipe  Blackened chicken

Weight Maintenance Strategies

Posted on August 29, 2016 by

“It’s ironic that we foinspiredcus on weight loss, when the longest phase of your journey is maintenance!”  

Your road to weight loss was challenging and required tremendous discipline.  Now, you’ve reached the Maintenance Phase.  This phase is a bit different than weight loss and requires some different skills. Here are a few weight maintenance strategies to help keep that weight off for good!

The 6 Keys to Long-Term Weight Control:

EATING:

*Think PROTEIN first because it’s satisfying and harder to digest. Protein also increases the release of hormones that promote weight loss:  growth hormone (helps to preserve lean body mass and keep metabolism up) and glucagon (tells the body to mobilize fat).

*Follow a structured pattern of eating:  Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper with small snacks in between.

*Don’t swear off dessert entirely.  Use the 3-bite rule.

*Avoid banking calories:  It’s ineffective to starve all day so you indulge at your favorite restaurant for supper.  This is a recipe for disaster because going hungry for several hours sets you up for a pig-out.

*The Scale:  Weight yourself twice a week.

*Go back to basics:  If you’ve put on weight, try doing a mini jump start (Weight & Inches shakes).

*Remember the CONCEPT of eating:  “How little can I eat and still be satisfied?”

DRINKING:

*We can’t survive without water and should be drinking throughout the day.  Surgical patients, however, shouldn’t drink and eat simultaneously. Staying hydrated with water can prevent mindless snacking/overeating. Carbohydrates and calories in alcoholic drinks add up quickly. Drink in moderation.

VITAMINS:

*Everyone should take pharmaceutical grade vitamins, especially if you’re restricting your calories.

*1st Tier Vitamins:  Multivitamin and Essential Fatty Acid (EFA’s.)

2nd Tier Vitamins:  B-Complex, magnesium, and Vit. D (about half the population is deficient).

SLEEPING:

*The most successful patients who have lost weight and maintained get 7 or more hours a sleep every night.

*Sleep is needed to recover from the day.

*Cortisol levels will remain elevated from sleep deprivation and make weight loss even more difficult.

EXERCISE:

*Exercise becomes even more essential during the maintenance phase of weight loss.

*It helps you preserve lean body mass and keep metabolism up (especially resistance training).

* Concentrate your workouts:  quality is more important than quantity.  Even 15 minutes of out-of-your-comfort-zone exercising can help maintain your fitness level.

*Pick activities you enjoy:  If dancing to Latin music in a zumba class sounds nightmarish, choose another format like Boot Camp or a High Intensity Interval class (HITT).  If you’re an avid outdoors person, find good running/walking trails, go hiking, or biking.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY:

*Make a conscious decision every morning to stay on track and focus on staying healthy.

*Surround yourself with supportive people.

*Reward Yourself:  It’s fun to set personal goals and reward yourself along the way. But, it’s too risky to reward yourself with food.  For every 3 months of weight maintenance, you could go to the movies, buy a new outfit, or take a little vacation.

Weight maintenance is often more challenging than weight loss.  Ultimately, no one can do this but you.  We will help you and support you, but we can’t do the work for you.  If you’re continuing to struggle, call and set an appointment with one of the CFWLS counselors to get back on track.

Fajita Kabobs with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Sauce

Posted on August 05, 2016 by

chicken fajita kabobsIngredients
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 sweet peppers
1 large onion
½ cup lime juice
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Bamboo or metal skewers

Creamy cilantro sauce:
1 cup light sour cream
3 tablespoons cilantro, minced
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 teaspoons lime juice

Directions
1. Cut chicken into 1” pieces.
2. Cut peppers and onion into 1” chunks.
3. In a large re-sealable bag, combine seasonings and lime juice. Add chicken breasts, onion and peppers and allow to marinate in refrigerator for at least an hour.
4. Thread chicken, peppers, and onion onto skewers.
3. Place each skewer onto grill. Allow each to sear and flip to other side. Brush each skewer with any remaining marinade.
4. Grill over high heat for 5 minutes, flip, and let cook for an additional 3 minutes or until done.
5. In a bowl, combine all creamy cilantro sauce ingredients. Stir well to combine.
6. Top with the creamy cilantro sauce, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 250
Total Fat 6g
Total Carbohydrates 13g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Protein 39g

Print Recipe Chicken Fajita Kabobs with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Sauce

Your Challenge: 10,000 Steps

Posted on August 01, 2016 by

feet on sidewalkHippocrates, the Father of Western Medicine, said “walking is man’s best medicine.”  Walking as a fitness activity is becoming increasingly more popular. According to the CDC (The Center for Disease Control) and the NIH (The National Institute of Health) Adults need 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every day.  We recommend 10,000 steps a day! This helps you stay healthy and lose weight.  Those 10,000 steps will burn between 2000-3500 calories a day. That could result in a 1-pound a week weight loss.  Make walking part of your daily routine.  It’s fun, inexpensive, and easy on the joints.

