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The 411 on a Nutritious Diet

By: Snap Fitness

Everyone wants to eat healthy. But what does “healthy” really mean?


Is it nothing but fruits and veggies for every meal? What about fast food restaurants that have healthy options; do those count?


Understanding a healthy, nutritious diet can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. That’s why this week we’re helping you get down to basics.

 

A nutritious diet has five characteristics: 

 

1. Adequacy – provides all the essential nutrients, fiber and energy in amounts that are sufficient to maintain health and body weight 

 

2. Balance – all nutrients are being consumed proportionality  

 

3. Calorie control – the foods you eat provide the amount of energy you need to maintain your appropriate weight 

 

4. Moderation – the foods you eat do not provide excess fat, sugar, salt and other unwanted constituents 

 

5. Variety – the foods chosen differ from day to day

 

Any one of these principles alone cannot ensure a healthful diet. 

 

Now that you’ve got the characteristics, what types of nutrients should you include in your diet? Are you trying to think back to grade school and remember what nutrients are? Don’t worry, we have you covered!

 

Nutrients are absolutely necessary for a body to function properly and can only be provided by the food you eat. Nutrients provide energy, maintain or repair body parts and support growth.

 

There are six essential nutrients -

 

Water – most important nutrient because your body uses water 24 hours a day, carrying nutrients to the cells in your body

 

Carbohydrates – primary energy source for the body – power every system in the body (brain, heart, muscles, organs)

 

Fat – primary purpose of fat is energy production

 

Protein – essential for building and repairing body cells

 

Vitamins – essential for regulating body functions such as preventing nutritional deficiencies, promoting good health and aiding in building body tissue

 

Minerals – play a significant role in helping your body properly function. Calcium is an example of a mineral – it is crucial in the formation and maintenance of bones.



Now that you know more about the characteristics and makeup of a nutritious diet, it’s time to start putting it into action. The next time you’re at the grocery store, look at the nutrition facts on the food you’re buying. How does it stack up when it comes to nutrients? Most fast food websites also include nutrition information, and now you have a better idea of what to look for.



It’s the little changes that can make the biggest difference, and understanding the basics of a nutritious diet is the first step to getting the results you want!

8 Tips To Get More Fruit Into Your Diet

By: Snap Fitness

Do you find it hard to stay consistent with your fruit consumption as the winter months approach?  If so, you aren’t alone. Fruit contains loads of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that keep your body functioning properly. The benefits are endless!

 

We’ve already given you tips for 5 Tips to Get More Veggies Into Your Diet, but the question remains: How do you incorporate more fruit into your diet?

 

The answer is quite simple. Fresh fruit can easily be added to some of your favorite foods, if you have the willingness to be creative.

 

Here are a few ways to sneak more fruit onto your plate.

 

1. Add fresh fruit to your greens. Yep, we said it! Try adding fruit such as; peaches, apples, pears, or berries to your salad. Fresh fruit adds a bit of sweetness that goes great with mixed greens

 

2. This one is a no-brainer! Mix fresh fruit into your daily smoothie. Cut up fresh fruit and freeze for smoothies. The fruit not only acts as a sweetener, but also as ice when frozen.

 

3. Keep fresh fruit easily accessible. Cut up fruit right after you get home from the grocery store. Being prepared is key!

 

4. Slice up a banana or add fresh blueberries to your morning cereal or oatmeal.

 

5. Break out the grill! There is nothing better than fresh fruit on the grill. Grilling fruit brings out the sweetness. Try pineapple, peaches, or bananas

 

6. Frozen fruits are just as nutritious as fresh. Use frozen if it is more convenient for you.

 

7. Stuff apples with raisins, dried apricots and walnuts and bake in the oven for a healthy dessert.

 

8. Don’t forget AVOCADOS! Yes, they are a fruit. Add these to your favorite sandwich, salad, or dip.

 

How are you going to add more fruit to your diet today?

