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Tag Archives: food choices

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

Cookie Dough Protein Balls

Posted on November 04, 2016 by

cookie dough protein ballsEnjoy your cookie dough again!

 

Ingredients

2 scoops vanilla protein powder (Leaner Living)

½ cup almond meal

1/4 tsp salt

½ cup almond or peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

¼ cup mini chocolate chips

1 Tbls almond milk

 

Directions

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir to blend.
  2. Add canned almond butter & vanilla. Stir to blend.
  3. Add chocolate chips and almond milk. Stir to blend
  4. Form into small (walnut-sized) balls by rolling in palms of your hands.
  5. Place on plate or tray and chill for 30 minutes until more firm.
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

Makes 12 balls

 

Nutrition Facts: (each ball)

Calories 110

Total Fat 9g

Total Carbohydrates 6.5g

Dietary Fiber 1.5g

Protein 5g

 

Print Recipe: Cookie Dough Protein Balls

Sensational & Simple Baked Chicken

Posted on October 28, 2016 by

Only 5 ingredients!

Only 5 ingredients!

Only 5 ingredients!

 

Ingredients

4 boneless-skinless chicken breast halves

¼ cup butter

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

½ tsp tarragon

 

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter and stir together with salt & pepper.
  3. Arrange chicken in baking dish.
  4. Brush each piece with butter until thoroughly coated. Pour excess over the chicken.
  5. Sprinkle with tarragon.
  6. Bake 30-35 minutes or until juices run clear.

 

 

Serves 4

 

Nutrition Facts: (each ball)

Calories 227

Total Fat 14g

Total Carbohydrates 0g

Dietary Fiber 0g

Protein 34g

 

Print Recipe: Sensational Simple Baked Chicken

Pumpkin Spice Protein Balls

Posted on October 21, 2016 by

These can be flattened a bit as cookies too~

A seasonal treat!

A seasonal treat!

 

Ingredients

2 scoops vanilla protein powder (Leaner Living)

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup rolled oats

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

½ cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp sugar-free maple syrup

 

Directions

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir to blend.
  2. Add canned pumpkin and syrup. Stir to blend.
  3. Form small (walnut-sized) balls by rolling in in your palms.
  4. Place on plate or tray and chill for 30 minutes until more firm.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Makes 12 balls

Nutrition Facts: (each ball)

Calories 40

Total Fat 2g

Total Carbohydrates 3.5g

Dietary Fiber 1g

Protein 3.5g

 

Print Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Protein Balls

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

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

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