It’s even more enjoyable to walk in groups, which is why we started the ‘CFWLS – Steps to Success’ walking group.  We are racing, as a group, across America. The race started in California and we’ve already made it to sunny Arizona.  We enjoying setting goals, encouraging each other, and challenging ourselves physically.  Join the fun!  Just download the World Walking app on your smart phone and join our group at:   https://worldwalking.org/groups/cik7y.

steps group banner
GETTING STARTED:

You need comfortable clothes, supportive shoes, and a fitness tracker.  There are many places you can enjoy walking including: your neighborhood, track, water, park, treadmill, or the mall.

PROPER FORM:

Stand tall, keep your eyes on the horizon, practice heel-to-toe walking, neutral pelvis, relaxed shoulders, contracted abdominals, and unlocked arms.

BENEFITS OF WALKING:

Weight loss, encourages bonding with other walking buddies, increases energy and stamina, lowers Blood Pressure, and decreases stress.

ADDING INTENSITY:

Add inclines (hills), wear a weighted vest, add skips or jumps, take bigger steps, or incorporate speed intervals.  Walking longer and faster will help you burn more calories and lose weight faster.

FUN FACTS ABOUT WALKING:

*Former President Jefferson walked 4 miles a day and lived to be 83 years old.

*Walking is the most popular form of exercise in the United States.

*The average person will walk about 65,000 miles in their lifetime.

*Walking an 18-hole golf course is equivalent to about 12,000 steps.

In conclusion, it’s crucial to establish healthy habits.  Move your body as much as possible.  You can dramatically improve your health one step at a time.

I’ve included a short video to get you started!  https://youtu.be/LOYcFLk3YWw

Ditch the Sweet Stuff

Posted on July 18, 2016 by

Ditch the Sweet StuffWhat’s Hiding in Your Pantry? Go ahead – open the door.  It’s in there and you won’t have to look too far. Take the first package you see and turn it around. Find the nutrition label and look about two-thirds of the way down the list.  What do you see?  Total Carbohydrates – eeeek!  Sugar is hiding in places that you would least expect and may be the prime culprit in your battle of the bulge.

Carbohydrates tend to be mostly empty calories and leave us wanting for more almost as soon as we’ve finished whatever was in the package.  These sugars cause an excess blood sugar surge and trigger an insulin release in your body. Insulin, also being a fat-storage hormone, promptly sends these calories packing – right where you don’t want them – around the mid-section (aka Belly Fat!)

Cutting back on carbohydrates may help you do more than just lose weight.  Studies show that there are dozens of additional health benefits when eliminating extra sugar from your diet.  Here are 10 of our favorites!

1. It lowers your chance of diabetes

Just 2 sodas a day increase your chance of becoming one of the millions with Type 2 diabetes by 26%.  Steady sugar intake can result in insulin resistance. Easy decision – drink water!

2. It reduces your risk of certain cancers

Research suggests that risk of certain cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, can be attributed to excess sugar intake. Why take chances?

3. It may lower your blood pressure

Excess weight has long been considered the major factor in hypertension. New studies indicate that sugary foods can also increase blood pressure. When the heart and arteries are taxed over long periods of time, damage can occur in the whole circulatory system.  This can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, kidney damage, artery disease and other coronary conditions.

4. It promotes healthy skin

Added sugar can leave the skin looking dull and wrinkled. Sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins, a process called glycation, that results in damage to your collagen and elastin. It may also leave your skin more prone to sun damage.

5. It improves brain function

Sugar can eat away at your brain cells much like it does your tooth enamel! Research shows a correlation between impaired cognitive function and excessive sugar intake. It has also shown to reduce the proteins that are necessary for memory and responsiveness.

6. It decreases your bad cholesterol

Consuming too many carbohydrates may lead to lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and higher levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) as well as higher triglycerides (blood fats).  Clogged arteries can lead to heart disease!

7. It may help you avoid fatty liver disease

Fatty liver disease is very common in this country and is directly related to the excess sugar in the American diet.  High blood sugar results in excess insulin in the system that drives fat into the liver cells. This disease can increase your risk of diabetes, heart attacks and even cancer.

8. It makes for easy breathing

Those that partake in a high carbohydrate diet may be more likely to suffer from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  COPD is the third leading cause of death in the country!

9. You’ll have more energy

Carbohydrates give you energy – right?  Wrong!  Excess sugar actually decreases the activity in our orexin cells. These cells help keep us awake and lift our metabolism – that could explain the need for a nap after a carb-filled lunch.

10. You’ll have more $$ to spend on the fun things in life!

We recently talked with a surgical patient who had added up the cost of all the sodas and junk food he had been buying compared to what he was now spending on good food.  Even we were amazed!  You can save hundreds of dollars each month – and spend it on something to celebrate your healthy life!