 

Featured Recipe: Applesauce Pumpkin Bars

By: Snap Fitness

If you love the taste of pumpkin, you’re going to LOVE this recipe! The problem with pumpkin bars is most recipes call for one cup of oil, which can add up. We decided to substitute applesauce for the oil to lighten the load of these bars.

 

This recipe still contains sugar and eggs, but those ingredients can easily be swapped out for egg substitute and brown rice syrup. You will be more than happy with these deliciously moist bars.

 

Feel free to cut out the cream cheese frosting, but sometimes you need a little extra goodness on top. We used low-fat cream cheese, which cut the fat in half. These bars are sure to be a winner in your house!

 

 

Ingredients for the bars: 

 

4 eggs

1 2/3 raw cane sugar

1/2 applesauce ( plain or cinnamon)

15-ounce can pumpkin

2 cups almond flour ( gluten-free) or 2 cups whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda 

 

Ingredients for the icing: 

8-ounce package low-fat cream cheese

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Directions for the bars:

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine eggs, sugar, applesauce and pumpkin until fluffy.

3. In a seperate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.

4. Slowly add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until batter is smooth.

5. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

6. Cool bars completely before adding frosting. 

 

Directions for the icing:

 

1. Combine low-fat cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl.

2. Mix with electric mixer until smooth and creamy, then add the sugar and mix at low speed. Add vanilla and stir.

3. Once bars are completely cooled, spread the icing on top.

4. Sprinkle top of bars with nutmeg for an added dash of flavor.

Featured Recipe: Butternut Squash Lasagna

By: Snap Fitness

The fall season calls for two things:

1. Recipes including: pumpkin, nutmeg, or cinnamon

2. Comfort food

 

The challenge is how to eat comfort food when you're watching your waistline? There are ways to eat your favorite foods AND still stay on track with your diet. You don’t need to deprive yourself; just find ways to modify the recipe to fit your dietary needs

 

One of the most popular comfort foods is lasagna. Unfortunately, lasagna can often be a no-no because of the added cheese, and carbs. In this recipe, we’ve taken traditional lasagna and modified its ingredients. What resulted is a low-fat version of the famous comfort food classic. In honor of October, we made it seasonal by adding butternut squash to the mix. You will be pleased and satisfied with this recipe re-do. 

 

Enjoy! 

 

Ingredients:

 

2 boxes whole wheat or gluten-free lasagna noodles

1 pound- ground turkey 

1 large Butternut squash

1 vidalia onion

1 garlic clove

1 bunch of spinach

1 12oz. container low-fat ricotta

1 12oz. container low-fat cottage cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 Tbsp olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions:

 

1. Bake butternut squash at 400F for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, remove contents of squash and place into a bowl. Mix until squash forms a sauce-like consistency and set aside.

2. Brown ground turkey in a medium skillet on low heat. Once browned, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, onion, and ½ garlic clove and allow to cook for another minute. Set aside in a small bowl.

3. In a large pot, cook lasagna noodles until al dente (partially cooked). Set aside.

4. In the medium skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and the rest of the garlic clove. Sauté for about 1 minute until the garlic begins to brown and add the spinach. Cook until spinach is fully wilted. Remove from heat.

5. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta and cottage cheeses. Add cooked spinach to mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.

 

Layering Lasagna Directions:

 

1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 9x13 pan.

2. Lay four cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of the pan, overlapping as you go.

3. Add a thin layer of meat on top of the noodles. Then add a layer of butternut squash. Lastly, add a thin layer of the cheese mixture on top of the butternut squash. Top with another layer of noodles, and continue with the same layering pattern. The last layer should be a layer of noodles. Sprinkle with one final layer of cheese.

4. Pop in the oven at 350F degrees for 20-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

Note: This recipe can be made ahead and frozen for a meal later on. 

5 Tips To Get More Veggies Into Your Diet

By: Snap Fitness

Are you eating your veggies? For most of us the veggie battle started at an early age where we spent our youth having broccoli and Brussels sprouts shoved in our faces. The result, a love/ hate relationship with anything that grows in the ground.

