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Category Archives: Weight Loss Nutrition

Low Carb Strawberry Ice Cream

Posted on April 14, 2017 by

strawberry ice creamA low-carb version of your childhood favorite!

 

Ingredients

2 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and sliced

1 tsp lemon juice

½ cup Splenda or granular artificial sweetener

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup half & half

1 cup heavy cream

1 Tbls vodka (keeps it creamier)

 

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a freezer-safe container or zip-top freezer bag and place in freezer.
  3. Stir (or squeeze) ice cream every 60 minutes for several hours. This will help it reduce crystalizing.
  4. Serve with fresh berries.

 

Makes 8 servings

 

Nutrition Facts:  per 1/2 cup serving

Calories 185

Total Fat 16g

Effective Carbohydrates 9g

Protein 4g

 

Print Recipe    Low Carb Strawberry Ice Cream

Fish Taco Lettuce Cups

Posted on April 07, 2017 by

fish tacos 2Ingredients

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp oregano

½ tsp cumin

1 tsp cilantro

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp chipotle or chili powder

1 lb white fish (rockfish or mahi mahi)

1 lime

2 cups shredded cabbage

¼ cup green onions

2 heads Boston lettuce

Salsa or avocado for garnish – optional

 

Directions

  1. Combine dry spices in bowl.
  2. Clean & separate lettuce leaves. Dry by rolling in paper towel. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.
  4. Coat each piece of fish in spice mixture and add to skillet.
  5. Pan-fry fish about 4-5 minutes on each side or until flaky.
  6. Spread small amounts of cabbage in each lettuce cup.
  7. Break up larger pieces of fish and spoon into lettuce cups.
  8. Top with green onion, salsa or avocado and squeeze lime over each.

 

 

Makes 2 servings

 

Nutrition Facts: (without avocado)

Calories 190

Total Fat5g

Total Carbohydrates 2g

Dietary Fiber 1g

Protein 32g

 

Print Recipe:   Fish Taco Lettuce Cups

Lemon Mini Muffins

Posted on March 31, 2017 by

mini lemon muffins

This tasty little low carb muffin will have you fooled – it’s low cal too!

 

Ingredients

1 large sweet lemon (zest & sections)

3 eggs

1 cup finely ground almond flour

½ tsp baking powder

4 Tbls sugar substitute for baking

½ tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

 

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350F.
  2. Spray non-stick mini muffin tin or line each with paper/foil cups.
  3. Remove zest from lemon and set aside. Peel lemon and separate sections. Remove any seeds from the sections.
  4. Put lemon sections in food processor bowl and pulse for several seconds until pureed.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  6. Stir in lemon zest.
  7. Spoon batter into each cup.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

 

Makes 24 mini muffins

 

Nutrition Facts:  (per muffin)

Calories 35

Total Fat 3g

Total Carbohydrates 1.5g

Dietary Fiber .5g

Protein 2g

Print Recipe:  Lemon Mini Muffins

 

Adapted from DitchTheCarbs.com

Baked Parmesan Mushrooms

Posted on March 24, 2017 by

parmesan mushroomsA low-carb & low-calorie side that’s sure to please!

 

Ingredients

2 pounds baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

3 Tlbs olive oil

Juice from ½ lemon

Zest from 1 lemon

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp tarragon

½ tsp thyme

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Scatter mushrooms in single layer on baking sheet.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and drizzle over mushrooms.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring once.
  5. Serve with your favorite protein!

 

Makes 4 servings

 

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 140

Total Fat 12g

Effective Carbohydrates 6g

Protein 11g

 

Print Recipe   Baked Parmesan Mushrooms

Almond Crusted Shrimp and Pasta

Posted on March 17, 2017 by

Pick up some Proti pasta and satisfy your cravings for pasta!

Ingredients                                                                                              

Almond Coated Shrimp & Pasta

Almond Coated Shrimp & Pasta

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

¼ cup fat-free half and half

½ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp ground cumin

½ cup slivered almonds

2 Tbls fresh cilantro, finely chopped

½ cup tomato sauce

2 packets Proti-Pasta (about 2 cups)

Directions

  1. Empty contents of packets of Proti-Pasta into pot of boiling water. Cook for 12 minutes or until desired texture is achieved. Drain.
  2. In medium bowl, mix all of the remaining ingredients except tomato sauce and 1 tbls of cilantro. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to blend flavors.
  3. Spray 10 inch skillet with cooking spray, heat over medium heat. Add shrimp mixture, cook each side of shrimp 30-60 seconds or until partially pink.
  4. Stir in tomato sauce. Cover cook 3-4 minutes, turning shrimp occasionally, until shrimp are pink. Toss with pasta. Serve garnished with remaining 1 tbls cilantro.

 

Makes 3 servings

Nutrition Facts: Calories 376, Total Fat 12.6g, Total Carbohydrates 16.4g, Protein 48.7g

Print Recipe Almond Coated Shrimp and Pasta

Herbed Cheese & Spinach Chicken

Posted on March 03, 2017 by

This main course is a special treat for guests and family alike! spinach and herbed cheese chicken chicken

Ingredients

4 chicken breast halves

3-4 oz herbed goat cheese or cream cheese

10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach

Salt & pepper to taste

2 tsp paprika

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

 

Directions

Thaw spinach. Press out excess water and put in mixing bowl.

Cut slits across the top of each chicken breast about 1/2” apart and 2/3 of the way through.

Place chicken breasts into glass baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Mix herbed cheese, spinach, salt & pepper and paprika together in bowl until well blended.

Stuff each slit with a spoonful of spinach mixture.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

 

 

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 300

Total Fat 13g

Total Carbohydrates 2.5g

Dietary Fiber 2g

Protein 43g

 

Print Recipe  Spinach and Herbed Cheese Chicken

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.

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

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.