If you bite it, you must write it…

Posted on July 11, 2016 by

Weight Loss Mobile appYour food diary is a vital tool on your journey to lose weight.  Technological advances have made journaling so much easier and convenient.  Have you downloaded our free mobile app?  It tracks your food & fitness as well as water & weight loss progress!  Don’t have a smart phone? Good old fashioned pen and paper work just fine too. Some people claim that journaling is time-consuming and cumbersome.  The facts are that people who keep daily food diaries are much more successful with weight loss than those who don’t document.

Keeping a generic diary to record feelings and events can help with expressing emotions, aid in self-growth, and appreciating success and mistakes. Use a food/drink journal to increase awareness of your emotions in addition to what you’re putting in your mouth.  Here’s our top 5 reasons to keep a food diary:

  1. Helps to identify areas where changes need to be made
  2. Makes you cognizant of stressful, mindless eating
  3. Helps to pinpoint patterns of over-eating
  4. Provides an understanding of the source of calories
  5. Reveals where the surplus or deficit (protein or carbs) is

Dr. Clark and the counselors at the Center for Weight Loss Success especially want our patients to document protein, carbohydrates, and calories. We’re better able to provide support and assistance if we know exactly what you’re ingesting.

Don’t let the amount of calories you consume and where they’re coming from be a big mystery. Knowledge is power, and hiding from the truth isn’t going to bring you any closer to your ideal weight.  A recent study revealed people who kept a food journal six days a week lost almost twice as much as those who only recorded one day or less. This information is very impactful and advantageous. If you’re walking through the kitchen and feel like reaching for a cookie, you might think again if you have to record it!

Be accurate and honest when recording in your food diary.  If it goes in your mouth, it must be recorded.  All the “extras” add up.  For example, we recently had a medical client who was faithfully recording everything he ate daily, or so we thought.  It turned out, he had neglected to write down the dried cranberries he was sprinkling on his salad every day.  Those additional 25 grams of carbs and 20 grams of sugar made a big difference with his weight loss. Once discovered, the scale started moving again!

Tracking your intake may seem a bit time-consuming but pays big dividends and becomes easier with each passing day.  Take charge of your health!

Download the CFWLS free mobile app for iPhone at the App Store or for Androids at the Marketplace.

Fresh Finds – Seasonal Selections

Posted on June 27, 2016 by

If, on a hot summer day, you can’t stop eyeing that hunk of watermelon; or you start craving  pumpkin spiced treats in October, you’re eating with a seasonal mind. It’s just intuitive! Holistic medicine and science agree, seasonal eating promotes overall well-being, helps fight infection and may act as a natural whole body cleanse.

This theory has existed for many years in both Indian and Chinese medicine. As the weather shifts, animals behave differently; they eat according to what they can find. Humans used to follow the same pattern but with the ability to preserve fresh foods by canning, drying & freezing, we are able to enjoy most foods in any season. Researchers studying the underlying effects of seasonal eating have found that there is an increase in vitamins and antioxidants in the seasonal fare that isn’t matched by out of season harvest.

raspberriesSummer: During these hot and humid days, think bright colors. Summer foods tend to be colorful reds, pinks, yellows and blues – and tend to be sweet! Staying hydrated in these summer months is important so choose water-filled vegetables and fruits to add to your meals! Berries and melons are fairly low in carbohydrates – add them to salads topped with plenty of protein.  Don’t forget about the herbs in your garden – basil, mint, cilantro, parsley and sage!

Roasted pumpkin and carrot soup with cream .Fall: Welcome to harvest time! Ancient Chinese medicine believed that the body contracts and begins cooling in preparation for the winter. You will find yellow and gold foods in abundance. Root  vegetables and squash (carrots, beets, pumpkins, butternut & acorn squash) are hearty, filling and warming! Cooking methods like baking and roasting are best since these hearty root vegetables can stand up to them, don’t forget to season- sage, thyme, and rosemary are fresh!

cinnamonWinter: With frost in the air, the end of the seasons is in sight! Carrots, turnip, kale, and collard greens are just picked in these cold months! They are perfect for roasting and stewing with warm spices like cinnamon, curry and turmeric. Even though we don’t think of meat as seasonal because our stores are always fully stocked, it is seen as the most warming of foods due to its high nutrient density.

asparagusSpring: With increased sunlight, our tastes reach out to fresher foods. Tender foods like sprouts, greens, asparagus, and chards are back! Steaming and grilling your fresh finds will preserve the flavor of these light vegetables!

Tips & Tricks:
•    Look for reasonably priced produce in the supermarket. In-season prices are lower than out-of- season prices.
•    Think back to seasonal childhood favorites. There’s a reason why Mom always fed you melon in the summer, pumpkin in the fall and beef and barley stew in the winter.
•    Visit your Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning!

Contributed by Lindsey Bryan, CFWLS Summer Extern