 

Most of us aren’t adding fresh vegetables into our daily diet. Either it’s a matter of convenience, or let’s face it, the taste isn’t something we fell in love with at an early age.  Incorporating veggies into a daily diet can be difficult, but there are ways to make eating veggies more enjoyable.

 

Believe it or not, you can add vegetables into just about anything, well, almost anything. The key is to experiment with a variety of vegetables and recipes.  After all, you never know if you don’t try.

 

Follow these simple tips to get more vegetables into your diet:

 

1. Make them accessible. Cut up your veggies right when you get them. Put them in small baggies to grab on the go.

 

2. Add veggies into your favorite smoothie or juice. Veggies add loads of nutrients and believe it or not, you can’t taste them when blended with other ingredients.

 

3. Toss them into your favorite stews or pasta sauces. Adding zucchini, onion, tomatoes, and carrots not only adds flavor, it adds color too.

 

4. Dips such as hummus can make eating veggies easier. Not to mention you get the fiber from the bean dip.

 

5. Throw a few extra veggies on your frozen pizza, sandwich, or wrap. Get your nutrients and a bit of crunch

 

Sooner or later your memories of mashed peas and carrots will be truly something of the past. Enjoy! 

Featured Recipe: Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes

By: Snap Fitness

It’s officially pumpkin season!

 

Nothing spices up a recipe than the flavor of pumpkin. Did you know that pumpkin puree is low in calories and fat, not to mention contains vitamins and antioxidants? You will be in heaven with this recipe for Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes. They are full of great flavor, and super moist. Top these cakes with your favorite hot maple syrup, pecans, or a dollop of butter. If it was possible to put Fall on a plate, we’ve done it!

 

Enjoy! 

 

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose gluten free baking flour

1 cup almond milk

1 egg

¾ cup pureed pumpkin

¼ cup buckwheat flour

2 Tbsp butter, melted

1 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

 

Directions

1. Mix together the egg, sugar and vanilla until foamy. Add melted butter and pureed pumpkin and combine well.

2. In a separate bowl, combine gluten free flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder and the spices. Add the combined dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture.

3. Add milk and stir until the batter is smooth.

4. Heat a frying pan and use a 1/3 measuring cup to pour the batter on the heated frying pan. Once the top of the pancake starts to bubble, flip the pancake and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Watch carefully.

5. Serve warm with maple syrup or your desired topping.

6 Tips for a Perfect Pantry Purge

By: Snap Fitness

Part of a healthy eating plan is eliminating certain foods from your diet. The key is to stock up on fresh, natural foods. The most effective way to avoid processed foods is to keep them out of your pantry. If unhealthy foods aren’t readily available to you, they are easier to avoid. A healthier pantry means a healthier, happier you!

 

The key is to be prepared. Start by writing a short list of the specific foods that fit into your healthy food plan. Visit our Shopping Cart 101 for ideas on which foods to purchase at the store. Take an honest, hard look at your pantry. Throw out foods that are high in sugar, saturated fat, additives, white flour, and sodium. Purge you pantry and refrigerator of processed foods; restock your pantry with whole foods that will support your fitness goals.

 

6 Tips for a perfect  pantry purge:

 

1. If you know it isn’t healthy, toss it. Plain and simple.

 

2. Try to avoid packaged and canned items. These usually contain additives.

 

3. Read labels. Purchase items that are free of artificial colors, sweeteners, dyes, hormones, and MSG.

 

4. Don’t deprive yourself of foods you enjoy. Look for alternatives that contain natural ingredients. If you deny your cravings, you will regret it later.

 

5. Research healthy recipes. This will give you a better idea of which ingredients to stock up on, and which to avoid.

 

6. Get the family involved! Make it a household activity. The more support you have, the better.

 

Nothing changes overnight, so cut yourself some slack if you can’t part with your favorite junk food. Take it one day at a time. Take it one meal at a time. Remember, it is the small changes that amount to big results. 

Cinnamon Apple Smoothie

By: Snap Fitness

When you close your eyes and think of Fall what comes to mind? For most of us, its cinnamon, pumpkin, and nutmeg. There is nothing better than using these spices to bring out the flavor in your fall cooking. Not to mention, cooking with spices is a healthy alternative.

 

One of the all-time classic Fall recipes is apple pie. We’ve taken the essence of an apple pie and made it into a smoothie. Can you guess the star ingredient? If you guessed cinnamon, you’re spot on. Cinnamon is considered to be one of the healthiest spices for you! Not to mention, apples are a powerful sources of fiber and antioxidants. This smoothie is a wonderful alternative to high-calorie desserts and will keep you full for hours.

 

Variety is the “Spice” of life!

 

Ingredients:

 

1 apple, peeled and cored

½ cup almond milk or milk of your choosing

½ cup water

½ frozen banana

2 tsp cinnamon

3-4 ice cubes

1 tsp honey or agave nectar

 

Directions:

 

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy immediately!

Featured Recipe: No-Mayo Tuna Salad

By: Snap Fitness

Most of us shy away from tuna salad because of the heavy mayo content, which is full of added fat and calories. Believe it or not, the key to a really good tuna salad isn’t hiding in the mayo jar, it’s in the added ingredients.

 

If you haven’t tried tuna packed in olive oil, we highly suggest it. Tuna packed in oil tends to be meatier and is actually healthy for you at the same time. We added our own dash of olive oil in this recipe, which gives this tuna salad a fancy kick.

 

Feel free to throw your own twist on your tuna salad. May we suggest; tomatoes, apples, raisins, walnuts, or sliced almonds? The skis the limit with your flavor combinations.

 

So go ahead! Get your fancy pants on and let’s get cooking!

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 can (5 oz) water packed tuna, drained
  • 2 Tbsp kalamata olives, pitted and chopped or 2 Tbsp capers
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4-5 whole canned artichokes, chopped
  • 1/2 stalk celery, minced
  • 1 finely chopped scallion - green part only
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

 

1. Drain tuna, place in a medium sized bowl.

2. Combine kalamata olives, artichokes, minced celery, scallions, and stir.

3. In a separate bowl, wisk; lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

4. Slowly pour dressing onto tuna mixture. Serve on bread, crackers, or on top of your favorite lettuce.

5. Enjoy!

5 Tips to Halt Junk Food Cravings

By: Snap Fitness

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s the middle of a stressful workday, you’re bored late at night, or just don’t have the time to make a healthy choice, junk food cravings have snuck up on all of us. While the urge might be tempting, there are five easy ways to help keep them at bay:

 

1. Stay Hydrated

Studies have shown that when people crave unhealthy foods, it could be a sign of dehydration, so opt for a glass of water when you feel a craving coming.

 

2. Don’t tell yourself you can’t eat it

The moment you tell yourself you can’t have something you immediately want it. Has this happened to you? Instead, tell yourself you won’t have it because ______ (insert your reasoning, such as: I can find a better option, I am working towards a goal, I don’t really want it, I have been doing so well staying on track, I don’t want to feel bad about it afterwards, etc. )

 

3. Divert your attention

Focus on something not related to food, such as finishing an email, turning to another task or stretching

 

4. Make sure you kitchen is stocked 

But stocked with healthy foods. Keep junk food out of the house to avoid temptations.

 AND 

If you do end up giving into your craving...

 

5. Don't beat yourself up

the last thing you should do is beat yourself up about it.  What you should do is forget about it and move on. If you get down on yourself, you might find it easier to give in to temptation once again.

To avoid this vicious cycle, do the following:

1. Have enough to satisfy your craving, and get rid of the rest.

2. Tell yourself that it was a one-time thing and that you are not going to give in again, and move on. 

 

Good luck!

Posts 41 - 50 of 88